In General

San Francisco

Scenes from the Past:

Baltimore MD/Dundalk Ave


In General

Darby PA
San Francisco CA
Tampa FL
Memphis TN

The Scoop:

This page covers a relatively unique "thing" in both the railroad and trolley worlds: a crossing between the two of them.  As noted above, there are four of them known in the United States. 

The one in Darby PA is between the CSX mainline that runs from Baltimore MD to Philadelphia PA, and the #11 Surface-Subway Streetcar line.

The one in San Francisco is between the UP and the San Francisco T at 3rd Street along the water.

The one in Memphis is between the MATA Streetcar system and the Canadian National.

The newest one of them is in Tampa, being installed as a result of the construction of the TECO Streetcar System, and its crossing with CSX.

I have only been to the one in Darby, so that is the only one I can cover in detail.

John Buxton
Denver Todd

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:  A whole page on the crossing in Darby PA

Pictures / Info

  Darby PA

GPS Coordinates: 39.917784, -75.255658

This crossing, out of the three, may be the busiest.  A streetcar rambles by on the average of one every few minutes, and at certain times, there seems to be a parade of them one after another.  On one of our visits to this crossing, detection electronics went nutsy, and kept the crossing gates down, and the streetcars were stacked up about 6 deep on each side before a CSX technician came along, which I have to say, once we called it in, he was there in five minutes!  If you compare the crossing of the first two pictures with the other ones, you will notice that a massive amount of work has been done on the crossing.  There are lots more detail photos on the DARBY2 page.  This crossing, by nature, is not signaled other than the crossing gates protecting it, in comparison to the other two crossings.

  San Francisco CA

GPS Coordinates: 37.746518, -122.387243

I don't know how busy the Union Pacific traffic is here, but I'm sure there are a whole lot more streetcars here than trains.  This is an interesting area because of the UP servicing the docks.  The UP tracks are signaled in both directions for the crossing, altho it looks like they are approach lit.  The northbound streetcar signal has an extra head with an "X" on it, and I am not sure if it is for the grade crossing or not, for there is not a matching signal on the SB side.

Here is some additional information sent in by an anonymous contributor: For the Cargo Way crossing, it is signalized in both directions.  The Southbound signal is north of the bridge that spans Islais Creek, right before the bridge starts.  That area is set up so that if a freight train is on its track, the signals will go red.  If the bridge is going up, same thing, all signals go red.  There is a second crossing which is even more infrequently used at Carroll Ave.  The signals are at Donner Ave going northbound, and Bancroft going southbound.  The signaling system for both of these crossings requires a LRV to pass over a loop prior to the signal to "call" for a permissive aspect.  Unlike the interlocking signals, to my memory, the Vetag console does not need to be used, if a train rolls over the loop then it gets its signal unless a freight train is approaching or a bridge lift is occurring.

North Bound Signals before crossing the Islais Creek bridge, looking north.

South Bound Signals before crossing the Islais Creek bridge, looking south - the Third St & Marin St station is directly behind me.

A train at the Third St & Marin St station, heading NB.

  From Arthur Ave

  An outbound signal, not for the crossing

  From Illinois St

I've never seen an intersection with so many different lights - train, vehicular traffic, streetcars, and bicycles.....

  From Illinois St

The Muni shops are one block off of Third St, and 3-4 blocks from the bridge.

And if you're here taking pictures, try to catch a UP train crossing the Illinois Street bridge over to Pier 80, a lot of switching if you can catch it.

  Tampa FL

GPS Coordinates: 27.958650, -82.445382

The TECO Streetcar System was completed in 2010, and consists of 11 streetcars, 10 of which are replica streetcars running on a 2.7 mile line.
Looks like they strived to make this crossing as close to a 90 degree angle as possible, looking at the aerial shots.
The crossing is fully signaled for both CSX and the streetcar system.

 EB CSX Signal

 WB CSX Signal

 SB Streetcar Signal

 NB Streetcar Signal

  Memphis TN

GPS Coordinates: 35.15807, -90.04990

The MATA Trolley is a heritage streetcar transit system operating in Memphis TN. It started operation on April 29, 1993.
At the bottom is a slightly modified map of the system to include the shops, and a note that the tracks shown on Front Street, do not actually run down Front - they are either a block or two west of Front St depending on where it is.

The crossing is fully signaled, although it looks like only the WB trolley signal approaching the diamond is lit all the time, it looks like, at least from what I can tell from the Google Streetview pictures, that they are approach lit.

Scenes From The Past
Trolley/Train Crossings from the Days of Yore

Baltimore MD / Dundalk Ave
Sometime in the 1950's

shared by Rob Catlin of the BSM


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

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NEW 06/19/2019, DEC18/2019, MAY07/2021
Last Modified 01-Jun-2021