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Cable Car Museum, San Francisco

(2,800+ reviews on the web)
Specialty Museum Museum
A free museum, Cable Car Museum gives visitors a peek inside the history of cable cars. Several cable cars are on display, as well as a few exhibits. Be sure to check out the viewing platforms in the power station. After viewing the power station from above, descend into the cavern at the junction of Washington and Mason streets, where the cables are routed. The power station is the working hub of the cable cars and still maintains the daily runs. Plan to see Cable Car Museum and other attractions that appeal to you using our San Francisco travel itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This was the first time to visit the museum. Didn't know they had one the last couple of times I was in San Fran. Definitely something to see and learn about the history of the cable car!  more »
  • I have been riding cable cars in SF since 1956! This museum is a must. It's so much more than a museum: you actually see the cables running for all the lines in the system! This was my first visit to ...  more »
  • This is a free museum which goes through the history of the the cable cars in SF. It is difficult to believe given the extreme hills that horse drawn wagons used to transport people in the city. After...  more »
Google
  • San Francisco is a fascinating city for so many different reasons, and the historical methods people used for transportation in a very hilly environment are fascinating. Perhaps one of the most well known public transportation devices in the world, the San Francisco cable cars are a marvel of modern engineering. The Museum (which is free to visit and easy to get to from any of the the cable car lines) does a marvelous job of explaining the history behind the cable cars, and also exactly how they work. There are also wonderful displays of cable car memorabilia (tickets, uniforms, etc.) and machinery (drive wheels, brakes and so on). The best thing about the museum is that it's a living, working museum. The museum is built around the central hub of all the remaining cable car lines, so you can actually see the giant engines that drive the system, and the thick cables that pull the cars up hills all day. Aside from the free museums in some of the world's great capitals (London and Washing DC for example), this is probably the BEST free museum I've ever been too.
  • We stumbled here on our way through Chinatown and I gotta say that this museum is pretty cool. Not only is it a working museum but they give you complete knowledge of how the cable car of San Francisco work. It's a pretty amazing marvel when you actually think about how everything works. The best part of all is that it's FREE. That's right, no admission. You just come in, visit the downstairs section for a brief minute. Then head upstairs where you get to see and read about everything. Overall, really great places for an hour or 2.
  • Free place to check out. You can smell the oil walking around inside. Gift shop is pretty cool to see too. The machinery, thick heavy cables that pull the still active trolleys through SF is pretty amazing. Learning, seeing, reading about the history on the walls or their videos, sitting in a trolley there, feeling the weight of a hand sized length of real cable... It's pretty impressive! Donations appreciated. There's a box on the top floor.
  • The last day of our trip we didn't have anything to do so decided to come here. We had a Great Time! It was very interesting to see how the cable cars work and see the good old fashion American engineering that is still in use today! One of our favorite visits.
  • The SF cable cars are one of the greatest parts of this city. They are fun and were instrumental in the development of the city for over a century. The Cable Car Museum is free and explains how the city developed and expanded. It is also very cool to be able to see the machinery that makes the cable system work. If you're in Chinatown or on the top of Nob Hill, it is pretty close so check it out !