The engine pictured on the front of this card is a Shay.
During its time a trip on the Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railroad was a favorite city getaway for San Franciscans. The railway was an immediate success when it opened for business in 1896 and was dubbed by locals as the “Crookedest Railroad in the World” because of its 281 curves in just over eight miles of track. At the Mill Valley train depot this Shay steam engine’s whistle signaled the beginning of the train ride to the top of Mount Tamalpais. Passengers breathed the fresh mountain air from open cars as the train climbed to an elevation of 2,500 feet at a speed of 10 miles per hour. At the summit people marveled at views of the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Locomotives were positioned on the downhill end of the train and pushed the passenger cars uphill, allowing for unobstructed vistas. Watching the engines push from below was an added spectacle for riders, who could see the train’s gears and engineer at work. Ridership declined in later years. By 1920, automobiles could drive to the mountain summit on twisty roads. A fire on Mount Tamalpais in 1929 left many of the rail ties damaged or destroyed. Rail managers lost hope for profitability and abandoned reconstruction efforts. The last train traveled up the mountain on October 31, 1929. Tracks were pulled up in 1930, signaling the end of travel to Muir Woods on the Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway.
The writer is telling the receiver of the post card that he is receiving $2.50 per day for 8 hours of work per day. "Easy Money", he writes.