Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Cable Cars of San Francisco

I really like the Cable cars of San Francisco. In fact, I like them so much that I'm dedicating this entire post to these icons of San Francisco. They have so much old charm to them (running the streets since 1873)! Getting around in San Fran is so easy. I find myself jealous because public transport is crummy here in SoCal.
After walking the whole day, my feet were getting tired so I hopped aboard the famous San Francisco trolley and sat right behind the conductor. The driver of a cable car is known as the gripman. This is a highly skilled job, requiring the gripman to smoothly operate the grip lever to grip and release the cable. I got to see a new "gripman" in training yesterday. He was practicing with an empty cable car, yelling as he was rolling down a steep hill. yikes. I read that only a portion of the people who attempt the training course actually pass. It's not easy being a gripman.Did you know that the San Francisco cable car system is the world's last permanently operational manually-operated cable car system? It's pretty amazing. Driving and maintaining the cable car takes a lot of man power and manual labor. Man powered turntables turn the cable cars around at the two ends since these cable cars can only run straight.At one point, or another, I got lost when I was walking around but stumbled upon this great museum. The cable car museum had free entry and lots of neat history on the Cable Cars. The neatest part about the museum is that once you walk inside, you can overlook the main power house. You can see four separate cables: one for the California Street line, one each for the separate parts of the Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason lines, and one for their common section. These cables are constantly running below the streets, making the trolley move.
When you see these trolleys running up and down the steep hills and you hear the sweet "ding" of its bells... you really feel like you're in San Francisco.

7 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

cable cars are so historic and unique - we used to have them here, but of course that was MANY, many years ago (before I was born, haha).

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

I have never rid in a cable car before. Now I feel deprived.lol.

Kimberly said...

SF again? :) Looks like you had fun!

lovecokate said...

awesome post!

tigerfish said...

You must have like it so much!
I have gone on to one of these but never written anything about them before :O

Mochachocolata Rita said...

i wanna go i wanna go i wanna go i wanna i wanna i wanna!

the hk cable cars look so freaking dull compared to these cute ones

Capt. Pink said...

hope you had a nice trip!

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