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Thread: Streetcars

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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Streetcars

    I don't think I've ever been happier than when I lived in San Francisco in the late 70s and early 80s. Being carfree there was a joy. I didn't have a bicycle, but riding those streetcars...

    Do any of you have streetcars in your cities or memories of riding them?

    Last edited by Ekdog; 01-25-16 at 04:42 PM.

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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    I lived in a Victorian house at Stanyan and Parnassus, and this was my streetcar, the N Judah:



    What a beauty!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N_Judah
    Last edited by Ekdog; 01-25-16 at 04:40 PM.

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    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    I don't think I've ever been happier than when I lived in San Francisco in the late 70s and early 80s. Being carfree there was a joy. I didn't have a bicycle, but riding those streetcars...

    Do any of you have streetcars in your cities or memories of riding them?...
    I have a very early childhood memory of riding a streetcar with my mother around Christmastime as I recall, to downtown Detroit. I recall the name of the service was the Detroit Street Railway which ceased operations in 1956 (age 6).
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-25-16 at 06:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    I lived in a Victorian house at Stanyan and Parnassus, and this was my streetcar, the N Judah:



    What a beauty!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N_Judah
    That picture is a PCC streetcar built back in the 1940's and still operational. Streetcars are very durable and last for decades! This keeps the fare box low since new coaches aren't purchased every 15 years like your ordinary bus.

    The streetcars in my town were destroyed by 1948, so I never rode them. However, we built a 2 billion dollar light-rail line so I can't complain.

    Hudson_bergen_Light Rail.jpg

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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    However, we built a 2 billion dollar light-rail line so I can't complain.

    Hudson_bergen_Light Rail.jpg
    Nice!

    We have one, built in 2007, but it only covers a 1.4 kilometer route. The original plan was to extend the line a few more kilometers so as to connect it with the train station this has been postponed due to a lack of funds.

    https://youtu.be/a7vrCu-9Q24
    Last edited by Ekdog; 01-25-16 at 08:45 PM.

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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    I have a very early childhood memory of riding a streetcar with my mother around Christmastime as I recall, to downtown Detroit. I recall the name of the service was the Detroit Street Railway which ceased operations in 1956 (age 6).
    https://youtu.be/3TcDwnrqQfU

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    We may have bumped into each other on those streecars in The City back then, Ekdog, although I was only a sometime visitor from the (L)East Bay. I still remember with anger the one streetcar that was in the (L)East Bay. At the Hayward BART station, they put one in a cage to show what transportation used to be like throughout the Bay Area.

    I was fortunate enough to be working in Sacramento when Mayor Anne Rudin single-handedly got light-rail back into Sacramento. It was very nice to spend $0.85 to ride downtown for lunch on occasion. Everyone fought her as it went in. Within a few weeks, everyone was fighting again, only this time it was to compete to get the next leg of expansion into their neighborhood.

    One of the Ophthalmology faculty gave us a historical seminar about an early eye surgeon in Sacramento, whose name I have forgotten. His office was on N St, adjacent to the early trolley line. When he was performing surgery, he had an assistant go out and stop the trolley and make it wait until he was done, because it drew too much power from the under-sized grid and interfered with his work. Good times; imagine that happening today.

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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Philadelphia Trolley Tracks

    The 52 trolley is located block from my childhood home. My friends and I used to squash pennies on the 52 trolley tracks. Also took a bicycle spill as a teenager on its tracks with a basket full of newspapers.

    The 47 trolley went right past my grandmother's house in South Philadelphia which looked just like those in the picture. Bicycle riding on streets like this was an experience.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 01-26-16 at 10:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Philadelphia Trolley Tracks
    My friends and I used to squash pennies on the 52 trolley tracks.
    I was born and raised on Long Island. I would skip Sunday school and walk down to the railroad tracks (Long Island Railroad) in Merrick and put pennies on the track also. Best to use a new, shiny one, they are easier to find afterward. If you used the same penny enough times, you ended up with copper foil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Seems they were not the cause, or at the very least, had help.

    GM Conspiracy to Kill Streetcars? Not By Itself | Market Street Railway

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
    Seems they were not the cause, or at the very least, had help.

    GM Conspiracy to Kill Streetcars? Not By Itself | Market Street Railway
    But GM is such a convenient enemy punching bag!

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    A Roadie Forever 79pmooney's Avatar
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    I grew up outside Boston. 3 mile bus ride or bike ride the the Mattapan-Ashmont trolley, then the Orange line subway in town. Change at Park or Washington Sts to trolleys to Fenway Park, Boston Garden, Newton, the airport or just keep going to Cambridge. 50 years later, all of those lines are still running plus there are some new ones.

    In the days before 9/11, I used to schedule plane trips with a 4 or so hour layover in Boston if possible. Stash my carry-ons in a locker, jump on the trolley and cruise. One time I went to Central Square in Cambridge, walked to the Good News Garage and met Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk fame.

    Boston's system isn't nearly so romantic. Mostly underground and half the lines are full electric trains, not trolley cars. The trolley cars run almost entirely on separate right of ways. But is is a really good system that works very well. (And on super snow days, the entire central area still functions with no change at all, including during the famous '78 February blizzard!)

    Ben

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Currently living in Tucson, AZ.
    Yes we have a 'new' streetcar system downtown; no use to us living 12 miles away.
    30+ years ago they removed all tracks from the old streetcar setup and built new tracks on the cheap.
    They could have spent a couple nore $$ so that bicyclists would not catch their tires on the tracks. But cheap won and now there will be lawsuits by cyclists.
    Born and raised in Europe in the 30s and 40, and yes, we had streetcars; lived for a while (40s/early 50s in Detroit and yes, there was the DSR (Detroit Street Railways) with steetcars and busses.
    Seems what was old is now new and streetcars are part of that.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Philadelphia Trolley lines in blue, circa 1944. Pretty much remained intact until about 1956 with some lines being replaced by bus. More big trolley cut backs came in 1967 and 1987. All routes (except on Market Street from Broad to 23rd and later to 30th Street) were in the middle of the street with pedestrian islands on some streets for taking on and discharging passengers.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    But cheap won and now there will be lawsuits by cyclists.
    Are many or any bicyclist lawsuits over falling on maintained trolley tracks ever successful in getting damages awarded to the bicyclist?

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Are many or any bicyclist lawsuits over falling on maintained trolley tracks ever successful in getting damages awarded to the bicyclist?
    I don't know, but I broke my arm last summer crossing a track in rainy weather. It never occurred to me that I should file suit. I just cursed my carelessness and started healing in the hopes of not being so stupid next time.

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Little Rock and North Little Rock have a streetcar system in their downtowns. It's a good way for tourists to get around. I've only been on it once. We were doing a bicycle leadership conference and took some of the conference presenters and people from out of the area on it.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    I don't know, but I broke my arm last summer crossing a track in rainy weather. It never occurred to me that I should file suit. I just cursed my carelessness and started healing in the hopes of not being so stupid next time.
    I imagine that if you had sued, the defense may have said the same thing. Hope you healed quickly.

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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    I still ride the "F Line" street car from 17th and Market to the Financial District frequently when I have the time. The Muni Metro underground is faster when I'm in a hurry, but you miss the scenery along Market St and the fresh air from the open streetcar windows when you're underground.

    Stanyan and Parnassus... Were you at UCSF?

    I've lived here since 1972.
    - Stan
    Freedom is about being independent from fossil energy - Bertrand Piccard, pilot of Solar Impulse

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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    I still ride the "F Line" street car from 17th and Market to the Financial District frequently when I have the time. The Muni Metro underground is faster when I'm in a hurry, but you miss the scenery along Market St and the fresh air from the open streetcar windows when you're underground.

    Stanyan and Parnassus... Were you at UCSF?

    I've lived here since 1972.
    No, I wasn't a student. I was a door-to-door salesman. Worked all over the Bay Area.

    My late grandfather was born in SF in 1900. He used to tell me how as a kid he and his friends would jump onto the cable cars and ride for free, quickly hopping off if the conductor tried to make them pay.

    So Grandad was six years old when this film was made.

    https://youtu.be/Uz4AmeSApBE

    (I must be doing something wrong. Why are my You Tube videos showing up as links?)
    Last edited by Ekdog; 01-26-16 at 11:06 PM.

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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    At the Hayward BART station, they put one in a cage to show what transportation used to be like throughout the Bay Area.
    We have a few of the old ones around town in cages, too. Makes me want to break them free! The tracks they used to run on are still visible in some place.
    Last edited by Ekdog; 01-26-16 at 11:31 PM.

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    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    - Stan
    Freedom is about being independent from fossil energy - Bertrand Piccard, pilot of Solar Impulse

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You realize there were Corporate Economic forces behind destroying Public Transportation at the end of WW2.?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genera...car_conspiracy

    There are spots in the Pavement where the Trolley tracks still poke through, here ..

    Recently the Chamber of Commerce, here, Brought an Old electric Trolley From TX ,

    and made it work with a Motor-Generator car at the Front/back depending on direction ..

    It takes Tourists up and down the river front Thru town for $1 each ..

    Astoria Riverfront Trolley
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-27-16 at 01:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
    But is is a really good system that works very well. (And on super snow days, the entire central area still functions with no change at all, including during the famous '78 February blizzard!)

    Ben
    You weren't here last winter. Years of neglect finally took its toll. Poor management; the director came from Atlanta, and really didn't know how to deal with snow; a politcally connected overpaid workforce; fiscal mismanagement etc. led to a complete breakdown of the system.

    One of the most egregious things the state did was to shift some of the debt for the Big Dig to the T.

    We sure could have used some of that three trillion we threw away in Iraq and Afghanistan at home.

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