According to Market Street Railway, The Sacramento-Clay Streets cable car 19 was originally constructed in 1883. It was built as an open car, running on the Market Street cable system before the 1906 earthquake. After the earthquake, it was rebuilt into the double-end cable car configuration most of the current cable cars we see today have. It debuted on the Sacramento-Clay line in 1907 and ran until 1942, when that line shut down.
Car 19 is one of the longest cars to ever operate on San Francisco streets. At 34 feet, car 19 and other Sacramento-Clay cars, couldn’t fit onto the Powell Street turntables, so most of them were scrapped.
Market Street railway advocated for the car’s restoration in 1997 and work was done to repair it to operational standards but the car never made it out of Muni’s cable car barn until this year.
Car 19 must now be certified by SFMTA’s Safety Department before it can return to service. Officials hope to have it ready for the annual Muni Heritage Weekend, September 7-8, 2019.
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