I want to use this site to share my knowledge about and interest in cable cars (also known as cable tramways). I want to keep it simple. I welcome input from any source, especially about cable cars in cities other than San Francisco. I hope to build this page up gradually as time permits. I welcome information, photographs, and suggestions.
Table of Contents
Visit a Cable Car - 01-October-2020
To give people a happy experience, a cable car will be on display Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at the Powell/Market turntable from 10am to 3pm.
COVID-19 Pandemic Continues - 01-October-2020
We are still sheltering in place at home. By late September, almost 7,000,000 Americans had been infected and over 205,000 had died.
My beard is getting longer. Soon I will look like one of the Smith Brothers.
Cable cars and historic streetcars on the E and F lines will remain out of service at least until the new year because there is no way to protect the crew. Muni riders are required to wear face coverings.
Dunedin Cable Tram Calendar - 01-September-2018
The Trust has published a beautiful 2021 calendar with photos of the original Dunedin cable trams in operation and photos of the historic cars restored in 2020. If you would like to buy a copy of the calendar, it is available on their website.
COVID-19 Pandemic Continues - 01-September-2020
We are still sheltering in place at home. By late August, almost 6,000,000 Americans had been infected and over 180,000 had died.
I started growing a beard.
Muni Metro returned to service on August 22, with some major changes. J-Church passengers had to transfer at Market Street. The K-Ingleside and L-Taraval lines were interlined. At West Portal, they will switch lines and passengers had to transfer to M-Ocean Views or S-Shuttles. I saw streetcars on Judah and Taraval on Sunday, August 23.
Cable cars and historic streetcars on the E and F lines will remain out of service because there is no way to protect the crew. Muni riders are required to wear face coverings. On August 27, Muni Metro went out of service again because of delays caused by two overhead line splices breaking.
COVID-19 Pandemic Continues - 01-August-2020
We are still sheltering in place at home. By late July, almost 4,500,000 Americans had been infected and over 150,000 had died. California is reversing the stage 2 opening of businesses in some counties. I got a haircut.
Muni Metro will return to service on August 22, with some major changes. J-Church passengers will have to transfer at Market Street. The K-Ingleside and L-Taraval lines will be interlined. At West Portal, they will switch lines and passengers will have to transfer to M-Ocean Views or S-Shuttles. Cable cars and historic streetcars on the E and F lines will remain out of service because there is no way to protect the crew. Muni riders are required to wear face coverings. On July 27, someone who wasn't wearing a mask yelled racial slurs at the driver and hit him with a baseball bat. The driver should recover.
Because of budget problems, many of the bus lines that were cut may not return to service.
COVID-19 Pandemic Continues - 01-July-2020
We are still sheltering in place at home. By late June, over 2,500,000 Americans had been infected and over 120,000 had died. California is going through stage 2 of opening businesses in some counties. Infection rates are skyrocketing in states where they have been where they have been more aggressive about opening businesses. I still need a haircut.
Muni Metro should return to service in August, with some major changes. J-Church passengers will have to transfer at Market Street. The K-Ingleside and L-Taraval lines will be interlined. At West Portal, they will switch lines and passengers will have to transfer to M-Ocean Views or S-Shuttles.
We are still waiting for word about the cable cars and the historic electric cars on the E-Embarcadero and F-Market and Wharves lines.
Baseball spring training will resume on July 1. Houses of worship are open for limited numbers of people.
Muni's Heritage Weekend, planned for August 22-23, has been postponed to 2020. I haven't heard anything about the annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest, but I assume it has been cancelled.
COVID-19 Pandemic Continues - 01-June-2020
We are still sheltering in place at home. By late May, over 1,000,000 Americans had been infected and over 100,000 had died. California is beginning stage 2 of opening businesses.
Muni's Heritage Weekend, planned for August 22-23, has been postponed to 2020. Muni rail lines are still shut down. Muni has restored service on some lines. #TrumpVirus
San Francisco Railway Museum Vandalized - 31-May-2020
During the after-dark vandalism and looting that followed peaceful protests against the death of George Floyd, people broke into Market Street Railway's San Francisco Railway Museum. They stole tee shirts but left historic items untouched. The museum was closed because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. #TrumpVirus
COVID-19 Pandemic Continues - 01-May-2020
We are still sheltering in place at home. By late April, more Americans had died of COVID-19 (3 months) than died in the Vietnam War (about 8 years). On April 20, Muni restored some lines that had been cancelled on April 8. All Muni rail lines remain shut down.
San Francisco History Days, 2020 - 25-27-September-2020
The annual San Francisco History Days at the Old Mint returns on September 25-27, 2020. This will be the tenth annual event. It was rescheduled from May 08-09 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This year, San Francisco History Days will activate all of San Francisco, highlighting local history in neighborhoods throughout the city with a refreshed format. Six to ten sites will showcase multiple exhibitors and presentations. There will be a dedicated site for authors of recently published history books and there will be tours through the Old U.S. Mint. All participating sites will be featured on an illustrated map (available for free) that will also include a schedule of programs."
COVID-19 Shuts Down Most Muni Lines - 08-April-2020
Muni cancelled 80% of its service except for 17 core lines because shelter-in-place has led to a 90% drop in ridership. There have also been operator shortages because of sickness. Muni had already replaced all Muni Metro service (electric streetcars on lines J-K-L-M-N) with buses.
SF Cable Car Museum @SFCCM on Twitter - 06-April-2020
Follow SF Cable Car Museum - SF Cable Car Museum @SFCCM on Twitter. They are broadening their profile and public awareness of the museum by tweeting old and new images of cable cars.
COVID-19 Shuts Down Cable Cars - 16-March-2020
In order to protect operators from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Muni has replaced cable car and F-line service with buses. E-line service is cancelled.
Bus Shuttles Substitute for California Cable Cars: Several Days in February - 01-March-2020
Production of a "major motion picture," probably Matrix 4, required rerouting of several bus lines and bus substitution on the Cal Cable line. Shooting took place at night.
San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV - 28-January-2020
To celebrate the San Francisco 49ers appearing in Super Bowl LIV, California Street cable car 49 (naturally) and Powell Street cable car 26 were decorated by the dedicated group of people who decorate cable cars.
Tom Sweeney Retires - 14-January-2020
Since 1976, one of the most imporant sights seen by passengers on the Powell Street cable car line has been Sir Francis Drake Hotel doorman Tom Sweeney, who has worn the Beefeater uniform and greeted countless people. He has retired and has been honored with a bronze plaque in the sidewalk. I hope Tom has a wonderful retirement.
Cable Car Fares Going Up - 01-January-2020
Cable car fares will go up by one dollar on this day. Single ride tickets will go from $7 to $8.
Rey Morante Remembered - 05-October-2019
Cable car conductor Rey Morante was hit by a motorcycle on 11-June-2015 near the Bay and Taylor terminal of the Powell-Mason line. Morante was in a coma until he died on 12-January-2016. Powell Street cable car 17 will be dedicated to his memory.
Cable Cars Return From Outage September 23, 2019 - 23-September-2019
from the SF MTA:
"The Heart of Cable Car Propulsion
"Today, we are happy to announce the return of all Cable Car service. Over the past ten days, we performed an assortment of upgrades to our Cable Car system. The largest and most complex, being the replacement of the Hyde Line gearbox.
"The gearbox is basically a transmission that transfers power via a 600 volt DC motor, in turn, driving the pulleys carrying the cable. Those cables then loop through the city so the cable cars can be powered through the streets of San Francisco.
"The gearboxes have been in place since 1984 and their life expectancy was at an end. For the past two years we have been changing out the gearboxes and the Hyde Line gearbox was the last to be installed. The gearbox that was removed will be rebuilt and kept as a spare."
Cable Car Outage September 13-23, 2019 - 01-September-2019
"SFMTA @sfmta_muni Aug 29
"HeadsUp: Starting Friday, 9/13, and lasting about 10 days bus shuttles will provide service on ALL cable car lines.
This svc adjustment is needed to continue our Gearbox Rehab Project. Regular bus fare will apply. For further details:
Cable Car Outage August 29, 2019 - 29-August-2019
"SFMTA @sfmta_muni Aug 29
"UPDATE: Power restored and all cable car lines are resuming service. Bus shuttles will remain temporarily to support svc.
"SFMTA @sfmta_muni · 7h "ATTN: All cable car lines currently disabled due to reported system power outage. Arranging shuttles to support the Hyde, Mason and California lines."
Bus Shuttles Substitute for California Cable Cars: Weekend of August 24-25, 2019 - 01-September-2019
"Bus shuttles will substitute the California Cable Car for the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, August 24-25, 2019."
Sacramento/Clay Car 19 - Taking It to the Streets - 26-July-2019
Gripman Val Lupiz operated Sacramento/Clay car 19 over the California Street line. This was the first time the car had operated under cable traction since the Sacramento/Clay line was abandoned in 1942.
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Feb 26 - The Beach Pneumatic Subway started operating
Aug 02 - London's cable-hauled Tower Subway began service.
Nov 15 - The failed West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway in New York City was sold at auction
125 years ago - 1895
New York Giants record: 66-65, 9th place. Managers: George Davis, Jack Doyle, Harvey Watkins.
100 years ago - 1920
New York Giants record: 87-53, 2nd place. Manager: John McGraw.
75 years ago - 1945
New York Giants record: 67-87, 5th place. Manager: Mel Ott.
50 years ago - 1970
San Francisco Giants record: 90-72, 2nd place. Manager: Clyde King.
25 years ago - 1995
San Francisco Giants record: 55-60, 2nd place. Manager: Dusty Baker. Another strike.
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Ten Years Ago
Twenty Years Ago
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Last updated 01-September-2020