What Makes a Cable Car Go?

posted by Sharon April 29, 2014 23 Comments
San Francisco Cable Cars

Have you ever taken a ride on a cable car? San Francisco is known for these little cars that climb steep hills and veer around corners.

The best place to ride is standing on the edge, hanging onto the pole. What a view!

The cable car owes its invention to the problem horses had drawing carts up and down in this city in the 1800s. Today cable cars share the streets with cars and buses, but they keep on running day and night.

So what makes them go?

The answer is in this plain-looking brick building. This is the Cable Car Barn.

You can go inside and suddenly you understand why the cars go. The cables run nonstop at 10 miles an hour over pulleys turned by gears. They whir from underneath the barn out to the streets. The noise in here is deafening.

The cars move when the gripman onboard closes the grip onto the cable. The cars get pulled along until the grip is let go and the brake applied to stop momentum. On any day in San Francisco, cable cars grip cables and the operator clangs bells and on and on they go.

This strikes me as a good way to power up in life. We hit hills of problems, and we don’t have the energy to keep climbing. But if we grip onto a source of power and hold on, we can keep going.

How about you? Do you have a “power source” in your life? Mine is my faith in God. I’ve been able to keep going through news of cancer, job losses, moves, and family ups and downs. What keeps you moving forward, onward?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. The first photo is edited with Kim Klassen’s texture Felicity. Thanks to my husband for taking the photos of me on the cable cars. You can tell riding a cable car makes me happy.

 

 

 

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23 Comments

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prairiejill April 29, 2014 at 5:47 am

Great photographs! Brings back memories of trips to San Francisco a long time ago.

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Elizabeth Stewart April 29, 2014 at 5:50 am

Great photos with a good lesson!

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Pieni Lintu April 29, 2014 at 8:46 am

So cool!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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jeanne stone April 29, 2014 at 8:54 am

Sharon I really enjoyed your shots and also love riding on these cable cars. used to live inSausalito and had so much fun on these scenic rides. But most of all, it is wondeful to know other people who are powered by the Lord in their lives! WHAT AN AMAZING POWER SOURCE HE IS! Blessings to you!

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FlowerLady Lorraine April 29, 2014 at 11:08 am

Great photos and information about the cable cars.

Jesus is my source of strength each and every day, more so since losing my dear husband 16 1/2 months ago.

Have a lovely week ~ FlowerLady

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin April 29, 2014 at 11:52 am

Oh cool!! I so want to visit San Fran and ride the cars, for sure!

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Viv Halliwell April 29, 2014 at 12:08 pm

We visited San Francisco in 2011 from the UK and rode the cable cars so iconic, thanks for reminding me of a wonderful visit..

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Barb Brookbank April 29, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I’ve never been there but it’s a dream of mine. I really enjoyed your series and the explanation on how the cable car works – fascinating!

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Dotti April 29, 2014 at 6:20 pm

What a fantastic trip and ‘tutorial’ on cable cars! I’ve never done so but I would love to ride a cable car. A visit to San Francisco is a sure-to-do item on my ‘life list’. I need to get busy!

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Peabea April 29, 2014 at 6:23 pm

We so wanted to ride one when we were in San Francisco first of this month, but the day ran out on us with so much to see and do on our first trip ever there. These look like so much fun to ride. Hope they always have them. We use to have the same buses that run on the electrical wires in my hometown when I was young, but they’ve been gone for years. Lovely photos and thanks for all the information on them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Earl April 29, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Wonderful photos. It has been a few years since I have been on one of those cars. But the memories are wonderful. Especial thanks for showing the insides of the Cable Car Barn. I have never been there and seen that. Fantastic.

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inspiredbyjune April 29, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Great analogy, Sharon! We need to stay connected to the power Source, realizing that it is not in and of ourselves. Have a blessed week!

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salma April 30, 2014 at 5:11 am

Oh awesome…I have never seen the mechanics of the cable car before. Happy Wednesday!

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Buckeroomama April 30, 2014 at 5:43 am

We have something similar here, except they are called “trams” here and our cable cars are what people in other parts of the world call ‘gondola lifts’ (glass-enclosed that transport you from one mountain to another). Interesting how things are called differently in different parts of the world –even in English!

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kim April 30, 2014 at 2:41 pm

I have not had this opportunity but it is so quintessential San Fran! Looks fun!

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Caz Sultz April 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Thanks for sharing, I never realized that is how cable cars are powered, how interesting !

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Jade @ Tasting Grace April 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Oh fun! A trip to SF–one of my favorite cities! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hmm…as to what keeps me going? I suppose it’s an inability to keep still for too long. Even the hard stuff. I let myself wallow for a while, and then, when I’m done with that, it’s time to move on. I might sound like I’m being blase, but actually, I think I’m realizing this about myself as I type…It’s what I do, if you strip it down to essentials.

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lensdancer April 30, 2014 at 8:16 pm

This is awesome! I’m sitting here looking through your wonderful tour … saying to myself, I’ve been there, we did that … and the cable car barn was fantastic! So many memories came flooding back. Last we were there was ’95 … love that city! I need to go back with my Dslr because it was so expensive to shoot film back then that I had to curb myself.
San Francisco is my sister city to Vancouver BC … so many things similar, it felt like home. And … we walked a LOT.
Thanks for sharing the in depth on how do they go. I’m glad we got to ride them and see the barn. Enjoy your day!
Joy

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bettyl - NZ April 30, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Great post. Loving your photos and the philosophy of the cable cars. If it weren’t for God and His wonderfulness, I don’t know where I’d be!

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Anne@GritandGiggles May 1, 2014 at 1:50 am

That looks like fun. I have never been on a cable car or a tram. It is amazing the solutions people can find when there is a difficulty, it just takes some thinking outside the box.

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Molly May 1, 2014 at 10:43 am

SF is one of my ‘must visit cities’ I have seen so many images from this city. It looks like a very cool town

mollyxxx

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Barbara May 2, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I’ve been to SF once and now… I really miss that city!!
Thanks for the explanations! I hope to come back soon!

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abrianna May 7, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Wonderful shots of the car and hills. The gears shot would make a good b & w, me thinks.

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