Cable Car Lines in Other Cities
by Joe Thompson


Edinburgh

Part of cable car depot in Henderson Row still exists. Alex Dow reports that most of it was demolished in the 1980's.

"There is a nice video about Edinburgh (electric) but there is a short bit near the end that includes a visit into the remaining cable tunnels etc underneath Henderson Row. These exist today. The 'tour' is conducted by the (now retired) General Manager of Lothian Region Transport. The video is UK format PAL/SECAM. There is a very small preserved section of cable track in Waterloo Place (at the East End of Princes St) in Edinburgh. When the trams ran, there was a good 100ft or more. This is/was at the "Post Office" tram Terminus."

CHARLES BILLETTE

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Birmingham - Birmingham Central Tramways Company

Birmingham

Black Country Museum Transport Group (BCMTG)

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Matlock - Matlock Tramways Company, Ltd

Bank Road and the Tram has information about Matlock cable trams:

"At the turn of the twentieth century Matlock boasted the steepest tramway in the world. For 34 years, from 1893 to 1927, a cable tramway connected Crown Square with Smedley Street and Rutland Street. The single line tramway - with passing places - went straight up Bank Road. Bank Road, or 'The Bank', was known as Dob(b) Lane before 1891.

"The idea of the tramway came from San Francisco. A local man, Job Smith, had seen the one in San Francisco in 1862 (sic) and a few years later tried, unsuccessfully, to interest John Smedley in the idea. It was not until 1892 that Sir George Newnes of Matlock Bath, who had built a cliff railway in Devon, offered to finance the project. A limited company was formed and the directors were:

"Sir George Newnes
Mr Robert Wildgoose of Matlock
Mr Job Smith of Matlock
Mr Charles Rowland of Matlock
Dr W Bell Hunter of Matlock
Mr Charles Hill of Bridge House, Cromford
Mr G Croydon Marks of Birmingham

"The building that housed the tram's depot and engine house is just below Rockside (the old Hydro), on the corner of Rutland and Wellington Street. The waiting room has a clock on top and was given to the town by Robert Wildgoose; the building was originally in the middle of Crown Square but has been moved to the side of the Square into Hall Ley's Park.

http://www.matlock.ndirect.co.uk/Tramway.htm

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Providence, Rhode Island - Providence Cable Tramway

Providence grip "SCREW SPINDLE GRIP -- PROVIDENCE R. I., CABLE LINE." From Street Railways: Their Construction, Operation and Maintenance by CB Fairchild, 1892. July, 2008 Picture of the Month.

line: College Hill

opened: 11-December-1889. From x to x

powerhouse: x

grip: single-jaw side, wheel operated

gauge: 4'8 1/2"

cars: open grip and trailer trains

turntables: ?

crossings: N/A

notes: The Union Railroad provided horse-car service to most parts of Providence (According to the 1887 Poor's Directory of Railway Officials, it operated "58.855 miles of road, owned 1,850 horses and 272 cars."), but not to the wealthy neighborhood on the east side of College Hill. The direct route over the hill would be too steep for horse traction.

Walter Richmond, a resident of the East Side, organized the Providence Cable Tramway and secured a franchise against the opposition of the Union Railroad (Proceedings of the Rhode Island Historical Society, 1909, page 58).

The line was difficult to operate because the streets it covered were not straight. The cable broke 17 times in the first six months ("Cables connect College Hill", Karen Davis, Providence Journal, 25-January-1999).

Providence counterbalance car A former Providence cable car equipped for the counterbalance.

"Mr. M. H. (Milton Howard - JT) Bronsdon learned the business of his father (constructing engineer). His first work of importance was done at the age of 21 years, while foreman of construction of two cable railways at Los Angeles, Cal. (The Second Street Cable Railway and the Temple Street Cable Railway - JT), and afterward as master mechanic of one of them. He remained in Los Angeles from April, 1885, until May, 1889, when he went to Denver, Col., as manager of the Denver Tramway for seven months. He resigned his position in order to accept the office of superintendent of Providence Cable Tramway of Providence, R. I. In March, 1895, the road changed to electric motive power, and Mr. Bronsdon was appointed engineer-in-chief for the Union R.R. Co. of Providence, R.I., which position he now holds. In 1895 he designed and built the Inclined Counterweight System (his own patented invention) on the steep incline of College Street, Providence. In 1896, he built a similar railway at Morgan Park, 1ll. In 1898, he built the Inclined Railway Systems on St. Anthony's Hill, at St. Paul, Minn." (Bronsdon and Box Families: Part I. by Colonel Lucius B Marsh and Mrs Harriet F Parker, 1902)

from Annual Report of the Railroad Commissioner, January Session, 1891.

REPORT OF PROVIDENCE CABLE TRAMWAY COMPANY.

Incorporated 1884. Road built in 1889. Began running January 1, 1890.

OFFICERS.

Walter RichmondPresidentProvidence, R. I.
W. B. TalbotTreas. and Sec'yProvidence, R. I.
Milton H. BronsonSuperintendentProvidence, R. I.

DIRECTORS.

Walter RichmondProvidence, R. I.
George W. ButtsProvidence, R. I.
Henry G. RussellProvidence, R. I.
F. E. RichmondProvidence, R. I.
Alfred StoneProvidence, R. I.
Joseph BaniganProvidence, R. I.
Charles FletcherProvidence, R. I.

Returns for Six Months Ending June 30, 1890.

Capital Stock actually paid in (common)$300,000.00
Capital Stock actually paid in (preferred)None.
Total amount of funded debtNone.
Total amount of floating debt27,700.00
Total amount of receipts from passengers38,946.55
Total amount of receipts from all other sources123.76
Total receipts39,070.31
Total running expenses, including interest and taxes33,573.96
Total net earnings5,496.35
Rate of dividend paid to stockholdersNone.
Total surplus after paying dividendNone.
Total surplus at commencement of yearNone.
Expended during the year for new rolling stock ó for summer cars18,200.00
Expended during the year for repairs on rolling stockNone.
Balance of rolling stock account at commencement of yearNone.
Balance of rolling stock account at close of six months49,625.98
Balance of construction account at close of six months145,769.17
Total number of passengers carried during six months778,931
Total number of tons merchandise carried during six monthsNone.
Number of horses owned116
Cost of same as account now stands16,380.00
Number of passenger cars owned or leased ó including eight motorcars48
Cost of same as account now stands49,625.98
Total length of road3 Miles.
Miles of track in this State3 "
Number of passengers killed during six monthsNone.
Number of passengers injured during six monthsNone.
*Number of persons injured at grade-crossings1
Number of employees killedNone.
Number of employees injuredNone.
Rate of fare5 cents.

* Mr. W. D. Watson was fatally injured Jan. 26, 1890, (and died within a week) from attempting to cross in front of a grip car on Hope street, corner of Waterman.

from ACCIDENTS DURING 1890.

page 43

Jan. 26. WALTER D. WATSON, of Providence, while attempting to drive in a carriage across Waterman street, in front of grip car No. 18, of the Providence Cable Tramway Co., was struck by the car and so severely injured that lie died on the following Wednesday.

page 46

May 15. JOHN COYNE, a laborer in the employ of the highway department, city of Providence, was struck by a car of the Providence Cable Tramway Co. on Angcll Street, and received severe injuries about the hips. He saw the car and stepped aside, but not far enough.

page 47

July 19. ROY EVERETT BRYANT, 7 years old, was playing with other boys on South Angell street, Providence, and while running backward was struck by a grip-car of the Providence Cable Tramway Co. and run over. He was taken to the Rhode Island Hospital, and his right leg amputated below the knee. He was discharged from the Hospital cured, on the 7th of August.

from CHANGES IN OWNERSHIP.

page 89

The Providence Cable Tramway, having accomplished its object and secured direct transportation to the residents of the "East side," has been absorbed by the Union Railroad Company, and is now operated by that company. This I regard as a move in the right direction, as whenever two or more rival companies use the same tracks, there will necessarily be more or less friction between employees.

from Annual Report of the Railroad Commissioner, For the Year Ending December 31, 1893.

REPORT OF PROVIDENCE CABLE TRAMWAY COMPANY.

Incorporated July 24, 1884.

OFFICERS.

Nelson W. AldrichPresidentProvidence, R. I.
A. T. PotterGeneral ManagerProvidence, R. I.
C. A. BabcockTreasurerProvidence, R. I.
H. V. A. JoslinSecretaryProvidence, R. I.
M. H. BronsdonSuperintendentProvidence, R. I.

DIRECTORS.

Nelson W. AldrichProvidence, R. I.
Benjamin A. JacksonProvidence, R. I.
Charles H. PerkinsProvidence, R. I.
Gorham P. PomroyProvidence, R. I.
George W. R. MattesonProvidence, R. I.
Nicholas SheldonProvidence, R. I.
Arthur H. WatsonProvidence, R. I.

Returns for Six Months Ending June 30, 1893.

Capital Stock actually paid in (common)$300,000.00
Capital Stock actually paid in (preferred)None.
Funded debtNone.
Floating debt420.00
Total gross debt420.00
Construction account167,810.27
Equipment account116,010.08
All other assets77,851.00
Total property and assets361,671.30
Receipts passenger department152,210.60
Receipts from all other sourcesNone.
Total receipts152,210.60
Operating expenses72,744.07
Interest paid within the year88.23
Taxes paid within the year2,000.30
Salaries and wages of employees50,382.56
All other expendituresNone.
Total expenditures125,210.15
Net earnings27,000.45
Rate and amount of dividend paidNone.
Surplus61,251.30
Surplus at beginning of year34,250.85
Expended during year for new rolling stockNone.
Expended during year for repairs of rolling stock4,295.29
Rolling stock account at beginning of year61,787.73
Rolling stock account at end of year61,787.73
Expended for maintenance of way7,443.04
How much of last amount charged to construction accountNone.
How much of same charged to expense accountAll.
Balance of construction account at beginning of year167,810.27
Balance of construction account at end of year167,810.27
Total number of passengers carried during the year3,044,212
Number of horses147
Number of motor or grip cars14
Number of passenger cars44
Total length of road in miles (main track)3.105
Miles of road in this State (main track)3.105
Miles of track in this State3.428
Tons of new steel rails laid during the yearNone.
Number of ties laid during the yearNone.
Number of passengers killed during the year in this StateNone.
Number of passengers injured during the year in this State5
Number of persons killed at grade crossingsNone.
Number of persons injured at grade crossingsNone.
Number of persons walking on or crossing the track killedNone.
Number of persons walking on or crossing the track injuredNone.
Number of employees killedNone.
Number of employees injuredNone.
Average number of persons employed in this State95
Rate of fare5 cts.

from ACCIDENTS DURING THE YEAR 1893.

page 47

Feb. 26. Antonio De Angelis stepped from car No. 14, Providence Cable Tramway Co., while it was in motion, but fell and broke his leg. He was taken to the R. I. Hospital.

May 29. As car No. 40, Providence Cable Tramway Co., drawn by horses, was passing up Dyer avenue, Johnston, a boy by the name of Willie Williams fell from the car and one wheel passed over his leg. He was taken to the R. I. Hospital.

from Annual Report of the Railroad Commissioner, For the Year Ending December 31, 1894.

REPORT OF PROVIDENCE CABLE TRAMWAY COMPANY.

Incorporated July 24, 1884.

OFFICERS.

Nelson W. AldrichPresidentProvidence, R. I.
A. T. PotterGeneral ManagerProvidence, R. I.
C. A. BabcockTreasurerProvidence, R. I.
H. V. A. JoslinSecretaryProvidence, R. I.
M. H. BronsdonSuperintendentProvidence, R. I.

DIRECTORS.

Nelson W. AldrichProvidence, R. I.
Benjamin A. JacksonProvidence, R. I.
Charles H. PerkinsProvidence, R. I.
Gorham P. PomroyProvidence, R. I.
George W. R. MattesonProvidence, R. I.
Nicholas SheldonProvidence, R. I.
Arthur H. WatsonProvidence, R. I.

Returns for the year ending June 30, 1894.

Capital Stock actually paid in (common)$300,000.00
Capital Stock actually paid in (preferred)None.
Funded debtNone.
Floating debt330.00
Total gross debt330.00
Construction account167,810.27
Equipment account118,575.94
All other assets108,040.87
Total property and assets394,627.08
Receipts passenger department142,641.20
Receipts from all other sourcesNone.
Total receipts143,641.20
Operating expenses60,240.21
Interest paid within the yearNone.
Taxes paid within the year3,351.36
Salaries and wages46,203.85
All other expendituresNone.
Total expenditures109,795.43
Net earnings32,845.78
Rate and amount of dividend paidNone.
Surplus94,097.08
Surplus at beginning of year61,251.30
Expended during year for new rolling stock18.265.91
Expended during year for repairs of rolling stock2,968.88
Rolling stock account at beginning of year61,787.73
Rolling stock account at end of year80,033.64
Expended for maintenance of way6,667.17
How much of last amount charged to construction accountNone.
How much of same charged to expense accountAll.
Balance of construction account at beginning of year167,810.27
Balance of construction account at end of year167,810.27
Total number of passengers carried during the year2,852,824
Number of horses-
Number of motor or grip cars29
Number of passenger cars29
Total length of road in miles3.105
Miles of road in this State3.105
Miles of track3.428
Tons of new steel rails laid during the yearNone.
Number of ties laid during the yearNone.
Number of passengers killed during the year in this StateNone.
Number of passengers injured during the year in this StateNone.
Number of persons killed at grade crossingsNone.
Number of persons injured at grade crossingsNone.
Number of persons killedNone.
Number of persons injured1
Number of employees killedNone.
Number of employees injuredNone.
Average number of persons employed in this State70
Rate of fare5 cts.

CABLE TRAMWAY.

page 39

When the Union horse system was changed to an electric that portion of the Providence Cable Tramway line which had been operated by horse power was also transformed. Within the past year authority has been given the company to substitute electric power for the propulsion of cars upon the cable portion. The operation of cars upon the excessive grade on College Hill is to be assisted by a system of counterweights similar to those in successful use in the cities of Seattle and Portland. Without some such device it would be unsafe to make the ascent and descent of so heavy a grade, and this provision is being made by the company so as to preclude to the greatest extent any possible liability to accident.

from ACCIDENTS.

page 41

February 6. Herbert Dyer of Providence, while coasting down Grand Avenue, was struck by cable car No. 30, Providence Cable Co., and somewhat injured.

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Saint Paul, Minnesota - Saint Paul City Railway

images

F Scott Fitzgerald grew up in the Summit Avenue area.

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Istanbul, Turkey - The TŁnel

Istanbul, Turkey has a 5000 meter funicular subway called the TŁnel. The TŁnel is north of the Bosphorous. It connects the waterfront Karakoy area (also called Galata) with the hilly Beyoglu area. French engineers built the Tunel in 1873 to allow foreign diplomats and business people to reach Karakoy from their homes in Beyoglu.

The TŁnel offers frequent service between its two stations.

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London, England - The Tower Subway

London's Tower Subway ran under the Thames from Tower Hill to Pickleherring Street (great name) on the south bank. The tube through which it ran was built by engineer Peter William Barlow and his assistant, James Henry Greathead. Greathead developed the Greathead Shield, an iron cylinder about 8 feet in diameter with a square door at the front to allow the miners access to the clay work face. The miners used hand tools to dig away the clay in front of the shield, and then hydraulic rams pushed the shield forward. Then iron tunnel lining was bolted into place to form a tube.

The tube was not suitable for steam traction and electric traction was not sufficiently developed, so it opened with cable traction on narrow gauge rails. The cable system used a single car permanently attached to an an endless cable, which was driven by a stationary steam engine at one terminal. The line opened on 02-Aug-1870, but it was not reliable and and the tube was converted to a pedestrian walkway by November, 1870.

When Tower Bridge opened in 1894, the tube walkway was closed to the public and the tube was used as a water pipe conduit. Today it also carries fiber optic cables.

In 1886, Greathead used a larger version of his shield to dig a tube for the City and South London Railway under the Thames near London Bridge. Greathead proposed cable traction for the City and South London, but it was built as an electric line and was the first successful tube railway.

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Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania - Mauch Chunk

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/travel/escapes/101399.htm

http://www.tnonline.com/archives/news/2001/05.26/community.html

allegheny portage

http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/23allegheny/23allegheny.htm

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Sydney - Balmain Counterbalance

The wharf at Balmain on Sydney Harbor is at the bottom of a steep grade. Electric trams reached the wharf with the help of a counterbalance. A dummy car, built from an old cable grip car, sat at the top of the hill. An electric tram would gently nose up to it, and push it down the hill. The dummy and the tram were counterbalanced by a heavy weight that ran on narrow gauge tracks that ran in a conduit under the tracks. As the tram and dummy went down the hill, the rising counterweight would slow their descent. When tram was ready to return to the top of the hill, the dummy would rise behind it, giving it a push, and the counterweight would descend to the bottom, stopping against a hydraulic buffer.

The dummy is on display at the Sydney Tramway Museum.

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Pennsylvania - Allegheny Portage Railroad

http://www.nps.gov/alpo/

When Philadelphia capitalists saw the benefits that New York City derived from the Erie Canal as part of a direct water connection to the Great Lakes, they decided that Pennsylvania needed a similar project.

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Brazil - S„o Paulo Railway

http://mikes.railhistory.railfan.net/r059.html

The Brazilian port of Santos is separated from the interior of S„o Paulo state by a steep range of mountains.

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Last updated 01-July-2008