|Gripmen grip only your cameras|
The cable cars are back — but only for photos
The cable cars are back, and did indeed roll down the streets — but only to pose for pictures, welcome passersby and tourists and let them ring the bell at the Powell Street turntable...
Leonard Oats, a cable car gripman for 21 years, said the goal was to get the cable cars back in the sunlight and the public view and to give visitors, who are slowly returning, a chance to see one of the city’s top attractions — even if they can’t ride them.
|Cable Car museum and operations center|
where the wheels keep spinning
The visitors will go home with T-shirts and memories that might even be pleasant enough to induce them to return.
It does seem incongruous, though, to tow the trolley to Powell St. station when the cable sounds like it's running perfectly well under the street.
Although the clank and whir of the underground cable could be heard Saturday morning, Cable Car 26 made its way to Powell Street pulled by a tow truck.The logic and workings of SF Muni will always be puzzling to this humble observer.
“We weren’t allowed to grip the cable,” Oats said, sounding somewhat disappointed.