Cable Car Museum San Francisco
One of my favourite bosses in my legal career had a son who was a train fanatic.
Every time there was a school holiday, she’d take him on a “day on the trains”. They’d get an all day pass, he’d map out various routes for efficiency, and off they headed.
If you live in New South Wales in Australia, where my old boss and her son were from, you know what an utter mess public transport is. I had visions of him unravelling the hot mess and making a useable, efficient, and affordable system with his talents.
Sadly for the people of NSW, he was as talented a musician as he was a train enthusiast, and he ended up going to the conservatorium when he finished high school, rather than Transport NSW.
When I visited the Cable Car Museum in San Francisco with my mother and sister, I thought of how he would have loved to see the behind the scenes workings of the famous cable cars.
I must admit, we stopped off because I was dying to use a bathroom, and the cable car museum was guaranteed to have some clean ones!
We were really pleasantly surprised with the museum once inside.
Fun Cable Car Facts:
- The cable cars don’t have their own power! They can only move by gripping on to the moving cable. They have batteries solely for lighting.
- The cables move continuously with the huge machinery in the middle of the museum. The huge boxes house motors and gears which move the pulleys called sheaves.
- All of the machinery which moves the cable cars is called winding machinery.
- The cables move at 9.5 miles per hour.
- Four separate cables are used that move in channels under the streets with the help of pulleys and some of the larger sheaves.
- The first cable car test run was at 4:00am in August 1873 by Andrew Smith Hallidie, who couldn’t bear to watch the cruelty towards the horses struggling up those San Fran hills.
The information is interesting, but getting to see the enormous mechanisms, wheels, and pulleys that move the cable cars across San Francisco was fascinating!
I’d highly recommend anyone that visits San Francisco to drop in and check it out, if just for the whirring of the huge wheels. I should probably also mention the toilets were very nice and clean… 😉
Do you have cable cars in your city? Or maybe you have a favourite form of public transit?
Location: 1201 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108, United States
Contact Details: +1 415-474-1887
Opening Hours: 10 am – 6 pm April 1 to September 30 10 am – 5 pm October 1 to March 3.
Open every day except New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.