As we’ve mentioned, the civic celebration of 150 Years of Cable Cars kicks off at 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 13 at California and Market Streets as Mayor London Breed is joined by Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, Cable Car Inventor “Andrew Hallidie” (or a reasonable facsimile) and the oldest and largest cable car in the fleet, Sacramento-Clay Car “Big 19”, which will carry the dignitaries up through Chinatown and over Nob Hill to Polk Gulch and Van Ness Avenue, parallel to Hallidie’s original Clay Street line two blocks north. Here’s “Big 19” taking a spin on the cable car barn turntable, getting ready for its closeup.
“Big 19”, originally built in Southern Pacific’s Sacramento Railroad shops in 1883 as an open-sided car, served Market and Haight Streets until the earthquake of April 18, 1906. Market Street’s cable cars were replaced by streetcars then, but this car survived, and was converted to a double-end car to run on Sacramento and Clay Streets until that line shut down in 1942. It’s the only surviving operational cable car that traversed Hallidie’s original route. Because of the pandemic, it has only run a couple of times since it returned to service after a 77-year “vacation, but it is scheduled to carry passengers every Saturday from now until the end of October on the California Street line. Click here for details.
Please come out to support the cable cars. Here’s the press release with all the details about this event and others on tap for the rest of the year. More will be added, so monitor this website, streetcar.org, and our special site for the celebration, sfcablecars.org.
A couple of news media outlets have the June 13 celebration location WRONG. It is CALIFORNIA & MARKET STREETS, the end of the California Street cable car line, outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel. There is NO special event at Powell and Market on June 13; that will happen August 2, the actual anniversary date of Andrew Hallidie’s first cable car operation. More on that to come, but circle that date now. Let’s make the 150th anniversary of our unique cable cars something special.