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Cable Cars

August 29, 1985
The front page of your Aug. 18 edition shows a picture of a couple of cable cars creeping up and down Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. I can hazard a guess as to why they are creeping, and that is because there are no cable car tracks on Van Ness Avenue. The scene shown is actually cable cars on Hyde Street. BRUCE G. BAILEY Anaheim
January 18, 2014 | By a Times staff writer
Times reporter Christopher Reynolds and photographer Mark Boster spent a chunk of 2013 creating “Postcards From the West,” a series of stories, photos and videos exploring seven Western icons, including Yosemite's Half Dome, the Lone Cypress of Pebble Beach, the cable cars of San Francisco and the San Diego Zoo. Rough duty, we know. But for our readers, nothing is too much. Our guys were able to alleviate the stress of the " Postcards From the West " series by throwing together a little video revealing their fact-finding methods on the road.
March 28, 1985
Swarms of hums, buzzes and jingles emitted by the new cables that move San Francisco's cable cars are creating such a racket that the city has plunked down $125,000 to find out what all the noise is about. Never really quiet, the rolling mutter of old has turned into a kind of low-frequency series of whacks, described by engineers as comparable to "a hammer blow at 120 times a second."
February 14, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
San Francisco wants to spread the love on Valentine's Day. The city deemed "most romantic" on several travel surveys plans to bring some of its charm to L.A.'s Union Station with an entire train wrapped as a cable car - and even a bit of fog too. The deal: The train is really Amtrak's Coast Starlight that travels from L.A. to Seattle via San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Oakland and other cities. Through April 30, it will be covered with a scene of riders on a San Francisco cable car and views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Coit Tower at each end. To hail the train's arrival, San Francisco Travel will host an event at Union Station with characters dressed as Snow White, star of a current exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio; and the " Girl With the Pearl Earring," from the Vermeer painting on display at the De Young Museum . Free Ghirardelli chocolates will be handed out too. When: The event will be held 7 to 10 a.m. Thursday (today)
December 6, 1992 | Associated Press
Three shiny new cable cars were officially inducted onto city streets Saturday as holiday shoppers and tourists crammed on the cars to be among the first to ride. The Powell Street cable car, No. 13, was packed as it cruised through Union Square at the trusty hands of senior gripman Steve Dickson. "It has a nice feel to it," said Dickson, a 25-year veteran of cable cars. He noted that the car had a higher ceiling and larger windows than some of the older models.
September 30, 1987 | United Press International
Handicapped protesters in wheelchairs chained themselves to a cable car Tuesday, blocking the tracks of San Francisco's No. 1 tourist attraction to underscore demands for better access to public transportation. "Try getting on one of those when you're in a wheelchair," one man shouted. There was no violence during the demonstration at the Powell Street cable car turntable.
May 19, 1988 | United Press International
The general manager of the San Francisco Municipal Railway said tests conducted in January raised doubts about the ability of cable car brakes to halt a fully loaded car on slick Hyde Street hill, where a cable car slammed into a truck Monday, injuring 31 people. Based on the tests, general manager William Stead said there was little chance the cable car could have stopped before the collision. In most circumstances, Stead said, "You can't stop on a wet day."
September 2, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
A cable car system that stalled and left dozens of people stranded above the East River for about 11 hours in April has reopened with upgrades including new motors, emergency provisions and even toilets. Experts have "gone over this thing with a fine-toothed comb," said Herb Berman, president of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. The tramway shuttles commuters and tourists between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island.
October 14, 1996 | Times Wire Services
A British woman died Sunday after a funicular railway passenger car she was riding in crashed here Saturday, local police said. The accident occurred when a cable that pulls the car along a track between the garrison city's historic lower town and its walled quarter atop a cliff snapped just as the car neared the end of its downward run. An emergency brake failed to stop the car, which sped out of control and smashed into the wall of a booth where passengers enter and exit the vehicle.
May 17, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Arnold Stirewalt Gridley, 92, who converted his native city's fabled cable cars for use in movies, parades and commercials, died May 8 in San Francisco of kidney failure. After working in two family-owned businesses, a bar and a rice farm, the San Franciscan made his career in real estate. But in 1958 he bought some of the city's old California Street cable cars at an auction. His family looked askance, but Gridley quickly put them to good use.
February 14, 2012
Lyrics to Tony Bennett's song The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gay The glory that was Rome is of another day I've been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan I'm going home to my city by the Bay I left my heart in San Francisco High on a hill, it calls to me To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars The morning fog may chill the air, I don't care ...
November 4, 2010 | By Maria L. La Ganga and Dianne Klein, Los Angeles Times
The confetti that carpeted the parade route Wednesday morning was San Francisco Giants orange ? and so were the T-shirts and fright wigs, the hair dye and body paint, the lights on Coit Tower and City Hall and the tiny hearts stuck to Anna Goldberg's face. For the first time since the baseball team arrived on the West Coast 52 years ago, fans here had reason to really celebrate. And on Wednesday, they choked the Financial District and the Civic Center to cheer their beloved team's long-awaited World Series championship.
October 10, 2010 | By Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Man does not live by bread alone, and families can't count on theme parks for all their adventures. Here are 10 relatively unthemed Western destinations, all best enjoyed in the company of a 10-year-old: Cable cars, San Francisco: Of the three routes in operation, the classic Powell-Hyde Line begins at Powell and Market streets near Union Square, climbs Nob Hill, then descends dramatically to end at Aquatic Park, near Ghirardelli Square and...
May 2, 2010 | By Caitlin Fitzsimmons, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The green-and-gold tram trundled down the road, a small Australian flag hanging out the driver's window. I stared in amazement, momentarily forgetting my morning coffee. As it rumbled past, I could see the words "Melbourne, Victoria, Australia" emblazoned on the side. But I was half a world away at an outdoor cafe in San Francisco. I wasn't the only one excited. "Look, Daddy, it's a fashion train!" cried the little boy at the next table. I smiled; the term "fashion train" seemed apt. The other tram lines in San Francisco come in standard-issue silver and red. This line — the F — features historic streetcars from around the world in various shapes and colors.
September 30, 2007
Cable cars: A Sept. 23 article listing contact numbers and information for San Francisco included an incorrect website for San Francisco Cable Cars. The website is
September 9, 2007
San Francisco A free ride (almost) On a recent trip to San Francisco, we discovered a great way for oldsters (65-plus) to use public buses, cable cars etc. The Senior Pass goes for $10 a calendar month, with a three-day grace period into the next month. Cards are sold at some cable-car ticket booths and hotels. Muni, (415) 701-2311, Owen Gillick Twentynine Palms -- Romania Guide to the past Our recent trip to Romania [above] was beyond our wildest expectations.
January 20, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Three cable cars climbing to a hilltop temple in western India plunged to the ground after a support cable snapped, killing seven passengers and injuring 24, police said. Six cable cars were left dangling between two hills. Air force commandos roped down from helicopters to rescue 37 trapped people. Hundreds of devotees travel daily to the temple in Pavagadh -- 110 miles north of Ahmadabad in Gujarat state -- to pray to the Hindu goddess Durga.
September 9, 2006
Re "In L.A., Desire of Some Is Named Streetcar," Sept. 5 The main differences between the effective but confusing DASH bus system and a trolley are the legibility and fixity of the trolley line and the fun riding experience of being on a special vehicle rather than a utilitarian bus. Why not: Paint a continuous dotted line of circles, each about a foot in diameter, on the street with a big spot at each stop. Call it DOT -- Downtown Omnibus Transport. Use modern vehicles, with electric power and rubber tires.
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