June 14: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History


2000:  Two Sumitomo P-865 Metro Blue Line rail cars are repainted in Pacific Electric Red Car livery to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Blue Line.

The “new Red Cars” will be used frequently in regular service as well as at special events commencing with an anniversary celebration.

Division 11 employees work with the Electric Railway Historical Association to replicate the Pacific Electric Railways paint scheme.

The exterior of the two cars bear the gold “butterfly wings and center headlamp of a 1940 street car, while the sides above the windows are stamped with the words “Pacific Electric” in gold lettering.

The most challenging part of the historical design is replication of the 1914 Pacific Electric whistle with its notable E-flat tone — a sound so admired by railroad buffs that it was licensed to Westinghouse for use on trains nationwide.

The two converted cars’ interiors are overhauled as well.  They feature light mint green wainscot with cream above.  Seats are changed from light blue to forest green.

The ERHA provides 24 special posters that include modern safety information along with photos and facts about the old Red Cars.

"Red Car" livery team

Additional information can be found in the June 13, 2000 issue of My Metro, the LACMTA online employee news digest and numerous photos of the Blue Line 10th anniversary rail cars recreated as Pacific Electric streetcars can be found here.