Decorated Cable Cars

by Joe Thompson

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Background

Decorating transit vehicles for holidays and other special occasions is an American tradition that goes back to the Nineteenth Century. It has recently undergone a revival in San Francisco. On this page I will feature several old and new examples.

Cal Cable anniversary car Val Lupiz decorated car 60 to celebrate Cal Cable's 125th anniversary. 10-Apr-2003. Photo by Joe Thompson.

Gripman Val Lupiz (read his column Tales From the Grip) has led a recent revival of the art of decorating cable cars.

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2016 - Christmas

1 decorated at barn Decorated car 1 poses in the carbarn. December, 2016. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

Val Lupiz, with his family and friends decorated Powell Street car 1 for the 2016 holiday season. Thank you to Val for sharing the beautiful photos. Powell Street car 12 also got decorated.

1 decorated at barn Decorated car 1 poses in the carbarn. December, 2016. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

52 decorated at Drumm Decorated car 52 lays over at California and Drumm. December, 2016.

California Street car 52 got decorated.

52 decorated at Drumm Decorated car 52 lays over at California and Drumm. December, 2016.

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2015 - Christmas

1 decorated Powell and Market Decorated car 1 poses on the turntable at Powell and Market. November, 2015. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

Val Lupiz, with his family and friends decorated Powell Street car 1 for the 2015 holiday season. Thank you to Val for sharing the beautiful photos.

1 decorated Powell and Market/2 Decorated car 1 poses on the turntable at Powell and Market. November, 2015. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

1 decorated Washington and Mason Decorated car 1 poses at Washington and Mason. November, 2015. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

1 decorated barn Decorated car 1 poses on the turntable in the barn at Washington and Mason. November, 2015. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

1 decorated interior The cabin interior of decorated car 1 in the barn at Washington and Mason. November, 2015. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

49 decorated front California Street car 49, decorated by the San Francisco National Credit Union. It poses at the terminal at California and Drumm. December, 2015.

49 decorated side California Street car 49, decorated by the San Francisco National Credit Union. It lays over on California and between Davis and Drumm. December, 2015.

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2014 - Christmas

52 Washington and Mason Decorated car 52 poses in the twilight at Washington and Mason. The decorations on car 52 are sponsored by the Fairmont Hotel. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

Val Lupiz, with his family and friends decorated California Street car 52 for the 2014 holiday season. Thank you to Val for sharing the beautiful photos.

52 California and Drumm Decorated car 52 poses at the California and Drumm terminal. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

52 cabin The cabin of decorated car 52. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

Decorated cars this year:
Powell Street: 10, 13, 21, 26
California Street 50, 52 (Fairmont), 60

50 California and Front Decorated car 50 outbound at California and Front.

52 California and Front Decorated car 52 outbound at California and Front.

52 California and Davis Decorated car 52 inbound at California and Davis.

60 California and Drumm Decorated car 60 lays over at California and Drumm.

60 California and Drumm/broadside Decorated car 60 at California and Drumm.

60 California and Drumm/sign A sign on decorated car 60 shows that its decorations were sponsored by the Hyatt hotels of San Francisco.

60 California and Drumm Decorated car 60 lays over at California and Drumm.

60 California and Drumm Decorated car 60 lays over at California and Drumm.

10 Powell and Geary Decorated car 10 inbound at Powell and Geary. A shopman leans out to check the tracks and slot. The decorations are sponsored by the skating rink in Union Square. January, 2015 Picture of the Month.

I didn't get to see any decorated Powell Street cars until I took a day off after Christmas. We went to Macy's then walked over to Powell. I didn't hear the cable and didn't see any cable cars from Market to the top of the hill. We walked up towards Geary. When we got to Geary, my wife could hear the cable. I still didn't see any cars, so we went to lunch at Lefty O'Doul's. When we were finished, I saw a decorated car inbound at Geary. It was number 10, and we noticed that it carried a bunch of shopmen and no passengers. They were checking the track. They found an obstruction in the flangeway at O'Farrell. They turned around at Market and told people who waited in line that they were not picking up passengers.

10 Powell and O'Farrell Decorated car 10 inbound at Powell and O'Farrell. The shopmen check the cable in the slot.

10 Powell and Market Decorated car 10 outbound at Powell and Market.

1011 decorated Decorated PCC 1011, an original Muni car in Market Street Railway zip stripe livery, decorated for Christmas.

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2014 - Giants Victory Parade

The Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in seven games in the World Series. This was their third World Series win in five years. Despite rain, a million people showed up. I had to work from home, but I grabbed some images from a webcast at lunchtime.

Lou Seal An aerial view of mascot Lou Seal on the F-line tracks.

In the 2010 Giants Victory Parade, the players rode in motorized cable cars. Fans complained that they could only see the players on one side of the cars. In the 2012 Giants Victory Parade, the players rode in convertibles. Fans complained that the players weren't up high enough to be seen. This year the players rode on the tops of double decker buses and motorized cable cars.

Announcers Amy Guiterrez interviews Giants broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper. We are lucky to have them.

Romo Sergio Romo lost his job as closer this season, but carried on as an important member of the bullpen.

Panik Second baseman Joe Panik got called up during the seaseon and played a crucial role.

Strickland and Hudson Pitchers Hunter Strickland and Tim Hudson. Strickland was called up this season. Hudson came to the Giants in his 19th year, looking for a chance to make it to the NLCS and the World Series.

Pence Right fielder Hunter Pence was the team's motivational speaker this season. He played with every fiber of his being.

Panda Heads The Panda Heads celebrated their favorite player, Pablo Sandoval, Kung Fu Panda.

Affeldt Reliever Jeremy Affeldt got the win in the seventh game of the World Series.

cable car A motorized cable car carried broadcasters from Comcast Sports.

Boche family cable car A motorized cable carried manager Bruce Bochy's family.

cable car/2 Another motorized cable car.

minor league cable car A motorized cable carried representatives of the Giants' minor league family, including Dinger, who is apparently the mascot of their new AAA franchise in Sacramento.

Burns family cable car A motorized cable carried members of the Burns family, who are investors in the team.

Posey and Casilla Catcher Buster Posey and closer Santiago Casilla rode on the top floor of a double deck motorized cable car.

Mays I couldn't get a good grab of the greatest Giant, Willy Mays. I couldn't get a shot of Barry Bonds.

Lincecum and Lopez Pitchers Tim Lincecum and Javier Lopez rode on the top floor of a double deck motorized cable car.

cable cars A string of motorized cable cars.

Sandoval Pablo Sandoval had a great run in the playoffs and the World Series. I hope he doesn't leave as a free agent.

Bumgarner Pitcher Madison Bumgarner had two wins and one save in the World Series. His World Series ERA is 0.025. He brought his MVP trophy.

Posey and Casilla/2 Catcher Buster Posey and closer Santiago Casilla pass the old Main Library, now the Asian Art Museum, on their double deck motorized cable car. November, 2014 Picture of the Month.

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2014 - Carnaval


Gripman Val Lupiz and other members of the Cable Car Division, Transport Workers of America Local 250A, again decorated and drove motorized cable car 62 (former Cal Cable Jones Street shuttle car 61) in San Francisco's annual Carnaval Parade. San Francisco has Carnaval after Lent instead of before, hoping to have warmer weather. It worked out well in 2014.

Car 62/1 Car 62 at the staging area on Bryant. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

Car 62/2 Another view of car 62 at the staging area on Bryant. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.


2014 - Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Carpenters Local 22 Carpenters Local 22 had a truck-hauled float and a motorized cable car.

We went downtown to see the Saint Patrick's Day parade. Some of my wife's students were marching. There were several motorized cable cars. The lighting was not good so I took just a few photos.

Rebel Cork Benevolent Association The Rebel Cork Benevolent Association had a cable car.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 The Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 had a cable car.

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2013 - Christmas

25 barn/front Val Lupiz, with his family and friends decorated Powell Street car 25 for Christmas, 2013. Here is a front-end view. Val took this photo in the car barn. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

Val Lupiz, with his family and friends decorated Powell Street car 25. He hopes it will be his primary car during the Christmas season. Thank you to Val for sharing the beautiful photos.

25 barn/side A side view. Val took this photo in the car barn. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

25 barn/platform The back platform. Val took this photo in the car barn. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

25 barn/interior A view of the interior. Val took this photo in the car barn. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

25 barn/open section The open section. Val took this photo in the car barn. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

52 decorated California Street car 52 decorated for Christmas at California and Davis.

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2012 - Christmas

In honor of the 100th birthday of the San Francisco Municipal Railway, a record number of cable cars is getting decorated this year.

50 California and Battery Car 50 was decorated to represent its sponsor, the San Francisco Symphony. It is outbound at California and Battery Streets.

On the Monday before Thanksgiving, I saw two decorated California Street cable cars.

56 California between Davis and Drumm Car 56 was decorated to represent its sponsor, the Hyatt Regency Hotel. It is laying over on California between Davis and Drumm Streets. The Hyatt Regency is next to the California Street line terminal.

Thanks to Val Lupiz, who has led the modern revival of car decorating, here is a list of cars decorated for 2012 and their sponsors:

  • Powell St. cars
    • #4 Buena Vista Cafe
    • #6 SFMTA/Muni Centennial
    • #7 Uncle Vito's Pizzeria (Powell & Bush)
    • #13 Tiernan's Irish Cafe (Hyde & Beach)
    • #16 Ghirardelli Chocolate
    • # 23 Union Square Ice Skating Rink
    • # 26 Scoma's Seafood Cafe
    • # 28 Hyatt Regency Fish. Wharf
  • California St.
    • #49 San Francisco Symphony
    • #56 Hyatt Regency Embarcadero
    • #59 Sterne Agee Group (financial brokerage house)

6 barn Val Lupiz and family, the wife and grandchildren of union chairman Tony Gonzales, Eric Levina of SFMTA Marketing and Jeremy Whiteman decorated car 6 for Christmas, 2012. Val took this photo in the car barn. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

4 Hyde and Beach Val Lupiz took this photo of car 4, sponsored and decorated by the Buena Vista Cafe, at Acquatic Park. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

7 Hyde and Beach Val Lupiz took this photo of car 7, sponsored and decorated by Uncle Vito's Pizzeria, at Acquatic Park. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

One Saturday in December, we played tourist. I had some one-day Muni passes that we needed to use by the end of the year. We parked at Daly City BART and rode to the Embarcadero. We stopped at the Hyatt Regency to look at the Christmas village in the central fountain. We caught a California Street cable car whose decorations were sponsored by the San Francisco Symphony. We got off at Taylor and found that a concert was about to start at Grace Cathedral, so we moved on. Huntington Park was not decorated. I guess it has not been since a friend retired. We went to the lobby of the Fairmont and looked at the Christmas tree and the giant gingerbread house.

56 Drumm Car 56 at California and Drumm Streets.

We walked down Mason to the cable car barn. This was the first time I had seen the new Chinatown Recreation Center completed. It looks nice. We liked the lions sitting in one window.

splicing the Powell Street cable/1 The splicing crew works on the Powell Street cable.

In the barn, we saw that the Powell Street cable was stopped. A group of shopmen was splicing the cable. It was interesting to watch. We had a chat with Jose Godoy, who was excited about a new cable car book and a patch he had designed to celebrate Muni's centennial.

splicing the Powell Street cable/2 The man on the left holds the end of one strand of the cable that is being spliced.

16 Bay and Taylor Car 16's decorations were sponsored by Ghirardelli Chocolate. It lays over at Bay and Taylor.

We caught a Powell-Mason car out to Bay and Taylor. We had pumpkin pancakes at the IHOP. We walked along Fishermans' Wharf, which was very crowded. The crab smelled good.

28 Bay and Taylor Car 28's decorations were sponsored by Hyatt. It lays over at Bay and Taylor.

19 Bay and Taylor Car 19, undecorated. Rolls off the turntable at Bay and Taylor.

Muni Anniversary Logo - 1062 Muni's official 100th anniversary logo on F Line PCC streetcar 1062 on Jefferson Street.

100 year banner/1
Muni centennial banners on Jefferson Street in Fisherman's Wharf.
100 year banner/2

We got in line for a Powell-Hyde car at Hyde and Beach. We waited about 45 minutes, but the view was nice. We got on a car sponsored by the Buena Vista. As we waited to leave, someone came on the radio to plead for traffic control around Union Square. The Powell Street cable had been repaired, so we made it all the way to Post before traffic stopped completely. We looked at the animals in the windows at Macy's, then got back on BART.

26 Hyde and Beach Newly renovated car 26's decorations were sponsored by Scoma's Seafood Cafe. It has already been pushed off of the turntable and waits behind a loading car at Hyde and Beach.

20 Hyde and Beach Undecorated car 20 loads passengers at Hyde and Beach.

18/26/17 Hyde and Beach Undecorated car 18 waits to roll onto the turntable at Hyde and Beach. 26 loads passengers. 17 waits behind. The Buena Vista Cafe is visible in the background.

18/2 Car 18 starts to roll towards the turntable at Hyde and Beach.

18/3 Car 18 rolls towards the turntable at Hyde and Beach.

18/4 Car 18 rolls closer to the turntable at Hyde and Beach.

18/5 Car 18 rolls even closer to the turntable at Hyde and Beach.

18/6 Car 18 is nearly on the turntable at Hyde and Beach.

18/7 Car 18 rolls across the turntable at Hyde and Beach.

18/8 Car 18 is almost across the turntable at Hyde and Beach.

18/9 Car 18 stops after crossing the turntable at Hyde and Beach.

Muni Anniversary Logo - 27 Muni's official 100th anniversary logo on Powell Street cable car 27 at Hyde and Beach.

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2012 - Giants Victory Parade

The Giants swept the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. Some people were mad at Mayor Ed Lee and the Giants for having the parade on Halloween. The city said it expected a million people to attend. I think they were correct.

BART sign A sign at the Colma BART station warns riders to buy round-trip tickets.

There were more people on the train than usual. When I got off at the Embarcadero Station, there were people lined up along Market Street in the drizzle. As I walked down Fremont, a group of three people stopped me and asked if I knew how to get to Harrington's. I told them.

WaaTeeKaa I noticed that the Bechtel Museum, in car WaaTeeKaa, had its windows boarded.

I left work about 10:30 and walked down to Spear Street, where the Giants players waited in convertibles interspersed with families and support people on motorized cable cars. Some of the players near us got out of the cars to do autographs.

Parade/3 A motorized cable car on Spear Street held Giants family members.

Parade/4 Reliever Santiago Cassilo, shortstop Brendan Crawford and reliever Clay sit in convertibles waiting for the parade to begin. Starter Tim Lincecum is in the car behind Cassila.

Parade/5 Reliever Santiago Cassilo signs autographs by the fence.

Parade/6 Shortstop Brendan Crawford signs autographs by the fence.

After a while I picked my way through the crowd to Market near Fremont to watch the main parade. After the 2010 parade, where all the players rode on cable cars, people complained that they could not see the players if they were on the other side of the cars. Unfortunately, with the players in convertibles, they were much lower than they had been in the motorized cable cars.

Parade/7 The clubhouse crews passes Market near Fremont on a motorized cable car.

There were speakers playing loud music along the route. They started playing "Gangnam Style." I looked up at the windows of the building across the way. Gumby stood in the window doing the dance.

Parade/8 Orange and black lion dancers.

Parade/9 Gum Lung, the Golden Dragon, followed the lion dancers.

Parade/10 Many motorized cable cars went by and I had no idea who was on them. However, Brian Wilson was dancing on this one.

I had to leave for a 12:30 meeting, but I did get a glimpse of Pablo Sandoval holding his World Series MVP trophy.

Parade/11 On my way home, I snapped a photo of the big orange banner on the Ferry Building.

Parade/12 A few days later I took a photo of a sign on the Hyatt Regency Hotel. .

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2011 - Christmas

Powell Street cars 9, 13, 16 and 25 were decorated this year. No California Street cable cars got decorated.

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2010 - Christmas

60 barn Val Lupiz took this view of car 60 in the carbarn, beautifully decorated for Christmas, 2010. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

Val Lupiz and family decorated car 60 for Christmas, 2010. I particularly like the blue lights.

60 interior Val Lupiz took this view of the closed section of car 60. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

60 interior Val Lupiz took this view of the open section of car 60. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

60 Cal/Drumm day Val Lupiz took this view of car 60 at the California and Drumm terminal during the daytime. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

60 Cal/Drumm night Val Lupiz took this view of car 60 at the California and Drumm terminal at night. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

60 barn Val Lupiz took this view of car 60 by the car barn entrance. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

One Saturday in December, we parked at Fifth and Mission and took the F-Line down to California and Drumm.

1818 I took this photo of Milan tram 1818 on the F-Line as it travelled down Market towards the Ferry Building.

At California and Drumm, we waited for a cable car. We were happy to see that car 60 was laying over. We had a nice ride through the Financial District, looking at the office buildings and banks with their lobby decorations.

60 on Nob Hill I took this photo of car 60 at California and Taylor, just after we got off.

We were going to look around Grace Cathedral, but there was an event going on. We walked over to the Fairmont to see the decorations.

Fairmont Tree The tree in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel.

Washington/Mason The recreation center across the street was torn down so it could be rebuilt, giving an interesting view looking down Mason towards the powerhouse at Washington and Mason Streets.

6 Washington/Mason 1 Car 6 inbound on the Powell/Hyde line passes the powerhouse at Washington and Mason Streets. 6 is fresh out of the paint shop and there is not a ding on it except in the bell.

6 Washington/Mason 2 Freshly painted car 6 stops at Mason by the powerhouse.

6 Washington/Mason 3 Freshly painted car 6 continues inbound. Note the reflection on the side of the closed section.

Washington/Mason 2 When we went into the powerhouse at Washington and Mason Streets, we found that the Powell Street cable was stopped. We later learned that there had been a hairball, an unstranded cable.

Washington/Mason 3 Another view of the driving machinery at the powerhouse. The Powell Street cable, on the left, is stopped.

We walked down towards Jackson and Powell, knowing that the cars would be heading around the horn because the Powell Street cable was down. We saw blue and gold car 16 coming up the hill on the Mason line, so we walked back up to Mason and caught it around the corner. It was nearly empty.

25 Bay/Tayor After we got off of 16 , visible two cars in the background, we found 25, which had been decorated for Christmas.

10 Bay/Tayor Car 10 sat at the turntable at Bay and Taylor.

We walked over to the IHOP and had lunch, then walked up Beach to Hyde. We found that the line was short, so we joined it. There were a singer and an escape artist performing.

14 Hyde/Beach 1 Car 14 laying over at Hyde and Beach. The Christmas decorations are sponsored by Tiernan's Irish Pub and Restaurant.

14 Hyde/Beach 2 Another view of car 14, with car 5 waiting behind. The sign of the Buena Vista Cafe, first American home of Irish Coffee, is visible on the right.

13 Hyde/Beach 1 A rear view of 13 on the track leading to the turntable at Hyde and Beach.

13 Hyde/Beach 2 A side view of 13 on the track leading to the turntable at Hyde and Beach. The Christmas decorations are sponsored by the Buena Vista Cafe.

curve greased A shopman greases the curve leading into the Hyde and Beach turntable to allow the cars to roll more freely. Car 6 waits to load and depart.

13 Hyde/Beach turntable After car 6 pulled forward to load, car 13 turned on the turntable.

13 Hyde/Beach 3 A front view of 13 after rolling off the turntable.

We got on 13 and rode it to Washingon and Powell, the end of the line because of the hairball. Car 21 was still stuck just up the street. We felt sorry for the crew, who still sat aboard. A group was waiting for the next substitute bus. When it came, we all got aboard, and were joined by a group from a third car. It was very crowded, so I couldn't see much, but the wrecker truck was working with a car at Powell and California.

We got off the bus at Sutter and fought through the crowds to the Fairmont, to see the decorations. We went to Macys to see the animals in the windows, then went on to Fifth and Mission and picked up our auto.

9 Powell/Market Car 9 models its Christmas decorations at Powell and Market.

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2010 - Giants Victory Parade

After the Giants beat the Texas Rangers in the World Series, it was their first World Series win since 1954, their first since they moved to San Francisco in 1958, and their first in my lifetime.

Madison Bumgarner Madison Bumgarner rides a motorized cable in the parade. December, 2010 Picture of the Month.

A couple of us left the office about 10:30. The streets leading towards Market were packed solid back to Mission, so we walked down to Second Street and then out Sansome. We went up Bush towards Montgomery, and got within about 30 people towards the street. My camera battery died, so most of these images are grabs from some videos that I shot.

Parade #2 Another motorized cable in the parade.

Parade #3 Another motorized cable in the parade.

Parade #4 Another motorized cable in the parade.

Parade #5 Another motorized cable in the parade.

Parade #6 Another motorized cable in the parade.

Parade #7 Another motorized cable in the parade. Getting monotonous, huh? ;0)

Parade #8 This banner spanned Montgomery Street at Bush.

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2010 - Baseball Postseason

In 2010, the San Francisco Giants reached the postseason for the first time since 2003. The beat the Braves in the National League Division Series and the Phillies in the National League Championship Series. The Giants went on to beat the Texas Rangers in the World Series. This was the Giants' first world championship since moving to San Francisco in 1958.

Let's Go Buster Let's Go Buster -- One window of Car 28 exhorts Giants rookie catcher Buster Posey.

I had a half day off on the day of the Giant's first home game in the National League Championship series against the Philadelphia Phillies. I rode the F line to Fisherman's Wharf and walked over to Bay and Taylor. The windows of Powell/Mason car 28 had been decorated by its crew.

Fear the Beard Fear the Beard -- Another window of Car 28 praises the Giants' excellent corps of hirusite relief pitchers. November, 2010 Picture of the Month.

Today's Score Today's Score -- This window of Car 28 promises to post today's score.

Beat the Phillies Beat the Phillies -- This window of Car 28 calls for the Giants to beat the Phillies.

Go Giants "Go Giants" say the front windows of Car 28.

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2008 - Christmas

52 barn Val Lupiz took this view of car 52 in the carbarn on 02-December-2008. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

For the 2008 holidays, at least 6 decorated cars hit the streets. Some were decorated by Val Lupiz and other people of the Cable Car Division, and some by sponsors.

52 barn/2 Val Lupiz took this front view of car 52 in the carbarn on 02-December-2008. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

52 interior Val Lupiz took this interior view of car 52 in the carbarn on 02-December-2008. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

When Val was ready to take 52 out on the road, he discovered that one of the doors was stuck and the battery would not hold a charge. The shop crew pushed 52 back into the barn and it wound up parked next to 49. Val made a quick decision: he stripped all the decorations from 52 and applied them to 49. He calls his condition "Obsessive Decorating Disorder."

Val said he "also found a portable automotive battery charger/power source that allows me to run the lights independantly of the cable car's battery, solving one of the biggest headaches in the past - the power would run down on the cable car battery, affecting all of the lights - the headlights, interior lights, Xmas lights, everything. We would have to pull the car in with a completely dead battery, and the shop would get upset, etc."

49 Cal/Van Ness Val Lupiz took this view of car 49 at California and Van Ness on 08-December-2008. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

49 barn turntable Val Lupiz took this view of car 49 on the turntable in the car barn on 08-December-2008. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

49 barn/2 Val Lupiz took this view of car 49 in the car barn on 09-December-2008. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

25 Washington/Mason Val Lupiz took this view of car 25, decorated and sponsored by the Buena Vista Cafe, on 03-December-2008 at Washington and Mason. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

The Buena Vista Cafe, which has been a faithful supporter, decorated car 25.

25 Powell/California Val Lupiz took this view of car 25 on 03-December-2008 at Powell and California, waiting to cross California. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

25 Powell/California/2 Val Lupiz took this view of car 25 on 03-December-2008 at Powell and California, ready to go down the hill towards Pine. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

25 decorated Joe Thompson took this view of car 25 on 18-December-2008, laying over near Powell and Market.

25 decorated/rear Joe Thompson took this view of the back platform of car 25 on 18-December-2008, laying over near Powell and Market.

9 decorated Joe Thompson took this view of car 9 on 16-December-2008 inbound on Powell between Geary and O'Farrell.

13 decorated Joe Thompson took this view of the back porch of car 13 on 16-December-2008, just off the turntable at Powell and Market.

14 decorated Val Lupiz reports that car 14 was decorated by Conductor Bobby Johnson. Joe Thompson took this view of car 25 on 18-December-2008 at Powell and Ellis.

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2007 - Christmas

60 Cal/Drumm night Val Lupiz took this night view of car 60 at California and Drumm on 04-December-2007. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved. December, 2008 Picture of the Month.

For the 2007 holidays, the family and I weren't able to help, but at least 6 decorated cars hit the streets. Some were decorated by Val Lupiz and other people of the Cable Car Division, and some by sponsors.

60 Cal/Drumm Val Lupiz took this photo of car 60 at California and Drumm in December, 2007. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

60 barn Val Lupiz took this photo of car 60 in the barn with Powell Street car 11 on 03-December-2007. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

58 barn Val Lupiz took this photo of car 58 in the barn while it was being decorated on 08-December-2007. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

58 barn/2 Val Lupiz took another view of car 58 in the barn while it was being decorated on 08-December-2007. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

58 cabin Val Lupiz took this view of the cabin of car 58 in the barn while it was being decorated on 08-December-2007. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

58 in barn Val Lupiz took this view of car 58 in the barn on 09-December-2007. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

This video, taken on 28-December-2007, shows car 58, decorated for Christmas, running inbound from Grant to Montgomery. Click arrow button to play video. (Adobe Flash is required. Some browsers will require two clicks to start the video.)

21 in barn Val Lupiz took this view of car 21 in the barn on 09-December-2007. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

9 in barn Val Lupiz took this view of car 9, sponsored by the Buena Vista Cafe, in the barn on 09-December-2007. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved. February, 2008 Picture of the Month.

9 in barn/2 Val Lupiz took this view of car 9 in the barn on 09-December-2007. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

10 in barn Val Lupiz took this view of car 10 in the barn on 09-December-2007. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

9 at Ellis/1 Joe Thompson took this rear view of car 9 at Powell and Ellis on 20-December-2007.

9 at Ellis/2 Joe Thompson took this side view of car 9 at Powell and Ellis on 20-December-2007.

10 at Ellis Joe Thompson took this side view of car 10 at Powell and Ellis on 20-December-2007.

13 at Ellis/1 Joe Thompson took this side view of the still-decorated car 13 at Powell and Ellis on 10-January-2008.

13 at Ellis/2 Joe Thompson took this detail view of the still-decorated car 13 at Powell and Ellis on 10-January-2008.

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2006 - Christmas

17 interior The interior of car 17 in the barn. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

For the 2006 holidays, Val Lupiz allowed me and the family, to help decorate car 17. We had a great time. Altogether, seven decorated cars hit the streets.

17 decorated Car 17 laying over at Powell and Market. December 2006. Photo by Joe Thompson.

3 decorated Car 3 in the barn. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

Tiernan's Irish Pub And Restaurant sponsored car 3.

13 decorated Car 13 in the barn. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

The Buena Vista Cafe, which has been a dedicated supporter, decorated car 13.

28 decorated night Car 28 outbound at Powell and Post, at night. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

Scoma's Seafood Resturant, another regular sponsor, decorated car 28.

Car 49, without a sponsor, was given a "simplified" decoration.

60 decorated Car 60 at California and Drumm. Val Lupiz photo. All rights reserved.

Morgan Stanley Investments sponsored car 60.

Powell Street car 27 also got decorated.

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2006 - Carnaval


Gripman Val Lupiz and other members of the Cable Car Division, Transport Workers of America Local 250A, again decorated and drove motorized cable cars 62 (former Cal Cable Jones Street shuttle car 61) and 46 (owned by Cable Car Charters) in San Francisco's annual Carnaval Parade. San Francisco has Carnaval after Lent instead of before, hoping to have warmer weather. It worked out well in 2005.

Car 46 turns the corner A view from car 62 as car 46 turns onto 24th Street from the staging area on Bryant.

Car 62 waiting A broadside view of car 62 in the staging area on Bryant.

The Band The Cable Car Blues Band sets up on a Muni truck in the staging area.

Union Folks Local 250A members pose before car 62.

Car 46 Car 46 decorated with signs for Eric Safire, who was running for Superior Court Judge. He was defeated in the election by Judge Lillian Sing.

Aztec dancers A view through the front windows of car 62, showing the Esplendor Azteka -- Xipe Tptec dancers on Mission Street.

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2005 - Carnaval


Gripman Val Lupiz and other members of the Cable Car Division, Transport Workers of America Local 250A, decorated and drove motorized cable cars 62 (former Cal Cable Jones Street shuttle car 61) and 46 (owned by Cable Car Charters) in San Francisco's annual Carnaval Parade. San Francisco has Carnaval after Lent instead of before, hoping to have warmer weather. It worked out well in 2005.

Car 62 decorated Car 62 waits in the staging area.

Car 62 front A front view of car 62.

Car 46 decorated Car 46 waits in the staging area. Note that 46 has a four-window center section, while 62 has a three-window center section.

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2004 - Christmas

For the 2004 holidays, Val Lupiz allowed me and the family, along with other volunteers, to help decorate car 60. It was fun. Gripman Lance Perry and friends were decorating car 52 at the same time.

Powell Street car 9 was sponsored by the Buena Vista Cafe. Car 28 was decorated by Scoma's Seafood Restaurant.

Car 9 decorated Car 9 at Powell and California. The Buena Vista Cafe sponored the Christmas decorations. December, 2004. Photo by Val Lupiz. All rights reserved.

Car 60 decorated/2 Car 60 lays over at Van Ness and California. It was decorated by Val Lupiz and a team of volunteers. December, 2004. Photo by Val Lupiz. All rights reserved.

Car 60 decorated/1 Car 60 on the turntable in the car barn at Washington and Mason. December, 2004. Photo by Val Lupiz. All rights reserved.

Invitation Val Lupiz designed this invitation, with a photo of decorated car 60, for the Cable Car Division's 2005 luncheon for Senior Citizens. Photo and artwork by Val Lupiz. All rights reserved. December, 2005 Picture of the Month.

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2003 - Christmas

For the 2003 holidays, Val Lupiz helped encourage the revival of the old tradition of having businesses sponsor decorated cars. Car One was sponsored by the Buena Vista Cafe, a famous bar and grill at Hyde and Beach. Car 7 was decorated by gripman Ken Foster. Car 9 was decorated by Val Lupiz and friends. Car 13 was decorated by gripman Robert Hanssen. Car 16 was sponsored by Scoma's Seafood Resturant. Car 17 was sponsored by the new Argonaut Hotel, in the Haslett Warehouse. Cars 59 and 60 were decorated by gripman Lance Perry.

Car One decorated Car One's 2003 Christmas decorations were sponsored by the Buena Vista Cafe. Photographed on 08-Dec-2003 at Hyde and Beach, right next to the Buena Vista. Photo by Joe Thompson.

Car 9 decorated In 2003, Car 9, seen here at Hyde and Beach on 08-Dec-2003, was decorated by Val Lupiz and friends. Photo by Joe Thompson.

Car 17 Car 17, sponsored by the Argonaut Hotel, in the car barn on 19-Dec-2003. Photo by Joe Thompson.

Car 1051 F Line Car 1051 on 08-Dec-2003, decorated for Christmas at Jones and Beach. Photo by Joe Thompson.

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1973 - The Centennial

In August 1973, San Francisco celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Clay Street Hill Railroad, the first successful cable car line. Thanks to Walter Rice for providing photos of some of the decorated cars.

Car 527 It is August 2, 1973 -- the hundredth anniversary of Andrew S. Hallidie successfully testing the world’s first cable car on his Clay Street Hill Railroad -- as car number 527 (now 27) is passing Muni’s Washington-Mason car barn and powerhouse. In celebration of the anniversary 527 is telling the world "100 Years in the Groove." Walter Rice Collection.

Car 8 Three days after the Hundredth Anniversary Celebration of the cable car, on August 5, 1973, car No. 8 (formerly 508) is pulled-out from the Washington-Mason car storage area to have its photograph taken to record the car’s commemorative decorations. The clothing store Roos/Atkins honored famous San Franciscans as its contribution for the celebration. Walter Rice Collection.

Can anyone identify all the famous San Franciscans?

Car 505 San Francisco radio station KFOG ("World Class Rock") honored Andrew Hallidie’s century old accomplishment with decorated Powell cable car No. 505 (now 5). Number 505 is showing off its Hundredth Anniversary Celebration decorations at the rear of the Washington-Mason car barn, August 2, 1973. Walter Rice Collection

Car 60 California Street cable car No. 60 (now replaced by a new No. 60) is commemorating with its decorations one hundred years of cable car service on California Street (Kearny to Van Ness). No. 60 is posed at the rear of the Washington-Mason, April 10, 1978.

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Other Occasions

504 decorated 504 decorated floridly for the Cable Car Festival April 23, 1955. How did the gripman see where he was going? Charles W. Cushman Collection. Indiana University Archives (P7983). All rights reservered.

504 decorated/2 Another view of 504 during the Cable Car Festival April 23, 1955. Charles W. Cushman Collection. Indiana University Archives (P7986). All rights reservered.

Santa Thumbnail Santa arrives across the street from the Emporium in November, 1958. He is riding a decorated car 504, which had a roof that was reinforced for Santa's yearly ride. S. F. News Photo By Bob Warren. (Source: San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, AAC-6752).

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Last updated 01-January-2017