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Re: Nighttime Shot of 3rd Ave El at 67th Street (1953)

Posted by JOE @ NYCMTS - NYCTMG on Fri Dec 1 08:38:29 2017, in response to Re: Nighttime Shot of 3rd Ave El at 67th Street (1953), posted by SUBWAYMAN on Thu Nov 30 22:15:44 2017.

Hello Subwayman

A correction First, and your answer Second;

FIRST-- let me CORRECT my typo in my previous post about when the Q TYPES were removed from the 3rd Ave EL in the Bronx after running there with some MUDC's after the Manhattan Section of the line closed ater May 12, 1955, and was demolished.

My typo displayed incorrectly "SEPT 1956" --- actually, as soon as I re-read it after posting it -- its SHOULD have been typed as DECEMBER 16, 1956. Can't edit postings here unfortunately ! So this is the correction update. Can't believe I made THAT typo !!

SECOND : The Composite question:

The IRT ex-subway Composites were ALL motor cars and were ALL equipped with Manually lever-operated door controls. As with the IRT EL Gate Cars, they required a trainman between EACH car to open the door control levers on the exteriors of the vestibule ends of each pair of coupled cars, as well as operate the smaller lever under the vestibule end windows for the air-operated center door. Thus very labor intensive.

So when the Q's were relieved in Nov. 1949 from BMT Shuttle service on the then previously IRT controlled Flushing & Astoria EL lines, being they had MUDC controlled doors and had major overhaul and rebuilding in 1938, and thus "modernized", they were a logical replacement on the 3rd Ave El for the aging and battered Composites.

However, the main and more extensive reason the Composites were retired was because their Maximum Traction trucks HAD TO BE placed under the "A" and "C" Motor cars of the 3-car A-B-C configured Q Types .

The actual reason for this process need was as follows:

There were strictly enforced weight restrictions - after IRT Elevated train Motorization & Electrification in 1900-1902,- on the Manhattan EL's on some of the oldest 1878-1880 built portions of them built with those lattice "Y top Trenton Style (mfg.)" EL columns;

(1) -- Therefore, strict rule: NO TWO MOTOR CARS could be coupled together with both Motor trucks facing each other !

(2) -- Therefore, on the West Side IRT 6th & 9th Ave. EL's, all Elevated Motor Car "motor trucks" were at the SOUTH-facing end of each motor car;

(3) -- And on the East Side IRT EL's, all motor trucks were at the NORTH-facing end of each motor car;

(4) -- The MOTOR truck end of each motor car had steel under-vestibule channels to reinforce the motor truck end framing of the Motor Cars. The opposite trailer truck end retained its usual tapered platform support originally installed knee-beams;


The Q types, as converted from EL open platform Gate Cars to MUDC in 1938, underwent the following BMT shop-designed and planned modifications;

(a) -- as each new Q-Type designated A & C motor car was to be converted to Motor Operating Cab at only ONE END of those motor cars, the opposite end being blind end, the CAB END of the car was designated logically to be located over the MOTOR TRUCK end of the car. The opposite trailing truck end of those gate cars had the motorman cab and controls removed entirely.

(b) -- This was done because the original "inside carbody" M/M cab on the opposite former open platform end was "partially" removed; Specifically, the REAR WALL of the cab facing the end seats, was removed. The forward Cab wall with the Motorman glass window, was retained and was modified as the REAR CAB wall of the new cab built into the steel enclosed front vestibule platform. Its glass removed and its hollow opening remaining was a perfect place for the electrical switches cabinet-box installation !

(c) -- The original cab operating controls located on the inside of the former open-platform cab front wall, were detached and re-installed on the inside of the now enclosed end platform steel shell wall under its provided new-cab window at the motorman's operating position. And the original wiring and piping extended a very short distance from the old cab and controls location (power and brake and etc), forward to the new cab location inside the enclosed end platform;

(d) -- Thus a novel, quick and simple air and electrical re-positioning process for the new controls on the one-cab control end of the new Q-Type Class Motor cars, directly over its Motor truck end.

(e) -- HOWEVER, this now had BOTH MOTOR TRUCKS (under their end operating cabs) facing EACH OTHER in each Q-Type 3-car A-B-C set when coupled together to form a six car, or nine car consist !!

ie; An "A Motor Car" Motor truck end would be coupled to either another "A Motor Car Motor Truck" end, or alternately copupled to the "C Motor Car Motor Truck" end.

This was NO PROBLEM weight-wise when operating on any 1900 or later built solid plate girder and solid EL columns' constructed Elevated Lines !!

However, this Motor to Motor truck direct coupling config on the Manhattan 3rd Ave El as the Q's were outfitted, would be weight-unacceptable. Additionally, the BMT's Peckham Motor trucks were heavier and had heavier (and faster) larger MOTORS than those lighter HP motors designed for the Manhattan El's under electrification in 1900-02.


Equipped with their Maximum Traction type trucks fitted with one motor on each of both trucks under each car -- built specially by the IRT shops in 1914 to make the Composites light weight for El use and avoid the issue of 4 motored axles facing each other coupled car to car --

The solution it was decided was to use the Composite trucks, one under BOTH ENDS of each A and C Motor car of the Q Types for 3rd Ave EL service use. And thus, as each motor truck had only a ONE MOTOR axle-wheelset, only two motored axles would be facing each other in any Q Motor & Cab end coupled to another Q Motor & Cab end.

The middle (both ends blind) "B" TRAILER CAR still retained it two Peckham BMT trailer trucks.

And thus, now explained why the Composites HAD to be retired - so their Max-Trax Motor Ttucks could live on from 1950 until 1969 under the Q Type Cars.

The removed powerful BMT EL Peckham MOTOR Trucks were ALL SCRAPPED "as surplus" --!!

That explains it all -- as I wrote earlier -- nothing is simple in documenting and answering IRT and BMT history !

regards - Joe F


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