Cable cars run on steel rails with a slot between the tracks where an underground cable runs at a continuous nine miles per hour. Cable car drivers cannot power the vehicles on their own. In order to move the cable car forward, the driver must use a grip that attaches to the cable like a giant pair of pliers.
Streetcars also run on steel rails, but with no slot between the tracks, and no underground cable. Unlike the mechanical cable cars, streetcars are propelled by onboard electric motors and require a trolley pole to draw power from an overhead wire.
On Today’s Date in the Past: