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Cable Cars at San Francisco: You Must Experience Them

In 1873, Andrew Smith Hallidie tried on the very first cable car at 4 o’clock in the morning of August 2nd. This was the result of the brilliant idea he had four years before when he saw some horses being whipped as they were struggling against wet cobblestones to pull a horse car. In this moment, Mr. Smith thought a steam engine, cable driven rail system will definitely facilitate most of these errands for everybody. Consequently, he looked for business partners who will help him to develop his idea to construct the Clay Street Hill Railroad. By 1873, his brilliant idea had already become a fact and the Clay Street Hill Railroad started serving the public on September 1st of that year.

After some time, many other people were interested in investing money on the railroad business and by 1889; six other railroads were running through the streets of San Francisco. Nowadays, railroads occupy quite an important place within San Francisco society. They represent one of the main attractions in town, which is the reason why in 1974 the Cable Car Museum was established. In this museum, visitors can take a look at the engines and wheels that pull the cables, mechanical devices such as tracks, cable, brake mechanism, tools and detail models. Moreover, the museum has a permanent exhibition of historical pictures and three antique cable cars from the 1870s plus cable car memorabilia, clothing, books and genuine cable car bells.

The Cable Car Museum opens every day except Christmas, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Easter Sunday. From April 1st thru September 30th, the museum opens its gates from 10am to 6pm and from October 1st thru March 31, from 10am to 5pm. On the other hand, if you are interested on riding the cable car, remember that there are three main routes: the Powell-Hyde line, Powell-Mason line and California line. The tickets fare is $5 each way, but if you want a 1-day Cable Car Pass it will cost you $10. If you are visiting San Francisco, do not miss the chance to take a look at this wonderful attraction.

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