SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In an unassuming bronze building in San Francisco Dogpatch neighborhood is the SFMTA cable car carpentry shop.
"They survived earthquakes. They survived fires. They survived depression," said Rick Laubscher, president of the Market Street Railway.
This is where cable cars are born and brought back to life.
Every piece is built by hand and assembled by SFMTA carpenters, who some may call historians.
"This car right here was brought in about a year and a half ago. Getting pretty close as you can see. Here we are at 2023. That's a good 60-year run that you aren't going to get off a bus or a street car or anything like that anymore," said Andrew McCarron, SFMTA carpenter supervisor.
To honor their history this year, San Francisco is celebrating 150 years of cable cars and opening the doors of the carpentry shop to the public.
When ABC7 News arrived, the tour was sold out with 50 people in line.
"I don't think they let anybody in. Only the first Friday of the month for three months and this is the second one. There is only one more and that's going to be it," said Rose Feeney, San Francisco city guide.
We sat with the youngest cable car enthusiast on the tour.
Luz Pena: "Do you think the cable cars look 150 years old?"
Rory Caesar: "They pretty much look like six years old. Some of them look like six."
Cable cars were the first real technological innovations in the history of San Francisco. Many others followed after that, like computers.
We chatted with Carina Clover who was happy about both of these innovations.
Luz Pena: "How did you feel when you feel when your mom told you got tickets to come to the tour?"
Carina Clover: "I felt neutral because. There was lots and lots of coding things that I was going to do, but its fun to get out and turn off the screen for a while."
This shop is like a time machine and despite the century that has gone by the cable car brakes remain the same.
"There are three sets of brakes and these are very high tech as you can see. They are wood," said Rick Laubscher, president of the Market Street Railway.
Cable cars can last on average 60 years. Every car has four wooden brakes that are changed every three-to-four days.
Even though the tours are sold out, the president of the Market Street Railway opened a couple slots after this story. For their tours visit: SF Cable Cars
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