Silver Line trolley returns to San Diego!

The nostalgic Silver Line trolley has returned to San Diego!

I saw historic, restored PCC streetcar 529 pulling into America Plaza this morning, and I had to jump aboard. The old trolley cars that run in the downtown Silver Line loop are definitely a very cool San Diego sight!

The Silver Line resumed service today after not running for most of the COVID-19 pandemic. I learned the line will be operating on weekends from this point forward.

I want to give a special shout out to the driver and another MTS employee on the streetcar during my ride. A distressed passenger at one station informed the driver she’d been accidentally separated from some of her belongings. As I looked on from a seat in back, the attentive, friendly MTS guys immediately got on the phone and quickly resolved the situation! The belongings had been found and awaited the passenger at the next station, under guard of an MTS Ambassador! I don’t know the name of the trolley driver, but he and his buddy are totally awesome!

If you like historic old streetcars, watch for the distinctive Silver Line cars running in a loop downtown and jump aboard!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Original streetcars from Balboa Park’s 1915 exposition!

Do you want to see an incredible, important part of San Diego history? Then head over to the National City Depot Museum, which is operated by the San Diego Electric Railway Association. Last year they obtained the three only remaining streetcars that operated in the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park!

As you step into the depot museum, you’ll see a sign that describes the history of these historic cars. To summarize:

In 1910 the Class 1 streetcars were designed in San Diego and ordered from the St. Louis Car Company. Twenty four cars were built, and they began operations in San Diego in 1912. These cars would operate on various streetcar lines until 1939.

In 1939, a couple residing in El Cajon bought three streetcars that weren’t scrapped; in 1996 they were acquired by a local antique dealer and moved to storage on Adams Avenue; and in 1997 the cars were designated San Diego Historical Landmark #339.

Between 1997 and 2013 extensive restoration work was performed on car 138 by San Diego Historic Streetcars, as you can see in my photographs. There had been a plan to operate the cars during Balboa Park’s 2015 Exposition Centennial.

Finally, in 2021, the three historic streetcars were donated to the San Diego Electric Railway Association in National City, where the public, on open weekends, can freely observe them up close!

The plan now is to obtain wheels for car 138, and to fully restore the car so that it will endure for future generations.

Anyone who is intrigued by San Diego’s history, and what life might have been like around the time of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, must see these three original streetcars!

With a little imagination, one can picture the colorful cars running up rails that once existed near today’s Park Boulevard, transporting crowds of excited visitors to the exposition grounds!

The book Rails of the Silver Gate by San Diego railroad historian Richard V. Dodge provides a description of cars 125-148.

At the other end of the National City Depot Museum’s large outdoor yard stand the two unrestored streetcars, numbers 126 and 128.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

An amazing San Diego museum few know about!

One of San Diego’s most amazing museums is little known to the public. But if you are interested in our city’s history, it’s a place you absolutely must visit!

The San Diego Electric Railway Association’s historic National City Depot museum is positively jam packed with fascinating exhibits. I last visited the old train depot six years ago, and I posted this blog with lots of photos and interesting information. On a whim I swung by the museum yesterday–and was wowed once again!

Display cases are filled with artifacts and ephemera from a century ago when a growing San Diego was crisscrossed with streetcars. And, of course, there are the many outdoor exhibits, including old trolleys, streetcars and railway equipment.

As I entered the depot, my eyes immediately fixed upon something astonishing. A sign described how three of San Diego’s original streetcars were added to the museum last year! I’ll be blogging about that shortly!

If you have kids and need something to do on a weekend, they’ll love the museum. I bet you will, too! And it’s free!

Take a look at just a tiny bit of the San Diego history you’ll see…

There are important out of print reference books available at the museum, too, including one titled Rails of the Silver Gate that I purchased. Published in 1960, it provides a complete detailed history of entrepreneur John D. Spreckels and his creation of the San Diego Electric Railway. The incredible book includes many photos, plus descriptions of every car that ever operated, and route maps that became increasingly extensive over the years!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

New art arrives at 47th Street trolley station!

The 47th Street station of the San Diego Trolley has newly painted public art! A mural along a low wall beside one platform is the work of San Diego artist Maxx Moses.

I stepped off the Orange Line today and took photographs of the cool new artwork!

According to this article, the long mural you are looking at is titled Seamless. Its theme is human connectivity through transit. I see that differently colored patterns combine and link to one another.

I’m not sure whether this artwork is completed. I’ll swing by during a future city adventure to see what might develop.

You can experience more art by Maxx Moses at three other San Diego Trolley stations, here and here and here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

New art is arriving at Euclid trolley station!

Look what I discovered during my travels today! New public artwork is now being painted on two low walls by the trolley station platform at the Euclid Transit Center!

When I saw the distinctive style, I guessed that the artist is Maxx Moses, who has other trolley station murals here and here. When I got home, I found this article confirming my suspicion!

And Maxx Moses will be painting a big wall at the nearby 47th Street trolley station, too! It’s part of a cool MTS project to enliven the Orange Line!

This Euclid Avenue Station art, titled Blossom, will eventually include many painted marigolds. Marigolds represent life’s fragility and spiritual endurance in Mexican culture. You often see these flowers during Dia de los Muertos.

I’ll post updated images at some point in the future!

UPDATE!

I visited the Euclid trolley station again in late February and took some more photos. I’m not sure whether the artwork is finished or still a work in progress…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

San Diego buses reserve a seat for Rosa Parks!

Today was a special day on San Diego’s MTS buses. A front seat was reserved on every bus in honor of Rosa Parks! Today, February 4, is her birthday!

I happened to see the above “reserved seat” sign as I boarded the 120 bus this evening at Fashion Valley. The driver admired the sign again and straightened it after I took my photo. As I rode toward home, I remembered there’s a special bus stop dedicated to Rosa Parks on the 44 route, at San Diego Mesa College.

Rosa Parks was largely responsible for starting the civil rights movement in the United States, when she refused to give up her front seat on a segregated Montgomery, Alabama city bus in 1955. Later in life she visited San Diego Mesa College and received an award for her legendary courage and activism.

I took photos of that special bus stop, its historical displays and a nearby bench with the inscription Quiet Strength, a year ago. See those photographs here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Walking information for Bankers Hill.

Would you like to know how many minutes it might take to walk to nearby destinations from Bankers Hill? Then check out this helpful sign!

I saw this new information sign on Sixth Avenue north of Laurel Street. (That’s the grassy west edge of Balboa Park in the photo background.)

I suspect other signs like it must be out there now, too.

If you want to park your car in San Diego and walk, or take public transit, this sign can help you plan a healthy and invigorating shoe leather adventure!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Working to clean and beautify National City!

During my visit to the fun “A Kimball Holiday” event on Saturday, I met a couple of guys who are working to clean and beautify National City!

In an effort to promote a pedestrian corridor along Interstate 805, they are asking the public which improvements would be most important. Native and drought-resistant landscaping, trash and recycling receptacles, lighting, signage and more are being considered.

I don’t live in National City, but I am a very big walker who passes through its neighborhoods from time to time, so obviously I was excited to hear of this effort!

The guys I spoke to are hoping to receive a Caltrans Clean California Program grant to implement this positive vision for the community.

All I can say is, National City certainly deserves these improvements. This community might be a bit under-resourced, but its residents are equal members of the California family.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Glimpses of San Diego from a bus.

I ride the bus a lot.

I usually use a combination of buses and trolleys for my work commute. I also ride different routes all around the city on weekends for my photographic adventures. (Old walking legs must be rested occasionally!)

I’ve been less active than usual lately, so my blogging material at the moment is sparse. But I do have one folder on my computer containing past images that were captured while riding the bus!

If we’re stopped and the window is clean, I can get crisp shots. Other shots are rather blurry. They all provide a momentary glimpse of our city’s life.

These photos are unedited, just scaled down a little. If you can identify all of the San Diego locations, you win a smile!

(Yes, one photo wasn’t taken while riding a bus, but as I waited at the Fashion Valley Transit Center. The skateboarder and ducks were simply perfect.)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

San Diego’s Mid-Coast Trolley extension debuts!

Today was the big day! San Diego’s new Mid-Coast Trolley extension opened for regular service! And there were free rides and a big public celebration at the main UCSD campus station!

The greatly lengthened Blue Line now serves nine brand new trolley stations between Old Town and the UTC shopping mall. Much of the new line runs along Interstate 5 and is elevated. So imagine the great views!

I had to take photos, of course! And check out each new station!

A huge crowd turned out, and in some of the cars passengers were packed like sardines. But everyone was having a fun, memorable experience. Families with kids were everywhere, and the kids were especially excited!

I took loads of photos–so many, in fact, that I’ve left them somewhat unedited. But they provide a sense of what the day was about.

Here we go! Starting at the Old Town Transit Center, heading north…

Another trolley heads north from Old Town. Beyond that distant Interstate 8 overpass, the Mid-Coast Trolley extension passes over the San Diego River and Friars Road, then heads along Morena Boulevard into Bay Park.
Peering through the driver’s compartment. What lies ahead?
Passing over the San Diego River. Those other trolley tracks veer eastward into Mission Valley–the Green Line which I often take to work.
Passing over Friars Road. Some environmental work still underway, left over from creating new railway bridges.
I step off at the Tecolote Road station and take a photo of the trolley continuing on north. While I waited for the next trolley, I asked MTS ambassador Pat about possible new public art along the Mid-Coast Trolley extension, and she thought it would be cool to have owl art at this station. Tecolote is Spanish for owl!
I got on the next UC San Diego Blue Line train and have already arrived at the Clairemont Drive station.
There it goes!
Here comes the next trolley!
Heading north past Mission Bay we could see water and palm trees in the distance.
It’s getting noticeably busier at the Balboa Avenue station! A sizeable parking lot here was used by many passengers on this free ride day.
The trolley continues north toward Rose Canyon. You can see Mount Soledad in the distance on the left.
A path for pedestrians and bicyclists heads toward Balboa Avenue.
Bicyclists descend to Balboa Avenue.
Lots of passengers on this special day!
Heading north past industrial buildings by Rose Creek. Climb those hills to the east and you’d find yourself in Clairemont.
Autumn scenery is a bit blurred as we move rapidly along.
The Amtrak and Coaster train tracks, which we’ve been traveling beside, now veer northeast toward Miramar. We soon veer a bit west to pass over Interstate 5 and commence an elevated journey beside the freeway.
Our first glimpse of Golden Triangle office high-rises and the exotic temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Pulling into the Nobel Drive station, which is across the freeway from the distinctive Mormon temple.
Folks walk along the station platform.
Looking back south. Some construction is still going on.
Look both ways!
Looking north. You can see the big VA Medical Center building in the distance, to left of center.
Continuing on the trolley north.
Approaching the VA Medical Center station. The best photo I managed to get at this moment. (The trolley car was jam-packed!)
We’ve arrived!
Flags and plaques honor the five branches of the Armed Services at the VA Medical Center station. I’ll be posting more photos that I took here shortly.
One last look down at the freeway before we curve our way into the large campus of UC San Diego. I took photos of Mid-Coast Trolley extension construction some time ago from this same bridge.
There’s a good deal of construction activity around the new UC San Diego Central Campus trolley station.
Here we are!
The trolley cars emptied here as people flooded down toward a big Mid-Coast Trolley extension opening day celebration and festival!
Somebody already got a cool new shirt!
Down some stairs we go.
Lots of stuff going on beneath the elevated station!
A sign indicates the Grand Opening Celebration event is this way!
That’s the big celebration in the distance. Meanwhile I spotted these dancers.
It’s the San Diego Dance Theater! They perform the annual Trolley Dances! You’ve seen them many times before on Cool San Diego Sights!
Oh, man! Look at that line! I’m afraid I didn’t have the patience to wait. More places to go today…
I did take a photo from outside the big Grand Opening Celebration event. They had a huge stage for speeches and entertainment. And kettle corn, of course!
Heading back under the UC San Diego Central Campus trolley station I noticed this cool public art. Words and phrases fill the plaza! I’ll blog more about this later.
Heading up stairs on the station’s other side.
A view of UCSD campus construction near the new trolley station. UC San Diego has been expanding like crazy the past few years.
More construction photographed from the same stairs.
The top of the elevators to the station platform.
Well, here we are a short time later at the UC San Diego Health La Jolla station. That’s quite a mouthful!
The longest station name ever.
Not much action at this station. A MTS worker is keeping things clean.
Looking around.
We’re now on our way to the Executive Drive station.
I’ve arrived at the Executive Drive trolley station near the heart of University City. Gleaming office buildings are all around. That pedestrian bridge provides easy passage to one nearby building.
From here the Blue Line heads south above Genesee Avenue for a short distance.
I see the UTC shopping mall a short distance to the south.
I watch a trolley head toward its final destination–the UTC Transit Center.
I’m riding there now!
Look at all the passengers disembarking!
At the UTC Transit Center trolley platform, on the west side.
Stairs head down to a nearby parking lot.
MTS buses at the UTC Transit Center below, on the east side of the trolley platform.
People head into the popular UTC shopping mall.
One last look north up Genesee Avenue.

That is a little of what many experienced on this day, November 21, 2021.

History was made in San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!