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 Post subject: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 677
Location: Warren, PA
This odd "trolley" shows up in old newspaper stories and some relatively new activity in Petoskey, MI:

http://npaper-wehaa.com/pub-files/13136 ... 6267c4.png

It's been under wraps and in storage for years. Supposedly gas-powered, self-propelled, single-truck, standard gauge, operational, more than likely reproduction, they think Gomaco but as there is NO builder ID that seems rather unlikely. Reportedly built in the 70's.

Supposedly done for the "Stillwater-St. Croix Transit Co." and lettered "Gaslight trolley".

Any members know more about this vehicle?


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:28 am
Posts: 192
Location: Dallas, TX
Chance Trolley made gas replicas and this may be one of their early ones.

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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 518
Petoskey has a gas light district in the down town area and from the photo I can't tell if this thing has steel wheels.

Replica, rubber tired repos are popular in that part of Michigan

Bob H


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:19 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:51 pm
Posts: 124
Photo is in a story in a Michigan publication Northern Express dated March 2, 2014.

The steel-wheeled car would have operated on relaid track for 3,200'. This hasn't happened.

Petoskey offers a "free" rubber tired ersatz streetcar-style bus during the summer months in the downtown district.

Back in the pre-internal combustion era, Petoskey hosted summer season only suburban trains with their own depot and a double tracked main line

Google search is your friend,
Alex Huff


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4981
Alex Huff wrote:


Back in the pre-internal combustion era, Petoskey hosted summer season only suburban trains with their own depot and a double tracked main line

Google search is your friend,
Alex Huff


Alex -

Checked the internet and found some old postcards on a website showing the operation at the suburban station there in Petosky. Railroad was the Grand Rapids & Indiana (later PRR) and the suburban depot was located a couple of blocks from the main GR&I station, which can be seen off in the distance. One of the locomotives shown is almost certainly a 4-4-0. Amazing that something like this once existed. Thanks Alex, for pointing this out!

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Pittsburgh
Three insanely sharp and detailed Shorpy photos of Petoskey railroad scenes.

http://www.shorpy.com/node/11476?size=_original#caption

http://www.shorpy.com/node/11426?size=_original#caption

http://www.shorpy.com/node/11440?size=_original#caption

These were likely the source of the postal cards.

/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:52 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:14 am
Posts: 170
Some really cool photos exist from Petosky. For a small town in Michigan, it amazes me the amount of early photos that had been taken, and are floating around the world.

Without hijacking this thread, I do have a question about the first photo in Larry's post above. Loco #4 looks to me to have been retrofitted with a front coupler to replace the original link. It then looks like they added side supports because of the extended shank to clear the pilot. Was this common practice of that time? I only ask because I have been working on a freelance 7.5" gauge steamer of this vintage, and the front coupler had been puzzling me. You can pm me to keep this thread relevant.
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:11 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 511
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
Randy Gustafson wrote:
Supposedly done for the "Stillwater-St. Croix Transit Co." and lettered "Gaslight trolley".


Not a very good photo, but this could possibly be one of the two (or three or four?) gasoline engine two-axle cars built by Ziegler Equipment Company of Bloomington, Minnesota. The cars were originally built for for the Valley Fair amusement Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. They didn't work out well at Valley Fair and two of them went to the Minnesota Transportation Museum's Excelsior Streetcar Line which was being built at that time. The other Valley Fair cars went to Stillwater, Minnesota. The Stillwater car(s) was to be used as a shuttle between the Minnesota Zephyr dinner train's depot on the north end of Stillwater and the "downtown" area of Stillwater, about a half-mile run, thus the "Stillwater-St. Croix Valley Transit Co." name. The car never ran in that service as far as I know.

The two Valley Fair cars arrived in Excelsior, Minnesota around 1996-1997 and were originally intended to provide service on the not yet electrified track of MTM's newly constructed Excelsior Streetcar Line. One car was made to work reasonably well while the other car sat in the barn. By the time the wires were put up, single-truck Duluth Street Railway No. 78 was transferred from MTM's Como-Harriet Streetcar Line and electric service commenced in the summer of 1999.

When No. 78 entered service, the two gas cars were declared surplus. So, around 2002 or so, I brokered the sale of both cars but can't remember who bought them. I might have that info somewhere in the archives, and if I have the time I'll look up that information.

To clarify, the Traction Division of the Minnesota Transportation Museum amicably split from parent MTM in 2005 and formed the Minnesota Streetcar Museum. Our Museum operates historic streetcars on the Excelsior Streetcar Line and the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Southwest Minneapolis.

Thanks!

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Minnesota Streetcar Museum
www.trolleyride.org


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:13 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4981
Larry Lovejoy wrote:
Three insanely sharp and detailed Shorpy photos of Petoskey railroad scenes.

http://www.shorpy.com/node/11476?size=_original#caption

http://www.shorpy.com/node/11426?size=_original#caption

http://www.shorpy.com/node/11440?size=_original#caption

These were likely the source of the postal cards.
posting.php?mode=edit&f=1&p=246817#
/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.


Larry -

The first Shorpy photo above is definitely one of the 4 postcards on the other website. The other two were not. One of the postcards shows an almost identical scene as to this first Shorpy photo, except taken a bit to the right and more over the track where engine number 4 is sitting making the drivers of engine number 2 (or whichever engine it was in the other postcard) a bit more visible. That slightly different postcard view also shows the main Petosky station down the track, located right about where another train is apparently stopped on the same track where the "suburban" train with number 4 is sitting. One of the other postcards is down the tracks and from the other side of the suburban depot, showing the "turret" as part of the corner of that station. My guess is that this turret was probably for a crossing watchman to operate the gates for the street there. One other point on the much sharper Shorpy photo; there sure is a lot going on that is not visible in the postcard view. Including oiling (?) the bell on number 2, etc.

Glad you found these photos and posted them.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:20 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 677
Location: Warren, PA
Jim Vaitkunas wrote:
Randy Gustafson wrote:
Supposedly done for the "Stillwater-St. Croix Transit Co." and lettered "Gaslight trolley".


Not a very good photo, but this could possibly be one of the two (or three or four?) gasoline engine two-axle cars built by Ziegler Equipment Company of Bloomington, Minnesota. The cars were originally built for for the Valley Fair amusement Park in Shakopee, Minnesota.


Jim - thank you. I figured somebody on RYPN would know the story as this had kind of turned into a 'stump the stars' session around here. See your PM.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:34 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:29 am
Posts: 210
The car looks alot like the one owned by the guy that had the Minnesota zephyr dinner train...as I recall that one was marked for Stillwater and st. Croix....
If it is that car, it was supposedly built on a Fairmont frame...or maybe it was just the drive train... it used a Wisconsin 4 cylinder engine... not sure who the builder was.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:49 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 677
Location: Warren, PA
When we were speculating around here I'd commented that I wondered if it was built on a Fairmount gang car frame, more or less like the rig that Timber Heritage is running at Samoa (Eureka, CA).
http://timberheritage.org/ride-the-rail ... eder-crew/

What surprised me most, in the Internet era, was that other than that one photo, pretty much of nothing surfaced. When you can pick up the CN# of a locomotive that's reputed to be at the bottom of a quarry, that's becoming increasingly unusual.

So it is good to know that the ultimate 'whatthaheckizit?' resource is still here.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:24 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 511
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
Randy Gustafson wrote:
When we were speculating around here


I'm no expert on Fairmount motor cars, but I suspect the "truck" under those Valley Fair cars did not come from Fairmount, Buda, Kalamazoo or any other manufacturer. It was a really weird looking thing with very small diameter wheels, i.e., in the neighborhood of 15-18 inches or so. The wheels looked like Lionel wheels with deep flanges. As reported above, the cars had a four-cylinder engine connected to a torque converter connected to one axle. IIRC there was a chain to the other axle.

I have non-digital photos of the beast while it was at Excelsior but I have no idea where they are. If I have the time I'll try looking for them but we're in the midst of Operator training season so it may be a while.

Thanks!

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Minnesota Streetcar Museum
www.trolleyride.org


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:10 pm
Posts: 119
If I remember correctly from when I was at Valley Fair years ago the streetcars were powered by Wisconsin four cylinder are cooled motors. It was a loop to loop operation with 10 to 15 foot radis curves! I couldn't believe they didn't derail. Boy did they squeal on those curves.

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 Post subject: Re: Mystery "streetcar" in Petosky, MI - origins?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:26 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

Concerning the very sharp radii, I first discovered that I was always was thinking in terms of mainline or branchline speeds with curves of 1-3 degrees typical - when I discovered the D&RGW narrow gauge with minimum radii on the "mainline" of 20 degrees.

I later inhereted items from the PRR from family members that hired on to the PRR between about 1910 and 1968. The attached document shows the speeds for different classes of loco for different minimum radii.

FWIW

Doug vV

Attachment:
Copy of f412218.jpg
Copy of f412218.jpg [ 297.02 KiB | Viewed 1534 times ]


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