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PCC's; With Feeling
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Walt_C
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #20 on: Oct 15th, 2006, 1:20am »
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on Oct 14th, 2006, 2:20pm, Pennsy wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hi Walt,
 
Well I felt that things would heat up with that one and I am not disappointed.
 
Today, in beautiful downtown Pomona, CA, I attended the Pomona Valley Model RR club swap meet. Bumped into an old acquaitance, George Huxtabury, an old Philadelphia boy, model trolley and streetcar affecionado,  and he said a few things that agree with you. Phillie did have in excess of 1500 street cars at one time. George also agrees that Phillie had a more extensive streetcar system than New York. Probably because NYC also had a rather extensive Subway, and Elevated subway system at the same time. Good debate on that one.  
 

 
 Another reason for Philly's more extensive ( more than NYC) streetcar network may be the large number of narrow streets in Philly. Although the streetcar system has now been almost totally bustituted ( with the exception of the 5 subway-surface lines and the "re-railed" Route 15) for a long time it was felt that buses couldn't make some of the turns that the streetcars did, particularly in South Philadelphia. ( If you've ever seen a PCC car make a sharp turn, you'll notice that the body seems to almost swivel as the car takes the curve-- thus permitting a much tighter turn than is possible with a bus of the same length)--- Since it has been more than 35 years since I actually LIVED in the Philly area, and had a day to day knowlege of the transit system, I don't know whether they diverted buses from the old streetcar routes on the narrow streets, but, with the exception of the 15, there are now no all-surface streetcar lines left in Philly.


« Last Edit: Oct 15th, 2006, 1:21am by Walt_C » Logged

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Pennsy
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #21 on: Oct 15th, 2006, 10:32am »
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Hi Walt,
 
Pretty much in agreement with George. Too bad you two couldn't have gotten together at that Swap Meet. I'll bet that there would have been a crowd around the two of you really quick to hear the conversation. These were all Rabid Model RR's and Trolley buffs. The conversations were broken up from time to time by Union Pacific blowing their air horns as they entered the nearby crossing. Not a very quiet area for that early in the AM, and then came the rain.  
 
George did mention that the tight turns were something else for the narrow streets. Something like in Europe. I imagine that the buses that took over were relatively short and might just have been able to handle as many people as the trolley it replaced. Certainly articulated buses, or LRV's, could not take those curves.  
 
New York City did have some neighborhoods that were tight with narrow streets, but they were few and far between. Most of the trolley routes had lots of room. I did see an old wooden trolley negotiate a curve such as that and it really looked weird. The center of the trolley damn near touched the curb of the street. Really close quarters, and of course, the trolley did not present an attractive view while doing that. You could seen the motorman praying that the trolley pole stayed put. And you could walk faster than the trolley could take that turn. No speed demons in that situation.


« Last Edit: Oct 15th, 2006, 10:35am by Pennsy » Logged

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Walt_C
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #22 on: Oct 15th, 2006, 3:47pm »
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At one point, up until the mid 1950's, there were streetcars running on most of the north south numbered streets for most of the length of those streets, particularly east of the Schuylkill River. many of these streets carried one way traffic, so a particular streetcar route would travel northbound on one numbered street, and southbound on another numbered street one block away. If a car needed to make a turn from one of those streets into an equally narrow east- west street, that turn would be extremely tight. Part of the mid 1950's bustitution of 2/3 of Philly's streetcar routes ( courtesy of NCL) resulted in a diversion of the new bus routes to avoid those kind of turns.  Even with PCC cars, pulling the pole on those curves was rather common.

« Last Edit: Oct 15th, 2006, 3:54pm by Walt_C » Logged

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Pennsy
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #23 on: Oct 15th, 2006, 4:17pm »
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Hi Walt,
 
Yep, I thought that was the problem. In NYC you very rarely had that problem. The trolleys generally ran on two way streets, both north-south and east -west.  The fun did start with one way streets, although most of them were fairly wide with parking for cars on both sides of the street.  
 
If I remember the Benny Goodman story correctly, he was a Philadelphia boy and his father got killed when run over by a streetcar, on such a narrow street. Such streets were, apparently, inherently very dangerous. Yet, I will bet the kids still hopped on the back of the streetcars for a free ride. Never tried it myself, but saw it many times. The thought that the kids didn't have the price of the carfare never entered my mind.


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Walt_C
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #24 on: Oct 15th, 2006, 6:02pm »
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Another "trick" that kids had during that era, particularly where there was an alley near an intersection with a carstop, was to run out of the alley when a car stopped at the cross street and yank the pole retriever rope thus "pulling" the pole. The kids would then run back into the alley and hide as they watched the operator  re-wire the pole.  Narrow streets are inherently dangerous for many reasons. They also caused delays if an auto was parked too far from the curb, or if a coal or oil truck was making a deliverly of fuel to a building along the street. The streetcar would sit there repeadtedly clanging its gong until the obstructing vehicle was moved.
 
  On Main Street in Ellicott City, Md.,if a No. 9 car couldn't proceed up Main Street to its termius because of an obstruction, since that line used the double-ended Brill Semi-Convertable Cars, the operator would simply reverse ends and go back to Catonsville rather than wait for the obstruction to be removed.


« Last Edit: Oct 15th, 2006, 6:11pm by Walt_C » Logged

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Pennsy
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
  PCCChurch_Ave._jpg.jpg - 122735 Bytes
« Reply #25 on: Oct 15th, 2006, 10:55pm »
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Hi All,
 
John just gave me a photo of a PCC of the Church Ave. Line at the intersection of Church Ave. and Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn. This is where the PCC goes under Ocean Parkway. Both the Tunnel and the PCC's are gone now. Just had to take the photo and do some magic with it with Kodak Easyshare and here is the result. Enjoy
 
Also, no we did not vandalize or other such things as Walt delineates. I guess we were relatively good kids. Also we had a Clancy nearby. Yes, you guessed it, that was the neighborhood police officer. He was one of "the boys". That was in the days when the local cop was your friend, protector, and watched over you. And all the kids knew him by first name. We were also members of the Police Athletic League.



Image exceeds display size of 900 pixels wide. (122735 bytes, 1024x677 pixels)


Click Here to View Image PCCChurch_Ave._jpg.jpg - 122735 Bytes


« Last Edit: Oct 15th, 2006, 10:57pm by Pennsy » Logged

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Pennsy
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #26 on: Oct 19th, 2006, 10:29am »
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Hi John et al;
 
Looks like you all, even with all those photographs, missed a winner. That is, the Bicentennial paint jobs that some of the PCC's got. The last PCC I rode on, that was in revenue service, was in Boston, on the line going through Newton Highlands. It was the Bicentennial PCC, and was resplendent in red white and blue. The red and blue was the bunting and the white was the stars. Beautiful paint job, and really clean and smooth riding PCC.  
 
So, fellas, how about some color photos, if possible, of the PCC's in Bicentennial Paint jobs I think we have now seen PCC's in every color but the Bicentennial paint jobs. Can't believe the white PCC. I'll bet it didn't stay white too long. John seems to be surfing the net like mad finding all of these incredible photos. Now he can surf a bit harder. Another point that is incredible: can you believe that John's thread has over 20 pages now ? Talk about a long thread. That is why I started this one, to spread it out. I won't mention that it appears that half of those twenty pages probably is all John's postings.


« Last Edit: Oct 19th, 2006, 10:34am by Pennsy » Logged

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Walt_C
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #27 on: Oct 19th, 2006, 7:45pm »
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on Oct 19th, 2006, 10:29am, Pennsy wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hi John et al;
 
Looks like you all, even with all those photographs, missed a winner. That is, the Bicentennial paint jobs that some of the PCC's got. The last PCC I rode on, that was in revenue service, was in Boston, on the line going through Newton Highlands. It was the Bicentennial PCC, and was resplendent in red white and blue. The red and blue was the bunting and the white was the stars. Beautiful paint job, and really clean and smooth riding PCC.  
 
So, fellas, how about some color photos, if possible, of the PCC's in Bicentennial Paint jobs I think we have now seen PCC's in every color but the Bicentennial paint jobs. Can't believe the white PCC. I'll bet it didn't stay white too long. John seems to be surfing the net like mad finding all of these incredible photos. Now he can surf a bit harder. Another point that is incredible: can you believe that John's thread has over 20 pages now ? Talk about a long thread. That is why I started this one, to spread it out. I won't mention that it appears that half of those twenty pages probably is all John's postings.

 
  I'll have to check the nycsybway.org web site or the www.phillytrolley.org site for photos, but SEPTA painted a number of its Ex- Kansas City all-electric PCC's in white with red and blue trim for the Bicentennial. ( The Ex-Kansas City cars were the cars with the post-war body, but with full length side windows without the standard standee windows --- the president of the Kansas City company which originally ordered the cars didn't like the standee windows)  Each car had the name of one of the original 13 states on its side. These cars were selected because they were used on Route 50, which ran past Independence Hall. Septa later adopted a variation on that paint scheme as its standard colors, so all of its buses and the Kawasaki LRVs are basically white with the red & blue trim. The only exceptions are the PCC II cars on Route 15, which display the old PTC green and yellow paint scheme.


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Walt_C
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #28 on: Oct 20th, 2006, 9:18pm »
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Here is a photo of the Ex Kansas City PCC in Philly in its BiCentennial paint scheme: http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?46286

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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #29 on: Oct 21st, 2006, 12:49am »
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Hi Walt,
 
Now that is a PCC. Great paint job, however if you saw what they did to the Boston PCC for the Bicentennial you would flip out. It was outstanding.  
 
Again, great looking PCC.


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Pennsy
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #30 on: Oct 24th, 2006, 10:35pm »
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Hi All,
 
One of the things I watched, both in Boston, and in the Newark area, was PCC's double headed. I imagine that the motorman of the lead PCC controlled the doors and other controls of both cars. Did he also have some means of seeing if things were okay in the second car ? Also, how was fare collected in the second car ? How did the motorman know if someone in the second car wanted to get off at the next stop ? All sorts of questions on how it worked when PCC's were MU'd.
 
With LRV's, one man does it all and with mirrors. No fares to collect, but security guards roam freely checking your tickets. Major fine, citation, should you not have a valid ticket. How was all that handled ?


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RDG_4-8-4
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #31 on: Oct 25th, 2006, 10:57am »
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on Oct 24th, 2006, 10:35pm, Pennsy wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hi All,
 
One of the things I watched, both in Boston, and in the Newark area, was PCC's double headed. I imagine that the motorman of the lead PCC controlled the doors and other controls of both cars. Did he also have some means of seeing if things were okay in the second car ? Also, how was fare collected in the second car ? How did the motorman know if someone in the second car wanted to get off at the next stop ? All sorts of questions on how it worked when PCC's were MU'd.
 
With LRV's, one man does it all and with mirrors. No fares to collect, but security guards roam freely checking your tickets. Major fine, citation, should you not have a valid ticket. How was all that handled ?

 
Hi Pennsy.
 
Although Boston had nothing but MU PCC's (except the "Queen Mary") Newark's PCC's never had couplers, although some of their sisters from Minneapolis that went to Shaker Heights did get MU equipment.  Offhand, the only cities that ran PCC's in MU were Boston, Toronto, Pacific Electric, Red Arrow (not true PCC's but same general idea), and Shaker Heights.
 
This is how MU operation worked with PCC's, at least with Red Arrow's St, Louis cars:  Each car had its own operator.  Both operators collected their own fares and controlled their own doors; i.e., doors were not trainlined.  When the operator in the second car was finished his station work, he would ring a bell that would ring on the lead car's operator's dash which would let him know that the second car was ready to go.  If he was operating a 3-car train, like in Boston or Shaker Heights, he could not leave a station unless he heard 2 sets of "OK to Go" signals on the little bell on his dash.  If there was a problem in one of the cars, the Louie's were equipped with 2-way radios for communication.
 
Hope this answers your questions.


« Last Edit: Oct 25th, 2006, 10:59am by RDG484 » Logged
Pennsy
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #32 on: Oct 25th, 2006, 11:10am »
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Hi,
 
Rather interesting mode of operation. Totally wasteful. Seems to me that they could have operated individually, and be close behind each other. This would be similar to the NYC buses when they ran during rush hour. You would see two or three buses at the same stop, All doors open, and people scrambling for the least occupied bus, so as to get that really valuable SEAT.  
 
That system of operation gives one a really new respect for the new LRV's and their method of operation. By the way, the Los Angeles Red Line operates the same way. Picture a subway train of up to eight cars, The motorman operates the ENTIRE train, he uses mirrors and his PA system to watch those getting on and off the train. And, generally the Lady, will re-open the doors to allow that person that is running towards the train to catch it. The Ladies really are sympathetic towards those "running late". One fantastic Subway system.


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RDG_4-8-4
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #33 on: Oct 25th, 2006, 11:35am »
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on Oct 25th, 2006, 11:10am, Pennsy wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hi,
 
Rather interesting mode of operation. Totally wasteful. Seems to me that they could have operated individually, and be close behind each other. This would be similar to the NYC buses when they ran during rush hour. You would see two or three buses at the same stop, All doors open, and people scrambling for the least occupied bus, so as to get that really valuable SEAT.  
 
That system of operation gives one a really new respect for the new LRV's and their method of operation. By the way, the Los Angeles Red Line operates the same way. Picture a subway train of up to eight cars, The motorman operates the ENTIRE train, he uses mirrors and his PA system to watch those getting on and off the train. And, generally the Lady, will re-open the doors to allow that person that is running towards the train to catch it. The Ladies really are sympathetic towards those "running late". One fantastic Subway system.

 
The big advantage, especially with Red Arrow, in running two-car trains is that you have one "unit" taking up one signal block rather than two seperate moves, especially when you have a lot of private right-of-way.
 
As for ones who keep "waiting," if there is enough "slack" in the schedule, you can do it.  But I'm a big beleiver in the idea of, "People wait for trains, trains do NOT wait for people."


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Walt_C
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #34 on: Oct 27th, 2006, 10:43pm »
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Keep in mind that the Red Arrow St Louis Cars were "one man" cars, as were the non-MU 80 series and the Brilliners. However, during the "heyday" of train operation of Red Arrow equipment, many of the old Center Door Cars were still being operated, and these cars were two man cars. In this context, operating a two car train of St. Louis Cars, each with its own operator, did not require any more personnel than one of the Center Door Cars, since it took two employees to operate one of the older cars, yet provided about twice the passenger capacity. Since the St. Louis cars were faster, yet used less power than the Center Door Cars, even with the "redundancy" of the second operator, they still cost less to operate than the older equipment.

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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #35 on: Oct 28th, 2006, 2:20pm »
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Hi Walt,
 
As usual, the bottom line is economics, money.
 
Today, it is even worse, and MU'ing with individual operators per car would be considered suicide. How come, even in those days, they didn't use ladies or young fellas with minimum training to operate the doors and collect the fares I am still really pleased when, the last time I was there, the Canal st and St. Charles trolleys are operated totally by smiling ladies. And yes, all come out of the car to help her drop the following trolley pole and raise the lead trolley pole to allow the trolley to reverse direction. That way the trolley pole always follows the trolley.


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Walt_C
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #36 on: Oct 28th, 2006, 5:43pm »
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Alan------Unfortunately-- almost everything in the latter day saga of traction companies is related to money. Many of the points you make, particularly in the area of safety, were prime arguments AGAINST one man cars in the 1920's and the early '30's. The depression changed all of that as one man operation, and cars designed to be operated in that fashion, wound up saving, at least temporarily, many streetcar and interurban systems. In the case of the Red Arrow ( and its predecessor Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Co.) the 1932 80 series Brill Lightweight cars, which were the first one man cars on the system, are creditied, along with some very astute management, with keeping the P&WCT/ PST out of bankruptcy.
   Like many systems, the Red Arrow did move to the hiring of female operators and conductors ( on those two man cars which continued to operate) during WWII, but unlike some companies, including the neighboring PTC, the Red Arrow let its women operators go after the war.
 
    The neighboring P&W also found that the advent of the one man Bullet Cars, and the rebuilding of the Strafford Cars into one man cars, along with the extremely high speeds operated by both types in the 1930's, became the savior of that system as well.  We can't get away from financial considerations when we talk about the operation of traction companies.


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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #37 on: Oct 29th, 2006, 6:20pm »
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Hi All,
 
Pretty much correct all the way.
 
I seem to remember seeing, due to traffic etc. PCC's stacked up a bit, so that it looked like they just about were being operated together. You would see one PCC stop and drop off passengers, and pick up a few, and pull away, as a second PCC would pull up and do the same. All done on city streets and usually during rush hours. Each PCC was independently operated.  
 
Naturally, when the buses took over, you could easily see the same thing. In fact, often you would rush to the second or third bus to ensure that you got a seat. I'll bet the same happened with the PCC's.


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typesix
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #38 on: Dec 7th, 2006, 10:46pm »
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Boston PCCs in MU operation were interlocked. Lead car would get a green light indicating all doors on train were closed and only then would brakes release. Any passenger pulling the stop request in a trailing car would also activate the front car's stop request bell via the trainline connections. In later years of operation the operator signal buzzers would not work, so trailers would signal using the stop request cord. The most common use would be if a pole dewired, the trailer would rapidly pull the cord several times until the lead car got the message and stopped.

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firstbelt
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Re: PCC's; With Feeling
 
« Reply #39 on: Dec 21st, 2009, 12:48pm »
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on Oct 20th, 2006, 9:18pm, Walt_C wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Here is a photo of the Ex Kansas City PCC in Philly in its BiCentennial paint scheme: ...

Here's one of Pittsburgh's PCCs in a bicentennial scheme:
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1663778


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