“Ring out” 150 Years of Cable Cars with special rides this weekend

We at Market Street Railway have been proud to join SFMTA/Muni in leading the year-long civic celebration of the cable cars’ 150th anniversary.

Among the many highlights, we worked with Muni to schedule regular operation of two priceless cable cars from disappeared lines: O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde Car 42 (1907) and Sacramento-Clay Car “Big 19” (1883), the largest and oldest operating cable car anywhere.

This weekend (December 30-31), you can ride “Big 19” to ring out the 150 Years of Cable Cars celebration. Both Saturday and Sunday, it will leave the Cable Car Barn at Washington and Mason Streets at 11:10. You can board right at the corner and ride it into service on narrow Washington and Jackson Streets, evoking the narrow Sacramento and Clay where the car ran from 1908 to 1942 following its transfer from Market Street after the 1906 earthquake ended cable operations there.

After reaching California Street, it will run that line all day until about 6 pm. Those last runs are even more fun, when you pass the lanterns arrayed over Grant Avenue and see the lighted Christmas tree at the former Bank of America Building. Whenever you ride, you’ll feel the difference on this comparative behemoth (eight feet longer and thousands of pounders heavier than the Powell cable cars). You’re experiencing a cable car that hadn’t run for almost 80 years!

Best of all, you can ride all day for just five dollars, thanks to the special California Street cable line pass Muni implemented for the anniversary year at our suggestion. You can use the ticket machine at California and Market Streets or just pay the conductor on the car.

Come ride and close out 2023 with a trip back in time!


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