Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Springfield Terminal

My grandfather Carl Eugene Randall  grew up in Springfield VT.  Here is a short video clip of one of the cars of the Springfield Terminal Rwy he used to ride when he lived there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvtTgZ1hn3Q&feature=email

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Louisville Trolley Club June Meeting

     I had a great time a couple of weeks ago meeting with the Louisville KY trolley club at their monthly meeting.  This group is made up of both model and prototype trolley/interurban/public transportation enthusiasts.  It was the first time I attended their meetings and I was made to feel quite welcome.  The meeting was held at Arthur Robb's house.  He and his wife were great hosts.  We started the evening socializing and running O scale model trolley and interurban cars on Art's 4 x 8 O scale traction layout.  Power is off the overhead on this layout.  Art has built many fine O scale traction cars over the years and has quite a unique collection.  One of my favorite models that he built is a model of an Indiana Railroad  high speed light weight interurban car which he has painted in his private road (Shenandoah Traction) colors.  I was able to run my first car a Chigago Birney for the first time on his layout.  As I do not have overhead yet.

    After running the model cars for a while we watched a couple of traction videos.  One video showed numerous shots from the Western Railway Museum out in the San Francisco bay area.  The next tape was a montage of different traction properties accross the country and Mexico.   I had quite an interesting evening and enjoyed meeting everybody.  We had a bit of excitement that evening with several severe storm/tornado warnings.  We found out after the fact that a couple of tornados came within a couple of miles of the meeting location.   A few buildings were damaged.  Here are a few more photos of Art's layout and cars.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dallas DART & Mckinney Ave. Transit Visit.

     Back in February I took a trip with my family to the Dallas TX area where we visited family for several days.  I was able to ride the complete length of the new Green Line that goes from Buckner Blvd. SW Dallas to the NW of the City.  It is quite a nice line and will be a great asset to the Dallas system in the future.   The line ends at North Carrolton station at the far North West.  Here it will soon connect with the A-Train.  The A-train is a DMU operated interurban line that ends at the city of Denton TX North West of Dallas.  Currently and the service just went into operation this month the A-train line is operated with RDC cars from the Trinity Railway Express line between Dallas and Ft Worth.  But new light rail DMU cars are coming from Stadler Rail in Switzerland for the Carrolton-Denton service.  These new cars should be delivered by 2012 I think.   The same type of Stadler Rail Car has been operating in service on the line in Austin TX.  Also a similar DMU but older version runs on the NJ Transit River Line between Trenton and Camden NJ. 

  What do you think about how expensive it is to build these new lines?  It is sad that the old ones were thrown away and torn up.  The Texas Interurban Railway used to operate over the Katy RR tracks between Dallas and Denton.  This new A Tain line is built over the same right of way.  It seems it would have been cheaper if these lines were still in place in various cities where they could just be upgraded today.  Also these new light rail lines are built as I would call them in a “gold plated” fashion.   They have catenary instead of single span wire.  And steel and concrete poles everywhere instead of wood.  Expensive track and paving schemes.   

Here are a few photos from my visit to Dallas.

This first photo is of the building where the new light rail cars are initially assembled when they come from Kinki Sharyo in Japan.  You can see half of a car under one of the wheeled gantry cranes that are used for moving cars around in the yard there are not tracks outside at this facility.
The next photo is of a train at Carrolton on the north end of the Green line.

Next is a photo of #186 Green Dragon Stone and Webster Turtleback car at the citiplace station end of the line on McKinney Ave. Transit in Dallas.
Next Dart car 223.

Next a view of the catenary at the elevated station at Carrolton and another view looking the other way with a car in the distance.

Next we have car 754 MATA’s newest rebuild.  This car will have AC motors and resilient wheels also will have air conditioning.  Car is in DRT paint crème and red.  This car is very interesting to me with the modern upgrades it is getting. 

There are a couple of photos of the trucks for this car with the new AC motors.  Motor control will be solid state in the car.  Trucks are from Melbourne Australia Z-1 Car I think.

Then there is a shot of the front door of the MATA car barn showing the 754 and the 332 named Morning Star.  It was an unpowered Northern Texas Traction trailer that is being made into a powered luxury dining car. 

The last picture is of Melbourne car 369 running out on the line.

I should also mention that currently there is a turntable being installed at the Citiplace station location.  The tt is using the bridge deck of an old Texas Electric Rwy bridge repurposed as a turntable bridge.  There was no room for a turn back loop at this location.  And MATA owns two ex Toronto PCC cars and the turntable will allow them to be used since they are single end.  All other MATA cars are double end.

First post

This is the first post of the Bluebonnet Limited blog.  The name Bluebonnet Limited comes from the Texas Electric Railway.  The Bluebonnet Limited was the name of their limited stop service between Dennison and Dallas TX.  The subject of this blog will be light rail, street cars, trolleys, and interurban electric railways of yesterday, today and tomorrow.