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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wellington's Trolleybuses also end on October 31, - November 1 - 2017

On 31.10.2017 the trolleybuses drove on Wellington's streets for the last time. A total of 29 trolleybuses were used on the last day of operation on lines 1, 2, 3, 7, 9 and 10. The wagons 387, 383 and 384 moved in as the last three trolleybuses, behind car 384 the gates for the trolleybuses closed forever at 0:45 am on 1.11.2017. ... more

It is funny that Wellington lost it's trollebuses on October 31 61 years after Brooklyn lost its trams and the Cortelyou Rd trolleybus.

News note above comes from Trolleymotion.

As one writer many years ago in the ERA Headlights wrote in the October edition:  FINE

Monday, November 13, 2017

Experiments with Trolley Trucks Continue in Los Angeles California

See the link below:

The experimental Los Angeles - Long Beach trolley truck line was presented before the public last week and will be tested during the coming year.   Many organizations are involved, including the Los Angeles MTA.  I wish them success and perhaps having an overhead over a highway we make people who make decisions re-look at interurban trolleybus applications.  Local trolleybus new starts are little and some big users of trolleybuses are considering or already abandoned their systems (for example, Philadelphia, Moscow, Wellington...).

To be continued.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Data Scrapping for Transportation Info using "R"

Recently, I was exposed to data mining and data scrapping using "R" which is a statistical relating language which has geospatial capability.   In a recent "R" blog, it was shown how to use "R" to data scrape the US census information from the "American Community Survey" for 2015.  I found one variable that is transit related and it is labeled "PublicTrans".  I do not know what it measures but you are able to bring it up for selected cities using code.  There are over 500 variables dealing with the census and it is a nice resource to know about.  Some code is shown below.  More to follow.

Package‘census’ October 26, 2017
Type Package Title Scrape US Census Data Version 0.2.0 Maintainer Danny Malter <> Description A scraper to collect US Census data from the American Community Survey (ACS) data andmetadata.Availabledatasetsincludepopulation,income,educationandemploymentlevelsby age,sexandrace.See<>formoreinformation. Unlike other census related packages, this package does not require a U.S. Census Bureau API. URL BugReports Depends R (>= 3.2.0), ggmap, RCurl, utils Suggests knitr, rmarkdown, ggplot2, proto, RgoogleMaps, png, rjson, mapproj, jpeg, geosphere, bitops License MIT + file LICENSE Encoding UTF-8 LazyData true RoxygenNote 6.0.1 VignetteBuilder knitr NeedsCompilation no Author Danny Malter [aut, cre] Repository CRAN Date/Publication 2017-10-26 08:30:33 UTC
getCensus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Index 3
2 getCensus

df[1:5, c("sitename","radius","TotPop","pctMales","pctFemales","AvgFamInc","pctPrivWageWorkers","pctGovWorkers", "pctMarried","pctBachelors","MedianHValue","PublicTrans")]
   sitename radius    TotPop pctMales pctFemales AvgFamInc pctPrivWageWorkers pctGovWorkers pctMarried pctBachelors MedianHValue
1   Chicago     10 2,530,608     48.8       51.2   $87,982               84.7          10.4       35.0         21.8     $269,295
2  New York     10 6,933,559     48.1       51.9  $100,221               81.5          11.7       39.0         22.8     $604,431
3   Detroit     10   876,392     48.1       51.9   $51,019               85.0          10.4       28.9          9.4      $66,165
4   Seattle     10 1,035,736     50.2       49.8  $134,413               81.0          12.7       45.0         33.6     $498,553
NA     <NA>   <NA>      <NA>     <NA>       <NA>      <NA>               <NA>          <NA>       <NA>         <NA>         <NA>
1      330,175
2    1,829,436
3       18,024
4       96,355
NA        <NA>
sitename radius    TotPop pctMales pctFemales AvgFamInc pctPrivWageWorkers pctGovWorkers pctMarried pctBachelors MedianHValue PublicTrans
1       Chicago      8 1,815,448     49.2       50.8   $91,510               85.7           9.5       33.5         23.4     $293,622     261,837
2      New York      8 5,224,374     48.1       51.9  $109,275               81.8          11.2       38.6         24.4     $668,262   1,482,966
3       Detroit      8   536,864     48.2       51.8   $45,772               84.7          10.8       26.5          8.5      $59,365      12,835
4   Los Angeles      8 2,588,438     49.6       50.4   $64,993               79.8           9.4       36.1         17.0     $486,128     161,261
5       Seattle      8   750,999     50.2       49.8  $141,393               80.5          13.2       42.6         35.0     $526,929      78,862
6        Boston      8 1,426,011     48.1       51.9  $114,584               84.3          10.3       36.9         24.9     $481,422     214,912
7  Philadelphia      8 1,718,692     47.2       52.8   $73,323               83.6          12.1       30.4         15.8     $177,031     172,100

8 San Francisco      8 1,017,777     50.6       49.4  $134,464               79.6          11.7       40.0         31.7     $831,206     172,455

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

We Miss You

This a Joe Testagrose picture taken from the Dave's Rail Pix site.  It shows a McDonald PCC car on Shell Road south of 86th Street sometime between 1951 and the last day of service on October 31, 1956.   The Culver El structure is in the background.  This portion of the line used steel from the Fulton Street Elevated and thus looks different than other el girders built around 1914-1920.  The Coney Island gas tanks are also in view and perhaps BMT "C" type el cars in the background.

 A few years ago,  a proposal for a new streetcar line on the Brooklyn - Queens waterfront was established.   By April 2017, a detailed statement dealing with the route and costs were supposed to be made public.   Nothing was heard since April and the rumor is that this project is in trouble because of the source of funding.    Thus it appears that this project ended up like all the other trolley projects proposed for Brooklyn and Manhattan.  You know what I miss?  Even though a trolley was a few blocks away, the wire started to vibrate and you heard a swishhhiing sound, something like a bird tweet.   This was caused by the vibration of the trolley power wire by the trolley pole.  It is unlikely that this will ever be heard again in Brooklyn or New York City.  Notice on the el structure that at that time, no outside cat walks were provided for workers.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

You Want A Seat Near a Window? How about No Seats at All?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Interesting Article by Bill Newkirk of Subchat Dealing with BMT Standard Destination Signs

  A few days ago, Mr. Newkirk submitted to Subchat a posting dealing with BMT Standard destination signs.    A BMT standard car is shown above on the Culver Shuttle and shows one type of destination sign.  According to Bill, there was a period in which the destination signs had readings like the typed copy above.   According to the original article, the typed page was produced from looking at destination signs on some BMT standard cars in 1932 while those original signs was produced in the 1920's.    There are many surprises here, because many of the settings where for elderly elevated lines that would become extinct years later.  For example, there is a setting for Park Row Manhattan.  Would  heavy BMT standard cars would have able to make it across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan without the Fulton Street elevated line and Brooklyn Bridge not altered for heavy steel equipment?   What about the destination "SEA GATE"?  Sea Gate is at the western tip of Coney Island and was served by trolley cars.   To provide this service, would some of the BMT cars be equipped with trolley poles (like the early Sea Beach Line) or would third rail need to be installed?
Other interesting questions remain and this will be continued later.

Interesting Read: Original Destination and Route Designation for BMT Standards

Posted by Bill Newkirk on Sat Oct 14 19:18:40 2017
Just received this document, typed many years ago showing original readings for BMT Standard routes and destinations. There are some unusual readings for older elevated routes. Perhaps the BRT had hopes of rebuilding older els to accommodate BMT Standards. That's my guess. I don't know which series or if all Standards had them. These signs were out of the Standards by 1932. None are known to exist.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Trolleybuses may return to Prague


The city is looking at ways to reduce emissions from transit
Electric trolleybuses will soon be tested in Prague's Prosek neighborhood. The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) will build about a kilometer of electric cable starting in September, and the tests of the trolleybus should start in the fall. If the tests are successful the trolleybuses could be used in other parts of the city.

There were trolleybuses in Prague in the 1970s, but they fell out of favor. Efforts to create greener public transportation, and more efficient trolleybuses, have put renewed interest on them as an option. Some cities have announced efforts to completely get rid of fossil fuel-based transportation in the long term.

The reason that electric trolley buses are being tested is that hilly terrain uses up a lot of battery power, and limits the usefulness of electric buses. The cable allows the bus to get electricity directly, so it won't run out of a battery charge and be stuck on a hill.

Electric trolleybuses from several manufacturers will be tested. So far Škoda Electric, Ekova and SOR Libchavy have shown interest. All of the models should be tested during the winter, which has he harshest driving conditions.

A track will have to be created and traffic signs changed to accommodate the trolleybuses. The route will be from the Klíčovská to Kelerka stops, which are part of the 140 bus line. Construction on the route should take two months and be under Kč 5 million. It should be ready as soon as November. The Railway Authority (DÚ) will have to give approval for the test and issue certificates for the overhead electric line.

DPP technical director Jan Šurovský told daily Lidové noviny that the testing should take a year but early data would be available much sooner. Plans for how to proceed should be made as soon as in the spring.

The transit company did not want to specify where electric trolleybuses would be used in the future, but transportation experts cited several hilly areas in Prague that could be suitable including Vysočany and Strahov.

An electric bus has been being tested on the 213 line from Háje to Želivského, and it recharges at the end stations. The test should conclude at the end of September.
Interesting article, but what is the track that needs to be created?  I do not think that they are referring to trams because Prague has a large and beautiful tram system.  I wish them success; Tramway-Null(0)