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The Articlulated

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No.'s 100-101 : "The Articulated"
Orig: 1892, Modified: 1913
Two, C&S on each car (four for train)
Two, GE-58 on each car (37.5 h.p.)
 Two, GE K-6 each (four for train)
GE emergency air SF-4
73' 4" (entire two car train)
7' 4.5"
66,200 lbs. (entire train)
2 long. in bodies & 2 long. on rear platform
68 passengers (102 with standees)
Narrow (42")

Comments:  This was an experimental articulated car similar in concept to the "two rooms and a bath" style successfully employed in Boston, but using two double-trucked cars.  PRL&P rebuilt this car in 1913 from two former C&S Standard cars (No.'s 100 and 101).  A conductor's cab/entrance way was hung between the two cars, each of which had one platform and vestibule removed.  This created one of the few center entrance cars ever used in Portland (see also the 1130 series).

The idea behind this unique car was to produce a unit which would hold a larger number of passengers than a single car, thus reducing the number of cars needed during rush periods.  In addition, the rebuild made this into a more efficient boarding PAYE (pay as you enter) car.  Lastly, it was hoped that the outdated, small C&S Standards could once again be effectively used and for a low remodelling expense.

Passengers boarded the three-foot-high joined cars via three steps; the first two into the center vestibule, and the last one on a pivotal section between that compartment and either car.  The center compartment was carried on a steel underframe which pivoted on center bearings.  It contained four doors (all mounted on the "near side"), the central two of which were for entrance, with the outer two reserved for exit.  The conductor sat at his post behind the entrance doors in the center compartment.  Barriers at each end of the platform steps separated the flow of boarding and alighting passengers.  A movable post holding fare registering and door operating mechanisms was placed in the center of the compartment near the condutor's stool and the bell cord (used to signal the motorman).  The trolley poles (one on each car) were operated through ventilator slots in the center compartment roof.  The conductor also had his own emergency air brake control.

End platforms were adjusted according to the direction the car was taking.  Folding longitudinal seats blocked the doors on the rear end of the car, while the opposite end was reserved for use by the motorman.  These rear seats increased the seating capacity of the cars by four.

This articulated car was built at a cost of approximately $1,900.  Four additional articulateds were planned, but not constructed due to the lack of success of the original.  Car 100-101 proved too slow both in boarding and acceleration.  It invariably held up traffic during rush hour.

Nevertheless, this car saw regular service on the Alberta Line for several months after it went into service in 1914.  A humorous story survives this brief tenure of operation.  The forward trolley pole was soon the only one used following an incident in which the rear pole tripped an electric overhead switch causing each car to take a different route through the intersection of SW 5th and Morrison downtown and stranding the conductor, whose cubicle had fallen off in the middle of the intersection!

The articulated car was later tried on the Kenton Traction Company's line and humorous stories are told about this period too.  Quitting time at the Swift and Company stockyards in North Portland usually saw a rush of riders, and the articulated was talked up as a solution.  But the stockyard men developed a way of getting a free ride home.  Two would pay their fares and each go into a different car, whereupon they would throw open the windows and let their friends swarm aboard.  It is said that this experience not only ended the use of the articulated on this line, but soured management on the idea of center entrance cars in general.  The two units making up the articulated were rebuilt as separate cars again in 1920.

Retirement:  1933 = 101;  1936 = 100.

Technical Notes:  Most likely received Nelson Safety Fenders during the rebuild. 

101 was remodeled for one-man operation when it was converted back into a single car again in 1920, but 100 was apparently not one-manned until the year it was retired.

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