Question about streetcars

Having been in Galveston recently, I noticed the trolley tracks and did some research on it. Apparently it has not run since 2008, and there are plans for it (or were before this unreal storm) to open again in 2018.

 

Anyway, what was interesting to me was they ran on diesel, rather than electricity. Did any other trolley or interurbans run on non electric sources (not talking horse cars or cable cars like SF) or still run on them? All the trolleys I have ever read about or seen used some sort of electric power. Obviously, not having the overhead wire probably leads to lessened maintenance costs and also is less of an eyesore, but did any other trolley system go this route and/or still run this way? 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Original Post

The name "trolley car" came from the the trolley wheel that took current from an overhead wire (or wires); same for trolley bus. It's seems kind of odd to call a vehicle with a diesel engine a "trolley car," if it has no trolley and is not electrically powered. Same for the alternate term "streetcar." 

The article I read said that technically the Galveston Island trolley (its official name apparently) is technically a streetcar, because it doesn't operate on electricity, as you implied since it doesn't use a trolley pole, it isn't a trolley (which is also interesting, because some of the light rail lines use pantographs, not trolley poles, to pull power). 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Basically:

Trolley pole:  Trolley car*

Pantograph:  Light rail vehicle*

Steam power:  Steam dummy

Horse power: Horsecar

Diesel or gas engine:  Streetcar

*Some trolleys have been fitted with pantographs, and some modern LRVs sport trolley poles.  YMMV. 

Interurban cars can use trolley poles,  pantographs, third rail shoes or combinations of the three. 

Dieseel  Multiple Unit cars (DMUs) are basically diesel powered LRVs.

Hope this helps!

Mitch

It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide!

 

Remember, SCROUNGE!

Is this splitting hairs or???

So with the multiple in depth definitions supplied, what are the cars on the Detroit Q-line.    Part run on overhead wire, and part of the line they run on battery power which they store up while under the wire.    I can't remember whether they use pantographs or trolley poles.

prrjim posted:

So with the multiple in depth definitions supplied, what are the cars on the Detroit Q-line.    Part run on overhead wire, and part of the line they run on battery power which they store up while under the wire.    I can't remember whether they use pantographs or trolley poles.

The owners of the QLINE call it a streetcar in their internet documents and videos.

Based on info and pictures available on the Internet it looks like a streetcar because it runs on tracks embedded in the street.  When operating under overhead wire the photos show a pantograph instead of a pole with a trolley wheel.  Therefore it's not a trolley.  

Bill

Thanks for all the info! Seems to me like many things, over the years the technical definitions have become blurred, for example from what i recall some 'trolleys' used a slider shoe, not a roller, so given the technical definition that would not be a troller per se......likewise, if it runs on rails on the street, I suspect most people seeing that would call it a trolley however it is powered, whether technically correct or not. I kind of like the idea of 'light rail' becoming the omnibus term, since it describes what the train  is used for, however it is powered or picks up power, it is there to move people from point A to Point B within and/or between towns on rails designed strictly for that task. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Some museums lacking the funding to build overhead wire have converted trolley cars to run with a diesel engine. Another technique is to have a diesel powered push-pull slug to move the cars.

Johnstown No. 358 was acquired by Stone Mountain, Georgia, to run a tourist ride around the mountain. The Stone Mountain shop modified the car by removing the electric motors and controls, and installed a Detroit 453 diesel engine with an Allison transmission. Stone Mt. renumbered the car 1910 and ran it until the 1980's. The Trolley Museum of New York has since acquired the car.

http://tmny.org/StoneMt358.jpg

http://tmny.org/SL_Jun09.jpg

Johnstown 358 as it looks today, diesel powered.

 

Bobby Ogage

"I hear that train a coming,

it's rolling around the bend"

 

Manhatten streetcars obtained power from an open conduit in the center of the two rails, though in some areas there were two conduits, side by side. The plough could move laterally. Each plough had two spring-loaded sliding contacts - one on each side. Cars that ran to the Bronx had both poles and ploughs, and, just like the D.C. system, and changed pick-up systems at a "plough pit". A streetcar would seem to be the most appropriate term to call multi-mode rail vehicles. Many interurbans, another term, had third rail shoes and trolley poles. Interurbans are distinguished by higher speeds and deeper flange profiles. 

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