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Philly: That Traction Town!
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   Author  Topic: Philly: That Traction Town!  (Read 794 times)
O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #20 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 10:36am »
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        Here we see an a former PTC PCC emerging from the 40th St. subway portal back in 1974. Today, this scene has a different appearance, as the trackwork has been changed, and new overhead and line poles have replaced the old: http://www.davesrailpix.com/phila/htm/phil062.htm

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O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #21 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 10:41am »
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 Here is a recent view of the 40th St. portal. Though the portal itself is essentially unchanged, you can see that the trackwork is different than in the 1974 photo: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?68533

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O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #22 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 10:45am »
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     Perhaps the best-known of all Philly electrics were the Bullets. Here, in 1972, we see one of these sleek speedsters rumbling past a former North Shore Electroliner at Bryn Mawr. Scenes such as this will never be duplicated again: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?16762

« Last Edit: Sep 5th, 2007, 10:46am by JOHN_LUTHER_JONES » Logged
Walt_C
Historian
Posts: 2934
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #23 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 9:03pm »
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A pictoral history of Philadelphia tracton could easily run into many pages. Philadelphia Traction history will include 19th Century Car types such as the Brill "Philadelphia Standard Car" ( of which about 1500 were acquired by several PRT predecessor companies), a number of single truck types, a number of "pay within" cars--- all pre dating the 1911 era Philadelphia Nearsides. Then you have the Nearsides themselves, all 1500 of them, along with the Hog Island Cars, the 5000 series ( also called "Hogs", but not MU like the "true" Hogs), the short lived "War Board" cars ( purchased during WWI by the U.S. Government's transit agency and moved elsewhere after the war), the 1923-26 single ended "Peter Witt" Cars, and their double ended sisters the 5200 series.  Not ever operated as a part of the PRT-PTC were the ten open cars operated by the Fairmount Park Transportation Company-- cars which operated on that line for its entire 50 year existence. And, of course over 500 PCC cars and three Brilliners. And that is just streetcars, and just in the city itself.  On PRT-PTC's suburban lines, as well as some lightly travelled city lines there were Birney Cars ( bought by the city). Throw in the Red Arrow, and its predecessor P&WCT, and you have steam dummies ( also operated in Frankford), single and double truck open cars, single truck 19th century closed cars, classic Brill and Jewett wooden Interurban Cars, four Jewett classic steel interurbans ( Nos. 40-44), the 32 Brill Center Door Cars, acquired between 1919 and 1926, the 80 series Brill Lightweight Cars, the 10 Brilliners and the 14 St. Louis PCC type cars. Add the P&W and you have two sets of St. Louis built interurbans, the first 16 of which never operated on the P&W, Nos 50-52 ( steel interurbans built in 1920 by Brill), the Strafford Cars, the Bullet Cars, and the two Electroliners-Liberty Liners. Additionally there were a number of different car types operating in Lower Delaware County, by several properties, among them the Chester Traction Company, the Southwestern, and the Southern Pennsylvania Traction Company ( whose newest and finest cars were Brill Built interurbans of the same dimensions as PRT's Hog Island Cars). And this does not include the commuter cars ( MP 54's and Blueliners) rapid transit cars or trackless trolleys.  In actuality, few cities operated more different types of traction cars, for a longer period of time, than Philadelphia.

« Last Edit: Sep 5th, 2007, 9:08pm by Walt_C » Logged

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Walt_C
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Posts: 2934
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #24 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 9:33pm »
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on Sep 4th, 2007, 10:31pm, O. WINSTON LINK esq. wrote:       (Click here for original message)
   Philadelphia's subway-surface lines were once the exclusive domain of the PCC's. Today, only modern Kawasaki LRV's operate over these lines today. This link will allow you to see pics dating back to the days when PCC's rumbled, swayed, clanged, and screeched beneath Philly streets. The current cars are also seen: http://www.nycsubway.org/us/phila/subway-surface.html

 
  The first cars to operate on the subway surface lines were the 19th Century Philadelphia Standard Cars, later the 1923-26 Peter Witts took over and dominated the subway until 1956 when the subway was extended, more than 2/3 of Philadelphia's streetcar lines were bustituted, and PCC's replaced the "Peter Witts" in the subway. At that time, with the exception of very few preserved examples, all of the pre PCC car types remaining on PTC property were scrapped.


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O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #25 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 10:24pm »
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       Hi, Walt: Boy, let no one say that you don't know your stuff when it comes to Philly traction!! EXCELLENT work!! Yes, it is quite easy to see that Philly was once not only a Mecca for transit buffs, but also, a place where a tremendous variety of equipment could be found. Unlike today, where basically all SEPTA equipment is of the 'cookie cutter" variety, the old PRT/PTC era certainly offered MORE than enough variety when it came to rolling stock. The streetcar lines utilizing Nearsides, Peter Witts, and PCC's, the Red Arrow lines with thier colorful, varied fleet, the Market-Frankford and Broad St. lines operating a number of different car types, and, of course, the old P&W, with its famed Bullets, Straffords, and, in Red Arrow/SEPTA years, Liberty Liners. Add to that the various makes and models of motor buses and trolley buses, and you really had a true paradise for the die-hard transit buff! Happily, literally thousands of photos exist of that colorful era, enabling us today to see what was once so commonplace!  John

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O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #26 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 10:28pm »
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 This 1993 subway-surface fantrip shows us what was once a commonplace sight on the streets of the City Of Brotherly Love, as recently as the 1950s. This old trolley truly is a beautiful example of good restoration work: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?68061

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O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #27 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 10:31pm »
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  PCC's dead and gone in Philly? Well.....NOT quite....... http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?42962

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O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #28 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 10:37pm »
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   The Red Arrow lines was a must for any traction buff visiting Philly; its fleet of handsome relics were more than photo-worthy, as can be seen by this beautiful St. Louis streamliner at 69th St. back in 1968. Equipment like this were truly classics!! http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?16736

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O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #29 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 10:49pm »
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     This ancient fare register, so much of a commonplace appliance during traction's heyday, was once a familiar, everyday sight aboard "standard" cars in Philly. I wouldn't mind having one of these in my collection today! http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?45553

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O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #30 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 10:54pm »
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   Though New York has always been the undisputed "Subway Capital" of the country, Philadelphia had the distinction of bieng the last city to operate pre-WW 2 rapid transit cars in regular service. The ancient Broad St. cars lasted until the 1980s. This 1938 Pressed Steel car, seen at the Fern Rock station in 1980, clearly shows the massive, solid, no-nonsense look that so characterized prewar rapid transit equipment: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?72886

« Last Edit: Sep 5th, 2007, 10:56pm by JOHN_LUTHER_JONES » Logged
Walt_C
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Posts: 2934
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #31 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 11:06pm »
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on Sep 5th, 2007, 10:28pm, O. WINSTON LINK esq. wrote:       (Click here for original message)
 This 1993 subway-surface fantrip shows us what was once a commonplace sight on the streets of the City Of Brotherly Love, as recently as the 1950s. This old trolley truly is a beautiful example of good restoration work: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?68061

 
 This car is the only preserved example of the 1923-26 "Peter Witt" cars that dominated the subway-surface lines until the mid 1950's. Note the sliding center door. Some of these cars were originally equipped with turnstiles in the center door well. These didn't work out, and were removed after a short time. These cars, along with their double ended sisters, the 5200 series, were the last "conventional" cars to operate in Philadelphia.


« Last Edit: Sep 5th, 2007, 11:07pm by Walt_C » Logged

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O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #32 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 11:09pm »
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 Hi, Walt: The ONLY preserved example Man, it really gives me a strong feeling of sadness to know that so many hundreds of these fine old cars were simply discarded like so much trash. At least a dozen of these fine old machines should have been preserved. AT LEAST this beautiful relic cheated the torch!  John

« Last Edit: Sep 5th, 2007, 11:14pm by JOHN_LUTHER_JONES » Logged
O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #33 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 11:13pm »
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 This exciting scene at 69th St. terminal in 1959 shows us just how fascinating Philly was for traction buffs many years ago. In the foreground, we see an ancient Market-Frankford train (Philly Lo-V's, I call 'em!), and, adjacent to the station building, two classic Strafford cars and a sleek Bullet. Man, if only this all could still be seen today! http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?16767

« Last Edit: Sep 5th, 2007, 11:19pm by JOHN_LUTHER_JONES » Logged
O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #34 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 11:18pm »
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 For decades, the "signature" cars on the Market-Frankford line were the home-built (Budd) "Almond Joy" cars (1960), a train of which is seen here at 69th St. in 1975. These stalwart, silvery veterans were placed several years ago by new equipment: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?43669

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Walt_C
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Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #35 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 11:20pm »
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on Sep 5th, 2007, 11:09pm, O. WINSTON LINK esq. wrote:       (Click here for original message)
 Hi, Walt: The ONLY preserved example Man, it really gives me a strong feeling of sadness to know that so many hundreds of these fine old cars were simply discarded like so much trash. At least a dozen of these fine old machines should have been preserved. AT LEAST this beautiful relic cheated the torch!  John

 
 Out of more than 1500 cars, ( the original Nearsides, and the later cars which "borrowed" their appearance) there are only three or four preserved, if that many. I believe that the only preserved Nearside is No 6618, a former instruction vehicle, preserved at Seashore. Unfortunately, like the car types I mentioned in another thread, most of these cars were scrapped long before the preservation movement took hold.


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O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #36 on: Sep 5th, 2007, 11:29pm »
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          Hi, Walt: Thanks for the additional info! Yes, the sad fact was that, by the time the traction preservation was really getting into full swing, already far too many historic examples of trolleys, interurbans, and rapid transit cars had been scrapped. Baltimore is another example of a city that once boasted an extensive streetcar system, and, today, only a small handful of cars remain today. New York's Third Avenue Railway, New Jersey's Public Service, and the CTA are also prime examples of transit properties that once rostered thousands of electric rail vehicles, of which today only a precious (lucky) few remain. Likewise, precious little remains of the once-vast Capital Transit/DC transit streetcar fleet. That is why we truly have to appreciate the hard work and dedication of the trolley museum volunteers today. Their hard work is the reason why we STILL have at least SOME of our once-proud traction heritage with us today!  John

« Last Edit: Sep 5th, 2007, 11:30pm by JOHN_LUTHER_JONES » Logged
O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #37 on: Sep 6th, 2007, 1:45am »
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    Many years ago, massive Brill center-entance cars like this one from 1926 clanged and swayed along the old Red Arrow lines out of 69th St. This massive, voltage-hungry mastadon from another age, is seen on a fan trip in 1982. These brutes obviously could buck just about anything that lie in thier paths!! http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?46290

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O. WINSTON LINK esq.
Former Member
Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #38 on: Sep 6th, 2007, 2:01am »
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    This beautifully nostalgic scene shows a Red Arrow "Hog Island" car (built by Brill in 1917), at Oakmont in 1955. This scene truly has a charming "American" feel to it, reminscent of an old Norman Rockwell painting. Sadly, scenes like this have long since disappeared down the echoing corridors of time: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?19817

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Walt_C
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Re: Philly: That Traction Town!
 
« Reply #39 on: Sep 8th, 2007, 1:10am »
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on Sep 6th, 2007, 2:01am, O. WINSTON LINK esq. wrote:       (Click here for original message)
    This beautifully nostalgic scene shows a Red Arrow "Hog Island" car (built by Brill in 1917), at Oakmont in 1955. This scene truly has a charming "American" feel to it, reminscent of an old Norman Rockwell painting. Sadly, scenes like this have long since disappeared down the echoing corridors of time: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?19817

 
    Actually the three "Hogs" were ill suited for the Red Arrow's rail lines---- they were slow, loud, and uncomfortable. ( The late Ronald DeGraw describes the cars as "the ugliest cars on the system")  Remember, they had been designed and built to shuttle shipyard workers between Philadelphia's Hog Island shipyards ( located on the Delaware, south of the present location of the Philadelphia Airport) and the 40th & Market Elevated Station during World War I. Because of this, they were designed to cram as many passengers into the car as possible, hence the wooden longitudinal seating. They were MU cars, and operated that way- in four car trains- on PRT Route 45- the Hog Island Line for the duration of WWI.
 
    The Red Arrow purchased three of the then stored units near the beginning of WWII when it was impossible to acquire new trolleys. The Red Arrow "Hogs" didn't last much past 1950, except for the preserved No. 26.


« Last Edit: Sep 8th, 2007, 1:13am by Walt_C » Logged

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