Build the Trolley and They Will Come

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Build the Trolley and They Will Come
Posted by seppburgh2 on Saturday, September 02, 2017 2:38 PM

Trolleys are making a comeback and here are some of the reasons why:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/the-real-reason-streetcars-are-making-a-comeback/vi-AAqCS4r

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, September 02, 2017 3:58 PM

Interesting video.  Shows the benefits, but also demonstrates the old adage of "Look before you leap." 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 02, 2017 5:06 PM

Seems like it was made for a segment on Sesame Street or something...conclusion "maybe it's good , maybe it's not, it depends"

Well duh!

Annoying music too, but suppose thats's in the ear of the beholder.

Probably costs plenty to make too! Consultants. Lots of consultants. 

Well for the record I have long tooted that streetcar systems and interurbans should never have gone in the first place...we all really had our act together big time for a long time and foolishly lost it.

Yes, I know the arguments and rationale, hold your fire.  

In the end we allowed it because that is the way society wanted it but we could have had a modern day virtually interconnected system in place had we chose to. 

All in a perfect shiny star world I guess, and Lord knows we are far from that these days. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 03, 2017 9:32 AM

We can go to Switzerland for a streetcar and interurban paradise with spectacular scenery and good food as well.  Kind of pricey though.

Or live in Dallas or St. Louis or Portland, Or., all of which seem to be on the road to recreating the interurban and streetcar age.

I do have to thank the Eternal for my good fortune to be able to ride Jerusalem light rail any time I wish to, and be confident that the system will expand to allow me to use it for daily commutation.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 7:06 AM

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by oltmannd on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 8:14 AM

You build transit, you get transit oriented development.  You build highways, you get highway oriented development.  Neither, in and of themselves pay their way.  Pick, and live with the consequences.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 11:09 AM

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 4:35 AM

terrific

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Posted by prk166 on Friday, September 22, 2017 7:10 PM

seppburgh2

Trolleys are making a comeback and here are some of the reasons why:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/the-real-reason-streetcars-are-making-a-comeback/vi-AAqCS4r

 

FYI, some urbanistas would have a cow over you using the term trolley.  They have pulled some BS out of thin air and decided that the proper modern term is street car.

As many of us rail fans know, trolley is the modern term coming from the trolley wheel.  Streetcar is a term that goes back when they were just carriages pulled by horses on wood rails down a city street.

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Posted by 54light15 on Sunday, September 24, 2017 10:37 AM

Even though Toronto streetcars use trolley poles, no one calls them trolley cars. But, once the fleet is fully equipped with the new Bombardier cars ( if they ever all get here,) the poles will go away and pantographs will be used. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, September 24, 2017 1:15 PM

Don't be surprised if some people want to call them "trams" because that's what the British do.  Quite a few Anglophiles here in the US.

Honestly, I think some of them believe the Declaration of Independence was a mistake, but that's another story.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 24, 2017 2:11 PM

A solution to that problem might be an English Speaking Union.  All countries where English is an official language are Democracies and not ruled by tyrants.  And Israel and India could join, because English is an official language in both Israel and India.  (Israel has Hebew, English, and Arabic as official languages.)  I do not know the current state in Jordan concerning this.  In India, English is an official language along with Hindi, and there may be others.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, September 24, 2017 2:47 PM

English is also the official international language of aviation.  There's a fun story concerning the same...

Twenty-years-plus ago a Lufthansa pilot was contacting the control tower at Frankfurt Airport, and spoke to them in German.  The tower man responded politely asking him to speak English.

"What for?" asked the German pilot. "I'm a German pilot, in German aircraft, at an airport in Germany!"

Then a British Airways pilot broke in:  "Because you lost the war, old boy!"

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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, September 25, 2017 6:39 PM

Funny how the language of air traffic control is English but the language of the aircraft is French. Nacelle, aileron, longeron, empennage and so forth. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 6:39 AM

The only vehicles to which I have ever referred as "trolley" have two poles and rubber tires.  If they rode on rails, they were and are streetcars.  Both of these usages go back to my dim and distant youth (1960's).

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by DS4-4-1000 on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 7:15 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

The only vehicles to which I have ever referred as "trolley" have two poles and rubber tires.  If they rode on rails, they were and are streetcars.  Both of these usages go back to my dim and distant youth (1960's).

In Philly in the '60s we called the vehicles with two poles and rubber tires "Trackless Trolleys"

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 8:27 AM

In New York and Washington, DC, streetcar was used, because much of the network was conduit, and trolley would be inacurate.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 10:33 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

The only vehicles to which I have ever referred as "trolley" have two poles and rubber tires.  If they rode on rails, they were and are streetcars.  Both of these usages go back to my dim and distant youth (1960's).

 

The electric buses I was used to (Dayton) had two poles with groved shoes to contact the wires.  i.e., they had no trolley wheel wire contacts.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, September 28, 2017 6:55 AM

Shoes have been used in place of a wheel since about the 1920's on interurbans, streetcars, trolley buses, etc.  A shoe has less moving parts and makes better contact with the wire.

One question about trolley buses that has puzzled me over the years.  I'm aware that the poles have swivel bases that allow the bus to maneuver in traffic and pull up to the curb.  What is the mechanism that keeps the shoe against the wire while the bus changes lanes, maneuvers in traffic, etc.?

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, September 28, 2017 7:15 AM

The shoes pivot also, and are about five times as long as they are wide.  The length of their sides keeps them sligned with the wire, and still does not provide too much of a binding on sharp curves.  If the were longer the latter would become a problem.  But TT dewirements do recurr more frequently than with streetcars, as anyone riding TTs regularly will recount.  If a driver (operator?) jerks the bus to the side by rapid movement of the steering wheel at the same time as pushing the accelerator to the floor or almost to the floor, a dewirement will occur.

Classic Trains Forum has a recounting of a trolleybus fantrip 67 years ago.  I recall that there was a dewirement in Central Square Cambridge a the junction of Massachusetts Avenue and Main Street on that trip.  I have a photo of the driver at the trolley ropes and plan on posting it on Sunday on that thread if I have access to wideband at HU Mt. Scopus.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, September 28, 2017 8:51 AM

Also, while wire frogs for streetcars and interurbans are usually passive, located so the pole exerts the force on the shoe or whieel to go in the right direction; TT wire frogs each usually have a movable point, with the control much as track switches for streetcars.  This means drawing power one direction, coasting the other, or a delibrate low-frequency AC control circuit.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:37 PM

54light15

Funny how the language of air traffic control is English but the language of the aircraft is French. Nacelle, aileron, longeron, empennage and so forth. 

 

Probably Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Brazilian-born aviation pioneer living in Paris at the same time the Wrights were getting started had something to do with it.

While the Wrights successfully flew a heavier-than-air aircraft first, they were a bit quiet about it and didn't seek publicity while they were refining their designs.  If I recall correctly, Alberto managed it three years later but was quite the self-promoter and had a big audience when he did it, something the Wrights didn't have.  Needless to say, France went aviation crazy, so possibly that's why the language of the aircraft itself is French.

Just guessing, but it kind of makes sense, to me anyway. 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:53 PM

When I was looking at colleges, I think in early 1975, I was fascinated to discover that Alice's rabbit hole of a tunnel in Central Square, then populated with dark-green buses that looked like they were built about 1928 and had headlights like dim light bulbs screwed upright in front of dull pans.  I did not think you could have more agonized gear noise than a contemporary MP54 or IND early R steel, but those things were trying.  In the relatively short time I watched, I saw three dewirements - 'cutting the turn a little wide' being something that day's drivers seemed prone to.  

The drivers would get out, walk back, horse the poles over to where the wires were and flip them back on.  I confess I was waiting with some interest for one of these to slew so far over that the poles couldn't re-engage; presumably something like a wrecker would pull the bus back under and line it up if, or perhaps when, such a thing happened.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, September 28, 2017 4:12 PM

Harvard Square, Cambridge, not Central Square, is where the TTs run in a tunel.  Still do.  The Brills were very quiet TTs, very little gear noise.  The Pullmans were not bad.  You were hearing the Flyers, rebuilt with old mechanicals and electricals salvaged from scrapped Pullmans.  The Brills had gone by 1975.  To bad, they were very well made, rode very well, and had fine sounding Klaxon, to beautiful to be just called a horn.   But high-floor of course, and higher and thus more difficult to board for the infirm, than the Pullmans.

Edmonton had some TTS with GM bodies and Brown Brevori Swiss electricals and mechnicals, and they were really great TTs.  And yes, the ERA had a fantrip, and yes, there was a dewirement.

 

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Thursday, September 28, 2017 5:18 PM

Grew up in Cincinnati which had Marmon-Herrington trolley buses. Before Cincinnati, lived in Milwaukee (until 1943) which had St Louis, Pullman, & Twin Coach models. If I recall, they had rear air scoops on the rear roof for cooling the motor.

http://www.trolleybuses.net/mke/htm/usa_h_mke_sl_263.htm

Always remember their acceleration, Driver didn't have to say step to the rear, just hit the accelerator and you were moved toward the back. Quiet also. 

I believe Dayton, Vancouver and San Francisco still have trolley bus operations.

Also, It was my understanding that the first electric streetcars that Frank Sprague developed used a small four wheeled cart thad rode on two wires above the tracks and was connected to the car by a cable and was called a troller (like trolling for fish). From this came the word TROLLEY. It was not succesful and he next developed the spring loaded pole with a wheel which was succesful. and was called a trlley pole. Later the shoe with a graphite insert became the standard. Overseas, Bows and then pantagraphs were the pickup of choice. 

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Posted by DSchmitt on Thursday, September 28, 2017 6:00 PM

"Build the trolley and the will come" was the method adopted by land developers in the early 1900's. They built trolley lines to provide access to and promote their developments. Most of the lines were gone shortly after the last lot was sold.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, September 29, 2017 6:48 AM

Chicago (CSL and CTA) had a sizable trolley bus operation.  The last runs took place in 1972.

Seattle (King County Metro) also has trolley buses.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by 54light15 on Saturday, September 30, 2017 12:26 PM

When I was stationed in Norfolk, VA in the 1970s there was an amusement park called Oceanview Park. I had seen pictures of streetcars on Granby street that ended at the park. Just across the street was a library and the driveways into and out of the parking lot looked like they were curved for rails. I asked about that in the library and they showed me a picture of the streetcar loops on those exact driveways. I understand that a few amusement parks were built to encourage ridership on weekends. I wonder just how many there were?  

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, September 30, 2017 5:00 PM

I'd guess that just about any major urban area with a trolley system had a park at one end of it, it was a good way to keep revenue coming in on weekends when the commuters were at home.

Here in Richmond VA for example, the local trolley company built Forest Hill Park just for that reason.  It's just a mile or two across the James River from downtown Richmond.  The trolleys are long gone but the concrete posts that supported the trolley wires are still there on the median of Semmes Avenue, adapted for other purposes.  The park's still there too.

Palisades Amusement Park in Cliffside Park NJ, now gone, had a symbiotic relationship with the local trolley lines.  No trolley company built it, but they sure made money bringing patrons to the park.

If you're from that part of the country like I am, and you remember, I'm sure you'll get a kick out of this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOjvDVO3Jzw

Check out who's picking up an order of fries at the hot dog stand.

 

 

Man, if that song doesn't make you want to jump up, grab your honey, and dance, even if you have two left feet like I do, you must be dead!

Found an old commercial, too...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLVgEP8pOWQ

 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 30, 2017 5:11 PM

Firelock --Video "Unavailable" ,,,try from another angle

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