BTW, anyone know if car #8534 is operable? I know it's single-ended, but the car seems to be in darn good shape, how hard would it be to modify it for double-ended use?
Moderators: rob216, Miketherailfan
Montclaire wrote:BTW, anyone know if car #8534 is operable? I know it's single-ended, but the car seems to be in darn good shape, how hard would it be to modify it for double-ended use?Modifying that car would be dicey, especially for museum volunteers, no matter how skilled. The biggest problem would be the weight of the new second platform and control mechanisms. Double ended cars were usually significantly heavier than similar single ended cars because of that second platform. #8534 is a Nearside derived Peter Witt Car from the 1923-26 series of single ended cars ( also known as the 8000 series- and sometimes called 1923-26 Nearsides). Basically that car, like all of the Nearsides, is a relatively under powered lightweight car, and structurally probably couldn't handle that second platform without some major structural alterations. There is a sister series of double ended cars purchased in the same order---the 5200 series---which were basically modified Hog Island Cars, lighter than the Hogs because they were two motored rather than four motored cars. In appearance they are what a modified double ended #8534 would look like. ( and were electrically and mechanically identical to the 8000's) The last of these cars were retired at the same time as the bulk of the 8000's and last ran on Route 46 in West Philadelphia. Electric City has No 5205 from this series in its roster of cars. Since this car is exactly what a "modified" #8534 would become, there really is no need to try to modify that car.
Montclaire wrote:That lean was a characteristic of the Nearside and Nearside dervied cars. Almost all of the cars developed that "lean to port" at some point. Harold Cox, in Surface Cars of Philadelphia, 1911-1965 attributes that lean to the weight of the control area on the left side of the single ended cars. The 8000's had trucks which were slightly offset from the car center to try to compensate for this---thus, unlike the trucks on the 5200 series, they were paired as front and rear trucks, and were not interchangeable. This would pose an additional problem in making 8534 double ended.
As for car 8534, I didn't know the extra controls added that much weight to the chassis. Seems a shame to just leave it sit there, but if it has structural problems, maybe it's better off as a static display. It does have a good lean to it, but I figured it just needed a little suspension work. What would be required to run a single-ended trolley on the existing line, a loop somewhere to allow it to turn around?
Montclaire wrote:Do the lightweight cars have MU controls? In addition to number 80, ECTM also has a sister car, number 85, but in what condition I do not know. The Laurel Line usually ran cars in tandem, and I suppose there may be a point when ridership may demand more seating. Car 80 is still out for truck work, and I have never had the opportunity to ride it, so I can't compare it to car 76.The Red Arrow 80 Series Brill Lightweight Cars ( Nos 80 & 85) were not MU and could not be run in tandem. On the Red Arrow, after the pre Center Door Car interurbans were retired ( in 1949) the only MU cars on the system were the Center Door Cars ( No 76 and its sisters) and the 1949 St. Louis PCC type interurbans. These two types were run during peak periods as two car trains.
As such, it only makes sense that ECTM should restore car 85, assuming it and car 80 can be run in tandem.
Montclaire wrote: A bit of a snag is on the horizon, though, as two bridges that are part of Interstate 81 are scheduled to be replaced, which could take up to a year or more. ECTM's track passes directly under these bridges, and this will most likely mean that the excursions will have to terminate at some point past the tunnel, and the museum will be cut off from the trolley barn at the SWB Yankee stadium. Hopefully this will not effect ridership too much, and in so doing, effect ticket sales and revenue. They plan to keep car 80 and 76 at the museum itself, which has enough room to store both cars.What is the protocol if a common carrier line is underneath a freeway bridge? "Sorry, you'll need to detour for the next n months?" I don't think so...