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"BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)/MU's/Trailers
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   Author  Topic: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)/MU's/Trailers  (Read 616 times)
NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
"BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)/MU's/Trailers
 
« on: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:04am »
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All:
 
Perhaps no other streetcar was so readily identifiable with Boston as were the distinctive center-entrance cars, hulking crowd-swallowers that lasted in revenue service into the 1950's, and, for many years afterwards, serving as work cars.
 
The original center-entrance cars were trailers; later, the BERy began taking delivery of center-entrance motor cars (interestingly, the motors never hauled the center-entrance trailers, which were hauled by Type 4's)
 
Built specifically for service in Boston's trolley subways, the cars featured reversed trolley poles; this made it easier for crews to switch poles in the subway, without having to step outside the car.
 
Thankfully, a few of these electrically-driven dinosaurs still survive today.
 
Bieng fascinated with streetcar subways from a very early age (thanks to the old CITY SUBWAY in Newark, NJ!), it comes as now surprised that I later became very interested in the streetcar subways of Boston.
 
Hope you'll enjoy a nostalgic ride back to the heydays of streetcars in Boston......
 
"MOTORMAN 285"
 
 
 


« Last Edit: Apr 5th, 2013, 10:52pm by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #1 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:09am »
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Here is an outstanding, fact-filled site dedicated to the history and operation of the center-entrance cars in Boston.
 
(this and following set of photos are courtesy of Dave's Electric Railroads)
 
http://www.virtualrailroader.com/CE%20Boston%201.html


« Last Edit: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:36am by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #2 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:13am »
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This circa-1930 scene shows a train of CE cars, being used in "schoolboy parade" charter service.
 
The beefy, bulky contours of these huge cars is clearly evident here......
 
http://www.davesrailpix.com/boston/htm/bos033.htm


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NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #3 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:15am »
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This exciting view from about 1950 shows an inbound train of CE cars meeting and outbound PCC at the Tremont St. subway "incline"........
 
http://www.davesrailpix.com/boston/htm/bos042.htm


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NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #4 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:18am »
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About 1928, we see another "Boston Behemoth" rumbling along the cobblestoned rails, holding down a Watertown-Park St. run.......
 
http://www.davesrailpix.com/boston/htm/bvb076.htm


« Last Edit: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:19am by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #5 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:24am »
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A circa-early 1950's fantrip train at the Watertown carhouse........
 
http://www.davesrailpix.com/boston/htm/bvb079.htm


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NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #6 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:25am »
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Another fearsome "SAND CAR".......
 
http://www.davesrailpix.com/boston/htm/bvb085.htm


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NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #7 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:28am »
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An early view of a CE trailer (as noted previously, the CE trailers pre-dated the CE motors).
 
Interestingly, the trailers were not hauled by CE motors, but, instead, were pulled by Type 4's.......
 
http://www.davesrailpix.com/boston/htm/bvb088.htm


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NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #8 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:34am »
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A magnificently restored piece of traction history.....
 
http://www.davesrailpix.com/boston/htm/bvb083.htm


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NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #9 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:47am »
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Another early 1950's CE fantrip, this one at Harvard Square......
 
http://www.davesrailpix.com/boston/htm/bvb080.htm


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NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #10 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 12:50am »
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Battle-scarred veterans of a long-ago era.......
 
http://www.davesrailpix.com/boston/htm/bos414.htm


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NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #11 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 1:37am »
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Bound for Watertown (circa-1940).......
 
http://www.davesrailpix.com/boston/htm/bvb073.htm


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NY RYs MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #12 on: Mar 15th, 2013, 1:43am »
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This nostalgic "street scene" dates to about 1937......
 
http://www.davesrailpix.com/boston/htm/bvb034.htm


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Inlet-Longport
Railfan
Posts: 116
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #13 on: Apr 3rd, 2013, 9:19am »
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When C.D. Emmons came from the Boston Elevated Railway Co. in the early 1920's to become head of Baltimore's perpetually struggling United Railways & Electric Co., he decided to lower costs by purchasing a fleet of what were known on the United as "dead trailers".  
 
These cars were essentially unpowered versions of the Boston center entrance cars.  They were cumbersome, heavy and unpopular with the riding public.
 
Even worse, the heavy cars placed a great strain on the end platforms of the wooden Brill semi-convertibles that pulled them.
 
The trailers were retired around 1931 and went on to become waiting shelters, roadside produce stands, and summer cottages.
 
Michael Farrell's history of the Baltimore streetcar system covers the story of the trailers.


« Last Edit: Apr 4th, 2013, 7:21am by Inlet-Longport » Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3437
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #14 on: Apr 3rd, 2013, 10:48am »
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Inlet-Longport -
 
Thanks! Yes, the silly trial of Trailers, embraced in an order for one hundred (100) and without advance field trials of a few demos,  
was still another UR&E adventure into numerous, "...its seemed like a good idea at the time..." decisions.
 
Even when trying to be kind and charitable, UR&E Management should never be accused of being the sharpest knives in the drawer?  
In another instance, how does one ever explain the late order for a series of all wood, semi convertibles? The industry had moved on  
to "steel/ wood composite" designs. Why the firm did not order steel cars for Sparrows Point service remains a mystery?
 
One may conjecture UR&E Management did bankrupt the firm, one bad decision following another bad decision?
 
..........................Vern..................


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HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3437
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #15 on: Apr 3rd, 2013, 11:55am »
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"285" - All -  
 
"Momma always used to say, stupid is as stupid does" (Forrest Gump, 1994, more or less)...
 
The orders were signed off and ordered well into the reality the industry moving to one man cars everywhere! The Trailers were useless,  
even before build. Baltimore has, however, long as saps for whatever fakers passing thru town, and self serving claims of being experts...
 
.........................Vern.....................


« Last Edit: Apr 3rd, 2013, 1:58pm by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged

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SIRT MOTORMAN 285
Former Member
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #16 on: Apr 3rd, 2013, 2:08pm »
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Vern:
 
In Europe, trailers have proven quite popular for many decades (of course, it IS a totally different scenario over there!)
 
Strange, though, when one recalls that the TTC was still using Peter Witt-hauled trailers until well into the 1950's.
 
In Boston, the big center-entrance MOTOR Cars were built specifically for subway service. In this capacity, the big cars excelled for years.
 
I had, at one time, contemplated such equipment being used in the Newark City Subway, but, here, a number of issues bear reviewing:
 
The first of the center-entrance MOTOR cars were delivered to the BERy around WW1; this was still very much the era of two-man cars.
 
The NCS did not open until 1935; by this late date, PS had converted virtually all of thier cars to one-man, with the exception of a number of opens, which ran on ESSEX DIVISION routes until later in the decade.
 
Remember, too, that, by 1935, a number of routes had already been converted over to ASV and motor bus.
 
Why, then, would the PSNJ invest in a new fleet of TWO-man cars, at a time when they had almost totally converted over to one-man?
 
During rush-hours, NCS commuters paid thier fares via turnstiles at Penn Station and Broad St., to speed up the loading process (this was also the norm for many years during the PCC era)
 
Even at that, center-entrance cars STILL required a two-man crew.
 
IMHO, PS management was very sage and wise, without a doubt, in matters regarding the economics of daily operations......
 
"285"


« Last Edit: Apr 3rd, 2013, 2:11pm by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3437
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #17 on: Apr 3rd, 2013, 3:33pm »
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on Apr 3rd, 2013, 2:08pm, SIRT MOTORMAN 285 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...In Europe, trailers have proven quite popular for many decades (of course, it IS a totally different scenario over there!)
 
Strange, though, when one recalls that the TTC was still using Peter Witt-hauled trailers until well into the 1950's.
 
In Boston, the big center-entrance MOTOR Cars were built specifically for subway service. In this capacity, the big cars excelled for years...  

 
"285" -
 
SIGH! "Popular" widely used, not well understood, and approaches a cliche. The somewhat lengthy phrase, "...well suited to select operators..."  
more nearly expresses it better? "Popular" implies the broad populace voted on it? Besides, we have to look into Euro historical experience. I  
suspect most of the operations were publicly owned, long predating the current US fad? And, what of ownership of TTC?
 
Boston? So? By the comments, note they were used at stops which in "fare control zones". As deployed in daily assignments, did the Trailer  
actually need a Conductor?
 
In the period (for all the preaching I do, and all the good it does) the period is better understood from a holistic view. That is: One must appreciate  
the Labor Cost components, and immediate impacts on daily Income/ Expense Reports! Especially, and immediately post WWI, the industry  
under much pressure to utilize one man Cars. With it in mind, it is bewildering why any operator acquired any new Center Door, Two Man units  
of rolling stock.
 
Summary: There was no future in Trailers, in the greater number of typical streetcar applications. The Baltimore order entirely misguided. We had  
"...no there, there..." for the equipment in any appropriate application. Trailers in most cases were losers!...
 
............................Vern.......................
 
 


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HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3437
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #18 on: Apr 3rd, 2013, 3:59pm »
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"285" - All -  
 
INFO. Link to WIKI in re: TTC. Yes, a "ward of the state" since 1921. It is not the same as operation of a private market entity!
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Transit_Commission#History
 
.......................Vern.......................


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Inlet-Longport
Railfan
Posts: 116
Re: "BOSTON'S BEHEMOTHS" (Center-Entrance cars)
 
« Reply #19 on: Apr 4th, 2013, 7:46am »
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Readers please note:   I have modified my earlier post to credit Mr. Charles D. Emmons and not Mr. Lucius Storrs with ordering the dead trailers.  Mr. Storrs was United's chief in the late 1920's when the continually struggling company toppled into bankruptcy.
 
Last evening I researched my copy of Mike Farrell's 1974 history and found the information I needed.   I have reached the coot stage of life where my memory is no longer infallible and needs an occasional boost.
 
Briefly, the dead trailers arrived on the property in 1920.  There were 100 of them.  They were a flop from the beginning as not every semi-convertible had the power to lug these behemoths around.  The cars were numbered in the low 7000 series.   Farrell included two photographs of the trailers in his book.
 
Source:  Michael R. Farrell, "Who Made All Our Streetcars Go?", Baltimore, Baltimore NRHS Publications, 1973.  
 
 
 


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