United Railroads, 1905-1907
Built 1890 by Ferries & Cliff House Railway
The fiery red of this cable car is a reminder that Powell Street cable cars were painted this way on the day they went up in flames. It was April 18, 1906, when San Francisco was changed forever by the most devastating earthquake-fire combination in American history.
Rick Laubscher photo
The great earthquake and fire of 1906 destroyed virtually the entire Powell Street cable car fleet. To replace the Powell Street fleet, United Railroads used cable cars, including this one, that had been working the Sacramento-Clay line and were stored outside the fire zone.
By about 1909, the transferred red cable cars were repainted green, modeled on Powell cable car No. 13.
The distinctive livery of cable car No. 25 was recreated with help from our non-profit group, which serves as Muni’s preservation partner.