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Wayside Observer

TTC Trolley Coach reminescing

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Reading through the discussions of the TTC's upcoming electric buses made me think back to the last time the TTC had a fleet of electric buses and the each had two poles on top.  This thread is so we can all post pictures etc. and discuss our memories of the abandoned trolley coach systems in Toronto.

I'll start off by posting memories of the afternoon rush hour at Eglinton station.  More times than I'd care to remember, coming out of the subway and looking down the bus concourse and seeing the flashing bus indicator at the staircase for 61 Nortown West, I'd take of running, blowing past the discount clothing store and the Sketchley cleaners, race up the steps and get there just in time to see the tail end of the Flyer and the tops of the two poles disappear around the end of the stall.  Then it'd be the wait and the mental calculus on staying put for the next northbound coach, head outside and try for a Yonge bus, or hoof it home on foot.  More often than not I'd stay put and wait for the next coach.

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Good topic. Not enough discussion about those old things. This dude on YT has a bunch of video taken during the last year I rode one, 1991.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pHwN-jX5og

Last ride on a TC was northbound on the 6 bay from the docks to the subway. The second last trip was southbound to the docks from the subway and also the last time I rode a bus in the maroon and cream paint. Bus was packed by the way.

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I was a young lad when these retired from the TTC, and I never really got a chance to ride one...

But I always wondered, how often did they disconnect from the overhead power, in case the bus went too far from the range of the poles? And what happened then, did they have some sort of reserve battery to get back within the range of the overhead power?

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52 minutes ago, MK78 said:

I was a young lad when these retired from the TTC, and I never really got a chance to ride one...

But I always wondered, how often did they disconnect from the overhead power, in case the bus went too far from the range of the poles? And what happened then, did they have some sort of reserve battery to get back within the range of the overhead power?

Nope. Pusher truck, helpful passengers or the coach behind.

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1 hour ago, MK78 said:

I was a young lad when these retired from the TTC, and I never really got a chance to ride one...

But I always wondered, how often did they disconnect from the overhead power, in case the bus went too far from the range of the poles? And what happened then, did they have some sort of reserve battery to get back within the range of the overhead power?

For your amusement :lol: JUst fast forward to the part where the bus goes to the left and the poles go to the right and (nearly) down comes the network.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Downsview 108 said:

For your amusement :lol: JUst fast forward to the part where the bus goes to the left and the poles go to the right and (nearly) down comes the network.

 

 

In the defence of the driver (lol), I guess the frogs are worn right. So the poles chose to follow the most common route of travel. I’m surprised one of the pole hooked themselves haha

I too was a wee child when these trolley buses retired. I do remember seeing the overhead exit onto Yonge St for a short jog, and then turn right on Eglinton going eastbound. I never saw one in operation. I wish they were still in operation, or politics wouldn’t have stripped the province of them. 

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The overhead was in terrible condition when the trolleybus system was closed and a lot of it needed to be totally rebuilt, which was a tall order in the early 90's. I also recall reading in old usenet posts that at the time it was difficult to get parts for the Ohio Brass special work (this was when Wabco was making them, before IMPulse in North Carolina bought the line) and there were concerns about long-term availability.

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9 minutes ago, IRT_BMT_IND said:

The overhead was in terrible condition when the trolleybus system was closed and a lot of it needed to be totally rebuilt, which was a tall order in the early 90's. I also recall reading in old usenet posts that at the time it was difficult to get parts for the Ohio Brass special work (this was when Wabco was making them, before IMPulse in North Carolina bought the line) and there were concerns about long-term availability.

But like most things that get run down, TTC wasn’t given direction to maintain what was bad before it got worse. Similar to the 3 overhead snaps and broken lines in streetcar land over the past week that all happened in under a 24 hour span, preventative work was not undertaken to save the system. Also, I heard that the equipment (vehicles) were being run down too (aside from their given age).

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1 hour ago, bus_7246 said:

In the defence of the driver (lol), I guess the frogs are worn right. So the poles chose to follow the most common route of travel. I’m surprised one of the pole hooked themselves haha

I too was a wee child when these trolley buses retired. I do remember seeing the overhead exit onto Yonge St for a short jog, and then turn right on Eglinton going eastbound. I never saw one in operation. I wish they were still in operation, or politics wouldn’t have stripped the province of them. 

Did they not use NA switches? Looks like a switch that wasn't set right.

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2 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

For your amusement :lol: JUst fast forward to the part where the bus goes to the left and the poles go to the right and (nearly) down comes the network. 

Haha, thanks. Interesting indeed!

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1 hour ago, Downsview 108 said:

Did they not use NA switches? Looks like a switch that wasn't set right.

AFAIK the trolleybus system had a mix of Power On/Off and Directional/Selectric switches (mostly the latter).

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10 hours ago, IRT_BMT_IND said:

AFAIK the trolleybus system had a mix of Power On/Off and Directional/Selectric switches (mostly the latter).

All of the facing overhead switches were powered - with the possible exception of a couple of them where a line was shared with the streetcar overhead (and even then I'm not 100% certain how they got away with that) - and as far as I can tell they never installed the Selectric system or any of that kind of alternate directional control. They were all Power On/Off.

 

Dan

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16 hours ago, MK78 said:

I was a young lad when these retired from the TTC, and I never really got a chance to ride one...

But I always wondered, how often did they disconnect from the overhead power, in case the bus went too far from the range of the poles? And what happened then, did they have some sort of reserve battery to get back within the range of the overhead power?

No, the TTC ones were straight up electric only with no off wire capability.  Some of the Hamilton ones were outfitted with a small engine/generator unit but the TTC never did.  My understanding was that the tender for the replacement trolley coaches was going to specify the inclusion of a small auxiliary power unit but the decision to abandon the system was made and the tender was never issued.

15 hours ago, Bus_Medic said:

Nope. Pusher truck, helpful passengers or the coach behind.

Also, the north/south lines were usually not quite level so it was also sometimes possible for the driver to let off the brakes and let the coach roll a bit while steering it back within pole reach of the wires too.  The stop on Avenue Rd. southbound for Eglinton was set back a fair bit north of Eglinton because the coaches would have to pull away from the curb at the stop, get across to the middle to make the left turn on to Eglinton and then make the turn itself.  The wire was laid out with these movements in mind but sometimes there'd be a bad combination of passengers wanting to get off at that stop and traffic would sometimes get in the way such that the coach wasn't positioned well, or would end up positioned very badly and the poles would come off.  There was enough of a grade there to coast it far enough to close enough to the wire to get the poles back on.

 

17 hours ago, 7575 said:

So were reminescing now, eh?

Somehow a Little River Band song comes to mind...

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26 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

Somehow a Little River Band song comes to mind...

Lol me too now.

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5 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

No, the TTC ones were straight up electric only with no off wire capability.  Some of the Hamilton ones were outfitted with a small engine/generator unit but the TTC never did.  My understanding was that the tender for the replacement trolley coaches was going to specify the inclusion of a small auxiliary power unit but the decision to abandon the system was made and the tender was never issued.

Also, the north/south lines were usually not quite level so it was also sometimes possible for the driver to let off the brakes and let the coach roll a bit while steering it back within pole reach of the wires too.  The stop on Avenue Rd. southbound for Eglinton was set back a fair bit north of Eglinton because the coaches would have to pull away from the curb at the stop, get across to the middle to make the left turn on to Eglinton and then make the turn itself.  The wire was laid out with these movements in mind but sometimes there'd be a bad combination of passengers wanting to get off at that stop and traffic would sometimes get in the way such that the coach wasn't positioned well, or would end up positioned very badly and the poles would come off.  There was enough of a grade there to coast it far enough to close enough to the wire to get the poles back on.

 

Somehow a Little River Band song comes to mind...

Here's a video of Hamilton TCs. At 1:08 you can see one being operated with the battery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x4mJ8I5ZjE

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On 11/25/2018 at 7:16 AM, smallspy said:

All of the facing overhead switches were powered - with the possible exception of a couple of them where a line was shared with the streetcar overhead (and even then I'm not 100% certain how they got away with that) - and as far as I can tell they never installed the Selectric system or any of that kind of alternate directional control. They were all Power On/Off.

 

Dan

I'd have to disagree. I'd be quite surprised if there were no Selectrics on the TTC. Selectrics basically require zero driver intervention when making right hand turns at corners in particular.

There are 2 contactors ahead of the frogs in the switch that are offset from each other. If the coach is travelling straight through, the shoes don't contact the contactors at the same time, and the switch remains lined for straight through. If the coach is turning, however, the poles will be skewed and the shoes will contact the contactors at the same time, energizing the coils in each frog and sending the poles down the diverging route. There's then a deflector that the shoes will hit that reset the frogs.

http://trolleybuses.net/tor/htm/can_h_tor_flyer_9275_baydundas_19830122_ss.htm
The photo in the above link was the best one that I could find that shows this specific set up with the TTC (far right of the photo).

Typically power on/ power off switches used a different style of contactor and they were set a bit further in front of the switch.

My one and only memory of the TTC's trolleybuses was December 1992 when my family was in Toronto for Christmas. My grandmother took me Downtown on the GO Train to see where she worked at the CIBC. I remember looking out a window and seeing BBC's on the street below. I was left with the impression that all trolleybuses just looked like Edmonton's BBC's! 
I think by 1993 or 1994 I had learned that they were in fact Edmonton buses leased to Toronto, but, seeing those BBC's certainly was seared into my mind.

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I was doing some rummaging around and thought I'd unroll this front sign. The Nortown line got split up before the end with more frequent service on Avenue Rd. than on Mount Pleasant and new panels got spliced into the rolls to reflect the change.

By then TTC was doing monochromatic signs and the black and white panels were cut into existing three colour rolls. You can tell this roll came out of a trolleycoach that was based at Eglinton when it happened.  Occasionally when coaches got switched around, you'd find them making do with unmodified three colour rolls and using the best fitting old versions of the signs.

I actually rode the through routing a few times when I was a kid with one of my best friends who lived in the Avenue Rd. and Glengrove area. He had an older cousin who'd occasionally take us to the movies and the three of us would hop on up there, grab the bench seat at the back and ride down to Eglinton, through the station and out across Eglinton as the bus was heading over to Mt. Pleasant and get off by the York theatre.  Then we'd do the reverse trip back home after the show.

IMG_4301.JPG

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On 11/27/2018 at 1:11 AM, TTC T6H-5307N 2252 said:

Even though I heard New Flyer was pushing TTC to get the E40HF as there were drawing of them.

The drawing of a proposed TTC E40 appeared in the June 1987 issue of "The Coupler" which was the publication for TTC employees. As mentioned above though, TTC never went to tender for new trolley buses.

TTC E40.jpg

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On 12/8/2018 at 11:48 AM, Wayside Observer said:

I was doing some rummaging around and thought I'd unroll this front sign. The Nortown line got split up before the end with more frequent service on Avenue Rd. than on Mount Pleasant and new panels got spliced into the rolls to reflect the change.

By then TTC was doing monochromatic signs and the black and white panels were cut into existing three colour rolls. You can tell this roll came out of a trolleycoach that was based at Eglinton when it happened.  Occasionally when coaches got switched around, you'd find them making do with unmodified three colour rolls and using the best fitting old versions of the signs.

I actually rode the through routing a few times when I was a kid with one of my best friends who lived in the Avenue Rd. and Glengrove area. He had an older cousin who'd occasionally take us to the movies and the three of us would hop on up there, grab the bench seat at the back and ride down to Eglinton, through the station and out across Eglinton as the bus was heading over to Mt. Pleasant and get off by the York theatre.  Then we'd do the reverse trip back home after the show.

IMG_4301.JPG

Sweet. I used to have the side equivalent of this. All TCs had the same sign and I believe this was the T6 revision. B&W signs appeared around 1983-84. 

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4 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

Sweet. I used to have the side equivalent of this. All TCs had the same sign and I believe this was the T6 revision. B&W signs appeared around 1983-84. 

The front roll is stamped T15 for the revision number.  My side sign's unmodified though and has the original three colour prints for Nortown.  That's and older picture and I don't know what revision number it is offhand.  I'll have to check it out in a couple days when I have some free time.

It's kind of surreal that little bits and pieces like these are what's left of the trolley bus system that was a fixture of day to day life until the coaches were parked, the power was switched off and the wires were taken down. I'm glad I have the sign rolls though.

IMG_1315.JPG

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1 hour ago, Wayside Observer said:

The front roll is stamped T15 for the revision number.  My side sign's unmodified though and has the original three colour prints for Nortown.  That's and older picture and I don't know what revision number it is offhand.  I'll have to check it out in a couple days when I have some free time.

It's kind of surreal that little bits and pieces like these are what's left of the trolley bus system that was a fixture of day to day life until the coaches were parked, the power was switched off and the wires were taken down. I'm glad I have the sign rolls though.

IMG_1315.JPG

AH t15 my mistake. Nice signs and box I might add! Yeah, it's a shame also that HCRR got rid of their bus collection too. Not many examples of the D700 or E700s left.

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