A visit to the neighborhood of Caballito will let us go back to the early Twentieth-century Buenos Aires, at least for a few hours. In this location, both neighbors and tourists may enjoy a ride on board the Buenos Aires historical cable car.
The tours are carried out on board the old cars built by Argentine Tramways Co., best known in the old days as Preston, the name of the English city where the workshops of this British manufacturer were located.
Cable cars were sent to our country from this location back in 1913. The aim: to inaugurate the mythical underground “A” line, one of the oldest in Latin America, which has run under Rivadavia Avenue ever since.
Some stories of the time describe with fascination how the cable cars emerged from underground at Primera Junta to tour along the streets of Caballito, still suburban in those days. They would reach Floresta and Bajo Flores.
On the way back, the cars would go underground to transport passengers to downtown Buenos Aires
. Those were the days of the legendary “laborer’s ticket”, which would cost half-price between 5am and 7am and after 4pm.
That urban show lasted until 1961, when the Executive Power decreed that all cable car services should be annulled. It seemed that modernization did not contemplate one of the most beloved public transports among the citizens of Buenos Aires and, undoubtedly, the most picturesque.
But, as it is usually the case, what remains in the collective memory has a second chance. Therefore, and as a result of the inestimable and very perseverant action of the Asociación Amigos del Tranvía (Cable Car’s Friends Association), four of the cars were rescued from oblivion and restored according to pictures and testimonies from the past days.
Thus, at the Polvorín workshops, located very near Primera Junta Station, the members of the association managed to give the cars their original aspect (including the Fileteado drawings and their typical sky blue color) with which they reached these lands across the Atlantic almost a century ago.
Cars leave every twenty minutes from the corner of Emilio Mitre and José Bonifacio Streets, in the core of Caballito. The tour follows Rivadavia and Directorio Avenues and Hortiguera Street.
The cable car follows some typical arteries in a neighborhood that still preserves its old grand houses, its petit hotels and a singular tree grove, in spite of the remarkable demographic growth it has experienced in the last few years. All this gives a very particular identity to the area.
Caballito’s cable car is an ideal tour to relax and go back to a city of unhurried rhythm. Not only does the cable car transport us through space with its cadence. Getting on one of these cars will also help us travel back in time.
Tour type: Museum
Bear in mind: Timetables: Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: from 4pm to 7:30pm (Mar-Nov), from 5pm to 8:30pm (Dec-Feb). Besides, Sunday mornings from 10am to 1pm year round. Departures every 20 minutes from 500, Emilio Mitre, Caballito. Free fare.