Throwback Thursday: Old rail cars for housing has been done before

Carville, San Francisco
Resident of Carville. Photo via www.foundsf.org.

There has been some interest from housing advocates to use old BART rail cars for homes, a strategy that was used more than a century ago along San Francisco's most western shore.

A number of BART cars are aging and are expected to be retired in the coming years, but what to do with them? Scrap metal, museum pieces and even housing has been mentioned, one advocate calling for "Abartments." By the way, ​MTC helped fund new BART cars that arrived about a year ago.

The history of Carville has been noted in fascinating articles by local historians. Also known as Carville-by-the-Sea, it was a community that began in the late 19th Century, built from old horse-powered trollies and other rail cars that were no longer of use for transportation.

They were used as houses and for business. Sometimes they stood alone, other times they were clustered. The wide open sand dunes made for a good landing place for the cars. But when the city began to develop, the cars were taken away. While the area wasn't fully developed until after World War II, Carville was gone by the 1920s. 







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