Thursday, September 3, 2015

Visit to MOT, Part 4

 Down on the lower level at MOT is the electric car storage barn, where the unrestored electric cars are kept.  This is not normally open to the public, for reasons which will become obvious, but we were allowed to go through it and take some pictures for you.  We've already seen most of the restored electric equipment, some of which operates, and is on display up above.

 This is SLPS #215.  It was built in 1892 by Brownell as an early single-truck streetcar, later converted into a rail grinder.  The basic mechanical parts preserve the first-generation electric car designs, such as WH 95 traction motors.

This early steeple-cab was built in 1893 by GE, then rebuilt in 1901 to its present configuration for the Manufacturer's Railroad.  It was preserved by GE itself for a while, then donated to MOT.

This is a Kansas City Birney.  It apparently was acquired at the very beginning of MOT, back in 1949 or so.

This is IT combine 241, built by ACF in 1908.  It is thus the oldest standard passenger car from the IT, and was the first IT car selected for preservation, in 1950.    The arched windows were never covered over.

The 104 is part of the same four-car series as our 101.

And then the 410, which is of course from the same series as the 415.

And the Purdue test car, a unique specimen.  There are many other items in the barn, but in inaccessible locations.

The Aerotrain is now nicely displayed alongside the trolley barn.  Built by GM in 1955, these Talgo cars "rode poorly at high speeds" and the train was purchased by the Rock Island for commuter service, where it ran until 1965.

I never got to ride these in service, but I can recall riding similar units at Green Bay many years ago.  They rode poorly at low speeds, too.  It was like being on a speeder, you could feel every joint.

And then there's this nice MoPac rail bus.  

Finally, if you need a place to stay after this long and exhausting journey, over in the auto museum we have part of an early Rt. 66 motel preserved.  It even had individual garages.  Sure looks inviting.


David Wilkins said...

The KCPS Birney is reportedly in the very early stages of restoration. The windows have been removed for refurbishment. Eventually, the car will be moved up to the shop for an operational restoration.

The 215 you have pictured was actually built in the 1940s to replace the old rail grinder, also numbered 215, and parked behind it. The old 215 was built by Brownell, while the pictured one was built by SLPS at their shops at 39th and Park Ave. in St. Louis City. The rail grinding equipment was reused. The old 215 was a very early acquisition by MOT.

A couple of other side notes, the horse car pictured in the first post was the reason MOT was formed. SLPS wanted to get rid of it and local railfans joined together to save it, and thus was born MOT.

The entire museum was originally confined to the upper level by the old tunnel, as the Missouri Pacific let the museum use the property free of charge. The collection grew and they had to deal with it in the space allotted. There is/was a plan that can wind the streetcar down to the bottom by the new visitor's center, but that is in the future. Also, the visitor's center is designed for easy expansion. What you see is only the first phase of 2 or 3.

Randall Hicks said...

Thanks for the details, David.

Anonymous said...

It might be worth noting that the reason that they do not operate any of their St Louis streetcars is that the local track gauge was four feet 10 inches.

I did not know that the Purdue test car was there; I have a post card of it in my collection. Thanks for showing it!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Ted Miles