Friday, May 1, 2015

The Grip Won't Grip the Cable, a Bert and Ernie Story

One day I noticed unusual activity on the Powell/Mason Cable Car Line in San Francisco.  The grip of Car #26 would not grip the cable.  It was motionless at the bottom of the hill.  Call the tow truck.  The next car, #12 soon caught up.  The tow truck arrived soon thereafter.

The first picture shows the tow truck guy (I think his name was Ernie) checking the grip.

"Yep, it's broken."

"Everybody off the car!"

Fortunately it was only a couple blocks to the end of the line and everybody walked.

Hook up Big Bertha.  Well, I was hoping the Muni guys had named the tow truck.  I checked.  They hadn't.  So just for this blog (it's my blog) she is Big Bertha.  This next picture is her cameo appearance as she pulls #26 away.  Good work Bert!

Now #12 is free to move on.  Up the hill is Cable Car #9.  And #9 comes by.

And the day was saved by Bert and Ernie. Yeh!
The day was August 19, 1991.


ENDNOTE:  Cable Car 9 was damaged In 1995. A new #9 was completed in 1997. I happened to rode it the day of its first outing in 1997.  I was riding the newest electric vehicle in San Francisco because the cable is powered by massive electric motors.

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