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Vintage Muni cars discovered in small Oregon town

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Now happily retired in teeny, tiny town

If you’re like us, you probably assumed that old, retired Muni streetcars live out their final days at a farm somewhere, with lots of fields to romp around in. But the truth is, they just go to Oregon.

Jen Quraishi, former editor for Mother Jones magazine and now working for an activist-minded software company in SoMa, stumbled on some vintage Muni cars in the tiny, tiny, tiny town of Brooks, Oregon, a settlement of fewer than 400 people living on half a square mile.

The old trains are part of Brooks’ Oregon Electric Railway History Society, which moved to Brooks 20 years ago from the even more remote town of Glenwood, Oregon. Because every town’s got to have it’s claim to fame, and vintage streetcars are apparently it here.

Quraishi did what any San Franciscan who stumbled on a profoundly unexpected trove of city history would do: Posted photographic evidence to Facebook, which shortly made its way over to Muni Diaries.

Two of the three cars date to 1946, manufactured by the St. Louis Car Company, the third is a 1977 model from Boeing. The most unbelievable thing of all: Back in ‘77, a ride on Muni only cost a quarter. (Although our obsession with inflation forces us to point out that’s the equivalent of $0.99 today.)