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Electric Railway Work Equipment
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Electric Railway Work Equipment

Electric railways, like their steam powered cousins, required a variety of work equipment including cranes for lifting heavy rail, hopper cars for ballast and construction debris and of course the ubiquitous flat car. In addition other specialized cars were required to service the overhead trolley wires. These cars ranged in size from small four wheel flat cars with extendable wooden platforms all the way up to large freight motor type cars. The larger cars had platforms built onto their roofs and were packed full of work benches, racks of tools and spools of overhead wire. These larger cars were often equipped with railroad style couplers to move steam railroad cars full of materials for larger construction projects.

The Museum is fortunate to have several examples of this type of equipment both in use and awaiting restoration. Use the quick links below to learn more about each piece.


Quick Links:





Cleveland Railway Company Street Railway Crane # 0711

Street railway crane 0711 was built in 1925 by the Differential Car Co. in Finley, Ohio for the Cleveland Railway Co.. It worked the streets of Cleveland for CRC and the Cleveland Transit System until the early 1950ís when it was retired and set to be scrapped. It received a second life, however, on the CTS Rapid Transit where it remained until the early 1980ís.

NORM acquired the crane in 1982. Beginning in 2002 it received a mechanical and semi-cosmetic restoration. It was also temporarily converted into a gas-electric with the addition of a gas powered generator and a rectifier built by NORM volunteers. This is the first self-propelled piece of trolley equipment on the NORM property. It is used as a locomotive to move the rest of our cars around.

CRC 0711 Specifications:

Type:    Electric Work Equipment

Description:    Single End, Double Truck, Electric Crane

Builder:    Differential Steel Car Company, Findlay, Ohio

Year Built:    1925

Retired:    1980

Acquired by NORM:    1980

Dimensions:    Length: 43ft., Width: 8ft., Height: 12ft. 3in.

Weight:    71,000 lbs.

   

Controls:    HL

Trucks:    Differential Arch Bar

Motors:    4 WH 340

Brakes:    WAB

Compressor:    DH 20

Lines Served On:    Cleveland Railway Company / Cleveland Transit System


Click an image to enlarge it



Crane 0711 at the Shaker's Kingsbury Run yard. (Museum Collection)



0711 and other equipment shortly after it arrived at NORM. (Museum Collection)


0711 inside the Bennett Carhouse at NORM October of 2002. (Museum Collection)

0711 in the Bennett Carhouse in August of 2006, the motor-generator set has just been added. (B. C. Gage)

Here is 0711 in service at the Museum in the summer of 2005 moving Shaker Heights PCC 78. (S. Heister)

Motorman's view of the controls of 0711. Almost 80 PSI of air pressure! (B. C. Gage)


To see a video of Crane Car 0711 paired up with Shaker Heights Rapid Transit Coach 1225 visit NORM Home Movies at 

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Cleveland Railway Company Street Railway Side Dump Car # 0518

Car 0518 was built in 1927 by the Differential Car Company. Dump cars like 0518 were the workhorses of trolley maintenance-of-way fleets, Hauling everything from bricks and ballast to construction debris to and from work sites along the lines. The dump body is powered by an electric motor which allows the body to dump left or right as needed. After many years on the streets of Cleveland it was transferred to the Shaker Rapid. In the 1960's railroad enthusiasts rented this car for a fan trip riding wooden planks set in the dump body as seating. It was Acquired by NORM in 1979 after it was finally retired from service. With a bit of work it could be used to help us build our main line north towards Chippewa Lake.

CRC 0518 Specifications:

Type:    Electric Work Equipment

Description:    Single End, Duoble Truck, Electric Side Dump

Builder:    Differential Steel Car Company, Findlay, Ohio

Year Built:    1927

Retired:    1979

Acquired by NORM:    1979

Dimensions:    Length: 40ft. 5in., Width: 7ft. 8in., Height: 12ft. 7in.

Weight:    50,250 lbs.

   

Controls:    HL

Trucks:    Differential Arch Bar

   

Brakes:    WAB

Compressor:    DH

Lines Served On:    Cleveland Railway Company / Claveland Transit System / Shaker Heights Rapid Transit


Click an image to enlarge it



0518 with sister 0516 at the Kingsbury shops in 1953. (Museum Collection)

Here is a front view of 0518 on the west loop track at the Museum in August of 2008. The cab has been covered to protect it from the elements. (B. C. Gage)

Here is a rear view of 0518 showing the dump box and rear platform, also from the same date. (B. C. Gage)

Here is a side view of 0518 on track 4 in front of the Bennett Carhouse in May of 2012. (B. C. Gage)

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Cleveland Transit System Line Car # 024

With the coming of the first modern PCC cars to the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit roster in 1949 the line's Kuhlman center entrance cars became obsolete and were removed from service. Car 17 was spared from the scrapper's torches when it was acquired by the Cleveland Transit System and rebuilt into a line car for use on their new rapid transit line. In addition to the usual roof platform and access hatches other major changes included the addition of motormanís controls at the rear of the car and a pair of arch bar power trucks probably taken from a scrapped differential work car. The car was painted in a dark blue scheme to match the new rapid transit cars purchased from the St. Louis Car Company. It served into the RTA era and was donated to NORM in July of 2013. The car is in operable condition and will be used for erecting the overhead lines as work on our demonstration railroad progresses.

CTS 024 Specifications:

Type:    Line Car

Description:    Double End, Double Truck, Arch Roof

Builder:    Cleveland Transit System

Year Built:    1960

Retired:    2011

Acquired by NORM:    2013

Dimensions:    Length: 51ft., Width: 8ft. 5in.

Controls:    WH HL-15E1

Trucks:    Differential Arch Bar

   

Brakes:    WAB

   

Lines Served On:    Cleveland Transit System / Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority


Click an image to enlarge it


Shaker Heights 17 heads up a train on the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit line. (Harry Christiansen photo - Museum Collection)

Car 17 undergoing reconstrunction at the CTS shops. (Bill Hermann photo - Museum Collection)

CTS 024 at the Windermere Yard, Bluebirds are visible in the backgound. (Bill Hermann photo - Museum Collection)

Line Car 024 in storage at the RTA shops in July of 2013. (B. A. Gage)

September of 2013 finds the car safely out of the weather in the Bennett Carhouse at NORM. (B. C. Gage)

Here is an interiuor view of the car. To the lower right and left (partialy obscured by the ladders) are supporting pedestals for the overhead wire reel. The line was then fed up through the hole in the ceiling at the center to the workmen on top of the car. (B. C. Gage)

Line Car 024 waits in the carhouse for a little clean up before its first assignment. It will be coupled to a powered unit for movement and used to erect our first overhead wire. (B. C. Gage)

To see a video of the car's trip to the Museum visit NORM Home Movies at 


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Shaker Heights Rapid Transit Line Car # 101

Shaker Heights Rapid Transit Line Car 101 started out its working life on the Eastern Michigan Railway. The car was built for the line in 1923 by the Detroit United Railways as car 7763 using components from former Detroit, Jackson & Chicago Railway car and a pair of Peckham trucks that probably date to the late 1890s. In 1932 in was sold to the the Cleveland Interurban Railroad and placed in service on their Shaker Heights Rapid line where it was was used to maintain the overhead and move hopper cars. In the 1950s 101 was used in the construction of the CTS rapid line.

The car was retired from service in 1965. The Ohio Railway Museum acquired it in 1966 and returned it to its original Eastern Michigan appearance. NORM purchased the car from the Museum in 2011.

SHRT 101 Specifications:

Type:     Electric Work Equipment

Description:    Double End, Double Truck, Arch Roof, Wood Line Car

Builder:    Detroit United Railway, Detroit, Michigan

Year Built:    1923

Retired:    1965

Acquired by NORM:    2011

Dimensions:    Length: 40ft. 8in., Width: 8ft. 3in., Height: 12ft. 3in.

Controls:    K type (2)

Trucks:    Peckham 14A

Motors:    2

Lines Served On:    Eastern Michigan Railways - 7763 / Shaker Heights Rapid - 101 (Cleveland Interurban Railroad) / Shaker Heights Rapid Transit - 101


Click an image to enlarge it


Here is 101 in ballast service on the Shaker line. The automobile visible to the right of the line pole just above the car shows that this is an early photograph. (J. Smith Collection)

This photo shows the car in fresh paint at the Shaker's Kingsbury Run shops. Motor 0X is visible to the right, an unknown 1200 series car is at center in the background. (Museum Collection)

This 1966 photo shows 101 coupled to 0X for a car move at Van Aken yard after its retirement from active service. (J. Spangler)

This postcard photo shows the car in its original Eastern Michigan paint scheme after a cosmetic restoration at the Ohio Railway Museum. (Museum Collection)

Car 101 in storage at Ohio Railway Museum in the spring of 2010. (B. Hays)

This photo shows the car on track 1 outside of the Bennett Carhouse in the spring of 2015. (B.C. Gage)

To see a video of the car's arrival at the Museum visit NORM Home Movies at 


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Cleveland Railway Company Flat Cars # 0610, 6011 & 0615

Flat cars 0610, 0611 and 0615 were built in 1928 by Differential for CRC. These flats were normally paired with one of the street railway cranes and carried a variety of materials used to maintain the streetcar system. Ties, bricks, rail and other items were typical cargo. After the end street operations cars 0611, & 0615 continued similar work duties on the CTS Rapid, while car 0610 went to the Shaker Rapid. They were acquired by NORM in 1981 after they were retired and are still in use at the Museum.

CRC 0610, 6011 & 0615 Specifications:

Type:    Electric Work Equipment

Description:    Steel Flat Car

Builder:    Differential Steel Car Company, Findlay, Ohio

Year Built:    1928

Retired:    1980

Acquired by NORM:    1981

Dimensions:    Length: 38ft. 1in., Width: 8ft., Height: 4ft. 2in.

Weight:    25,500 lbs.

   

Trucks:    Differential Arch Bar

   

Brakes:    WAB

   

Lines Served On:    Cleveland Railway Company / Cleveland Transit System / Shaker Heights Rapid Transit (610) / Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority


Click an image to enlarge it


CRC Crane 0711 is re-united with the three flat cars at the Museum in this 2005 photo. 0711, also built by Differential, is running under its own power after conversion to gas-electric power by Museum volunteers. (S. Heister)

This photo shows car 0615 with a load of scrap at the Museum in 2008. This view of shows the rounded car end and radial trolley coupler needed to negotiate the sharp curves common on street railways. Another of the flats is visible beyond it loaded with overhead line poles. (B. C. Gage)

Here is a side view of 0615 at the south end of the west loop siding in October of 2011. (B. C. Gage)

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Cleveland Union Terminals Company Tower Car # 018

Tower cars like 018 were a standard piece of maintenance equipment on street railways and main line electrifications alike. The tower portion of the car is constructed of wood, providing a layer of insulation between the linemen working with the often live wires and the rails below. The CUT was created after the construction of the Terminal Tower complex. As no steam trains were allowed into the underground station area an electric railroad was built to haul the passenger trains in and out of the complex. The line's overhead cantenary system carried 3000 volts of direct current to power the massive electric locomotives needed to haul the heavy steam passenger trains.

CUT 018 Specifications:

Type:    Work Equipment

Description:    4 Wheel Tower Car

Builder:    J.R. McCardell & Company

Acquired by NORM:    1982

Lines Served On:    Cleveland Union Terminal Railroad, Cleveland Transit System


Click an image to enlarge it


This photo shows a CUT tower car and a wire car together, the cars were pulled by speeders like those found on our Maintenance of Way Equipment page. (Museum Collection)

This July 2009 photo shows Tower Car 018 on track 5 in front of the Bennett Carhouse at the Museum. (B. C. Gage)

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Last updated 04/02/2015