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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)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Just In!

From:  Coney Island News

Exclusive: Billionaire developer planning ‘Coney Island Trolley’ service

The "Ocean Dreams" complex is under construction, but it will soon be the site of a San Francisco-style trolley service. Photo by Matt Tracy/Coney Island News

The western side of Coney Island will soon have its own trolley service that will go from 3514 Surf Ave. to Coney Island’s Stillwell Ave. subway station, billionaire developer John Catsimatidis said in an exclusive interview with Coney Island News.
Developers at Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group originally discussed a bus service for residents of “Ocean Dreams,” which is slated to open in the spring of 2019. The plan was to provide their tenants with the service to alleviate the long distance to the train, but now they are adding a twist to that idea.
“I am designing something even better… a San Francisco trolley,” Catsimatidis said, adding that it would be called the “Coney Island Trolley.”
It has been decades since Coney Island has had an operating trolley service. Catsimatidis said the trolley will be available for anyone — not just residents of “Ocean Dreams” — but he is not sure how much he will charge per ride. He conceded that it is already a costly process to build the foundation of “Ocean Dreams” amid poor soil conditions at the site. “Everything is going to be above grade because of Sandy,” he said.
Residents expressed concern at a community board meeting that the initially-proposed bus service might interfere with the existing B36 bus service across the street. On the flip side, the B36 bus takes an unusually long time to reach the train station from the western end of Coney Island.

Affordability issues?

Affordability issues were among the main concerns among several local residents who railed against the complex at a community board meeting in June. They were disappointed in the lack of affordable housing units and were worried that the complex would drive up prices in the neighborhood. However, Catsimatidis believes the building’s market-rate apartments are aligned with what the community wants.
“We talked about it with the community in the past and there are a lot of affordable units in that neighborhood already,”Catsimatidis said, adding that “the people actually lobbied us” to incorporate more middle class housing.
There will be 440 apartments available at the complex and it will be first-come, first-serve, he said.

Restaurants and grocery stores

As recently as June, Red Apple Group was not sure whether there would be a restaurant included with the complex. But Catsimatidis said the plan now is to include a supermarket and a drug store on Surf Ave. and a restaurant on the boardwalk. When we asked him what type of supermarket is in the works, he said it would be one that New Yorkers are familiar with — but further details are forthcoming.

  Note:  This is not the first "trolley" proposal for the area.  I hope it is not any faux San Francisco cable car vans!
The problem is that the area is in a flood zone. [ See some of my maps produced a few years ago].  If it is a traditional trolley, may it have wires.  Note, do not buy your tickets today, I guess you will have a long wait!  Best of luck to Mr. Catsimatidis.  Tramway  Null(0)

You got choices:

Trolley like rubber tired van
Traditional Streetcar with Tracks and Wires
Traditional Streetcar with tracks but no wires- diesel engine
Traditional Streetcar with tracks but center conduit- very expensive
Traditional Streetcar with tracks and batteries.
Modern low floor light rail vehicle with wires.
Modern low floor light rail vehicle with diesel engine
Restored PCC car with wires
Modern Trackless Trolley with wires
Modern diesel bus painted to look like a trolley

as so on.
Tramway Null(0)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Nothing New to Report for New York City

Hi Folks:

   Sorry for not adding to my blog recently, but there is nothing new for New York City to report for the things that I am interested in:

  1. No news from the proposed Brooklyn Queens waterfront streetcar.  A major statement was supposed to be issued in April, 2017.  I heard that there is a lot of opposition to it, particularly in Sunset Park and perhaps Red Hook.
  2. I am not a user of commuter railroads in New York City but the repairs to the New Jersey Transit and LIRR  routes on 34th Street and underwater tunnels were completed on time.  It was not a summer of "hell" after all.
  3. I believe R-179 subway cars are about to be delivered.  They will look just like the R160's. today.  I pity the young railfans of subway equipment.   There are very few models of subway cars available and no surprises.
  4. The Second Avenue extension opened in January and as you know, it will take years to start any new construction, either as an extension to 125th Street or on another route such as Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn.  In short, there are no bids to start construction on any subway route in NYC as far as I know.
  5. There are no plans or even talk to bring streetcars to traditional streets such as 42nd Street even though Vision 42 tried very hard.  Other streets for streetcar routes, such as the Grand Concourse, Staten Island PRW routes on the former SIRT,  Surf Avenue Brooklyn never developed besides the talking stage.
  6. In Germany, an interesting story about constructing an E-Highway for trolley trucks may be started.  I believe that these experimental highways are being constructed and or tested in Los Angeles, Sweden and now Germany.

   That's all folks.

Tramway Null(0)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Two Interesting Articles

Why New York City's Transit Crisis Is Only Going to Get Worse by Nikolai Fedak

In New York (YIMBY),  Other articles, Google "Streetcar" & "Brooklyn" for news.

  Being very lazy,  I admit that I did not read both articles well but there seems to be two things that are emerging in New York City dealing with subways and the proposed waterfront streetcar line:

  1. The subways are near collapse and something must be done and
  2. The waterfront streetcar line will cause gentrification and cause many elderly and poor residents to loose their housing.
In the first article by Nikolai Fedak, Fedak takes a dismal view that the subways are just at the point of collapse and that very little can be done to prevent it.  Early 20th Century technology is what the system was built on and there is not enough money and time to upgrade the system.  Now comes the interesting point: Mr. Fedak is interested in re-establishing the elevated lines of Manhattan because they can be a backup to the failing subway system.  Elevated lines can be built at a fraction of the cost of an underground subway line.    In another series of articles, neighborhood activists state that the proposed waterfront line will not solve any transit problems and will just cause many poor people to loose their homes and way of life.  Besides, the present day "G" train and "R" train parallel the proposed route a few blocks away from the water.

In the near future, I will give you my thoughts:  Solution is  light rail on reserved rights of way at the end of some subway routes or on very busy bus routes with some sections elevated like formerly in Boston.  Light rail or streetcars should be brought back to New York City not for development but for being more efficient than buses.   Very heavy bus routes should be converted to light rail if certain engineering criteria are meet.
To be continued.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Philadelphia's Trolleybuses are in Danger?

Hi Folks:  This posting comes from BusChat by Transit ChuckG.  See below.  It looks like that Philadelphia's last three trackless trolley lines in north Philadelphia are about to come history in the next few years if the Proterra electric buses with strong batteries are successful.  This will leave only Boston as the only trolleybus operator in the Northeast.  The United States current trolleybus cities are:  Boston, Philadelphia, Dayton, Ohio, San Francisco and Seattle.  Indianapolis, Spokane Washington and Montreal Quebec expressed interest in setting up new systems but I do not know the status of these proposals.  It is sorry to hear bad news that a traditional trolleybus line or streetcar line is in danger.

Septa Trackless Trolleys

Posted by TransitChuckG on Thu Jul 27 06:44:30 2017
Latest rumor:
News on the trackless General Overhaul program, there will be none. They are letting these play out here for 12 years, they have to, because they were bought with federal funds, and waiting to see how the Proterra electric buses work.If they work out well, they're buying them for the three NE. trackless lines, these trackless trolleys are history. The 59, 66, & 75 will be Proterras. Septa's first nail in the coffin was not buying enough trackless for the 29 & 79 back in 2007. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Brooklyn Trolley Buses: 1930 to July 27, 1960

Data and picture from the web site below.  Picture from the Scalzo Collection.

Rumor has it that after the plug was pulled on Brooklyn's Trolleybuses in July1960, an official New York City report came out that stated that trolleybuses are effective in keeping air pollution down.    It is very unlikely that trolleybuses or streetcars would ever return to Brooklyn because of politics and lack of money.  There is money but it must be used for fixing up the emergency status of subways today.