Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tri City Railway Company

IRM recently acquired a trove of historical materials from the collection of the late Steve Scalzo, a museum supporter and noted traction historian who focused a great deal of attention and research work on the smaller interurban and street railway systems of Illinois. One of these companies was the Tri City Railway Company of Rock Island, a system which at one time  had well over 100 streetcars yet is practically unknown today. Relatively few photos of the line have been published and never, to my knowledge, has a company rolling stock roster been published.

Until now!

Sure enough, in Mr Scalzo's files there is are copies of an original TCR company roster dated April 1918. Photos (albeit not great quality photos) of the six pages of this roster are at the bottom of this post, following a condensed summary roster. This is not an all-time roster, in that any cars retired before 1918 or acquired after that date are not included. That's a sizable group: some 90 cars were destroyed in a 1913 car barn fire and don't appear on this roster. Even so it does have an incredible amount of information on the cars TCR owned as of 1918 and a bit of information has been added from other sources to fill in a few of the gaps. Photos are from www.newdavesrailpix.com except where noted.

Single truck (closed)
2, 11, 25, 56, #? (5 cars) - St Louis Car (year?), L=26'7", McGuire truck, 2xGE 57 motors, K-11 control, ? seats, hand brake (a)

23 (10 cars including this number) - Cincinnati 1909 ord#1080, L=33' (b)

35 - St Louis Car (year?), L=26'7", 2xGE 52 motors, K-11 control, ? seats, hand brake


83 - Tri-City Railway (year?), L=26'11", 2xGE 52 motors, K-10 control, ? seats, hand brake

247 - St Louis Car (year?), L=26'7", 2xGE 52 motors, K-10 control, ? seats, hand brake

253-258, 266, 268, 269 (9 cars) - Tri-City Railway 1907, L=33'0", Peckham 11 truck, 2xGE 80 motors, 28 seats, hand brake

Double truck (closed)
6, 8, 10 - Stephenson (year?), L=41'0", McGuire trucks, 4xGE 67 motors, K-6 control, 44 seats, Christianson AA1 pump (c)

12,14 - Cincinnati c1903? ord#145, L=43'5", McGuire trucks, 4 x GE 67 motors, K-6 control, 44 seats, Christianson AA1 pump

53 - builder/year?, L=38'10", Std O-50 trucks, 4xGE 80 motors, K-28B control, 40 seats, Christianson AB1 pump

79, 81 - builder/year?, L=36'0", McGuire trucks, 2xGE 67 motors, K-10 control, 36 seats, Christianson AA1 pump (d)


200-207, 209-210, 212-213, 216-217, 219, 222, 227, 230-232, 237 (21 cars) - Tri-City Railway 1900-1903, L=40'7", Brill 27G trucks, 4xGE 52 motors, K-12 control, 40 seats, Christianson AA1 pump (e)

211, 214-215, 218, 220-221, 223-226, 234, 236 (12 cars) - Tri-City Railway 1901-1903, L=40'7", Brill 27G trucks, 4xGE 52 motors, K-12 control, 44 seats, Christianson AA1 pump (f)

Period postcard; may show car 241 but not certain

238-241 (4 cars) - St Louis Car 1904 ord#463A, L=41'2", St Louis O-O trucks, 4xGE 70 motors, K-28B control, 36 seats, GE CP27 pump (g)

242-243 - St Louis Car 1904 ord#463A, L=41'2", Standard O-50 trucks, 4xGE 80 motors, K-28B control, ? seats, GE CP27 pump (h)

244 - Tri-City Railway 1917, L=42'2", Brill 27G trucks, 4xGE 52 motors, K-12 control, 44 seats, GE CP27 pump

280-285 (6 cars) - Chicago Surface Lines 1917, L=39'8", Curtis trucks, 4xGE 52 motors, K-12 control, 40 seats, Christianson AA1 pump (i)

303-306 (4 cars) - St Louis Car 1917, L=37'10", Brill 39E1 trucks, 2xGE 80 motors, K-10 control, 40 seats, Christianson AA1 pump (j)


307-326 (20 cars) - Chicago Surface Lines 1918, L=40'8", Peckham CUT trucks, 2xGE 57 motors, K-35 control, 44 seats, Christianson AA1 pump (k)

408-415 (8 cars) - Cincinnati 1910 ord#1310,  L=44'8" (m)

414-415 - Cincinnati 1910 ord#1290, L=44'9", Standard O-50 trucks, 4xGE 67 motors, K-28B control, 42 seats, GE CP27 pump (n)

Otto Vondrak Collection

416-425 (10 cars) - St Louis Car 1912 ord#918, L=45'0", Standard O-50 trucks, 4xWH 323 motors, K-35G control, 40 seats, GE CP27 pump (p)


426-450 (25 cars) - St Louis Car 1913 ord#998, L=45'0", Bay State 12 trucks, 4xWH 323 motors, K-35G control, 40 seats, GE CP27 pump

David Sebben Collection


451-485 (35 cars) - American Car 1913, L=43'1", Brill 51E1 trucks, 4 x WH 323 motors, K-35G control, 40 seats, GE CP27 pump (q)

486-495 (10 cars) - St Louis Car 1913 ord#998, Bay State 12 trucks, 4xGE 200 motors, K-35G control, 40 seats, GE CP27 pump (r)

David Sebben Collection

505-507 (3 cars) - St Louis Car 1916 ord#1107, L=30'1", Standard O-50 trucks, 4xGE 80 motors, K-28U control, 44 seats, GE CP27 pump (s)



601-606 (6 cars) - American Car 1923 ord#1329, L=38'6", Brill 77E1 trucks (t)

1450, 1486 - Chicago Surface Lines 1917, L=39'8", Curtis trucks, 4xGE 52 motors, K-12 control, 40 seats, Christianson AA1 pump (u)

Single truck (open)
64-69, 74, 77, 79, 80-84 (14 cars) - Pullman (year?), L=26'11", McGuire truck, 2xGE 57 motors, K-10 control, 45 seats, hand brake (v)



90 - St Louis Car 1900 ord#108, L=30'11", McGuire truck, 2xGE 52 motors, K-10 control, 60 seats, hand brake (w)

Davenport Public Library

Double truck (open)
3, 5 - American Car (year?), L=35'0", McGuire trucks, 2 x GE 80 motors, K-10 control, National A3 pump (x)

Period postcard view

7, 9, 11, 13 - St Louis Car (year?), L=37'5", McGuire trucks, 2 x GE 67 motors, K-10 control, Christianson AA1 pump (y)

Work cars
2-8 (7 cars) - ST snow sweepers - McGuire 1913, L=28'2", McGuire truck, 2xGE 52 motors, K-10 control, hand brake (z)

299 - DT sprinkler - Brill 1910 ord#17268, L=32'6", Brill 27G2 trucks, 4 x WH 101B2 motors, K-28B control, National pump

R1 - ST flat motor - Tri-City Railway (year?), L=25'0", McGuire trucks, 2 x GE 54 motors, K-10 control, hand brake

"Moline" - DT flat car - Tri-City Railway (year?), L=28'0", McGuire trucks, no motors

"City of Davenport" -ST -  L=18'0", McGuire 211 truck, 2xGE 67 motors, K-11 control, National pump (aa)

"Jumbo" - DT - 4 x GE 80 motors (bb)

Notes
(a) Car 25 had GE 52 motors
(b) This listing not in the 1918 roster but rather sourced from Cincinnati Car Co order list; it's possible that all ten cars of this series were destroyed in the 1913 barn fire*
(c) Car 8 had K-28B control and only 42 seats
(d) Cars 79 and 81 may have been single-truck; note too that the TCR roster includes two different cars numbered 79 and two different cars numbered 81, the duplicates to these being single-truck open cars
(e) Rebuilt as PAYE cars - cars 200-203 built 1900, 204-222 built 1901, 227 built 1902, 230-237 built 1903; cars 201, 210, 212, 217 had Standard O-50 trucks; cars 201 and 217 had 4xGE 67 motors; cars 202, 210, 212 had 4xGE 80 motors; car 210 had K-10 control; car 212 had K-28U control; cars 202-206, 227, and 237 had GE CP27 pumps
(f) Cars 211-221 built 1901, 223-226 built 1902, 234-236 built 1903; car 211 had Brill 39E1 trucks; car 211 had 2xGE 67 motors; car 221 had 2xGE 80 motors; car 234 had 4xGE 54 motors; car 211 had K-10 control; car 214 had a WH pump; car 234 had a GE CP27 pump; judging from gaps in the roster it seems likely that cars 208, 228-229, 233, and 235 were lost at some point, most likely in the 1913 barn fire*
(g) According to Alan Lind's book on SLCC, cars 238-243 were bought in 1907 from Davenport & Suburban, were originally fitted with St Louis 47 trucks (possibly what TCR termed "St L O-O" trucks), and car 240 was later sold to the Rock Island Southern as RIS #2; cars 238-243 may have been similar to the Chicago "Matchboxes," at the time a commonly-offered SLCC design
(h) Car 243 had St Louis O-O trucks and 4xGE 70 motors
(i) PAYE cars; assumed to have been ex-"Bowling Alley" 1429-1505 series cars built c1899 by Chicago Union Traction
(j) PAYE cars; car 306 had Standard O-50 trucks
(k) PAYE cars; Don Ross' website claims these were open cars rebuilt by CSL for resale
(m) This listing not in the 1918 roster but rather sourced from Cincinnati Car Co order list; cars 408-415 were all destroyed in the 1913 barn fire*
(n) Originally cars 401-407 (7 cars) were built on this order but five were burned up in the 1913 barn fire*; cars 403 and 407 were renumbered as 414-415.
(p) PAYE cars; cars 423-425 had Brill 51E1 trucks; cars 416-420 had 4xGE 80 motors; car 428 had 4xGE 200 motors; originally 20 cars numbered 416-435 were built on this order but 10 were destroyed in the 1913 barn fire* and the remaining cars were renumbered 416-425
(q) PAYE cars; one car from this series (number unknown) is preserved at IRM as a car body
(r) PAYE cars; built as Cedar Rapids & Marion City 41-50, purchased by TCR in 1914
(s) PAYE cars; car 505 had Brill 51E1 trucks
(t) This listing not in 1918 roster but rather sourced from American Car Co order list
(u) PAYE cars; bought secondhand from CSL in 1917 (Alan Lind's CSL book says 1486 was sold in 1914 while 1450 was sold in 1917), built c1899 by Chicago Union Traction, apparently these cars were not renumbered or hadn't been renumbered yet at the time the 1918 roster was made
(v) Car 77 had a Brill 21E truck; cars 64, 65, 67, 74, and 81 had GE 52 motors; car 65 was a trailer
(w) Originally cars 85-94 (10 cars) were built by SLCC on order #108 but by 1918 only one appears to have still been in service
(x) Car 5 noted as having no motors
(y) Car 7 had Bemis 40 trucks; cars 7 and 11 had K-6 control; car 7 noted as having no motors
(z) Two of the sweepers were sold in 1936 to Chicago & West Towns #18-19
(aa) "City of Davenport" marked as poor condition
(bb) very little information marked for "Jumbo"

It should also be noted that in 1913 TCR absorbed the Moline, East Moline & Watertown, a suburban line which appears to have rostered a total of seven cars including four 42' closed cars built 1902 by Stephenson (one car # 6), two 12-bench open cars built 1902 by Jackson & Sharp (ord #2215), and a snow plow built by Wason. There's no apparent evidence that any of this equipment was on the TCR roster as of 1918.

*In the June 1, 1913 barn fire, a total of 94 cars were lost. Working from the above roster and builder order lists this total most likely included: 23 series (10 cars), 200-236 series (5 cars), 401-407 series (5 cars), 408-415 series (8 cars), 416-435 series (10 cars), and possibly 85-94 series? (9 cars). That leaves, at minimum, some 47 cars lost in the fire not shown on this roster. Other obvious number series gaps such as 245-246, 248-252, 259-265, and 267 may also have been among the lost cars.







Many thanks to Ray Piesciuk and Richard Schauer for their help in copying these.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does this new information and roster shed an light; like the number, on the Tri-City car body

held in the IRM collection?

Ted Miles, IRM Member

Anonymous said...

Good question about the Tri-City car. How about it?

Unknown said...

Unfortunately the 1918 roster doesn't provide any clues as to the fleet number of our car. We know ours was from the 451-485 series, so this roster does provide information on how our car was equipped in service. At some point we will need to conduct an archaeological examination of our car body to try and find its fleet number.