San Francisco Streetcars: Everything You Need to Know About the Streetcars in SF & Visit the Railway Museum

San Francisco takes immense pride in its historical modes of transportation. Not only are we renowned for our iconic cable cars, but also our classic San Francisco streetcars.

Currently, we have a single line in service.

The F Market & Wharves line stands as the operational route, commencing at Fisherman’s Wharf and concluding in the Castro District. It traverses the Embarcadero and progresses down Market Street, connecting these two distinguished SF locales.

There was an erstwhile second line named E Embarcadero. Its course started from Fisherman’s Wharf, meandered along the Embarcadero, sailed past Oracle Park, and concluded near the Caltrain Station in the South of Market District.

At present, the E line remains suspended, with uncertainty regarding its potential reactivation.

What Sets San Francisco Streetcars Apart from Our Cable Cars?

Like cable cars, streetcars traverse tracks. However, they derive power from overhead electrical lines as opposed to cables located beneath the tracks like cable cars.

San Francisco Street Car Red

Additionally, they typically operate at two to three times the speed of a cable car.

A Glimpse into the History of San Francisco Streetcars

The inaugural streetcar line came into service in 1892. Post the devastation of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, San Francisco began replacing cable cars with streetcars.

As faster modes of transport emerged over the decades, the city’s dependence on the lines gradually declined. Eventually, the city began shifting the lines underground, and by 1982 the last of the San Francisco streetcars were relocated to the subway.

Sf Street Cars Blue

In 1983, Muni, business leaders, and Mayor Dianne Feinstein invited historic cars from across the globe to traverse Market Street during the Historic Trolley Festival.

This festival was initiated during a period when the beloved cable car tracks were undergoing renovation, rendering them unusable for two years.

The festival reignited the public’s interest in these vintage vehicles, and the push to bring the F line back to the surface began.

Today, many of these classic streetcars proudly call San Francisco home. Despite only two lines, these vintage vehicles can frequently be seen cruising the F line.

These streetcars form a vital component of San Francisco’s comprehensive public transport system. A ride on one of these comes highly recommended during your visit.

Each streetcar offers a unique experience and hails from various corners of the globe. The exciting aspect is that you can glean some historical insights about the particular streetcar during your journey.

Each streetcar features an informative sign typically positioned towards the front. Be sure to grab a seat in that area if you are keen to learn more about it.

Sf Street Car Story

F Market & Wharves Stops

The F Market & Wharves route is the most frequented line for San Francisco’s renowned streetcars. As initially highlighted, this line connects the Castro and Fisherman’s Wharves Districts via Market Street and Union Square.

This journey comprises 20 stops. Here are the key stations on the F Market & Wharves line, arranged in sequence from Fisherman’s Wharf towards the Castro District.

Fisherman’s Wharf

The Fisherman’s Wharf District is serviced by numerous stops.

Prime selections are Embarcadero & Stockton Street, Jefferson & Powell, Jefferson & Taylor (which situates you in the district’s core), and Jones & Beach (it’s where drivers rest, marking both the inaugural and terminal stop).

Pier 39

At Embarcadero & Stockton, you’ll find yourself directly adjacent to Pier 39.

Alcatraz Landing/Pier 33

For Embarcadero & Bay Streets, traverse the Embarcadero to reach the waterfront, home to Alcatraz Cruises.


The Exploratorium is located on Pier 15, reachable via Embarcadero & Green Street.

Ferry Building

To find the Ferry Building on Pier 1, start at Embarcadero & Washington Streets and stroll towards the sea.

Embarcadero BART Stop

Market & Drumm Streets guide you to the Embarcadero BART stop’s entrance, from where you can journey to the East Bay, Peninsula, or SFO.


Several SF museums are located near the Market & Kearny stop. It’s an optimal location for the SF MOMA, the Museum of African Diaspora, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and Yerba Buena Gardens.

Moscone Center

The Moscone Center is also best accessed from the Market & Kearny stop.

Union Square

Disembark at Market & Stockton and proceed up Stockton for two blocks to reach Union Square.

Cable Car Lines

The cable cars between Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf can be boarded from the Market Street and 5th Street stop.

Golden Gate Theater

Alight at Market & Taylor Streets, and you’ll be right before the Golden Gate Theater, a hub for Broadway performances.

Orpheum Theater

Market & Hyde Streets lead you directly to the Orpheum Theater, which stages Broadway shows throughout the year.

Civic Center

Market & Larkin Streets offer a prime stop for the Civic Center District. Here, you’ll find City Hall, the SF Asian Art Museum, and numerous annual festivals. The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium is also located at this stop.

Hayes Valley

Hop off at Market & Gough to explore Hayes Valley, which boasts exquisite dining and shopping options.

Castro District

By disembarking at 17th and Castro, you’ll be at the vibrant heart of the Castro District.

Historic Street Cars In San Francisco

E Embarcadero (Service is Currently Suspended)

The E Embarcadero line operates between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Caltrain Station. It mirrors the F line’s stops from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Ferry Building, staying along the Embarcadero with additional stops.

Pier 24 Photography Museum: Alight at Embarcadero & Harrison Street to find yourself across from the admission-free Pier 24 Photography Museum.

Oracle Park: The sizable stop at King & 2nd is conveniently located across from Oracle Park, where the SF Giants Baseball team play.

Caltrain Station: The King & 4th stop is nearest to the Caltrain Station, offering services southwards through the Peninsula and up to San Jose.

Sf Railway Museum Sign

Railway Museum

For those wishing to deepen their understanding of San Francisco’s streetcars, the Railway Museum is the place to go. This free museum narrates the tale of all San Francisco streetcars presently running on the F line in the city.

San Francisco Railway Museum

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