United Railroads, 1907-1921
Built 1991 by Muni shops
This cable car is painted in the livery adopted by United Railroads in the aftermath of the great earthquake and fire of 1906. That disaster destroyed or damaged most of San Francisco’s cable car infrastructure, including all the lines on Market Street, which were replaced by streetcars. Virtually the entire Powell Street cable car fleet was incinerated along with the carbarn and powerhouse at Washingon and Mason Streets.
However, more than two dozen identical cable cars serving the Sacramento-Clay route survived and were shifted over to the Powell lines when the carbarn and powerhouse was rebuilt in 1907. The “new” Powell Street cable cars were repainted green with red trim, as were other United Railroads cable cars and streetcars.
With this post-earthquake livery, modeled today on cable car No. 13, green became the base color for Powell Street cable cars for more than three-quarters of a century.