Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 8:07 AM

Hints, one of the two and from transfer moves involved a short section of track of a third company and this involved slightly different routing one way than the other.  And one system involved use of dual-guage track!

Doubtful if a crew of the third company in the first case was needed.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 11:55 PM

Wait,  correction, not so short, a substantial amount of track, but the tansfer move one way was slightly different than just the reverse of the move after WWII/

For one of the four systems, a flower!

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, April 2, 2020 7:42 AM

common flower and revenue-use of other's dual-guage track, same one-line system.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, April 2, 2020 8:28 AM

I'll take a stab at it...

CA&E leased ten wooden interurbans from the CNS&M in the late 1930s, retaining them during WWII.  Although they were set up to train with CA&E's own wooden cars, they had different motors and gearing, so CA&E mostly kept them separate.  In 1946 the lease expired and the cars were returned to CNS&M, which ran one CERA excursion with them.  CA&E then bought them from CNS&M, probably the last sale of wooden interurbans for further use.  Most if not all were retired after the line was cut in Forest Park in 1953.

Movement between CNS&M and CA&E was over the tracks of Chicago Rapid Transit.  Movement southbound involved taking a crossover on Wells Street onto the left hand track and then taking the left to right curved connector onto Van Buren at Tower 8.  Northbound was easier, since the normally unused straight track on Van Buren at Tower 8 could be used and the loop circled via Van Buren, Wabash and Lake to Tower 18.  CA&E steel cars also used this route when trip-leased by CNS&M for extra capacity at Great Lakes during the war.

 

I think I'm halfway there on the other one.  The Laurel Line (Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley) ran until after WWII, sharing some dual gauge track with the Wilkes-Barre streetcar sytem, which was 5' 2 1/2" gauge.  I can't find another company they borrowed or loaned cars to so far.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, April 2, 2020 11:17 AM

You got the first right and corrected my own error in the process.  The Scranton streetcar system, the Wilksbarre streetcar system, and the Laural Line interurban were all Standard Gauge. That's my memory when I rode them 1949-1950.  While at one time there probably were track connections between them. the L&WV's entrance into Wilksbarre did not involve streetcar line trackage, although it did involve change to overhead wire from the line's far greater use of third rail.

But the second case does involve both an interurban and a streetcar system.  And the dual-gauge bridge operation also involved a steam railroad whose successor still uses the bridge, and at one time a second and far-better-known interurban and its predicessors.  And a common flower, comes up often in some discussions by railfans of our railroad excursin trips.  Closer to Chicago than Willksbarre.  A two-man crew was required across the bridge, although operations off the bridge were one-man unless a two-car train was run.  But then three men were required, the extra a brakeman or trainman for flagging if an emergency stop was necesary.

Even if an authority like Hilton and Drew were to label Wilksbarre as wide-gauge, I'd still claim it was standard unless company or State of Pennsylvania documents said otherwise.

Again, the bridge still exists, dual gauge removed, and a Class I sill uses it.  In the classic era used  by at least one steam railroad, and two interburbans of different gauge.  One was involved in returning the cars upon abandonment and did not involve changing the gauge of the cars.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, April 5, 2020 2:40 AM

Again, the bridge still exists, dual gauge removed, and a Class I sill uses it.  In the classic era used  by at least one steam railroad, and two interburbans of different gauge.  One was involved in returning the cars upon abandonm

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, April 6, 2020 1:50 AM

All cars involved were of Peter-Witt, single-end design, but were of two types.

No change-of-gauge of these cars was necesary, although one of the two  systems did have involvement in a change=of=gauge car cnnversion.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 6:24 AM

Am I correct that you're looking for a standard/broad gauge bridge or should I look elsewhere?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 3:23 PM

Yes.  J believe the bridge is still in use as a freight raiiroad bridge.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, April 10, 2020 8:52 AM

Up to sometime in 1939 or 1940, two interurban lines, one standard guage and one broad gauge, operated across the bridge.  At one end, the broad-gauge interurban line ran on streetcar traciks with streetcars of the same types that the interurban had purchased from them.  There. the standard- gauge did have some of its own tracks and some shared at one time with other standard-gauge interurbans and also a freight house.  At the other end, the standard-gauge streetcar system had a small standard-gauge local streetcar system, that itself did not cross the bridge, and used Birneys.  When the interurban left the area,  retracting to a point north-north-west, where it continued to Januaey 1941 or later that summer, depending how you figure it. locals bought the town system, and it survived through WWII.

Both interurbans had to have an extra crew-member as a flag-man in case stopped on the bridge.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, April 10, 2020 11:22 AM

Kind of sounds like Louisville, where the broad gauge Peter Witts crossed the same bridge used by (standard gauge) Indiana RR, the bridge being owned by NYC's CCC&StL and known as the Big Four Bridge.  IRR used dual-gauge track to get to Louisville's Interurban Terminal. Louiville Peter Witts ran over the bridge until 1947.

At one time Indiana RR had standard gauge streetcar service in Jeffersonville and New Albany, using Birneys among other types.  The streetcar service was dropped after the 1937 flood.

IRR service to Louisville ended in January 1941, though a remnant of the IRR between Indianapolis and Seymour was operated by Indiana Service Corp from January to September, until it was shut down following a collision between an IRR High Speed and the line car. 

After the PC merger, PC moved all traffic to Louisville to the 14th St. Bridge used by the former PRR.  Unused after 1968, it was converted into a pedestrian walkway as part of the Louisville Riverfront Park in 2013.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, April 10, 2020 6:15 PM

The broad gauge tracks were not on the Big Four Bridge, though Indiana Railroad's service to Louisville ran there.  The Louisville railways cars ran to New Albany directly over the Kentucky and Indiana Terminal bridge.  Home Transit, which bought the route in 1934, also acquired Public Service Company of Indiana's local New Albany trackage along with several standard gauge streetcars, including some Birneys and a pair of curved-side lightweights.

Indiana Railroad's cars used in local service from Louisville to Jeffersonville went to Terre Haute, where they lasted to the end of streetcar service in 1939.

The track on the K&IT bridge was a gantlet, not dual-gauge.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, April 11, 2020 12:54 PM

I'll have to check my sources.  My CERA Indiana RR book is not at the Yeshiva.  There is some disconnection between your statements and my memory of the history in that book.  Do you have access to that book and can you check what it says about what you wrote? Aside from the bridge question, where i have doubts but no firm knowledge, I'm quite certain that for a time Indiana Rairoad operated the local New Albany streetcars, although Public Service or another power company owned the trackage.  And please finish the answer:  Describe the difference betwern ther two versions of Peter Witts that the Daisy Line (Louisville and New Albany) aquired from Louisville Railways and returned to Louisville Transit. And in what way was Louisville Transit involved with cars whose gauge was changed?

And then ask the next question.

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, April 11, 2020 4:29 PM

The problem with anything about the Indiana Railroad is that it wasn't a merger, it was in many ways simply a gentlemen's agreement.  The lines between Indianapolis and Louiville were former Interstate Public Service, including the Indianapolis, Columbus and Seymour, which was leased by IPS.  IPS became Public Service of Indiana in 1931.  Local operations in Jeffersonville and New Albany remained PSofI, though operated under the Indiana Railroad name.

I framed my answeres from the CERA Indiana Railroad book.  IPS/PSI owned and ran local streetcars in both Jeffersonville and New Albany.  Standard gauge cars ran on the Big Four bridge, including suburban cars.  The Jeffersonville suburban operation and local streetcars ended in 1932, with the through passenger and freight service (and dual gauge track in Louisville) lasting until 1938, when the IRR cut service back to Seymour. IRR cars to Louisville picked up/dropped off  a second crew member in Jeffersonville as required by the trackage rights agreement with the Big Four.

The New Albany & Louisville'soperation over the K&IT bridge on the dual-gauge gantlet with Leased Louisville Railways Peter Witt cars (and trailers) lasted until after World War II, operated by New Albany Transit, which became Home Transit.  The local New Albany streetcars were sold to the same company and ran into the late 1930s, after which they were replaced by busses.

ACF had a plant in Jeffersonville which had track connection with the IPS/PSI.  Many streetcars and interurbans, including many of the High Speeds, were delivered there.

The Indianapolis-Seymour stretch remained in service from January-September 1941 to fulfill some franchise requirement of the underlying IC&S.  The wreck in September 1941 resulted in suspension of service, which never restarted.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, April 11, 2020 9:59 PM

OK.  Thanks for checking the book.  So the dual-gauge track was in Louisville itself.  You did mention trailers, so that covers the two car types.

But do you wish me to discuss how Louisvile Transit was involved in cars that had gauge changed or would you like to do so?

And by all means ask the next question.  Thanks

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, April 12, 2020 8:12 AM

I know Louisville & Interurban had some standard gauge cars that shared track with Louisville Railways.  Based on sketchy info in the CERA book I think some of the cars used by New Albany & Louisville before they started leasing the Peter Witts may have come from Louisville & Interurban.  There may have been some dual-gauge track in New Albany, but the CERA book doesn't cover it, suggesting that the bridge trains operated on different track from the local streetcars.

Please feel free to enhance.  I would love to fill in the blanks or correct my guesswork.

One thing of note - the IPS/PSofI cars used for suburban service via Jeffersonville before 1932 were set up for train operation.  Indiana Railroad refurbished them in 1934 for service in Terre Haute, where they were very popular as "brand new" cars.  IRR moved them from Anderson Shops to Terre Haute as three car trains, but they were never used in MU again - retired in the 1938 sale of the Terre Haute streetcar system.  In the complicated world of the IRR, the Terre Haute system was also a PSofI property.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, April 12, 2020 8:50 AM

I was referering to the PCC's the "strange event" referred in the original posting or the first hints.  You know the story.  Would you like to tell it or prefer that I do?

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, April 12, 2020 2:01 PM

Ahh.  the famous Louisville PCCs.  25 cars Ordered from St. Louis Car in 1946 (on broad gauge trucks) to replace the Peter Witts, they were never used in Louisville.  Regauged to standard and carried to Cleveland (probably on the Big Four) they served in Cleveland for only six years.  In 1952 all of Cleveland's PCCs (including Cleveland's original 50 Pullmans) were sold to Toronto, where many remained in service until the 1980s.

San Francisco's Market Street Railway's car 1062 was painted for Louisville at one time, but it has since been repainted to honor Pittsburgh Railways.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, April 13, 2020 1:36 PM

Ask the next question, please. Note from Cleveland to Toronto, gauge change again, wide, but not as wide as Louisville.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, April 13, 2020 3:25 PM

daveklepper

Ask the next question, please. Note from Cleveland to Toronto, gauge change again, wide, but not as wide as Louisville.

 

Right, to  4' 10 7/8". 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, April 13, 2020 10:36 PM

Wairing for your question.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 6:30 AM

Many cities had odd streetcar track gauges as a relic of earlier horsecar or cable lines.  This U.S. city had streetcars into the 1960s, operating on a not-quite-standard gauge.  Many of the city's PCC cars had long careers on other systems.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 2:15 PM

St. Louis.  The transit system.  The city also saw standard-guage PCC's of Illinois Terminal for their Granit City service.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 6:35 PM

St. Louis' streetcars ran on 4'10" gauge, inherited from horse cars, and also used by cable cars.

Seventy of St. Louis' PCCs went to San Francisco, some remaining in storage, but none in the Market Street Railway fleet.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, April 16, 2020 3:02 AM

In the immediate Post-WWII period there were five under-trolley-wire-with-some-street-running East-Coast city operations that required conductors.  What were they and give as much information about them as you can.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, April 16, 2020 12:44 PM

Well, one upon thinking about it, may have hqd zero or minimum auro[lane sharing, and even that would not actually be a street with buildings on one or both sides, but all five used trolley poles and single-wire overheqd.  Two were operations for leasure-time activity and definitely not commuting between home and office or factory.  Two entirely or partially seved the same city, although a third system would have to be used between them, even though they were of the same gquge.   One had to have heroic easures to control roof leaks and an exqmple or examples are at a trolley-museum.  Three of the cities have light rail today, but only two grew from legacy systems, with the other seeing rail put down after it being lifted 45-50 years earlier.  All operations were in cities linked by the NEC.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, April 16, 2020 8:31 PM

One of the lines used an old type of car not usually thought of as equipped for MU.  But most of this large system's 2-man cars were MU, and much the RoW was provate, high-speed, and had block signals.  Single PCCs took over as the system contracted and ridership diminished.  None have survived in museums, but I believe one of one-man versions, not MU, has survived, and there is at least one similar to it from elsewhere at anothr musuem.  During WWI and WWII this was the heaviest line on the system but was not the last to survive.

Two others shared the same general body design as far as door pacement, but were very different in construction.  Also MU.  Despite system contraction, lines that used these cars still operate today with very different equipment.  Survivors are in operating museums.

The other two were leasure time transportation using a type of car common in musuems but obsolete for normal transportation even during WWII.  Neither system exists today.  One had its ridership peaks in the summer and was the main car-type for the single-line system.  The other was used only in the Autumn for a repeated special event, carried huge crowds, and more normal and somewhat less obsolete cars handled the regular traffic on a slowly contracting large system.  Neither MU.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, April 16, 2020 8:39 PM

Five systems, four cities, WWII two-man cars.  Three cities with light rail today.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, April 19, 2020 2:29 AM

What more hints do you need?  Admittadly one of the systems or lines or whatever you call it was relatively obscure, with leasure time pasengers, in the city with two of the answers, not one, the ciiy wih eight different providers of electric railway service in two gauges, one entering on trackage rights, six using 550-600 volt power, four using passenger equipment equipped with trolley poles, and three, not two, using trolley poles wihin the city.

And only one of the sysems, the one with heroic protection against roof leaks, was not connected, passenger-wise, to the others by 11000V  AC catenary.

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, April 19, 2020 8:08 AM

The cities are easy - Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore.  Baltimore is the one that restarted trolley (OK, light rail) service after its loss some decades ago. 

The tough problem is verifying which lines were two-man.  Not surprisingly, a lot of that info is buried in books and not (yet) readily accesible on the internet.  Here goes an attempt.

Around Boston the Eastern Mass Street Railway had some lines that were oriented toward beaches.  A couple of them crossed movable bridges and those may have required conductors. 

Philadelphia had the Fairmount Park trolley, with open cars, which would require a conductor (5'2 1/2"?).  Lehigh Valley Transit was still running over the (third rail) P&W to get to 69th St.  Most P&W equipement was set up for one-man operation, but conductors may have been required for the move from the Norristown station to the Ice Rink, where the P&W and LVT exchanged crews.

In Baltimore the #8 Catonsville line (standard gauge, most Baltmore lines were 5'4 1/2") was on the  outside edge of the system and did most of its business on weekends.  The double-ended semi-convertibles used there most likely were two-man.

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