Classic Trains Photo of the Day...B&O Trolley Electric

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Classic Trains Photo of the Day...B&O Trolley Electric
Posted by Miningman on Thursday, February 09, 2017 9:55 AM

Interesting Photo today...some notes and some questions- 

Note- The reporting marks on the boxcar #10 is switching is T&NO, the Texas and New Orleans, part of the Southern Pacific system. The T&NO had the exact same reporting marks as the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario, also T&NO. This caused great confusion as shipments and cars from each would end up thousands of miles from where they were supposed to be. The Temiskaming and Northern Ontario finally gave it up after decades and on Apr.5 1946 renamed themselves the Ontario Northland Railway, reporting marks ONR. 

Question-Was this the same location where the "dockside" fireless steamers ( made even more famous by model railroader manufacturers) plied their trade?

Question- Why did the trolley wires come down and what replaced it?

Question- Is there any railservice to this area today at all? Street/roadway running? Tight radius curves?

Believe I would trade my teaching position to be the engineer of #10..that would be one heck of a fun job.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, February 09, 2017 10:30 AM

Just a small correction:   The Varney HO 0-4-0T Dockside switcher was definitely not a model of a fireless switcher.  Did the B&O own any fireless?  The prototype of the Varney definitely had a firebox, and coal was carried in a small bunker behind the cab, typical for tank engines.

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, February 09, 2017 10:34 AM

OK..thanks for that Dave! I was always under the impression it was a fireless...so is this the area of these famous little steamers? 

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Posted by ACY Tom on Friday, February 10, 2017 10:56 PM

daveklepper

Just a small correction:   The Varney HO 0-4-0T Dockside switcher was definitely not a model of a fireless switcher.  Did the B&O own any fireless?  The prototype of the Varney definitely had a firebox, and coal was carried in a small bunker behind the cab, typical for tank engines.

 

Pretty close, Dave. According to A Picture History of B&O Motive Power, by Lawrence W. Sagle, Simmons-Boardman, New York, 1952, the four B&O C-16 "Little Joe" 0-4-0t's were oil burners. Numbers 96-99 were built in 1912 specifically for service within the Baltimore City limits, and burned oil as a smoke abatement measure. In 1921, numbers 96 and 99 lost their saddle tanks in favor of tenders and were transferred to Philadelphia. Sagle says nothing about converting 96 and 99 from oil to coal, implying that they continued to burn oil until retired in 1945 and 1944 respectively. Numbers 97 and 98 continued as saddle tank engines in service in Baltimore for a few more years. They were renumbered 897 and 898 in 1950, but were both retired and scrapped about a year later.

Larry Sagle was employed by the B&O as a member of the road's Public Relations staff, and was closely associated with the B&O Museum.

Tom 

P.S. I'm not aware of any fireless cookers on the B&O's roster. 

  

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, February 10, 2017 11:46 PM

Terrific, thanks. So when did the wires come down? What replaced the service if the curvature was too tight for diesels? Is it still extant today?

RME
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Posted by RME on Saturday, February 11, 2017 6:42 AM

Miningman
So when did the wires come down? What replaced the service if the curvature was too tight for diesels? Is it still extant today?

The electrical service apparently stopped in 1954.  I think all the C16 "docksider" variants were gone by the end of 1950.

What replaced them was a Cat DT-1, which survives:

There is a very good page of the competition, the PRR's Burkhalter tractors, some of which were used in the Fells Point (Baltimore) area, and their replacements.  It makes less sense to insert links to pictures than to go to the page and read through it:

http://prr.railfan.net/RubberTiredSwitchers.html

Meanwhile, I have seen posts that indicated the Pratt Street job (where the Docksiders ran, as seen in the Feb 2016 picture here) was given to an SW1.  Whether this was modified with longer cables to the trucks, sliding drawbars, better TM ventilation arrangements, etc. would be interesting to know.  My references indicate that the Pratt Street trackage was paved over in 1972.

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, February 11, 2017 8:39 AM

B&O and PRR had quite a bit of trackage, including a car float bridge, in the Fells Point area east of today's Harborplace.  In a couple of instances, both railroads had tracks in the same street.  Originally served only by a carfloat operation from Locust Point B&O ended up using some PRR trackage to get to Pratt Street from Fells Point after float bridge connecting to the rest of the B&O was condemned in the late 1960s. (A replacement from Philadelphia sank en-route.) The Pratt Street trackage was partly interlaced with the WB&A's access to its passenger station (1921-1935) which had its track entrance on Pratt St, so there were overhead wires over a few blocks, though not used by number 10.  I have seen photos of B&O S2s in Pratt St service.  In addition to industrial and maritime traffic, Pratt Street served as a link from the Camden Station/ Mt Clare area to the onetime PW&B President Street Station, with cars moved by horses between the stations (Think Abraham Lincoln).

There was still quite a bit of inactive trackage in the Fells Point area long after the operation was ended.  The final cars there were handled by Conrail and B&O in 1983.

The little electric was the second one used - the first was 1895-built #4, a 5-ton unit numbered in sequence with B&O's Baltimore Tunnel electrics, replaced by 1910-built 10-ton #10 (5-9 were boxcab freight motors, 11-18 steeplecab motors used for both freight and passenger trains - eastbound only).

B&OHS did a series of articles in the Sept/Oct and Nov/Dec 1991 issues on Fells Point and Pratt Street.

B&O's midget electric ran on power purchased from Baltimore Transit.  Note the push pole hanging from its frame!

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, February 11, 2017 9:45 AM

Thanks RME and rcdrye..Fabulous stuff....I knew well of the PRR Buckwalter's but nothing of the B&O CAT DT-1, nor of the railroad history and fate of the area. 

Fells Point eh...reminds me of the TV series "Homicide..life on the street"  Set in Baltimore. ..those detectives were always hanging around Fells Point having chit chats and getting "inspired" by the setting. 

Thanks again.

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, February 11, 2017 1:50 PM

When #10 was in the shop, one of the Docksides substituted - at the time it would have gone to Locust Point via the Municipal Belt and floated to Fells Point.

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, February 12, 2017 3:15 PM

B&O had two lines that worked down Pratt Street and ended at President Street.  One line came out of the area of the B&O Museum, the crew office for this job was at Poppleton Street.  When the crew on this job was my responsibility they used a GE 44 ton locomotive either 8800 or 8801.  It is an ascending grade from President Street to the Museum - if the crew had to pull more than 8 empty cars - they had to double the hill.  At the time there were a number of customers on Pratt Street that had to be switched - normally loads in and empties out.  The Baltimore News American was located on Pratt Street (just across the street from Harborplace) and recieved two cars of newsprint daily.

As can be seen the draft gear on the 8801 has been modified to permit coupling to cars in areas of a high degree of curvature - making turns from the middle of Pratt Street into customers buildings that fronted Pratt Street.

The second job to work down Pratt Street came out of Locust Point Yard and worked its way from the Riverside section of Locust Point Yard down Key Highway, servicing a number of the ship candlers and ship building dry docks that were located on Key Highway.  The track made a right turn onto Light Street at what is now the Maryland Science Center, proceeded down Light Street to Pratt Street making a right turn onto it.  On the West side of Light Street opposite Harborplace was McCormick Spice Company that was the last customer that was serviced on this line and it was serviced after the opening of Harborplace.  After getting on Pratt Street the track continued down to President Street and serviced customers on the 'water side' of Pratt street.  The normal power on this job when it was under my supervision was one of several SW-1's that were used at Locust Point.

It was not unusual to be on Pratt Street at 3 or 4 in the morning and seeing both crews servicing their customers.  A past that will not be recreated.

In the Google Earth view below - The Pratt Street engine's route is in Blue and the Locust Point engine's route is in red.  What is shown as 'Tide Point' is the location of the former Proctor & Gamble plant that employed many area residents.  The white tanks to the right of Tide Point is the former location of the ADM Grain facility and pier (the pier collapsed into the harbor in 2001) and the facility was subsequently closed. 

In it's day the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore was the heart of the maritime industry for the area.  As time moved on and all forms of transportation improved the Port of Baltimore expanded away from the Inner Harbor area.  Port Covington which occupied the South Side of the same pennisula that Locust Point occupies the North Side of.  Eventually port facilities ringed the entire harbor area from BG&E's Wagner Station on the South Side of the Patapsco River to Sparrows Point (former Bethlehem Steel Plant) on the North Side of the Patapsco framing the entrance of the Patapsco into Chesapeake Bay.

 

 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, February 12, 2017 4:28 PM

Balt ACD -Very nice descriptions...a person could mentally take a ride in the cab and see those locations. 

Unfortunate about " a past that will not be recreated". Must have been a heck of a thing for many many years...WWII would have been nuts. 

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Posted by ACY Tom on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 10:17 AM

I recently saw a photo that showed one of the tender engines. It looks like there was coal in the tender, so I conclude those two were converted to coal firing.

A recent item on Facebook said one of the tender engines was used in Wilmington.

Tom

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 4:19 PM

On the above map, Fells Point is in the middle right.  Tracks on Fells, Wolfe and Thames Sts.  PRR on Aliceanna St.  In the last couple of years cars came in via the former PRR line (PC, then Conrail).  They moved to the B&O via a switchback connection on the then Arundel Concrete property on Wolfe between Aliceanna and Lancaster to get to the foot of Wolfe St.

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Posted by DSO17 on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 12:09 PM

By the mid-late 1970s Penn Central/Conrail would bring both their own and B&O cars from Bayview Yard using street trackage on Boston St. and Aliceanna St. to City Block Yard, which was on Aliceann near Central Ave. This was done by a yard crew using an engine. The PC/CR tractor would take their own cars to the consignees and leave the B&O cars on Thames St. at Fell St. The B&O tractor would then take their cars down Fell St. to their destination. CR accessed their Thames St. trackage by tracks in Caroline St. and Bond St., but they usually used the Bond St. track. CR had a Freight office and yard at Jackson's Wharf at Thames and Bond St. This is where their tractors were based. All trackage south of Aliceann was tractor only.

The CR tractor crew was a conductor, a rear brakeman, and a front brakeman (called a "chauffeur"), who had to be qualified to operate the tractor.

As I understood it, the B&O tractor job had a two-man crew, who came from the freight agent's office?

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 1:36 PM

DSO17
As I understood it, the B&O tractor job had a two-man crew, who came from the freight agent's office?

That wasn't new with the tractor.  The crews of the tiny electric motors also came from the freight agent's office - probably a holdover from the use of horses.

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Posted by DSO17 on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 5:24 PM

rcdrye

 

 
DSO17
As I understood it, the B&O tractor job had a two-man crew, who came from the freight agent's office?

 

That wasn't new with the tractor.  The crews of the tiny electric motors also came from the freight agent's office - probably a holdover from the use of horses.

 

Thanks. I wondered where that had come about.

PRR also used horses at one time.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:35 PM

PRR car movers - early and late

 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:38 PM

B&O car mover

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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