Collected By RT Murphy

Editors Notes:

The "Instructions for Cable Car Operations" were issued in 1976 to then gripman R. T. Murphy. "Proper Techniques and Body Positions for Cable Car Gripmen" were issued in 1972. Thanks to R. T. Murphy for making both of these items available.

Here is a brief explanation of some of the terms used:

"Conductors Outfit" - This refers to the conductor's transfers and forms to report revenues collected. Today cable cars neither issue nor receive transfers, but each cash fare is given a receipt.

"Pull-in" - Cable cars going to the Washington-Mason car house.

"Pull-out" - Cable cars leaving the Washington-Mason car house to enter revenue service.

"Pull Curves" - Curves in which the cable car remains attached to the cable. Refer to How Do Cable Cars Work? for details.

"Depression Pulleys" - Pulleys whose purpose is to keep the cable from rising out of the channel. This would occur without such pulleys when the cable goes from a hill to level ground. Since 1984 many of these pulleys have been replaced by offset beams (also called offset slots). The grip is guided just to the left of the beam, slightly offset from its usual path. The grip pulls the cable from its normal course only briefly, and the cable returns to its position under the beam's pulleys as soon as the grip passes by.

"Line 59" - Muni's designation for the Powell-Mason cable car line.

"Line 60" - Muni's designation for the Powell-Hyde cable car line.

"Line 61" - Muni's designation for the California Street cable car line.

"Use of telephone" - Since 1984 cable cars largely use radios.

"Gypsy" - A "gypsy" is a lift lever that is contained in a slot in the street by which the cable is placed in the grip. The conductor lifts the "gypsy", and pulleys raise the cable into the crotch of the grip.

"Horn Key" -A horn key is a flat piece of metal about 1/2 inch thick, 5 inches long,and 2 inches wide, with a 1/2 inch hole in one end, and a chain hooked to the other end, on the end of the chain was a locking hook. This is slid through an opening and hooked, securing the grip to the car frame, washers were used to take some of the slop out of the grip.

The text was scanned and converted from the original typewriter text to improve readability. (Walter Rice)




The conductor and gripman are individually responsible for complying with operating rules which govern the duties of their particular position


1. Conductor scheduled to pull a car out is to report to Dispatcher's office for his outfit and the outfits for conductors who are subsequently scheduled to make reliefs on line.

2. Conductors scheduled to make reliefs will not be required to report at the dispatcher's office EXCEPT ON SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS, when it is necessary for them to pick up their supply of Sunday and Holiday tour tickets.

3. Conductors on pull-out runs are to assist gripmen in getting car out of yard on schedule.

4. Conductor will be responsible for display of proper sash signs before car leaves car house and terminals.


1. Inspect car to ascertain if there is a grip(s), a bar, horn keys and a hook properly placed. Make sure sand boxes are full and in proper working order. Test grip to see if there are sufficient washers to prevent rough operation. Test foot and track brakes for any necessary adjustments and test lights.

2. Before leaving car house with Line 61 cars, unused grip must be loosened by three full turns and locked in open position.

3. When leaving car house and proceeding to the cable pick-up, gripman must NOT leave car after car has passed derail at exit of yard.

4. When descending grade to cable pick-up, gripman must operate slower than cable speed and with grip lever forward to full open-grip position.

5. Gripman will be responsible for display of proper roof signs before leaving car house and terminals.


Upon reaching the cable pick-up after leaving carhouse, gripman must make full stop, close grip and assure himself that the cable is securely in the grip and adjust the grip to the proper tension before he leaves the pick-up.


1. In starting car apply grip gradually, holding latch until car has attained full cable speed. Grip must be tightened sufficiently to prevent slipping. Brakes must be released gradually as grip is applied and care taken that grip has sufficient hold on the cable to prevent free rolling of car before action of cable starts it.

2. If necessary to stop an ascending car on a grade where restarting would cause burning of cable and grip and/or result in a rough start, car must be backed down to next level.


1. When stopping car, manipulate grip and brakes so as to avoid rough stops. When descending steep grades, gripman must have brakes set tightly and grip is not to be released until car is entering the level section of intersections. When coming to a stop at such intersections, release brakes sufficiently to prevent a rough stop.

2. When rails are slippery, endeavor to sand rails a distance far enough in advance to have all wheels running over the sand before fully applying brakes. This will minimize the possibility of wheels sliding. Do not use sand in switches. Sand boxes must be kept covered and free of all debris which might clog sanding device.

3. Applying the track brake when passing the crown of a hill may cause a derailment and must be avoided except in an emergency.

4. Cable cars must not be stopped when ascending steep grades, or at crowns, depression pulleys or in "pull curves" except in an emergency.


1. Gripmen must not start car at any place until conductor gives proper bell signal to proceed. If unable to proceed immediately on receipt of signal or an imperfect signal from conductor, gripman will sound gong twice and wait for proper signal.

2. Conductors must not give signal to proceed at any stopping place until car has been brought to a full stop.

3. Conductor must be careful to see that the rear step is clear of boarding and alighting passengers before giving the starting signal.

4. Conductors will be responsible for giving bell signal to start car at terminals in accordance with schedule, and will assist the gripman in keeping cars on time throughout the trip so cars may be properly spaced. Gripmen and conductors will be held equally accountable for failure to leave terminal on time in accordance with schedule. Gripmen will be responsible for arriving at time points in accordance with schedule.
5. Gripmen will start car only on bell signal from conductor or starter's whistle.

6. Gripmen and conductors will observe the following bell signals.

Conductor to Gripman

One bell-- Car running. Stop smoothly at next regular stop.
One bell-- Car starting. Stop immediately, but smoothly.
Two bells-- Car standing. Go ahead.
Three bells-- Car to stop immediately, but smoothly.
Four bells-- Back slowly. (See SAFETY, Paragraph 18, Pages 8 & 9.)

Gripman to Conductor

One bell -- Apply rear brake.
Two bells -- Conductor to come forward.
Three bells -- Conductor apply slot brake (No. 61 Line)
Four bells -- Desire to back car.

7. If unable to go ahead immediately on receipt of signal, or because of an imperfect signal from conductor, gripman will sound gong twice and wait for proper signal.

8. Signal bells must not be tampered with or stuffed with paper, rags, etc.

9. Bell rope is to have sufficient slack to assure distinct signals, and nothing is to be attached to signal rope.


1. Endeavoring to achieve regularity of service and uniform distribution of loads, passenger counts and running-time checks are made, and the characteristics of various lines are carefully studied and used in the preparation of schedules.

2. Gripmen are not to arrive at time points ahead of time, unless ordered otherwise. If cars are delayed, gripmen are not to attempt to make up time by operating at a speed which would endanger the safety of persons or property.

3. Conductors and gripmen will be held equally responsible for leaving terminals on time in accordance with schedules, provided cars arrive at terminals in time to leave on schedule.


1. Conductors and gripmen are not to pass up intending passengers, except when there is a defect in the car which would make it unsafe to carry passengers. In such instances, car must be stopped and intending passengers requested to board the following car. If disabled car is being towed or pushed, no passenger stop need be made; however, crew(s) must warn passengers not to board.

2. On pull-out and pull-in trips, cars are in service and will carry passengers. Passengers wishing to board such cars should be notified of destination before paying fare.
3. Conductors must accommodate passengers on pull-out and pull-in trips the same as in regular service.


1. Cable cars must be brought to a full stop at the following locations:

On Powell, between Ellis and Eddy, southbound, midblock.
On Powell, at Ellis, northbound, nearside.
On Powell, at Ellis, southbound, nearside.
On Powell, at O'Farrell, northbound, nearside.
On Powell, at O'Farrell, southbound, nearside.
On Powell, at Geary, northbound, nearside.
On Powell, at Geary, southbound, nearside.
On Powell, at Post, northbound, nearside.
On Powell, at Post, southbound, nearside.
On Powell, at Sutter, northbound, nearside.
On Powell, at Sutter, southbound, farside.
On Powell at Bush, northbound and southbound
On Powell at Pine, northbound and southbound.
On Powell at California, northbound, farside.
On Powell at California, southbound, nearside.
On Powell at California, southbound, farside.
On Powell at Sacramento, northbound, nearside.
On Powell at Sacramento, southbound, in intersection.
On Powell at Clay, northbound, nearside.
On Powell at Clay, southbound, in intersection.
On Powell at Washington, northbound, nearside.
On Powell at Jackson, northbound, nearside.
On Jackson at Mason, northbound, farside.
On Jackson at Leavenworth, northbound, nearside.
On Jackson at Hyde, northbound, nearside.
On Hyde at Pacific, northbound, nearside.
On Hyde at Lombard, northbound, in intersection.
On Hyde at Chestnut, northbound, in intersection.
On Hyde at North Point, northbound, nearside.
On Hyde at North Point, southbound, farside.
On Hyde at Beach, northbound, nearside.
On Hyde at Beach, southbound, farside.
On Washington at Jones, eastbound, in intersection.
On Washington at Mason, eastbound, nearside.
On Mason at Pacific, northbound, intersection.
On Mason at Green, northbound, in intersection.
On Mason at Union, northbound, nearside.
On Mason at Union, southbound, nearside.
On Columbus at Taylor, northbound, nearside.
On Taylor, between Francisco and Bay, northbound, midblock.
On California at Polk, eastbound, nearside.
On California at Polk, westbound, nearside.
On California at Hyde, westbound, farside.
On California at Leavenworth, eastbound, in intersection.
On California at Leavenworth, westbound, nearside.
On California at Mason, westbound, farside.
On California at Powell, eastbound, nearside.
On California at Powell, westbound, farside.
On California at Stockton, eastbound, in intersection.
On California at Stockton, westbound, in intersection.
On California at Kearny, eastbound, farside.
On California at Kearny, westbound, nearside.
On California at Montgomery, eastbound, nearside.
On California at Drumm, eastbound, nearside.


Gripmen must make a full stop in all cable pick-up dips. They must be sure cable is securely in the grip and adjust it to proper tension before leaving dips.


1. When approaching let-goes, gripmen must be alert and drop cable in ample time to avoid damaging the cable by carrying it into the bumper bar.

2. Gripmen must be sure that latch is released and grip is completely opened when front of car reaches let-go pavement markers.

3. Let-Go Locations:

On Powell at turntable - Lines 59-60 - southbound.
On Powell at California - Lines 59-60 - southbound and northbound.
On Jackson at Mason - Line 60 - westbound.
On Jackson near Hyde - Line 60 - westbound.
On Hyde near Beach - Line 60 - northbound.
On Washington at Mason - Line 60 - eastbound.
On Taylor at turntable - Line 59 - northbound.
On Mason at Washington - Line 59 - southbound.
On Hyde at California - Line 61 - southbound.
On California at Van Ness - Line 6l - westbound.
On California at Drumm - Line 61 - eastbound.
On California at Mason - Line 6l - westbound.
On California west of Leavenworth - Line 6l - westbound.
On Hyde at Washington - Line 6l - northbound.

REVERSE GRIP (Cable Out Of Grip):

1. In order to avoid damaging cables, gripmen must make sure that cable is out of the grip at specified locations. This necessitates placing the grip lever in reverse at the locations listed below:

2. When turning cars into car house from Mason or Jackson Streets, place and leave grip lever in reverse position.

3. On Line 60, westbound on Jackson at Hyde, place and leave grip lever in reverse position until around curve.

4. On Line 6l pull-outs, westbound on Jackson at Hyde, place and leave grip lever in reverse position until car is on Line 61 track on Hyde Street, where grip is to be loosened three full turns and locked in open position.

5. On Line 61 pull-outs, southbound on Hyde at California, place and leave grip lever in reverse position until around curve, where stop is to be made at gypsy to pick up cable.

6. On Line 61 pull-ins, northbound on Hyde at Washington, place and leave grip lever in reverse position until, stop is made on Line 60 track for switch-backs, then loosen grip three full turns and lock in open position.

7. On Line 61 eastbound between Hyde and Leavenworth, before using crossover to switch back or pull-in, reverse grip lever and then loosen it three full turns and lock in open position.

8. On Line 61 westbound, when scheduled to Van Ness Avenue, immediately after making let-go between Leavenworth and Hyde, place grip in reverse position and leave it in this position until car has crossed Hyde Street. When car is to be turned in on westbound trip, leave grip in reverse position until car arrives at the gypsy on the near side of Hyde Street where conductor will raise cable into grip for operation around pull curve after conductor opens switch by raising lever.

9. On Line 61 westbound at Van Ness, reverse grip immediately after making let-go.
At both westerly and easterly terminals, immediately after stopping, loosen grip three full turns and lock in open position.


1. Operating personnel must always operate safely regardless of schedule, being particularly careful in stormy weather or when tracks or streets are slippery.

2. Gripmen must operate their car at uniform speed and be in proper position to reach the levers at all times.

3. Before ascending or descending grades, gripmen must assure themselves that cable is in grip and properly adjusted with notches in reserve, so that grip may be further tightened to prevent slipping the cable. In going over crown, if cable pulls from grip, immediately pull slot brake and set all brakes. Call Central Control and wait for Shop Department to respond.

4. Gripmen will not operate car faster than cable speed, except when a strand becomes entangled in grip. (See Paragraph 19 of this rule.)

5. Cable cars ascending or descending severe grades must be spaced at least two blocks apart. Gripmen must not ascend a grade until the car ahead has actually passed the second street intersection ahead of him, except that northbound Hyde Street cars are not to leave Lombard Street until car ahead has crossed intersection of Hyde and Beach Streets, and southbound cars are not to leave Hyde and Beach Streets until car ahead has left Chestnut Street.

6. Gripmen must remain alert and watch for open grip hatches, loose slot joints or objects in the slot and be prepared to stop and/or warn passengers of possible impending rough stop.

7. In case of a blockade, in order to avoid causing cable to slip on winders, all cars must not start at the same time. Gripmen are to adhere to the spacing rule on Hyde Street between Chestnut and Beach Streets and allow two blocks at all other locations.

8. In the event of cable stoppage, see STOPPAGE OF CABLE, Page 9.

9. When approaching curves, gripmen and conductors must warn passengers by calling out in a distinct and pleasant voice, "Hold on, curve ahead." After stopping to enter the curve at Powell and Jackson Streets northbound, Jackson and Hyde Streets westbound or Columbus and Taylor Streets northbound, gripman must operate car, with caution and reduce speed.

10. Cable cars are not to pass in curves. Whenever two cars meet at a curve, the car traveling upgrade will have the right of way. Gripmen on cars on level or downgrade must stop at stop mark and remain standing until car on upgrade is completely clear of curve.

11. When a car is stopped in darkness, fog or for any reason which would make it possible for another car or vehicle to collide with it, the conductor must go back and warn operator of such car or vehicle.

12. In the event an emergency occurs which requires gripman to leave car on road, conductor will remain in a position which will prevent any tampering with controls.

13. It must be thoroughly understood that conductor is not to manipulate, control levers of car, except as outlined under Disabled Gripman, Page 11.

14. Crews are not to allow bicycle riders or persons on roller skates, scooters, etc., to hold on to moving cars.

15. Red lights, red flags or fuses indicate danger, and when they are placed alongside the track or roadway, car must be operated slowly when approaching or passing such signals. When placed on track, car must be stopped until signal is removed by authorized person, In addition, gripmen will be governed by special Municipal Railway signal lights located for the protection of crossings, junctions and turntables. If signal lights suddenly change from green to red, gripmen are to be guided as follows:

a. At turntables, carefully check for alignment before going on table.

b. On Mason at Jackson Street, inbound, stop immediately and drop cable out of grip to prevent grip of outbound Jackson car from damaging Mason cable.

c. On Mason at Washington Street, inbound, stop before reaching inbound Washington track.

d. On Powell northbound at California, gripmen must make Let-Go and stop on level before reaching intersecting California track. Gripmen must not attempt to start car with grip from this point. Car must be pushed by hand or wrecker,

e. On California westbound at Powell, gripmen must stop immediately and back down to level, in accordance with Paragraph 18 of this rule, and wait for green light signal.

16. At Powell and California Streets, gripmen will be guided by the signal lights in the signal tower. They are to proceed on solid green alone and stop on solid red alone. Also, crews on southbound Powell cars will be guided by the cross-buck signal located fifty feet south of California.

a. In the event it is necessary for signalman to leave tower he must display red and white flags on west side of tower. He must a1so set signal to indicate that the tower is unattended.

b. When flags and lights indicate that tower is unattended, gripmen are to be guided as follows:

1. Westbound on California at Stockton, after stopping, proceed on flashing amber light.

2. Northbound on Powell at Pine, after stopping, proceed on half green and half red light.

3. Southbound on Powell at California, after stopping, proceed on flashing green light.
4. Eastbound on California at Powell, after stopping, proceed on half green and half red light.

c. Gripmen on all lines must remain alert at all times when approaching Powell and California, whether or not signalman is in tower, and they must be prepared to stop immediately in an emergency. Gripmen on cars of Lines Nos. 59 and 60 must yield the right of way to westbound No. 61 line cars. They must make Let-Go and stop before reaching Line No. 61 tracks, if an eastbound or westbound No. 61 line car is in the intersection or near the crown of the grade on the east side of Powell. The reason for this regulation is that the No. 61 line cable, if held in the grip, would be elevated and would be struck by the empty grip of the No. 59 or No. 60 line car.

17. The cross-buck signals on the signal tower and the cross-buck signal located on the pole fifty feet south of California for southbound Powell cars and the cross-buck signal located approximately fifty feet north of Sutter for northbound Powell cars are inter-connected and timed to operate in conjunction with the regular traffic signal system on Powell between California and Sutter Streets. Gripmen on southbound cars must not leave dip at south side of California until green cross-buck signal is displayed on the pole and it is safe to descend the grade. Both southbound and northbound cars must stop momentarily at Pine and Bush Streets to conform with the timing of the signals. This inter-connected system is devised to expedite the safe movement of all traffic.

18. When necessary to back car downgrade to the next level, observe the following procedure:
a. Gripman must be careful to make sure he does not drop cable out of grip. He is to give back-up bell signal to conductor.

b. Conductor must immediately apply rear brake. When he is sure that all traffic in the rear of car is clear he will respond with the back-up bell signal to the gripman. He will then assist gripman to back slowly downgrade by use of the rear brake. The conductor must be prepared to give signal to stop immediately in case of emergency.

c. After receiving back-up signal from conductor, gripman will vigorously ring gong and back down slowly. He will use grip to aid him in controlling the car. He is to hold down latch and be prepared to immediately drop the cable should a splice or strand strike grip.

19. In the event that strand becomes entangled in grip, conductor and gripman will calmly request passengers not to jump, but to move towards the rear of the car. Conductor will notify the crew of the first passing car that strand is entangled in grip. Conductor of crew so notified will immediately telephone CABLE MACHINERY and request that cable be stopped due to strand. If telephone in CABLE MACHINERY is busy, then immediately attempt to notify WASHINGTON-MASON DISPATCHER. Should that line be busy, then notify CENTRAL CONTROL.

a. On downgrades, gripman is to release the grip and coast faster than cable speed -- just fast enough to run slightly ahead of the strand so it can be released.

b. When strand is released, gripman is to take a firm hold en cable and proceed to the first level place where cable can be dropped safely by fully opening the grip and car brought to a stop.
c. When strand becomes entangled in grip on the level, fully open grip and shake grip lever vigorously. On upgrade, take firm hold on the cable so as not to slip back against strand and bunch it. Upon arriving at crown, fully open and shake grip lever to disengage strand. When cable is dropped out of grip, bring car to a stop in a safe position.

d. If the strand is disengaged and the car is brought to a stop before the cable is stopped, the conductor of the car which picked up the strand will immediately telephone CENTRAL CONTROL and request that cable be stopped.


1. In the event cable stops, gripmen will immediately release grips and stop cars. Gripmen are not to move cars until cable is again running at full speed, except to alleviate an emergency condition or when ordered by Railway official.

2. If cable is parted, throw cable out of grip and do not move car except under conditions specified above.


1. When passing through switches and track special work, speed of cars must not exceed five miles per hour.

2. Gripmen must be sure that switches and grip slot guides are properly set before proceeding.

3. In the curves on Powell at Jackson (northbound), on Columbus at Taylor (northbound) and Jackson at Hyde (westbound), gripmen are not to exceed five miles per hour.


1. Conductors will be responsible for the proper resetting of turntables for following cars, except that starter will be responsible when on duty.

2. Gripmen will be responsible for making sure that the track and slots are properly lined up before going on turntables.


Gripmen must stop cars at gypsys. Conductors are to operate gypsys to lift cable into grip. Gripmen must make sure cable is in grip before proceeding.

STOPPING (Miscellaneous)

1. Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle sounding a siren and having at least one illuminated red lamp gripmen must yield the right of way and bring car to a stop as soon as stop can be made safely. Cars must not be stopped abreast of each other or in a position that would block intersections. When ascending or descending heavy grades, car is to be stopped at the near side or far side of the intersection, depending on traffic conditions, direction from which emergency vehicle is approaching and the relative position of the cable and the grip at a crown or a depression. Crews are to abide by this regulation except when directed otherwise by police officer or other person in authority.

2. In the event of a blockade caused by fire, gripmen must stop cars at least one block from any hose, hydrant or other fire apparatus they approach, unless directed otherwise by proper authority. Crews must remain on cars and be ready to move if necessary.


Before crossing the railroad tracks at Beach and Hyde, gripmen must satisfy themselves that no train is approaching from either direction.


1. In the event car becomes disabled, conductor will be responsible for immediately notifying Central Control.

2. When grip hatch has been opened to change grips or for any reason, it must be closed before leaving.

3. If the grip strikes an object in the slot which causes any unusual noise or jolt of car, gripman must stop immediately and advise conductor of situation. Conductor will then telephone Central Control.

4. After conductor telephones Central Control in compliance with above, crew will remain at location and will not move car until authorized to do so by wrecker crew or Railway official.


Safety latches are located just below the crowns of some grades. These latches prevent an ascending car from rolling back in emergencies when gripmen are forced to release cable near the crown to slow down or stop. Gripmen must not attempt to back car through safety latches.

Safety latches are located:

On Powell at California, northbound.
On California at Stockton, westbound.
On California at Mason, westbound.
On Mason at Green, southbound.
On Hyde at Chestnut, southbound.


In case gripman becomes incapacitated while on duty, conductor will proceed immediately to gripman's station and endeavor to stop car at a safe place by manipulating the grip and brake levers as instructed.

Conductor will request a passenger or a passing crew to notify Central Control while he remains in a position to prevent any tampering with controls of car. Conductor is not to move car, but must wait for arrival of Railway official.


1. Mason Street Entrance: After making Let-Go on Mason near Washington, car must be brought to a full stop and grip lever reversed with cable out of grip and left in that position. When gripman has satisfied himself that he has received back-up signal and that conductor is in proper position with switch lever raised, he is to allow car to roll into car house.

2. Jackson Street Entrance: Under no condition will a turn-in be permitted at this location without three men being present, which shall comprise the gripman, conductor, shopman or authorized Railway employee.

3. Upon arrival at stop marker on Jackson Street, between Mason and Taylor Streets, after passing through the switch, car must be brought to a full stop. The gripman must apply both track and foot brake. The conductor must apply rear brakes.

4. Gripman must not drop cable from grip before he receives four bells from conductor indicating traffic is clear and the shopman or authorized Railway employee has raised the lever and opened the switch. Before allowing the car to move, the gripman must drop cable and reverse the grip lever with cable out of grip and leave it in that position. Brakes will then be released and the car allowed to roll back into the yard.

5. Passengers must not be allowed to ride into car house on cars.

BUMPERS (Bumper bars - bells):

1. In the event gripman carries cable into a bumper bar, he must stop and inform conductor. Conductor will immediately notify Central Control by telephone.

2. If gripman hears a bumper bell ringing when he arrives at a Let-Go, he should stop at the next stopping place and inform conductor. Conductor will immediately notify Central Control by telephone.

3. Should incidents such as the above occur at Powell and California, conductor is to notify Towerman and Towerman will telephone Dispatcher. If Towerman is not on duty, conductor will notify Central Control.

STUDENTS (Instruction of):

1. With reference to student training, conductors, gripmen and line instructors are to conform to the instructions for operators which are applicable to their classification.

2. Employees are not to operate any of the equipment of the Railway for purpose of study or otherwise, unless authorized to do so by proper authority.

3. Students assigned for instruction must put in the full time of run or number of trips called for on instruction card. Line Instructors must promptly report failure of students to obey this rule.

4. Line Instructors are to give student operators every opportunity while in training to become proficient by allowing them to perform all operations pertaining to their duties, provided they show the proper aptitude. In the event car falls too far behind schedule while student is operating, Line Instructor will take control, being careful to operate safely until vehicle is back on schedule, when he may allow student to resume operation.

5. Line Instructors must have student operators under their direct supervision at all times while students are at the controls. This means that Line Instructors are to remain in close proximity to the students and that they are to make certain that the student is giving his undivided attention to the track, road and signals ahead while the vehicle is in motion.

6. Line Instructors must remain alert and watch the track, road and signals ahead and warn students of any potential danger.

7. Line Instructors are to instruct student operators on all Railway rules and regulations pertaining to fares, transfers, courtesy, safety and proper operation of Railway equipment.

8. Line Instructors will not be charged with accidents which may occur while a student operator is at the controls; however, inattention to duty, whether related to instruction or to any other phase of one's work, cannot be condoned.

9. Students are to receive instructions from the Line Instructor whose name appears on instruction card. In the absence of designated Line Instructor, employee on run is to direct student to report to Dispatcher in person if at Division Headquarters, or by telephone if at a relief point. Dispatchers will arrange reassignment of students.






The foregoing instructions are for the guidance of gripmen in operating cable cars and are to be followed to help them in preventing injuries to themselves.

The first position is to have the left foot forward, right foot back, and legs slightly spread apart; shoulders square with the front of the car, directly behind the grip levers.

The second position is with the legs spread slightly apart, both equal distance from the front of the car.

Left hand should hold the grip latch and the lever; right hand should be at the top of the lever. The actual application of the grip is a pulling, leaning, siting movement, using the weight to the utmost advantage. At no time should the posterior extend beyond the shoulders (back straight). If it does, the arm and chest muscles are being used, and there is danger of pulling these muscles.

When the car reaches the proper speed, the grip latch is allowed to slip from the left hand and the grip is applied sufficiently to keep the car moving at cable speed. When ascending a grade the last part of the motion is easier accomplished by moving closer to the grip lever and making the move as the car is just past the depression beam.

To release the grip latch, weight is placed on the grip lever and the left hand is used to pull the latch back, so handle may be placed in the desired position.

When applying the track brake, the body position is shifted slightly to the right to get behind the track brake lever as much as possible (without bothering the seated passengers). Use two hands on the track brake lever to apply, preventing a pulled muscle. Stand with both feet spread slightly and equal distance from the front of the car. The same motion as pulling the grip lever is used. Careful -- there is more resistance.

Track brake should be applied in this manner. Then foot brake is applied and grip released at the same time to make a stop. Occasionally, when not enough track brake has been applied for the grade or the load, the track brake has to be applied while standing on the foot brake. This not desirable, as the gripman is off balance, and the foot brake is like a spring, causing excessive effort to apply the track brake.

Track brake is released by putting weight on the lever and right hand is used to release the latch. If you are strong enough and do not mind getting your hand cut up, the latch can be squeezed with the right hand only and released.

Both hands should be used when applying either grip or track brake, except in an emergency, to prevent pulled muscles.

When approaching a "let go," change foot postition. Place right foot forward, put weight on the grip handle, take grip latch and grip lever in the left hand, take one step forward with the left foot and place the grip lever in the extreme forward position and leave it there (except when the rules call for reversing the grip). As the yellow marker disappears from view in the bottom of the windshield, the "let go" is to be made. A quick return to an erect position is necessary to control the car. NOTE: A "let go" can be made with foot on foot brake. Amount of pressure applied is decided by the traffic. This gives better control of the car.

Better than ordinary coordination is required for a gripman, as the entire operation is manual operation. The grip and the foot brake are applied and released in unision.

As the grip is manually applied, the foot brake is gradually released. This prevents any roll-back of the car.

As the grip is released, the foot brake is applied, when stopping the car. This is the easiest way to stop the car, and also the smoothest.

Both of these actions require split-second timing to prevent over-running the stop marks, which can cause damage to the grip dies and excessing wear on the cable.

Gripmen are earnestly requested and required to follow the above techniques. Their cooperation and compliance will help prevent serious injuries to themselves. Please contact Division Instructor if you need further guidance.


General Manager

March 13, 1972

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Last updated 01-Apr-2004