Railroad & Streetcar Timeline
Contributed by John Martini, 11/2005
Adolph Sutro starts work on a steam train line to the
Heights and Cliff House, but sells out to a private firm
before it's completed. This becomes the "Ferries & Cliff
House Rail Road" that runs around Lands End. (Locals
sometimes call the route simply "The Cliff Line.") The
train depot is located at the corner of 48th and Pt
Lobos, right across from the main entrance to Sutro
Heights. Fare is 5 cents with transfer privileges to
connecting streetcars and cable cars.
Ferries & Cliff House line is bought by the huge
Southern Pacific Railroad. (However, the name of the
train stays the same.) SP discontinues transfers, so the
fare effectively doubles. Infuriated, Sutro decides to
build a competing streetcar line called the "Sutro Rail
Road." It will offer a 5 cent fare -- and transfers.
Sutro Rail Road opens on February 1st. Its cars run
along Clement and Geary Streets and terminate at a large
wooden depot near the entrance to Sutro Baths. This
terminal, called the Sutro Depot, was adjacent to
today's Louie's restaurant. For the next several years,
the new streetcars and the aging steam train run in
competition to each other.
new city-wide streetcar company called the United
Railroads (URR) buys both the Ferries & Cliff House
steam train line and the electric Sutro Rail Road. The
two now run as companion lines, not competition.
old Ferries & Cliff House steam train around Lands End
is converted to an electric streetcar line, which is
eventually designated the #1 California Street line.
(The old Sutro Rail Road route becomes the #2 Clement
Street line.) For the next 44 years, both the #1 and #2
lines terminate in the Sutro Depot.
old United Railroads are bought by yet another company,
the Market Street Railway.
Severe landslides in February destroy large portions of
the #1 streetcar tracks, and service around Lands End
ceases. The #1 line streetcars continue to run to
Sutro's but are re-routed along city streets instead of
the scenic cliff route.
Municipal Railway buys out the old Market Street
Railway, including #1 and #2 lines.
Sutro Depot burns and MUNI stops all streetcar
operations to the Sutro Baths.