How were the zip cars converted?

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How were the zip cars converted?

Postby ConstanceR46 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:39 pm

This is my first time posting a thread but it's something i've always been curious about; how were the MP72/MP75 cars converted into coaches? Were the ends just plated up or sliced off on the cabbed cars? Or were only uncabbed cars converted? Any pictures of the conversion? I'm just extremely curious about this rarely-discussed subject.
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:23 pm

This was the last major project done at the Morris Park Shop complex,part of the process was removing all the control gear from the car
except for the car heating elements,as LIRR was planning to provide 600 VDC HEP for car heating/AC and lighting with the Power Packs
(The former Alco FA'a and later on former EMD F-7's)Some of the cars were rebuilt as Parlor Cars.
Other cars were rebuilt with on board gensets to provide heat/AC and lights.
All the traction motors were removed,and 1 of the MU trainlines was converted to allow the Power Packs to control the Loco pushing the train.
2 new power trainlines were addded, one was the + side power,the other was the - (ground)return to the Power Pack.

Interiors were cleaned up seats were repaired/replaced as needed,carbody structure was checked over and repaired as needed, cab "portholes"
were plated over.
Both the interior and exterior were repainted.

There were a few cars turned into "midtrain" Bar/Generator cars,but they didnt hold up well when in service. :wink:
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby 452 Card » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:29 pm

When walking through the outer ends of these cars, I noticed the cab area seemed to have been stripped of all controls, except for the emergency brake cord, and the windows removed and sheathed over. The floor area where the piping and electrical components were was solid, no holes; so it must have been redone as so.
I came there too late to run these as MUs, they were already push-pull. In addition, because they ran on 650 volts for HEP as coaches, the power packs were set up accordingly using the early main generator of the ALCO engine as power, and then the sled units took over to replace them.
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:00 pm

Backshophoss wrote:This was the last major project done at the Morris Park Shop complex,part of the process was removing all the control gear from the car except for the car heating elements,as LIRR was planning to provide 600 VDC HEP for car heating/AC and lighting with the Power Packs Some of the cars were rebuilt as Parlor Cars. Other cars were rebuilt with on board gensets to provide heat/AC and lights. All the traction motors were removed and 1 of the MU trainlines was converted to allow the Power Packs to control the Loco pushing the train. 2 new power trainlines were added. Interiors were cleaned up seats were repaired/replaced as needed,carbody structure was checked over and repaired as needed, cab "portholes" were plated over. Both the interior and exterior were repainted.

NJT seems to have copied the idea for its Arrow I MUs (Comarrow push-pull conversions) from the MP72/75s. Wonder did any ex-LIRR personnel made it over to NJDOT/NJT?

The MP75s were converted to diesel coaches in 1973 (the final option order of M-1s finished off the MP72/75s to allow for a uniform electric fleet).
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby newkirk » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:44 am

"There were a few cars turned into "midtrain" Bar/Generator cars,but they didnt hold up well when in service."

I heard that the bar-generator cars had structural issues with the weight of the generators.

Is that true ?
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby Liquidcamphor » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:58 am

GoTransit in Canada investigated the LIRR's push pull concept and seemed to have copied it. I thought push pull was a smart idea and it worked for many years. The Long Island used to have such a can do spirit in those days.
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:52 pm

The Bar/Generators had a "pass thru hall" ,so the gensets were mounted offset of the car's centerline,as the bolsters wore out and the
truck springs got weak over time,there was a "tilt" to left due to the gensets weight.
The gensets were at the A end of the car,the Bar was at the B end,no seating installed,and did "bounce" a lot over rough track and switches.
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby interface76 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:57 pm

Ahh, the good old "red stripe" cars...

Was too young to ever have rode in one of them - wonder what that experience was like?
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:17 pm

The red stripe(Red Tide) cars were the Parlor cars on the Cannonball to Montauk,they were not as badly abused as the rest of the fleet.
Had nice carpeting on the floor and single person seating,with Bar service
First conversions had the MTA blue stripe at window level(High Tide),then as the project progressed,the blue stripe was below
the windows(Low Tide).
Parlor cars had the red stripe(Red Tide) below the windows.
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby C-LINER 2001 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:16 pm

The LIRR started converting the Zip Cars in Early 1972, #2701 to 2721 was former cab cars with a rest room that was open to track, #2702 to 2736 was former motor trailers no rest room, #2705 was a bar.
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby RGlueck » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:55 am

LIRR Parlors1968005.jpg
1968, R. Glueck slide.
A couple of thoughts from an "old timer".

I was always amazed the cars didn't buckle and derail with the weight of an ALCO FA on the point and a C420 shoving from behind. A few did, but overall, these trains were successful. I imagine the exchange on inertia through the car frames was a "shock" to the car structures.

I hated the new paint scheme, except when it first came on line. Then it was a novelty, but I wish, wish, wish, the MTA had the courage to allow the LIRR to maintain the individuality it historically deserved. The original Parlor trains coming out of Jamaica, with 17 blue striped heavyweights, was a wonderful sight which I was fortunate to see and record. These cars were luxurious in a 1950's sense, with overstuffed swivel seats and bronze luggage racks.

Standing at Nassau Tower on a Friday night, camera in hand, you could hear two ALCO c420's on the point and the rumble was a precursor. At high speed, they'd hit the crossing and the "chunk" of the weight on the rails was immediately followed by the baritone singing of six-wheel trucks in rapid succession. You had just enough time to snap your picture, wind the thumb lever, spin around and take in the train while you simultaneous looked over your should for the open-end observation car on the tail, and then a whirl wind of newspaper pages and dust. After that, you couldn't catch "The Cannonball" again, so you waited for the twin RS2's on the "Shelter Island Express". Great days for teenage railfans.
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby Nasadowsk » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:03 am

Backshophoss wrote:2 new power trainlines were addded, one was the + side power,the other was the - (ground)return to the Power Pack.


I never realized they did it that way. Were they good enough to make the + and - connectors different? I'd imagine a mis-plugging here would be...a problem...

Also, what if a car got turned the wrong way? What then? Or were they careful to make sure that didn't happen?
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:49 pm

The positive + trainline was thicker then the negative - return trainline. The cars were never turned(wyed) in service,so cross wires were
not possible,both were 1 pin connectors.
On the MP-15's that were set up as power packs,the negative plug point was just welded to the pilot! :wink:
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby Crabman1130 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:23 pm

newkirk wrote:"There were a few cars turned into "midtrain" Bar/Generator cars,but they didnt hold up well when in service."

I heard that the bar-generator cars had structural issues with the weight of the generators.

Is that true ?

The cars started to sag from the weight of the generator. I think there are pictures somewhere. I don't have a photo hosting account or I would post one.
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Re: How were the zip cars converted?

Postby SPEONKNY » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:00 am

Backshophoss wrote:...
Other cars were rebuilt with on board gensets to provide heat/AC and lights...

Do you know what the reason(s) were for some of the cars to be reconfigured with the gensets while the remainder were straight HEP? Was it only for special applications like the bar car you mention or were there some other issues involved?

Would a project like this even be considered in today's times versus what was done back in those days repurposing older equipment?
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