Top 5 Facts: Cable cars

A San Francisco cable car

  1. Sans cable – Despite still being called cable cars, the majority of modern-day cable cars are not powered by cables at all. Most lines were converted to electric systems in the early 20th century.
  2. Hallidie – The cable car was invented by Andrew Smith Hallidie who installed the first system in San Francisco in 1873. The line ran on Sacramento and Clay Streets within the city.
  3. Decks – By 1920 cable cars had spread to London, England, where electric varieties operated through the city centre. These cars were usually double-deck rather than single-deck.
  4. Abandoned – Unfortunately, due to the rise of automobiles between the Thirties and Fifties, cable cars began to be replaced by buses and cars. By 1955 there were no cable cars left in London.
  5. Renaissance – Due to increased fuel prices and population growth, cable car systems have recently made a comeback, with new systems installed in major cities such as Houston and Washington DC.