Brooklyn Rapid Transit Articulated 3 Car Trolley

609 views
18 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 400 posts
Brooklyn Rapid Transit Articulated 3 Car Trolley
Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, September 22, 2018 7:42 PM

I found this Trolley on the web without any historical background provided. I can't find any pic of them on the web, probably a rare model:

"BROOKLYN RAPIDTRANSIT ARTICULATED 3 CAR TROLLEY #4900"



Source: ebay

"Boston Elevated railroad single truck articulated trolley":

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 3,416 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, September 23, 2018 7:54 AM

Boston (and a few other cities) built the "Two rooms and a Bath" cars out of single-truckers in the 1910s to get a car that could negotiate downtown streets and still carry a reasonable number of passengers.  There were also some double-truck versions.  The arrival of the type 3 and 4 cars and the large Center-Entrance cars made the high-maintenance articulated cars surplus.  There were earlier articulated cars (Cleveland had some in the 1890s) but they didn't have the suspended section.

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 400 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, September 23, 2018 9:04 AM

Thank you very much, rcdrye. Was the front car controlling the motors of the rear car as well? 

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 3,095 posts
Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 23, 2018 10:39 AM

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 3,416 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, September 23, 2018 12:52 PM

Jones1945

Thank you very much, rcdrye. Was the front car controlling the motors of the rear car as well? 

 

I would assume the rebuilds were wired as a four motor car, with a K-type controller on each end. The cable connection would require 18 wires (see below), assuming the grids on each car were used by the controllers on the respective cars.

The big improvement on the Brooklyn car was a much better joint between sections, with some lateral and vertical control.  The Boston cars had a reputation for VERY rough riding in the middle section, which was where the conductor stood.

For the connecting cable bundle, each motor would get 4 wires (two each armature and field) and both "T" (Trolley) and "G" (Ground) would have to be tied together.  If a single grid set was used, there would be several more, depending on the controller model used.

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 400 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, September 23, 2018 4:25 PM

Thank you very much Miningman and rcdrye, those are some very nice found and detailed informations. If I run the BRT I would build a tiny bar stools chairs for the conductor. I wonder what the Double Decker version looks like...... Stick out tongue

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 3,095 posts
Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 23, 2018 4:52 PM

I'm sure Forum members can recognize the signature research and information ... in this instance I  am just the messenger! 

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 3,416 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, September 23, 2018 5:57 PM

The Brooklyn car article confirms the use of a K-28 controller, which is a four motor controller.  While it doesn't say whether one or two sets of grids were used, they were upgraded to unbreakable!

It looks like the Brooklyn "bath" was built by Laconia, a middle-of-the-pack builder in Laconia NH, which just barely made the transition to steel construction before folding.

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 400 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, September 23, 2018 7:29 PM

Cool. I wonder if there is any K-28 controller still working!

Wiki, GE K35 controller.

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,603 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, September 23, 2018 9:22 PM

Mr. Jones, you should post the photo of that model on "Model Railroader" if it's HO, or "Classic Toy Trains" if it's O or S gauge.

The folks on either site will probably go nuts when they see it, trust me!

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 400 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, September 23, 2018 9:43 PM
Interesting suggestion, but those are not my pics so I am afraid I am not going to make a new post there, but you could copy and paste my post if you like. Smile
  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 3,416 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Monday, September 24, 2018 6:24 AM

Jones1945
Cool. I wonder if there is any K-28 controller still working!

Seashore Trolley Museum has Manchester and Nashua 38, which I know for certain has K-28s.  I'm pretty sure there are others in the museum fleet.  I know there are some in parts storage.  The K-28 has five notches to full series, three to full parallel.  With 4 GE-80 motors it was (and still is) good for abour 35MPH on good track.

Seashore 38

 

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 3,471 posts
Posted by M636C on Monday, September 24, 2018 7:08 AM

Thinking about these cars, the purpose of the articulation was to provide a low floor entrance where a conductor could collect fares for both cars. Other than the low floor and fare collection, there was no advantage to passengers over a pair of saloon cars running coupled.

Cars of the original saloon design were known in Sydney Australia as the "C class" and were the first electric tramcars in service from about 1899. These cars were usually run in pairs, each car having a four motor controller at one end and connecting cables (and a two motor controller) at the "coupling" end. Sydney used roving conductors to collect fares, so there was no need to add the articulated section. In earlier days some saloon cars were built without motors and hauled as trailers, but this was really only suitable for lines without serious gradients, and required the motor car to "run around" at terminals.

Peter

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 400 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, September 24, 2018 2:50 PM
It is interesting to see that all these early tramcars, streetcars, trolleys from different countries all sharing a similar appearance until some countries like America started making huge streamlined streetcar, trolley and UK used streamlined Double-Deck Tram in some cities and colonies.
  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 6,030 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 12:07 PM

Here's a direct picture of the painted NJ Custom Brass trolley

Someone who knows brass-locomotive history can probably tell you how the model company came to choose this prototype for construction, and when the original (unpainted) version was produced.

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,078 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 12:39 PM

The two-rooms-and-a-bath name was partly due to the tendensy of the early articulation joints to leak during a rain-storm.  The Boston cars had this reputation.

The concept was revived in Europe after WWII when new equipment was needed and right away.  Brussels had some built with PCC-like streamlining but with the two trucks, four motors, and two of the controllers from 30-year-old single-truck cars.  They rode roughly but did the job and didn't leak.  I rode one one a fantrip in the 1970s, organized by Jack May.   In Brussels they were replaced first by regular European PCCs and then by three-truck, two-section articulated PCCs, the last of which are finally being replaced.

But examine the construction of modern low-floor LRVs, like the Alstom Citadas model used in Jerusalem (MU) and Dublin (not MU).   In these two cities the version is five-section, twelve wheels.  Both cities use double-ended cars, so there are two front secdtions with driver's cabs, seperated from the passenger sections by glass walls and doors.  The middle section duplicates the end sections minus the driver cabs and thus is the shortest section.  The two front sections and middle section each have four wheels.  The other two sections lack wheels, have entirely flat low floors, two double doors on each side, and are suspended between a middle and a front section, like the center section of a room-and-a-bath.   The end and middle sections have back-to-back cross seats, allowing the wheels to protrude above the low car floor.  And the wheels are not in a truck that pivots under the car body but are indepenently suspended without pivoting.

The excelant trackwork, with gooved rail throughout, makes for a smooth ride.  The ride through switches is smoothed by a good suspension system for each wheel and flange support at frogs.

The design concept can be and is expanded to seven- and nine-section versions in other cities.  Just add more middle and intermediate-suspended sections on a one-for-one basis.  Without a total redesign.

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 3,416 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 1:34 PM

Zuerich, Switzerland's VBZ extended some of its 1970s-era Tram 2000 sets with a low-floor "Saenfte" module (rough translation - sedan chair or litter, probably due to the section being carried by the original end units.)

https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/vbz/de/index/die_vbz/fahrzeuge/trams/tram2000_saenfte.html#&gid=1&pid=1

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 400 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 2:35 PM

Overmod

Here's a direct picture of the painted NJ Custom Brass trolley

Someone who knows brass-locomotive history can probably tell you how the model company came to choose this prototype for construction, and when the original (unpainted) version was produced.

Must be an interesting story, no wonder forum members suggested me to post on the modeling section! Smile, Wink & Grin

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter