ExCon90 wrote:Well, the CTA really went cheap to put those collectors up. They simply grabbed a couple of trolley bases and put them on the car with the collector across the ends. The standard spring loading was not enough to hold the contactor on the wire, as the mass of it would cause the collector to bounce down as the wire changed in height/tension. So, someone came up with the idea of airfoils, since the problem was seen only at speed.mtuandrew wrote:The Skokie Swift had very good results with what amounted to a bow collector, for those very reasons. It didn't exactly look authentic, since it was unique (at least in the U. S.), but it did the job.typesix wrote:Both use carbon shoes so that the wire is not worn down, the carbon also serves as a lubricant.Except those lines that used trolley wheels.
Trolley poles are definitely cheaper and more lightweight, and standard overhead is much cheaper than catenary (especially constant-tension catenary.) Still, pantographs with CT catenary are much less likely to dewire or tear down the wire, especially when reversing, and there's not even a remote electrocution hazard for trainmen since they never have to futz with a pantograph.
Surprised more American heritage lines don't use bow collectors on their streetcars. Not as versatile as the pantograph, but cheaper, probably lighter, and looks more authentic. Also, it obviates the need for wire frogs that trolley shoes and wheels need.