Although the destination roller says "24 St. Denis," duplex car 2500 is actually sitting on the tracks of the Cote St. Paul carbarns. The carbarns were in a large area surrounded by De l'Eglise, Hadley, Galt and Eadie Streets. The photo was taken from the carbarn property near what is today the corner of Hadley and Galt Crescent. The residential buildings in the photo are still there. The carbarns are long gone and replaced by a housing project. Car 2500 was one of only two of this type of articulated car, both built in 1928. With this type of streetcar, the two cars share a center truck or wheel assembly. The two cars cannot be separated. Car 2501 was the other one of this type.Although they were in the one-man cream and red trim colours of the MTC, they were actually two-man cars with a conductor who sat near the rear exit doors of the first section. You got on at the front and moved back to pay the conductor before being allowed to get off or before moving into the rear car. On most Montreal streetcars, you either paid the motorman in the front on one-man cars or you got on at the rear and paid the conductor on the green two-man cars. When the 2500 and 2501 were first used on the busy St. Catherine route,their unique fare collection method confused many passengers and slowed down the service. Having only two of this type of car on the whole MTC system didn't help either. The cars were then moved to the Wellington route during rush hour only where they remained for most of their lives. In 1951 they were again tried on St. Catherine Street but were retired just a year later in 1952. They came out one more time for a fan trip charter in March of 1953 before being scrapped.
The articulated cars also had a problem; the pole was so far back that it could not actuate the automatic switches...100 years ago, Montréal was the foremost innovator in urban transit in the world.Montréal had the first all steel cars, Montréal invented "pay as you enter" (the conductor used to go through the car with a "cofeepot" farebox to collect fares).Montréal also had the first articulated streetcars ever and the first open observation tourist streetcars (I even derailed one back when I was motorman at the railroad museum).And all this proud heritage was sacrified to make way for the destroyer in chief of cities, the automobile, and replaced by an expensive subway system that wasn’t justified by urban density except in the downtown core.
Montreal Tramways Company was most definitely a Class Outfit.When MTC took over, it already had been decided that streetcars had had their day and were to be replaced.Not just a Montreal Phenomenon The Duplex Car in the Coolopolis photo has the pre-MTC crest.The Automobile gave mobility, as did the Autobus.They also brought much else.Anyway.I was wondering if the two Duplex Cars, 2500-01 were allowed to operate on all Tramways trackage? or were there certain routes on which they were prohibited? account grades?They each had only 4 Traction Motors and would that be enough to handle the steep grades on Route 65 Cote de Neiges, or on Claremont up from Sherbrooke??Adequate braking downgrade would also be a consideration.Older cars and some Work Equipments were not permitted to operate on Cote de Neiges nor Westmount Boulevard account the grades.A fully-loaded streetcar with standees had a job starting on C de N.Photos exist of the Duplex cars signed for operation on Route 3 Ste. Catherine - NDG, Rte 24 St. Denis - Sault and Rte 58. Wellington.Could be others??Thank You.
How soon we forget (or is it that newcomers are simply not aware) that Montreal's population was once larger than Toronto's, that Montreal was once Canada's Metropolis and that a subway was desperately needed despite it having been promised, "studied", re-studied, actually soil-tested but still procrastinated for decades by various administrations until it was finally built and placed in service by Mayor Drapeau 12 years after Toronto's subway had already been up and running. For decades it was even an ongoing joke in Montreal newspaper articles, photos, and cartoons that whenever a car or truck fell through a hole in the street, the driver was probably "looking for the Metro".The common complaint was (and still is) that Montreal's streets--especially downtown--were narrow and unforgiving during the winter months, despite the relative success of our streetcars. To seriously claim that a Montreal Metro "wasn't justified" is patently ridiculous. What shall we do then? Shut it down to "save money" and re-install streetcar tracks?How would it have looked if every other major city in Canada and the U.S. had a subway or more modern transit system and we lagged behind?
As has been mentioned, the duplex cars had shortcomings. To solve the switch actuation problem, the pole was eventually moved to the front unit as you can see in the photo.The bigger problem remained the fare collection method unique to the two cars and that they were underpowered. While it may have been tried on one or two occasions on other flat routes, Wellington was its longtime route during rush hours. Probably in some dark cranny of the STM archives, you might find an operating directive restricting the cars to flat routes. Even some relatively flat routes with a short grade might slow the car. Think of Bleury north of St. Antoine or Atwater going north from St. Antoine or Windsor north from St. Antoine.
Yes the construction of the Metro was certainly justified especially for a city with Montreal's winters. As Urban Legend notes, plans for a subway go back at least to 1910.Not surprisingly most of the later plans from the 1940s and 1950s called for subway lines roughly where they are today.The only difference in the plans and what's there today is that Line 4 (Yellow) wasn't part of the plan. Nonetheless there were plans at one time to run Montreal Tramways Company streetcars to the south shore by way of the newly planned Harbour Bridge later renamed the Jacques Cartier Bridge. At the time, it still wasn't determined whether the bridge would be built where it is today or more where the Concordia Bridge is today. Nothing came of the plan although long-time Montrealers wil remember that Montreal Transportation Commission buses ran for a time on the South Shore just south of the Jacques Cartier Bridge.The original plans called for streetcars to run in subway tunnels under the busiest parts of the city. For example they would duck below the surface on St. Catherine at Atwater heading east. Streetcars on St. Denis would go below street level north of Sherbrooke heading south and so on.Construction of the original Metro network was a huge accomplishment because it was financed entirely by the City of Montreal.Unfortunately they chose to go with narrow cars so they could fit tracks in both directions into one tunnel. The cars seem tiny compared to other city systems.
This is what should have been done instead of building the Métro: revamp streetcars, put them underground downtown, and use rail lines to give integrated service. There is just not enough density to justify a Métro.Glad to be of assistance.
Subways or tramcar networks which run BOTH underground and outdoors face the obvious problem of inclement weather disrupting service and even having it terminated completely.Who remembers a couple of winters ago in New York City when during a blizzard much of the entire system--both underground and outdoors--was shut down because a part of the outdoor trackage became unusable for many hours. No doubt this has occurred on Toronto's subway in the past as well.Imagine if our Metro tunnels emerged out into the open, continuing into the suburbs, as in Toronto. A huge snowstorm hits the city and would-be passengers entering Berri-UQAM or elsewhere are informed over the public address system that the line has been closed until further notice. Imagine the public uproar?No, Drapeau had it right, and his engineers weren't fools. A completely underground Metro was the right way to go to serve the relatively small territory of the Island of Montreal. Our geography cannot be compared to Toronto's sprawl nor our climate with San Francisco's or Melbourne's.Futhermore, the notion of extending completely outdoor trackage from Honore-Beaugrand further east to Pte. Aux Trembles, or from Montmorency to Rosemere, for example, would obviously require all of our existing Metro cars be scrapped and new equipment re-configured for outdoor usage--as in Toronto.Our existing Suburban commuter lines can be expanded, as they surely will be when the need arises, so loose talk of "Metro tunnels to Pointe Claire" or Chateauguay are irresponsible, political gobbledigook.Let us not be sidetracked for reasons of "nostalgia". Montreal is not Toronto. It is not San Francisco. It is not Melbourne.The "argument" was closed decades ago. Keep Montreal's Metro completely underground. Complete the Blue Line to their originally envisaged eastern and western extents, the Orange Line connected between Cote Vertu and Montmorency, and perhap in 50 years from now when threats of separatism have been relegated to nothing more than a bad memory, the city can plan a few more lines where future population expansion requires them--as was the case with London's Underground.* * *With reference to an earlier, entirely different topic...MP&I,When you have a moment, scroll down to the December 20 blog where discussion about Montreal's payphones occurred during the section headed by the photo of the 1939 Royal Parade route at the corner of Park Avenue and Van Horne.Following some research, I have added some updated information as promised earlier.
ATTN Kristian: looks like chimples or perhaps one of your interns might have dropped some avid and made some "groovy" modifications to the streeet car photo.
I wonder why they did not also put advertizing on the sides of the street car since it has it on the front? Having never ridden on a street car, did the electric hook/connection above ever get stuck or come off? The electric buses in Vancouver had the same hook-up system and sometimes the driver would get out and reconnect it with a pole or something, seemed dangerous to me. The Montreal metro cars are smaller than Toronto's which seem to be more of a railway gauge track, but the metro cars in London's tube seem frightfully small and claustrophobic. And always seem to stop or break down between stations. The trip from Seven Sisters station (good thing its not called the Five Sisters)to downtown seemed to take forever. Nothing is worse than sitting still in a London tube in the dark post 911...Munich's metro cars were not bigger from what I remember but then again I was often drunk. Oh, does anyone know why they don't fill in the stupid gap (mind the gap) in the London tube. Yes, it is 1850 gauge or something, but why can't the extend the platform to close off the 10" gap between the car carriage and the platform. Or is it only some cars are still narrow. I am sure there have been hundreds of slips and legs caught or broken over the years probably. Reportedly there a portion of an unfinished metro tunnel than extends west from Villa Maria into NDG, but I dk how far it actually goes. Robert
There IS a reason for the 'modifications' to some of the streetcar photos in Coolopolis.Anyone ELSE know????On another topic re streetcars.Somewhere after 1951 and the MTC takeover???The doors on Creme/Red streetcars which were ALL Red as in the Coolopolis view. ( GOOD colour views of streetcars prior to the Fifties are not that common. )After the change, the doors became Creme as shown here.http://davesrailpix.com/mtc/htm/mtc04.htmStreetcars came off Rte 17 Cartierville June 28, 1959.RE. Power Collection from overhead trolley wire.In Montreal, streetcars had a grooved bronze-like pulley similar to those found on clotheslines at the top end of the 'Trolley Pole', the pulley running beneath the wire and 'collecting' the power which traveled down a cable to the Circuit Breaker and on in to power the car, the lights, heaters, buzzers, etc.The Trolley Pole was mounted on a swivel on the car roof and had powerful springs to push the pole and the pulley upwards so the pulley groove would run beneath the wire.The springs allowed the pole and the pulley to move up and down to accommodate wire sag btwn supports, etc.The swivel let the pole swing to follow the wire on curves and switches.Trolley Wire Pulley and Pole in 'down' position on hook on roof of car.http://ohmyphotos.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/rusty-pick-up-wheel-on-trolley-pole/Rope to raise and lower trolley pole to left in above view.Schematic of Trolley Pulley, Harp, and Trolley Polehttp://etc.usf.edu/clipart/78200/78293/78293_trolley.htmThe 'thing' to bottom is grease cup with handle to force grease into bearings of pulley. Not all trolley pulleys had this.The eyelet is for the Trolley Pole Rope which extended down rear of car.If the pulley is nominally 6 inches in diameter, figure how many times it would revolve in a mile??Trolley buses and Toronto streetcars used carbon block/Graphite grooved sliders instead of pulleys for current pickup.Pulley and Slider. Scroll Down.http://www.dctrolley.org/conduitHall.htmThe lower end of the trolley pole rope is usually wound around a spring-loaded drum on the rear of the car, clutches inside the drum to catch the pole if the pulley leaves the wire at speed.The rope is used by the Motorman or Conductor to centre the pulley beneath the wire once again.On old two-man cars if the Motorman forgot to shut his controller when the power went off, the car could take off on it's own as soon as the pulley touched the wire if the brakes not set.The Conductor had to move his ASS from the rear of the car to shut the controller if he saw the Motorman running along behind.Those who never saw streetcars in use may not know they had BELLS! the sound of which alerted those ahead a streetcar was approaching.A 'Big City' sound missed by those who lived in those times.Toranna streetcars have bells and horns. Also turn signals.Many Motormen will sound the bell when passing a streetcar traveling in the opposite direction to alert a pedestrian who MIGHT be crossing behind the opposite car to step in front of car approaching.As far as side advertising was concerned. Montreal Tramways Company may have deemed 'too much' advertising as lowering the overall 'image' they wished to project to the public, but, did put advertising on the ends.Thank You.
Yes there were "dewirements," both unintentional and intentional. If you passed too fast through a switch in the overhead trolley wire, or the switch didn't change to the direction you intended, or a switch needing maintenance might all cause the trolley pole's shoe to come off the overhead wire. Then there were also the youngsters who would wait for a streetcar to stop and then just when the car was about to pull away, they would pull down the trolley pole for fun. In any of these cases, the motorman would mutter under his breath as he had to go to the back of the car and then get the trolley shoe back on the wire maneuvering it with the rope attached to it. In winter it was not much fun. The tension on the trolley pole and rope is anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds. In other words, that's how much you would have to pull to get it down while you tried to get it back on the wire while traffic was backing up behind you and the cold was biting at your fingers.The Metro tunnel from Villa Maria about which you asked, is actually further north of Villa Maria on the orange line (Line 2). It is not unfinished but is an active connecting track that allows access from the orange to the blue line (Line 5). It joins up with the "back station" tracks of Line 5 west of Snowdon station. The connecting track leaves the orange line under about Snowdon Avenue and slowly curves west until it meets the Line 5 tracks under Queen Mary. The Line 5 "back station" tracks continue west under Queen Mary to about Dufferein in Hampstead where they end as a dead end tunnel. At that location you will see an above ground ventilation and emergency exit painted in Metro blue. Those tracks under Queen Mary were originally supposed to continue west with several more stations until terminating past Concordia Unversity's NDG campus and near the Montreal West train station. The stub end tracks are used to store Metro track maintenance equipment.
The following NFB film is both poignant, and informative.http://www.nfb.ca/film/paul_tomkowicz_street_railway_switchman/And.http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/09/18/obit-kroitor-roman-nfb.htmlThank You.
A running joke back in those days went:Elderly lady walks up to the streetcar motorman and asks,"Excuse me, driver, but won't I be electrocuted if I step on the track?"To which the motorman replies,"Only if you put your other foot on the overhead wire, lady."
Movie fun with a streetcar.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDqtgoznzQwThank You.
Hilarious vintage film! They can't make 'em like that anymore.Too bad the Three Stooges never made a comedy film with a streetcar--although they did a few in railway sleeping cars, fire trucks, and dumb-waiters!
Thank you for the link, MP&I. That was great fun. Harold Lloyd was always one of my favourite silent film stars.
Post a Comment