Right on schedule, Powell Cable Car 12 returned to service at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 15, 2016. For the first time in 72 years (back when it was numbered 512), it was wearing the “White Front” livery of our namesake, Market Street Railway Company, which merged with Muni in 1944. The video above shows the 12 leaving the Washington-Mason car barn for the first time in revenue service since its restoration.
The photograph below, taken just few blocks away at Powell and California by the great rail photographer Will Whittaker,, shows how the car looked in service the first time it was in this livery, in 1944. We wrote more about this car, and our initiative to restore historic liveries to the Powell Street cable car fleet here.
The video below shows the first time Car 12 spun the Powell-Market turntable in revenue service today.
Finally, here’s a shot of two of the many proud parents of Car 12, SFMTA’s Ed Cobean, in overall charge of cable cars, and his maintenance right-hand, Carol Wolther. The first-run gripman, Randy Dea, is ready to go in the background.
We’ll have much more about this car and our livery restoration program in the next issue of our member newsletter, Inside Track, due out in July. Meantime, welcome back, Car 12!
Like, wow, man! Gotta put on your shades! That is a WHITE front! At least the patent has long since expired, so the restriction on paying royalties (which may have been repealed) wouldn’t come into play.
Here’s a photo of 515 I took in 1959. Would this have been the standard Muni cable car livery after the big cutback?