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Ninth and Sixth Avenue Manhattan Elevateds

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, September 2, 2022 5:53 AM

A 99th Street Shop photo on this thread can be justified by that shop handling repairs for the entire Manhattan Elevated system, incliuding the West-side elevateds.  However, I will duplicate the photo on one of the 3rd Avenue threads.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 2:15 PM

The photographer sent this important photo, who sent it to me, for maximum distribution.  A two-car Polo-Ground (155th st. & 8th Ave. - 167th St. & Jerome Avenu) shuttle of Gibbs cars, the original steel subway cars.  To clear the lower side walls of the tunnel under 162nd Street betweem the Sedgewick Avne and Jerome & Anderson Avenue stations. the regular subway-type 3rd-rail shoes were cut back and could omly contact the higher and further-in open elevated-type 3rd rail.  The photo is at the southbound 167th St., taken from the northbound platform.

The Shuttle was the last remnent of the 9th Avenue Elevated.

 

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Posted by timz on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 3:35 PM

Didn't know the third rail was different. How much different? Did the Third Ave elevated in the Bronx keep its old-style third rail as long as it ran?

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 8:05 PM

daveklepper

... shuttle of Gibbs cars, the original steel subway cars.   

 

 

The Gibbs cars seem to have a normal coach car window pattern.  Did they also have a typical railway 2-2 seating pattern?

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Posted by timz on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 8:32 PM

He said they were the original subway cars. IRT cars have never had any face-forward side-by-side seating, have they?

https://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?160276

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 1:22 AM

IRT subway cars, including compositers moved to elevated-train service in 1915:

Always longitudinal after center doors installed.

Elevated-train cars, except Composites:

16 paired back-to-back, center of car, rest longitudinal

 

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 3:10 AM

Hello Dave

 

ONLY the IRT Composite (ex 1904 subway) cars moved to Manhattan Division Elevated service -- but only on the 2nd and 3rd Avenue (east side) Manhattan El's and on the Bronx 3rd Ave EL  As well as in rush hourt service from the 2nd Ave (and later 3rd Ave EL from Manhattan to Bronx  via the West Farms (lower White Plains Road line's  original 1903 built EL) from the 3rd Ave EL - via it's upper express level of its E. 143rd St Station onto the Bergen St. connection to operate to and return from the Freeman Street Station.

Steel IRT subway cars ran on Bronx EXTENSION EL"s built solely for and to connect with the IRT Subway lines from Manhattan.

 

Steel IRT Subway cars never ran on thhe Manhattan 3rd Ave El Lines (2nd, 3rd, 6th, 9th Ave EL's) as they were too heavy for the 1878-1880's built El structures. The ONLY time steel subway cars ran in passenger service of the 3rd Ave El was ONLY on its saved Bronx remnant,  operated from May 12, 1955 thru its service end April 30, 1973.  Steel cars replaced the last groups of operating wooden cars (IRT MUDC"s and ex-BMT Q Types) on the Bronx 3rd Ave EL - Sept. 16, 1956

regards - Joe

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 3:17 AM

Manhattan Seating Style Hello timz

The first IRT Subway cars (1903-4 Composites) and the 1904-5 steel GIBBS cars before center doors were added,   had IRT Manhattan El car style seating --- just like this photo ABOVE inside an IRT Composite wooden subway Car as new in 1903

When the center doors were added to the Composites and the Gibbs cars -- thhe center cross seats were removed.

Regards - Joe F

 

 

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 3:28 AM

The GIBBS cars AFTER they had center door openings cut into their bodies around 1910, and center doors installed,  did not have normal window patterns. 

The center doors, due to the side walls steel framing, were installed slightly closer to one end of the car -- meaning both doors were directly OPPOSITE each other as is normal, and both were about a foot or so closer to one end - the same end-  of the car body.  That caused an unusal window pattern.  Note the single small window on closest side of the center door, and the two small windows - where the door pocket was,  on the opposite side of the car.  The cars had Manhattan El type seating when new in 1904 -- which had cross seats in the area where the doors were later installed.  At that time the center cross seats were removed where the center doors would be located. 

The photo above shows a 2 car train for Polo Ground Shuttle Service -- both being GIBBS Hi-V "battleship" Pilot cars with all manually controlled (by mechanical levers) doors. Pilot cars had a motorman indication box and light in the cab -- to inform motormen that all doors on the MUDC Hi-V cars in thhe train - were closed.  The Manual Door "Pilot" cars were used as either the front car, or / and / rear car of the train with MUDC converted cars coupled between them.

The view is looking south to a train on the northbound track of the IRT Jerome Ave El at the E. 167th Street uptown station platform. Circa 1950 / 51 ------  Regards - Joe F

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 4:09 AM

Hello Timz

The original 3rd rail as installed upon electrification, on the Manhattan EL lines (as well as on Chicago EL Lines)  was a closer to the track, higher UNCOVERED 3rd rail.  "Drop Sled" 3rd rail gravity-contact shoes rode directly above and along the uncovered head of the EL type 3rd rail. Originally there was a wooden safety protection board bolted to each side of that 3rd rail --- those boards being about two inches higher than the rail head of the 3rd rail. This protected both sides of the 3rd rail from trackworkers and employees on the tracks.  This was the installation of 1900-02. 

 

The first IRT Subway opened in Oct. 1904 decided on a similar 3rd rail system,  but their rail was a bit LOWER to the ties and further from the track, and has a top cover board.  The first NY (and all do today) subway cars had a special "paddle" type sprung 3rd rail shoe which rode on top of the rail head but under the top protective wooden cover.

Because Manhattan El's (2nd, 3rd, 6th & 9th Ave Lines) EL structures (built between 1870 and 1880's) were quite more lightly built than later (post 1900) heavier EL structures,  STEEL subway cars were banned from the Manhattan El's in any revenue loaded services.  They could be dead towed to Manhattan El repair shops (which was done) - by an El car or an El work motor-flat -- but that was it.

Therefore,  the Manhattan El's RETAINED the high protecting boards, but by 1910 removed the one board facing the track.  thus leaving the remaining board facing the adjacent catwalks.  That was called a safety back board.  THE REASON? FIRST - it was found that the channel created along the 3rd rail itself by the two boards, allowed snow and ice to pack into that channel and prevent 3rd rail shoe contact. SECOND - Because that higher than rail head back board would PREVENT subway paddle shoes to ride on and contact the Manhattan EL type 3rd rail head.  The wood backboard would LIFT the subway paddle shoe 2 inches higher than the 3rd rail head !  And the subway car could not get power.

 

HOWEVER,  on EL lines where borth IRT steel subway cars and wooden El trains ran on the same elevated line tracks - the single remaining wooden safety backboard was eliminated, leaving the entire Manhhattan style 3rd rail totally unprotected. (Like Chicago EL's have today).  So all tracks on those EL's had TWO 3rd Rails.  The El style on one side of the track,  and the covered subway style on the other side.  Just like the photo with the Gibbs Cars at the E. 167th St Station, showing both types of 3rd rails.  And here is a similar photo BELOW  -- again at E. 167th Street station,  around 1948, with Composite cars in Polo Shuttle Service.  By 1960  ALL dual 3rd rails ended with removal of ALL "EL" style 3rd rails. As there were no longer any rolling stock with the old drop sled EL type 3rd rail shoes.

NOTE: The Bronx 3rd Ave El "E.149th St to Gun Hill Road SHUTTLE"  remnant line - just prior to 12-16-1956 removal of last wooden El cars operated there - had all the wood safety backboards removed from the still existing Manhattan type 3rd rail on BOTH local tracks.  It remained intact on the wood EL Car storage only used former center express track.  Steel Steinway Low-V Class subway cars got powered by the EL style 3rd rail while subway style covered 3rd rail was placed on opposite side of both local tracks.  This changeover was finished by mid 1958 with both local tracks fitted with only covered subway style 3rd rail.  The center track, when stored wood el cars were removed by end of 1957,  had its EL style 3rd rail removed also. And the center track (since 5-13-1955) was never used for revenue train operation as express service was not used on thhe Bronx 3rd Ave El remnant.

Regards - Joe FNote Dual 3rd Rails

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 7:56 AM

THe IRT subway-type third rail was actually pioneered by the Willksbarre & Hazelton (PA.) interurban, but it is not clear to me just what per-cent of the their third rail had the cover-board.

Also, the BMT entered the subway business after the IRT did, slightly over ten years later.  They adopted the IRT-type with only minor dimensional changes, essentially duplicating that of the Long Island Railroad and initial PRR Penn Station Electrfication, and then adopted by the B&O's Staten Island Rapid Transit (eventually supposed to be linked to the BMT's 4th Avenue Subway by an under-Bay tunnel (will that ever happen?), the Hudson & Manhattan (today's PATH), and the City-owned Independent Subway System, "IND."  Today, the BMT and IND are the Transit Authority's "B Division" asccepting ten-feet-wide cars, the IRT the "A Division," requiring narrower equipment.  Nolt sure about the "7" Flushing Line.  With a number, not a letter and narrow cars, A Division.   But its only track connection is with the B Dividion's "N" Line.

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Posted by timz on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 12:10 PM

Thanks for putting together those educational posts. They're worth studying (I assume -- if they don't have the ring of truth, they've got a good imitation.)

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Thursday, January 5, 2023 1:55 AM

Hello timz

You are welcome.  As far as my comments and facts having a, any ring of truth -- you can bet on it for those I wrote in reply to your questions on this thread. As Dave K also well knows.  Its no imitation. I rode and lived thru, and extensively photographed,  that period of rolling stock and those lines - and so did Dave !! Many decades looooong ago when we were both very much younger, heh !

regards - Joe F

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Posted by timz on Thursday, January 5, 2023 4:12 PM

Joseph Frank
Originally there was a wooden safety protection board bolted to each side of that 3rd rail --- those boards being about two inches higher than the rail head of the 3rd rail.

So ... the contact shoe reached down from directly above the third rail, instead of reaching horizontally across to it like we're used to seeing?

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Thursday, January 5, 2023 4:40 PM

Hello Timz

YES --- the drop sled shoe dropped directly down to the head of the 3rd rail -- see photo from my collection enclosed at BOTTOM of this message.  Note: Chicago CTA EL trains use a similar drop sled shoe in present day operation!  

This photo shows one of the IRT EL Car 3rd rail shoes back in its new electrification period of 1902 on the Manhattan EL's.  NOTE in the photo, that there are TWO wooden protection side boards, as installed during initial electrification,  seen on each side of the EL style 3rd rail.  By 1910-15 the wooden protect board facing the TRUCK side of the 3rd rail, was removed from all Manhattan El 3rd rails. 

And as I previously stated,  on lines where IRT wood "EL" trains and Steel Subway trains operated on the same tracks on EL extensions in outer boroughs, the single wooden backboard on the EL style rail was removed to clear subway car paddle shoes.

These "drop Sled" EL type 3rd rail shoes lasted until the end of IRT EL car operation on the IRT (and likewise on BMT) Elevated lines -- mainly with removal of most all of the 1870 to 1890 built structure El lines.

Their last used was on the BMT Q type wooden EL cars of the Myrtle Avenue EL in Brooklyn,  which had Drop Sled shoes on their motor truck sideframes. 

Those trucks under the Q types were placed under the Q's coming off from soon to be scrapped 1903 era IRT ex subway Composite Cars - with removal of the faster and heavier original BMT EL Car Motor trucks, to make the Q type EL Cars light enought to operate witrh passengers on the express tracks of the 1870's built Manhattan 3rd Ave El structure. So as to operate as rush-hour express trains on the IRT 3rd Ave El from 1950 thru, when removed,  12-16-1956.

 

Relocated to Brooklyn and the BMT Myrtle EL, having BMT TOTALLY unprotected EL type 3rd rail,  the Q-Type class EL trains operated there until the Drop Sled shoes were removed and paddle shoes installed sometime between 1964 and 1965. And finished their wooden El car operation on that line, as such, thru Oct. 31, 1969 end of service.----Regards - Joe F

regards - Joe F

 

 

IRT Elevagted 3rd rail shoe

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, January 6, 2023 1:46 AM

Thanks, Joe, and Nate Gerstein adds these comments concerning the car assignments for the Polo Grounds Shuttle:


The third Ave El from Chatham Square was abandoned May 12th 1955.
The Polo Grounds  Shuttle closed August 31st 1958.
The shuttle was opened in 1940 the day the 9th Ave El closed. The first cars to run where Composites . They were used because the el cars were unable to fit in the  IRT subway tunnel As the roofs  were too high. The third rail shoe beams were of the Manhattan type compatible with the  new shuttle third rail. The Coposites were run downtown and around the South Ferry horn and up the 9th Ave El to  the 155th St. station the night the 9th closed. They were run as 3 car trains from  St. to,Burnside Ave, Jerome line. The were inspected  in Jerome Yard. When heavier work was required the cars  were taken to 239th yard WPR line Composites  were being serviced due to the closing of 99th St. and 129th St. yards. The cars were towed fro 167th St Jerom to the Lexington line and turned to Jackson Ave WPR Line and were cut there and went to  239th St. under their own power as there was Manhattan 3rd rail there. Many El cars and composites were put in storage. They were unable to scrap the cars as the defense department put a hold on them as they were held WW2. The el cars were left at 159th St yard and when the yard was full the were stored on the middle track on Jerome from Mount Eden Ave  to just south of  Burnside Ave Station. All MUDC el cars were transferred to the East side lines. Composites and el cars were taken to 239th St. yard and many were stored on the upper level and the switches  were removed for the war effort. Gate cars were on the lower level. The 155th st station of the shuttle was  dissected and the Nothboun express track was retained and became the yard   relay track for the 159th. St. Yard. In 1949 the  shuttle  Composites were replaced by Standard Steinways two car trains.The the subway portion of the third rail shoe were cut off to clear the Manhattan third rail. The problem the arose in the winter because of ice forming on the 3rd rail as the subway cars had no ice scrapers. The Steinways were then replaced bu Standard Pilot model Hi-Vs. the 600 volt train line jumpers alleviated  this problem somewhat. There was a time when a few Gibbs Cars were assigned to the shuttle but it was not for long and the HI-Vs were replaced by five Standard Steinways again (one spare) electric lamps were added to replace the oil type as the HI-Vs were being scrapped. Three  HI-Vs were retained for work service along with an elevated flat car. One HI-V was converted into an alcohol car. It all ended on August 31st 1958.
 
I'll (Dave) at this one comment:  Again. the reason full, not trimmed, subway-type p;addlep-shous and subway type 3rd-rail could not be used on tyhis 9th-Av.-El. remnant was the narrow lower side walls of the twin tunnels under 1q62nd Street.

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, January 6, 2023 8:02 AM

Chicago has had some cars with paddle-type shoes since the late 1950s, but the "sled" type remains standard.  Some of the 6000 series PCCs and the 2200 series Budd cars had paddle-type shoes, at least as built.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, January 7, 2023 9:52 AM

Tell me what an 'alcohol car' is...

I can't figure out how the drop shoe mount shown is supposed to work.  If it were a pantograph linkage I'd understand, but the two links pictured have only whatever lost motion there is at the pin joints to accommodate, and you'd constantly be taking up wear by adjusting the mounting bolts (which seems in the picture to be what they were doing).  The actual contact (whatever it was made of) has its long curled lead attached, but I see no indication that it floated on vertical pins or whatever below the part mounted to the end of the links.

Interesting that the heavy wire brushes were necessary to keep the railhead clean and dressed...

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Posted by timz on Saturday, January 7, 2023 12:15 PM

Overmod
the two links pictured have ...

The links must be slotted -- they could go horizontal if they needed to.

(So the shoe's weight is all that presses it against the rail? That's enough? Must be -- no springs visible.)

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, January 7, 2023 1:06 PM

The shoe is held up by two slotted links, with a cable attached to the shoe itself for current pickup.  Contact is maintained by the weight of the shoe, which varies some depending on model but is around 20-25 lbs.  Boston had some cars that used a forged shoe that was held in its slots by small springs, but relied mostly on gravity for electrical contact. 

Chicago cars also had sleet scrapers on the shoe beam that were wired to the electrical pichup that dropped by gravity when manually released.  North Shore Line also used gravity shoes and sleet scrapers on the L, as did the CA&E on its third rail.  Some CA&E steel cars had pneumatically operated sleet scrapers.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, January 7, 2023 4:34 PM

.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, January 7, 2023 4:34 PM

Now that I know what to look for, I can see both ends of the slot in the near-side link.  I thought the far-side one was H-section with a pin at each end...

Note that there is much more potential 'upward' play in the links than further 'down'.  Does that indicate wear on the contact plate of the shoe?

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, January 7, 2023 4:42 PM

From looking at gravity shoes on preserved cars there isn't a lot of wear on the face of the shoe.  Most of the damage done to the shoes is on the ends is from arcs when cars are coasting across gaps.  Not too much of that in normal operation as most systems had or have power jumpers between cars to allow crossing long gaps such as grade crossings. 

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