Obscura Society SF: From Dreams to Decay - The Bay Area's Age of Rail - Atlas Obscura
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San Francisco, California

Obscura Society SF: From Dreams to Decay - The Bay Area's Age of Rail

Join us for cocktails & an evening discussion of the Bay Area's ill-fated love affair with trains, from the glory days of the Transcontinental Railway to today's crumbling ruins

Inspired by and featuring photos captured from our visit to the 16th Street Train Station in Oakland, we’re spending an evening delving into stories from the great age of rail.

From epic early disasters to the triumphant opening of the Transcontinental Railway, join us as we discover how the marvels of Victorian technology transformed the West, made and destroyed lives, fortunes and careers, and ultimately helped turn San Francisco from Gold Rush party town to the gilded metropolis that greeted the turn of the new century.

We'll share three excellent reasons why you did not want to be an early adopter of newfangled railroad technology (hint: tunnels) and why Charles Dickens was a very brave man to enter a train car again.

Learn the story of the rise and fall of the railroads in the Bay Area - from the Big Four to MUNI - and the places where you can still find evidence of our days as the end of the line.... and get your own Hobo code cheat sheet for the next time you find yourself riding the rails.

The Rise & Fall of the Rails is part of our new evening Atlas Obscura salon series at DNA Lounge, highlighting strange stories, odd places, and unusual histories near and far.


  • Tuesday, March 12, 7-10 pm
  • Address: DNA Lounge, 375 Eleventh St., San Francisco
  • Age 21+ with ID please
  • Tickets are $12

TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE: From Dreams to Decay - The Bay Area's Age of Rail