Historical Discussion

Discussion relating to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia Metro Area). Official web site can be found here: www.septa.com. Also including discussion related to the PATCO Speedline rapid transit operated by Delaware River Port Authority. Official web site can be found here: http://www.ridepatco.org/.

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Historical Discussion

Postby queenlnr8 » Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:24 pm

This thread is for the discussion of History (literally in the making here with SEPTA).

Feel free to post thoughts, memories, questions and answers about all the wonderful historical remenents around the area we call Philadelphia.

Go at it!
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Brill Bullet Cars

Postby chuchubob » Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:12 pm

Since the P&W Bullet Cars were mentioned in the locked thread that led to this one, here's a photo:

http://community.webshots.com/photo/285 ... ecZCUrNbGj

Bob
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Postby queenlnr8 » Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:31 am

I love those old Bullet cars. They look as if they are wearing smart little hats, such as a Conductor would wear.

Are there any left?
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Postby Lucius Kwok » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:13 am

I thought I saw one at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton, but in SEPTA colors.
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Postby chuchubob » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:05 am

Lucius Kwok wrote:I thought I saw one at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton, but in SEPTA colors.


You did. #206

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bobs ... 5_04_11_20

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bobs ... 5_04_11_21

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Postby walt » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:51 pm

There are several other Bullet Cars still in existence at museums--Nos. 203 and 208 are at the Seashore Museum in Maine ( NO. 203 is unique as it is the only Bullet Car made of steel-- the others are [and were] aluminum-- No. 203 is actually the second 203, the first burned on the Norristown Bridge in 1933), and No. 205 is at Rockhill. As far as I know, No. 205 is the only Bullet being operated as Rockhill has installed trolley poles to permit operation on overhead wire trackage. No. 205 is also in SEPTA's red white and blue colors. ( No. 203 at Seashore is in SEPTA's "Gulf Oil" colors.)

BTW-- The Bullet Cars are the mechanical and electrical descendants of the Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad's "Red Devil" interurban cars. Both types were designed by the same people, as the P&W and C&LE were run by those same people in the 1930's, and Red Devil No. 127 was actually tested on the P&W in 1930 as part of the development process of the Bullets. A number of the Red Devils actually operated over the P&W in revenue service after 1939 (when the C&LE quit) as the Lehigh Valley Transit Co.'s 1000 class Liberty Bell Limited cars. From 1939 until 1949, these cars operated from Allentown to 69th Street running over the P&W south of Norristown. LVT cut back the Liberty Bell Route to Norristown in 1949 and quit altogether in 1951.
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Postby chuchubob » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:50 pm

I probably rode P&W Bullet Car #205 more than any other car during the 15 years that I commuted between 69th Street and Radnor (1972 to 1987).

It looks strange (to me) with trolley poles, but I try to ride it once each year at Rockhill.

http://community.webshots.com/photo/228 ... 3839VdNyxY

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Postby walt » Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:01 pm

chuchubob wrote:I probably rode P&W Bullet Car #205 more than any other car during the 15 years that I commuted between 69th Street and Radnor (1972 to 1987).

It looks strange (to me) with trolley poles, but I try to ride it once each year at Rockhill.

http://community.webshots.com/photo/228 ... 3839VdNyxY

Bob


Bob--- How does Rockhill handle the high level loading only capability on No. 205? Do they use a portable high level platform, or have they installed permanent high level platforms?
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Postby chuchubob » Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:11 pm

Walt,

They installed small high level platforms.

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Rock ... _10_09_115

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Postby JeffK » Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:37 pm

Found a picture of a "Red Devil". You can see the family resemblance ...

http://www.alrt1.homestead.com/files/116.gif

As for a favorite Bullet, I kinda liked 207. It had a different set of bolsters than the others and it seemed that the trucks rode a bit more solidly.
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Postby walt » Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:06 pm

Bob: Thanks- I wondered what Rockhill did. I used to "day dream" about the National Capital Trolley Museum acquiring a Bullet and doing what Rockhill did ( this is probably no more than a day dream) so that I could learn to operate one.

Jeff- Your picture is of No 116--- one of the coach versions. There were also deluxe versions which had a lounge section in the rear ( Nos 120-129). It was the deluxe cars which LVT acquired and made them their 1000 class Liberty Bell Limited cars. No. 116 wound up on the Crandic ( Cedar Rapids & Iowa City RR) system.
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new Silverliner IV

Postby chuchubob » Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:48 pm

I rode the Reading's Welcome to the Silverliner IV trip on November 3, 1974. Here's a photo at Warminster:

http://community.webshots.com/photo/285 ... 0474WPygnF

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Postby One of One-Sixty » Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:42 pm

It is my understanding that back when the EL aka the Market-Frankford line aka Blue Line was first introduced that it either did not go underground till either right before or after it cross the SureKill (Schukyll) River.

Does anybody havae any info or pics, as I thought I remember seeing pics of it running at 30th above ground and not underground.

Also what was the name of the tranist company that owned it back then?
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Postby walt » Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:41 pm

One of One-Sixty wrote:It is my understanding that back when the EL aka the Market-Frankford line aka Blue Line was first introduced that it either did not go underground till either right before or after it cross the SureKill (Schukyll) River.

Does anybody havae any info or pics, as I thought I remember seeing pics of it running at 30th above ground and not underground.

Also what was the name of the tranist company that owned it back then?


Until 1955-56, the MFSE was elevated from 69th Street to about 24th street. There was a 32nd Street Station, after which it crossed the river on a bridge which was parallel to the Market Street Bridge, then went underground at about 24th Street. The subway-surface cars turned off Market at 32nd Street, then, as the "El" reached ground level, ran on tracks outside of the "El" into the subway using the same portal. There was a subway-surface car station on the incline leading to the portal at about 24th Street. The 19th Street station was the first underground subway-surface station, while the first underground "El" station was 15th Street.

In 1955 the Market Street subway was extended into its present configuration with the trains rising to the surface just prior to the 46th Street Station, with the trolleys also exiting as they do now.

The original operator of the MFSE and the subway surface cars was the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company ( PRT) which became the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC) in 1940. SEPTA took over the PTC in 1968.
The Portion between 69th Street and Front Street was built by the PRT, while the portion from Front Street to Frankford was built by the City of Philadelphia. There was once a PRT built section running south over Delaware Ave to about South Street, but this section was abandoned and torn down in the late 1930's.
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Postby JeffK » Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:20 pm

There's a good map at http://www.phillytrolley.com/streetmap/1944_ptc_map_d2.html showing the bridge and the old routing.

Here's a picture of a car coming off the bridge near 30th St. Station: http://www.ectma.org/hja_photos/se015.jpg

Reportedly the subway extension ended at 46th Street for the same reason much new construction never happens today - $$

There were also stories that scrap steel from the Delaware Avenue line was sold to the Empire of Japan just before WWII, so no doubt some of the metal was redelivered in another form ...
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