It is currently Mon Jul 22, 2024 2:04 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2024 12:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1612
There are many photos, videos, and reports if you do a google search but PCC Cars have returned to SEPTA Route 15.

As much as I love museums, there is nothing like experiencing historic equipment "in the wild" doing what it was designed to do. Glad to see PCC Cars will back on the streets of Philadelphia - maybe next time I have a layover at 30th street I'll take a ride!


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2024 6:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 1612
Location: Byers, Colorado
For once I have to agree with you, CZ. Thanks for posting this truly fantastic news !!!!

_________________
I am just an old man...
who wants to fix up an old locomotive.

Sammy King


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2024 10:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 1434
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Here's a map og the trolleysystem:
https://schedules.septa.org/maps/line-map-trolley.pdf

Here's the Route 15 schedule:
https://schedules.septa.org/current/15.pdf

Here's the press release:
https://wwww.septa.org/news/septa-annou ... -route-15/

The cars were built in 1947-1948 and are the standard SLCC carbody. They are painted in the as-delivered green and cream eith red beltrail and silver roof with red striping.

The controls, motors and trucks are new and they are air-conditioned with ADA lifts.

The PCC cars don't operate in the trolley subway but if you take the Market-Frankford Line East to Girard, 15 route is downstairs.

Phil Mulligan


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2024 11:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 1434
Location: Philadelphia, PA
For those keeping score at home, PTC differentiated between one-man PCC's and one/two man or straight two-man cars by numbers.

One man cars were 2001-2318 and one/two man or two man 2501-2800. One man cars had safety equipment for a single operator (paid more than a "motorman"). One/two man cars also had the safety equipment as well as a conductor's booth. Again the operator when running as a single operator was paid more. Two man cars had the conductor's booth but not the extra safety equipment and needed a conductor to go out on the street. The two man cars were quickly modified as one/two man cars and eventually all the PCC's became one man.

Phil Mulligan


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2024 12:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1612
On the original 1-man cars, when and why did the Conductor need to go out on the street?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2024 12:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 193
Location: Pittsburgh
"Go out on the street" is merely slang for the car leaving the carbarn, literally running out into the public street, and going into revenue service to carry passengers. On a two-man car, per the union contract, both a motorman and a conductor were needed for the car in to be in revenue service.

In Philly, the carbarns were and still are called "depots", as in "Woodland Depot", "Callowhill Depot", "Luzerne Depot", etc.

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


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2024 1:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1612
Oh I see… here I was trying to think what the conductor was having to do out on the street during cold Pennsylvania winters! Haha


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2024 1:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 1612
Location: Byers, Colorado
Maybe I'm just barking at the moon, but doesn't a crewman need to get down on the pavement to throw switches using a specially fitted steel bar, which is carried on board ??

_________________
I am just an old man...
who wants to fix up an old locomotive.

Sammy King


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 12:53 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 1434
Location: Philadelphia, PA
That depends on how the switch is equipped. Regular service switches are powered and in those days, it was a 600 vDC solenoid under the street. There was a pan in the wire and a PCC had a toggle in front of the operator.

To go in the normal direction (usually straight) you coasted while the trolley wheel went through the pan. To turn you pushed the toggle and the solenoid threw the single point with a loud "clump."

Some switches did not have solenoids and the motorman climbed down with a switch iron, which looks like a giant screwdriver. He put the blade of the switch iron between the point and the stock rail, then levered the point to the other direction. You had to fight a spring to the neutral posttion but then it helped to complete the action. After both trucks had gone through the switch, the motorman or conductor would go back and return the switch to normal position.

Phil Mulligan

Note: Toronto used a different system


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 12:48 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1612
EJ Berry wrote:
That depends on how the switch is equipped. Regular service switches are powered and in those days, it was a 600 vDC solenoid under the street. There was a pan in the wire and a PCC had a toggle in front of the operator.

To go in the normal direction (usually straight) you coasted while the trolley wheel went through the pan. To turn you pushed the toggle and the solenoid threw the single point with a loud "clump."

Some switches did not have solenoids and the motorman climbed down with a switch iron, which looks like a giant screwdriver. He put the blade of the switch iron between the point and the stock rail, then levered the point to the other direction. You had to fight a spring to the neutral posttion but then it helped to complete the action. After both trucks had gone through the switch, the motorman or conductor would go back and return the switch to normal position.

Phil Mulligan

Note: Toronto used a different system


That's fascinating, I had no idea a system like that existed. What did the toggle at the operators desk do? Like how did it actually trigger the switch?

And then when the air bled out did the switch spring back?

Sorry if I understand that all wrong.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 9:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 193
Location: Pittsburgh
Quote:
What did the toggle at the operators desk do? Like how did it actually trigger the switch?

The procedure described by Phil is for a PCC (or later) car that is operated by foot controls. In a pre-PCC trolley car, the same system can be activated by pulling power on the hand controller as the trolley pole passes beneath the contactor on the overhead wire, often with a concurrent slight brake application. The toggle switch on the dash of the PCC car effectively does the same thing, creating a brief short circuit that draws enough power to activate the electric solenoid in the switch machine without requiring the motorman to dance a jig on the power and brake pedals. Incidentally, merely coasting through the overhead contactor without pulling power, also activates the track switch solenoid, restoring the point to its normal position. In Pittsburgh, drawing power set the switch for the diverging curve. Coasting through the contactor set the switch to the straight position. I believe Philly was similar.
Quote:
And then when the air bled out did the switch spring back?

No air involved. This system is all 600 volt DC circuitry.

The hiccup with this system (originally developed and patented by the Cheatham Electric Switching Device Company) is that the switch can be unintentionally activated anytime the trolley car is drawing sufficient power while passing beneath the overhead contactor. Suffice it to say that accidents have occurred. There is also no point detection or point locking system. The system relies on the trolley motorman being diligent, observant of the switch position and whether it is fully closed in the desired direction, and very conscious of where his trolley pole is relative to the overhead wire contactor. In Pittsburgh, a 5 mph speed limit applied at facing point switches so that the motorman had time to (1) observe the position of the switch, (2) take note of whether it was fully closed, and, (3) if it wasn't set to the desired routing, stop the car before passing over the switch. Other cities had a "stop" rule at switches for the same reasons.

In part because such diligence and situational awareness can be uncommon, contemporary light rail operations now employ different switch activation systems, usually of European design but manufactured in North America. Pittsburgh retired the Cheatham system decades ago. I believe SEPTA is now making the transition.

As Phil noted, Toronto has always employed a different technology, largely due to their operation of trolleys in two-car trains. If the original Cheatham system was employed there, the trolley pole on the second car might reactivate the switch machine, resulting in a split switch derailment. Perhaps one of our Canadian brothers can educate the class on how TTC's "necessary action" switch control system worked.

/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.
Director of Engineering
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, Inc.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: PCC Cars return to service in Philadelphia PA!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 9:58 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1612
That’s really cool - I used to drive a trolley at a museum and learned how to “dance” on the power and brake through some areas that would routinely kick the pole off the wire so I can imagine how that would go.

I had no idea that an invention like this existed - extremely clever.


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 70 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: