The Shore Line Trolley Museum's rail car roster documents significant
details of each member of the collection. As the configuration of any
given car likely changed several times during its service life, the
information that is presented reflects the state of the car as it exists
in our collection. Typically, this implies the configuration when the
car was last in regular service. However, some cars have been
restored to be authentic to a different period in their lifetime.
Furthermore, some cars have non-authentic equipment installed either
because the original equipment was not present on the car when it was
acquired, or because the equipment was damaged. In these cases, the correct
configuration is documented, and a footnote advises of any discrepancies.
The following columns are present in the roster table:
- Car Number
- The car number which the car carried in service. Often,
a car carried several different numbers during its service lifetime. For
example, a car may have started life as a passenger car in one city, been
renumbered for bureaucratic reasons, sold to another city and renumbered
again, and then converted to work service and renumbered yet again. The
car is listed under the car number which is correct for the period of the
car as it is configured. Other car numbers are given a partial entry which
refers to the main entry.
- The operating company which owned the car. Where the car was
owned by different companies during its lifetime, a partial entry is given
for each ownership, along with the city and car number. In many cases,
the names of operating companies changed over the years, or companies
were acquired. Under these circumstances, the multiple names are not
- The city in which the car was operating under the owner and
car number listed.
- The company which built the car body. Trucks, motor and brake
equipment were usually supplied by other companies and installed either by
the car builder or by the owner.
- Num Trucks
- Single-truck (ST) or double-truck (DT). Each truck
carries two axles, or four wheels. On single truck cars, the truck is
rigidly mounted under the center of the car body. Each truck of a double
truck car is mounted on a pivot near the ends of the car, to allow the trucks
to follow the curvature of the track and permit a heavier and longer car.
- Truck Type
- The manufacturer and model number of the truck(s).
- The number of traction motors (the motors which propel the car),
their manufacturer and model number. The majority of the equipment listed
was made either by General Electric (GE) or Westinghouse (WH).
- Double-ended (DE) or single-ended (SE). Double-ended cars
can be operated from either end of the car. Single-ended cars have a
definite front and a back, and require a loop or wye track to turn around.
The choice of endedness was dictated primarily by a system's track layout.
- Open cars have open sides and running boards from which
passengers can board and alight. Closed cars have an enclosed body design,
with access via doors. Some closed cars have open end platforms. Convertible
designs have removable panels allowing the car to operate in either an
open or closed configuration.
- The style of roof: Traditional "railroad" (steam coach)
style, with a curved transition over the platforms, "deck", in which
the raised clerestory stops abruptly before the platform, and "arch",
with a smooth, curved roof lacking a clerestory.
- The classification of the car according to function. The
first word is the major class: streetcar (passenger), rt (rapid transit),
- Length of the car, in feet.
- The model number of the car's air compressor, if applicable.
- The weight of the car, in pounds. This figure is taken from
builder's data, and may not be entirely accurate where installed equipment
has been changed on the car.
- The number of passenger seats, if applicable.
- The type of traction motor controls installed. The "K"-type
series-parallel controller design was the most prevalent in
streetcars, superseding the
earlier "R"-type design, and the model numbers were standardized between
General Electric and Westinghouse. A K-type
controller directly controls the flow of current to the motors and grid
resistors, using a metal camshaft, operated via an insulated crank handle
by the motorman. Heavier cars that require more current than a K-type
controller can safely handle, or multiple-unit cars, use a group switch
design. A master controller, similar in appearance to the K-type
controller, energizes control wires which operate heavy-duty electrical
contactors inside the group switch under the car. For group-switch equipped
cars, the manufacturer and model number of the group switch system is given.
- Information about the brake system of the car.
- The materials used for the structural members which
support the weight of the car. Even steel cars have some amount
of wood in them in seats, windows, etc. A car listed as "wood" uses
wooden timbers as the main structural support, and usually has a turnbuckle
to stiffen the car body against center sagging. "Composite" cars use
a steel underframe but wooden upper members.
- The page or pages on which information about or photos
of the car appear in the latest edition of the museum's guidebook.
- Other #s
- Other roster numbers by which the car has been known.
- Indicates additional comments about the car, attached to the
end of the roster table.