SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

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SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby RFP » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:29 pm

Hello all,
I just realized while looking at some NYC Subway recent photos that the pseudo BERY PCC has trolleys on either end but only appears to be "driveable" from one end. I think this is a new chance to educate me. Thanks in advance, Ron
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby MBTA3247 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:23 pm

The second pole would be for use during backing moves, typically around the carhouse/yard (saving the trouble of using a second operator on the ground to hold the retriever rope). I'm not familiar with SF's PCCs, but there could be a set of shifting controls located behind a panel in the rear seat for added convenience when backing the car up.
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby Gerry6309 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:32 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:The second pole would be for use during backing moves, typically around the carhouse/yard (saving the trouble of using a second operator on the ground to hold the retriever rope). I'm not familiar with SF's PCCs, but there could be a set of shifting controls located behind a panel in the rear seat for added convenience when backing the car up.

MUNI also uses wyes, not loops to short-turn PCCs. I don't know how many still exist, but at one point the M line had a wye at its terminal. Wyes also clear the main tracks when turning double-ended cars, so they still have value, even where PCCs don't run.
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby 3rdrail » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:52 pm

Hi Ron !
If it's a single-ended PCC that you're looking at, you're looking at a former Philadelphia car - most are. It's here where you should check out the control function to find the answer which you seek. The vast majority of SF's cars in the PCC historic class are Philly cars with a few double ended SF Muni cars thrown in. The "BERy" so you known, never set foot in our beautiful city. Philly's PCC's were manufactured by the St. Louis Car Co., another difference from Boston, who's cars where manufactured by Pullman-Standard. There was only one St. Louis car in Boston, and that was the very first, the "Queen Mary" which had so many electrical problems that Boston went completely with P/S from that point afterward !
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:06 pm

Also the Pullman products were produced locally at Osgood-Bradley in Worcester.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:18 pm

I believe they have a number of NJ and Twin City Rapid Transit cars too.
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:24 pm

Adams_Umass_Boston wrote:I believe they have a number of NJ and Twin City Rapid Transit cars too.

Muni acquired these from NJT (Newark City Subway cars) in 2005. All Newark cars were ex-Twin Cities.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby MACTRAXX » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:41 am

Everyone: SF's Market Street Railway information can be found at: http://www.streetcar.org

The F Line is an interesting operation and definitely worth while to ride on any SF visit...

I like how they honor other cities that have used PCC cars-1059 is their "Boston Elevated Railway" car...

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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby Patrick Boylan » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:56 am

MBTA3247 wrote:there could be a set of shifting controls located behind a panel in the rear seat for added convenience when backing the car up.

Gerry6309 wrote:MUNI also uses wyes, not loops to short-turn PCCs.

3rdrail wrote:If it's a single-ended PCC that you're looking at, you're looking at a former Philadelphia car

From what I understand most of San Francisco's own PCC's had poles on both ends, as this thread mentions already, to help negotiate wyes. I don't know if they also had backup controls. As this thread mentions, many of San Francisco's current PCC's are ex-Philadelphia cars, so I always assume if it's a single ender it came from Philly.
I suppose they might also have had backup controls, but I don't know. Some but not many of Philadelphia's PCC's had them, I believe it was mostly the older cars, particularly a few second hand ones Philly got from Kansas City. You removed a rear seat cushion and stuck a lever in a slot to operate those rudimentary controls.
Time marches sideways. Although, if I remember correctly, Philly's newest PCC's did not have the backup controls, the PCC replacement Kawasaki cars built 1982, getting pretty close to the age of the PCC's when they got replaced, do have the backup controls.
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby RFP » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:19 pm

Hello folks and thanks for answering my rear controller question. I grew up in Roxbury and Dorchester and by the 4th grade we were living between Coolidge Corner and Braves Field. Thus, I got to spend lots of time on the trolleys. As I scratch my head a bit, I remembered one time when an inbound C had to backup a bit as the driver of a car turning left at St. Paul kind of cut off the streetcar and was left with no room to complete the turn. The trolley driver inspected the situation (and now it becomes fuzzy) as I think he took a hanndle and inserted it into the "shift slot" to the left of his seat and then went to the back to remove a cushion or two and the PCC moved back a few feet. This allowed the "left turner" and the trolley to continue. Does this make sense or is my memory totally hosed?
Thanks again, Ron
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby Patrick Boylan » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:55 pm

My fuzzy memory of Philadelphia's PCC's was that the handle was on the operator's right side, and we called it the reverser handle. On older, pre-PCC cars, like Peter Witts, a reverser handle looked more like a small wrench, and had its slot on top of the control stand. I don't think I remember seeing operators needing to use a special handle to use the backup controller, I think on PCC's their regular reverser handle, which they'd remove from their right side, allowed them to get the backup controller, which had its own rudimentary power and brake settings, to work.

I surfed for confirmation, remember goo goo can be your friend, just not always as helpful as your buddies here. "streetcar backup controller" got me
http://www.streetcar.org/blog/2010/03/t ... f-the.html
Regarding single end cars at Rio Vista Jct.: Muni PCC’s have two trolley poles and backup controllers. BAERA also has a lightweight interurban from Iowa which is single ended but has a backup controller.

http://www.subchat.com/readflat.asp?Id= ... =1#1179693
All Baltimore cars that were single ended had some form of backup control. The United Railways (Precursor of Baltimore Transit) began single-ending Semi-convertible cars in the late 1920's, so either the former double end controller was retained, or a or a smaller controller and brake stand was used at the new rear end. The doors were also switched so the double rear doors were moved to the front and the single door was moved to the back and had a treadle added that opened the door. The 1930 Peter Witts and all PCC cars had a backup controller at the rear under a removal seat.

http://www.bera.org/pnaerc-details.html
Explanation of Terms and Criteria Used in Specific Categories
...
Roof and Ended
These two categories carry two-letter designators intended to communicate some descriptive elements of the car's design. The "roof" category lists the type of roof the car has. AR=arched roof; BO=Bombay roof; DR=deck roof; RR=railroad roof; ST="Stillwell" style roof; TU=turtleback roof. The "ended" category designates whether the car is single ended (SE) or double ended (DE). This determination depends largely on whether the car has control consoles of approximately equal capability at either end - a car with only a backup or hostler controller at the rear is still considered single ended.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/milantram/ ... n/pool-pcc
has a copyright on it, so I don't think I'm allowed to embed the image, but it looks like what I remember from a Philly PCC. Looking at it, I think the reverser handle went into the slot on top of the black box, but I can't figure where there are any controls to move or stop the car. I hope you're proud of yourself causing an old man to lose sleep :)

Ft Worth's Tandy Subway I thought pretty interesting. They had gotten second hand ex Washington DC PCC's, and had operated them single ended with loops, then double ended and high platformed them, and made many cosmetic changes so that their exteriors no longer, to my eyes, looked like PCC's. The way they made the double end controls was to tack on a duplicate operator's position that mechanically linked its 3 foot pedals to the original front. So when the operator moved their foot on the deadman brake and power pedals at one end it looked like the ghost of motorman past was fiddling with the pedals at the other end.
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby MBTA3247 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:55 pm

I would guess that the Philly cars used the reverser handle itself as the control handle for the rear controls.
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby RFP » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:20 pm

Patrick, you are correct as I did mean to say the handle was insertrd on the driver's right side. Thanks again, Ron
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby Patrick Boylan » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:17 am

And Philly's PCC's needed one only to remove the cushions to get to the controls, although one still needed the reverser handle to make the controls do anything. The 1981-82 vintage Kawasaki cars have the backup controller in a locked box on top of the panel behind the back seats, and if I remember correctly the operator uses the same key to unlock the normal controls at the front of the car.

I'm ashamed to say I should know a lot more than I can post, fuzzy memory's to blame.
I never saw a PCC's backup controller in action in Philly, although I think I remember seeing or using one at http://www.pa-trolley.org/ which like http://www.trolleymuseum.org/education/motorman.php offers one the chance to operate http://www.pa-trolley.org/page4/page4.html
http://www.shorelinetrolley.com/stm/ doesn't say they generally let the uninitiated run their cars, but I wager they have an unwritten all you can buy policy. At the least your New England trolley museums should have some Boston cars you could check. Remember this thread started with a Philly car that's only painted to look like a Boston car in San Francisco.

I also got to experience a Kawasaki car's backup controller in real service, but was sitting in the front, so didn't get to see Howie Doit. A car started to go the wrong way at a switch, the operator noticed and backed up a few feet to get correctly routed.

And during Philadelphia's SEPTA trolley festival, I believe it was the first one 1993, they allowed the public to operate a Kawasaki car on a short stretch of track inside Elmwood depot. One at a time lucky civilians got to run the car forward a few hundred feet, and another, me included, got to use the backup controller

By the way, actually shutting down the front controls and walking the whole car length, opening, using and shutting the backup controller, walking the whole car length again, and unlocking the front controls uses a lot more time than just running the car in reverse from the front, but I'm sure many would agree using the backup controller's a lot safer.
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Re: SFO Boston Elevated Railway Livery PCC

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri May 03, 2013 2:19 pm

3rdrail wrote:Hi Ron !
If it's a single-ended PCC that you're looking at, you're looking at a former Philadelphia car - most are. It's here where you should check out the control function to find the answer which you seek. The vast majority of SF's cars in the PCC historic class are Philly cars with a few double ended SF Muni cars thrown in. The "BERy" so you known, never set foot in our beautiful city. Philly's PCC's were manufactured by the St. Louis Car Co., another difference from Boston, who's cars where manufactured by Pullman-Standard. There was only one St. Louis car in Boston, and that was the very first, the "Queen Mary" which had so many electrical problems that Boston went completely with P/S from that point afterward !

Paul:

St. Louis Car built a more elegant and sturdy PCC than Pullman. Boston bought Pullmans because they cost less - period!

As far as the Queen Mary was concerned, the problem was the early General Electric control system. It was used only on 101 cars, 100 for Brooklyn and one for Boston. A revised version served well on all GE cars through 1940.
Gerry. STM/BSRA

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