Looking a Lot Like Christmas


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Decorated Powell cable car No. 13 at the Market Street turntable. Jeremy Whiteman photo.

Our friend, cable car gripman Val Lupiz, has done it again. As in past years, he and his friends have decorated several cable cars for the holidays. We wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this one in particular: green and red Powell car No. 13, painted in the United Railroads livery the Powell cars wore after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.
It’s a vintage transit twin (well, sorta) to the green Milan tram, No. 1818, our volunteers decorated for the holidays, now running on the F-line. We’re hoping to do a much more elaborate holiday scene next year, in conjunction with Muni’s centennial. If you’d like to lend your talents (or at least your enthusiasm), drop us a line.
By the way, our campaign to create a complete set of vintage Powell Street cable car liveries is nearing completion. By next summer, rebuilt No. 26 will rejoin the fleet in 1947 Muni green and cream, as will Powell cable car No. 1, restored to a closer approximation of the line’s original 1888 livery. We’ll let you know when the celebrations of these cars take place.

Comments: 6

  1. Rick, I appreciate the comments, but I can’t take credit for Powell 13 this year. I didn’t decorate any cars – I was off work with a busted knee (besides, I bought a house earlier this year, and most of my decorations are still buried in the garage! LOL
    I am planning on getting together with Alison sometime next month, and we’re going to brainstorm on ideas for Christmas 2012.

  2. Val, apologies! You’re so famous for this that we jumped to the wrong conclusion. We want to make sure credit goes where it’s due, so if any readers know who did this great decorating job, please post a comment to let everyone know. Hope your knee is better soon (ouch). Happy Holidays!

  3. I’m curious about something – does cable car 13 have an extra battery or two under the seats to power all those lights? Or does it just stop and exchange batteries a little more often? Great photo! Bruce Battles, Menlo Park

  4. Thanks Tammy and Bruce for the kind words about the photo (Im the photographer)
    Rick…i think i was told offline this car was sponsored by Tiernan’s Irish Pub…i don’t know who decorated it though.

  5. Rick, I’m not entirely certain, but I believe a couple of my co-workers at CC Div decorated the car on behalf of Tiernan’s Pub. I’ll look into it and report back ASAP.
    I do appreciate the “mistake”! LOL
    And Bruce, AFAIK, 13’s lights are powered by the regular car batteries – I always made it a point to alert any crews working a decorated car to “turn off the lights at the terminals (unless there’s a request for a photo or something similar) in order to preserve the battery charge”.

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