Ever surprise why there is a steel field in the way in which whenever you attempt to tuck your ft below your seat? It is the one beneath these side-facing, longitudinal seats. There is a window on the front-right panel, a gauge to evaluate the amount of its content material from exterior. After I discover myself within the triple-seaters, I bang the heel of my shoe towards the steel. Generally it sounds hole, others the field feels full.
The thriller bins aboard MUNI’s rail-bound automobiles do not comprise any gasoline and they don’t home a classy braking system. These little tanks are crammed with sand.
A easy repair…
MUNI’s various fleet of automobiles embrace three rail choices. Catch one of many metropolis’s heritage streetcars on Market Avenue’s F-Market/Wharves line. Go to the Castro or trip to the Ferry Constructing and past, to Fisherman’s Wharf if you happen to’re a glutton for punishment. If that’s the case, hop a cable automobile from the Wharf and take it up and over to the foot of Powell Avenue. Us San Franciscan chaff nonetheless usually keep on with light-rail, just like the Sundown-serving N-Judah or Dolores Park pipeline J-Church.
All of those rail-bound transit modes have a field like this aboard. Every is filled with sand. A valve positioned in entrance of the wheel pours a stream of sand on the rail, boosting traction. Metal-against-steel can yield inadequate friction on the ft of sure hills, and at common grades when it rains. The sand, shipped in from Monterey at 17¢ a pound in 2017 dollars, helps arrest a prepare’s extra movement. With out it, count on the prepare to overshoot its cease and squeak an terrible lot attempting to not.
…with messy penalties.
Sand piles accumulate and climate to pits at intersections the place rail and bicycle owner usually intersect. It usually proves treacherous for these wishing to roll on by unhurt. In contrast to moist leaves, the bane of each rider, sand is just not as infamously harmful. The intuition to brake redistributes the load to the entrance finish of your bike, which could result in a crash. One other thrilling strategy to fall on sand or gravel is to lean right into a flip. Your again wheel may fishtail, getting you up shut and private with the pavement.
As if the tracks weren’t hazardous enough. “I discover the piles of sand add a enjoyable, extra layer of bicycle owner hazard to absolutely the clusterfuck that’s the Duboce and Steiner intersection,” wrote Jessica Saia for The Daring Italic. “The town’s historic cable automobiles dumped 50 tons of sand onto the road [in 2013],” said Joe Eskanazi for the now-defunct SFWeekly. “That is 4 instances as a lot…because the jaunty Italian-made streetcars spat out, however solely half as a lot because the light-rail automobiles housed at MUNI’s largest automobile barn.
“Alas,” he added, “the sand is just not reusable. All informed, 256 tons of sand was used [in 2013] in stopping trains from operating into each other.”
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