The Cable Car Home Page Archive
by Joe Thompson


Where Should I Go from Here? Visit the Map

Counter History

I have learned over the years not to trust counters, but to regard them as a useful tool for comparisons. Here is the history of the counter on this web site since I moved it to GeoCities in April, 1998.
Month1998 Counter1998 Count1999 Counter1999 Count2000 Counter2000 Count2001 Counter2001 Count2002 Counter2002 Count
Jan--1955272607341112683576218191103
Feb--2223268651544213257574230841265
Mar--2510287707556013911654244051321
Apr1361362805295764757214563652255221117
May2701343046241817152415184621266541132
Jun4131433293247870353215808624277071053
Jul5621493618325930560216474666287341027
Aug7341724114496988457917149675298031069
Sep97223844533391037348917825676309501147
Oct122124948013481091253918775950322361286
Nov1458237532852711604692197821007333761140
Dec168322556623341210750320716934344181042
Avg-187.00-331.58-537.08-717.42-1,141.83
Month2003 Counter2003 Count2004 Counter2004 Count2005 Counter2005 Count2006 Counter2006 Count2007 Counter2007 Count
Jan357411323494771356646681317807461596989701319
Feb3688511445062511486599313258218514391002371267
Mar3804311585202614016742014278402218371016441407
Apr3931212695320911836874713278566916471030841440
May4055412425451213037004913028737317041044121328
Jun4156610125569711857131312648892515521058591447
Jul4265310875690912127251011979064517201071711312
Aug4371310605812912207387313639205314081085891418
Sep4477210595955014217517913069342013671100351446
Oct4581110396089513457661414359492415041114111376
Nov4695411436213512407792113079631813941128521441
Dec4812111676335112167915012299765113331143041452
Avg-1,141.92-1,269.17-1,316.58-1,541.75-1,387.75
Month2013 Counter2013 Count2014 Counter2014 Count2015 Counter2015 Count2016 Counter2016 Count2017 Counter2017 Count
Jan213743499--------
Feb214159416--------
Mar214583424--------
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May215566538--------
Jun216222656--------
Jul217051829--------
Aug217821770--------
Sep218360539--------
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Nov219457480--------
Dec219926469--------
Avg-293.75--------
Month2013 Counter2013 Count2014 Counter2014 Count2015 Counter2015 Count2016 Counter2016 Count2017 Counter2017 Count
Jan213743499--------
Feb214159416--------
Mar214583424--------
Apr215028445--------
May215566538--------
Jun216222656--------
Jul217051829--------
Aug217821770--------
Sep218360539--------
Oct218977617--------
Nov219457480--------
Dec219926469--------
Avg-556.83--------

monthpage viewsdiffytdytd avg
Jan-2012781-781781
Feb-2012678-1031459729.5
Mar-2012624-542083694.33
Apr-2012447-1772530632.5
May-2012427-202957591.4
Jun-2012334-933291548.5
Jul-2012362283653521.86
Aug-2012428664081510.13
Sep-201243574516501.78
Oct-2012420-154936493.6
Nov-2012362-585298481.64
Dec-2012339-235637469.75
Jan-201335718357357
Feb-20133614718359
Mar-2013393321111370.33
Apr-2013366-271477369.25
May-20135561902033406.6
Jun-2013537-192570428.33
Jul-2013529-83099442.71
Aug-20136581293757469.63
Sep-2013468-1904225469.44
Oct-201347244697469.7
Nov-2013492205189471.73
Dec-20135921005781481.75
Jan-2014756164756756
Feb-2014612-1441368684
Mar-2014648362016672
Apr-2014600-482616654
May-2014637373253650.6
Jun-2014575-623828638
Jul-2014516-594344620.57
Aug-2014587714931616.38
Sep-2014536-515467607.44
Oct-2014531-55998599.8
Nov-2014513-186511591.91
Dec-2014442-716953579.42
Jan-201553290532532

Statistics reset to zero during February, 2015.
monthpage viewsdiffytdytd avg
Mar-2015196-196196
Apr-2015474278670335
May-2015555811225408.33
Jun-2015440-1151665416.25
Jul-2015538982203440.6
Aug-2015500-382703450.5
Sep-2015547473250464.29
Oct-2015578313828478.5
Nov-2015482-964310478.89
Dec-2015438-444748474.8
Jan-2016428-10428428
Feb-201648961917458.5
Mar-2016502131419473
Apr-2016535331954488.5
May-20168122772766553.2
Jun-2016717-953483580.5
Jul-20169722554455636.43
Aug-2016913-595368671
Sep-2016697-2166065673.89
Oct-2016615-826680668
Nov-2016545-707225656.82
Dec-2016505-407730644.17
Jan-2017635130635635
Feb-2017512-1231147573.5


News

Auto on Powell Turntable - 03-December-2015

Today San Francisco had rain for the first time in a while. People always say that San Francisco motorists forget how to drive when it rains. This morning an auto drove onto the closed part of Powell at Ellis, around a stopped cable car, and made it all the way to the turntable. The auto was followed by an SUV which didn't get as far.

So much for the new traffic restrictions.

If I had gotten all the way to the turntable, I would have used it to turn around.

Traffic Restrictions on Lower Powell Street - 13-November-2015

15 red lane Car 115 outbound on Powell between O'Farrell and Geary. Note that the northbound lane is painted red and the southbound is not. Also note the no left turn and no right turn signs at O'Farrell. November, 2015.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) launched the 18-month Powell Street Safety and Sidewalk Improvement Pilot. This pilot is changing automobile access on lower Powell Street to improve pedestrian safety and reduce wear and tear on the cables, caused by excessive stops and starts in heavy traffic.

Powell between Market and Ellis has been a pedestrian mall for many years. Now Powell between Ellis and O'Farrell has both lanes painted red, meaning that they are for transit only (Muni vehicles, taxis, vehicles with commercial plates). On Powell between O'Farrell and Geary, the northbound lane is painted red. Autos can use the southbound lane for picking up and dropping off passengers.

According to the MTA press release, "...extreme traffic congestion starting at Ellis Street may be the root of a potentially dangerous mechanical problem for the iconic streetcars. Since the year 2000, the SFMTA has documented a nearly 50 percent increase in cable stranding or breaks in the cable. This accelerated wear on the cable has serious safety implications. So the pilot program will study if the dedicated red transit lanes, for the cable cars, will lessen the cable stranding issues."

I hope the city will put some effort into enforcing the new rules.

10 red lanes Car 10 outbound on Powell between Ellis and O'Farrell. Note that both lanes are painted red. November, 2015.

New Cable Car Safety Measures - 11-Aug-2015

Do not pass sign "Do Not Pass Cable Car" sign on car 26 at Powell and Ellis. August, 2015. September, 2015 Picture of the Month.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) issued a press release calling for new efforts to keep cable car personnel safe. This year two conductors have been seriously injured by careless drivers who passed their stopped cable cars while they were trying to help passengers get on and off safely.

Do not pass and stop signs "Do Not Pass Cable Car" sign and hand held stop sign on car 5 at Powell and Ellis. August, 2015.

These measures include increased police enforcement, do not pass signs on Powell Street cable cars, hand-held stop signs for conductors, a public safety campaign and "Developing a cable car collision reduction program to identify ways to reduce collisions involving cable cars."

According to California Vehicle Code Section 21756: "The driver of a vehicle overtaking any interurban electric or streetcar stopped or about to stop for the purpose of receiving or discharging any passenger shall stop the vehicle to the rear of the nearest running board or door of such car and thereupon remain standing until all passengers have boarded the car or upon alighting have reached a place of safety..." Drivers often ignore this rule.

The SFMTA with the support of the Market Street Railway wants to ban private vehicles from Powell Street between Ellis and Geary. Powell between Market and Ellis has been closed to autos since 1973. The two organizations would like to begin and 18-month pilot in November, 2015, but he Union Square Business Improvement District is opposed to the closure and especially does not want it to start in November, right before the holiday shopping season.

Here is the press release.

California Street Outage - 16-Jul-2015

The California Street line was down on 15 and 16-July-2015 because of mechanical problems.

Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 09-Jul-2015

Byron Cobb won the 52nd annual Bell Ringing Contest at Union Square, Geary & Powell Streets, San Francisco. He also won in 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2005.

Cable Car Fare Rises - 01-Jul-2015

The single ride fare on cable cars rose from six dollars to seven. I always recommend buying a pass.

Santiago Montoya - 06-April-2015

On 06-April-2015, conductor Santiago Montoya was hit and gravely injured by an SUV on Powell between Washington and Jackson Streets. He is suffering from a broken leg, ruptured internal organs, broken ribs and a punctured lung. He is alive, but in ICU at SF General Hospital.

Transit Workers Union Local 250A has started a Gofundme page for his family:
http://www.gofundme.com/SantiagoMontoya

I made a contribution.

San Francisco History Expo #5 - 01-March-2015

Waiting to get in People lined up, waiting to get in when the expo opened at 11am.

We attended the fifth annual San Francisco History Expo at the Old Mint. There was a good crowd. I didn't see the Wells Fargo exhibit.

Mike Sheridan At the Market Street Railway exhibit, I had a nice chat with rail historian Mike Sheridan, proprietor of johnsonfarebox.com

The Market Street Railway had a nice exhibit with lots of transit tokens.

Cable Car Museum The Friends of the Cable Car Museum exhibit.

The Friends of the Cable Car Museum had an extensive exhibit. I had a nice chat with Mike Phipps, who was going to speak about the Fillmore Hill Counterbalance. Jose Godoy gave us his custom-made buttons.

Car 16 model A beautiful model of Powell Street car 16 at the Friends exhibit.

Geary train A model of a Geary Street Park and Ocean Railway grip and trailer train at the Friends exhibit.

Sacramento-Clay A model of a post-1906 Sacramento-Clay car at the Friends exhibit.

Many of the exhibits had an emphasis on the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition.

I'm grateful to my wife for coming along and patiently putting up with my hobbies.

President Obama Visits San Francisco - 13-February-2015

President Barack Obama visited San Francisco on Febraury 12 and 13. He stayed at the Fairmont Hotel, a traditional spot for Democratic Presidents, so the California Street cable car line was shut down. The replacement buses and the 1 California were rerouted on Sutter Street. I saw him fly by Friday morning on his way to deliver an address on cyber security at Stanford. In the afternoon, he attended a fund raiser on Russian Hill, which shut down the Hyde Street cable car.

Big Rainstorm - 11-December-2014

The heaviest rainstorm in many years hit the Bay Area on the night of December 10 and all day on the 11th. Most schools in the Bay Area were closed on Thursday. The authorities encouraged people to work from home if they could. The San Francisco MTA decided that the cable cars should stay in the barn. BART's new cable-driven automated people mover, BART to OAK, was down for most of the day because of floating junk on the tracks.

BART to OAK Preview/Opening - 21-November-2014

sticker BART to OAK sticker on a fare gate at Colma BART Station. November, 2014.

BART to OAK, the 3.2 mile automated people mover (APM) which shuttles passengers from the Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART Station to the Oakland Airport had a public preview on 21-November-2014 and opened for service the next day. The APM uses Doppelmayr's CABLE Liner Shuttle system. The CABLE Liner Shuttle uses an endless cable and an automatic grip in each car which allows the cars to stop and start at the stations. The Doolittle Maintenance Facility by the edge of the airport houses the powerhouse, which drives one cable to the Coliseum BART station and one to the airport station. The $6 one-way fare, coincidentally the same fare paid on San Francisco cable cars, is controversial.

invitation An invitation to the preview of the BART to OAK cable-driven automated people mover.

Cal Cable Shutdown - 21-November-2014

California Street cable cars were shut down because a window washer fell 11 stories from the Kohl Building and landed on the roof of a moving automobile at California and Montgomery. The auto broke his fall, and the window washer survived. The driver was not hurt. The cable cars were blocked for a while by emergency vehicles.

The Return of Powell Street Car One - 16-November-2014

San Francisco Municipal Railway Powell Street cable car Number One returned to service in November. It had been built new, except for the roof, to commemorate the centennial of the cable car in 1973. Its buiilders tried to reproduce the earliest appearance of the Powell Street cars. Many of the features had been lost over the last 40 years. Now they have been restored. I have heard that it runs noisily, which is common until wooden trams loosen up in service, and that the distinctive signs on the front dash are locked, so the shop crew has to change them if the car is assigned to a different line.

Hyde Street Shutdown - 30-September-2014

The Powell-Hyde line was shut down "until further notice" because of issues with the cable.

Cal Cable Shutdown - 26-September-2014

California Street cable cars were shut down because of a fatal shootout at the corner of California and Battery. A high speed chase from Richmond via the San Rafael and Golden Gate bridges ended at that intersection when the suspect's car overturned. He began shooting at people and the police eventually shot him.

George Hilton, RIP - 04-August-2014

Cable Car in America The Cable Car in America was a major inspiration for this website.

George W Hilton, economist and tranist historian, who wrote the most important book on the subject of cable cars, The Cable Car in America, has passed away.

Muni Sickout - 02-June-2014

Transit workers unhappy with a net pay cut offerred by management had a sickout on June 2 through 4. The cable cars were shut down Monday through Wednesday.

Wells Fargo Museum is Open - 16-May-2014

Abbott Downing stagecoach An Abbott Downing stagecoach at the Wells Fargo History Museum.

The Wells Fargo History Museum in San Francisco closed last August for renovation. It reopened on 28-March-2014. I was able to visit in May and enjoyed it immensely. The beautiful Abbott Downing stagecoach still sits in the front window, but much has changed. The skeleton stagecoach that people can sit in has moved downstairs. There are more interactive exhibits. I liked the telegraph key connected to a key in the Portland, Oregon museum. Nobody responded when I tried it.

cable car model A model of a Clay Street Hill Railroad cable car.

I liked the display case with a model of a Clay Street Hill Railroad cable car and mementos of Andrew S Hallidie.

cable car model and Hallidie mementos A model of a Clay Street Hill Railroad cable car and mementos of Andrew S Hallidie.

Cable Car at Auction - 08-April-2014

cable car in barn California Street Cable Railroad car 11 in a barn in New Jersey (Source: Bonhams. All Rights Reserved).

I recently received an email from Eric Minoff of Bonhams, the auction house. He was researching an item from The Auction of the Estate of Dr Ralph W.E. Cox Jr, which will be held on 10-May-2014. Among the Ford Models AC, S and T Torpedo, the Silsby Steam Pumper, the Fifth Avenue Coach Company 1925 Yellow Coach Open-Top Double-Decker Bus, the 1925 American La France City Service Ladder Fire Truck and an "1890 Brill Street Car" was former California Street Cable Railroad car 11.

My wife says I don't have any place to put it, so I can't bid on it.

Updated - 31-May-2014

The car sold for $87,500. I hope it has found a good home.

Joe's Cable Car Last Day - 16-March-2014

Joe's Cable Car closed after 49 years of serving excellent hamburgers.

San Francisco History Expo #4 - 01-March-2014

Waiting to get in People lined up, waiting to get in when the expo opened at 11am.

We attended the fourth annual San Francisco History Expo at the Old Mint. There was a good crowd. There were some new exhibitors this year, including the Odd Fellows.

Slavin and Lindner Paul Slavin and Scott Lindner, who is leading the restoration of Ocean Shore Railroad car 1409.

The Friends of the Cable Car Museum were kind enough to share some of their space with the group restoring Ocean Shore Railroad car 1409.

button Jose Godoy of the Friends of the Cable Car Museum designed this button especially for the Expo.

The Friends of the Cable Car Museum were in a new position, as were many other groups. I had a nice chat with Mike Phipps and Dom Holmgren, who spoke on Sunday about the Ocean Shore Railroad. The Friends' web site had been down for over a week, but it has since been fixed.

MSR volunteers MSR volunteers Dominic and Julian.

The Market Street Railway/San Francisco Railway Museum had a nice table. I had a good chat with young volunteers Dominic and Julian.

Expo poster A poster advertising the 2014 Expo.

The following week, the Chronicle carried a story saying that the city was unhappy with the progress made by the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society in renovating and retrofitting the Mint and may turn it over to the California Historical Society.

Fare Gouging Proposal - 17-February-2014

Cable car riders are forced to pay six dollars, three times the regular Muni fare. Now the Municipal Transportation Agency has proposed raising the fare on Muni's historic electric streetcar line, the F-Market & Wharves, to three dollars or six dollars. This is a bad idea. Regular San Francisco people depend on the F line and they do not all have monthly passes.

2014 Chinese New Year Parade - 15-February-2014

Trini Whittaker, 2013 Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest champion, marched with other Muni operators in the Chinese New Year Parade. He rang a bell as he marched.

Joe's Cable Car to Close - 29-January-2014

A report on KPIX Channel 5 said that Joe Obegi is going to close Joe's Cable Car in March and retire. Coming after the closing of Caesar's Italian Restaurant and Westlake Joes, this was a shock.

Cable Cars Pulled Because of NFC Championship Game - 19-January-2014

Muni announced on 17-January-2014 that the cable cars and the F-line electric streetcars would be pulled off the streets at Noon on Sunday, 19-February-2014 because of the National Footbal Conference championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, in Seattle. Worried that people celebrating a victory might damage the cars, Muni took the precaution of pulling them in and de-energizing the electric overhead on Market Street. The 49ers lost the game 23-17. I don't watch football much, but that was an exciting game.

President Barack Obama Visits - 25-November-2013

President Barack Obama visited the Chinatown Recreation Center across the street from the Cable Car Barn at Washington and Mason to give a speech on immigration reform. All three cable car lines were covered by buses until about 1:30pm. I was walking to lunch and noticed a bus laying over at California and Drumm.

Come Hear the San Francisco Cable Car Chorus - 03-November-2013

Cable Car Chorus The Cable Car Chorus Poses on a cable car. Charles Haletky photo. All rights reserved.

Sunday November 3: Come hear the barbershop harmonies of the SF Cable Car Chorus performing a whole bunch of old songs you know, and all of the verses you don't! Details at www.sfcablecarchorus.org.

Powell Street Cable Cars Shut Down - 17-October-2013

The discovery of a mysterious package in Union Square caused the Powell Street cable cars to stop running. Police told all businesses lining the square to use their back doors. The package proved to be harmless.

Angels Flight Derailment - 05-September-2013

One of the cars on Angels Flight derailed. No one was injured. The operator of Angels Flight blamed the derailment on an electrical interruption that caused the emergency brake to engage. Apparently the brake lifted the car off the rails.

Cal Cable Discovery - 08-August-2013

Crews digging up the street on California near Scott discovered a stretch of Cal Cable tracks and conduit.

How to Ride Cable Cars - 30-May-2013

SFMTA A screen capture of "How to Ride Cable Cars" on the revised SFMTA site.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) released the revised version of its site this day. It includes a page on "How to Ride Cable Cars." It gives some good advice, particularly "Follow the Crew's Instructions."

SFMTA Home Page

How to Ride Cable Cars

Cable Cars Named One of the Most Dangerous Forms of Mass Transit - 30-May-2013

An article by Amy L entitled "Cable Cars Named One of the Most Dangerous Forms of Mass Transit" appeared on the blog of The Law Offices of Nelson C Barry III. Despite the title, which seems inflammatory, the article takes an even-handed approach. I give them credit for allowing me to present the other side. I pointed out that:
1. They operate in some of the most congested streets in the city.
2. Since the cable cars are unfamiliar to most riders, the passengers often fail to pay enough attention to what they are doing, so they don’t hold on or they lean out too far when they are hanging on the sideboards. They also jump off before the car has come to a stop. The crew tries to get them behave, but at times it can be like herding cats.
3. The cable cars represent late 19th Century technology on the streets of the 21st Century. They can’t stop as quickly as a bus, especially when the tracks are wet. If they get cut cut off going up a hill above a certain gradient, they have to back down.

I did not ask them to call me "one of the world’s foremost leading experts on the past and present of cable cars."

The Law Offices of Nelson C Barry III

Cable Cars Named One of the Most Dangerous Forms of Mass Transit

Secret San Francisco - 14-May-2013

Balboa Theater The Balboa Theater on the night of the first "Secret San Francisco" show.

I went to the Balboa Theater for the first presentation of "Secret San Francisco", a collection of short films about San Francisco put together and presented by Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher of the Western Neighborhoods Project. They encouraged audience participation. The show started late because it was sold out and there was a line out the door waiting to get in at 6:30pm. The first part was a trivia quiz with prizes. Then they showed several short movies and clips from movies. I had seen some, like the films of Sutro Baths burning, but I had not seen many of the others. The audience was fascinated by the Playland films. The auction after it closed was sad. The demolition of the Fox Theater depressed everyone. Blackie the Wonder Horse, who swam the Golden Gate towing Shorty Roberts of Roberts-at-the-Beach cheered everyone up.

There were many views of cable cars. Woody LaBounty made a comment that we were going to be seeing lots of Powell and Market. Amoung the scenes was a nice overhead shot from the 1930s. I remember when people would jump on the car while it was on the turntable. There were also views of California Street cable cars and one shot of a Sacramento/Clay car.

It was a wonderful show and I was happy when they announced at the end that they were going to repeat it because of the great demand.

Vampire Cable Cars - 24-April-2013

The San Francisco Weekly published Joe Eskenazi's article Running of the Bull: Cable Cars Are Trundling Money Away From the Transit You Actually Use. Eskenazi, inspired by a recent Associated Press article on how much cable cars cost the city in accident-related damage awards, says that they cost the cities in other ways. He feels that the Municipal Transportation Agency, which is always low on funds, should not be forced to subsidize the cable cars, which are mostly used by visitors, the same way it subsidizes other bus and rail services which are mostly used by working San Franciscans. He says "Maintaining cable cars for city tourists while struggling to provide core transit service is a bit like polishing the heirloom china for the guests while sending the kids to school with no shoes. But no amount of cold-hearted empirical analysis will sever city residents' emotional attachment to the cable cars. (It would also take a citywide election to scrap the cars.)"

Perhaps the cable cars should receive more funding from other sources. Perhaps the Municipal Transportation Agency should, too.

San Francisco History Expo #3 - 02-March-2013

I attended the third annual San Francisco History Expo at the Old Mint. There was a good crowd. There were some new exhibitors this year, including ThinkWalks. It was nice to meet with Joel Pomerantz in person.

Don Holmgran and Mike Phipps Don Holmgren and Mike Phipps pose in front of the world's largest cable car bell.

At the Cable Car Museum display, I had nice chats with José Godoy and with Don Holmgren and Mike Phipps, co-authors of the excellent book Watermusic in the Track. The exhibit included models, pieces of cable, photos and the world's largest cable car bell, created by José 's dad, Gilberto Godoy. I heard Mike Phipps talk about "The Geary Street, Park and Ocean Cable Car Company, 1880-1912: The Premier Line of the New Municipal Railway."

At the Western Neighborhoods Project display, I talked to Woody LaBounty and got to meet David Gallagher. I'm looking forward to Woody's new book about Ingleside Terrace.

The Market Street Railway had a huge exhibit where I met retired Muni inspector Art Curtis, whom I have corresponded with for years.

There was an auction which involved placing tickets in boxes on the tables of various exhibitors. I won second place from the Presidio Historical Association, a one-year membership. I am looking forward to it.

Wells Fargo, which sponsored the expo, had a nice exhibit.

Water Main Break Cable Car - 20-February-2013

An early morning water main break at Filbert and Mason delayed Powell/Mason service till noon.

Cable Car Accident - 06-February-2013

Powell Street car 25, outbound on the Powell-Hyde line between Washington and Jackson hit a large bolt apparently jammed in the slot or the conduit. This caused the car to stop suddenly, injuring seven people, including both crew members. Service was stopped for about 3 1/2 hours. Preliminary findings indicate that the bolt came from a hatch in the conduit.

Cal Cable Inner Terminal Surrounded

Model: Wurlington Bros Press Cable Car - 18-January-2013

wurlington model/1 California Street car 60 by Wurlington Bros. All rights reserved.

The Wurlington Bros Press produces a series of postcards which can be cut and folded to produce models of landmarks and vehicles. One of their models represents California Street cable car 60. Another is a BART car. Their site is worth a visit.

BART Cable Shuttle to the Oakland Airport - 02-January-2013

doppelmayr/1 CLS MGM CityCenter Shuttle in Las Vegas. Doppelmayr photo. All rights reserved.

Articles in various sources reported on the erection of columns along Hegenberger Road which will support the 3.2 mile automated people mover (APM) which will shuttle passengers from the Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART Station to the Oakland Airport. The APM will use Doppelmayr's CABLE Liner Shuttle system. The system is currently used on the CLS MGM CityCenter Shuttle in Las Vegas and in other cities. The CABLE Liner Shuttle uses an endless cable and an automatic grip in each car which allows the cars to stop and start at the stations.

Book: Watermusic in the Track by Mike Phipps and Don Holmgren - 29-December-2012

The Friends of the Cable Car Museum have published a new book, Watermusic in the Track by Mike Phipps and Don Holmgren. The authors have done an excellent job of explaining the history of the cable cars and how they fit into the broader history of San Francisco, and how cable cars work. The diagrams which illustrate the lines of the various companies and how various aspects of the technology work are really excellent. You can order the book on the Friends website.

The title comes from an Al Tolf cartoon.

Watermusic cover

Cable Car 26 Dedicated - 14-November-2012

As part of Muni's 100th anniversary celebration, Powell Street car 26, built in 1890 by the Ferries & Cliff House Railway, was dedicated when it returned to service after a thorough renovation. I was stuck at work.

Cable Car Clothiers Moved - 16-October-2012

Cable Car Clothiers moved The new location. October 2012.

Cable Car Clothiers has opened in its new location on Sutter Street.

No No No No No - 14-October-2012

Fox announcer Joe Buck worked the 49 game against the New York Giants at Candlestick Park (the 49ers lost) and then the San Francisco Giants' National League Championship Series game against the Saint Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park (the Giants lost). He rode a motorized cable car between the gigs. Fox showed an overhead view of the car making slow progress and an idiot in the studio called it a "trolley bus." No No No No No.

2012 Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 06-September-2012

The 49th annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest ended in an unprecedented tie. A ring-off between defending champion Leonard Oats and Trini Whittaker resulted in Trini Whittaker taking the title.

Cable Car Clothiers Moving - 31-August-2012

Cable Car Clothiers moving A sign announces the moving sale. August 2012.

I spotted a sign saying that Cable Car Clothiers was having a moving sale. The store was leaving its location at Bush and Sansome to return to Sutter Street. I went in and bought a wonderful cap for 30% off.

Cable Car Clothiers cap My cap. August 2012.

Icons of San Francisco - 11-March-2012

Icons of SF The San Francisco MTA exhibit at Icons of San Francisco in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. March, 2012.

I stopped by the Hyatt Regency on my way to give a walking tour and I found a series of exhibits in the lobby. Icons of San Francisco, on display from 19-January-2012 through 31-March-2012 included a Beach Blanket Babylon hat, a section on the 160th anniversary of Ghiradelli Chocolates, and a reproduction of a California Street cable car from the San Francisco MTA. The exhibit included photos, text and samples of cable.

Testing Car 26 - 04-February-2012

Powell Street car 21 was temporarily decorated with New York Giants pennants and signs. Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco had made a bet with Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York on the result of the NFL National Conference championship game played at Candlestick Park on 22-January-2012. If the 49ers had won, 49th Street in Manhattan would have been temporarily renamed "49ers Street". The New York Giants won 20-17, so cable car 21, which was already in a close approximation of New York's red and blue colors, got decorated.

Testing Car 26 - 18-January-2012

Newly rebuilt Powell Street car 26 made a test run this morning. The car is painted in Muni's 1950s green and cream livery.

Talking to Schoolkids - 14-September-2011

3 at Mason and Jackson Car 3 on the Powell-Hyde line, crossing Mason at Jackson. September, 2011.

I talked to a group of 6 to 12 year olds from Brightworks School about cable cars after a walk around the cable car barn. It was too loud to talk inside. We took a walk up to Huntington Square so they could eat lunch and I could talk a bit and then answer questions. They enjoyed the noon bells at Grace Cathedral. They had some good questions like "What is the difference between a cable car and a bus?" and some interesting questions like "Has a cable car ever had a toilet?" (No) and "Has a cable car ever exploded?" (Yes)

Their favorite part: a crew was shoveling muck out of the sheave room and a crane on the street was pulling it up in barrels. I had a very good time.

Powell Street Promenade - 07-July-2011

Powell Street Promenade Here is the Powell Street Promenade on the east side of Powell at Geary.

The Powell Street Promenade is part of the city's program of introducing neighborhood parklets. On street corners along Powell from Ellis to Geary, there are aluminum platforms with planters and railings. They may provide good spots for photographing cable cars.

car 56 I stood on the platform on the west side of Powell near Geary with my new camera and took this photo of car 25.

The World Famous San Francisco Cable Cars - 31-July-2011

Citypass.com has produced a wonderful graphic, "The World Famous San Francisco Cable Cars": http://www.citypass.com/blog/world-famous-san-francisco-cable-cars

It is well worth a visit.

Angels Flight Returns - 07-July-2011

Angels Flight, the Los Angeles funicular that returned to service in 2010 after a fatal accident in 2001, had been ordered to shut down in June, 2011 because of excessive wear on the wheel flanges of its two cars. It returned to service on 07-July-2011, just in time for me to make a visit to Angels Flight.

Animated Photos I took during our visit to Angels Flight, as an animated gif, courtesy of gifka.com.

Cal Cable Line Returns - 27-June-2011

car 56 I took this photo at California and Kearny on 26-June-2011. Outbound car 56 climbs toward Kearny with a load of passengers.

The California Street line was closed down on 24-December-2010 for upgrading and refurbishment for the first time since the 1982-1984 reconstruction. Cars returned to service on 21-June-2011, with an official ribbon cutting at California and Drumm on 27-June-2011.

Operators Reject Contract - 10-June-2011

Muni operators rejected a new labor contract which had been agreed to by union leadership. An artbitrator ordered them to accept the terms.

Angels Flight Ordered Shut Down - 09-June-2011

The California Public Utilities Commission ordered that Angels Flight, the Los Angeles funicular that returned to service in 2010 after a fatal accident in 2001, to shut down immediately because of excessive wear on the wheel flanges of its two cars. The foundation which operates the line says it was planning to replace the wheels. The replacement may take several weeks, or may take much longer.

Cable Car Fares to be $6 - 08-June-2011

A report in the Chronicle says that cable car fares will rise from $5 to $6 starting July 1. I have mixed feelings on the subject.

Powell Street Outage - 01-June-2011

Powell Shutdown sign I took this photo at Powell and Market on 02-June-2011.

As part of the ongoing system refurbishment, Powell Street cars were down again from 31-May to 04-June. Because of Central Subway work on Stockton street, the replacement buses stopped on the diagonally opposite corner at Powell and Ellis streets, Southwest instead of Northeast.

Whole System Shut Down - 25-April-2011

Hyde Shutdown sign I took this photo at Powell and Market on 30-April-2011.

The Hyde Street line is shut down for five days. Buses are carrying riders from Powell and Jackson to Hyde and Beach.

Hyde Street Shut Down - 25-April-2011

Hyde Shutdown sign I took this photo at Powell and Market on 30-April-2011.

The Hyde Street line is shut down for five days. Buses are carrying riders from Powell and Jackson to Hyde and Beach.

Powell Street Shut Down - 28-March-2011

Powell Shutdown sign I took this photo at Powell and Market on 31-March-2011.

The Powell-Mason line is shut down from March 28 to April 1. Buses are carrying riders from Ellis and Powell to the Cable Car Barn, where they can board Powell-Hyde cars. I walked by Powell and Market on 29-March-2011 and saw some confused tourists. On 31-March-2011, there were several people wearings hats that said "MTA Ambassador."

Powell Street Outages Planned - 08-March-2011

A report in the Chronicle says that "The Powell-Mason line will be shut down from March 28 to April 1, the Powell-Hyde line will be shut down April 25-29, and both lines will shut down June 1-5."

Angels Flight Birthday Celebration - 31-December-2010

Angels Flight in Los Angeles celebrated its 109th birthday by charging a one cent fare.

Cal Cable Line Closed for Upgrade and Refurbishment - 24-December-2010

CSC Shutdown signs I took this photo at California and Drumm on 30-December-2010. The sign on the left was prepared for the planned shutdown. The sign on the right was apparently improvised when the line shut down early.

The California Street line was scheduled to be down from 03-January-2011 to 19-June-2011 for upgrading and refurbishment for the first time since the 1982-1984 reconstruction. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the cable on 24-December-2010. Muni judged that it wasn't worth fixing the cable for a short time, so service ended early.

Muni has not announced a date for work on Powell Street.

Powell Street Promenade - 17-December-2010

Outgoing Mayor Gavin Newsome's office announced that Powell Street between Ellis and Geary will be converted into a pedestrian promenade as part of San Francisco's Pavement to Parks project. "The new Powell Street Promenade will provide more space for pedestrians to sit and relax and enjoy one of San Francisco's most vibrant corridors." For some reason I think this will be popular with panhandlers.

Conductor Stabbed on Mason Street - 14-November-2010

News reports say that a cable car conductor from a car that was out of service was stabbed in an apparent random act of violence. There were no passengers aboard the car. The conductor was sent to the hospital in critical condition. The police followed a trail of blood to a nearby apartment, where they arrested a suspect.

60 Minutes Reports on "A Trip Down Market Street" - 17-October-2010

60 Minutes, the CBS news magazine, ran a report about the movie A Trip Down Market Street. The piece started with a trip down Market street in 1895 electric streetcar 578. Rick Laubscher of the Market Street Railway talked about rails on Market Street. The story discusses Dave Kiehn's work which proved that the movie was shot in 1906, rather than 1905 as had been commonly believed, and may have been shot in April, close to the 18th.

48th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 28-September-2009

After being rescheduled multiple times, the 48th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest took place, but the gripmen and conductors chose to boycott the contest because of union/management issues. I would not second guess the men and women of the Cable Car Division, but I think it might have been better publicity to go and use the assembled cameras and microphones to make a statement about the current state of labor relations.

Cable Car Goes to State Fair - 01-August-2010

San Francisco sent motorized cable car 62 to Sacramento to be part of its exhibit at the State Fair's Hall of Counties. It was reported to be very popular. Powell Street car 514 went in 1948.

Smart Cards on Cable Cars - 25-July-2010

Clipper, formerly known as FastTrack, is a smart card that allows users to store passes or money for various regional transit agencies. When the San Francisco Municipal Railway introduced Clipper, training or warning appears to have been minimal. The problem was particularly critical on the cable cars, where conductors have to use a hand-held scanner to read the cards. Many riders have reported problems.

Call to Revive the Mount Beacon Incline Railway - 28-May-2010

Mount Beacon Incline A postcard shows the two cars of the Mount Beacon Incline Railway, which ran from 1902 to 1978.

An article in Hudson Valley Business says that a group of citizens in Beacon, New York wants to revive the Mount Beacon Incline Railway, which ran from 1902 to 1978. A 1983 fire destroyed the original line. They believe a new funicular will be good for business.

Second Gripwoman - 14-April-2010

Congratulations to Willa Johnson, who became only the second woman to make it through the training program and become a gripwoman. The first gripwoman, Fannie Mae Barnes, retired a few years ago.

New Upgrade and Refurbishment Plan - 25-March-2010

Muni announced plans to upgrade and refurbish the cable car lines for the first time since the 1982-1984 reconstruction. The California Street line will be down from January to June 2011. Muni has not announced a date for work on Powell Street.

Angels Flight Returns - 15-March-2010

Angels Flight in Los Angeles returned to service on 15-May-2010 It had been closed since a fatal accident on 01-Feb-2001. The line has been redesigned to add safety features that were omitted when the line was restored in 1996.

Book: Early Pullman Car Freight and Passenger Car Production by Eric Neubauer - 28-February-2010

Did you know that some cable car lines ran Pullmans? Not sleepers, just rail cars built by Pullman.

I just read Eric Neubauer's new E-Book, Early Pullman Car Freight and Passenger Car Production. It is an impressive work, more than 370 pages listing Pullman passenger and freight car orders from the 1860s until the end of 1911. He gives as much detail as he could find for each order, including the lot number, the company that placed the order, the numbers of the cars, the order quantity, the capacity (in pounds) of the cars, the type, the weight, the capactity (in cubic feet), the inside length, the plant, the date built, the floor plan (Pullman had standard numbered plans), and the unit cost.

This book will be a valuable resource for anyone who is interested in any of the hundreds of railroads that ordered cars and trucks from Pullman. I also enjoyed the names of some of the companies (Multnomah Street Railway, Kankakee Electric Railway, Akron & Cuyahoga Falls Rapid Transit) and the cars (Lochnivar, Circassia, Ocmulgee, Eunomia, Coconino).

Order the book using Eric's website (follow the Eric's Books link): Eric's Railroad Car History

Penang Last Run - 21-February-2010

Thank you to Ric Francis for reporting that the Penang Hills Railway, a funicular in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, made its last run in its current form on this day. The current system is in two sections and passengers transfer in the middle. The upgraded system will run directly from the top to the bottom. The work is scheduled to be complete by 28-September-2010, but people regard that date with skepticism.

Book: Carville-by-the Sea by Woody LaBounty - 29-December-2009

I received Woody LaBounty's new book, Carville-by-the-Sea, San Francisco's Streetcar Suburb as a Christmas gift. I enjoyed learning more about San Francisco's Carville neighborhood. He gives a well-documented history of the growth of Carville from a single shack to a neighborhood with water, electric power, a school, and a firehouse.

He frames the story with his dream of buying a house in San Francisco.

I also appreciated the way the author included Gelett Burgess and his writings about Carville.

Order the book using the supporting website: http://www.carville-book.com/

Carville-by-the-Sea cover

Saint Paul Cable Car Remnant - 16-December-2009

Workers relocating utilities on Fourth Street in Saint Paul, Minnesota to make way for the proposed Central Corridor light-rail line found a yoke from the Selby Avenue cable car line, a portion of which had been converted to an electric line in 1898. Part of the line became a counterbalance. John Diers, a local rail historian had warned them that they might find artifacts. I'm happy they listened to him. The yoke may be preserved and included in a historic display at Union Depot.

Sudden Stop Injures Passengers - 21-November-2009

A cable problem caused a sudden stop by a Powell Street car. 4 people were injured.

Another Big Rainfall Stops Cable Cars - 19-October-2009

A short but heavy rainfall this afternoon, flooded the Van Ness Muni Metro station. Flooding at Bay and Taylor stopped the Powell/Mason line.

Big Rainfall Stops Cable Cars - 13-October-2009

2.48 inches of rain fell in downtown San Francisco this afternoon, flooding intersections and freeway entrances. High winds knocked down a tree on Hyde Street, which blocked the Powell/Hyde line.

City to Buy Cable Car Museum Collection - 07-October-2009

The Examiner reports that the City and the Cable Car Museum have reached a deal for the city to purchase the historic cable cars and other artifacts in the museum's collection. There was a dispute over the value of the priceless items.

City Van Hits Cable Car - 29-September-2009

There are two new videos about cable cars:

City Van Hits Cable Car - 07-September-2009

An inbound Powell Street cable car collided with a city van at Washington and Mason Streets. Four people were injured.

Introducing Cubbie the Cable Car - 22-June-2009

EM Nelson has produced an animated video for preschoolers about a new character, Cubbie the Cable Car. You can view it here:
"Monkey With a Fare"

The show is set in 1890 San Francisco, and the views of Victorian houses and cable cars are very well done. The characters are cute.

New Car 15 Debuts - 22-June-2009

New Powell Street car 15 went into service after a ceremony at the Washington/Mason car barn. Byron Cobb pulled grip and Duane Allen was conductor.

New Car 15 Tested - 10-June-2009

New Powell Street car 15 made its first test run.

47th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 09-June-2009

Leonard Oats won his third consecutive title at the 47th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest. I thought it was held in June instead of July because of the 25th anniversary of the return of the cable cars in 1984, however they never mentioned it at the contest.

2009 contest sign A sign on the side of car 9 advertises the 2009 Bell Ringing Contest. Photo by Joe Thompson.

Another Transformer Explosion - 05-June-2009

An underground transformer near Polk and O'Farrell exploded, scaring crews and passengers at the outer end of the California Street line. A transformer exploded on 24-June-2008 near California and Drumm, shutting down service for a while.

Cab Hits Cable Cars - 03-June-2009

A runaway cab hit two cable cars which were laying over on Powell near Ellis. Damage to the cable cars, 10 and 24, was not major.

Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest Controversy - 08-May-2009

A confusing report in Phil Bronstein's blog says that there may be a boycott of the 47th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest because of dispute between labor and management.

Cable Car Museum Collection Dispute - 25-April-2009

Rachel Gordon reported in today's San Francisco Chronicle that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is arguing with the Friends of the Cable Car Museum over the ownership of the Cable Car Museum's collection. The collection includes unique items such as the Clay Street Hill Railroad's grip car 8, the only surviving car from that pioneering line, and the Sutter Street Railway's grip car 46 and trailer 54, which ran on the Pacific Avenue fragment after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire and then operated in a pageant at the 1939 fair on Treasure Island. The Friends and the city are far apart in their ideas of the value of the collection.

Powell Street Cable Problems - March, 2009

The Powell Street cable had several problems during March. The vendor sent representatives to see why an almost-new cable kept having loose strands and other problems.

SUV runs into Cable Car - 26-January-2009

On a drizzly afternoon, an inbound California Street car slid down from Mason to Powell and clipped an inbound Powell Street car, which was waiting to pick up the rope after crossing the California Street tracks. No one was hurt.

27th Annual Senior Luncheon - 18-December-2008

The people of the Cable Car Division hosted a group of more than 175 senior citizens for the 27th annual holiday luncheon.

announcement
Val Lupiz created this invitation for the luncheon. All rights reserved.

SUV runs into Cable Car - 17-December-2008

Two people were hospitalized after an SUV ran into a cable car near the end of the Hyde Street line.

Powell Cable Stopped - 16-October-2008

The Powell Street cable was stopped for most of the day by an early-morning loose strand.

Trainz Cable Car Simulation - 30-September-2008

Norm Phythian, working from Australia, has created a Trainz simulation, referred to as a map, representing San Francisco's cable car lines. Sel Churchward has created representations the tracks and of cable cars to run on the lines. They both do nice work.

You can learn more on the Trainz discussion forum:
http://forums.auran.com/trainz/index.php
(search for "cable car")

You can see screen captures from the cable car lines and many other interesting-looking simulations on Norm's website:
http://members.optusnet.com.au/norm_phythian

Norm Hyde Street
A screen capture looking down Hyde Street from Norm Pythian's map. Car 23 by Sel Churchward. All rights reserved.

Sel Churchward 57
Sel Churchward produced this version of Cal Cable 57. All rights reserved.

Updated 31-October-2008: Added more about the simulation on the Cable Car Models page.

Pedestrian Dies - 25-August-2008

The Chronicle reported that an elderly lady who was hit by a cable car at Mason and Broadway early in the morning on 24-August-2008 had died in San Francisco General Hospital.

California Street Collison - 29-August-2008

The Chronicle reports that an inbound California Street cable car rear-ended another cable car car at California and Drumm this morning.

Runaway and Derailment - 13-July-2008

Powell Street car 12 ran away at Washington and Mason and derailed while making the turn at Powell Street. Four passengers were injured. The inbound Powell/Mason car failed to coast through the turn from Mason to Washington. This curve was poorly redesigned when the system was rebuilt in 1982-1984. The crew got off of the car to push. When it started rolling down the hill on Washington, the gripman jumped on the back platform and passed through the cabin. He found that the front cabin door was jammed and he could not get through. The car hit the curve into Powell too fast and derailed. Muni stated that the crew may have broken the rules by not keeping one person the car while it was out in the street.

Val Golding, RIP - 02-July-2008

San Francisco transit fan and historian Val Golding passed away in Seattle. He was a good guy and was always generous about sharing his knowledge. Val wrote a very good article about his memories of transit in San Francisco, "San Francisco: That Was the City That Was".

Explosion at California and Drumm - 24-June-2008

Manhole covers flew through the air by the terminal of the California Street line, where I had been standing just the day before. Pacific Gas and Electric was trying to determine the cause. Cal cable service was interrupted for a while.

46th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 03-June-2008

Defending champ Leonard Oats won the 46th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest. I think it was held on a Tuesday in June instead of a Thursday in July because of the APTA convention.
2008 contest

Rebuilt Car 25 Rolls out - 28-May-2008

Rebuilt car 25 went into revenue service after a complete rebuilding. This was to coincide with the APTA (American Public Transportation Association ) Rail Conference and International Rail Rodeo.

Movie Milk - 17-March-2008

Val Lupiz reports that the producers of Milk, a biographical film about assassinated Supervisor Harvey Milk, chartered Powell Street Car One, operated by bell ringing champion Byron Cobb.

Dunedin Cable Tram Revival - 11-December-2007

I heard from both Len Foley and Don Myers that a group in Dunedin, New Zealand has proposed rebuilding the Mornington cable tram line, which had been abandoned in 1957, in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. There are big obstacles before them, but I hope that it will work.

Mentioned in the Chronicle - 03-December-2007

A San Francisco Chronicle article by Rachel Gordon, Elite craftsmen keep S.F. cable cars in good shape, mentioned this website in a "To learn more about the history of the cable cars" box. The counter shot through the roof.

New Book: Let's Go By Cable Car - 01-Oct-2007
Book cover

Let's Go By Cable Car, by Anders Hanson, is a children's book from a series of books on transportation from ABDO Publishing.

The book uses large, colorful photographs and graphics, and simple, clear text, to describe cable cars and the people who work on them and ride them. I enjoyed reading it.

California Cable Unstranded - 24-September-2007

Cal rope unstranded Val Lupiz took this photo at California and Drumm after the cable unstranded and caught car 52, which rear-ended car 59, which rear-ended car 54. Fortunately, the cars were laying over at the end of the line and no one was hurt. 24-September-2007. Photo by Val Lupiz. All rights reserved.

Val Lupiz reports that he was laying over at California and Drumm when the cable unstranded and caught in the grip of car 52. 52 rear-ended Val's car, 59, and then pushed 59 into 54. No one was hurt, and the crews of 59 and 54 were able to throw the cable out of the grip and stop the procession. The cars were not damaged. The cable was down for the rest of the day. Val spotted hybrid bus 8409 on the replacment shuttle. He wished he could have ridden it to see how it handled the hill.

45th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 12-Jul-2007

First-time champion Leonard Oats, won the 45th annual Bell Ringing Contest at Union Square, Geary & Powell Streets, San Francisco. See the Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest for a report from Val Lupiz.

Pedestrian Injured - 15-June-2007

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that an elderly lady, reported to crossing against the light at Mason and Pacific, was struck by a cable car and her left foot was pinned under a wheel.

Melbourne -- Cable Tram Tracks - 19-May-2007

Melbourne right of way Mal Rowe took this photograph of cable tram tracks discovered under Abbotsford Street in North Melbourne. The white stripes, cleaned up by Mal to make them more visible, are marble markers that signalled the gripman to drop the rope. May, 2007. Photo by Mal Rowe. All rights reserved.

Mal Rowe reported in the TramsDownUnder Yahoo Group that road work in Abbotsford Street, North Melbourne had uncovered cable tram tracks of the West Melbourne line. Mal reported that "The track, the slot, and even a glimpse of the yoke and tunnel are all there to see. The paving blocks are red-gum blocks ... still in good condition 70 years after being buried and who knows how long after being laid!" Thanks to Bill Bolton for pointing out Mal's report. Thanks to Mal for the use of two of his photographs. More information and photographs in my Melbourne article.

Edinburgh -- Revenge of the Cable Trams - 19-April-2007

An article in The Scotsman report that engineers preparing for Edinburgh's new tram system have been surprised to discover that many of the streets still contain the conduits from Edinburgh's cable tram system, which was electrified in 1923. Further studies will have to determine whether the conduits are strong enough to support the new trams. The article made sure to mention that cable tram were invented by a Scot.

Fare Collection Audit - 19-April-2007

Auditors reported that 40% of cable car passengers did not pay fares or show tickets or Fast Passes during a two-month period. Conductors point out that their primary task is to ensure the safety of riders and to work the rear brakes.

Angel's Flight May Reopen This Summer - 24-January-2007

A Los Angeles Times article reports that Angel's Flight, shut down after a fatal accident in 2001, should reopen this summer. The cars and trackway have been renovated, and work should start soon on replacing the driving machinery and adding some safety devices that had not been included when the line was restored in 1996. The article stresses how the neighborhood has changed since the accident.

"High Accident Rate On S.F. Cable Cars" - 28-November-2006

KGO Channel 7 ran an "investigative" piece saying that Department of Transporation records indicate that cable cars have the highest accident rate of any type of Muni vehicle.

I posted a rebuttal on their blog:
In comparing the accident rates of cable cars and other forms of transit in San Francisco, it is important to remember that cable cars operate in some of the most congested streets in the city. Cable car crews have suggested that the accident rate would be much better if the city put more effort into enforcing traffic and parking regulations on the streets where the cable cars operate.

Announcement: San Francisco Municipal Railway/Cable Car Division 25th Annual Senior Citizen's Holiday Luncheon - 15-November-2006

2006 Luncheon

Thanks to Val Lupiz for sharing this important annoucement (If you want to make a donation, you can contact him through his Tales From the Grip page):

Dear Friends and Merchants:

For nearly two and a half decades, the San Francisco Municipal Railway's Cable Car Division, along with neighborhood merchants and restaurants has jointly sponsored a Holiday Senior Citizen's Luncheon in December. Our annual Luncheon has become an event eagerly looked forward to by many seniors. For some, this may be their only opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with a hot meal and warm companionship.

Through the cooperation and volunteer services of many of our own Cable Car Division personnel, the Luncheon has become a rousing success, bringing a much needed boost to these sometimes forgotten people, during what can often be a difficult and lonely holiday season. We hope to carry on this tradition with your generous help.

The Luncheon will take place at the Golden Gateway Holiday Inn, located at 1500 Van Ness Ave. (at California St.) on Thursday, December 14th, 2006, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Transportation for attendees will be provided by special shuttle buses provided by Muni and operated by Cable Car personnel.

We would gratefully accept any contributions, but we do particularly request donations of foods (cooked meats, vegetables, drinks, rolls and pastries, salads, etc.) Any monetary donations or items that could be used as door prizes are also very much welcomed. Your donations are entirely tax deductible (please see contact names below for more details). We respectfully request that you respond, in writing or by phone at the numbers listed below, at your earliest opportunity, but no later than December 4th, 2006.

It is because of your kindness and generosity that this special event has become such a success throughout the years. We ask that you please join us once again.

Sincerely,
Ken Foster/ Val Lupiz/ Bobby Johnson/ Duane Allen

October Troubles - 23-October-2006

Cable car lines experienced a series of shutdowns of various durations. Newspaper articles mentioned that grip shanks were getting stuck in the slots.

Collision on California Street - 22-Sep-2006

An automobile hit car 53 from behind near California and Davis. No one was injured.

Another Loose Strand - 15-Sep-2006

The California Street and Powell Street lines were all shut down because of loose strands.

Collision on California Street - 12-Sep-2006

Newspaper articles reported that the five dollar fare has reduced cable car ridership. I don't like to say I told them so...

44th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 13-Jul-2006

Ken Lunardi, 1997 and 2002 champion, won the 44th annual Bell Ringing Contest at Union Square, Geary & Powell Streets, San Francisco. See my page on the Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest for details.

Loose Strand Stops Powell Street Cable - 19-Jun-2006

A loose strand forced Muni to run buses on Powell Street. Many people were upset at being charged the five dollar cable car fare for a ride from the cable car barn to the outer terminal. There was another loose strand on 26-Jun-2006.

April 18 Events - 18-Apr-2006

My wife and I caught the 4:09 am BART train out of Daly City to Powell. People were standing by Balboa Park and our car had a crush load after Glen Park. We walked down to Third and Market. The street was closed at Fourth.

There was a large screen in the street before Grant, showing images of the earthquake survivors arriving for the ceremony. There was another screen on Third. There were more people than I had ever seen for the ceremony at Lotta's Fountain. The news reports said 5000 people. Many were sober. It started late.

There was a big SF Rising banner on the front of the De Young Building. Firemen raised a 60 foot ladder and a fireman climbed it and hung a flag for the singing of the National Anthem. The mayor spoke. They had trouble getting the wreath to hang on the fountain. The moment of silence wasn't. Then church bells rang and sirens wailed. Then the fire chief, the police chief and Frank Jordan's goddaughter, the OES head spoke. The mayor interviewed the 12 or so survivors and one lady made a pass at him. Then everyone sang "San Francisco", led by Donna Huggins dressed as Lillie Coit. After, we headed for Starbucks.

We went down to Powell Station and caught an outbound J. All Muni service was free for the day. The single J car had a standing load out to 20th for the golden fire hydrant ceremony. There were more people there than usual. They had to wait for some old fire trucks to arrive. The chief led off the spray-painting. Then her three sons and the fire department brass and the fire commissioners. Many other people got turns. I chatted with a retired Alameda fireman who had come over with their restored 1920 engine. Some people arrived in a 1906 Locomobile.

After the ceremony, we caught a PCC heading into service on the F. We had to get off at Market and transfer to a Milano car that was ahead in line. The motorperson said she could only take us to Van Ness. There were several cars on 11th street. They were getting ready to close Market at 9th for the parade. We couldn't stay for that, so we walked to Civic Center and caught BART back to Daly City.

My wife had never been to the celebration. She wasn't happy with the people who pushed and those who put large children up on their shoulders, but she enjoyed it.

My sister-in-law and her family came into town for the parade. My niece didn't understand why the horses were last till she saw what the horses did on the pavement.

New Book on Penang Transit - 31-Jan-2006

Ric Francis and Colin Ganley have published a new book, Penang Trams, Trolleybuses and Railways. It is a detailed history of public transit in this area of Malaysia. I particularly enjoyed the drawing which illustrated the liveries used at different times. This is on-topic for this site because of the Penang Hills Railway, a funicular.

If you are interested in reading this enjoyable book, I can provide contact information.

Fatal Accident on Mason Street - 24-Jan-2006

Mrs Joyce Yuet Wah Lam died this day after being struck by a Powell/Mason cable car on Sunday, 22-Jan-2006. The accident happened at Filbert and Mason. The southbound cable car was climbing the hill and reportedly hit her outside of the crosswalk.

Mayor Insults Cable Car Crews - 18-Jan-2006

Mayor Gavin Newsom that on more than one occasion he had ridden cable cars and seen conductors pocket the five dollar fare without giving receipts. Rather than follow normal procedures and get the number of the car and report the alleged thefts to Muni, the mayor raised the issue in a news conference. Some people feel that he did this to distract attention from other issues that had recently embarassed his administration. In the following days, the mayor met with cable car division employees, but refused to apologize for slandering them.

Cal New Year's Eve - 31-Dec-2005

California Street cable cars used the crossover at California and Kearney to turn back after 10pm because of the large crowds around the Drumm Street terminal. This crossover is used only rarely.

New Cable Car DVD - 31-Dec-2005
DVD Cover

Nick Tomizawa has created a dvd, The Feel of the Rope/Reflections on Life at the San Francisco Cable Car Division: "a tribute to the men and women that carry on a San Francisco tradition that has continued for over 130 years. Through the words of employees past and present representing two generations of operators, managers, maintainers, trainers, and car builders, you will get an insider's look at what makes the cable cars the most unique transit system in the world."

New CD: Take a Ride on the 12 Ingleside & Ocean and the 22 Fillmore - 28-Dec-2005
URR 562 A 1908 view of URR car 562, next to the Cairns Hotel at 36th and Fulton. The building still stands. Emiliano Echevarria collection. All rights reserved.

Val Golding has released the fourth in a series of CDs created with members of the SFRailway_Archives Yahoo group. Here is Val's description:

"Take a Ride CDs

"Each CD contains 100 or more vintage San Francisco streetcar photos, generally of the period 1930-1950. There are two "rides" on each CD. Each Ride consists of a sequential series of photos starting from the inner terminal of the line to the outer terminal and return. Included are maps, photo indices for each line, a text article highlighting specific pictures and additional information concerning the lines, "Fake-of-the-Month Club," short "bonus" rides, memorabilia and occasional CARtoons. A new CD is issued every other month.

"Issue No. 1, June 2005
Take a Ride on the 31-Balboa
Take a Ride on the 10-Sunnyside

"Issue No. 2, August 2005
Take a Ride on the 7-Haight & Ocean
Take a Ride on the 16-Third & Kearny

"Issue No. 3, October 2005
Take a Ride on the E-Union
Take a Ride on the F-Stockton

"Issue No. 4, Winter 2005
[expected to ship after December 28]
Take a Ride on the 12 Ingleside & Ocean
Take a Ride on the 22 Fillmore

"Price $8.50 postpaid for SFRA members, $12.50 general public"

To order, please contact Val J. Golding (notval@blarg.net).

Cal Cable Rope Trouble - 14-Dec-2005

The California rope unstranded near California and Drumm, catching car 50 and nearly pushing it into 57. The crew was to call in a Code 900 to stop the rope before there was a collision. A half-block section of the rope was damaged. No people were hurt and no cars were damaged.

Cal Cable Car Available - 08-Dec-2005

Jim Maurer reports:
"California Trolley & Railroad Corp. is offering California Cable Railroad Company car number 23 to anyone who wants it. The car is currently located in the trolley barn at Kelley Park. This is the cable car that was at the Santa Clara County fairgrounds in San Jose for many years. Many generations of kids grew up playing on this genuine San Francisco cable car. This car was never converted from side grip to center grip when Muni took over Cal Cable. The car is in poor condition. When it was moved from the fairgrounds the frame broke. A picture can be seen at http://www.ctrc.org/gallery/TrolleysAndBarn/cablcar1

"The car is offered as-is, where-is. You will need to transport it from the trolley barn by yourself."

If you are interested in obtaining car 23 please let me know and I will give you Jim's email address.

Book Signing - San Francisco’s Powell Street Cable Cars - 03-Dec-2005

Emiliano Echeverria and Walter Rice will be at the Franciscan Hobby Shop, 1920-A Ocean Avenue, San Francisco on Saturday 03-December-2005 from 3 to 5 pm, signing their new book, San Francisco’s Powell Street Cable Cars. Take the K-Ingleside streetcar to Ocean and Victoria. Refreshments will be provided.

Hairball on Hyde Street - 11-Nov-2005

The Hyde Street cable partially unravelled, creating a bundle of strands over 200 feet long. The "hairball" was so large that the cars on the line could not be towed in past Hyde and Green Streets because their grips could not clear it. Shop crews slowly ran the damaged rope into the powerhouse. 7 cars spent the night trapped at Hyde & Beach, watched by private security guards, and one car was stuck at Hyde and Vallejo, just before the strand. Because the Hyde street rope was stopped, California Street cable cars turning in for the night had to be towed by the shop truck. The car at Hyde and Vallejo was not near a grip trap, so its grip had to be cut up with a welding torch.
Grip cut up/1 Grip from stranded car. November, 2005. Val Lupiz Photo. All rights reserved.
Grip cut up/2 Another view of the cut up grip. November, 2005. Val Lupiz Photo. All rights reserved.
Grip cut up/3 Another view of the cut up grip. November, 2005. Val Lupiz Photo. All rights reserved.
Grip cut up/4 Another view of the cut up grip. November, 2005. Val Lupiz Photo. All rights reserved.

The Hyde Street line was down for three days. California Street had a 100 foot strand on November 14.

Cal Cable Car in New Orleans - 01-Nov-2005

Nick Kibre spent a week in New Orleans helping family members clean up after Hurricane Katrina flooded the city in August, 2005. He reports that former California Street Cable Railroad car 59, which had been on display in City Park, was stored safely in the Carrollton station (carbarn).
New Orleans Thanks to Nick Kibre for this photo of old Cal Cable car 59, stored in the Carrollton carbarn. Nick Kibre Photo. All rights reserved.

New Book: San Francisco’s Powell Street Cable Cars - 01-Nov-2005

From Walter Rice:

Emiliano Echeverria and I are pleased to announce the publication of our Arcadia book San Francisco’s Powell Street Cable Cars.

About the book:

The range of photographs we have put together covers the Powell lines from their 1888 inception until today, thus providing an excellent photographic essay of the Powell Street cable lines, and also that of San Francisco during its various eras since 1888. We believe the text provides the most complete description of the history and operations of the Powell Street cable lines published. Included are sections covering initial construction and operations before and after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, the "quiet years" from 1907 until World War II, the "Cable Car Wars" which started in 1947 and ended with opening of the Powell-Hyde line as the replacement for Powell-Washington-Jackson, the 1982-84 reconstruction and the cable cars return to Powell Street and subsequent changes (i.e. new cable cars).

About the cover:
Book Cover

Where are the crowds? This late-1940s view of Powell and Market Streets contrasts with today’s tourist throngs that have become a symbol of the location. As school girls cross the intersection, a Washington-Jackson cable car is being turned by a rookie gripman (at the front pushing without a regulation jacket), the conductor and the Market Street starter, who will assure No. 518 will leave on time. Emiliano Echeverria Collection.

Fare Gouging - 01-Sep-2005

Cable car fares rose to $5 one-way. Mark my words: This will hurt ridership.

Cable Unstranded - 31-Aug-2005

The California Street cable came severely unstranded at California and Drumm Car 58 got caught and dragged into Car 51, which was laying over. Two crewmen were slightly injured.

Sudden Stop at Powell and California - 20-Aug-2005

A cable car stopped suddenly at Powell and California, injuring several people. The Chronicle said "The sudden stop appears to have resulted from gripmen on the Powell and California street lines activating their cables at the same time, causing the cables to touch..."

Levada Gets a Bell - 13-Aug-2005

At a farewell luncheon for San Francisco Archbishop William Levada, who is leaving to become the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, Mayor Gavin Newsome presented him with a cable car bell. Catholic San Francisco quoted the mayor as saying "With all the bells you hear in Rome, I hope this bell will remind you of San Francisco."

Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 17-Jul-2005

Byron Cobb won the 43rd annual Bell Ringing Contest at Union Square, Geary & Powell Streets, San Francisco. He also won in 1995, 1998, 2000, and 2001. This puts him in second place, after ten time winner Carl Payne, for the number of wins. He also finished second in 2002 and third in 2004.

The non-profit organization results:
3. Black Infant Health Improvement Project
2. Youth with a Mission
1. Chinatown Community Development Center

The professional (cable car gripman or conductor) results:
3. Howard Woo. First time finalist.
2. Frank Ware. 1999 and 2004 champ. Second place, 2000. Third place, 2001.
1. Byron Cobb. 1995, 1998, 2000, and 2001 champ. Second place, 2002. Third place 2004.

Other professional finalists: Walter Scott III, Second place in 1997 and third in 2003. Leonard Oates, 2002 and 2003 finalist. Jimmy Chau, 2002 and 2004 finalist. Patrick "Doc" Ledbetter, Third place in 2000.

I got stuck at work. Thanks to Bob Callwell of Muni for the results.

Power Failure/Shutdown - 03-Jul-2005
The cars were shut down on one of the busiest days of the year by a power failure at the powerhouse. Service was down between about 10am and noon.

United Nations' World Environment Day - 03-Jun-2005
United Nations' World Environment Day, a five-day event (!), featured a meeting, in San Francisco for the first time, of mayors from around the world. The mayors were treated to an excursion on some of Muni's historic electric streetcars, and then a ride on restored California Street Cable Railroad O'Farrell/Jones/Hyde car 42. After the ride, the mayors attended a buffet luncheon at the Washington/Mason cable car barn. Mayors attending included London's "Red Ken" Livingstone.
Mayors' Luncheon After riding Number 42, the mayors had lunch at the Washington-Mason car barn. Jeff Heyman Photo. All rights reserved.

Carnaval Parade - 29-May-2005
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 this year.

The Return of Cal Cable 42 - 25-May-2005
Car 42 Cal Cable 42, an O'Farrell-Jones-Hyde car, prepared for its return to the rails. May 2005. Photo by Val Lupiz. June, 2005 Picture of the Month

O’Farrell/Jones/Hyde car was built in 1906 or 1907 by WL Holman for the California Street Cable Railroad. After the O/J/H line was abandoned in 1954, Muni sold the car to operator of a cattle feedlot in central California, who mounted it on a motorized trucks and operated it on a private rail line. In 1993, the Market Street Railway began cosemetically restoring the car. In 2005, Muni shop people began restoring the car to operating condition. On 25-May-2005, during a test, 42 ran on the California Street line for the first time in its life. Initial reports are that it worked well.

California Street Line Down For Repairs - 11-Apr-2005

The California Street line shut down for six days to allow for repair work at Grant and California.

Exorbitant Fare Increase Proposed - 01-Mar-2005

Faced with a large deficit, the Municipal Railway proposed raising the basic fare from $1.25 to $1.50, and cable car fares from $3.00 to an astronomical $5.00. This cannot be right.

Wildcat Strike by Cable Car Crews - 02-Mar-2005

Cable car crews walked off the job for two hours in the afternoon, claiming that management had failed to follow agreed-upon procedures in firing two employees accused of mishandling funds.

  • Update - 22-Apr-2005
    An arbitrator ruled that the firings were justified. Muni sued the union for violating a no strike clause in its contract.

    Baltimore Cable Car Relic Destroyed - 14-Jan-2005

    The Druid Hill Avenue powerhouse and carbarn of the Baltimore Traction Company, used as a warehouse to store coolers, was destroyed in a major fire.

    Read Margaret Foster's story at Preservation Magazine's website: "Fire Destroys Baltimore Warehouse".

    Collision at Hyde and Beach - 03-Jan-2005

    The California Street line was shut down at 05:45 pm when the cable, at a bad splice, unraveled causing the various strands to "ball up." If such a strand ball got entangled in a grip, a cable car could run forward out of control.

    Collision at Hyde and Beach - 15-Oct-2004

    On Friday afternoon, car 5 could not stop while descending the hill towards Beach. It ran into cars 9 and 4, which were laying over. Some passengers on 5 and the crew on 9 were injured; 4 was empty.

    Christopher Cantrall was on car 5. He reports that "I was ok, and nobody was seriously injured, just some minor bruises and such. We were packed in tight enough to act as human airbags...ironically enough, I had mentioned the human airbags factor earlier on the ride when people complained about the conditions being cramped." He goes on to report that he didn't notice any feeling of the brakes being applied or feel the car slow down before the collision. He returned about 40 minutes later to find someone there investigating. Thanks to Chris for sharing his observations.

    MSR Open House - 03-Oct-2004

    Market Street Railway held its annual open house the Mint Yard. I enjoyed meeting Rick Laubscher in person. Walter Rice was there. The highlight for me was a ride through the Sunset Tunnel in 228, the open boat car from Blackpool. We rode 952 from New Orleans up the J line; the motorman was Peter Ehrlich. Unfortunately, when the crew went to change ends to return, there was a loud pop and a flash and the pole proved to be dead. We rode a Breda back, but not before Val Lupiz met us on his way to work.

    Cable Shutdowns - 22/23-Sep-2004

    With the outer portion of the Powell/Mason line shut down for turntable replacement, loose strands on the Hyde Street rope shut down the rest of the Powell Street system on two consecutive days. This also forced an early closure of the California Street line, which uses tracks on Hyde and Washington to return to the barn.

    Bay and Taylor Turntable Replacement - 13-Sep-2004

    The Powell/Mason line is replaced by shuttle buses from the cable car barn to Fisherman's Wharf while the Bay and Taylor turntable is replaced.

    Muni Systemwide Operator of the Month - 31-Jul-2004

    Muni's Systemwide Runner Up Operator of the Month for July, 2004 is gripman and author Val Lupiz. Val is an excellent gripman and a great public relations asset for Muni and the City of San Francisco. Congratulations, Val.

    42nd Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 08-Jul-2004

    Frank Ware, 1999 champ, won the 2004 Bell Ringing contest. See photos of all the finalists.

    20th Anniversary of the Great Reconstruction - 21-Jun-2004

    There was a party at the cable car barn to mark the 20th anniversary of the return of the cable cars after the Great Reconstruction. I was stuck at work.

    Cal Cable Shutdown - 17-May-2004

    The California Street cable cars shut down today for various improvements. The shutdown is scheduled to last until 25-May-2004, and delays may continue until 11-Jun-2004.

    Arnold S Gridley - 08-May-2004

    Arnold S Gridley, San Francisco entrepeneur, has passed away. Member of a pioneering California family and a San Francisco native, Gridley was most famous for his motorized cable cars. In the 1950's, when the city was selling surplus former Cal Cable cars, Gridley bought several of them and mounted them on truck chassis. His company, Cable Car Charters, also found and motorized two former Sacramento/Clay cars.

    Friends of the Cable Car Museum Board Change - 10-Feb-2004

    Walter Rice, who served on the Board of The Friends of the Cable Car Museum since 1995 and during the majority of his Board tenure as Chair, and was largely responsible for their excellent website, is no longer associated with the Friends. Walter, who has written extensively about cable cars and San Francisco transportation, will provide material for this website, for which I am grateful.

    All Star Bell Ringing Contest - 12-Dec-2003

    After the holiday luncheon the first annual All Star Bell Ringing Contest was held in the Cable Car Barn. The All Stars included every bell ringing contest champion since 1967. The winners:

    Other competitors included Al Davidson, Tom O'Brien, Dennis McCoy, and Mike McClure.

    26th Annual Cable Car Senior Luncheon - 12-Dec-2003

    The people of the Cable Car Division put on a holiday luncheon for more than 150 senior citizens in the gymnasium of the Chinatown Recreation Center, across the street from the Cable Car Barn. Ken Foster and Val Lupiz were co-chairmen. Entertainment included live music.

    Thank you to the people who bought raffle tickets and made all this possible.

    Cable Car Senior Luncheon Raffle Tickets - 01-Nov-2003

    Every December for about ten years, the men and women of the Cable Car Division have put on a holiday luncheon and entertainment for a large group of senior citizens from San Francisco retirement homes. They do this on their own, without financial support from Muni or the City.

    Autographed Bell A beautifully mounted conductor's bell autographed by champion ringers Carl Payne, Byron Cobb, Frank Ware, and Ken Lunardi. Photo by Val Lupiz. All rights reserved.

    In order to raise funds this year, they are having an auction. Prizes are expected to include three conductor's bells signed by champion bell ringers (Carl Payne, Ken Lunardi, Byron Cobb, Frank Ware, and current champ Ronald East), autographed Giants memorabilia, a charter ride on a decorated cable car, and a limousine ride chauferred by Carl Payne, with dinner for two.

    If you want to buy tickets to support this worthy cause, please email Val Lupiz at valgripNOSPAM@aol.com (Take out NOSPAM).

    40th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest- 16-Oct-2003

    Ronald East won the 40th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest.

    See my page about the Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest for details.

    Saddati Ahmad Retires - 27-Jul-2003
    Cable Car Division's Head Instructor, Saddati Ahmad, retired. Cable Car Division employees speak highly of him as a teacher who demanded the best from everyone. I had the honor to meet him briefly at the Cal Cable 125th birthday party.

    Cal Cable Shutdown - 13-Jun-2003
    KCBS Radio reported that the California Street line was shut down because of a "broken cable". This was probably a bad splice.

    Accident at Powell and Pine - 04-Jun-2003
    An inbound car on the Powell Street Hill hit an auto that may have run the red light at Pine Street. Newspaper accounts report that seven to nine passengers were injured, none seriously. KCBS Radio reported that the gripman had failed to activate a signal preemption device, but I think that the device is completely automatic, tripped by the grip shank.

    Carnaval Parade - 25-May-2003
    Gripman Val Lupiz 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. Thanks to Val for sharing this photo.

    2003 Carnaval Motorized car 62 at the 2003 Carnaval Parade in the Mission District. Photo by Val Lupiz. All rights reserved.

    California Street Accident - 11-May-2003
    There was an accident on California Street near Larkin when car 57, unable to release its grip because of mechanical problems, struck a cab which had stopped on the tracks. The cab driver and one passenger suffered minor injuries.

    New Cable Car Book - 30-Apr-2003
    Book Cover
    I just finished reading an excellent new book by Walter Rice and Emiliano Echeverria: San Francisco's California Street Cable Car/Celebrating a Century and a Quarter of Service. Until I read this, I did not really understand how the California and Hyde car barn worked. Excellent photos, maps and diagrams. You can purchase it from the Franciscan Hobby Shop (1935 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco), the Western Railway Museum, or e-mail Walter Rice @ CalCable@hotmail.com. $12.50

    Cal Cable's 125th Birthday - 10-Apr-2003
    There was a nice party to celebrate the 125th birthday of the California Street Cable Railroad. I replaced my news item about it with an illustrated article on its own page.

    Anti-War Protest - 20-Mar-2003
    Big protests on the first day of the Second Persian Gulf War shut down much of downtown San Francisco. Powell Street cars operated from the car barn to the outer terminals. California Street cars did not operate at all. The protesters made their headquarters in Justin Herman Plaza, right next to the inner terminal. The F line was also taken out of service. Some of the elitist protesters lost potential supporters because they showed that they didn't care that their actions hurt small businesses and took $900,000 a day from school children, people with AIDS, the homeless, and public transit. Cable car service was restored on Saturday, but was interrupted during the day by another burst of protesters.

    Anti-War Protest - 16-Feb-2003
    A group broke away from the tail end of a mostly peaceful anti-war protest march on Market Street from the Embarcadero to Civic Center. The group tried to march up Powell to Union Square, but was stopped by the police. Some of the protestors climbed on top of Powell Street cable car 10. The rest of the group crossed Market to the San Francisco Center and broke store windows. They moved up Market and blocked the streetcar tracks at Eighth. Several were arrested.

    Chinese New Year Parade - 15-Feb-2003
    Muni had planned to have bus shuttle service on Powell up to Washington during the parade to celebrate the Year of the Ram. According to Val Lupiz, there was no service at all from Market to Jackson and Powell. Cars ran from there to the outer terminals.

    Cable Car Fare Increase - 06-Jan-2003
    The San Francisco Municipal Railway has proposed raising regular fares from $1.00 to $1.25 and cable car fares from $2.00 to $3.00. This renders the cable cars even less of an option for local people and makes them into more of an amusement park ride for tourists. This is not what Mrs Klussmann had in mind.

    Cable Car Outage - 05-Nov-2002
    KCBS Radio reported at 6 am that all cable car service was down because of a power failure at the cable car barn. I saw cars running at lunch time.

    Powell Street Shutdown - 28-Oct-2002
    Powell Street cable car service is scheduled to be shut down from 28-Oct-2002 to 27-Nov-2002. Passengers who wish to ride the Powell/Mason or Powell/Hyde lines will be able to catch a shuttle bus from Powell and Market to the cable car barn at Washington and Mason. Regular cable car service will operate from there to the outer terminals. Work will be done around the Powell/Market terminal to replace the turntable. Other work will be done at various points along Powell.

    For more details, see my article about the Powell Street turntable replacement.

    39th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest- 17-Oct-2002

    Ken Lunardi won the 39th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest.

    See my page about the Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest for details.

    Assault on a Gripman - 06-Sep-2002
    The gripman on an outbound California Street car reprimanded a man who had jumped onto the car while it was in motion near Montgomery. The rider attacked the gripman, knocking him from the car and fracturing his skull. The conductor, who was also hurt in the attack, had to stop the car. No passengers were injured.

    Iron Pergola Rededicated - 17-Aug-2002
    Seattle's Iron Pergola, waiting room for the Yesler Way and James Street cable car lines, was destroyed by a truck on 15-Jan-2001. After a complete rebuilding and strengthening, the pergola was rededicated on 17-Aug-2002.

    Union Square Reopening - 25-Jul-2002
    Union Square reopened after an eighteen month renovation. Rita Moreno was the host. Mayor Willie L Brown Jr gave a rousing speech. Among those who participated in the ribbon cutting were Tom Sweeney, Sir Francis Drake Hotel doorman, Robert Shields, mime, and Byron Cobb, 1995, 1998, 2000, and 2001 cable car belling ringing champion. Cobb gave a brief performance after the ribbon cutting.
    Byron Cobb Byron Cobb, champion bell ringer, at the reopening of Union Square on 25-Jul-2002. Photo by Joe Thompson.

    New Cable Car Book - 25-May-2002
    Book Cover
    I just finished reading an enjoyable new book, "Cable Car Confidential" by Susan Holtzer. The author said she didn't plan to write a book about cable cars, but she started riding them, started talking to the crews, started hearing all these great stories...

    The names of all the gripmen and conductors have been changed to protect the indecent. The book includes many of the standard stories (women double parked at the Sir Francis Drake waving for the cable car to go around; driver cuts off cable car on California near Stockton, gets clipped, claims cable car swerved into her lane), but also has many stories I hadn't heard before. I especially enjoyed the memories of the system right before the shutdown in 1982.

    Some chapter titles:
    Stupid Cable Car Tricks
    "We Don't Do Curb Service"
    Sex and the Cable Cars
    The Learning Curve
    Silly Gripmen's Tricks

    I enjoyed it.

    Visit the publisher's web page.

    Cable Break - 23-May-2002
    The California Street line was shut down in the afternoon by a rare cable break. Service was down until early the next morning.

    62 vs the Hulk - 01-May-2002
    Muni motorized cable car 62, former Cal Cable Jones Street shuttle car 61, appeared in the movie The Incredible Hulk this week. Telegraph Hill neighbors were not happy with the movie intruding on their lives.

    Car 62 Car 62 as part of a movie set. Photo courtesy of Susan Holzer. Copyright 2002 by Susan Holzer.

    Olympic Torch Carried - 18-Jan-2002
    Powell Street Car 9 carried the Olympic torch, on its way to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, up Hyde Street hill. Fannie Mae Barnes operated the grip. Rafael Cabrera was the conductor. The torch had arrived at the Hyde Street Pier aboard the scow scooner Alma.

    Fill in Hallidie Plaza? - 23-Dec-2001
    Mohammed Nuru, deputy director of the San Francisco Department of Public Works, said in an interview in the Chronicle that he has a "grand plan...to raise the sunken plaza to street level to deter the current problems of vagrancy, vandalism and drug dealing". This is an interesting thought, but what would happen to the tourism office and Cable Car Coffee?

    On a larger note, does he think the homeless are going to vanish from the face of the earth?

    Cable Car Coffee Cable Car Coffee in Hallidie Plaza. November 2001. Photo by Joe Thompson.

    38th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 19-Jul-2001
    Union Square is being renovated, so the 38th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest was held at Fisherman's Wharf. Byron Cobb, 1995, 1998, and 2000 champion won again.

    I got stuck at work.

    Seattle's Iron Pergola Destroyed

    Wanna Buy a Cable Car? - 29-May-2001
    Former Cal Cable car #13 is for sale at D. F. Barnhardt & Associates (Look under Equipment/Miscellaneous). Muni sold the car to the Shriners. It has been in Georgia since at least 1995. The seller wants $37,500.

    Angel's Flight Accident - 01-Feb-2001
    One car of the Angel's Flight funicular in Los Angeles, CA ran away at 12:17 pm and hit the other car. One person died, two were seriously injured, and at least five injured less seriously. See more details on the Los Angeles Area Funiculars page. The line is closed until the NTSB investigates.

    Car 9 Mishap - 24-Aug-2000
    I was walking down the Powell Street hill towards Sutter when I saw new car 9 for the first time. It started up the hill towards Bush and the gripman was ringing his bell furiously. I looked back and saw the car lurch to a stop near the top of the block. A motorcyclist had fallen on the tracks in front of the car. The conductor set the rear brake, climbed down, and helped him get to his feet. They pushed the bike to the curb. The motorcyclist appeared to be ok.

    Because the car had stopped on the hill, it had to back down to Sutter. The conductor stood on the rear platform, ringing his bell continuously and waving cars away.

    New Cable Car Book - 15-Aug-2000
    Book Cover
    I just finished reading an excellent new book by Robert Callwell and Walter Rice of the Friends of the Cable Car Museum: Of Cables and Grips: The Cable Cars of San Francisco. It has many wonderful illustrations. You can buy it at the gift shop in the museum or order it from the Friends' web site.

    Car 4 at Pac Bell Park - 03-Aug-2000
    The Giants unveiled old car 4 in the right field pavilion at Pac Bell Park. At Candlestick, they had a cable car bell. At Pac Bell, they have a whole cable car. Cool. See Roster for more details

    37th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 20-Jul-2000
    Byron Cobb, 1995 and 1998 champion, won the 37th annual Bell Ringing Contest at Union Square, Geary & Powell Streets, San Francisco.

    I was able to attend this year. The weather, as usual, was bright and sunny. Carl Payne, 10 time winner, said that is because "God loves cable cars".

    Several past champions gave exhibitions, including Payne, Al Davison (2 times), and Al Quintana (4 times).

    Doctor Walter Rice, Chairman of the Friends of the Cable Car Museum, rededicated the plaque at Hallidie Plaza in honor of the 100th anniversary of Hallidie's death. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to meet him.

    Hallidie 100th Anniversary - 24-Apr-2000
    April 24th was the 100th Anniversary of Andrew S Hallidie's death. The planned commemoration has been put off until July, when it will be held along with the annual bell ringing contest. Muni rolled out new Car 9. Car 9 is painted in Market Street Railway white front colors.

    Powell Street Cable Service Suspended - 27-Mar-2000
    Muni announced that cable car service from Powell and Market to the car barn will be suspended from 27-March-2000 to 31-March-2000 because of work at the Powell & Market turntable, Powell & Post, and Powell & Sacramento Streets.

    Muni's New Year's Eve Plans - 09-Dec-1999
    Muni has announced its New Year's Eve plans, some of which are good, like free rides from 8pm on 12/31 to 6am on 01/01.

    The cable cars will return to the barn at 6pm on 12/31. So will the F line PCCs. The trolley buses will turn in by 8pm. Muni says it is worried about electrical problems, and that they'll monitor eastern transit systems. They'll try to cover all the rail services except Muni Metro with diesels. Metro will shut down from 11:30pm till they check out all systems after midnight.

    It is a good idea to put the cable cars away because the Union Square area is going to be crammed with people, and there will be rowdies all over downtown. This Michael Burns guy might be ok.

    Cable Car Hits Car Which Hits Pedestrian - 13-Oct-1999
    A Powell/Hyde cable car hit an auto at Washington and Taylor. The auto hit a pedestrian. Only the pedestrian was injured.

    Loose Strand Stops Powell Street Cable - 10-Sep-1999
    The Powell street cable was shut down for about eight hours after an alarm at the powerhouse indicated a loose strand. Buses shuttled passengers from Powell and Market to the car barn.

    Sudden Stop Injures Passengers - 26-Jul-1999
    A Powell/Hyde car, inbound on Washington Street near the car barn, came to a sudden halt when it struck a pin which must have fallen out of the coupler on another car and wedged in the slot. No one fell off the car.

    36th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 15-Jul-1999
    Frank Ware, a first time contestant, won the 36th annual Bell Ringing Contest at Union Square, Geary & Powell Streets, San Francisco.

    San Francisco/New Orleans Trade - New Questions - 01-Jul-1999
    Back in September, 1998, the San Francisco Muni traded old California Street cable car number 59 to the New Orleans RTA for Perley Thomas 952. At the time, it sounded as if 952 was going to be a permanent addition to the historic trolley fleet, but I have recently seen two references recently that indicate that RTA may want 952 back. What about our cable car?

    California Street Conduit Reconstruction

    Collision at California & Powell - 20-Oct-1998
    Two passengers were injured when an auto making a turn struck the running board of a California Street cable car at Powell. The strategic location of the accident tied up all three cable car lines for hours.

    Turning the Powell Street Cars

    125th Anniversary - 02-Aug-1998
    The only official event I heard of was the dedication of new California Street cable car 59. I had heard there was supposed to be a party at Huntington Park. I went, but there wasn't a party.

    35th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest - 17-Jul-1998
    Byron Cobb, 1995 champion, won the 35th annual Bell Ringing Contest at Union Square, Geary & Powell Streets, San Francisco.

    Collision at Powell & Post - 29-Jun-1998
    Three passengers were injured when a cable car stopped in the intersection at Powell & Post was broadsided by a taxi. The cable car had to stop behind a car making an illegal left turn. The taxi had a green light and the the police say the driver's view may have been obscured by a truck. One passenger had to be hospitalized.

    Accident on the Hyde Street Hill - 14-Feb-1998
    Twelve passengers were injured when a car descending the Hyde Street Hill in San Francisco experienced brake trouble. The gripman was forced to apply the emergency brake, which brought the car to an instant stop. Tracks wet from severe storms probably added to the brake problems.

    First Female Gripman (Gripperson?) - 15-Jan-1998
    Fannie Mae Barnes, 51, became the first woman to operate a cable car in revenue service. No other woman had made it beyond the first day of training in the 125 year history of cable cars because of the great upper body strength required to operate the grip and the brakes. Ms Barnes had previously worked as a bus driver and later as a cable car conductor for six years.

    Carville Controversy

    More Honors for Mrs Klussmann - 01-Dec-1997
    A plaque dedicating the turntable at the end of the Hyde St Cable car line to Friedel Klussmann, the Cable Car Lady, was placed by a group of dignitaries including Senator (and former Mayor) Dianne Feinstein. See 1997 anniversaries for details about Mrs. Klussman's efforts to save the cable cars.

    Celebrating Mrs Klussmann - 04-Mar-1997
    There was a celebration at the cable car barn to unveil a new collage honoring the 50th anniversary of Friedel Klussmann's successful effort to save the cable cars from replacement by buses. See 1997 anniversaries for details.

    GSPO Powerhouse - A New Life

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    Anniversaries


    2016 Anniversaries

    150 years ago - 1866
    Jan 30 - Gellett Burgess, author of "The Ballad of the Hyde Street Grip", was born in Boston
    Feb 08 - San Francisco's Market Street Railroad began converting to a double-track, dual-gauge layout. Its original single track had been 5'6" gauge
    Jun 08 - Standard gauge steam trains began running on San Francisco's Market Street Railroad
    Sep 20 - San Francisco's Market Street Railroad linked to the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad at 25th and Valencia Streets
    Sep 24 - The San Francisco and San Jose Railroad extended over the Market Street Railroad's tracks to a new depot at Market and Valencia Streets

    125 years ago - 1891
    Jan 19 - The Broadway line of the St Louis Railroad was extended to South Broadway and Keokuk Street
    Jan 21 - The Los Angeles Cable Railway/Pacific Cable Railway went bankrupt because of storm damage and competition from electric streetcars
    Feb 09 - The O'Farrell/Jones/Hyde line of the California Street Cable Railroad started service. It was the last new line to open in San Francisco.
    Mar 19 - In Seattle, the Union Trunk Line's James Street line began service
    May 23 - The Druid Hill Avenue line of the Baltimore Traction Company started service
    May 30 - Kansas City's Metropolitan Street Railway extended its Wyandotte line
    Jun 21 - Seattle's Madison Street Cable Railway started service
    Jul 15 - The Brooklyn Heights Railroad was tested
    Jul 20 - The Brooklyn Heights Railroad started service
    Aug 04 - The <Tacoma Railway & Motor Company started service
    Aug 25 - The Tramway Funiculaire de Belleville in Paris started service
    Sep 09 - The pioneer line of the Clay Street Hill Railroad was closed for conversion into the Sacramento/Clay line.
    Oct 17 - The Windsor-Saint Kilda Esplanade line of the Melbourne Tramways & Omnibus Company started service
    Oct 27 - The Saint Louis and Suburban Railway, (formerly the St Louis Cable & Western Railway) discontinued cable service
    Nov 03 - The Portland Cable Railway extended its Portland Heights line
    Nov 02 - The Sacramento/Clay line of the Ferries and Cliff House Railway started service
    Nov 12 - Valencia Street cable car 24 of the Market Street Cable Railway hits a Southern Pacific train and is wrecked
    Nov 12 - The Valley City Street and Cable Railway in Grand Rapids finished its conversion from cable to electric and began removing the cable from the conduit

    New York Giants record: 71-61, 3rd place. Manager: James Mutrie.

    100 years ago - 1916

    New York Giants record: 69-83, 8th place. Manager: John McGraw.

    75 years ago - 1941
    Feb 17 - Seattle's James Street cable car line was abandoned. Unlike the other Seattle cable lines, it was not replaced by buses.
    Apr 05 - The Market Street Railway's Castro Street Hill line stopped service
    Apr 05 - The Market Street Railway's Fillmore Hill counterbalance stopped service
    Apr 14 - Seattle's Madison Street cable car line was replaced by buses.
    May 08 - The Market Street Railway scrapped car 133, the last Market Street cable car which survived in original condition. The company didn't have enough space to store after it closed the Castro Street car barn
    Aug 10 - Seattle's first cable car line on Yesler Way was replaced by buses.
    Sep 02 - Seattle's Queen Anne Hill counterbalance, which had replaced the Front Street Cable Railway, was replaced by buses.
    Sep 29 - The Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) closed on San Francisco's Treasure Island

    New York Giants record: 72-80, 6th place. Manager: Bill Terry.

    50 years ago - 1966
    Apr 16 - Former Mayor Roger Lapham, who tried to get rid of the cable cars, died
    Jul 21 - Five Powell Street cable cars crashed together when car 505 caught a loose strand in its grip inbound at Powell and Ellis
    Oct 15 - San Francisco's cable cars were added to the National Register of Historic Places as entry #66000233

    San Francisco Giants record: 95-67, 2nd place. Manager: Herman Franks. The Giants began a string of five straight second place finishes. They had the best record in baseball over that period, but never won a pennant.

    25 years ago - 1991
    Apr 10 - A parade celebrated the rebuilding of Powell Street Car 16. It was painted in Muni Blue and Gold.

    San Francisco Giants record: 85-77, 3rd place. Manager: Roger Craig.

    2015 Anniversaries

    225 years ago - 1790
    Apr 17 - Benjamin Franklin died.

    150 years ago - 1865
    Jan 31 - The Union Congress approved the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery
    Mar 04 - Lincoln's second inauguration. "With malice toward none; with charity for all...let us strive on to finish the work we are in...to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations..."
    Mar 25 - Lee's Army of Northern Virginia makes its last, unsuccessful, attack against Grant at Petersburg.
    Apr 02 - The Confederates evacuated Richmond
    Apr 04 - Lincoln toured Richmond
    Apr 09 - Lee surrendered to Grant at the town of Appomattox Court House
    Apr 14 - Lincoln was shot by murderous coward John Wilkes Booth
    Apr 15 - Lincoln died
    Apr 18 - General Longstreet surrendered to Sherman
    Apr 26 - Murderous coward Booth was shot and killed by Union soldier Sergeant Boston Corbett
    Dec 06 - The Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, was ratified

    125 years ago - 1890
    ? - Denver City Cable Company (Denver, Colorado) West Denver line converted to electricity
    Jun 07 - The San Diego Cable Railway started service.
    Oct 20 - Ferdinand Lemott (Jelly Roll) Morton, American composer and piano player, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana

    New York Giants record: 63-68, 6th place. Manager: James Mutrie.

    100 years ago - 1915
    Feb 21 - The Panama Pacific Exposition opened in San Francisco
    Dec 16 - Turk Murphy, traditional jazz trombonist and band leader, was born
    Dec 29 - San Francisco's new City Hall opened

    New York Giants record: 69-83, 8th place. Manager: John McGraw.

    75 years ago - 1940
    Feb 17 - Seattle's James Street cable car line was abandoned. Unlike the other Seattle cable lines, it was not replaced by buses.
    Apr 14 - Seattle's Madison Street cable car line was replaced by buses.
    Aug 10 - Seattle's first cable car line on Yesler Way was replaced by buses.
    Sep 02 - Seattle's Queen Anne Hill counterbalance, which had replaced the Front Street Cable Railway, was replaced by buses.
    Sep 29 - The Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) closed on San Francisco's Treasure Island
    Oct 26 - Melbourne's surviving cable tram lines were all replaced by buses

    New York Giants record: 72-80, 6th place. Manager: Bill Terry.

    50 years ago - 1965

    San Francisco Giants record: 95-67, 2nd place. Manager: Herman Franks. The Giants began a string of five straight second place finishes. They had the best record in baseball over that period, but never won a pennant.

    25 years ago - 1990

    San Francisco Giants record: 85-77, 3rd place. Manager: Roger Craig.


    2014 Anniversaries

    225 years ago - 1789
    Apr 01 - The first Congress under the new Constitution met in New York, New York.
    Apr 30 - George Washington took the oath of office as the first President.
    Jul 17 - The French Revolution started with the storming of the Bastille.
    Sep 25 - Congress submitted the proposed Bill of Rights to the states.

    150 years ago - 1864
    Feb 17 - Confererate submarine HL Hunley attacked and sank Union blockading vessel Housatonic. This was the first time a submarine sank an enemy vessel. After the attack, Hunley went down with her crew
    Mar 09 - Lincoln appointed Grant to command the armies of the United States
    May 04 - Grant advanced towards Richmond, pursuing a war of attrition
    May 05 - Two-day Battle of the Wilderness
    May 08 - Four day Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse
    Jun 01 - Three day Battle of Cold Harbor
    Jul 20 - General Sherman's Union Army beseiged Atlanta, Georgia
    Sep 02 - Sherman captured Atlanta
    Nov 08 - Lincoln was reelected
    Nov 15 - Sherman began his march to the sea, laying waste to 300 miles of land
    Dec 21 - Sherman reached Savannah, Georgia

    125 years ago - 1889
    Jan 01 - The Penn Avenue line of Pittsburgh's Citizens Traction Company started service
    Jan 01 - The Butler Avenue branch of Pittsburgh's Citizens Traction Company started service
    Mar 09 - A car of Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway fell off a trestle, injuring ten people
    Mar 13 - Seattle's Front Street Cable Railway started service
    Apr 12 - The Butte City Street Railroad started service
    Apr 30 - The Temple Street Cable Railway in Los Angeles opened an extension to Hoover Street
    May 12 - A Seattle Front Street Cable Railway car lost the cable and ran away. One passenger was thrown out of the car on a curve and killed
    Jun 01 - The Jackson Street line of the Sioux City Cable Railway opened for service
    Jun 08 - The East LA/West LA line of the Los Angeles Cable Railway opened for service
    Jul 01 - The Holmes Street line of Kansas City's Grand Avenue Railway opened for service
    Jul 12 - The Kansas City Cable Railway extended its Ninth Avenue line to Elmwood Avenue
    Jul 14 - A runaway on Cincinnati's Vine Street Cable Railway killed one woman and injured several other people
    Aug 03 - The Westlake Park/Boyle Heights line of the opened for service
    Sep 14 - The East LA/West LA line of the Los Angeles Cable Railway extended to Jefferson
    Sep 21 - The north line of the Spokane Cable Railway began service
    Sep 28 - The Westlake Park/Boyle Heights line of the Los Angeles Cable Railway extended to Evergreen
    Oct 01 - The Washington and Summit line of the Kansas City Cable Railway opened for service
    Oct 01 - The Larimer Street line of the Denver City Cable Railway opened for service
    Oct 13 - In Los Angeles, the Second Street Cable Railway had to shut down when the cable broke and the company could not afford a replacement
    Oct 15 - A broken cable on Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Incline caused a runaway which killed five people and injured many more
    Oct 31 - The south line of the Spokane Cable Railway began service
    Nov 01 - (approximate) The Goss Street/16th Street/17th Avenue line of the Denver City Cable Railway opened for service
    Nov 02 - The East LA/West LA line of the Los Angeles Cable Railway extended on Downey
    Dec 07 - The Westlake Park/Boyle Heights line of the Los Angeles Cable Railway extended to Grand
    Dec 11 - The Providence Cable Tramway started service
    Dec 20 - Kansas City's Union Cable Railway, intended to demonstrate the unique Terry grip, started and ended service
    Dec 24 - A terrible storm damaged beyond repair the Second Street Cable Railway in Los Angeles, already shut down because of financial problems. The same storm severely damaged the Los Angeles Cable Railway

    New York Giants record: 83-43, 1st place. Manager: James Mutrie. The Giants defeated the American Association champion Brooklyn team in the post season Temple Cup series.

    100 years ago - 1914

    New York Giants record: 84-70, 2nd place. Manager: John McGraw.

    75 years ago - 1939
    Jan 01 - The Market Street Railway raised its fare to seven cents. Rival Muni stayed at five cents. This helped to kill some of the surviving cable car lines
    Feb 18 - The Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) opened on San Francisco's Treasure Island

    50 years ago - 1964
    Oct 01 - The surviving San Francisco cable cars were declared a National Landmark

    San Francisco Giants record: 90-72, 4th place. Manager: Alvin Dark.

    25 years ago - 1989
    Oct 17 - A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck San Francisco just after 5 PM

    San Francisco Giants record: 92-70, 1st place. Manager: Roger Craig. Beat the Cubs in an exciting playoff, but lost the earthquake-interrupted World Series to the Oakland Athletics.

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    2013 Anniversaries

    225 years ago - 1788
    Jun 25 - The Constitution was approved by the ninth state Virginia, allowing it to take effect.

    150 years ago - 1863
    Jan 01 - Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation
    Jan 09 - The Central Pacific Railroad broke ground in Sacramento
    Mar 03 - The Union Congress enacted a draft
    May 01 - The four-day Battle of Chancellorsville began. Lee's Confederates defeated Fighting Joe Hooker's Union Army. "I just lost confidence in Joe Hooker" explained Hooker. General Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded by Confederate "friendly fire"
    Jun 03 - Lee began his second invasion of the north, marching into Pennsylvania
    Jul 01 - The three-day Battle of Gettysburg began. The Union under General Meade turned back the Conferderates
    Jul 04 - General Grant took Vicksburg, giving the Union control of the Mississippi River
    Jul 13 - Three-day draft riots in New York City kill over 120
    Jul 18 - Union African-American soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts attacked Fort Wagner, South Carolina and suffered 50% casualties
    Aug 05 - Rear Admiral David Farragut's Union fleet forced the surrender of blockade-running port Mobile, Alabama. "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" was Farragut's cry to encourage his ships forward
    Aug 21 - Confederate guerilla William C. Quantrill and his followers massacred 182 people in Lawrence, Kansas
    Nov 19 - Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address
    Dec 02 - The Union Pacific Railroad broke ground in Omaha, Nebraska

    125 years ago - 1888
    Jan 10 - The Philadelphia Traction Company revised its Fairmount Park line
    Jan 28 - The Edinburgh Northern Cable Tramways started service on its Trinity line
    Feb 02 - Frank J Sprague's Richmond Union Passenger Railway electric installation in Richmond, VA opened.
    Feb 09 - Cincinnati's Vine Street Cable Railway extended its Vine Street line
    Feb 27 - The Market Street Cable Railway opens the Castro cable line from the Ferry via Valencia and Market to 26th and Castro
    Mar 06 - Newark's Essex Passenger Railway/Newark and Irvington Street Railway started service on its experimental line using the Rasmussen "chain pump" non-grip
    Mar 13 - Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway started service on its Sycamore Street line
    Mar 24 - The Birmingham Central Tramways Company began service on its Colmore Row line
    Mar 26 - The North Chicago Street Railroad begins service on its Clark and Wells Street lines
    Mar 28 - The Ferries and Cliff House Railway begins service on Powell Street from Market to Jackson
    Apr 05 - The Ferries and Cliff House Railway Company begins service on the Powell/Mason line to Bay and Taylor and the Washington/Jackson line via Powell line from Powell and Market to Central (now Presidio) Avenue and California Street via Jackson outbound and Central Avenue, Jackson, Steiner, Washington and Powell inbound
    Apr 07 - Kansas City's Metropolitan Street Railway began service on its 12th Street line
    Apr 13 - The Valley City Street and Cable Railway (Grand Rapids, MI) started cable service.
    Apr 24 - Kansas City's Inter-State Consolidated Rapid Transit Company began service on its elevated line
    May 22 - Kansas City's Inter-State Consolidated Rapid Transit Company began service on its Riverview line in Kansas City, Kansas
    May 29 - Kansas City's Peoples' Cable Railway began service on its Brooklyn Avenue line
    Jun 27 - Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway extended its Sycamore Street line
    Aug 06 - Kansas City's Peoples' Cable Railway revised its Brooklyn Avenue line
    Sep 08 - The pioneering Clay Street Hill Railroad was purchased by the Ferries and Cliff House Railway
    Sep 19 - The Ferries and Cliff House Railway begins service on the Sacramento line, from the Ferry via Sacramento to Powell, Jackson to Central Avenue (now Presidio) and California. Return via Central Avenue, Jackson, Steiner, Washington Streets, Stockton, Clay to the Ferry. The Eastern terminal of the former Clay Street Hill Railroad was cut back to Powell from Kearny with transfer privileges to the Sacramento line and both Powell lines
    Sep 27 - The Seattle City Railway started service on its Yesler Way line
    Oct 09 - The Pittsburgh Traction Company started service on its entire line
    Oct 11 - The Melbourne Tramways & Omnibus Company started service on its Brighton Road line
    Oct 23 - Kansas City's Metropolitan Street Railway began service on its 18th-19th Streets line
    Oct 26 - The Melbourne Tramways & Omnibus Company started service on its Prahran line

    New York Giants record: 84-47, 1st place. Manager: James Mutrie. The Giants defeated the American Association champion Saint Louis Browns in the post season Temple Cup series.

    100 years ago - 1913
    Jan 16 - Professor Thaddeus S C Lowe, who built the Mount Lowe Incline, died
    Jun 03 - The last horse car ran in San Francisco
    Oct 13 - The last cable car ran in Kansas City, on the Metropolitan Street Railway's 12th Street line.

    New York Giants record: 101-51, 1st place. Manager: John McGraw. The Philadelphia Athletics won the World Series 4 games to 1.

    75 years ago - 1938
    Apr 08 - The cable car line of the former Tacoma Railway and Motor Company made its last run

    New York Giants record: 83-67, 3rd place. Manager: Bill Terry.

    50 years ago - 1963

    San Francisco Giants record: 88-74, 3rd place. Manager: Alvin Dark.

    25 years ago - 1988
    Mar 28 - A parade and a festival at Union Square mark the 100th birthday of the Powell Street cable lines

    San Francisco Giants record: 83-79, 4th place. Manager: Roger Craig.

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    2012 Anniversaries

    225 years ago - 1787
    May 25 - The Constitutional Convention gathered in Philadelphia, charged with revising the Articles of Conferation.
    Jul 13 - Congress enacted the Northwest Ordinance.
    Sep 17 - The Constitutional Convention approved and signed its proposed new Constitution.
    Dec 07 - The first state to approve the new Constitution was Delaware.

    200 years ago - 1812
    Jun 08 - President James Madison signs the declaration of war against Great Britain, beginning the War of 1812.

    150 years ago - 1862
    Feb 06 - Union soldiers under General Grant captured Fort Henry in Tennessee
    Mar 08 - Confederate ironclad Virginia attacked the Union blockading squadron at Hampton Roads and sank two ships
    Mar 09 - Union ship Monitor fought the Virginia to a draw in the first battle of ironclads
    Apr 06 - The Battle of Shiloh began. 23,000 were killed or wounded in the two days
    Apr 24 - Flag Officer David Farragut's Union fleet took New Orleans
    Jun 25 - The Seven Days' Battles begin in Virginia, leading to a Union withdrawal towards Washington, DC
    Jul 01 - President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act, calling for the construction of a transcontinental railroad by two companies
    Aug 29 - Confederates won the two-day Second Battle of Bull Run
    Sep 02 - The Union Pacific Railroad was organized at a meeting in Chicago
    Sep 04 - Lee's first invasion of the north
    Sep 17 - In the battle of Antietam, 26,000 were killed or wounded as the Union Army under General McClellan turned back Lee's invasion of the north
    Sep 22 - Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation
    Dec 13 - Conferderates killed or wounded over 12,000 Union soldiers under General Burnside in the Battle of Fredericksburg, while losing only 5,000 men

    125 years ago - 1887
    Jan 09 - A grip car of the Geary Street Park & Ocean Railway was shattered by an exploding bomb.
    Jan 13 - Dynamite destroyed a Sutter Street Railway grip car and severely damaged its trailer on Post between Larkin and Post. At least one passenger was seriously injured and the Sutter Street company offerred a $1000 reward.
    Feb 06 - A grip car of the Geary Street Park & Ocean Railway was destroyed by an bomb at Fillmore and Geary.
    Feb 16 - J. E. Stiles and H. C. Dean were arrested and charged with bomb attacks on the Sutter and Geary Street cable lines.
    Mar 04 - The strike of carmen on the Sutter and Geary Street cable lines collapsed.
    Mar 06 - The Brooklyn Cable Company opened its experimental Johnson ladder cable line in Brooklyn, NY
    May 12 - The Wyandotte line of Kansas City's Metropolitan Street Railway opened for service.
    Jul 15 - The Brooklyn Cable Company closed its experimental Johnson ladder cable line in Brooklyn, NY
    Sep 06 - Frank J Sprague's Union Street Railway electric installation in Saint Joseph, MO opened.
    Sep 18 - The main line and the 15th Street line of Kansas City's Grand Avenue Railway opened for service.
    Sep 26 - The Daily Alta California reported that The Casebolt Overhead Cable Road in Oakland's Blair Park was operating successfully.
    Oct 02 - The Mount Adams and Eden Park Ry (Cincinatti, OH) had a serious accident because the cable looped around the grip.
    Oct 12 - A runaway car of the Kansas City Cable Railway smashed into a carriage occupied by President Grover Cleveland and his wife. Two members of the crowd were seriously hurt, and members of the crowd considered lynching the car's crew. The police rescued them.
    Oct 27 - The Wyandotte line of Kansas City's Metropolitan Street Railway was extended.
    Nov 17 - The Troost Avenue line of the Kansas City Cable Railway started service.
    Nov 22 - The Cottage Grove Avenue line of the Chicago City Railway was extended.
    Dec 15 - The main line of Kansas City's Grand Avenue Railway was extended.
    Dec 20 - Henry Root brought suit against the North Chicago Street Railroad for patent infringement.

    New York Giants record: 68-55, 4th place. Manager: James Mutrie.

    100 years ago - 1912
    May 05 - The last day of operation of the Geary Street Park & Ocean Railway. Read about it in two contemporary newspaper articles:


    Dec 28 - The first day of operation of the San Francisco Municipal Railway.

    New York Giants record: 103-48, 1st place. Manager: John McGraw. The Boston Red Sox won the World Series 4 games to 3 with one tie.

    75 years ago - 1937
    May 27 - The Golden Gate Bridge opened.

    New York Giants record: 95-57, 1st place. Manager: Bill Terry. The New York Yankees beat the Giants 4 games to 1 in the World Series.

    50 years ago - 1962

    San Francisco Giants record: 103-62, 1st place. Manager: Alvin Dark. The Giants played another three game playoff with the Dodgers (as in 1951) and again lost to the New York Yankees in the World Series, 4 games to 3. If McCovey had hit the ball two feet higher...

    25 years ago - 1987
    May 30 - Turk Murphy, traditional jazz trombonist and band leader, died

    San Francisco Giants record: 90-72, 1st place. Manager: Roger Craig. Won the NL West, but lost a 7-game playoff to the Cardinals

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    2011 Anniversaries

    175 years ago - 1836
    Mar 16 - Andrew Smith Hallidie was born

    150 years ago - 1861
    Feb 09 - The Confederate States of America was founded. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was proclaimed President
    Apr 12 - Confederate forces bombarded Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina
    Apr 15 - Lincoln called for 75,000 militiamen
    Apr 19 - Lincoln declared an embargo against the south
    Jul 21 - Confederates won the First Battle of Bull Run

    125 years ago - 1886
    Jan 25 - The North Hudson County Railway, an elevated line in Hoboken, started service
    May 20 - The Hayes Street line of the Market Street Cable Railway opened
    May 22 - A cable tramway began running between Milsons Point and Ridge Street, North Sydney, Australia
    Jun 25 - The Ninth Avenue line of the Kansas City Cable Railway was extended to Prospect Avenue
    Jul 14 - The Second Street Cable Railway in Los Angeles started service
    Nov 22 - Victoria Street Cable Tram route (Melbourne, Australia) begins
    Dec 08 - Trainmen of the Sutter Street Railway went on strike
    Dec 13 - Plug uglies employed by the Sutter Street Railway opened fire on strikers who were trying to persuade scabs not to operate a cable car. An innocent bystander received a bullet in his brain.
    Dec 26 - A bomb exploded along the line of the Sutter Street Railway, but caused little damage. Strikers were blamed.
    Dec 27 - Strikers attacked scabs operating trains of the Sutter Street Railway and the Geary Street Park & Ocean Railway
    Dec 28 - An oiler of the Geary Street Park & Ocean Railway found a bomb in the conduit. Strikers were blamed.

    New York Giants record: 75-44, 3rd place. Manager: James Mutrie.

    100 years ago - 1911
    Apr 14 - The Polo Grounds, home of the New York Giants, burned to the ground
    Nov 13 - Women in California get the vote
    Dec 19 - Lu Watters, trumpeter, band leader, and founder of the San Francisco traditional jazz revival, was born

    New York Giants record: 99-54, 1st place. Manager: John McGraw. The Philadelphia Athletics won the World Series 4 games to 2.

    75 years ago - 1936
    Nov 12 - The San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge opened to auto and truck traffic.

    New York Giants record: 92-62, 1st place. Manager: Bill Terry. The New York Yankees beat the Giants 4 games to 2 in the World Series.

    50 years ago - 1961
    Nov 27 - Car 521 ran away on the Hyde Street Hill and hit 516. 12 people were injured.

    San Francisco Giants record: 85-69, 3rd place. Manager: Alvin Dark.

    25 years ago - 1986
    Jun 17 - Al Quintana won the 24th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest, interrupting Carl Payne's streak

    San Francisco Giants record: 83-79, 3rd place. Manager: Roger Craig.

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    2010 Anniversaries

    175 years ago - 1835
    Nov 30 - Samuel Clemens was born in Florida, Missouri

    150 years ago - 1860
    Apr 02 - Tracklaying began for the new Market Street Railroad
    Jul 04 - The steam-powered Market Street Railroad made its first trip
    Jul 15 - The steam-powered Market Street Railroad started revenue service
    Nov 06 - Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States
    Dec 20 - South Carolina seceded from the Union

    125 years ago - 1885
    Oct 08 - In Los Angeles, the Second Street Cable Railway started service
    Oct 21 - The National and Pacific Cable Companies agreed to share the national market
    Nov 06 - The Binghamton, New York experimental cable car line started running
    Nov 11 - The first cable tramway service in Australia began to Richmond in Melbourne, Australia

    New York Giants record: 85-27, 2nd place. Manager: James Mutrie. Mutrie began calling his players "My Giants". The name caught on.

    100 years ago - 1910
    Mar 29 - A car of Kansas City's Metropolitan Street Railway derailed on the 12th Street incline and was struck by the following car.
    Apr 22 - Mark Twain died

    New York Giants record: 91-63, 2nd place. Manager: John McGraw.

    75 years ago - 1935
    Feb 27 - A runaway automobile hit the California and Powell signal tower. Signalman James Chiamps later died.
    Apr 30 - The Inner Circle of the Glasgow District Subway last ran with cable traction
    Nov 30 - The Outer Circle of the Glasgow District Subway last ran with cable traction

    New York Giants record: 91-62, 3rd place. Manager: Bill Terry.

    50 years ago - 1960

    San Francisco Giants record: 79-75, 5th place. Managers: Bill Rigney, Tom Sheehan.

    25 years ago - 1985

    San Francisco Giants record: 62-100, 6th place. Managers: Jimmy Davenport, Roger Craig. This was the only time the Giants have lost 100 games.

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    2009 Anniversaries

    200 years ago - 1809
    Feb 12 - Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky

    125 years ago - 1884
    May 29 - The Highgate Hill Cable Tramway, the first cable tramway in Europe, started service.
    Jun 30 - The Telegraph Hill Railroad, a funicular, started service.

    New York National League club (not yet Giants) record: 62-50, 5th place. Managers: James Price, Monte Ward.

    100 years ago - 1909
    May 30 - Benny Goodman was born in Chicago

    New York Giants record: 92-61, 3rd place. Manager: John McGraw.

    75 years ago - 1934
    May 09 - West Coast longshoremen, led by Harry Bridges, go out on strike
    Jul 05 - Bloody Thursday -- San Francisco police shoot and kill two maritime strikers, Howard Sperry and Nick Bordoise
    Jul 16 - A three day general strike led to the settlement of the maritime strike and the recognition of the International Longshore Workers' Union

    New York Giants record: 93-60, 2nd place. Manager: Bill Terry.

    50 years ago - 1959
    May 14 - Sidney Bechet, important early jazz musician, died in Paris

    San Francisco Giants record: 83-71, 3rd place. Manager: Bill Rigney.

    25 years ago - 1984
    Apr 26 - Bill "Count" Basie, piano player and swing band leader, died
    Jun 03 - The California Street line reopened after the Great Reconstruction
    Jun 04 - The Powell/Hyde Street line reopened and the rebuilt Washington/Mason carbarn and powerhouse was dedicated after the Great Reconstruction
    Jun 21 - The Powell/Mason Street line reopened and the city held a major celebrtion after the Great Reconstruction
    Aug 12 - A suicidal driver ran head-on into Powell/Hyde car 12, causing it to run away backwards downhill. Gripman Ray McCann and his conductor, Charles Gerstbacher, both seriously injured, were able to stop the car

    San Francisco Giants record: 66-96, 6th place. Managers: Frank Robinson, Danny Ozark.

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    2008 Anniversaries

    125 years ago - 1883
    May 01 - The new New York baseball club (not yet called the Giants) played its first National League game, defeating the new Phillies club 7-5 at the original Polo Grounds on 110th Street in Manhattan. General and former President Ulysses S Grant attended the game.
    Jul ?? - The National Cable Railway Company was formed.
    Aug 03 - The first train ran on the New York and Brooklyn Bridge Railway.

    New York National League club (not yet Giants) record: 46-50, 6th place. Manager: John Clapp.

    100 years ago - 1908
    Jun 08 - Cable car service was restored on the revised Sacramento/Clay line
    Dec 11 - Abe Ruef was convicted of brbing a supervisor on behalf of the URR

    New York Giants record: 98-56, tied for first place with the Chicago Cubs. Lost a one-game playoff which included the infamous "Merkle boner". Manager: John McGraw.

    75 years ago - 1933

    New York Giants record: 91-61, 1st place. Manager: Bill Terry. The Giants defeated the Washington Senators in the World Series, 4 games to 1.

    50 years ago - 1958
    Apr 15 - The new San Francisco Giants won their first game against the new Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-0. Headlines read "We Beat the Bums".
    Apr 20 - The last Key System trains ran on the Bay Bridge

    San Francisco Giants record: 80-74, 3rd place. Manager: Bill Rigney.

    25 years ago - 1983

    San Francisco Giants record: 79-83, 5th place. Manager: Frank Robinson.

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    2007 Anniversaries

    175 years ago - 1832
    Nov 26 - America's first horse car, the John Mason, went into service in New York CIty, running from City Hall to 14th Street

    150 years ago - 1857
    Dec 09 - The Market Street Railroad was incorporated.

    125 years ago - 1882
    Jan 16 - The Presidio and Ferries Railway opened its Union Street cable car line.
    Jan 28 - The Chicago City Railway opened its State Street line, the first US cable railway outside of San Francisco.
    Sep 22 - A meeting of National League owners dropped the Troy, New York and Worcester, Massachusetts clubs and reassigned the franchises to New York and Philadelphia.

    100 years ago - 1907
    Jan 30 - Cable car service was restored on Powell from Market to the powerhouse
    Mar 01 - Cable car service was restored on the full Powell/Mason line and the shortened Washington/Jackson line
    Mar 09 - Abe Ruef was arrested at the Trocadero Roadhouse in what is now Stern Grove
    Mar 19 - The entire Board of Supervisors, except for two members, was indicted for accepting bribes from URR and other companies
    May 16 - Abe Ruef pleaded guilty to extortion.
    Jun 14 - Mayor Schmitz was gound guilty of extortion. The sentence was later overturned.
    Aug 29 - Cable car service was restored on the remnant of the Castro Street line

    New York Giants record: 82-71, 4th place. Manager: John McGraw.

    75 years ago - 1932

    New York Giants record: 72-82, 6th place. Managers: John McGraw, Bill Terry.

    50 years ago - 1957
    Mar 02 - The Mornington Tramway, Dunedin NZ, closed. This was the last cable car line outside of San Francisco.
    Apr 07 - The San Francisco Municipal Railway's Powell/Hyde line began service.
    Sep 29 - The New York Giants played their last home game at the Polo Grounds. They lost 9-1 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
    Nov 11 - Demolition begins on Cal Cable car barn and powerhouse at California & Hyde. It was replaced by a Cala supermarket.

    New York Giants record: 69-85, 6th place. Manager: Bill Rigney.

    25 years ago - 1982
    Feb 17 - Thelonious Sphere Monk, American composer and piano player died
    Sep 21 - The beginning of the Great Reconstruction closes all cable lines

    San Francisco Giants record: 87-75, 3rd place. Manager: Frank Robinson.

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    2006 Anniversaries

    150 years ago - 1856
    Jan 17 - The first trial Charles Cora for killing Marshall William Richardson ended in a hung jury
    Apr 19 - The California State legislature passed an act to consolidate the City and County of San Francisco, forming San Mateo County from the remaining part of San Francisco County
    May 14 - James P Casey shot James King of William at Montgomery and Washington Streets. Both men were newspaper publishers, but King's Bulletin had recently revealed that Casey was an ex convict. Veterans of the 1851 Committee of Vigilance began to organize a new committee
    May 15 - The Second Committee of Vigilance was formally organized
    May 18 - Members of the Vigilance Committee removed both Charles Cora and James Casey from the county jail
    May 20 - James King of William died of his wound
    May 22 - The Vigilance Committee hanged Cora and Casey after King's burial at Lone Mountain
    Jul 20 - The San Francisco News Letter began publication
    Aug 18 - The Vigilance Committee disbanded

    125 years ago - 1881
    Feb 24 - The Roslyn Tramway, the first cable railway outside of San Francisco, opened in Dunedin, NZ.
    Apr 14 - The Cable Railway Company was formed.

    100 years ago - 1906
    Jan 03 - The Mount Lowe railway reopened after a severe fire
    Apr 17 - The last day of service on several San Francisco cable car lines operated by the Presidio and Ferries and United Railroads of San Francisco
    Apr 18 - The great earthquake and and subsequent fire destroyed most of San Francisco.
    May 22 - A generous bribe from the URR, arranged by Abraham "Boss" Ruef, persuaded the Board of Supervisors and Mayor Eugene E Schmitz to allow trolley wires on Market Street
    May 23 - The San Francisco Seals played the first Pacific Coast League game in the Bay Area after the Fire and Earthquake, defeating Fresno 5-4.
    Jun 21 - The Geary Street, Park and Ocean Railway resumed service, the first cable car line to return after the Earthquake and Fire
    Oct 21 - The Chicago City Railway ended cable service.
    Nov 16 - Mayor Eugene Schmitz and Abe Ruef were indicted for extortion, in part because of the payments from URR in return for allowing trolley wires on Market Street.

    New York Giants record: 96-56, 2nd place. Manager: John McGraw.

    75 years ago - 1931
    Aug 07 - Bix Beiderbecke died far too young

    New York Giants record: 87-65, 2nd place. Manager: John McGraw.

    50 years ago - 1956
    Sep 02 - Car 524 made the last trip on the Washington/Jackson line
    Dec 31 - Car 15 made the last trip on the California Street main line before it shut down for rebuilding

    New York Giants record: 67-87, 6th place. Manager: Bill Rigney.

    25 years ago - 1981

    San Francisco Giants record: 56-55, 4th place. Manager: Frank Robinson. A strike cancelled 51 games. Before the strike, the Giants were 27-32, in 5th place. After the strike, they were 29-23, in 4th place.

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    2005 Anniversaries

    150 years ago - 1855
    Mar 18 - The Mechanic's Institute was founded in San Francisco. Charter members included Andrew S Hallidie
    Jul 15 - Dedication of Saint Ignatius Church, founded by Father Anthony Maraschi, SJ, on Market between Fourth and Fifth.
    Oct 15 - Saint Ignatius Academy had its first classes, with three students.
    Nov 17 - Charles Cora, a gambler, fatally shot Marshall William Richardson, who had insulted Cora's mistress, Belle

    125 years ago - 1880
    Jan 08 - Joshua Norton, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, died on California Street
    Feb 16 - The Geary Street, Park and Ocean Railway opened in San Francisco

    100 years ago - 1905
    Jan 15 - The last cable tram ran in Sydney, Australia

    New York Giants record: 105-48, 1st place. Manager: John McGraw. The Giants beat Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series, 4 games to 1.

    75 years ago - 1930

    New York Giants record: 87-67, 3rd place. Manager: John McGraw.

    50 years ago - 1955
    Oct 29 - The Maryhill Tramway, Dunedin NZ, closed.

    New York Giants record: 80-74, 3rd place. Manager: Leo Durocher.

    25 years ago - 1980

    San Francisco Giants record: 75-86, 5th place. Manager: Dave Bristol.

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    2004 Anniversaries

    150 years ago - 1854
    Mar 01 - The California Steam Navigation Company was organized
    Apr 03 - The first United States Branch Mint in San Francisco opened on Commercial Street
    Dec 25 - San Francisco's first Saint Mary's Cathedral was dedicated

    125 years ago - 1879
    May 30 - The California Street Cable Railroad extended its line from Fillmore to Presidio.

    100 years ago - 1904
    May 21 - Thomas "Fats" Waller, great American pianist, organist, singer, and composer, was born
    Nov 01 - A car of Kansas City's Metropolitan Street Railway lost its grip and rolled back to the bottom of the 12th Street incline. Passengers who jumped were injured.
    Dec 19 - Bill "Count" Basie, piano player and swing band leader, was born in Red Bank, NJ

    New York Giants record: 106-47, 1st place. Manager: John McGraw. Angry about ill-treatment at the hands of American League president Ban Johnson, McGraw and Brush refused to participate in the World Series.

    75 years ago - 1929
    Aug 19 - The Upper Douglas Cable Tramway was abandoned.
    Nov 17 - The Pacific Avenue remnant of the Sutter Street Railway was abandoned.

    New York Giants record:84-67, 3rd place. Manager: John McGraw.

    50 years ago - 1954
    Feb 06 - Muni abandoned the Jones Street Shuttle of the former California Street Cable Railroad (San Francisco, California)
    May 15 - Muni abandoned the O'Farrell/Jones/Hyde line of the former California Street Cable Railroad (San Francisco, California)

    New York Giants record: 97-57, 1st place. Manager: Leo Durocher. The Giants swept the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

    25 years ago - 1979

    San Francisco Giants record: 71-91, 4th place. Managers: Joe Altobelli, Dave Bristol.

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    2003 Anniversaries

    150 years ago - 1853
    Apr 04 - The California Academy of Sciences was founded
    Jul 17 - Bishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany laid the cornerstone of Saint Mary's Church at California and Dupont

    125 years ago - 1878
    Apr 10 - The California Street Cable Railroad started service

    100 years ago - 1903
    Mar 10 - Bix Beiderbecke, influential cornet player, was born in Davenport, IA
    May 29 - Leslie Townes (Bob) Hope, great comedian, was born in London
    Jun 02 - Kansas City reached a "Peace Agreement" with the Metropolitan Street Railway, giving them a new franchise in return for converting surviving cable car lines.
    Jun 16 - Henry Ford and a group of investors formed the Ford Motor Company, Ford's third attempt at forming a company to manufacture autos
    Jul 08 - The Upper Great Orme Tramway opened in Llandudno, Wales. It is still operating
    Jul 26 - Layman's Castle at the top of Telegraph Hill burned to the ground.
    Sep 01 - Kansas City's former Grand Avenue Railroad cable lines (15th Street, Holmes Street, Walnut Street) ceased.
    Dec 18 - The Wright Brothers made the first flight in a powered heavier than air craft

    New York Giants record: 84-55, 2nd place. Manager: John McGraw.

    75 years ago - 1928

    New York Giants record: 93-61, 2nd place. Manager: John McGraw.

    50 years ago - 1953
    Jul 23 - Fighting stops in Korea for a cease-fire that has mostly held till now.

    New York Giants record: 70-84, 5th place. Manager: Leo Durocher.

    25 years ago - 1978

    San Francisco Giants record: 89-73, 3rd place. Manager: Joe Altobelli.

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    2002 Anniversaries

    150 years ago - 1852
    Mar 18 - During a meeting at the Astor House Hotel in New York, Henry Wells and William Fargo formed express and banking company Wells Fargo
    Apr 19 - The California Historical Society was founded
    Jul 13 - The first office of Wells Fargo opened on Montgomery Street in San Francisco

    125 years ago - 1877
    Jan 27 - The Sutter Street Railway opened its first cable line.
    Jul 05 - The California Street Cable Railroad started construction

    100 years ago - 1902
    Feb 22 - The Kelburn Cable Car, a funicular in Wellington, NZ, started service.
    Feb 27 - John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, CA
    Jun 09 - Mount Auburn Cable Railway (Cincinnati, Ohio) converted
    Jul 31 - The Lower Great Orme Tramway opened in Llandudno, Wales. It is still operating
    Aug 22 - A train descending the Ninth Street trestle of the former Kansas City Cable Railway lost the rope and ran into another train, killing the gripman of the runaway train and injuring 17 passengers.
    Sep 02 - The Troost Avenue cable line of the former Kansas City Cable Railway stopped running.
    Oct 02 - The Temple Street Cable Railway in Los Angeles, California converted to electricity

    New York Giants record: 48-88, 8th place. Managers: Horace Fogel, George Smith, John McGraw. John McGraw, signed from the Baltimore Orioles as player/manager. He remained in charge for 30 seasons.

    75 years ago - 1927
    May 20 - Charles A Lindbergh took off from New York in the Spirit of Saint Louis
    May 21 - Charles A Lindbergh landed in Paris after making the first solo flight across the Atlantic

    New York Giants record: 92-62, 3rd place. Manager: John McGraw.

    50 years ago - 1952
    Jan 13 - California Street Cable Railroad (San Francisco, California) lines began running again, operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway.

    New York Giants record: 92-62, 2nd place. Manager: Leo Durocher. Willie Mays got drafted.

    25 years ago - 1977

    San Francisco Giants record: 75-87, 4th place. Manager: Joe Altobelli.


    2001 Anniversaries

    225 years ago - 1776
    Jun 29 - San Francisco and Mission Dolores were founded.
    Jul 04 - In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.
    Nov 14 - The Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation.

    150 years ago - 1851
    May 04 - The Fifth Great Fire destroyed San Francisco's entire business district
    Jun 01 - Horse-drawn omnibuses began running between downtown San Francisco and Mission Dolores
    Jun 09 - The First San Francisco Committee of Vigilance was organized in response to a wave of crimes, especially arson
    Jun 10 - The Committee of Vigilance hanged John Jenkins of the Sydney Ducks gang for stealing a safe
    Jun 22 - The Sixth Great Fire destroyed 14 blocks
    Jun 25 - The New Mission Toll Road opened from Clay and Kearny, out Third to Mission, along Mission to Corbett Road.
    Sep 15 - The Committee of Vigilance disbanded

    125 years ago - 1876
    Jun 14 - The California Street Cable Railroad received its franchise

    100 years ago - 1901
    Feb 14 - People's Railway (St Louis, Missouri) converted to electricity
    Mar 14 - Missouri Railroad (St Louis, Missouri) converted to electricity
    May 11 - Metropolitan Street Railway (New York, New York) converted its Columbus Avenue line to electricity
    May 25 - Metropolitan Street Railway (New York, New York) converted its Broadway line to electricity
    Jun 19 - Metropolitan Street Railway (New York, New York) converted its Lexington Avenue line to electricity
    Aug 04 - Louis Armstrong, one of the most important figures in American music, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana
    Aug 31 - The first electric streetcars in Honolulu, Hawaii ran. See Streetcar Days in Honolulu for some wonderful photos from the new book of the same name by MacKinnon Simpson and John Brizdle.

    New York Giants record: 52-85, 7th place. Manager: George Davis.

    75 years ago - 1926

    New York Giants record: 74-77, 5th place. Manager: John McGraw.

    50 years ago - 1951
    Apr 11 - President Harry S Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur. General Matthew Ridgeway took command in Korea.
    Jul 31 - California Street Cable Railroad (San Francisco, California) ceased operating when its insurance coverage lapsed.
    Aug 11 - The New York Giants trailed the Brooklyn Dodgers by 13.5 games.
    Aug 13 - California Street Cable Railroad (San Francisco, California), beset by lawsuits, filed for bankruptcy.
    Sep 05 - The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge begins.
    Sep 20 - California Street Cable Railroad (San Francisco, California), purchased by the City of San Francisco.
    Sep 23 - The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge ends.
    Oct 03 - Bobby Thomson came to bat in the 9th inning of the third and final game of the playoff series with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Brooklyn led 4-2. The Giants had runners on second and third. Willie Mays was on deck. Thompson hit "the shot heard round the world" and the Giants won the pennant.

    New York Giants record: 98-59, First place. Manager: Leo Durocher. After the Giants had been 13.5 games back in August, they tied Brooklyn on the last day of the season, forcing a three game playoff to decide the pennant. The teams split the first two games, but Bobby Thomson's "shot heard round the world" won the third game and the pennant for the Giants. The exhausted team lost the World Series 4 games to 2 to the New York Yankees.

    25 years ago - 1976

    San Francisco Giants record: 74-88, 4th place. Manager: Bill Rigney. Bob Lurie and Bud Herseth saved the Giants from moving to Toronto.

    2000 Anniversaries

    150 years ago - 1850
    May 1 - Alcalde John White Geary, later a general in the Civil War, was sworn in as the first Mayor of San Francisco
    May 4 - The Second Great Fire destroyed the entire block bounded by Kearny, Clay, Montgomery and Washington
    Jun 14 - The Third Great Fire destroyed the area between Clay and California from Kearny to the waterfront
    Sep 9 - California was admitted to the Union as the 31st state
    Sepr 17 - The Fourth Great Fire destroyed the area bounded by Dupont, Montgomery, Washington and Pacific
    Oct 18 - The Steamer Oregon arrived with news that California had been admitted to the Union

    125 years ago - 1875
    Sep 9 - Actress Lotta Crabtree dedicated Lotta's Fountain to the citizens of San Francisco at the intersection of Geary, Kearny and Market streets
    ??? ?? - The old Ferry Building opened at the foot of Market Street

    100 years ago - 1900
    Mar 28 - Denver City Cable Company (Denver, Colorado) West Denver line converted to electricity
    Mar 29 - Denver City Cable Company (Denver, Colorado) Welton line converted to electricity
    Apr 1 - Denver City Cable Company (Denver, Colorado) Larimer line converted to electricity
    Apr 24 - Andrew Smith Hallidie died
    May 2 - Grand Avenue Railway (Kansas City, Missouri) converted its Westport line to electricity
    Sep 4 - Front Street Cable Railway (Seattle, Washington) converted to electricity. The section on Queen Anne Hill was converted to a counterbalance.
    Oct 8 - St Louis Railroad (St Louis, Missouri) converted to electricity
    Oct 30 - Metropolitan Street Railway (Kansas City, Missouri) converted its 18th-19th Street line to electricity
    ??? ?? - New South Wales Government Tramways (Sydney, Australia) converted to electricity
    ??? ?? - Kaikorai Tramway (Dundein, New Zealand) opened

    New York Giants record: 60-78, 8th place. Managers: Buck Ewing, George Davis.

    75 years ago - 1925

    New York Giants record: 86-66, 2nd place. Manager: John McGraw.

    50 years ago - 1950

    New York Giants record: 86-68, 3rd place. Manager: Leo Durocher.

    25 years ago - 1975

    San Francisco Giants record: 80-81, 3rd place. Manager: Wes Westrum.

    1999 Anniversaries

    150 years ago - 1849
    Dec 24 - The First Great Fire in San Francisco destroyed the buildings on the south and east sides of the Plaza, causing $1 million in damage.

    125 years ago - 1874
    Feb - San Francisco Clay Street Hill Cable Railroad carried 76,500 passengers.

    100 years ago - 1899
    Mar 23 - Baltimore City Passenger Railway (Baltimore, Maryland) converted.
    Apr 29 - Duke Ellington, America's greatest composer, was born in Washington, DC.
    May 21 - Oakland Cable Railway (Oakland, California) converted.
    Jul 15 - People's Cable Railway Tenth Street line (Kansas City, Missouri) closed.
    Jul 16 - The Brooklyn Elevated Railway (New York, New York) stopped running its trains across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan, using the New York & Brooklyn Bridge's cable line, except during busy summer periods.
    Jul 23 - Columbia Railway (Washington, DC) converted.
    Sep 28 - Third Ave Railroad 125th Street section (New York, New York) converted to electric. The rest of the company's cable trackage was converted by the end of the year.
    Oct 22 - My grandfather, Ernesto Cafferata, was born. He was chef and partner in San Francisco's Fly Trap Restaurant
    Dec 31 - Former Omnibus Howard Street main line and Post Street lines (San Francisco, California) were closed.

    New York Giants record: 60-90, 5th place. Managers: John B Day (who had been the Giants' first president), Fred Hoey.

    75 years ago - 1924

    New York Giants record: 93-60, 1st place. The Giants played their fourth straight World Series. They lost to the Washington Senators 4 games to 3. Manager: John McGraw.

    13.0 miles in service
    0 miles abandoned or converted

    50 years ago - 1949


    Jul 8 - The New York Giants' first two African American players, Monte Irvin and Hank Thompson, appeared in their first game. Monte Irivn entered the Hall of Fame in 1973.

    New York Giants record: 73-81, 5th place. Manager: Leo Durocher.

    25 years ago - 1974
    Apr 8 - Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, taking the lifetime home run record from Babe Ruth.
    Sep 3 - John (the Count) Montefusco made his first appearance for the Giants. He made an eight inning relief appearance, hit a two-run homer, and beat the Dodgers 9-5.

    San Francisco Giants record: 72-90, 5th place. Managers: Charlie Fox, Wes Westrum.

    1998 Anniversaries

    150 years ago - 1848
    Jan 24 - James Marshall discovered gold in the run of Sutter's Mill near Coloma, CA. This led to the Gold Rush, which shaped the future of California and San Francisco.
    Feb 2 - The treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican War and formally ceded California to the United States
    Dec 5 - President James K Polk formally told the US Congress about gold in California

    125 years ago - 1873
    Aug 2 - Clay Street Hill Cable Railroad made its first test run
    Sep 1 - Clay Street Hill Cable Railroad started revenue service

    100 years ago - 1898
    Feb 1 - Mount Adams & Eden Park Railway (Cincinatti, Ohio) closed
    Feb 15 - US battleship Maine blew up in the harbor of Havana, Cuba. The incident, which may have been an accident, triggered the Spanish American War
    Apr 21 - US Congress declared war on Spain
    May 1 - Commodore George Dewey destroyed the Spanish cruiser squadron at Manila, PI
    May 25 - Washington & Georgetown Seventh Street line closed. Electric rails for the conduit electric cars had been laid while the cable cars were running.
    Jun 31 - Saint Paul City Railway Selby Street line closed. It was replaced by a counterbalance, which helped electrics up and down the Selby Street hill. The counterbalance was replaced 10-Oct-1906 by a tunnel.
    Jul 1 - The Battle of San Juan Hill, which made Teddy Roosevelt's reputation
    Jul 3 - US fleet destroyed Admiral Pascual Cervera's Spanish squadron at Santiago de Cuba
    Sep 16 - Vine Street Cable Railway (Cincinnati, Ohio) closed
    Nov 1 - Metropolitan Street Railway (Kansas City, Missouri) closed its 5th Street-Wyandotte line
    Nov 1 - The Brooklyn Elevated Railway (New York, New York) began running its trains across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan, using the New York & Brooklyn Bridge's cable line.
    Dec 10 - The Treaty of Paris ended the Spanish-American War

    New York Giants record: 77-73, 7th place. Managers: Bill Joice, Cap Anson (22 games), Bill Joice again.

    75 years ago - 1923


    Jun 1 - The New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 22-8 at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia. The Giants scored at least one run in every inning, a rare feat.
    Sep 30 - Bill Terry, future Hall of Famer, played his first game for the New York Giants

    New York Giants record: 95-58, 1st place. The Giants played the Yankees in the World Series for the third year in a row, but lost 4 games to 2. Manager: John McGraw.

    50 years ago - 1948


    Jul 16 - New York Giants fans were shocked when hero Mel Ott resigned as manager and was replaced by Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher.

    New York Giants record: 78-76, 5th place. Managers: Mel Ott, Leo Durocher.

    25 years ago - 1973
    Apr 12 - San Francisco Giant Willie McCovey hit two home runs in the fourth inning during a game against the Houston Astros.
    Jul 15 - San Francisco Giant Willie McCovey hit his four hundredth home run and Juan Marichal shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates 12-0.
    Aug 2 - the Centennial
    Surviving Clay Street cable car #8 was loaded onto a flat bed truck and driven on the Clay Street hill.
    Oct 25 - The San Francisco Giants traded Willie McCovey to the San Diego Padres.
    Dec 7 - The San Francisco Giants sold Juan Marichal to the Boston Red Sox, completing the dispersal of the three greatest SF Giants players up to that time - Willy Mays, McCovey, and Marichal - within a period of 18 months.

    San Francisco Giants record: 88-74, 3rd place. Manager: Charlie Fox.

    1997 Anniversaries

    100 years ago - 1897
    Mar 4 - Frank (Lefty) O'Doul born, San Francisco, California. He had nothing to do with cable cars, but he had a .349 lifetime average and managed the San Francisco Seals for many years. He's not in the Hall of Fame, but he should be.
    Jun 14 - Citizens Traction Company (Pittsburgh) closed
    Aug 31 - West Seattle Cable Railway closed
    Sep 19 - Butte City Street Railroad closed
    Sep 29 - Washington & Georgetown 14th Street Powerhouse destroyed by fire. 14th Street & Georgetown lines temporarily replaced by horses, next year by electric cars

    New York Giants record: 83-48, 3rd place. Manager: Bill Joice.

    75 years ago - 1922
    Sep 27 - Travis "Stonewall" Jackson played the first game of his Hall of Fame career for the Giants.

    New York Giants record: 93-61, 1st place. Manager: John McGraw. Defeated New York Yankees 4-0-1 for the second straight year.

    50 years ago - 1947
    Jan 15 - Mayor Roger Lapham tried to kill off the surviving San Francisco cable cars. Friedel Klussmann proposed saving them. This led to the founding of the Citizens' Committee to Save the Cable Cars (CCSCC). Lucius Beebe said Mrs Klussmann was designated to wield terror and authority once possessed by the Vigilance Committee of 1851. This led to Proposition 10, which called for saving the cable cars. It won by a 3 to 1 margin
    Jan 21- Carl Hubbell, great Giants pitcher, was elected to the Hall of Fame.
    Jun 11- Mel Ott made his last appearance as a player for the Giants.

    New York Giants record: 81-73, 4th place. Manager: Mel Ott. The team had terrible pitching, but was known as "the Windowbreakers" because of their power. They hit 55 home runs in July. They hit 221 for the season.

    25 years ago - 1972
    May 11 - The Giants traded Willy Mays to the Mets.

    San Francisco Giants record: 81-73, 5th place. Manager: Charley Fox.

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