The Table Mountain cableway, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Cape Town, is inaugurated


The first cable car on Table MountainThe first cable car on Table Mountain. Source:

Friday, 4 October 1929

On 4 October 1929 the Table Mountain cableway, one of the world’s biggest tourist attractions in Cape Town, was inaugurated.  The official ceremony was opened by the Mayor of Cape Town, Rev. A. J. S. Lewis and attended by more than 200. By the 1870s many Cape Town citizens had suggested the introduction of a railway line to the top of Table Mountain but plans to implement a proposed rack railway were delayed by the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer war.

In 1912 the Cape Town City Council commissioned an engineer, H.M. Peter, to find various options for public transport to the top of the mountain. Peter suggested that a funicular railway line running up from Oranjezicht through Platteklip Gorge would be the most suitable option but the project was interrupted yet again by war, this time the outbreak of the First World War (1914 - 1918).

A Norwegian engineer, Trygve Stromsoe, proposed to the Council the building of a cableway. Within two years, at a cost of £60 000, the cableway was complete. The car could ascend the mountain in under 10 minutes and carried 19 passengers and a conductor.


  1. Table Mountain Ariel Cableway (2011). ‘History of the cableway’ from Table Mountain Ariel Cableway [online]. Available at [Accessed 23 September 2011]
  2. Cape Town.Travel (2011).  ‘Table Mountain’ from Cape Town: Live It! Love It! [online] Available at [Accessed 24 August 2011]

Last updated : 25-Sep-2013

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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