I have been living in San Francisco for over 15 years, and today is only the second time I have ridden on the famous cable cars, which were first invented in San Francisco in the 1870’s by Andrew Smith Hallidie, originally from Britain.
Taking off earlier from work, I took advantage of a free cable car ride day and hopped onto a cable car on the California Street line to go to Nob Hill, one of the 47 named hills in San Francisco.
I particularly wanted to take some pictures at the top of the hill – looking down Taylor Street, I snapped the gorgeous colour of the sky and the hilly street in the background.
And I took the picture of the Grace Cathedral, my most favorite Cathedral in San Francisco.
Little did I know, I ran into the San Francisco Cable Car Museum, located in the Washington & Mason cable car barn, and an actually operating powerhouse. Underneath the museum is the system of “Sheaves” which are a series of pulleys, gears, motors, which powers the four cable loops, pulling cable cars around San Francisco.
The photo below shows the giant sheaves (pulleys) which are about 8.5 feet in diameter.
According to the Cable Car Museum, “the cable car is pulled on rails by latching onto a moving cable inside a channel beneath the street. The cable is guided by an intricate system of pulleys and sheaves (large pulleys). At the powerhouse, huge winding wheels driven by 510 horsepower electric motors pull cable loops at a constant speed of 9.5 miles per hour.”
Here is the first cable car in San Francisco – built in the 1870’s.
And a current one…
I really recommend the ride and the visit to the Museum, when you visit San Francisco.