Cable Cars in Manhattan

Started, 1893

MTC (Metropolitan Traction Company) spent $12 million on a cable car railway system to move cars on Broadway from Bowling Green to 36th Street. It was the most expensive system on a per-mile basis of any in the nation. When it became operational in the summer of 1893, its fleet comprised 125 cable cars and served 100,000 daily passengers. Four 32-foot winding wheels carried the cables that pulled the cable streetcars. They were powered by four Corliss steam engines 38" x 60", 1200 HP each, developed by the Dickson Manufacturing Company of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Stopped, May 21, 1901

Less than ten years after it was finished and occupied, cable traction became obsolete in 1901 and the company switched to electricity. The last Broadway cable car left the Battery Station at 8:27 PM on May 21, 1901. Its final journey marked the end of cable street transportation in New York City.

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