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Re: Tuscarora Almanac for April 7

Posted by randyo on Thu Apr 9 18:09:17 2020, in response to Re: Tuscarora Almanac for April 7, posted by Elkeeper on Thu Apr 9 16:41:03 2020.

That may explain why I recall the C having a BU type controller since 1501 was one of the ones I rode in 1956. I read a book years ago called “Subway Nickels” written circa 1920 although I can’t recall the author. One of the chapters addresses the absence of what was called the “modern deadman’s button” which at the time all the BMT el cars lacked. The controllers were spring loaded which only allowed the controller to move to the off position but did not apply the brakes as was the case on the NYCTS subway equipment of the day. The installation of subway controllers on the Cs gave those cars the addition of a true deadman device. The remaining el cars were eventually modified by eliminating the switching position from the controller leaving only series and multiple positions. The former switching position became in effect a coasting position and the M/M would have to keep the controller in that position while coasting or stopping and the brakes would apply in emergency if the M/M released the handle completely. The retrofit was installed by modifying the control shaft that the controller handle was attached to through the control box and connecting it to an emergency valve that would exhaust brake pipe air when the handle was released. To allow the M/M to be able to let go of the handle without BIE when waiting in a station for an extended period of time there was a small lever on the valve that kept it deactivated while the controller was in the off position. As soon as the M/M advanced the controller to the coast position, the lever would disengage reenabling the deadman device. Exactly what the time fame was for the retrofit, I don’t know but as I understand it at some point NYS PSC law required all electric railcars to be equipped with some sort of deadman device and interestingly, that law was also applied to the trolley coaches that the B of T operated probably because they were also referred to as “trackless trolleys."

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