#ThrowbackThursday – the Cableway's first upgrade

#ThrowbackThursday – the Cableway’s first upgrade

It's our birthday month! The Cableway turned 85 on 4 October, and we're celebrating by delving into the archives for some interesting historic photos. Check out our blog every Thursday in October for this special series of #ThrowbackThursday moments.

Last week, we looked at the opening of the Cableway in 1929. Today, we have a picture from the second cable car, which was introduced during an upgrade in 1958.


The 1958 cable car had a capacity of 23 passengers, with one attendant operating the car. Fully loaded, it weighed approximately three tons. The new upgraded cableway had an auxiliary, diesel-powered engine in the Upper Cable Station, designed to take over in the event of a power failure.

These cable cars took eight minutes to travel from the lower station the top station. The cable cars remained in operation until 1974, carried two million people, and retired with an accident-free safety record.


Among the many famous visitors during this period was Royal Ballet Prima Ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn. She was escorted to the summit by Dennis Hennessy, who succeeded his father, Sir Alfred Hennessey, at the helm of the Table Mountain Cableway.

Soon after their historic Everest climb, mountaineers Sir Edmund Hillary and George Lowe took the easy way up Table Mountain via the cable car. Hillary is quoted as saying: "There is probably no more spectacular place in the world than Cape Town and Table Mountain at the tip of Africa."

You can still see the old 1958 cable car when you visit Table Mountain Cableway today – look for it on the road opposite the main queuing area. You can even step inside and take a photo!

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