How does a cable car stop and go?

Also called an “endless ropeway,” the cable car was invented by Andrew S. Hallidie, who first operated his system in San Francisco, California, in 1873. A cable car moves because of its cable, which runs continuously in a channel, between the tracks located just below the street. The cable is controlled from a central station, and usually moves about 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) per hour. Each cable car has an attachment, on the underside of the car, called a grip. When the car operator pulls the lever, the grip latches onto the moving cable and is pulled along by the moving cable. When the operator releases the lever, the grip disconnects from the cable and comes to a halt when the operator applies the brakes.


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