TIMEPOINTS VOL 3 NO 04 October 1951
THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRACTION REVIEW
LOCAL TRANSIT NEWS
LATL’S LONG FIVE LINE MAY BE CUT BACK......By Eric Sanders
The cities of Inglewood and Hawthorne and the Los Angeles Transit Lines have joined in suggesting that the State Highway Commission consider improvement of a 2.20-mile section of La Brea Ave and Hawthorne Boulevard. Included in the proposal is the removal of the car tracks used by line ‘5’ streetcars from Arbor Vitae Street in Inglewood to Broadway in Hawthorne. Arbor Vitae would then become the southern terminus of the ‘5’ line. The unimproved center strip, now being used by the rail service, would be paved over. The original plan was to pave the center strip with car tracks intact, but LATL favors removal of the tracks. Busses would provide feeder service.
Immediate action is not likely.
ALL SAN FERNANDO VALLEY LIMITEDS REMOVED
Effective September 24, rush hour limited trains on the Los Angeles-Van Nuys rail line have been abolished. Prior to this, five inbound morning trips ran limited between Wilcox Avenue and the Cahuegna Pass; a single evening outbound did so with three intermediate stops. A second evening outbound limited was abolished June 25. All North Hollywood trippers also were removed in this latest change, every trip on the line now running to and from the end terminal at Van Nuys.
RAIL SERVICE ABOLISHED ON NORTHERN DISTRICT
Pacific Electric abandoned its Sierra Vista, Pasadena, and Glendora rail lines in the early morning hours of Sunday, September 30. These were the last trolley services on the Northern District of the company; their cessation has caused the total abandonment of the Huntington Drive right-of-way, which boasted four tracks in regular passenger service until the very end.
This move followed the official opening, on September 16, of the Reliance Rock freight link, which will continue to supply diesel-operated service to factories in the Monrovia-Glendora area.
At 11:10pm on September 29 the last regularly scheduled interurban car to Glendora pulled out of Main Street Station. The last regular car to Monrovia left at 12.35am, followed at 12:46 by the final run from Los Angeles to Pasadena via Short Line.
Scheduled to follow the Monrovia trolley out from the station was a chartered 5050 under the sponsorship of the SC‑ERA. Its course would lead it to Monrovia, there picking up those who chose to ride the final regular car, then on to the Glendora, to be the very last rail passenger vehicle to arrive at that city, back to Pasadena to repeat the same historic function along Fair Oaks Ave, and then to Main Street Station, giving Huntington Drive an unusual burst of pre-dawn rail activity at the last possible moment before power was to be shut off forever.
This trip was one of the very few owl excursions ever to have been planned in the area. It provided a dramatic farewell to what had been one of the most active and important parts of the Red Car system. In addition to the interurbans, local cars ran over a complex system of routes in Pasadena, some lasting as late as 1941; several trips daily ran from Pasadena to Shorb via Alhambra until 1924. The tourist-filled Mt. Lowe trains ran on Huntington Drive until 1936. Alhambra was first of the major interurbans to go bus, one week before Pearl Harbor. The rest continued to run thru the war and beyond, until the first blow came when, on June 11, 1948, Sierra Madre went rush hour only. On October 8, 1950, Pasadena via Oak Knoll and Sierra Madre both went bus entirely; two weeks later the Short Line went one-man with 5050s. The 1200-volt Baldwin Park interurban had meanwhile gone bus as well. On March 26, 1951, the 1100-class cars were exiled from service as two-man 700s (later 5050s) took over the Glendora run for its final few months. The Elevens had been intimately associated with the North for 27 years; the slower Sixes seemed out of place on express tracks.
Replacing buses are slower yet on the Glendora line, though not to Pasadena.
New Year’s Day specials will long be the most remembered aspect of Northern District operations. The sight of three-car trains of Tens bumping forth from the usual-bus concourse in Main Street Station is a treasured memory of postwar years. Few turned there onto Main Street without losing their poles at least once! In 1948, 950s were seen on Huntington Drive and on the Sierra Madre line to Lamanda Park for the final time. The year 1949 was the last for the Tens; in 1950 only steel equipment carried the thousands to watch the Rose Parade or to view the ponies at Santa Anita. In 1951 all specials left from the rear of the station and ran only on the Short Line. New Year’s Day 1952 will see the first all-bus service.
The Northern District within a single year has been reduced from a thriving electric railway stronghold to a deserted weed bed a dozen miles long and four tracks in width. It may be transformed again---into a superhighway.
LOS ANGELES RAIL AND RUBBER DEVELOPMENTS....By Lazear Israel
LATL’s system shake-up took effect September 16. At that time bus 27 was extended west thru the Baldwin Hills development to Jefferson and Fairfax, then east on Jefferson to Tenth Avenue. Line 62 continues to operate only on Washington; LATL is hoping it can be replaced by local service of the Culver City Municipal buses, although so far it has been denied permission to consummate such a change on Washington. There were no changes in rail equipment observed after the shake-up.
LATL’s 25 new buses, similar to the PE 2700s except for such things as seats, went into service on line 44 in June. These are numbered 6401-6425. The 6500s were removed from service in July. Five tracks have been taken up from Division Three for storage of buses 6500-6511, 8001-8013 (the last 13 remaining Whites), and numerous 6000s and 6100s.
On the other hand, all streetcars above 1200 are on hand for active service except 2501, 2601-2 (moved to Division One in July), and 1376, which has sat at South Park ever since wrecked several months ago.
All LATL buses now have “curb-feelers” on the right side behind the front door. In compliance with a new PUC General Order, the company name is being lettered on the backs of all buses and trolley coaches, and all vehicles are being equipped with side destination signs. Some, in addition to those already so equipped (the PCCs, H4s, K4s, 6400s, and some ex-LAMC buses), will get Hunter signs, while others will, at least for the time being, use cards. (The Commission ought to order rear-end signs too-Ed.)
LATL is replacing the crossing at First and Spring Sts.
PE’s new buses are similar to the earlier 2700s, except for fare boxes, which differ, and are a continuation of the same number series, which now runs to and including 2889.
Several of PE’s new 1685-class buses (the old Motor Transit parlor-type Yellows) have been repainted like the 2700s.
Diesel-ization of the San Bernardino line is tentatively set for November 16. The delay seems to be due to postponements in delivery of the new locomotives (two 1600 hp diesels supposedly on order.) Electric freight on Glendora will cease September 30, however, along with rail passenger service on that route.
PE has already offered some 5050s for sale to Portland Traction for interurban service to Bellrose and Oregon City. (They’d be ideal! -Ed.)
A STREETCAR SHOULD BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD............By M. D. Isely
(With this article, President Isely concludes his series, which began a year ago, on suggestions for improvements in street railway design and operation to save the streetcar from extinction. Previous articles included: “How Modern is the PCC car?” Sept., 1950; “Requirements of a Competitive, Ultramodern Rail Transit Vehicle, Nov., 1950; “One Sure Way to Save Platform Labor”, Feb., 1951; “Human Drawbacks to the Large Streetcar”, April, 1951; “The Lightweight Streetcar”, June, 1951. We have appended some remarks of our own at the close-Ed.)
Of all the features of a streetcar, which offend the average person, none seems worse than its noise. The all-electric PCC is reasonably quiet, but it makes a set of sounds all its own: sounds, which set it apart from other traffic even when it is less noisy. Its decibel rating compares satisfactorily with the modern bus, but the bus is an automotive vehicle, which makes a familiar sound. Its noise is greatest at staring and diminishes as the vehicle is shifted to direct drive. The streetcar is practically silent when starting and makes its greatest sound at speed. The character of the sound also is different, and, because it is less heard, evokes a stronger response from the hearer.
This offends many a suburbanite. Areas which front on rapid transit or streetcar tracks usually attract low-cost housing even through the line may be valued by commuters living in better houses a few blocks away. Buses, operating through quiet neighborhoods, especially at night, also bring complaints but perhaps because the sound is harder to identify, people associate noise with buses less than with streetcars. To give the streetcar a definite competitive advantage over other transit, it should be much quieter than it now is.
The predominant sound of a streetcar is caused by the wheel and rail contact. This and the ride become less pleasant as the wheels become flat. Present day operation tends to produce flat wheels. Dr. Hirshfeld said of the original PCC, “...these wheels never need become flat unless your operators are much more careless than they need to be.” Be that as it may, the wheels of even the latest all-electrics get flat. The impatience of motorists who rush past a streetcar, only to find that they must suddenly stop continue to cause a need for emergency stops where street running is prevalent. The operating companies seem to have no effective means to control the rapid low-speed deceleration of their cars.
Of the many excellent anti-wheel-slip devises available, the PCC dynamic brake is highly satisfactory. If the wheel brakes were completely eliminated, flat wheels would be an impossibility! We suggest a small segment of the track shoe for service stops, one segment to be completely independent in the event of failure of the remainder of the system. A shoe material, which would not excessively wear the rail, would be needed.
Even a round steel wheel with a rubber sandwich makes some sound on a steel rail. Past experiments with resilient treads have failed because of the high loading imposed by the heavy equipment. Our new lightweight car (outlined in June) offers a challenge in this field. Phenolic and cloth combinations or alloys of aluminum, copper or lead might be used for tread inserts. A new material might be developed.
Gearing is now quiet but motors are still a source of noise and vibration. Good dynamic balance seems unattainable in high-speed motors, but an anti-harmonic vibration damper should be devised. The angle set commutator segment arrangement is a novel idea, which shows that progressive thought about quieting motors is not dead. The major motor builders need more “genius” type engineers in their transit departments, however. The “expert” type is apparently used on such projects, and, while they do more predictable work at less cost, they seem generally deficient in original creative thought. A few of GE’s avionics or turbo-jet men could doubtless solve problems such as we are posing, if so assigned.
The underside of each car body acts as a giant sounding board, transmitting each sound to the surrounding air at an increased volume and serving, with the hard pavement below, as a partial chamber for producing a remarkable set of echoes. If the car was completely skirted and the underside of the car body plus the skirting was covered with an effective, porous sound-deadening material, the general level of sound would be further reduced. The use of automobile type body sealer on the new Boston cars is a step in this direction and should be a noticeable one. (To my un-technical ear, there seemed to be little if any differences-Ed.)
The development of a car such as has been outlined in the preceding series would consume money, time and talent. The end result would be speculative, but the alternative is elimination of the trolley car from our way of life, as other means of transportation, blessed with aggressively competitive management, forge ahead.
As this is written the three remaining lines of the first property to use mass-produced PCCs (Brooklyn) are on the verge of conversion, the third PCC property to face complete abandonment. If this trend continues, we railfans will someday find ourselves a group of old people reviewing rail history and foreign developments and making thousand-mile pilgrimages to a few pitiful domestic lines, if any. That is not a pleasant prospect. Such hope as there is to avert it lies in making streetcars truly competitive in the sense that systems will begin to grow, rather than decline. New philosophies, new operating techniques, and new cars can change that trend. Let us hope that all three are forthcoming before it becomes too late.
SOME OBSERVATIONS ON ISLEY’S SERIES ...
We must respect the technical knowledge of our President, and agree with him that the developments he outlines would be most agreeable and pleasant.
At the same time, from a realistic point of view, we honestly feel that his proposals are largely wishful thinking. This is an automotive age. People are too determined to go where they wish in their own cars. The motor coach has but two distinct advantages over the electric rail car: flexibility and lack of need for overhead expenses, i.e., rail and trolley wire. In all but the larger cities these two advantages have sufficed to wipe our streetcar lines. Some future month we hope to analyze in practical terms the future of electric railway service on the 57 systems that still remain in the United States. It would seem that on perhaps 20 of them, the future is reasonably bright with PCCs or streamlined interurban equipment at present in service. Elsewhere, the motor coach is the only vehicle that can operate on a sufficiently low margin of overhead and with sufficient flexibility to provide what public transit those few people who do not race madly from place to place in their own autos demand service. This is the blunt fact of the situation. It may well be that certain of Isely’s specific suggestions can be incorporated into improved designs for the few rail systems that will remain almost permanently (barring the destruction of our civilizations in another world war).
TIMEPOINTS has been proud to present Mr. Isely’s interesting series, believing it a valuable contribution to the theory of electric railway operation.
Yet, it must refrain from any optimism that it contains the practical key to a revival of the streetcar. History contains great patterns of change, which it is extremely difficult to reverse or to affect. Such a pattern has been the shift from public to private sphere, from rail to rubber. The street railway belonged to a certain era in American history; it is foolish to try to counter its decline, when economic forces beyond control of the companies have in most cases dictated that decline. (E.g., read Reifschneider’s booklets on New York State trolleys. In system after system, rail service was given up not because of prejudiced management or municipal meddling--except in New York City itself--but because passengers dwindled to nothing. In certain large cities, where streetcars are still economically justified, prejudice and the pre-1948 NCL type of policy have prevailed; causing abandonment of lines that should have stayed. But these are in the distinct minority.) Railfans must accept their fate as becoming increasingly antiquarians. As Addison Laflin says, “I turn to the past so much chiefly because of the ghastly present.” Ghastly it is, but inevitable also, because the abandonment of street railway service has been but a part of much larger movements in American social and economic development.
SC-ERA CLUBNEWS..................By Lazear Isreal
Charles Thorpe has resigned as chairman of the Trip Committee; Allan Styffe succeeds him. Mark Lees has also resigned from the committee, as he is attending U.C. at Berkeley. The Trip Committee now consists of Styffe, Isreal, Raymond Younghans, and Ray Long. Raymond Younghans is now chairman of the Equipment Committee, which includes Styffe and one vacancy.
SC-ERA’S SAN BERNARDINO TRIP HISTORIC
Although SC-ERA’s chartered car to San Bernardino on August 5 was not the final electric passenger car on that line (that being Bay Area’s August 25 special), it set two historic records, as the last electric passenger car ever to reach San Bernardino’s flavorful interurban station and the last electric passenger car ever to reach the city of Colton. When Bay Area arrived three weeks later, it found wire already pulled down and tracks uprooted leading into the station. The Bay Area special also was forced to omit Colton from its agenda due to lack of time--this, after a 2½ hour lunch stop in Pasadena!
THE FACTS ABOUT MONORAIL........By M.D. Isley
A revolutionary idea in conservative hands well describes Los Angeles’ latest monorail project: one which appears to have a good change of becoming a reality.
A seven-man board to be appointed by the governor will fix the route of the line and make all arrangements for its operations. The route must be within four miles of the Los Angeles River channel and must be approved by the PUC, as would be the case with a private carrier. The authority may operate feeder buses, issue bonds, accept government loans or grants, condemn property, and design, build, and operate the system. It may also contract with private groups to do any of the last three items mentioned. Prominent among those who might receive any such contracts is the Monorail Engineering and Construction Corp of 112349 Ventura Blvd., North Hollywood.
This company has, by its very able promotional efforts, sold the monorail idea to the Los Angeles area and to the state legislature. It envisions a two-rail line supported by V-shaped towers with the rails outboard of the towers. This “double trackage” will extend over the entire system. Specifications for the way and rolling stock were taken from a survey made for the company by the Montgomery Engineering Company of Los Angeles.
The cars, which will make use of standard PCC components as much as possible, will be single units equipped for MU and will have two wheel trucks equipped with PCC type coil springs. Magnetic brakes will have overhanging sides as a safety feature. Each car will have four motors. The motor shafts will be parallel to the axles, which they will drive thru single reduction spur gears. Dynamic and wheel brakes will complete the braking picture. Maximum deceleration will be 3.5 mphs of which 3 mphs will be dynamic. Balance speed will be 65 mph and an average speed in excess of 35 mph, with stations at 1.25 miles intervals, is anticipated.
In addition to the speed advantage of private-right-of-way operation, quiet and freedom from vibration, beyond what could be had in a modern surface car, are expected. The fact that the car follows a “true path” without wheel slippage on curves and without waste motion due to poor rail alignment will partly account for this. The lack of a street surface to act as sounding board will further help. (This correspondent frankly expects the spur gears to be noisy.) Double-flanged rubber insert wheels, to accommodate slightly wider than standard 100-pound rail, will be used. Maximum side-away, allowing for wind and top speed, will be 13 degrees 20 inches.
The car bodies will be individual rather than articulated and will be of the usual PCC high tensile, low alloy, welded steel, with a stiffening strut rather than an under frame. The basic plan calls for forty seated passengers and up to 100 standees.
Some readers may have gained a different impression of monorail by viewing the model in the company’s office. This little articulated model, with interconnecting car bodies and Dever low speed, high torque motors, has attained scaled speeds in excess of 200mph. It was built by Otto Dever and Associates, of 3311 Burbank Blvd., Burbank, and represents Mr. Dever’s concept of a desirable train.
(The above is largely based upon an interview with Capt. J.V. Leydeman, Jr., USNR who is Assistant to the President of Monorail. Capt. Leydeman states that the company may, some day, undertake an improved type of monorail car, possibly incorporating some of the Dever innovations. For the present, however, they plan to use something more fully proven.)
EASTERN TRANSIT NEWS
The East through Western Eyes-13:
WESTBOUND ACROSS THE CONTINENT..........By Stephen Salsbury
(SC-ERA member completes his description of a transcontinental street railway tour made this summer, the eastbound half of which we featured in August. -Ed.)
DETROIT: Very few rail lines left here. Nicest is Baker with old cars and a bit of private-right-of-way a long way from roads at the end, soon to be cut back with likelihood of PCC cars on the eastern section. Mack line is dull but still rail; Trumbull has gone bus. Woodward is the second nicest line in Detroit.
CHICAGO: There may have been a lot of abandonments here but I could hardly notice it. The wooden el cars with their open platforms are really wonderful, as is the trolley operation of elevated cars on Lake St. and Evanston. There is more private-right-of-way that I had imagined on surface lines. The Cottage Grove line is a must.
CA&E: Had heard it was slow, but the Aurora train I rode was quite fast. There is trolley operation the last two miles of the Aurora line, third rail the rest of the way. The line runs along the Fox River for a way---fine for pictures!
SOUTH SHORE: Rode as far as Gary; speed is wonderful. Some nice street running in south Chicago. Cars well kept-up.
NORTHSHORE: Speed on the Skokie Valley route breathtaking, but the Shore Line has speeds like the Venice Short Line! Very scenic, however. Milwaukee local cars are very poorly maintained, a contrast to main-line standards.
TMER&T: Eight of the most wonderful car lines anywhere. Almost all have some private-right-of-way. The 10-line has two wonderful branches, one along the main line of the Milwaukee Road, the other along Speedrail.
TWINCITIES: It would take a week to cover all the lines in both cities. Most lines are thru routed. PCC cars are on one of the three intercity lines and on several other lines in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. None of the intercity lines is interurban; two have about the same type of route and service as LATL’s ‘P’ line. The third, Como-Harriet, has much beautiful private-right-of-way but is still in the nature of a local line. There are two nice county lines, which must be somewhat like St. Lewis Public Service’s, which I never rode. Just before I got to Minneapolis, the company abandoned the outer end of the Hopkins county line but kept it as far as Brookside. The other runs from St. Paul to North St. Paul and Matomedi, a distance of about 17 miles, mostly on private-right-of-way. It is one of the finest lines I’ve ever ridden. Maintenance has lagged on the system compared to the old days. The only line to be abandoned in the near future is the North-St. Paul line, and there are no specific plans about this yet.
PORTLANDTRACTION: Two of the best interurban lines in the nation. The variety of car types is amazing. The old wooden interurbans are still very much in use in the rush hour, with master units giving base service, aided by the ex-Indiana Railroad cars. Freight service is heavy and passenger fares are low.
TRANSIT HISTORY FROM OUT OF THE PAST
Rail Routes of Yesteryear-14:
LOS ANGELES RAILWAY LINE ‘L’
Line ‘L’ was the first and only major rail abandonment under LARy’s prewar management. On Olympic Blvd., where buses of Line ‘4’ today operate, streetcars rumbled over the ‘L’s rails until 1940.
Back on May 9, 1920, the all-important date which established the modern era of streetcars in Los Angeles, Line ‘L’ was created, running on the following route: From Olympic and Mullen, via Olympic Country Club, Victoria, Tenth, Olympic, Tenth, Olympic, Hoover, Eleventh, Broadway, First, Spring, Main and Mission to Selig. (Present street names are used exclusively in this history. Olympic did not receive that name until much later.) Prior to this re-routing, in 1919, Olympic had been thru routed with San Pedro Street, while North Main had been linked with Grand Ave.
It is probable that certain ‘L’ cars were diverted to Verdugo Junction to give additional connections to Glendale and Montrose Railway cars there from February 3, 1924, until June 1926. Such cars would have operated via Main, Avenue 20, San Fernando, Figueroa, Avenue 28, and Cypress to Verdugo. It is unclear whether line ‘L’, Line ‘O’ or both, performed this service.
In 1924 or 1925, line ‘2’ replaced the ‘L’ on North Main, and the ‘L’ cars assumed a new downtown terminal via Sunset and Spring to beyond Alpine. Some cars may have continued to run to Verdugo Junction.
During June 1926, the ‘L’s downtown routing was considerably altered, and it is certain that whatever ‘L’ service to Verdugo Junction existed was withdrawn when this change took effect. ‘L’ cars now ran via Eleventh, Broadway, and First to Spring, where they ended on a stub remains of the old Spring Street, which was being removed in favor of the Civic Center.
A more useful task was found for the ‘L’ to perform when, in September 1927, the ‘P’ line was rerouted due to construction of a new viaduct across the Los Angeles River. ‘P’ cars ran north on State via new special track to Brooklyn, then downtown via Macy. ‘L’ cars now ran via Broadway and First to Vignes, to serve the ‘P’ line west of the river. This special route ended sometime in 1928, when the ‘L’ began using the newly relocated Spring Street. However, the ‘L’ also was altered at this time in its general downtown route, now turning off Eleventh at Flower, running north on Flower to Tenth, east on Tenth to Main, then via Main and Spring to Temple Street.
And thus it stayed until June 12, 1932, when line ‘L’ gained added importance by being thru routed with Temple Street to Edgemont and Fountain via Eleventh, Hill, First, Broadway, Temple, etc. On July 24, 1938, all service was cut back to Berendo and Fountain at night and early in the morning, two blocks from the end of single track, because of complaints from a hospital that the cars were too noisy. During the mid-1930s (on September 26, 1935, to be exact) the ‘L’ line used 28 cars in the morning rush, 16 cars in base service, 29 cars in the evening rush, 14 until 9pm, and 9 until 12.30am. Base headway was eight minutes, with four to five minute headway in rush hour, and a twelve-minute headway after 9pm. The ‘L’ was considered a heavy rail line. It used sowbellies. On July 16, 1939, it was shortened by using the tunnel between Temple and First, rather than detouring on Broadway. The tunnel had always previously been standard gauge only.
On September 24, 1939, the ‘A’ line took over Temple, also with sowbellies, and the ‘L’ was rerouted via Eleventh, Main and Spring to Sunset. This reduced its importance considerably.
Meanwhile, Olympic Blvd. was being widened and straightened. The ‘L’ cars were now in the way, and it was decided that the expense of eliminating such jogs as Country Club-Victoria and Tenth St. would be too great. On April 29, 1940, the ‘L’ line was cut from Olympic and Mullen (a block east of Rimpau, at Los Angeles High School) to a new temporary terminal at Menlo, just east of Vermont. Construction work soon forced the end of the remaining portion of streetcar rail, May 26, 1940. Los Angeles Motor Coach Lines took over with buses of Line 90, which were only replaced by line ‘4’ coaches this past March 11.
The abandonment of the ‘L’ line, while immediately occasioned by high cost of track relocation, was a milestone in the history of LARy. For the first time, a heavy rail route was converted, apparently successfully, to bus operation. From that point forward, LARy became very much more bus-minded than previously. But the war intervened before more heavy lines could be taken off. LARy’s next move after the ‘L’ was to weed itself of light lines (‘K’, ‘2’ and shuttles) in late 1941.
N+O+T+E+S A+N+D Q+U+E+R+I+E+S
(Miscellany; additions to old articles)
POSTSCRIPT TO EDENDALE
In 1937, a number of 600-class cars were equipped for one-man two-man operation on the Edendale Line, complete with Ohmer rods at both motorman’s position, the center door, and throughout the car for the fare collection at the zone points. The line was one-man nights and Sundays for a period at this time
(Addison Laflin, Jr.)
THE BRANFORD SITUATION
Isely suggests many subscribers would appreciate a more detailed, frank report on Branford’s situation today, after our brief mention of it in the August issue.
As of mid-summer 1951, trolley wire had fallen down along much of the line, and rails were worse than ever, with a few new ties near the car house--the result of an abortive but to-be-renewed-tie-replacement program. Some cars have been scrapped. Those inside the barn (which was locked) probably were in very good condition (e.g., the parlor car 500). The Connecticut Company single-truck Birney 2350 was outside the barn with its windows broken, headlights removed showing bare wiring arrangements, and in general dismal shape. Prejudiced as your editor is in favor of the Birney, this apparent neglect of the 2350 (which he rode in excellent condition over the line back in 1949) seemed inexcusable on the part of the Branford management and caused him to leave the property that day in disgust. After all, the Birney is a rare car-type now and should be given a place of honor INSIDE the barn, under lock and key, not left out in the open for vandals, rain and snow.
Concerning the general future of the line, it appears brighter now that Quinby has taken the reins; a bond issue is being sold, and all railfans are urged to buy $50 bonds which it is planned to retire in 10 years. A small section of the property at the East Haven end may be sold; this has been used only for car storage. A new power-unit is being added, and it is reported that trolley wire is being restrung since our last visit out there. There is every indication that the line will continue and will improve. Against this aura of optimism, spread by Quinby in his form-letter on the subject, is the fact that Brooklyn fans were dead set against moving NYCTS 8111 to Branford, preferring to send it to the Seashore museum in Maine, as they considered Branford to be too dilapidated and unsafe. Only after much opposition was it agreed to send this car to Branford, where it will arrive shortly. (Information from Quinby, Al Hirsch, and Raleigh D’Adamo).