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Third Avenue Lightweight Streetcars

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Third Avenue Lightweight Streetcars
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 10:33 AM

An attempt at posting a photo of an alumnum 551-600 series Peter Witt 1938-built double-end lightweight at 73rd and Broadway

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 10:38 AM

Discovered something new that might be of value to others.  I need not use another website to post photographs.  I have two email addresses, and if I send a photo from my daveklepper@yahoo.com address to my gmail address, the photo appears without my having to download it.  I can then copy the photo with the appropriate Windows 7 (I have upgraded from XP, but 10 does not seem available with Hebrew for my computer at this time) and post it like copied text.

So here above is what was my favorite streetcar type.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 10:51 AM

Adn here is the steel version, series 601-625, earlier paint scheme, at Columbus Circle

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 11:09 AM

The aluminum series was scrapped, since the aluminum was valuable.  But the steel cars had a second life in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  There they were made single-end with three doors on one side.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 11:11 AM

Correction.  I was mistaken about the three doors, apparently.  But while in Manhattan they were conduit only cars, as single-enders in Sao Paulo they had one trolley pole each.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 1:10 PM

Most TARS-TATS home-built lightweights were not Peter Witts but had a double door at front and a single door at rear (both sides double ended and right-handed), with construction permitting easy conversion of the single rear door to double, which was done in Vienna.   626-685, of which 626-645 were originally conduit, were the newest series.  629 was converted to trolley pole the summer of 1947, but went to Vienna in 1949, served on the Florisdorf lines with pantograph there, and came back to the USA for the Shore Line Trolley Museum, Branford Electric Ry. Assoc, in 1967.  Here is a night photograph on the Farm River trestle.

 

Bob Marcus was a TARS-TATS operator, went to LA to run streetcars there when all Bronx lines were bus in 1948, came back to NY to drive busses after LA went all-bus, and was often my operating partner at the museum.  629 was our favorite car.  He passed on early summer 1996, about the time I moved to Israel.  I observed his Yartzeit-Nahalla this past Sabbath at the Yeshiva with the required prayers after my receiving the 7th Aliya to the Torah in his honor.  From Israel, I was able to help raise the money for his gravestone at the Mt. Ricihmond Cemetary, Staten Island.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 1:24 PM

But the photo is better in color.  Glad I found the color version:

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Posted by Buslist on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 3:01 PM

daveklepper

But the photo is better in color.  Glad I found the color version:

 

The photos don't come through for me but would love to see them.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 12:04 AM

What operating system do you use?   Does anyone but me see the photos as posted?  Possibly if I learn what the operatinig sysems are of those who can see the photos and those that don't I'd be able to figure out a fix.

I am using Windows Seven Hebrw-English, with Yahoo and Gmail.  My server at the Yeshiva is Bezek, the national telephone company and only restricted bandwidth is provided.  All the recent photo posting has been using those providers.  Occasionally I use the Hebrew U. Mt. Scopus guest wifi, and then I can open the dvds on other material others post on this Forum.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, July 20, 2017 2:25 AM

Tried posting with Imgur and editing.  Let me know if this works for you.   Thanks.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, July 20, 2017 8:01 AM

I can see your photos just fine David, and they're fascinating.  My mother's a New York City girl and remembers the trolleys and always said they were fun to ride.  She and many of her friends were sorry to see them go.

She remembers the double-decker buses too, (The Brits weren't the only ones who had 'em, folks!) and said they were fun too in nice weather, but that's another story.

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Posted by Buslist on Thursday, July 20, 2017 12:26 PM

Firelock76

I can see your photos just fine David, and they're fascinating.  My mother's a New York City girl and remembers the trolleys and always said they were fun to ride.  She and many of her friends were sorry to see them go.

She remembers the double-decker buses too, (The Brits weren't the only ones who had 'em, folks!) and said they were fun too in nice weather, but that's another story.

 

They're coming through fine now.

Double deckers were built by 5th ave in NYC and Chicago Motor Coach in Chicago. Eventually all production seemed to be concentrated at Yellow. Yellows were used in NYC and Chicago, but there are photos of them in Philly, St.Louis and LA. One of the LA buses ended up in Mexico as a rail bus.

 

Double decker buses are common in Berlin.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:39 PM

Remember that the typical British tram was a double-decker, and the heritage fleet at Blackpool provides a transit service somewhat like the F and E lines in SF.  In fact, some of the "balloons," post WWII streamlined double-deckers, suppliment the modern articulated light rail cars when demand gets heavy in regular service there.

The New York City Transit Authority has one 1938-era closed Double-deck Yellow Coach from Fifth Avenue Coach Lines that is used for nostalgia trips now and then.  But none of the older open-tops so popular in summer were saved, as far as I know.

The Fifth Avenue Coach Company was also a GM subsidiary.  Fare was a dime, not like the nickel for the other buses and streetcars and subways.  And they would not pick you up if all seats were taken.  And they were two-men, driver and conductor.  There were only about six or seven routes, all using Fifth Avenue downtown, except the two crosstown routes, 72nd and 57th Streets.  57th was straight-forward, east and west on 57th.  But 72nd was unusual.  Started at 72nd and Central Park West, ran west to Broadway, down Broadway to 57th, east on Broadway to Fifth Avenue, north on 5th to 72nd, and then east on 72nd to York Avenue beyond 1stt Avenue. I wonder if the M72, if that is what it is called, does that today?  Probably not, with a unified system, logically east from Riverside Drive to Central Park West, then down to 57th and then east.

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Posted by 54light15 on Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:53 PM

You will see a Fifth Avenue double-decker in "The Godfather" where Clemenza and the traitorous Paulie look for apartments so the crew can take to the mattresses. This is the scene just prior to, "leave the gun, take the cannoli." 

When I was a kid in second grade in Amityville there was a class trip to Adventurer's Drive Inn in Farmingdale, Long Island. A.D.I. was a combination restaurant and amusement park on route 110. We went there in a Fifth Avenue bus that was owned by a guy named Jerry Bornschwar (sp?) funny what you can remember from 1962! 

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Posted by Buslist on Thursday, July 20, 2017 8:59 PM

daveklepper

Remember that the typical British tram was a double-decker, and the heritage fleet at Blackpool provides a transit service somewhat like the F and E lines in SF.  In fact, some of the "balloons," post WWII streamlined double-deckers, suppliment the modern articulated light rail cars when demand gets heavy in regular service there.

The New York City Transit Authority has one 1938-era closed Double-deck Yellow Coach from Fifth Avenue Coach Lines that is used for nostalgia trips now and then.  But none of the older open-tops so popular in summer were saved, as far as I know.

The Fifth Avenue Coach Company was also a GM subsidiary.  Fare was a dime, not like the nickel for the other buses and streetcars and subways.  And they would not pick you up if all seats were taken.  And they were two-men, driver and conductor.  There were only about six or seven routes, all using Fifth Avenue downtown, except the two crosstown routes, 72nd and 57th Streets.  57th was straight-forward, east and west on 57th.  But 72nd was unusual.  Started at 72nd and Central Park West, ran west to Broadway, down Broadway to 57th, east on Broadway to Fifth Avenue, north on 5th to 72nd, and then east on 72nd to York Avenue beyond 1stt Avenue. I wonder if the M72, if that is what it is called, does that today?  Probably not, with a unified system, logically east from Riverside Drive to Central Park West, then down to 57th and then east.

 

Fifth Ave Coach became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Omnibus Corporation which was owned by John Hertz, GM never had an interest.

John did sell partial interest in his Bus building business Yellow Coach (derived from the FACC and CMC efforts) to GM as well as his car rental business. GM eventually purchased the remainder of Hertz's interrest in Yellow and changed the name to GM.

Omnibus corporation purchased the rental car business back from GM an became the Hertz Rent a Car business.

 

Yellow employed G.J. Rackham, whose career had commenced with the London General Omnibus Company after the First World War,. He probably influenced the double deck designs of Yellow.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, July 21, 2017 12:49 AM

I don't think you are completely accurate on this.  GM was involved some way or another.  It may have simple been a loan to Herz.  It may have been personal involvement by Sloan or Kettering.  My understanding is the management of Fifth Avenue Coach was also involved in the Chicago Motor Coach bus system that competed with Chicago Surface Lines and also ran double-deckers identicle to those in New York.  And Fifth Avenue used the same color scheme as New York Omnibus, and its subsidiaries, Madison Avenue Coach and Eighth Avenue Coach.  All bought only Yellow Coaches, except for one White each for Fifth Avenue and for New York Omnibus.  Fifth Avenue ran single-level coaches only on its two crosstown line only.  All other routes were double-deck lines. I think the two crosstowns were one-man but still charged the dime fare.  Don't remember the standee policy for them.  But no standees on the double-deck north-south routes, all of which used Fifth Avenue down to Washington Square south of 57th Street.

Fifth Avenue's management also assisted New York Omnibus in the conversion from New York Railways streetcar system.  This may have been purely informal.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, July 21, 2017 12:59 AM

And Hong Kong operates double-deck single-truck streetcars.  Some, or at least one, air-conditioned!

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Posted by Buslist on Friday, July 21, 2017 2:42 PM

daveklepper

I don't think you are completely accurate on this.  GM was involved some way or another.  It may have simple been a loan to Herz.  It may have been personal involvement by Sloan or Kettering.  My understanding is the management of Fifth Avenue Coach was also involved in the Chicago Motor Coach bus system that competed with Chicago Surface Lines and also ran double-deckers identicle to those in New York.  And Fifth Avenue used the same color scheme as New York Omnibus, and its subsidiaries, Madison Avenue Coach and Eighth Avenue Coach.  All bought only Yellow Coaches, except for one White each for Fifth Avenue and for New York Omnibus.  Fifth Avenue ran single-level coaches only on its two crosstown line only.  All other routes were double-deck lines. I think the two crosstowns were one-man but still charged the dime fare.  Don't remember the standee policy for them.  But no standees on the double-deck north-south routes, all of which used Fifth Avenue down to Washington Square south of 57th Street.

Fifth Avenue's management also assisted New York Omnibus in the conversion from New York Railways streetcar system.  This may have been purely informal.

 

i've never seen any evidence of GM involvement in the Omnibus corporation owner of both FAAC and CMC as well as other properties. Even in articles in Motor Coach Age written by Transit history experts with far better credentials than you or I.

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Posted by RME on Friday, July 21, 2017 6:21 PM

Buslist
i've never seen any evidence of GM involvement in the Omnibus corporation owner of both FAAC and CMC as well as other properties.

Somewhere in here we will find the actual relationship.

See article in the July 8th, 1925 New York Times, for example.

As I understand it, the link is more between Ritchie and Green and the manufacturing part of the Fifth Avenue company ... Green having left, gone to take over in Chicago, then coming back in when Hertz et al. took over Fifth Avenue to form Omnibus ... and not involving GM management of the bus companies themselves (I believe Omnibus then had Chicago, New York, and St. Louis service running).  I don't believe GM at that time had interest in running actual services; they only wanted the expert distinctive competence of the design and construction 'divisions'.  Note that this is almost a decade before Austin and the angle drive/monocoque body buses would so revolutionize the industry and, not incidentally, make NCL such a 'winning' proposition for GM and others from the late '30s on.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, July 21, 2017 7:25 PM

I was going through that article and...

"Gasolene-electric omnibuses."

Interesting.  Looks like someone was using hybrid vehicles commercially long before it was cool!

I wonder if they got the idea from the French St. Chamond tank of World War One?

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Posted by RME on Friday, July 21, 2017 8:03 PM

Firelock76
Looks like someone was using hybrid vehicles commercially long before it was cool!

not hybrid --no energy storage for traction.  The battery was for lighting, and I do not remember if they succeeded in using regeneration from the traction motor(s) to charge it; I think it was only charged off the traction generator (but every night it would appear the battery was taken out, replaced with a 'full' one, and completely charged for the next day - smart man, that Green.

I wonder if they got the idea from the French St. Chamond tank of World War One?

Much more likely the other way around, unless the St. Chamond was designed well before 1911... I thought it was interesting that the twin-motor GE 'differentialless' bus drive was developed before GE's first large-scale development of gas-electric railcars.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, July 21, 2017 8:33 PM

I was using the term "hybrid" in a general (and probably incorrect) sense.  The gas-electric system's easy enough to understand though, use a gasolene engine to drive a generator that supplies current to traction motors.  Much easier than designing a mechanical transmission, especially if the top speed isn't going to be too fast.

That was the idea behind the St. Chamond tank, have the tracks driven by electric motors.  The top speed didn't have to be any faster than a man could go at a fast walk, and it also made training tank drivers much easier.

I didn't know gas-electric street vehicles went back as far as 1911, or earlier, although I know Edison had electric cars (battery powered) even earlier.

Interestingly, Public Service Coordinated Transport of New Jersey operated gas-electric vehicles called "All Service Vehicles" or "ASV's" from the late 30's through the 40's.  Also called "trolley buses" they ran off overhead trolley wires where available and off gasolene-powered generators where not.

For a closer look, try this...

http://www.trolleybuses.net/psct/psct.htm

A roster, and then scroll down the page for more photos of ASV's to click on than you'll know what to do with!  Have a ball!

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Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, July 22, 2017 12:19 AM

Excerpt from NY Times, April 14, 2004

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/14/nyregion/subway-that-started-it-all-100-years-later-faded-traces-city-s-original-remain.html

Amid the daily scrum of the New York City subway, few ever go looking for the past. Rushing to work or home, from one appointment to the next, riders scurry past mysterious doors that lead nowhere, walled off platforms and stairwells, faded sections of tile and other odd artifacts of history without a second glance or thought.

But this being the subway's centennial year, Joseph Brennan and Joseph Cunningham, a pair of transit buffs, agreed the other day to lead a small band in search of the original 1904 subway.

Mr. Brennan, 52, who lives in South Orange, N.J., helps administer the e-mail system at Columbia University but has never outgrown his childhood fascination with trains. A few years ago, in his spare time, he put together a Web site detailing the history of the city's abandoned subway stations.

http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/

 

Excerpt from article Local Bus Routes of Manhattan by Joe Brennan

http://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/Local_Bus_Routes_of_Manhattan

From nycsubway.oThe Fifth Avenue system, which ultimately became MABSTOA, was started in 1886 with a horse omnibus line from 89th St via Fifth Avenue and West Broadway to Bleecker Street. Electric buses were used from about 1898 and later of course gasoline and diesel buses. It was the only motor bus company in the city until 1916. Fifth Avenue was the only major street in Manhattan that never had a street railway, because the politically connected residents prevented it, and the bus line charged twice the fare of street railways as a class distinction.

Operating companies of the Fifth Ave bus system were "Fifth Avenue Transportation Company (Limited)" 1885-1895, foreclosed, then "Fifth Avenue Coach Company" 1897-1954. The holding companies, the real power, were quite a tangle, and note the incorporations in different states. "New York Electrical Vehicle Transportation Company" (inc NJ) 1899-1936 took control in 1899, and changed its name to "New York Transportation Company" 1902. NYT was itself controlled as of 1922 by "Fifth Avenue Bus Securities Corporation" (inc DE) 1922-1936. That was in turn controlled by "The Omnibus Corporation" 1923-present (inc DE), which was named "Chicago Motor Coach Corporation" up to 1924 and named "The Hertz Corporation" since 1954 (yes, the automobile rental company). It came to light many years later that the Omnibus Corp was controlled by General Motors interests. This takes us to 1954.

The larger of the two Manhattan streetcar systems was the Metropolitan Street Railway system, approximately 1893-1911, which was a bit of a house of cards that broke up in part after bankruptcy in 1908. The core company became the New York Railways system, which passed to "New York Railways Corporation" 1925-1936, which was controlled by "Fifth Avenue Coach Company" (and therefore ultimately by General Motors). NYR acquired control of "Manhattan Surface Coach Company" 1925-unknown, named "New York City Omnibus Corporation" from 1930 to 1956. The streetcar lines were converted to bus in 1936, when NYR was liquidated and control of NYCO passed to Fifth Ave Coach and The Omnibus Corp. So as of 1936 the Fifth Ave and NYC Omnibus systems were under common control.

https://archive.org/stream/greatbusstrike00huberich#page/4/mode/2up

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Posted by 54light15 on Saturday, July 22, 2017 10:08 AM

Have a look at this for info about the first Hybrid car designed in 1900 by Ferdinand Porsche. 

http://press.porsche.com/news/release.php?id=642 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, July 22, 2017 12:33 PM

Amazing.  There's nothing new under the sun, is there?

That's one of the things I've always loved about being a student of history, never underestimate the imagination and sophistication of the old-timers, they'll surprise you every time.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 4:11 AM

Two corrections:   1.  The third, the rear exit door, was added to the Sao Paulo ex-Third Avenue Peter-Witt double-end lightweights while they were in service.  2.  The revised route of the 72nd Street Crosstown bus is west on 72nd from Riverside to Central Park West. south to the 66th Street Park Transverse Road and then back 5th to 72nd and then east.  It is now the M72.  Was 6 or 7 when run by 5th Avenue.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:24 AM

Patrik Waldon provided the photo evidence for the third door added.

Jack May informed me that the 72nd Crosstown bus was "6" in the Fifth Avenue Coach Lines System.  "6" was also used by NY Omnibus for Broadway from South Ferry to Times Square and 7th to 59th Street.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 3:25 AM

More Third Avenue Lightweight car pix

138th St. Crosstown, after ex-Manhattan cars replaced the Brill Convertables:

640, one of the conduit cars built for 59th Street crosstown, serving on Third and Amsterdam, the "T" after 59th went bus 1 Oct. '46.  Here across from City Hall on Park Row, the track from the original NY&Harlem of 1832, shared between Green Lines and Third Ave unitl Green went bus in 1936.  This car did see service in The Bronx with trolley poles for a year before its trip to Vienna.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, July 30, 2017 3:04 AM

The 301-400 series were like the 101-200, except that the body was all new, not extended from low-floor single-truck cars.  They also introduced blended dynamic braking.  All were assigned to Yonkers and the New Rochelle-subway line, where they ended up providing all service, except for five that were assigned to Ogden Avenue, the one very hilly Bronx route, and five that were initially conduit cars (396-400) assigned to Manhattan.

Here is the transfer (but no free transfer) between the northern end of the Broadway subway line at 242st & Broadway, Van Courtland Park, and the southern terminal of the 1, 2, 3 Yonkers lines.  The Bronx C line ran through at this point, from West Farms Square in central Bronx to Broadway and 262nd Street, City Line,

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, July 30, 2017 3:11 AM

Here we are at the Foot of Main Street, near the NYCentral's Yonkers Station and the Yonkers Carhouse.

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