Sunday, January 1, 2017

Rock Island Southern - Northern Roster

NORTHERN DIVISION ELECTRIC EQUIPMENT


No.
Built
In svc
OOS
Type
Builder
Notes
PASSENGER EQUIPMENT
300
1907
1910
1920
Wood Coach 62'
AC motors


Niles

ex-WB&A

301
1920
Burned in Monmouth fire c. 1931
302
1919
Burned in Monmouth fire c. 1931
303
1920

304
1920

305
1920
Rebuilt as combine
425
1910
1918
Wood Coach 62'
Trailers
Burned in Cameron fire 8/6/18
426
Burned in Cameron fire 8/6/18
FREIGHT EQUIPMENT
101
1910?

?
AC Box motor
?
Renumbered 201?
102?

?
AC Box motor
Renumbered 202?



THE NILES CARS

Certainly the most interesting cars to operate on the line were the Niles passenger cars built for the Washington Baltimore and Annapolis.  The WB&A was designed as a high-speed direct route between Washington and Baltimore, and its original equipment consisted of an order of 19 large, heavy interurban cars built by Niles.   They were 62'3" long, weighed about 120,000 lbs, and seated 66.  The builder was very proud of these cars and advertised them as the "Electric Pullmans".

The original electrical equipment was very complex.  The main line of the WB&A was wired for 6600V AC, but the cars had to operate over low-voltage DC streetcar tracks in both Washington and Baltimore.  The line in Washington used a dual overhead.  The cars had two poles at each end, one 12' and one 15' long.  The longer pole was used on the AC main line, and the shorter pole was used in Baltimore for the 600V line. Both poles were used in Washington, with the longer switched to negative.  The cars were used for only about two years, and were then withdrawn from service for various reasons and returned to the builder.

When the Rock Island Southern was looking for passenger equipment in 1910, these seemed to be just about right.  Some modifications were made.  The originally double-end cars were converted to single end, and the trolley poles were replaced with pantographs.  The dual-voltage equipment was replaced, since only 11,000V AC was used.  Six cars were purchased in 1910 and sent to Westinghouse for the changes to the electrical system.  Two more cars were purchased, but delivered as unpowered trailers.  The trailers were withdrawn from service by WWI and stored in the Cameron carbarn, where they burned in 1918.   The six motor cars continued in service on the Northern Division until the end of electric operation early in 1920.  It appears that all of these cars were retained for many years, and saw occasional use on steam-powered trains.


One of the Niles cars on the WB&A in its original configuration.




A two-car train pulling into the Matherville station.


A two-car train at Rock Island.


One of the cars at Aledo.


Car 302 at Monmouth.


Car 305 on one of the spindly trestles.


One of the motor cars retained for use as a trailer on steam trains, seen at the 20th St. station in 1924.


Little information on the two box motors is available.  They had offset doors at the end of the car for loading lumber.



The two freight motors on the trestle over the Edwards River, with the power house in the background.





The Northern Division also owned several steam locomotives, cabooses, and freight cars of various types over the years, but very little information is available.  For the locomotives, in most cases all we have are the road numbers, and in some cases, not even that.  Most engines seem to have been smaller, obsolete types; 4-4-0's and 2-6-0's, mostly purchased or leased from the CRI&P.

All of these pictures are from the Don Ross collection.

All of the Rock Island Southern's locomotives wound up in the scrap line at Silvis.




The last locomotive to operate was Wisconsin & Michigan 527, acquired in 1938.









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