One of the last photographs on my list of things to try and capture in San Francisco were the famous Cable Cars. I walked almost the entire length of the three remaining lines (approximately 5 miles) looking for good viewpoints and working out where the sun would be. Starting at the Maritime National Historical Park, I had planned to ride the tram up Hyde Street but the queue time was well over two hours. Whilst it was an uphill walk from the waterfront, it only took about ten minutes to get to the corner of Francisco Street. The afternoon sun was in the right place and after a short wait Cable Car Number 13 came up Hyde Street. The house on the right is quite unusual and not typical architecture for this area of the city. In the background, across the Bay is the famous Alcatraz Island.
This tram reminded me of the City Circle trams in Melbourne. After looking on the Museum of Transport and Technologies website that is where the tram came from. It is a W2 class originally introduced in 1923, some of which are still in service today. This tram took me on a short journey between MOTAT past Western Springs to the Zoo and on to the Aviation Collection building. Inside the tram is a rugged design, with a timber frame and characterised by fine craftsmanship.
Originally the Kingston Flyer ran between Kingston and Invercargill or Dunedin in the south. Sadly, in 1937 the passenger services on the line closed. In 1971 the Railways Department started operating the trains as a heritage service. Today the Kingston Flyer doesn’t go very far but is spectacular to see. I came across it quite by chance, nearly getting the hire car shunted off the tracks as I drove quickly across the level crossing. Many of the more rural crossings in New Zealand have no lights or barrier. Simply a sign saying give way to trains and look both ways before crossing!
The bright red cable car is widely recognised as a symbol of Wellington. Having seen many photograph of it before this was something I was very keen to both go on and photograph. New Zealand’s capital city turned out to be one of the last main places in the country I have been to but quickly became one of my favourites. Sadly, on the first day in Wellington it was cloudy and wet, with the forecast promising much the same for the next few days. However the next day turned out to be perfect. The blue sky really helps the red of the cable car stand out as the focal point for the photograph. Also, the men playing cricket in the field behind are a nice added touch.