San Francisco, California


The driving force behind the San Francisco cable car system came from a man who witnessed a horrible accident on a typically damp summer day in 1869. Andrew Smith Hallidie saw the toll slippery grades could extract when a horse- drawn streetcar slid backwards under its heavy load. The steep slope with wet cobblestones and a heavily weighted vehicle combined to drag five horses to their deaths. Although such a sight would stun anyone, Hallidie and his partners had the know-how to do something about the problem.

The San Francisco Cable Car Website

sanfran_state The San Francisco Municipal Railway operates three historic cable car lines in downtown San Francisco, California. Both single- and double-ended cars utilize an underground cable propelled along the routes by a central powerhouse complex. The current fleet is a mixture of refurbished cars long in the fleet as well as modern reproductions of the classic design.


San Fran cable and streetcar map / Market Street Railway




A 1968 business trip took my parents from north Alabama to the west coast, where dad presented an electrical engineering paper at a San Francisco conference. In between meetings, there was time to ride the famous cable cars, and down at the Powell Street station my dad posed for two pictures snapped by my mother. These just might be the most dapper photographs of my father I posses.

Links / Sources

This page was updated on 2017-08-29