Convertible streetcars (and semi-convertibles?)

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 26, 2020 1:07 PM

 

Typical Mount Vernon scene.  The “B” ran between 229th and Whito Plains Av. in The Bronx to the New Haven RR Sta. in Mt. Vernon.  The “7” from Yonkers and the “A” to  New Rochelle also ran here, but with home-made lightweights.

 

The 4-track main is the New Haven from Woodlawn and GCT

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, November 1, 2020 12:03 PM

A favorite The Bronx photo, year 1947, Tremont Avenue at O'Brien Square, now O'Brien Oval:

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 8:00 AM
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, November 8, 2020 12:11 PM

Back, lower level, of Kingsbridge Carbarn:

Upper level had wire and conduit, lower level only wire.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, December 7, 2020 4:53 PM

Short=turn cut-back point on the Boston Road line in The Bronxm with a straight-side convertable, winter configuration:

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 9:24 AM

East of West Farms Square, where the B Boston Road and V Williams Bridge cars go left (rigiht on the photo) and the T Tremont Avenue cars go right (left on the photo).  Spring or late winter 1947 photo

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 8:27 PM

I presume the junction is the switchpoints in the foreground.  I wonder if someone on the ground is controling the switch, or do the motormen somehow control it?

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 7:22 AM

Dave will know for sure, but looking at the photo I would conclude that the motorman controlled the switch by getting out and moving the single point with the switch iron carried in the car.  The points for each track are both on the "inside" rails.  The outside rails have the "mate".  The street switches pull the car with the back side of the point rather than pushing them with the gauge side, so the mate does not need a point.

On switches controlled by overhead contactors there would be an access plate for the switch machine in the street, not to mention cables in the overhead wires from the switch contactors.  Most overhead contactor systems change switch positions depending on whether the car is drawing power or not.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, December 10, 2020 9:26 AM

RC:  You have the correct explanation.  Third Avenue. as far as I remember. did not use any streetcar-operator-controlled power switfhes.  BMT-B&QT used many.   At Times Square, 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue, a switch-tender was on duty 7/24 in a small heated wood green cabin on the northeast corner with a large lever to send Bs right into 7th Avenue leading to Broadway and Xs straight ahead on 42nd Streeet to 12th Avenue and the Central's Ferry.

Third Avenue did use lots of spring-switches on trailing crossovers for both regular and emergency short-tunrn service.

Beck to the rear of the Kingsbridge carhouse:

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, December 10, 2020 11:39 AM

For power-off, power-on switch control. safe operation requires the abilty to apply some power and braking at the same time.  Most regular one-man safety-car braking systems allow this, with the left-hand usually on the power control and the right on the brake control.   But Third Avenue (and Omaha and Council Bluffs) used a combination foot brake-and-deadman's control that opened the line switch with the slightest upward motion of that pedal.  This did have the advantage of allowing the operator to inch inch a car forward for maximum use of carhouse space , by leaving the power controller on one-pont of power lifting the foot slghtly for fractions of seconds 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 13, 2020 8:21 AM

I should have added that one cannot apply both power and brake at the same time n any PCC (or the 1914 West Penn interurban hand, magnetic track-brake, and regnerative braking cars).  PCCs have a toggel-switch that sends the right amount of line current to ground to insure the "power-on" position of the ooperator-controlled track-switch.

But Third Avenue one-man cars lacked such a circiuit.  It could have been added. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, December 13, 2020 11:49 AM

TARS safety cars had a GE LB2A line switch controller or "jiggler" on the main controller that could be used to draw power for a very short burst (put the controller in first point and push the handle toward the "Off" arrow on the LB2A), but the brake pedal did have to be all the way down.

Did TARS use switchtenders in conduit territory? DC Transit had some power switches in conduit areas, but some of those were controlled by towers.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 13, 2020 3:16 PM

I ran the TATS cars on the B ailey Avenue line at age 15, 1947, and was a regular operator of 629 at Branford *Shore Line Trolley) 1967 - 1995.  No special jiggling switch, and you can inspect the K-type controller on the 629 or its mate at Seashore.  The jiggling was by foot (I always used the left foot, because the operation is the opposite from the automobile brake pedal.)   The controller was left on one point of power and the foot clickrd the line-swith on-and-off.  A very safe procedure, because lifting the foot off completely would stop the car immediately.  I put 629 into its carhouse space at least a hundred times.

I mentioned the Times Square switch-tender with his mechanically linked lever.  There may have others, possibly at 125th and Amsterdam.  But lots and lots of switch control in regular operation was done with the operator leaving the car with his switch iron, conduit as well as wire territory.  I often did the job on fantrips, more often than not.

But Brooklyn had hundreds of power contactors.  I never got to run a Brooklyn car, except at Branford.  Did use the switch-iron there too, however.  No switch tenders in Brooklyn.

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, December 13, 2020 4:15 PM

TARS 631 at Seashore has LB2As installed on its K-35 controllers.  It may have acquired them in Vienna. Out of service at the moment with motor bearing issues (Seashore fund 864).

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 3:03 AM

Apparently installed in Vienna, not on 629 at Branford.  Does Seashore's still have the Vienna modification, prepared-for in the original construction but not implemented at TARS-TATS, full double=width rear doors , same as front doors?  I believe Crich, England. retained this change.

629 was faithfully restored to its last-days-in-The Bronx condition 1947-1948, paint slightly different than conduit-only in Manhattan, 1939-1947.  This makes sence because of pole, not conduit, operation.  This includes single-width, two-leaf rear doors, with the small wood seat where the second pair of door-leaves would be.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 6:13 AM

631 retains bits and pieces of its time in Vienna, including "auf" and "zu" door control buttons.  I have lots of controller time on the car, but have never worked on it.  Photos seem to show full width doors on all corners, though there is a jump seat.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NY_Third_Ave_Railway_631_at_Seashore.jpg

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, December 17, 2020 4:20 AM

I recall the door cotrols, both when visiting Vienna in 1960 and speding time with these old friends from New York City, and in operating 629 before full restoration at Branford, winter 1967-1968.

On Third Avenue one-man cars, there was no close-door button.  One closed both front and rear doors by depressing the foot controller.  Tapping it lightly would close the doors without releasing the brakes or reducing brake pressure.  One could re-open the front door by pressing the unlabeled. but unique, door-open button.  When making a regular stop, an operator could make a smooth stop, without lifting the foot off the contoller all the way, and then open the front door with the button; but most preferred to make the smooth stop and then let the pedal rise to maximium height, opening the front door.

The rear door was opened by the tredle in the floor, interlocked; only working with the car brakes applied and the car stationary.

This applied to all one-man Third Avenue cars.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 20, 2020 10:21 PM

Straight-side convertable in March 1947 on 138th Street viewed from near the New York Central overpass and "The Bronx" 138th Street Station with the double-deck Third Avenue Elevated (also used by 2nd Avenue rush-hour Bronx trains up to June 1940) structure in the background.

138th Street Crosstown was the last Third Avenue trolley line to enter Manhattan,  running to 135th Street and 8th Avenue.  Shortly after this photo, ex-Manhattan 101-200-series and 391-400, newly equipped with poles, replaced convertables on this and other Bronx lines.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, December 21, 2020 6:09 AM

daveklepper
On Third Avenue onw-man cars, there was no close-door button. One closed both front and rear doors by depressing the foot controller. One closed the doors by depressing the foot controller. Tapping it lightly would close the doors without releasing the brakes or reducing brake ressure. One could re-open the front door by pressing the unlabeled. but unique, door-open button.

Seashore's 631 has the original door controls plus the Vienna "auf" and "zu", with the pedal interlock still in place.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, December 21, 2020 8:16 AM

But what about the rear-door treadle?   Probably missing, removed in Vienna.

Restored at Branford.

All my photos can be copied and used for any constructive purpose, but I'd appreciate the credit as photographer and approimate age, plus the website credit.

The north end of the A, Westchester Avenue line, shortly before ex-Manhattan lightweights replaced the straight-side convertables, under the current "6" line at Pelham Bay  Parkway.

The "A" was one of the four last Bronx lines, the otheres T Tremont Av., S Southern Boulevard, and B Boston Rd. (one of four TATS-TARS Bs), bus August 1948.

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, December 21, 2020 9:59 AM

daveklepper
But what about the rear-door treadle? Probably missing, removed in Vienna.

I'll look next time I'm in the barn.  What I remember is that there is a rear treadle, but the air valve to allow its use was normally shut, so it wasn't part of normal use.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 3:40 AM

I should note that Richard Allman helped with the editing process in some of these photos, although in a very few isolated instances I departed from his advice.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 2:19 PM

180th Street Crosstown Z approaching Third Avenue; glimps of the Elevated's yard at the righy.

A 149th Street crosseown cae crosses under the Eklevated.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, January 17, 2021 3:18 PM

West 181st Street & Broadway was the terminal for four Bronx lines, O - Ogden Avenue, with 301-series lightweights, U University, with 1201-series second-hand steel cars, X 167th - 148th Crosstown, anf Z 180th Street crosstown, both with convertables.  889 iis an older curveside, and 35 a newer straightside.  Richard Akknab inporoved my restoration work on this photo, partiuclarly brining out grill detail on the auto on the left.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, January 21, 2021 8:02 AM

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