Webrings - Maps - Trolleys and More
Monday, December 28, 2015
The listing below comes from List A-5 that was published on 4/1/1978 by the North American Trackless Trolley Association. The complete source is given in the rectangle below. NATTA has been out of existence for many years. When in existence, they published interesting articles dealing with trolleybuses worldwide. The list below is for North America and is very interesting. Note that it is as of 4/1/78. At that time, Toronto still had trolleybuses and so did Edmonton. Hamilton also had a small system. Chicago closed their system in 1973 and new system started in Guadalajara, Mexico. It is interesting to note that car capital Detroit and Los Angeles kept their systems to 1962 and 1963 respectively. More to follow. Thank you Mr. Porter.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
A street view in Google of the area reveals a relatively flat area.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
For several years, I have been posting in this blog several postings dealing with the elevation of various parts of New York City. Some of these postings are from a raster file, which is basically a aerial photograph of a land area. It is possible, through some mapping programs, to change a raster file to a contour picture, which shows a series of lines. The closer the lines appear close together, the slope increases. For some time, I noticed in one set of posts, a straight line that is exactly at 90 degrees to the bottom of the picture. In the frame below, this line appears not at the arrow, but near the intersection of the West End (D) and Sea Beach (N) routes in Brooklyn near 62nd Street and New Utrecht Avenue. It does not appear exactly at that intersection, but parallels the West End line structure to where it curves on 86th Street and continues south to Coney Island. This line stops at the water and continues at the same angle in western Coney Island. Using QGIS, I was able to activate an interesting feature that is able to assign an elevation in a map at any particular point. It is important to note, the this plug in is not getting the elevation from my raster or contour file but probably from the internet. In the second map below, the area around 79th street and 18th Avenue is shown in Brooklyn. The red vertical bar of many lines comes from my contour file and is the error. The numbers around the bar are elevations. The vertical red bar crosses either 18 or 19th Avenue at this spot ( I was too lazy to put in a label in QGIS to show the exact location). Elevations in the bar show no abnormalities in elevation. A street view inside the "bar"shows no major changes in elevation or structures such as a sunken highway or elevated tracks. So what is it? Probably an aerial photograph that was not joined together probably causing a "seam". The last map shows the "seam in black and white". Notice that it looks like a rapid transit line.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Philadelphia, a historic city that is not too far away from New York is a transit treasure. It has a subway and elevated lines, traditional streetcars, a streetcar subway, interurban style streetcar operations with trolley wire and third rail, and a large commuter rail system. Philadelphia, like New York, did get rid most of its streetcar lines, but the trolley subway may have played a roll in saving some lines. The Girard Avenue line was reconstructed and is currently PCC car equipped. Some traditional streetcar routes, such as #23 Germantown Avenue are now bus operated even though SEPTA told that this bustitution would be temporary. I am told that in Northern Philadelphia, some wire is still up and some track segments remain. Philadelphia has also three trolley bus routes in North Philadelphia that are still running, but the two abandoned routes in South Philadelphia (Snyder and Tasker Morris) still have wire up.
I used Google to take a tour of the Snyder Avenue Line. I punched in at random an address on Snyder Avenue and I got the following shot:
I started to follow the street but the street ends and there is an expressway and the river with a name that is hard to pronounce. Somehow, I Googled across the river to Passyunk, which is a historic town and near S. Newkirk Avenue, there is a baby gas tank, at least as of a few years ago. Incidentally, the trackless trolley wire on Snyder is in bad shape. I am not sure when the line was abandoned "temporarily". From other sources, unfortunately, the trackless trolleys are difficult to operate and SEPTA is not to happy with electric surface transit, as I glean from subchat.
Below is a recent news study about Philadelphia transit.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
I came across an interesting web site that deals with some of the material found here but in a more historical fashion. It is called Ephemeral New York https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/.
I came across an interesting map from that site. I was not able to get the source but it seems to be an early map of the City of Brooklyn in 1766-7. At that time, what is now the borough of Brooklyn, consisted of a number of small towns, some dating back to early Dutch settlement. Then, the town of Brooklyn was around the area nearest Manhattan (New York) and consisted of the area of present day downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook. The map was truncated so I could not get the names of the owners in the legend.
Using Adobe, I transfered the above map from a xxx file into a TIFF file, which is a raster file in ARCGIS. Using a modern street grid of Brooklyn ( from Bytes of the Big Apple), I started the georeferencing process. Notice from the old map the the coast line is not the same as we have today. Apparently, there have been much landfill in the past 250 years. Acting very fast, I did no research on the points listed on the map to get a more accurate overlay, but I did use one point on the old map where the road to Flatbush splits off from the road to Jamaica. This is the Flatbush Fulton Street intersection. The modern streets today may not be in the exact location shown on the map 250 years ago. I also picked a point near Wallabout Bay and crossed referenced it on a modern map since the shape of the coastline appears the same. I also picked an arbitrary point on Governours Island as well.
I noticed that the "hill" areas on the 1766 map appear somewhat accurate. One way to test this is to bring in a modern contour map and see if the concentration of contour lines really correspond to a hill on the 1766 map.
Although not shown on the subway map above, but the street elevation at Bergen and Smith Streets is 24 feet ( this will need to be verified ). This station may have had a water condition that resulted in the closing of the lower level (Express) platforms. This area may have been adjacent to the Gowanas Canal but the elevation is high. This will be discussed later. Thanks folks: Tramway null (0).
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
I revisited QGIS again, that GRASS related geo-spatial software. It is possible to bring in previously created or used raster and vector files into that environment. There are many advanced features that I did not try yet, that the no-frills ARCGIS software does not supply. In QGIS, you can take a raster file and make contours; something that you cannot do in ARCGIS without buying a more expensive package.