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“OK For SFO Transportation Souvenirs But No Large Exhibits.”

San Francisco Railway Museum
Ranked #147 of 567 things to do in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The San Francisco Railway museum is the place to learn about the antique streetcars and national landmark cable cars that regularly run along the city's main arteries, and how rail transportation shaped development of the city. The museum is located at the Steuart Street F-line stop, half a block south of Market St., catty-corner from the Ferry Building, and only steps away from the California St. Cable Car terminal. Admission to the museum is free.
Reviewed June 19, 2014

I was disappointed not to find various old streetcars and perhaps a cable car inside. In reality this "Museum" was mainly a souvenir shop which explained the free admission. Yes there were photos, videos and several items of memorabilia, but that was the limit. I thought SFO would have had something better to offer. Must say that the smaller souvenirs were quite novel, such as bookmarks and fridge magnets cut out in the shapes and colours of the streetcars still running on the "F" Line.

Thank observer2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanFranRailwayMuseum, Manager at San Francisco Railway Museum, responded to this reviewResponded June 21, 2014

Thank you for your review of the San Francisco Railway Museum. San Francisco has a unique situation, where we have chosen to make most of our museum part of the regular public transportation system (operated by MUNI). We call it our Museums In Motion, including historic Cable Cars and Streetcars. The purpose of the Railway Museum is to showcase our smaller items and tell the history of the Museums in Motion. Our non-profit has been restoring historic transit vehicles in San Francisco since 1976. Our interior exhibits do change frequently and we periodically add new vehicles to the fleet.

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48 - 52 of 97 reviews

Reviewed May 15, 2014

We came into San Francisco by way of ferry and were going to use public transportation in the city. The museum was to open at 10AM but was still locked at 10:08. The employee came out and told us he had to run to the bank first and then would open. It was open about 10:30. The museum was OK and free but the big plus is that you can purchase Muni Passports (SF Public transportation passes) good for trolleys, buses, streetcars and train to take you all over the city for 1, 3 or 7 days. Right next to the Ferry Bldg where you can get coffee, breads and snacks before or after a day in the city. There may be a small farmer's market type of retail under the tents nearby.

Thank Don87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2014

The subject is specialized so it isn't for everyone, but if you have any interest in the history of San Francisco street railways, this is a must. The museum is quite small; it occupies the area of a small retail store; but it's very well done and filled with fascinating memorabilia of bygone San Francisco. What it is not about is cable cars; that's another story (and another museum).

Fittingly, the SF Railway Museum is located right on the F Streetcar Line across the plaza from the Ferry Building. A ride on the F car is also recommended, by the way. It's the city's only remaining streetcar line and runs from Fisherman's Wharf, along the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building; then up Market Street to the Castro District.

2  Thank Itinerant65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2014 via mobile

It could be interesting for whom is into railways, but actually it's not really a museum. Let's say it's a small museum shop without the museum. It's worth a 5 minutes visit only if you happen to be in the area, but don't go there on purpose.

Thank Sanvean76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2014

What a great find. This museum is all in one room and is such a treasure. I am really glad we got to see it while in San Fran. Do check it out while in California. Great items all through the museum for purchase,

Thank kappy26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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