Nice Topper New Orleans!

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Recently repaired streetcar no. 952 at the Noe Street F-line stop. Jamison Wieser photo.

New Orleans “Desire” streetcar No. 952 has a new lid… to some extent anyway. It sprung a pretty good leak, and after patching, the paint shop realized they didn’t have enough of the mustard-yellow paint that’s been used on the roof since it came to San Francisco ten years ago (how time flies).
But then they realized (we had just published an extensive article on the Perley Thomas cars in their home town in our last member newsletter Inside Track) that on their home turf, the St. Charles cars’ roofs are actually painted a medium green, offsetting the olive body paint. Swish, swish, the job was done, and 952’s back on the road again.

Comments: 3

  1. I’ve never been to New Orleans myself, but in the all the photos I’ve seen of their streetcars the green used was a complimenting shade of green. Did they seriously run out of the mustard yellow and just used whatever green they had on hand? I’m guessing that’s the same green they use for all the green and cream PCC streetcars?
    It’s a real let down to see Muni turning more and more of the F streetcars in a standard green. I would really like to see more variety on the F because it’s mostly the same green, yellow, red and orange colors in slightly different styles. Which reminds me, I haven’t seen the San Diego car in a while now. Is it still running?

  2. Some of the cars I’ve seen on websites have a greenish-roof, but it’s an aged version. I have no idea why New Orleans would paint a greenish blue roof on an olive car, but then, I also have no idea why New Orleans, and Louisiana in general, is so corrupt (I could muse rudely about San Francisco, too, so don’t get your shorts in a crease). Why can’t Muni just figure out how to duplicate the original color, which is so much nicer looking?
    Eventually, of course, we’ll have PCCs wearing Muni Orange, which will be authentic in the extreme, and offensive, and worse, as time goes by, we may even emulate the various nationwide PCC liveries of the 1970’s, and perhaps by then people will be asking, as they asked in the 1970’s: Why are we keeping these ugly old things around? We could also go to Chinatown, or to a Vietnamese restaurant, and have “authentic” food. Have you had a cube of dried cow’s blood in your soup, lately? I was surprised to find this in a bowl of soup at a friend’s restaurant in North Beach/Chinatown… There’s a reason they don’t serve “authentic” Eastern food to Westerners, and there might be a good reason not to be entirely “authentic” about trolley roofs too.

  3. Anonymous,
    The San Diego streetcar is one of 11 which had their exterior and interiors restored a few years back, but only 1 (Birmingham, Alabama) is currently in service because they need to be rewired. The SFMTA is negotiating a contract to have those 11 streetcars rewired, plus fully restoring 5 more. We are hoping to see that contract signed any day now.

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