Cable car No. 15 is no off-the-shelf vehicle.
For more than five years, nearly 30 Municipal Transportation Agency crafts workers - carpenters, a patternmaker, metal workers, transit mechanics, welders and painters - labored on and off to build the cable car from scratch, working off blueprints more than a century old.
"It's a work of art," Christopher Hill, Muni's manager of cable car maintenance, said of the new 8-ton rolling monument.
Made of bronze, steel, red oak, white oak, knot-free fir, Alaskan yellow cedar, canvas and glass, No. 15 cost $823,000 to build. Just about the only materials not specially fabricated for the cable car were the lightbulbs, hinges, rope and screws.
No. 15 is the 12th cable car produced from the bottom up by Muni in the past two decades. It will be used on the Powell Street lines that run from Market Street downtown to Fisherman's Wharf.
The new cable cars ensure that the 136-year-old system - a designated National Historic Landmark and the only one remaining in the world that operates on public streets - will carry on. The average lifespan of a cable car is about 100 years.
Brand-new cable car will soon hit the streets
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