Type 5 Trolley Color Schemes

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Type 5 Trolley Color Schemes

Postby highgreen215 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:13 pm

Just curious, how many color schemes did the Boston Elevated/MTA Type 5 trolleys wear in their 30 plus years of service. I have heard they were originally delivered in green, is that correct? Vision Front #5821 at Seashore has an essentially all orange scheme, something I don't recall seeing in the 1940s/1950s. #5734 stored at Boylston Street has a cream over orange, the same colors I remember when #5734 and her several surviving sisters ran out their last years on the Park Street-Northeastern University run ending around 1957. I remember, also, that several years prior to their final Northeastern service these cars were repainted a slightly brighter orange instead of the somewhat softer orange on the 500+ Type 5 fleet of earlier times. How many color schemes did they wear over the years?
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Re: Type 5 Trolley Color Schemes

Postby dieciduej » Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:05 am

I believe it was 3 color schemes.

The first was a green scheme, someone will correct me if Pullman Green is the wrong flavor of green.

The second was a traction orange, adopted in September 1924. Orange sills to the eaves, cherry red window sashes and doors, black window screens with gray roof, trucks and underside. The belt rail was painted tuscan red in 1929. That was taken from "Street Cars of Boston Vol. 6."

The final scheme is cream over orange that you remember. I think the different shades of orange was a paint shop issue. That is what I come up with. Corrections are welcome.

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Re: Type 5 Trolley Color Schemes

Postby Gerry6309 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:44 am

dieciduej wrote:I believe it was 3 color schemes.

The first was a green scheme, someone will correct me if Pullman Green is the wrong flavor of green.

The second was a traction orange, adopted in September 1924. Orange sills to the eaves, cherry red window sashes and doors, black window screens with gray roof, trucks and underside. The belt rail was painted tuscan red in 1929. That was taken from "Street Cars of Boston Vol. 6."

The final scheme is cream over orange that you remember. I think the different shades of orange was a paint shop issue. That is what I come up with. Corrections are welcome.

JoeD

Joe D has it pretty much correct.

The first 305 cars were delivered in the Green Scheme, which was a simplification of the old Green and White used on the "Box" cars. Solid green body, red doors and window sash, gray roof. The color was more of a Forest Green. Pullman Green was used on rapid transit cars only.

The second scheme came on cars 5805 to 5970 as delivered and was applied to the remainder of the fleet as repainted. This scheme simply replaced the green with the traction orange as used on the PCC cars today. The belt rail was painted red.

The third scheme, which was not applied to all cars was a transitional scheme adopted in the 1930s, The red trim around the windows was changed to cream and the doors were changed from red to orange.

The fourth scheme was adapted from that in which PCC 3001 was delivered. Orange below the belt rail, cream above, red belt rail. orange doors, gray roof and steps. This scheme was first applied ca. 1937, and remained in use until the last cars were retired in 1959.

The black pin striping used on the PCCs and the silver roof paint was never applied to Type 5s

There were four different company logos used with this scheme:

1. Boston Elevated (curved) Railway (flat)

2. Metropolitan Transit (curved) Authority (flat)

3. Round Metropolitan Transit Authority with Map of Rapid Transit and Subway-Surface lines within.

4. Blue Oval with Initials MTA within.

As far as I know the darker Tangerine color was never applied to any Type 5s. There were definitely variations in the Traction Orange however, depending on who supplied or mixed the paint.
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The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: Type 5 Trolley Color Schemes

Postby highgreen215 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:22 pm

Thank you, both, for your very helpful answers. The reason I asked the color scheme question is because at the corner of Centre and Hastings Street in West Roxbury there is a large painted mural of Centre Street as it appeared in the late '30s/early '40s. Featured in the mural is a solid GREEN Type 5! This didn't look right to me because I was around during this pre-War period and all Type 5s (and Type 4s and CE cars) I ever saw were cream over orange. Maybe the artist was just emphasizing the Irish heritage of the neighborhood. The mural is still there if you want to see it.
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Re: Type 5 Trolley Color Schemes

Postby Gerry6309 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:42 pm

highgreen215 wrote:Thank you, both, for your very helpful answers. The reason I asked the color scheme question is because at the corner of Centre and Hastings Street in West Roxbury there is a large painted mural of Centre Street as it appeared in the late '30s/early '40s. Featured in the mural is a solid GREEN Type 5! This didn't look right to me because I was around during this pre-War period and all Type 5s (and Type 4s and CE cars) I ever saw were cream over orange. Maybe the artist was just emphasizing the Irish heritage of the neighborhood. The mural is still there if you want to see it.

Don't sue to revoke his artistic license.

Give him credit, at least it is recognizable as a Type 5, and it isn't painted blue! At Adams Village on Dorchester there is a mural with a streetcar that bears no resemblance to any car ever operated in the city. These artists are trying to revive a lost era, and they are artists, not historians. If they have inspired one person to visit a library, railroad.net, a BSRRA meeting or Seashore - well and good.
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The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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