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

Posted by JOE @ NYCMTS - NYCTMG on Mon Dec 4 04:20:01 2017, in response to Re: Nighttime Shot of 3rd Ave El at 67th Street (1953), posted by randyo on Sat Dec 2 19:37:04 2017.

Hello Randy O

Heh-- seems we BOTH (and likely many other kids, folks,) had the same MUDC Motorman in Cab experience.

When an MUDC first car I was in and standing at the storm door glass, was stopped at an EL station, I think it was E. 89th or E.84th Street, the first car's front end was a tad past the south end of the D/T platform. It likely was a 6 car consist local.

Anyway, I went over to the (on my right) side sliding door on the station platform side of the train -- but the door was just past the catwalk stairway. (NOTE: all MUDC front car "front vestibule" and rear car "rear vestibule doors" were "cut out" from the MUDC system (as likewise on Low-V and Steinway subway car MUDC consist of the time)

I wanted to look down thru the one glass pane in the side door to the sidewalk below past the catwalk railing to see if I knew anyone, or just to see the street scene and pedestrians. When the motorman started the train, he banged on the glass and with an scowl on his face, waved his arm to me to indicate "scram".

I ended up going across the vestibule to the opposite front end window on the opposite side of the storm door.

The interior front cab window and its frame was fixed in the interior bulkhead as it was when the cab was behind the front open platform. Also NOTE in the photo I provided again, BELOW, at E. 161St EL Station, the MUDC Car with its side door open. Notice the two steel safety bars across the motorman cab inner widow -- to protect it from errant shoulders on entering and exiting riders. This (2 bars) was done to ALL windows (4 of them) in the vestibule area -- the forward new steel bulkhead two outer windows and the inner wood bulkhead two inner windows, on both Motor AND trailer cars !

However, my father who worked on the EL stated that in early MUDC years, there was a chain linked across the platform from an eyelet attached on the cab wall front, across to an eyelet on the front steel shell wall to the right of the storm door. The chain blocked off that 1/3rd of the enclosed vestibule platform in front of the motorman's cab. The chain was removed and stored in the cab in cars that were mid train.

By the very early 1930's, the chain idea and the chain (likely a
"P I T A" for crews) gradually all but disappeared as most passengers knew well by then (since MUDC control on EL cars started in 1924) NOT to stand in front of the motorman inner glass window on the front leading car platform. Especially in rush hour heavy passenger loads. Or the motorman would "raise hell..."

For those not aware (well, that is most people here, heh) the vestibule floor width from inside the original bulkhead wall, forward to the front steel outer wall and storm door, was only 29 inches !! About the width of a 30' wide closet door.

It was a real problem with rush hour passengers entering & exiting as it was a very tight fit for 2 average sized people to pass each other "sideways" on said platform. The opening to the station platforms by the side sliding doors was 29 inches, although the steel sliding doors themselves were built a standard 36 inches wide ! See 2 photos BELOW:

MUDC trailer at left with MUDC Motor at right, doors opened to 29" wide vestibule opening

IRT Conductor between MUDC Motor car at left and Trailer car at right

Part of the opened sliding side exit-entry doors and part of one of its two door glass windows, was actually over the corner post of the wood carbody's original front bulkhead when the door was
opened !!! You can see that in the photo I provided BELOW:--

On the enclosed vestibule platform facing side sliding door on an MUDC TRAILER car

The motorman cab door was designed to swing 180 degrees -- to open fully into, towards, the carbody center aisle, and to close fully over (and protect) the control and brake stand and other equipment, when the cab was "opened" in mid train cars for a passenger to sit on the single drop leaf seat affixed to the car side-wall under the motormna's side window.

The MUDC Car motorman could have swung his cab door open fully across the center aisle to block off most of the enclosed vestibule entry portal, at the inside (original gate car front wall) vestibule forward wall. That would leave him exposed to the passengers which could be a distraction... so I presume that was rarely, if ever done. I never saw it done.

regards - Joe F


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