Wason Manufacturing Company
The Wason Manufacturing Company was a maker of railway passenger coaches and streetcars during the 19th and early 20th century. The company was founded in 1845 in Massachusetts by Charles Wason and Thomas Wason. Wason's earliest clients included the Michigan Southern Railroad, Alton Railroad, Central Railroad of New Jersey, Boston and Maine Railroad, as well as foreign operators such as the State Railway of Chile, Egyptian National Railways, providing the latter with 161 cars as well as an ornate state carriage for Sa'id of Egypt, the viceroy at that time.. By 1867 the company had about 300 employees; the company made the first passenger coaches used on the Transcontinental railroad. One of these became the personal rail car of Leland Stanford, President of the Central Pacific Railroad. By 1868 the company had consolidated with the Springfield Machine Company, keeping the name Wason Manufacturing. Around 1900 Wason concentrated on electrified railway cars. Clients included Manhattan Railway Company.
The company became a subsidiary of J. G. Brill and Company in 1906, it continued to manufacture both streetcars and conventional railroad cars until 1932, when the Great Depression forced Brill to close the plant. One of the only surviving examples of a Wason coach can be found at the California State Railroad Museum's Railtown facility in Jamestown, located in the Sierra foothills. Wason streetcars on display at museums include 13 streetcars, interurban cars, rapid transit cars at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME. List of rolling stock manufacturers Wason-Springfield Steam Power Blocks, historic site
Heritage streetcars or heritage trams are a part of the efforts to preserve rail transit heritage. In addition to preserving street-running rail vehicles, heritage streetcar operations can include upkeep of historic rail infrastructure. Working heritage streetcars are related to the growing global heritage railway movement and form a part of the living history of rail transport; as with modern streetcar systems, the vehicles are referred to as trams or tramcars in the United Kingdom and certain other places, but as streetcars or trolleys in North America. The last two terms are used interchangeably in the United States, with trolley being preferred in the eastern US and streetcar in Canada and the western US. In parts of the United States, internally powered buses made to resemble a streetcar are referred to—inaccurately—as "trolleys". To avoid further confusion with trolley buses, the American Public Transportation Association refers to them as "trolley-replica buses". Museums, heritage tram line operators, amateur enthusiasts can preserve original vintage vehicles or create replicas of historic vehicles to re-create or preserve streetcar technology of the past.
Heritage vehicles that are kept functional can be used on heritage tramlines or for charter traffic. Heritage tram lines that offer scheduled service on a certain route and showcase historic aspects of streetcar systems are operated by heritage vehicles. Heritage tramlines that operate on a rail network that serves the interest of modern urban mobility have difficulty in exhibiting historic tramway infrastructure, apart from the car itself; this kind of tramline is operated to attract tourists instead of providing urban access. Some technical aspects of historic tram infrastructure can prevent the use of a heritage line as an integral part of the public transport system. For example, heritage tramlines lack handicapped access, required by law in many countries. Heritage tramlines can be either newly installed lines or be surviving older tramlines that have retained use of historic trams for all or most of their scheduled service. Rail tracks designated or to heritage streetcar traffic offer best opportunities for preservation of historic streetcar scenes.
Some heritage tramways use all-new construction while others make use of an existing disused, freight railway, by installing overhead wires and passenger stops. In some cities, new heritage tramways have been installed in the city center, to attract tourists and shoppers. Proponents of such projects claim that using a simple, reliable form of transit from 50 or 100 years ago can bring history to life for 21st century users. In serving certain types of transport needs, heritage tramways can turn out to be more economical than their modern counterparts with installations that can be built at a fraction of the cost of a corresponding modern standard. However, there are trade-offs; the Remise Museum in Vienna, opened in 2014, covers the history of public transport in the city of Vienna and offers an extensive tram collection to visitors. The Styrian municipality centre Graz has a tram museum since 1971 located in the depot of Mariatrost. Another heritage tram is operating in Styria between the railway station of Mariazell and the nearby Erlaufsee with Ex-Vienna streetcars.
This line was electrified on longer sections and extended towards the city center. In Innsbruck the city's trams are collected and renovated – together with other Tyrolean railway vehicles – by the association Tiroler MuseumsBahnen which has its museum in the old station of the Stubaitalbahn. In Amsterdam in the Netherlands the Electrisch Museumtramlijn operates historic trams over a 7 km length of former railway line; the tram networks of Hague and Rotterdam have their tram museums. The association Tramweg Stichting maintains and operates in every three cities its own vehicles as collection of these museums. In Belgium there are 3 tram museums, one in Brussels – organizing several weekend rides to Tervueren and around the city – and other in Antwerpen; the 70 km-long Kusttram features some vehicles of the once extensive interurban network stored in the depot of De Panne and Knokke operated by TTO. ASVi run a museum in Thuin and an 8 km line with electric and diesel cars on a part of the once SNCV line 92 and on a part on the once SNCB line 109 after regauging to meter gauge.
In Prague the Czech Republic the Prague Integrated Transport operates Historical Tram Line No. 41 at weekends using historical tram vehicles and a week-long operating Nostalgic Tram Line No. 23 using old PCC based ČKD Tatra T3 tram vehicles. In Budapest, heritage public transport services, two vintage tram lines and a riverboat line, are operated from May to the end of September on weekends. In Tallinn there are renovated retrotrams in public use since 2017. In Helsinki, Finland, Oy Stadin Ratikat Ab offers charter tramrides with vintage cars and in summer months operates an in-street heritage tram line on the Helsinki tram network. In France, the Deûle Valley tramway near Lille which runs along a 3 km track from Marquette-lez-Lille to Wambrechies features several tram vehicles dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. Turin, in the northwest of Italy, operates the historical route 7, a double way circular route around the town centre. Turin is the first town in Italy with tramway lines powered by historical streetcars.
The inauguration of the heritage tramway
A Birney or Birney Safety Car is a type of streetcar, manufactured in the United States in the 1910s and 1920s. The design was small and light and was intended to be an economical means of providing frequent service at a lower infrastructure and labor cost than conventional streetcars. Production of Birney cars lasted from 1915 until 1930, more than 6,000 of the original, single-truck version were built. Several different manufacturers built Birney cars; the design was "the first mass-produced standard streetcar" in North America. The Birney car was the joint 1915 invention of Joseph Bosenbury. Birney was an engineer with the firm of Stone & Webster, an operator of a number of trolley systems in the United States in the early part of the 20th century; the design was named the "Safety Car", became known as the "Birney Safety Car" and simply as the "Birney" car. The vehicle was a return to single-truck streetcars. Birneys were light, about a third the weight of conventional cars of the period. Twin motors gave them nimble acceleration.
Birney cars averaged about 28 feet in length and had seating for about 32 passengers. The largest producer of Birney Safety Cars was the American Car Company, a subsidiary of the J. G. Brill Company, but several other companies manufactured Birneys; the Birney was designed to operate with only a motorman. The advent of World War I made single-person operation additionally attractive as it addressed the wartime labor shortage; when labor was available, Birneys could be operated at more frequent intervals, prompting the slogan "A Car in Sight at all Times". This latter attraction was one of the street railway industry's first attempts to deal directly with automobile competition; the Birney Car introduced the use of pneumatically balanced and interlocked doors. If a door was stuck open, or a passenger or other object blocked the door, the motors could not be started; the controls on the Birney Car included an early application of the "deadman control". This device removed power from the car's motors and applied the air brakes if the controller handle was released for any reason, causing the car to come to an abrupt stop.
A longer, double-truck version of the Birney car was developed in the 1920s, incorporating its most successful features. These were sold to a number of systems, including that of Tampa, to the Texas Interurban Railway, which used them exclusively. In addition to 11 double-truck passenger cars, which featured deluxe interior appointments and toilets for interurban service, the Texas Interurban operated 3 unusual Birney-based double-truck express cars without passenger seats or windows– the only cars of this type built. Thousands of the cars were purchased from their inception to a few years after the end of the war. Production peaked in 1920, with 1,699 cars built in that year alone, but declined and ended in 1930. Birney cars began to fall from favor in part because of the features that had made them attractive, their light weight could be a problem in snow that a heavier car could plow through. Their short length made their ride quality comparatively poor, on poorly maintained track they derailed easily.
The public began to deride them as flimsy. Their limited passenger capacity rendered them unsuitable for busy routes and rush hour service, causing them to be relegated to minor lines or to be sold to small-town streetcar systems; the streetcar companies found that the safety features of the Birney, such as the use of interlocked doors to prevent the car from starting if a door was open or a passenger was stuck, could be incorporated in larger cars and that the public was not as disturbed by the absence of the conductor as the companies had feared. Its initial rise and fall notwithstanding, the Birney car was useful and durable, many were shipped to streetcar systems in other countries ones located in smaller cities and towns, where they served for additional decades. For example, the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, bought up Birneys secondhand from other systems across North America to build an "all-Birney fleet" and keep its streetcar system going in the difficult years of the Great Depression and World War II retiring its last car in 1949.
The TTC operated 25 such cars from 1921 to 1927 (and retired in 1941 when 14 were sold to Halifax. Although the vast majority of the cars built were sold to streetcar operators in North America, a small number went to much more distant places, such as Australia and New Zealand. In the latter, Birney cars were imported for use by the provincial centres of New Plymouth in the North Island and Invercargill in the South Island, reputedly the world's most southerly tramway system. Cities in South America whose streetcar companies purchased Birney cars included Concordia and Paraná, in Argentina, while Guayaquil in Ecuador obtained Birneys secondhand from Trenton, New Jersey; the Colombian cities of Medellín and Pereira both were served by Birney streetcars, the former's fleet being made up of Birney cars – 61 of them – of both single- and double-truck configuration. In 1930, Curitiba tramway system bought 20 second-hand Birney cars from Boston and these cars were converted to metre gauge. In Australia the Municipal Tramways Trust, Adelaide purchased four as its Type G tram.
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry many passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers; the most common type of bus is the single-deck rigid bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker and articulated buses, smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses. Many types of buses, such as city transit buses and inter-city coaches, charge a fare. Other types, such as elementary or secondary school buses or shuttle buses within a post-secondary education campus do not charge a fare. In many jurisdictions, bus drivers require a special licence above and beyond a regular driver's licence. Buses may be used for scheduled bus transport, scheduled coach transport, school transport, private hire, or tourism. Horse-drawn buses were used from the 1820s, followed by steam buses in the 1830s, electric trolleybuses in 1882; the first internal combustion engine buses, or motor buses, were used in 1895. Interest has been growing in hybrid electric buses, fuel cell buses, electric buses, as well as ones powered by compressed natural gas or biodiesel.
As of the 2010s, bus manufacturing is globalised, with the same designs appearing around the world. Bus is a clipped form of the dative plural of omnis-e; the theoretical full name is in French voiture omnibus. The name originates from a mass-transport service started in 1823 by a French corn-mill owner named Stanislas Baudry in Richebourg, a suburb of Nantes. A by-product of his mill was hot water, thus next to it he established a spa business. In order to encourage customers he started a horse-drawn transport service from the city centre of Nantes to his establishment; the first vehicles stopped in front of the shop of a hatter named Omnés, which displayed a large sign inscribed "Omnes Omnibus", a pun on his Latin-sounding surname, omnes being the male and female nominative and accusative form of the Latin adjective omnis-e, combined with omnibus, the dative plural form meaning "for all", thus giving his shop the name "Omnés for all". His transport scheme was a huge success, although not as he had intended as most of his passengers did not visit his spa.
He turned the transport service into his principal lucrative business venture and closed the mill and spa. Nantes citizens soon gave the nickname "omnibus" to the vehicle. Having invented the successful concept Baudry moved to Paris and launched the first omnibus service there in April 1828. A similar service was introduced in London in 1829. Regular intercity bus services by steam-powered buses were pioneered in England in the 1830s by Walter Hancock and by associates of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, among others, running reliable services over road conditions which were too hazardous for horse-drawn transportation; the first mechanically propelled omnibus appeared on the streets of London on 22 April 1833. Steam carriages were much less to overturn, they travelled faster than horse-drawn carriages, they were much cheaper to run, caused much less damage to the road surface due to their wide tyres. However, the heavy road tolls imposed by the turnpike trusts discouraged steam road vehicles and left the way clear for the horse bus companies, from 1861 onwards, harsh legislation eliminated mechanically propelled vehicles from the roads of Great Britain for 30 years, the Locomotive Act of that year imposing restrictive speed limits on "road locomotives" of 5 mph in towns and cities, 10 mph in the country.
In parallel to the development of the bus was the invention of the electric trolleybus fed through trolley poles by overhead wires. The Siemens brothers, William in England and Ernst Werner in Germany, collaborated on the development of the trolleybus concept. Sir William first proposed the idea in an article to the Journal of the Society of Arts in 1881 as an "...arrangement by which an ordinary omnibus...would have a suspender thrown at intervals from one side of the street to the other, two wires hanging from these suspenders. Although this experimental vehicle fulfilled all the technical criteria of a typical trolleybus, it was dismantled in the same year after the demonstration. Max Schiemann opened a passenger-carrying trolleybus in 1901 in Germany. Although this system operated only until 1904, Schiemann had developed what is now the standard trolleybus current collection system. In the early days, a few other methods of current collection were used. Leeds and Bradford became the first cities to put trolleybuses into service in Great Britain on 20 June 1911.
In Siegerland, two passenger bus lines ran but unprofitably, in 1895 using a six-passenger motor carriage developed from the 1893 Benz Viktoria. Another commercial bus line using the same model Benz omnibuses ran for a short time in 1898 in the rural area around Llandudno, Wales. Daimler produced one of the earliest motor-bus models in 1898, selling a double-decker bus to the Motor Traction Company, first used on the streets of London on 23 April 1898; the vehicle had a maximum speed of 18 km/h and accommodated up to 20 passengers, in an enclosed area below and on an open-air pl
Brilliner was a tram designed by the J. G. Brill Company; the tram was designed by a competitor to the successful PCC cars, but the design ended up being a failure for the company, with only several trams built. The tram utilized a streamlined design, similar to a PCC car, it used a boxy floor plan and a riveted steel body design. Due to the boxy floor plan, Brilliner cars could not clear the tight spaces required by the Philadelphia Transportation Company, the company's main customer; the Brilliner ended up being the company's last trolley design before merging with American Car and Foundry. 10 cars were built for Red Arrow Lines, 24 trams were sold to Atlantic City, 3 cars were sold to the PTC, one of each were sold to Cincinnati and Baltimore
A bi-directional vehicle is a vehicle that can be driven in either direction, forwards or backwards. The term refers to rail vehicles, such as trains or trams, that are equipped with operating cabs at both ends; these vehicles have entry and exit doors on either side of the vehicle. One major benefit of bi-directional vehicles is the ability to reverse direction at a terminal station with a stub-end track. On a system using double track, a crossover switch is used to move the vehicle to the other track; this situation contrasts with the use of uni-directional vehicles, which requires the use of a balloon loop, triangle junction, or turntable to reverse direction. Aside from eliminating the need for complicated railway infrastructure to turn vehicles around, the presence of doors on either side of the vehicle enable the use of island platforms; these extra doors come at the cost of reduction of seating on board the vehicle
A horsecar, or horse-drawn tram, is an animal-powered tram or streetcar. The horse-drawn tram was an early form of public rail transport that developed out of industrial haulage routes that had long been in existence, from the omnibus routes that first ran on public streets in the 1820s, using the newly improved iron or steel rail or'tramway'; these were local versions of the stagecoach lines and picked up and dropped off passengers on a regular route, without the need to be pre-hired. Horsecars on tramlines were an improvement over the omnibus, as the low rolling resistance of metal wheels on iron or steel rails allowed the animals to haul a greater load for a given effort than the omnibus and gave a smoother ride; the horse-drawn streetcar combined the low cost and safety of animal power with the efficiency and all-weather capability of a rail right-of-way. The first tram services in the world were started by the Swansea and Mumbles Railway in Wales, using specially designed carriages on an existing tramline built for horse-drawn freight dandies.
Fare-paying passengers were carried on a line between Oystermouth and Swansea Docks from 1807. The Gloucester and Cheltenham Tramroad carried passengers. In spite of its early start, it took many years for horse-drawn streetcars to become acceptable across Britain. An 1870 Act of Parliament overcame these legal obstacles by defining responsibilities and for the next three decades many local tramway companies were founded, using horse-drawn carriages, until replaced by cable, steam or electric traction. Many companies adopted a design of a enclosed double-decker carriage hauled by two horses; the last horse-drawn tram was retired from London in 1915. Horses continued to be used for light shunting well into the 20th century; the last horse used for shunting on British Railways was retired on 21 February 1967 in Newmarket, Suffolk. In the United States the first streetcar appeared on November 26, 1832, on the New York and Harlem Railroad in New York City; the cars were designed by John Stephenson of New Rochelle, New York, constructed at his company in New York City.
The earliest streetcars used horses and sometimes mules two as a team, to haul the cars. Other animals were tried, including humans in emergency circumstances. By the mid-1880s, there were 415 street railway companies in the USA operating over 6,000 miles of track and carrying 188 million passengers per year using horsecars. By 1890 New Yorkers took 297 horsecar rides per capita per year; the average street car horse had a life expectancy of about two years. In 1861, Toronto Street Railway horsecars replaced horse driven omnibuses as a public transit mode in Toronto. Starting in 1892, electric streetcars emerged in Toronto and by 1894 the TSR stopped operating horsecars in Toronto; the first horse-drawn rail cars on the continent of Europe were operated from 1828 by the České Budějovice - Linz railway. Europe saw a proliferation of horsecar use for new tram services from the mid-1860s, with many towns building new networks. Tropical plantations made extensive use of animal-powered trams for both passengers and freight employing the Decauville narrow-gauge portable track system.
In some cases these systems were extensive and evolved into interurban tram networks. Surviving examples may be found in both the Brazil. Problems with horsecars included the fact that any given animal could only work so many hours on a given day, had to be housed, groomed and cared for day in and day out, produced prodigious amounts of manure, which the streetcar company was charged with storing and disposing. Since a typical horse pulled a streetcar for about a dozen miles a day and worked for four or five hours, many systems needed ten or more horses in stable for each horsecar. Horsecars were replaced by electric-powered streetcars following the invention by Frank J. Sprague of an overhead trolley system on streetcars for collecting electricity from overhead wires, his spring-loaded trolley pole used a wheel to travel along the wire. In late 1887 and early 1888, using his trolley system, Sprague installed the first successful large electric street railway system in Richmond, Virginia. Long a transportation obstacle, the hills of Richmond included grades of over 10%, were an excellent proving ground for acceptance of the new technology in other cities.
Within a year, the economy of electric power had replaced more costly horsecars in many cities. By 1889, 110 electric railways incorporating Sprague's equipment had been begun or planned on several continents. Many large metropolitan lines lasted well into the early twentieth century. New York City had a regular horsecar service on the Bleecker Street Line until its closure in 1917. Pittsburgh, had its Sarah Street line drawn by horses until 1923; the last regular mule-drawn cars in the US ran in Sulphur Rock, until 1926 and were commemorated by a U. S. postage stamp issued in 1983. Toronto's horse-drawn streetcar operations ended in 1891. In other countries animal-powered tram services continued well into the 20th century. A few original horsecar lines have survived or have been revived as tourist attractions, in recent years several repli