original cable car tunnel in kc mo

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original cable car tunnel in kc mo

  • there was one of the first cable cars in america that ran from the wCoolest bottoms to the bluffs in downtown kc mo. does anyone know where it was?

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  • Cable Car in America by George W. Hilton has a chapter on Kansa City

    At Amazon.com:



    Book search results:



    Cable railroads in Kansas City were:

    Kansas City Cable Railway - Operation began 1885 - Original line 9th St (Union Station to Grand Ave) Grand Ave (9th St to 8th St), 8th (Grand Ave to Woodland Ave.)  There was an elevated terminal at Union Station on the west side of the railroad tracks.  A truss bridge (185 ft span) crossing over the tracks connected to a  trestle (length 416 ft)  ascending the bluff (grade 18.535%)

    Metropolitan Street Railway Company- Operation began 1887

    Grand Avenue Railway- Operation began 1887

    Inter State Consolidated Rapid Transit- Cable operation began 1888

    Peoples Cable Railway- Operation began 1888

    Union Cable Railway- Operation began 1889



    I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

    I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • i have read all that. does any one know about the urban legend here in kcmo that there is a sealed tunnel that was used to ease the grade up to the bluff.

  • Upon further reading in Hilton's book I pieced together the following :

    the Inter - State Consolidated Rapid Transit Raiway:

    Built an 810 ft tunnel through the bluff on an 8.8% grade.  The eastern end of the tunnel was on 8th Street at Washington Street. The tunnel went into service Apr 24, 1888. It operated, as intended,  using rapid transit  cars from the company's  steam dummy line pulled by short grip cars. The weight of the cars was a problem so  regular  cable cars replaced the  rapid transit and grip car combo  in October 1888. Electric cars replaced cable cars in 1892. The grade in the tunnel reduced to 5% in 1903-1904. The east portal moved two blocks east to Broadway at that time.  The tunnel was the principal entrance to downtown until the street cars were discontinued. (probably 1957)


    The Kansas  City Public Library has lots of references to the tunnel in their card catalog. Unfortunately  most are not on-line:



    There are also a few photos on-ine.

    I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

    I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Ah, interesting. A "steam dummy" is an actual steam engine disguised to look like a regular car. They're describing that the tunnel's grip cars pull the same cars the steam dummy does apparently because its fumes were unsafe and it couldn't pull the 5% grade.