Old San Francisco Streetcars & Port de Sóller (Mallorca)

Port de Sóller is a coastal village and resort on the north west coast of Mallorca.

Between the port and the nearby town of Sóller there is a tramcar service, asserted locally to run on rolling stock sourced from San Francisco, either during the 1930s or at the turn of the 20th century, it depends upon who you believe.

I’ve spent some time, but probably not enough, trying to find some photographs of San Francisco streetcars that look vaguely like what follows:

Front View - Side View - Rear View.

The photographs I’ve seen feature streetcars that don’t come close to the above pictures and I’d be happy to be pointed in the right direction.

Additionally, any further information concerning the Sóller - Port de Sóller trams would be very welcome.

Thank you.

Well it sounds like you’re talking about the F-line tram that runs (mostly) along the Embaradero in San Francisco. Most of the cars are a “newer” style like this one, but there are also a few older looking ones like this one. and this. Not sure how exact of a match you want.

Try a Google Image Search for “San Francisco F Line”.

You are trying to confirm those tramcars were indeed imported from SF? In that case I think your best bet is to ask for information from the Soller operator.

The trams running in SF today come from all sorts of places and i do not think would be very helpful in confirming your question. You would have to find photos from the 1920’s or whenever they claim those cars were in SF. And even then you cannot be sure they are not copies or just manufactured by the same company or whatever.

The Port de Soller tram is narrow gage - three feet - and Muni streetcars are standard 4 foot 8.5 inch gage, so that pretty well knocks out the idea that the rolling stock came from San Francisco.

Also, there’s nothing similar looking at the Market Street Railway’swebsite.

Once upon a fabled time, there was the Key System linking SF and Oakland (yes, the Bay Bridge once had tracks).
for a start - per it the Key System startd in 1903, so may well have used cars of that vintage at one time.

There’s a website for the F-Line which, among other things, discusses the history of the system and has pictures of the various cars now in use, one of which is the very first put in service (see here). Frankly, I can’t tell from your pictures how much they resemble SF’s original cars, but it seems unlikely they’re actually the source, as the city was only just then establishing its own system. Inspired by seems more likely.

Many years ago, the cable cars were overhauled - even Victorian engineering gives out eventually :D. This took them out of service for many months - don’t remember.
To keep the tourists happy, the city put out a call for antique streetcars from just about everywhere.
These were run on the then-unused Market St tracks, reviving the old F line. These proved so popular (esp. the boat-shaped car) they were kept on even after the cables were restored.
Result: The F line has one-offs of many cars from around the world - they are NOT necessarily anything ever used in SF - they re simply NOT historically SF cars.

The San Franciscan origin of the Sóller rolling stock is not disputed either locally or on various travel pages on the internet. That said, the information from both sources cannot be described as reliable. To discover here that it’s probably all a myth naturally leaves me wondering where the tramcars actually came from.

There was no literature in the local shops about the history of the tram service and my Spanish, being more than somewhat execrable, rendered me unable to question anyone sensibly about the matter. I guess if I’m determined to ascertain the provenance of the Sóller trams I’ll have to draft a letter to the Sóller town council, or similar.

The tram is a cool ride. In Sóller itself, it passes within a couple of feet of various buildings. If I had so desired, I could have stroked a couple of melons I saw on prominent display in a greengrocer’s shop.

There are many companies that provided streetcar (on rails in the street, overhead electric power lines), cable car (on rails, cable running continuously under street), trolley (bus not on rails, overhead power lines), and bus (internal engine, no rails) service in San Francisco. They all eventually were absorbed by MUNI or became defunct. For example, there were once 8 cable car companies in the City.

The SF Public Library maintains a historical photo archieve. Their photos of streetcars can be accessed at http://sflib1.sfpl.org:82/search/d?SEARCH=Transportation+Streetcars. There are 104 categories with 1 to 25 photos each, so I’ll let you go through all of them.