Paint Schemes Selected for “New” PCC Streetcars

As members of Market Street Railway have learned in the new edition of our newsletter, Inside Track, Muni has approved exterior paint schemes for the four double-ended PCC streetcars now under contract to be rehabilitated.
The selected liveries, recommended by Market Street Railway after discussion on this blog, represent history, tradition, and a dream come true.

Illustration of PCC streetcar no. 1011 painted in Market Street Railway's proposed livery

1011 in the Market Street Railway Company’s “zip stripe” livery.

The dream goes back 70 years to the late 1930s, when Muni’s private competitor (and our namesake) Market Street Railway Company (MSRy) drew up plans for a double-end PCC streetcar, but couldn’t afford to buy any. Instead, they freshened up some of their old-fashioned streetcars with a racy “zip stripe” slashing across the side panels along with a bright yellow roof, while retaining the solid white ends patented as a safety feature. That undoubtedly would have been the paint scheme on any PCCs MSRy might have acquired.
Many members of today’s non-profit Market Street Railway have advocated this scheme. Now that attractive livery will join the F-line fleet on car No. 1011.

Illustration of PCC streetcar no. 1009 painted in the Dallas, Texas livery

1009 in Dallas Railway & Terminal Railway Company livery.

History is represented through the livery adopted for car No. 1009, representing Dallas Railway & Terminal Railway Company. The predominantly red scheme with cream trim and silver roof graced the Dallas cars when they were delivered in 1945. Dallas repainted the cars in a predominantly cream scheme in 1949, but we chose the original red version in large part because of its more striking and colorful appearance.
Adding the Dallas paint scheme means that 21 different North American cities that once ran PCCs will be honored with tribute liveries in Muni’s PCC fleet.

Illustration of PCC streetcar nos. 1006 & 1008 painted in Muni's wings livery

1006 & 1008 in Muni’s popular 1950’s “wings” livery.

Many of those who made suggestions for liveries on this blog, though, called for more recognition to be given to Muni itself, especially on streetcars that have spent their whole lives operating on Muni tracks, as these four double-enders have. In consideration of this, Muni has agreed to paint two of the four streetcars in this group, Nos. 1006 and 1008, in the green and cream “Wings” livery that the cars wore when they were delivered new to Muni in 1948.
The four double-ended PCCs have not yet left Muni for their rehabilitation, but the contract with Brookville Equipment Company of Pennsylvania calls for all four of these streetcars, plus 12 others included in the contract, to be completed and returned to Muni before year-end 2011.
Thanks to all who offered comments on potential liveries for these four PCCs. To get news like this first, consider becoming a member of Market Street Railway and receiving our quarterly newsletter, Inside Track.


Comments: 17

  1. I like them!! I guess all our Blog comments paid off. MUNI decided to go with what the Blog readers suggested. GREAT!! Of course, the MUNI “Wings” looks good; the Dallas paint scheme is really nice; the MSR libery looks good, too, with the “Zip Stripe.” But, I hope when it’s being operated in the opposite direction, people don’t think it’s going backwards!! I’m sure they will all look great when they start operating on the E or F line.

  2. Wow! I actually suggested the Market Street and DR&T liveries. Now THIS is, without a doubt, the BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT I’VE EVER GOTTEN! To actually see liveries that I SUGGESTED on a REAL STREETCAR! 😀

  3. This is more good news. I look forward to seeing these cars in service.
    I remember seeing these “big ten” cars in service in the 1970s. Since they were relatively rare, it was always a treat to catch one. Who knew they’d be getting fixed up in 2010/11?

  4. Has Muni ever considered painting a PCC for one of the Canadian cities that had PCC’s? (Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto)

  5. I would suggest dedicating 1011 to Charles Smallwood, who literally wrote the book on our namesake. One of the illustrations in that book is Engineering Dept. drawing 5822, the proposed MSRy double ended PCC.

  6. Actually Doug, there is a PCC streetcar painted in the maroon and cream Toronto color scheme already, it just hasn’t been in service because it still needs rewiring. Streetcar no. 1074 is one of the 12 single-end PCCs to be restored in this contract.

  7. I think its great to see these cars back in service (and E line service too). It would be nice if a DE car were painted in PE or Boston and open up two SE cars for other cities paint scheme. May be some day all 34 North American Cities will be represented in the fleet!

  8. @Tom W — As mentioned, the selection was made after reviewing all possible double-end options, in an extensive series of posts on this blog a couple of months ago (check the archives). There is already a single-end car representing Boston, which ran only a handful of double-end cars anyway. And the Pacific Electric double-enders had a front and center door configuration, which many feel is more accurately represented (on one side at least) by our single-end PCCs.

  9. Congrats to MSR and Muni on this great paint scheme selection! And good luck on restoring these 4 streetcars too…especially with 1009 and 1011, which really took a beating from pyro-happy vandals. Hope they won’t encounter too much difficulty in fixing them up.
    Dennis, I think the “zip stripe” looks direction-neutral enough that 1011 will look just fine when operated from either direction. The “zip stripe” will run from the top-right to the bottom left on both sides of the car, right? Anyone know?
    Finally, if we’re going to get 2 Muni Wings double-enders, I think the same should be done with the single-enders by keeping the wings on 1050 even after 1040’s restored.

  10. Oh, and I must add that it’s a shame that none of the Torpedos ever wore a Landor scheme, because if they did, I’d totally advocate painting 1008 in that scheme instead. Maybe a little imagination on how the scheme would have been applied on a Torpedo can suffice as a legit, usable paint scheme? If that’s done, it wouldn’t be the only “fantasy scheme” in this new batch of double-enders anyways (see 1011).

  11. With 1006, 1008, and 1040 carrying the wings livery, there’s absolutely no reason not to repaint 1050 in Landor.
    I’d prefer a genuine Muni car be painted in Landor though and since 1006 will be painted in wings, I recommend painting 1008 in Landor instead. Even though Muni never painted the double-enders in Landor, it’s not as much of a stretch as painting 1011 in an MSRy livery that never existed IMHO.

  12. I’m glad to see that #1006 and #1008 are being rebuilt in the original paint scheme. Will the double-enders be under the same “keep as original appearance” clause with regard to their ‘jewelry’ (headlights, tail lights, retrievers), similar to what is being done with Car #1 and #1040? I’ve noticed on #1007, #1010 and #1015, compared with vintage photos when they were first operating, that their current ‘jewelry’ is kind of ‘off’ – unusual sunken headlights, tail lights that stick out further, and off-center retrievers. It would especially important for #1006, San Francisco’s first true PCC, that it be kept as close to original appearance as possible.

  13. What about the Key System?
    There are enough green Muni streetcars already, now that you’re off in fantasyland you should give the East Bay some representation!

  14. Does this mean there will be more frequent F-line service once all these are running? I prefer the F-line to taking Muni trains, but the tourists who don’t have passes, or know how to pay, or how to board, just completely overwhelm the F trains so they spend 5 minutes at every stop.
    I think the green and yellow Market Street Railway is my favorite.

  15. I see a comment by Jeremy that Torpedo’s never wore Landor colors but what of 1008? Granted, it was only the ‘Muni Repair Car’ but the colors were definitely used as I’m looking at a photograph of it asm I write this.

  16. I think MUNI has made up it’s mind as how to paint the torpedo cars and I don’t think the Landor scheme is there. Thank you MUNI!! In my opinion, the Landor paint scheme looked real good on the Boeing LRVs but NOT on PCCs. Again my opinion, it was ugly on PCCs and it would be double ugly and a double ended torpedo. Yes, 1008 was painted in Landor but, as John F. stated, “It was only a work car.”
    Craig: Look at this photo of MUNI #1080:
    I think this is as close as MUNI will get to a Key System car.

  17. We had a number of additional comments that went farther and farther off-topic, so it may make sense to wrap up this discussion as follows, by responding to some of the points made:
    — Muni has made the decision.
    — A Landor scheme might be a possibility for a future repaint of a single-ended PCC, but that’s a separate topic for a separate time.
    — Later Muni schemes are not likely options if they never appeared on a PCC. A Muni manager, now departed, insisted on painting double-ender 1007 in the gray and red current Breda scheme when it went into service in 1995, but it was so widely disliked and thought of as inappropriate that Muni changed it to the vintage Philadelphia Red Arrow livery the car wears today.
    — If Key System had bought any PCCs, they would have been painted virtually identically to car 1080, as Dennis Frazier points out above.
    — While we understand the purist mentality, it’s clear from all the feedback we receive from outside the railfan community that people like the variety of liveries represented on the F-line, and they like bright colors and handsome livery design the most. In our recommendations we try to balance those broader public desires with the desire to preserve as much of San Francisco’s transit heritage as possible, consistent with a whole bunch of other considerations.
    Thanks to all for the input on this.

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