New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

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New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:27 pm

Image
(Actually, a crush-load test being done in Cambridge more than a hundred years ago.)
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Re: New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby The EGE » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:41 pm

What was the crush load for a trolley like that? I imagine the longer articulated modern cars can carry that number in relative comfort.
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Re: New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:48 pm

Oh yeah, a car of this vintage was largely wood. It wouldn't surprise anyone to see a couple of vestibules tear off and leave passengers sitting in the roadway as the streetcar box trundles down the street ! Today's streetcars are 1,000 % better, stronger, more powerful, safer...better all around (except the Boeings and Breda's-must be something with the "B's"). The only advantages probably held by the older cars was their simplicity and disability turn-around time. A downed car would never be down for more than a day unless it was wrecked. They just had so fewer parts.
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Re: New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby Disney Guy » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:46 am

Two car trains of this style trolley were common in Boston and Cambridge around the turn of the last century. At first the lead car was powered, the other was a nonpowered trailer (unconverted horse car). Such load tests were probably done to be sure that the motorized cars could handle the load at least on level track.

Bobtail (as would apply here) -- Minus the rear vestibule. Because it was more difficult to turn the streetcars around at the end of the line (compared with omnibuses) the cars were designed to have platforms suitable for the driver at both ends.
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Re: New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:35 am

They were appropriately called Two Rooms and a Bath.
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Re: New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby jonnhrr » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:09 pm

3rdrail wrote:They were appropriately called Two Rooms and a Bath.


Interesting that the current type 8's could be considered "2 rooms and a bath" - what goes around comes around :)

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Re: New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby MBTA3247 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:00 pm

The "two rooms and a bath" cars were a type of early articulated car made by joining two regular cars with a home-built center section, not a car and trailer combination.

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Source

There were also versions made from single-truck cars.
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Re: New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:55 pm

Were they trained or did one car provide the muscle ? If they were trained, they must have kicked ass !
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Re: New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby jwhite07 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:24 pm

The articulated 4200s had eight axles but only four motors. They were geared for 25mph maximum, but since the cars were rough riding and prone to derailment I don't think many motormen were too keen on running these cars all out even if they could. After all, the cars were all built from much older cars as a sort of stop-gap measure to prolong their life, and a grafted-on center section and new coat of paint didn't make a "new" car. The era of the "Two rooms and a bath" car lasted about from 1912 to 1924.
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Re: New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:48 pm

The articulated cars started out as four-axle units, ie. each car with a single "truck" on both sides of a vestibule as well, which I think would have been even worse with lateral movement and derailments. No wonder that they were also referred to as "snake cars".

By the way, I've got an interesting three-axle BERy Versare bus pic up on my Facebook page. If any of you are on Facebook yourself, I would welcome you as friends. If you send me a "friend request" and I don't know your name, just put a note that you are from RRN. Trust me, the conversation is always moving and never boring !
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Re: New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby MBTA3247 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:28 am

3rdrail wrote:Were they trained or did one car provide the muscle ?

My guess would be neither: the electrical and air systems of the two original cars would have been combined together. No need to deal with MU controls, or the power imbalance of having all the tractive and braking effort on one end of the car.

Looking at that photo up above some more, I've noticed two interesting features about 4200: the poles would be raised while standing inside the car, and the center section has wide sliding doors. For all the trouble they had staying on the tracks, they must have been pretty good at handling large crowds, just like their Center-Entrance cousins!
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Re: New Proposal for Average Load on Lechmere Extension

Postby 3rdrail » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:29 pm

Yes, I meant "trained" in the general sense. Perhaps "dedicated" would have been a better word in that the motors were dedicated to a standard control. All the "snake cars" had four motors, whether two trucked (one on each car) or four trucked (two trucks on each car). The vestibules were made either by BERy or the Laconia Car Co. up in New Hampshire. They were all under a patent by Lindall and carried a plate announcing such, which similiar Brooklyn cars carried as well. I would imagine that, particularly in the two overall trucked versions, that a rhythm could develop, especially under sustained moderate to higher speeds, causing the three sections of the cars to undulate and literally pull themselves off the track. It seems pretty obvious that the experiment had it's flaws as after a few tweaks, they never brought it back without installing a truck at the vestibule. It's modern counterpart, the articulated streetcar, seems to be head and shoulders above the "snake cars" in stability. However, it sure looks like it must have been fun riding in one ! :-)
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