California Street Cable Railroad

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California Street Cable Railroad car near Kearny Street, June 2022
Share of the California Street Cable Railroad Co., issued 9. July 1885 [1]

The California Street Cable Railroad (Cal Cable) was a long-serving cable car operator in San Francisco, founded by Leland Stanford. The company's first line opened on California Street in 1878 and is the oldest cable car line still in operation.

The company remained independent until 1951, outlasting all the other commercial streetcar and cable car operators in the city. The city purchased and reopened the lines in 1952; the current cable car system is a hybrid made up of the California Street line, and the Hyde Street section of Cal Cable's O'Farrell, Jones & Hyde line, together with other lines already in municipal ownership.

California type streetcar[edit]

California's mild climate encouraged an innovative streetcar design first used on the California Street Cable Railroad in 1891. The cars feature an enclosed center section with open seating on each end of the car. These California type streetcars were subsequently adopted by many California electric railways, including Pacific Electric, Los Angeles Railway and San Francisco, Napa and Calistoga Railway.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hans Braun: Historic Stock Certificates USA. Mirrors of the Economy. Vol. 1, p. 146f, ISBN 3874393976
  2. ^ Demoro, Harre W. (1986). California's Electric Railways. Glendale, California: Interurban Press. p. 16. ISBN 0-916374-74-2.

External links[edit]