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
SFMTA New Year's Eve Service - 31-December-2018
Service on the F Market & Wharves historic streetcar line is provided by buses all day
SFMTA Season's Greetings - 21-December-2018
Holiday greetings and transit information from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).
The Big Event: Cable Car - 16-November-2018
San Francisco Chronicle reporters Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub, who earlier this year rode every Muni line in one day, interviewed Val Lupiz, Frank Zepeda and Jeremy Whiteman for a podcast.
East Cliff Railway in Bournemouth to Remain Closed - 16-November-2018
The Bournemouth Borough Council said it did not have the money to repair the East Cliff Lift, so it will remain closed. It was damaged by a landslide on 24-April-2016.
Cable Car Movie Shown on Salesforce Tower - 06-December-2018
A newly restored version of the 1906 film "A Trip Down Market Street" was projected on the top floors of the new tallest building in San Francisco, the Salesforce Tower on 06- and 07-December-2018.
Cable Cars Pull In/Cable Car Museum Closed - 15-November-2018
The cable cars were ordered to puill in this afternoon because of unhealthy air quality caused by the Camp Fire in Butte County. The Cable Car Museum at Washington and Mason also closed today. The cable cars returned to service on Tuesday, November 20.
Cal Band Rides a Cable Car - 14-November-2018
The Cal Band was in San Francisco to promote the Big Game. They rode Blue and Gold Car 16.
Masks for Cable Car Crews - 11-November-2018
Because of the dangerous level of smoke from the tragic Camp Fire in Butte County, the SFMTA issued masks to cable car crews.
Powell/Mason Bus Substitution - 21-30-September-2018
Announcement from the SFMTA:
Mason Cable Car Bus Substitution: September 21-30, 2018
Friday, September 21, 2018 - 10:00pm to Sunday, September 30, 2018 - 2:00am
As part of the Cable Car Gearbox Rehabilitation Project, the
Powell/Mason Cable Car will be temporarily replaced by a free shuttle
bus. The shuttle bus will serve stops north of Washington. Transfer
between the Powell/Hyde line and the Mason Shuttle Bus at Washington &
Powell. In North Beach, the first stop is a temporary stop at Taylor &
"Collecting cable car fares an uphill struggle" - 16-September-2018
An article in today's San francisco Chronicle says that auditors who rode San Francisco cable cars were not asked to pay 25% of the time. The article did not mention that a conductor's primary responsibility is safety.
2018 Muni Heritage Weekend - 08/09-September-2018
Newly rebuilt Powell Street car 23 and California Street Car 56 ran for the first time in revenue service, and restored O'Farrell/Jones/Hyde car 43 made its first revenue trips sincwe 1954 on the outer part of the Hyde Street line during Muni's Annual Heritage Weekend.
Dunedin Cable Tram Revival - 22-August-2018
I am happy that the Dunedin Heritage Light Rail Trust and the High Street Cable Car Society are advancing in the quest to restore part of the Mornington Tramway.
Providence Conduit Discovered - 24-July-2018
Bob Vennerbeck let me know that he was walking around the College Hill district of Providence, Rhode Island when he was hailed by a crew
"Yesterday, I was hailed by a crew working on replacement water mains under College Street at Benefit Street - 'You're the historian - you know anything about these brick foundations under the street?'
"It seems they had unearthed a parallel pair of low brick walls about 2' high, with a smooth concrete slab about 3' wide between them, forming a U-shaped channel under the length of the street. The tops of the walls were about 2' below modern grade, and after the backfill was removed, a series of metal 'chairs' were found embedded either side of the slab, with bits of heavily greased mounting bolts scattered nearby."
I agreed with Bob that this was the channel that the counterbalance's counterweight ran through or the cable conduit of the Providence Cable Tramway.
Thank you to Bob for letting me present this find.
2018 Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest Has Been Cancelled in Part - Updated 01-August-2018
The 2018 Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest has been cancelled in part because the people of the Cable Car Division are protesting the SFMTA cutting late night hours on the California Street line.
I asked the SFMTA about the contest and got this response:
Thank you for your inquiry regarding a date for the next Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest. Unfortunately, we will not have a traditional bell ringing contest this year. Instead, we will be hosting some elements of the bell ringing event as part of Muni Heritage Weekend September 8-9. This event will activate the plaza area at Don Chee Way in front of the Market Street Railway Museum. We hope to return to the traditional event next year.
Muni Customer Service
I asked the SFMTA and got this response:
Dunedin Cable Tram Revival - 01-July-2018
This is an update of an article originally published in 2016. Thank you to Mac Gardner for providing the information.
The Dunedin Heritage Light Rail Trust and the High Street Cable Car Society are advancing a project with four steps to revive cable traction in Dunedin, New Zealand, the first and last city outside of San Francisco to have Hallidie-type cable car lines.
Step one is to build an Interim Cable Car Building in Mornington Park. This temporary museum would house two Dunedin cable trams and a trailer, the trailer from the Mornington Tramway and Two trams from the Roslyn Tramway. One of the Roslyn trams will be restored onsite. There will be tracks that extend outside so people can view one of the trams and climb on it. The work started in October, 2017.
The remaining steps would build a 1.5km line on the High Street with a terminal and powerhouse in the park. Original cable trams would be used as rolling stock.
An article from the 31-October-2016 Otago Daily Times.
I wish great success to the Dunedin Heritage Light Rail Trust and the High Street Cable Car Society.
Total Muni 2018 - 30-April-2018
Congratulations to Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle who accomplished the feat of riding every San Francisco Municipal Railway line -- cable car, streetcar and bus -- on one day. They could not ride the 76-Marin Headlands, which only runs on weekends.
They started on a 25-Treasure Island at 03:12am. I haven't ridden that bus yet.
At 06:00am, with the help of Val Lupiz and Jeremy Whiteman. they rode Powell Street car 24, still decorated to honor Willie Mays and the Giants' 60th year in San Francisco.
At the Ferry Building, they met San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer, who did had same adventure with a friend in 1980. Giants' mascot Lou Seal was also there.
In 18 hours, they rode 60 lines.
Cable Car Cimena Closing - 27-April-2018
The Cable Car Cinema and Cafe showed independent and foreign films at 204 South Main Street in Providence, Rhode Island from 1976 to 2018. Today it was announced that the Cinema is closing. It fell victim to the forces that have destroyed so many cinemas across the country.
Car 26 Becomes 526 - 14-April-2018
Powell Street car 26 ran for a special charter as 526, its number before 1973. Val Lupiz pulled grip.
Car 11 Debuts in Service - 12-April-2018
Powell Street car 11 made its debut after a rebuilding. It is now painted in Market Street Railroad red. Val Lupiz pulled grip.
Old Car 28 Going to Connecticut - 03-April-2018
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will donate former Powell Street car 28 to the Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven, Connecticut as part of a deal that brought two electric streetcars to San Francisco. Car 28 was built by Mahony Brothers for the Ferries and Cliff House Railway in 1887. It was an open car until it was rebuilt in 1912. It retired in January, 2004 and was replaced by the current car 28. There had been talk of restoring it to its orignal configuration as an open car.
Car 24 Decorated for Opening Day - 03-April-2018
Sixty years ago this year, the San Francisco Giants played their first game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Seals Stadium on 15-April-1958. The Giants moved from Manhattan and the Dodgers from Brooklyn during the offseason. Rubén Gómez started and beat Don Drysdale 8-0. The Giants are celebrating the anniversary this season.
To celebrate the anniversary, Val Lupiz and Jeremy Whiteman decorated Powell Street car 24, which was dedicated to Willie Mays, Number 24, on 06-May-2016. Many vintage streetcars carried flags for the event.
Visit the Val Lupiz Shop - 01-April-2018
Gripman Val Lupiz, who is also a photographer with an excellent eye, has launched an
online shop where he is selling some of his photographs:
Cable Cars’ Ding Goes For Your Wallet, Too - 26-March-2018
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Heather Knight published an interesting column about
how charging the full $7.00 adult fare makes it hard for some tourist families to ride the cable
I think a child or family fare would be a good idea, along with a transfer that would allow people to visit the museum at Washington and Mason without paying another full fare.
San Francisco History Days, 2018 - 03-04-March-2018
The annual San Francisco History Days at the Old Mint returns on March 03-04, 2018.
Western Neighborhoods Project New Home Open House - 03-February-2018
The Western Neighborhoods Project is having an open house between Noon and 4pm to show off its new home at 1617 Balboa Street, between 17th and 18th Avenues.
Isle of Man Horse Tramway 2018 Schedule Released - 17-January-2018
We all owe a big thanks to the Friends of Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, which has worked hard to keep the line intact. We all have to remain vigilant.
Read more about the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway on the Horse Car Home Page.
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150 years ago - 1869
125 years ago - 1894
New York Giants record: 88-44, 2nd place. Manager: Monte Ward.
100 years ago - 1919
New York Giants record: 71-53, 2nd place. Manager: John McGraw.
75 years ago - 1944
New York Giants record: 55-98, 8th place. Manager: Mel Ott.
50 years ago - 1969
San Francisco Giants record: 88-74, 2nd place. Manager: Herman Franks.
25 years ago - 1994
San Francisco Giants record: 103-59, 2nd place. Manager: Dusty Baker. Winning 100 and finishing second made for a frustrating year.
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Ten Years Ago
Twenty Years Ago
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Last updated 01-January-2019