Classic Railroad Quiz (at least 50 years old).

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 02, 2019 9:28 AM

At a moderate sized town, an interurban line paralleled an electrified railroad.  The line's store-front station was across the street, and across the interurban's track. from the RR. station.

The electric suburban trains have and still provide a direct ride to a center city.  The interurban required one change. 

Several years  before abandonment two changes were necessary, and many interurban passengers began changing between the interurban and the suburban railroad trains at this town.

 Town and circumstances?

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 08, 2019 8:44 AM

Hints:  Althbough tinterurban cars and the suburban mu cars both used axle-hung commutator motors, the technology and current were different.

Both used overhead wire.

The interuran had an extensive local streetcar system at one end of the line, plus one other interurban line, shorter and with lighter traffic.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 8:03 AM

Two hints that should. really give it away

 The suburban cars had a unique method for trainlining catenary power.

The interurban cars had 3rd-rail shoes as well as trolley poles.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 12:42 PM

Sounds like Norristown PA (Reading, P&W, LVT).  The P&W's station was just up the hill from the Reading's station, the earlier joint P&W/LVT station about a block away.  LVT cars ran to 69th St, as did P&W, with a change to Rapid Transit there.  Reading's cars had spring-loaded contact bars extending over the car ends to bus power, a method also used by GN on its Z- and Y- class electrics.  Initially P&W ran onto street trackage, later cut back to the current terminal on el structure.

LVT stopped through running to 69th in 1949, though LCL freight continued to use the P&W until 1951.  The double change, at Norristown and 69th, made the run too slow for many passengers.  Some change to the Reading at Norristown, which gave a one-seat ride to Reading Terminal downtown, available today as SEPTA's Mayanunk/Norristown line.

Reading 11KV 25 hz AC, P&W 740VDC Third rail, LVT 600VDC trolly, used LVT third rail to 69th st.  PRR also offered service to Norristown until the mid 1960s.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 1:28 AM

Right on everything except the town location for the transfer.

Norristown is on a different Reading line.

Hint:  The Reading line also hosted diesel trains that went further and even handled an interline sleeper.

Again, the tracks were parallel though the town, and the SEPTA tracks still parallel the main street.

The store-front interurban station was across the street, and across the on-street LVT track, from the Reading station.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 6:55 AM

Oh. In that case, Lansdale PA, on the Lansdale/Doylestown line.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 2:57 PM

Lansdale on the ex-Reading Bethlehem Branch, you mean.  This bypassed the whole Norristown exchange-to-P&W or local cars downtown transfer business.

Seems like just yesterday I was riding the farewell-to-the-Blueliners trip to Doylestown, outrunning the hungry hordes to ... what was it, a Jack-in-the-box?  Where has the time gone?

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4:34 PM

You did get the right town, so go ahead rc.

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, September 14, 2019 12:33 PM

This city's transit system eventually had both new and second-hand PCCs.  Due to legal restrictions, it started its streamlined fleet with PCC lookalikes, which had many PCC parts that were not covered by TRC (Transit Research Corp) patents.

This was a bit ironic as one of its other transit forms was the source of an important patent trust at one time.

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Posted by narig01 on Saturday, September 14, 2019 3:00 PM

rcdrye

This city's transit system eventually had both new and second-hand PCCs.  Due to legal restrictions, it started its streamlined fleet with PCC lookalikes, which had many PCC parts that were not covered by TRC (Transit Research Corp) patents.

This was a bit ironic as one of its other transit forms was the source of an important patent trust at one time.

 

Muni 1003 at the museum station platform.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, September 14, 2019 3:52 PM

I get a "forbidden document" notice when I try to pull up the URL

Can you download and post the picture of the SF Muni "Magic Carpet" car?

But the patent was Market Street Ry's, Muni, and it was for white-painted fronts on streetcars!  And Muni repainted the MKS cars, removing the white fronts, upono unification.

Ricihard Allman reports to me that the photo of the LVT local car on a a street (LVT pix thread) is indeed in front of the Landsdale LVT station, "with the Reading Station off to the right."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

l

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 15, 2019 2:52 PM

But it is clearly Narig's opportunity to ask the next question

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, September 15, 2019 3:48 PM

https://www.wrm.org/visit/car-roster/passenger-cars/streetcars/item/108-san-francisco-municipal-railway-1003

San Francisco ordinances prohibited Muni from making payments for patent rights until 1946.  The "Magic Carpet" cars were very nearly PCCs, but with different trucks, controls and motors.  Market Street Railway's "White Front" patent for the lighted white dash on their cars, while important to San Francisco, wasn't among the patents that originated in San Francisco that sparked many attempts to evade them.  Those would be the Cable Railway Patents, as protected by the Patent Trust, which included several side grip designs as well as the Eppelsheimer bottom grip still used by Muni on the remaining Cable lines.  Some of the patent-evading designs were as strange as "top grip" systems like the Low & Grim grip where the grip came up from under the cable to hold it (trust patents offered side and bottom grips).  There were a few non-trust side and bottom-grip systems as well, though a couple of them lost infringement suits.  By the time the Trust's patents expired there was little if any reason for innovation in cable traction.

After Muni acquired the Market Street Railway in 1944, ex-MSRy cars were repainted with either gray or green fronts to avoid paying royalties to the Byllesby Company, which retained the "White Front" patents in the sale to Muni.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, September 16, 2019 1:19 AM

Geary Car House Shop With Workers and Magic Carpet Type Streetcar 1004 | November 7, 1941

https://sfmta.photoshelter.com/image/I0000v0a4C.UaA_E

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 16, 2019 11:19 AM

Still waiting for RC's question.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, September 16, 2019 1:07 PM

Sorry, Nariq01 answered my question about SF's Magic Carpet cars.

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Posted by narig01 on Monday, September 16, 2019 10:43 PM

Muni 1003 looks a lot like a PCC. I had run it any number of times at Rio Vista. It has a hand controller not pedal controls of a PCC. The ride is one of the smoothest of all the streetcars at Rio Vista. 

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Posted by narig01 on Monday, September 16, 2019 10:54 PM

rcdrye

Sorry, Nariq01 answered my question about SF's Magic Carpet cars.

 

As to a question, something simple, last weekend Muni debuted in service a cable car that is, I think, the oldest cable car in service. 

      When the car was first run what gauge was it.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 3:46 AM

From the Marlet Street Railway Association website{

Early this morning, a cable car originally constructed in 1883 became Muni’s oldest operating transit vehicle. Early this morning, Sacramento & Clay Sts. cable car 19 made a full trip on the California Street line pulled by the cable. It was the first time this cable car was pulled by a cable on the street in 77 years, since its retirement in 1942. This news, and these wonderful photos, come from Market Street Railway member Traci Cox who documented the event. This was the final test in a 20-year process to return a tired, sagging cable car that forlornly sat at the back of the cable car barn into a fully operable vehicle.

 “Big 19” crossing Kearny Street inbound, heading toward Market Street. Traci Cox photo.

This cable car was originally built as an open car, running on one of the five Market Street cable lines before the 1906 earthquake and fire. When that event destroyed the Market Street cable system, Car 19 was one 12 such cable cars rebuilt into the standard double-end cable car configuration for San Francisco — open end sections and an enclosed center section. It debuted on the Sacramento-Clay line in 1907 and ran continuously until 1942, when that line shut down. Among the longest cable cars ever built (34 feet), the Sacramento-Clay cars couldn’t fit on the turntables of the Powell Street lines, and so most of them were scrapped, with a few becoming static displays, including the most famous survivor, Car 16, which was lifted to the roof of The Emporium, there to be clambered upon by generations of kids during holiday roof ride season, until it finally rotted away.

I thnk the Market Street cable lines were four-foot gauge, but not certain.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 7:04 AM

Market Street was standard gauge.  Car 19 was built with one end open and the other closed, as a single-ended car.  Some of the other companies' lines in San Francisco were broad gauge.  California Street (including O Farrel Jones & Hyde) was 3'6", as were the Ferries & Cliff House lines that are now the Powell Street group.  Sacramento-Clay, for which 19 was rebuilt, was part of the F&CH group, so 19 is right at home in the current carbarn.

As built 19 had a side grip on Market Street, has had a bottom grip since it was rebuilt for Sacramento-Clay.  California Street Cable Railway had two grip systems before it was rebuilt in the 1950s by Muni.  California Street itself had Root side grips, OFJ&H had bottom grips like the Powell lines, in defence to the 22 spots where cars had to "drop rope" when the system was built.  Many of the rope drops disappeared in the 1906 earthquake.

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Posted by narig01 on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 11:48 AM

RC Dyre you got it. 19 was retrucked after the 1906 earthquake. The original Market Street Railway was chartered as a standard gauge (56 1/2" ) horsecar line in 1857 and started service in 1860. 

     I was reading about #19 when I saw some articles about it over the last four to five weeks. It was one of the few cable cars not to have been lost to the fire after the earthquake. 

      I inadvertently answered the question about the magic carpet car.(I was about to delete when I tapped the wrong spot). Thinking of a quick question this was on my mind. 

     Number 19 on YouTube. The channel has 3 short videos.  https://youtu.be/2AgbZmGmiVQ

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, September 19, 2019 8:10 AM

Waiting for RC's question

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, September 19, 2019 8:34 AM

Final control of this northeastern railroad by its longtime parent was obtained as a result of a major flood.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, September 19, 2019 8:46 AM

My guess is Lehigh Valley, by PC (ex-PRR) in the wake of Agnes.  A storm I'd personally prefer not to remember much.  Although I do have some amusing Wilkes-Barre/Kingston tales...

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, September 19, 2019 10:41 AM

I ruled out EL (with Dereco/N&W) because not fitting the "long-term relationship" criterion.  But that could be 'made to fit' in some sense in that timeframe, too.

What's surprising is that it took me a long time to realize the extent of the damage to railroads, despite (or perhaps because of) having to deal with extensive unanticipated flood damage in several family homes in the Wilkes-Barre area.  It was only decades later that I learned about the role of Hurricane Diane in severing the upper part of the Bel-Del (including its bridging over Rt. 46 at a significant constriction of roadway width as the road curved to follow the river approaching the Delaware Water Gap from the east; I *think* I can barely remember seeing that bridge as a child)

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, September 19, 2019 7:44 PM

A little further east, and longer term (well into the Conrail era). The two companies still maintain a key connection with each other.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, September 20, 2019 9:16 AM

I thought it was Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad that merged with Erie Railroad in 1956 due to the devastating damage of its system in Hurricane Diane, 1955. But Erie Railroad was a major rival of DL&W, not its parent company, so I am still interested to see the correct answer. : ) 

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, September 20, 2019 7:30 PM

The railroad I'm looking for had a long-standing relationship with the parent company, but retained a measure of local control.  The flood virtually destroyed its main line, requiring a year of rebuilding.  Because the parent company provided virtually all of the funds to rebuild the line, its percentage of control moved from some to all.

If it helps, the line was badly damaged within the last decade by a hurricane-turned-tropical storm.  Of course by that time it had been spun off by the parent.

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Posted by narig01 on Saturday, September 21, 2019 12:29 AM

At the risk of having the correct answer,  Central Vermont.  

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, September 21, 2019 7:27 AM

narig01

At the risk of having the correct answer,  Central Vermont.  

 

Exactly.  Central Vermont and Grand Trunk had a working relationship extending back into the 1880s, with Grand Trunk acquiring a financial interest as well, but not control.  Both railroads had track in southern Quebec, with overlapping trackage rights arrangements.  In 1923 GT became CN, which retained the interest in CV.  The October 1927 flood washed out most of CV's main line across Vermont.  CN stepped up big time to help CV rebuild, as discussed elsewhere in the forum, with Grand Trunk Corporation getting corporate control in the process.  GT controlled CV until 1995, though CV's operations retained some local autonomy.  Today's New England Central still fulfills CV's role in the CN system.  The NECR main line was badly damaged in 2011 by tropical storm Irene.

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