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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Look at this, folks!

This picture comes from a Facebook account called "Trolleybus" which deals mainly with trolleybuses and some art work that is connected with them  This site is very interesting and posted this picture that I came across by accident.  According to the information presented , it is from the Italian City of Bologna and it is not a recent picture.  Some viewers call it a fake.  Is this vehicle connected with the maintenance of the trolleybus facilities or is it a general sanitation truck for the city of Bologna?    I do not know.  By the way, I do not know the status of the Los Angeles trolley truck demonstration.  Is it being built?  All that I can say to all you folks who do not believe in trolley trucks, ... wake up and smell the ... garbage.

Thanks, Tramway Null(0)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

20 Light Rail Lines for New York City

Auto-free New York has been on the scene for many years promoting various rail friendly projects including light rail for 42nd Street in Manhattan.  According to their website, on January 20, 2015 they had a guest speaker that suggested that New York City can use twenty light rail routes.  The introductory paragraph on the matter is shown below:

 Paul Gawkowski, former MTA planner and our guest speaker in December, brought to the December 30 forum his list of twenty NYC bus lines that are best candidates for conversion to light rail. The list was of considerable interest to City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, as he is concerned with a five-borough approach to transit improvement. The challenge for the working group is to make the case that advancing vision42 will stimulate citywide interest in light rail lines for each of the five boroughs.


A member of the group has given me a list of these twenty routes and they are below:  Notice that City Councilman Y. Rodriquez is also interested in this list.  Remember that a few weeks ago, MTA officials stated that they are interested in light rail for New York City as a fast way, probably using unused rights of way of rapidly bringing rapid transit to underserved areas.  I saw this list for the first time a few hours ago and I will make the following comments.   A member told me that lines for Staten Island should have been included.  I am familiar mainly with Broooklyn and here are my comments:  The B-46 Utica Avenue route, B-44 Nostrand Avenue, b-35 Church Avenue, B-41 Flatbush Avenue streetcar routes were among the last trolley routes in Brooklyn and they lasted until 1951-1956.  These are heavily used routes. Perhaps they lasted so long because the carried the most passengers and were efficient.  Other routes such as the McDonald Avenue, Coney Island Avenue routes lasted almost to the end but were not included in the list.  Notice that the B-6 Avenue D route is way up there and it was never a streetcar route.  I remember seeing in an ERA Bulletin a piece that said that the New York Regional Plan recommends light rail for bus routes that meet a certain criteria of passenger use.   It also said that most Manhattan bus routes meet this criteria.  Sorry folks, I cannot give you a reference.


More to follow on this interesting topic in the future.




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Transit Fantasy: Kronos (1957) Meets the Church Avenue Trolley

These series of pictures were part of an Powerpoint presentation that I experimented with many years ago.  Of course, in Blogger, I cannot post a Powerpoint file so you will see a series of JPEG files.
The main background here is a great picture from the Frank Pfuhler collection taken from Dave's Rail Pix.  It shows a Church Avenue trolley (PCC # 1050) running eastbound on Church Avenue near East 18th Street near the BMT Brighton Line Church Avenue station.  The view is towards the south west during a snow storm.  On the antique street lamp is an advertisement  for a great film "I'll Cry Tomorrow" that tells the story of Lillian Roth.  I believe the year is 1955-56.  Kronos was a science fiction film that was released in 1957, so in reality, Kronos would not have ever meet the Church Avenue Trolley because it was released one year later.  I was a small child when Kronos came out and the "monster" or "alien", or whatever you will call it, was a ET that grew larger as it absorbed energy.  It had two poles at it's top that could, in my fantasy, be connected to any set of trolleybus wires.  Of course, on Church Avenue, you had a simple standard streetcar wire network. so we can say, the Kronos did not have a return for the positive current as shown below.  In this series, Kronos "takes a walk" on Church Avenue, looking at the "I'll Cry Tomorrow" advertisement, slips in the snow and goes west on Church Avenue.  It ends up on the Third Avenue El (demolished a year earlier) and makes a cameo visit to the Ninth Avenue Lower station on the Culver Line.  By the way, Kronos, as it grew bigger, became bigger than a 100 story building.  I incorporated it also in New York City skyline as well.  I remember when our beloved "World Trade Center" was being built,  in some respects, the World Trade Center had some characteristics with  Kronos.  They were both over 100 stories tall, were a large rectangular solid that was metallic and shiny and had a tall pole on the top.  The World Trade Center also had two "skylobbies" where there was a cafeteria and was the exchange for local and express elevators.  The windows at the skylobbies were slightly different compared to the other floors and it is ironic that "Kronos" also had two or three sections with a pole(s) on top that had a red light that glowed.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Trolleys for the Bronx? Thonx!

Hi Folks:

 Please look at this trolley proposal for the Bronx.  Interesting material here.  Will discuss in a few days.  Very interesting.  The area shown is the general area where the 3rd Avenue El was abandoned in 1973.  Will discuss hopefully in the future.  Also discusses the 167nd Street- Concourse trolley station.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Montreal Also to get Trolleybuses by 2017?

This link was posted by WillD of subchat this week dealing with Montreal's 100% Electric Future.
Thank you WillD so much.

Montreal's all-electric future

Posted by WillD on Thu Jan 1 08:58:53 2015

STM appears to be serious about electric surface transportation.

Since New York City may bet some of its electric from Canada, why not New York?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Amsterdam to get Trolleybuses by 2017?

This is from the Trolleymotion website.

 I believe it states that Amsterdam will start to experimenting with trolleybuses in 2017.  The new lines will follow existing light rail lines because the overhead is already installed ( how about the extra wire for the return current?) and there will be off the wire battery capability.  This is very interesting.  I saw in a previous English translation of the article that Amsterdam only plans to purchase electric buses from now on.  Does this mean mainly trolleybuses or battery buses?
    While here in the United States years back trolleybus replacement meant the end of streetcars, I believe  in Amsterdam, that some diesel buses will be converted to trolleybus and not that some tram lines will be converted.  I hope so.  How about also in New York?

trolley:planung - Amsterdam plant Einführung von Trolleybussen
22.12.14 - Ab 2017 sollen in Amsterdam Trolleybusse einen Teil der derzeitigen Gelenkdieselbusse ersetzen, so äußerte sich Alexandra van Huffelen, seit 1. Juni 2014 Direktor der GVB (Gemeente vervoerbedrijf, Betreiber des städtischen Straßenbahn- und Busnetzes der niederländischen Hauptstadt) Anfang Oktober 2014 in einem Radiointerview. Der Austausch der ersten 40 Dieselbusse ist im Jahr 2017 erforderlich, um die Umwelt zu schonen, sollen nur elektrische Busse beschafft werden. Dabei sollen Trassen genutzt werden, wo Busse und Straßenbahn gemeinsam verkehren, hier soll Oberleitung für ... mehr

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Trip to Prague: Revisited

Hi Folks:

    Several months ago I posted a short video about a trip to Prague in 1960.  It had great music and the photography was something else, beautiful, taken at twilight.  The Prague video from 1960 showed older equipment and some PCC type modern trams.  I also posted below a video taken in 1958 which shows mainly new PCC equipment.

    In may father's trip to Warsaw in 1920's, he described that passengers would hop on and off streetcars.  In the 1960, you can see this very well and I forgot about this.  You can see at points that the streetcar would not stop at all and that people would easily jump on or off.  In fact, the cars at rush hour would have a lot of "hangers on".  In the great clip in 1958, you see less of this with the more modern PCC equipment.  You do see a man leaning out of  an open PCC car door while the car is moving. 

   Every age has a style to it.  Even though Prague was very isolated in the late 1950's and 1960's, you can see that there is a certain style that transcends cultures.  I remember seeing a film called "Desk Set" (1958?) and certain elements of that style can be found in the 1958 Prague Clip.

   In today's world, jumping on or off moving streetcars would probably be banned for the fear of law cases dealing with injuries.  And these were not low floor streetcars.  Enjoy both films, they are great to see.  I believe that the Czechs love their streetcars today while in New York, they have been gone for about 58 years.  Do not wait to see New Yorker's hanging on streetcars soon!