Webrings - Maps - Trolleys and More
Monday, February 6, 2012
A Trolley by Any Name
As a child that loved subways, trolley cars and trolley buses, I used to draw pictures of trolley boats and trolley planes. Why not, if you can have a trolley car or trolley bus, why not a trolley boat, particularly in Venice Italy? Little did I know that such a thing as a trolley canal boat really existed, even here for a short time on the Erie Canal. In the previous post, I gave the link to a wonderful site that deals with the history of electric canal boat transportation. Most of the examples were from Central Europe around the end of the 19th Century. One line may exist today in France. Trolley trucks, are more common and I have been told that they helped provide street maintance duties in Moscow. Big gigantic type of tractor vehicles that are used in connection with mining operations probably still exist in Canada and South Africa. Here in Brooklyn, we did not have a system of trolley trucks but we did have the South Brooklyn Railroad that ran electric locomotives on trolley trackage on McDonald Avenue hauling box cars. What does this have to do with the future? Two professors, Perl and Gilbert wrote a book titled "Transport Revolutions-Moving People and Freight without Oil" in which they predict that in the future the oil supply will become very limited due to what is called "peak oil". I am not familar with the cons and pros about this, but let us say that it is a given. According to their analysis, it is not battery, hydrogen based or carbon based fuels that are efficient and sustainable, but "grid-connected vehicles" or (GCVs) that are efficient and the wave of the future. The modern rendition of a trolley-truck speeding along a super highway is connected with their work. They advocate for cities in invest in streetcar and trolley bus lines and that the superhighways be equiped with two sets of trolley bus wire. This is a very interesting concept and I am not sure if in Europe, where trolley bus transportation is very common, if a major super highway was equipped with trolley bus type of overhead. In the trolley canal boat picture on the previous post, you can see that the poles and overhead wires appear to be very similar to regular trolleybus equipment. This is very interesting and I will write more about this later. In jest, if Red Hook did not get a trolley car, why not put a trolley canal boat in the Gowanus Canal? This would be a big tourist attraction without polluting the environment.