Green Line Type 9 Thread

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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3rdrail
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by 3rdrail »

MBTA3247 wrote:
3rdrail wrote:Here's Oregon Iron Work's (United Streetcar Company) streetcar - the first American streetcar in 60 years.
Last I checked, the Boeings were American and only 34 years old.
It may be just semantics, but technically (and officially) the Boeing-Vertol LRV's were never designated "streetcars". They weren't streetcars according to their manufacturer and weren't streetcars according to the MBTA or Muni. Their predecessors were the PCC streetcars and their replacements were the Type 7 Kinki-Sharyo streetcars (although many mistakenly refer to them and the Breda's as light rail vehicles). If you were to trace the last American streetcar (prior to United Streetcar Co.'s), advertised and sold as such, it would be the St. Louis Car Company's "Baby Tens" manufactured in 1951-52 for Muni. (Runner-up #2 are the 1950-51 Pullman-Standard Boston Picture-Windows.) Possibly, due to the huge problems with the LRV's, everyone wants to now isolate them ! :-D
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RailBus63
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by RailBus63 »

Is a streetcar a streetcar based on where it operates or simply on what the manufacturer chooses to call it, though? Muni's fleet operated extensively in traditional street-running service (as do the replacement Breda cars today, which Muni continues to refer to as light rail vehicles). Toronto also operates ‘light rail’ cars (complete with traditional trolley poles) on a street-running network.

CRail
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by CRail »

The same goes for Philadelphia's LRVs, which are most certainly LRVs! I'm also not sure how the type 7s and type 8s aren't LRVs. They're referred to as the type 7 [or 8] streetcar because otherwise the types would start over like they did on the red line when the fleets were changed from Cambridge Tunnel cars to Red Line cars, in which case we'd be calling them the No. 1 and No. 2 LRVs. I've never seen or heard anything to suggest that an LRV is not a type of streetcar. There are conventional streetcars, PCC streetcars, and LRV streetcars (not exclusively). All of which are nicknamed "trolleys." If you can prove me wrong than I shall digress, otherwise, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!
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3rdrail
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by 3rdrail »

CRail wrote:The same goes for Philadelphia's LRVs, which are most certainly LRVs! I'm also not sure how the type 7s and type 8s aren't LRVs. They're referred to as the type 7 [or 8] streetcar because otherwise the types would start over like they did on the red line when the fleets were changed from Cambridge Tunnel cars to Red Line cars, in which case we'd be calling them the No. 1 and No. 2 LRVs. I've never seen or heard anything to suggest that an LRV is not a type of streetcar. There are conventional streetcars, PCC streetcars, and LRV streetcars (not exclusively). All of which are nicknamed "trolleys." If you can prove me wrong than I shall digress, otherwise, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!
There is probably an answer here, but it's probably at Boeing. My own personal opinion is that Boeing called their products LRV's for two reasons. #1 was that it was a marketing gimmick in that LRV sounds more suggestive of a revolutionary concept in railway transport than does "Boeing streetcar", and #2, that Boeing was looking at future involvement in the railroad industry and thus used the term light rail vehicle to denote a vehicle smaller and lighter than the typical railroad car. By using the term light rail vehicle, it is a direct suggestion that the company can involve itself in "heavy" rail vehicles as well (railroad). I can see no other answers, particularly when we know that, in fact, a "light" rail vehicle is typically heavier than the "streetcars" that it replaced. As far as the continued use of the term light rail vehicle, that, I believe is simply a carry-over of a term familiar to persons who are used to the term, having heard it since 1973, and having seen the LRV's since 1976 - a period of thirty-four years. The average 44 year old now has heard the term "light rail vehicle" (or "LRV") more often than "streetcar" regarding the current use of trolleys, particularly in Boston and San Francisco.

Again, this is all supposition and I do not offer it as any kind of documented proof. It just makes sense to me, particularly when viewed with the term's contradictions. And, due to the example that I brought up with the 44 year old, I think that there is a good chance that many will continue to call any modern streetcar a "light rail vehicle", which, by common (mis)useage may be it's legitimate entry as to their title.
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MBTA3247
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by MBTA3247 »

It has been my impression that the difference between streetcars and LRVs is the era they were built in (streetcars being pre-1970 or so and LRVs being post-1970). Otherwise the terms refer to the same type of vehicle.

Put another way, "streetcar" has been deprecated in favor of "light rail vehicle".
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by 3rdrail »

Yes, I agree. And the reason that I believe that to be true is what I have stated above. Understand at the time of the conception of the product that was committeed by the UMTA (Urban Mass Transportation Administration) in 1973, that they were looking for an alternative to rising gas prices and wanted a catchy title which would attract riders and get them out of their automobiles. In their eventual specifications, UMTA referred to the cars which became known as LRV's as a "standardized light rail car" (again, which made it clear that it was not railroad). Boeing, it seems, took the original UMTA technical specification wording and ran with it for the same reason - flash.
Last edited by 3rdrail on Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sery2831
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by sery2831 »

3rdrail wrote:Here's Oregon Iron Work's (United Streetcar Company) streetcar - the first American streetcar in 60 years. It is the only American streetcar in production.
This is going very badly off topic. But that claim above is false!

Have we forgotten about Gomaco?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gomaco_Trolley_Company
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3rdrail
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by 3rdrail »

Hmm - I'm not quite sure about that one, John. I think that there is a standard that must be met and I'm not sure that Gomaco has risen to it. Wouldn't the standard be the ability to manufacture streetcars for a large fleet such as would be required in a medium sized city ? By Gomaco's standard, wouldn't the Seashore museum qualify if it built up a car from the trucks up ? That claim by United Streetcar could, I suppose, be diminished by the same argument. So, I guess, if that argument holds true for both Gomaco and United, that we still have not seen a "streetcar" built since the PCC's (LRV's excepted).
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sery2831
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by sery2831 »

I think Tampa is a great example of Gamaco's work. If the system wasn't just over 2 miles to start they would have ordered a larger fleet from them. Those cars have modern safety features since they cross a railroad main line at grade. So they qualify in my book. They make actually transit vehicles not museum quality cars like Lowell. If you have only seen Lowells cars you need to see the work they do now.
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by Jersey_Mike »

Whatever the (T) buys, they should keep up the same design pattern. The Type 7's have a front end design reminiscent of a PCC. The Type 8's clearly have design aspects of a Boeing LRV. The Type 9's should go back to looking like a PCC.

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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

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CRail
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by CRail »

Jersey_Mike wrote:Whatever the (T) buys, they should keep up the same design pattern. The Type 7's have a front end design reminiscent of a PCC. The Type 8's clearly have design aspects of a Boeing LRV. The Type 9's should go back to looking like a PCC.
Word!

Like Toronto's CLRVs (which I think are absolutely gorgeous!), there is definitely a way to blend the modern space age look (which I can't stand) with the classic PCC shape to make a damn good lookin' modern streetcar. I agree with you completely!
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typesix
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by typesix »

The term light rail vehicle actually is meant to distinguish between streetcar type systems, which usually used lighter weight rail in the past, to subways that used heavier rail. It is not meant to mean that vehicle is actually light(er) in weight.

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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by R36 Combine Coach »

Toronto is currently awaiting a major order from Bombardier to replace the entire 1978-88 CLRV fleet in the next several years. Perhaps the Type 9s can be added on the this huge project.
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jwhite07
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Re: MBTA Type 9 ?

Post by jwhite07 »

The term light rail has nothing to do with the weight of the car or the rail - it refers to passenger capacity.

The American Public Transportation Association's official definition of light rail is: "An electric railway with a 'light volume' traffic capacity compared to heavy rail."

Of course, one could easily argue semantics about how system A's heavy rail cars are smaller and thus have less capacity than system B's multi-section light rail cars, but that's going waaaaay off topic and I'm not gonna go there. The official definition is stated above, for those who have wondered about what the term means.

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