Capitol Transit, Washington, DC

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Capitol Transit, Washington, DC
Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 01, 2017 6:19 AM

Some photos from 1947, mostly Benning Road:

Starting with the wye at Kennelworth.  My usnderstanding is that this was the fomer interurban to Baltimore and Anapolis (WB&A), that the track as far as Kennelworth was kept, and a wye instralled for PCC operation:

The Junction with the double-track line to Seat Pleasant, which I believe was a WB&A suburban operation:

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, October 01, 2017 11:54 AM

Great pictures Dave. So interesting to study and see the cars, trucks, buildings and people, signs. 

Now if we could just go back for an afternoon, stop at every corner store, but as many 10 cent comic books as we could and keep doing that while riding the streetcar we could retire millionaires. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 03, 2017 6:58 AM

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, October 04, 2017 11:00 AM

Seat Pleasant was where the WB&A connected to the WRy&E lines.  The line there predated the WB&A.  Until the WB&A re-electrified with DC, WB&A trains terminated at a station called White House, near the WRy&E Columbia barn on Benning Road.  Steam dummy trains of the Chesapeake Beach RR also used Seat Pleasant.  The CB RR's later electrified suburban service may be what Dave's informants remembered.

The original AC cars were equipped to carry plows, but were too heavy for conduit track.  Even after new, lighter 1200V DC cars went into service in 1909, WB&A had to pay a substantial amount to strengthen the streetcar tracks west of White House to the Treasury building (near the real White House).  Both AC and DC cars were equipped with two trolley poles on each end, used on WRy&E's 600V DC double wire from Seat Pleasant to the Columbia barn plow pit, as well as WB&A's own 750V AC street trackage in Annapolis, made single after conversion to 1200V DC.

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Posted by Enzoamps on Monday, October 09, 2017 12:06 PM

Cool.  I used to ride the DC streetcars, mostly around downtown, and up and down Georgia Avenue.  I dimly recall the car stopped near the DC line to change from underground power pickup to catenary.  I seem to recall this as south of Walter Reed. But this was over 60 yers ago.  There are still some remnant curbs downtown out in the street where the tracks went down the middle of the road.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 12, 2017 2:46 PM

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, October 14, 2017 12:54 PM

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, October 21, 2017 9:32 PM

Sure wish I had the edit button, so I could simply erase the kind of mistake so easy to make on the previous posting.  If the moderator won't let me do it by using an edit button, perhaps he can correct the error?

Thanks

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 10:16 AM

Cabin John and a Pre-PCC at the Capitol on the Frenship Heights line

Note outside-bearing trucks, definitely not PCC

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 4:52 AM

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, January 01, 2018 3:21 AM

The previous photos were on Pennsylvania Avenue, not far from the White House.  I found another good Benning Road photo, loated at the transition from paved track to center-reservation.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, June 24, 2018 4:01 AM

Addiitonal photographs, Bridge between Georgetown and Rosslyn:

Maintenance of the conduit system:

Cabin John Loop

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, June 24, 2018 11:39 AM

Neat pictures David!  Do you have any idea how much maintanance that conduit system took?  It seems to me that being below street level it must have been prone to flooding, icing, snow build-up, and who knows what kind of foreign matter, to say nothing of corrosion from road salt.  It must have been a nightmare at times. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, June 25, 2018 1:23 PM

Maintaining the conduit was a nightly occupation.  In Manhattan, one piece of work equipment was a slot-cleaner that scooped up trash that had fallen into the slot, and which would then fall between the two contact rails, which were considerably futher apart tha the slot width, sort of a larger but thinner version of a water scoopr for trackpans on a steam locomotive tender.  In Manhatan, this ca ran every evening, and I assume all slots were cleaned every other day.  Salted snow could short the system and on occasoin did so.  But in general, streets with conduit track were not salted, exept by mistake.

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, June 25, 2018 1:40 PM

Dave, I wonder: what material was used in the making of the scoops? I am sure that it was non-conductive and was of some material that resisted the wearing.

Johnny

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, June 25, 2018 6:52 PM

Thanks for that response David, I knew about the conduit system and always wondered just how much effort it took to keep it going.  Looks like it was quite a bit.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 8:36 AM

Like the conduit plows, see the photo of one in a plow-pit, wood, shellacked to avoid moisure penetration, The scoop could not really transfer much garbage into the slot-cleaner car, but pushed most of it along the channel under the two contact rails.  About every half-mile, the slot-cleaner would stop, reverse half a car-length, and two workmen would open the two manhole covers each side of the slot and use wood shovels to get the accumulation out of the channel.  All this was 1-5AM stuff.

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:13 AM

Thanks, Dave.

Johnny

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