Make some time to enjoy the always free Cable Car Museum. The Cable Car Museum was established in 1974 and is operated by the Friends of the Cable Car Museum as a nonprofit educational facility. The museum is free and gives visitors a fascinating look at the sheaves and mechanism that actually run the cable system under San Francisco streets. You feel a part of the whole cable car system when you’re there, with the sounds of the sheaves and both a surface and below-ground viewing area of the cable structure.
Located in the Washington-Mason powerhouse and carbarn on Nob Hill, the museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables. Downstairs is a viewing area of the large sheaves and cable line entering the building through the channel under the street.
The museum displays artifacts, photos and historical information. There’s also a video showing the genesis of the cable car system. Be sure to sit close to the screen or the sounds of the cable car barn may drown out the audio.
The museum is accessible via the Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason cable car lines. See the Cable Car Route Map for detailed information.
Cable Car Museum
1201 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Hours: 10 am – 6 pm – April 1 thru September 30
10 am – 5 pm – October 1 thru March 31
Open every day except New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Admission is Free.
The cable car routes are the Powell-Hyde line, the Powell-Mason line and the California line. Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason lines stop at the museum. On the California line get off at Mason Street (by the Fairmont Hotel), the museum is 3 blocks north.