TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: 25 Hz power Re: Tie Lines was Re: Foreign Exchange Lines

Re: 25 Hz power Re: Tie Lines was Re: Foreign Exchange Lines
1 Jun 2005 13:46:47 -0700

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I still recall how Chicago Transit
> Authority used to switch between 'third rail' and overhead (catenary)
> wires north of Howard Street on the Evanston line and the Skokie
> line. Train would pull out of the station (using third rail), get a
> short distance up the track, coast to a stop and while they were in
> the process of hoisting the catenary pole into place, one or more of
> the clerks would walk through the cars like the proverbial train
> bandits of old times, telling the passengers "five cents more to
> continue your ride, please". People would get in their purses to find
> a nickel to hand over, but thoughtful passengers who made the trip
> each day and knew what to expect had already paid their five cent
> surcharge at the station where they boarded the train and instead of
> a nickle for the clerk would produce a a scrap of paper instead which
> I think was entitled 'proof of payment' and hand that over to the
> clerks instead. PAT]

I got burned with that.

I was joyriding the Evanston Line to the end and decided to stay in
the station to avoid paying another fare to get back in. The train
left and stopped as you said. The conductor had this heavy belt with
a series of fare registers (counters) for various fare types. I ended
up paying a full fare anyway. If I had paid at Evanston that cashier
would've given me a reciept for the conductor. Apparently the little
stations in between are unmanned.

If I knew that operation I would've gotten off and checked out the
ancient station and surroundings and got a few pics.

The Evanston Line is 3rd rail all the way but AFAIK the manual
fare collection continues.

I've heard the Skokie Swift line will convert to all 3rd rail.
That had an automated home-made pantograph conversion.

BTW, the NYC subway has a light line in Staten Island ("SIRT") where
they did away with most fare collection. Most passengers are riding
to the ferry terminal at St. George. At St. George one must pay a
fare to leave or enter the SIRT line, but no fares are collected
anywhere else on the line. So, if you are travelling between any
station except St. George you ride free. Some psgrs get off one
station early before St. George and walk about a mile to avoid the
fare. Since fare collection was all manual, they saved two crewmen
for each train who didn't have to swing through collecting cash or

At one time SIRT had a nice bucolic flavor to it but now it seems like
any other subway, just with a lot less people. A recent station
rebuilding replaced quaint wood shelters and platforms with heavy
steel and concrete. More durable but not as attractive. SIRT was
originally a branch of the B&O RR. (go to NYC Transit and Staten Island Rapid Transit).

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Evanston is now third-rail entirely,
but many years ago it was catenary for most of its distance. PAT]

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