It is currently Tue May 21, 2019 6:53 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:49 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:46 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
I’m trying to figure out if there were any electric interurbans in the Detroit area around 1903. One of the cars at our museum was built for a narrow gauge line outside of Detroit but was never delivered. The book I got this information from didn’t say which line it was originally built for. Any ideas?

Ryan Blake


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:03 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1664
Location: Southern California
Just out of curiosity, which museum is the car currently at? And also later ownership and number?

_________________
Brian Norden


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:56 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 564
RyanBlake wrote:
I’m trying to figure out if there were any electric interurbans in the Detroit area around 1903. One of the cars at our museum was built for a narrow gauge line outside of Detroit but was never delivered. The book I got this information from didn’t say which line it was originally built for. Any ideas?

Ryan Blake


Michigan had an extensive interurban network -- one good reference is the three volume set "When Eastern Michigan Rode the Rails"

Bob H


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:44 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2398
Location: Northern Illinois
Heavenrich wrote:

Michigan had an extensive interurban network -- one good reference is the three volume set "When Eastern Michigan Rode the Rails"

Bob H


But none, as far as I know, were narrow gauge. The question "why" comes to mind.

_________________
Dennis Storzek


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:26 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Pure Michigan
Brian Norden wrote:
Just out of curiosity, which museum is the car currently at? And also later ownership and number?


It appears he is referring to the Western Railway Museum.
I just looked through their entire roster, and I found no mention of a Michigan interurban.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:58 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:46 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
The car in question is the Peninsular Railway 52 at the Western Railway Museum. I’ve yet to update the history of the car on the website.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 858
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies / PNW
I always thought that Peninsula Railway car was a bit narrower than other typical interurbans. The only narrow gauge interurban line that I can think of being built was on the Denver Tramway system. Niles built several great looking cars in their interurban style for a 3' narrow gauge railroad in the South, which were later transferred to the ET&WNC. I don't think any of these cars survived.

When I link Detroit to narrow gauge, I think of the Detroit Copper Company in Morenci, AZ. There was at least one 3' narrow gauge line in the area, perhaps there is a connection?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:39 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9152
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
o anderson wrote:
When I link Detroit to narrow gauge, I think of the Detroit Copper Company in Morenci, AZ. There was at least one 3' narrow gauge line in the area, perhaps there is a connection?

None whatsoever. At least unless someone knows something that several authoritative books on the subject of eastern Arizona mines failed to mention.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:08 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:26 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Pure Michigan
I believe this article I found on TrainWeb describes a narrow gauge interurban line.
(It appears at some point it was switched to standard gauge).

http://www.trainweb.org/annarbor/AARRHi ... -DT&I.html


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:03 pm
Posts: 7
Whenever a question of historical Michigan railways comes up, my immediate reaction is to consult Gordon Meintz. His published books are based on his scholarly research, and are invaluable to historians interested in Michigan railways.

I took a quick look at the one Meintz book I currently have handy - "Michigan Railroads & Railroad Companies" (1992, Michigan State University Press). It provides a thumbnail history of each railroad found in Michigan, based on state records. Each entry indicates: gauge, if "other than standard gauge"; and type of motive power, if Electric"- or "Horse"- or "Cable"-powered. This information is only listed "where known"; not all of Meintz's source material indicated this information.

I did not find any entry, anywhere in the state, which reported "other than standard gauge" lines which reported "Electric" motive power.

NS 3322 wrote:
I believe this article I found on TrainWeb describes a narrow gauge interurban line.
(It appears at some point it was switched to standard gauge).

http://www.trainweb.org/annarbor/AARRHi ... -DT&I.html


I looked up the various incorporation names from the link, and did not find many of the early names as written. Often they showed up in the Meintz book as a different name, and with different dates of incorporation.

As an example of these differences, the link lists "June 1, 1903" incorporation of the "Toledo, Ann Arbor & Detroit Electric Railway" with a $1,650,000 (organizations capitalization?). Meintz has a comparable listing: "Ohio & Michigan Traction Company incorporated June 6, 1903, $1,650,000;" (the organization's capitalization!); "to own 45 miles, Toledo to Ann Arbor; Merged June 24, 1904 into Toledo, Ann Arbor & Detroit".

Some name discrepancies may relate to the different states involved, and incorporation therein, and/or the difference between organizations created to operate versus organizaitons created to build. Some date discrepancies may relate to the difference between filing date and the actual date of the organizing articles.

None of the Meintz entries which I correlated to the link indicated anything other than standard gauge. (That only implies that Meintz did not find any indication of narrow gauge in his research.)

- Bob Milhaupt


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1664
Location: Southern California
I just pulled my copy of The Western Railroader booklet 348-E about the Peninsular Railway Co. In one binding it contains three separate issues, 348, 352 and 355. The third one contains a roster.

Cars 50-59 are listed as being built in 1903 by American Car Co. American was the Brill affiliate located in St. Louis, Missouri. Additionally trailers 60 and 61 were also built by American in 1903. The next page of the booklet has this information:
Attachment:
Peninsular_50-61_100dpi.jpg
Peninsular_50-61_100dpi.jpg [ 36.54 KiB | Viewed 962 times ]
The SAn Josse-Los Gatos interurban line opened in 1903.

The later book about San Jose Railway, Tracks, Tires & Wires: Public Transportation in California's Santa Clara Valley , Interurbans, 1981, may also cover the Peninsular besides the city operation. I should have a copy of that, but I've not gone after my copy.

I am sure the Museum's archives must have these and perhaps other information.

The width of the car body by itself does no necessarily indicate what the original gauge might have been. Some interurban cars were built to standard railroad passenger size and others were built narrower to better get through city streets. By example compare a British Columbia Electric interurban car to a Pacific Electric 1000-class.

_________________
Brian Norden


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:48 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:14 am
Posts: 238
Could it be that it was built for a line that had not started construction yet? Then, before taking delivery of the car, they decided to build the line to standard gauge? I remember reading at one point that the frenzie to build interurban lines in Michigan was so great around 1900 that some very foolish decisions were made in the great haste. Some companies were even formed on paper but never laid a tie.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:03 pm
Posts: 7
EWrice wrote:
Could it be that it was built for a line that had not started construction yet?"


The 1903 date Ryan mentioned in the original posting is comparable to the apparant line construction, which, according to the link, did not begin until after June 1903. Meintz does not contradict a presumed 1903 "begin of construction".

Regards,
Bob Milhaupt


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:02 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:56 am
Posts: 388
Location: Northern California
Following is from the Western Railway Museum's Collection Catalog regarding the history of Peninsular Railway 52:

"History: The American Car Company built car 52 in 1903 for the San Jose-Los Gatos Interurban Railway Company as their car number 4. It also had the name “Granger". It is one of 12 cars ordered at this time. The American Car Company order book shows that the car was ordered by the San Jose & Santa Clara. However, builder’s photographs show the car being shipped lettered for the San Jose & Los Gatos Interurban Railway Company. Mr. F. S. Granger and Mr. James W. Rea, President and Vice President of the San Jose & Los Gatos, were also involved in the construction of the San Jose & Santa Clara Valley Railroad. In Charles S. McCaleb’s book "Tracks, Tires and Wires"; he states that the car was “originally built for a narrow-gauge road out of Detroit.” There is nothing in the American Car Company order book to support this."

The American Car Company order book is at the Pennsylvania Historical Society in Philadelphia. It is the original book. The pages are a heavy card stock and entries are made in black ink. It is a very credible source.

As Brian indicated, many times the width of urban transit vehicles is determined by the center spacing of tracks on city streets. Some systems started with horse cars and converted to electric operation. Moving the tracks to increase the track centers in the streets would have been an expensive undertaking. This resulted in some systems having very narrow cars. It was sometimes a challenge for truck builders to design trucks narrow enough to not protrude from the under the sides of cars.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Narrow Gauge Interurban near Detroit?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:06 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1355
Location: Henderson Nevada
o anderson wrote:
The only narrow gauge interurban line that I can think of being built was on the Denver Tramway system.


Many of the California electric railroad lines were originally 3'6" gauge including lines in Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and local car lines in San Jose and even parts of the Pacific Electric. In the aftermath of the "great merger" the PE chose standard gauge while the Los Angeles Railway remained narrow. The Watsonville (California) interurban was 3' gauge.
Portland Oregon had 42" gauge lines late as well...

One thought... with early local lines in San Jose built to narrow gauge, these cars might have been built narrow so they could operate on local car routes which may have had narrow track centers as a legacy of having once been narrow gauge.

_________________
Randy Hees
Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City, Nevada
http://museums.nevadaculture.org/nsrmbc
http://www.nevadasouthern.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfNevadaSouthernRailway


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], brian budeit, Frank J. DeStefano, Google [Bot], Kelly Anderson, soups and 26 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: