Did You Spot It?

Either the trolleys are rather small or the track guage is much bigger than “standard. It is, if course, the latter. The trolley rails are 5 feet 2 1/4 inches apart. In the Republic of Ireland the indigenous gauge is 5 feet 3 inches and traditional tracks in Spain are 5 feet 5 and 21/32 inches. Standard gauge world-wide is 4 feet 8 1/2 inches.
Weirdly, the line to feature in today’s blog has a gauge of 5 feet 2 1/2 inches, 1/4 inch wider than the green trolleys of which above was an example!

It all kicks off at the 69th Street Transportation Center, which the UK might call an interchange

There is.lots of it.
This is NOT in the city centre. The location is shown on this Google Earth view …

… marker pin top left above. The city centre lies between the two rivers to the east.

This is roughly where Mr Penn developed his embryo city in 1682. It has changed a bit since then!

We will return to the 69th Street Transportation Center in due course, but, for the moment we will concentrate on one little bit.

This is the turning loop for trolley lines 101 and 102.

There used to be a 103 and 104.  

The 104 ran mainly on central reservation along the West Chester “pike” (turnpike historically) …

It looks very old-fashioned because it was.

The “sweeper” car (used to clear snow from the rails) …

… was built in 1922. 

When the main road was widened the trolleys got the push and bus route 104 replaced them.
In places, the Ardmore Line 103 looked almost rural.

After closure, part of the line became the Ardmore Busway …

… still providing reserved track between two estate riads for part of replacement route 103. Just beyond the bridges (below) is Ardmore Junction former trolley station.

It never was a junction, in the sense that tracks did not diverge or merge.

But the upper level carried another line which will appear later in this series of blogs.

Passengers could junct even if the tracks didn’t!

The 103 and 104 expired in the mid 1960s, but 101 and 102 remain, departing from the Transportation Center …

… as do buses 103 and 104, seen on the right.

101 and 103 trolleys are shown BROWN, 103 and 104 buses are RED.

Until 1981 the two remaining lines remained almost as a working museum with stock dating from immediately pre WW2 to the mid 1940s.

The whole ambience if the line is of a country tram service round which the town expanded. 

This is the minimalist Media terminus of line 101.

There is a shelter on the kerbside!

At Sharon Hill, the 102 terminus, the line calls at Mc Dade Boulevard …

… then there is a short stretch of reserved track – single line, note …

… to the terminus, end on to a busy road.

There is a bus stop adjacent; but both lines 101 and 102 are similarly quaint.

But in 1981 new rolling stock arrived.

But it is still VERY quaint. The Red Arrow name …

… was consigned to history although one of the 1981 new stock appeared ceremonially in red.

Yep, all very quaint; this one was from 1917 …

… and these were called Queen Marys!

Hmm, Southdown’s had a nicer livery!

And today there is definitely a quaint frequency.

A modest half hourly headway is operated Monday to Saturday …

…and hourly on Sundays. 102 is similar.

Much more like the rural line it used to be and certainly not what we might expect from a modern big-city tram service.
Tomorrow we change from the 101 and 102 to a train at 69th Street Transportation Centre. We will explore the Philadelphia El!
Marquee Canvas Replaced

The cafe owner must have been a railway fan.  His choice design of fencing is classic Midland Railway!

Distinctively diagonal!

 Next Philadelphia Transportation blog : Tues 13th June 
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