Opening Day February 3, 1918, Twin Peaks Tunnel Screen Shot

Pictured above: Opening Day February 3, 1918, Twin Peaks Tunnel Screen Shot/ Contributed by Screen GrabĀ©


The Twin Peaks Tunnel is a 2.27-mile long light rail transit/streetcar tunnel located in San Francisco, California, running under Twin Peaks. Bringing streetcar service to the southeast corner of San Francisco, in its heyday, it was one of the longest railway tunnels in the world.

The eastern entrance to the tunnel is located near the intersection of Market and Castro streets in the Castro neighborhood, and the western entrance is located at West Portal Avenue and Ulloa Street of the West Portal neighborhood.

While there were unanticipated delays, accidents including workers deaths in an explosion, and excesses in costs associated with the project, the Tunnel’s official opening ceremonies took place on February 3, 1918, before thousands of on lookers.

In 2011, the Niles Silent Film Museum in Niles, California discovered a historical 19-minute silent film of the construction of the tunnel, produced by Baldwin and Howell Real Estate Co. of San Francisco.

The film was restored with the help of the National Film Preservation Foundation and features footage of the construction of the tunnel and the clearing of Sutro Forest, the development of the West Portal, St. Francis Wood, and Westwood Park neighborhoods. Also seen in the film are City officials, engineers, workers and citizens.

The West Portal prior to urbanization c. 1917/Prelinger Archive


Internet Archive
Encyclopedia of San Francisco

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