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 Post subject: Versare Trackless Trolley ca. 1924
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:38 pm 
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Posts: 1440
I came across this gem in some Capital Transit blueprint files we recently received at NCTM. Thanks to Wikipedia I can report the following:

Versare Car Company was a bus and trolley bus maker founded in 1925 and originally based in Watervliet, New York. Among their early work were experimental buses that utilized diesel and electric engines that could be run alone or together, a technique that could be seen as a very early ancestor to dual-mode vehicles of the modern day.

In 1928, the assets of the company were purchased by the Cincinnati Car Company and the company's base was moved from Watervliet to Cincinnati, Ohio. The Versare nameplate returned in 1931 and remained until its demise in 1938.


The drawing is dated April 30, 1924 and in addition to the Versare name, carries the heading "Capitol District Motor Corporation, Albany, New York". Other Google references to Versare include a reference to "the ugly duckling of buses."

Presented with apology for the scanning quality of my Epson C4780. I didn't have time to hook up the good scanner.

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: Versare Trackless Trolley ca. 1924
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:00 am
Posts: 123
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
That's really interesting. Kind of unrelated but I never really thought of it until now while looking at that blueprint, why do trackless trolleys have two pantographs while railed trolleys have a single pantograph?


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 Post subject: Re: Versare Trackless Trolley ca. 1924
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:12 pm
Posts: 95
Location: Boulder, CO
I presume you mean two trolley poles, not pantographs. And the reason for the second pole is that the second wire is there to provide the route for the return current, since there is no rail to serve the return function.

The trackless trolley, or trolley bus, is still very much with us in some cities:

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Versare Trackless Trolley ca. 1924
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:58 am
Posts: 341
Location: Reston, VA
The trackless trolley in the drawing was an unsuccessful proposal that was never built. The Brockway Motor Truck Co. was the successful bidder for the trackless trolleys that Capital District bought in 1924, possibly because they proposed a more conventional two-axle design. I wonder how Versare proposed to steer those dual front axles!

Versare/Cincinnati did build 40 trolley buses between 1928 and 1931; for Salt Lake City, Knoxville, New Orleans and Chicago. Most of these lasted until shortly after World War 2, with the New Orleans and Chicago buses being replaced by postwar trolleybuses.


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 Post subject: Re: Versare Trackless Trolley ca. 1924
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:51 pm
Posts: 1190
Location: Southern California
Some years ago (maybe many years ago) the Motor Bus Society had a small special publication about the Versare trolley coaches. As I recall, it was first an independent enterprise that was acquired by Cincinnati.

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Brian Norden


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 Post subject: Re: Versare Trackless Trolley ca. 1924
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:07 pm
Posts: 89
Location: Utah
Don Strack has some pictures of the Salt Lake City trolley buses, including this Versare:
http://donstrack.smugmug.com/UtahRails/ElectricRailroads/Salt-Lake-City-Trolley-Coaches/21302175_ZgqbJV#!i=1696235587&k=Mtg42Gh

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Josh B.

Golden Spike Chapter R&LHS
The official D&RGW 223 website


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 Post subject: Re: Versare Trackless Trolley ca. 1924
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:51 pm
Posts: 6732
Location: Baltimore, MD
I'll see you and raise you substantially.

Image

This turned up on one of many SmartMedia cards in one of the hundreds of boxes I'm going through in a certain estate. This is a Bombardier Guided Bus Transit system installed in Nancy, France and shown while testing in 2002. The "buses" also run on regular roads away from the "monorails."


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