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)

1-50 (50 cars) - St Louis Car 1891, L=26'7", McGuire truck, 2xGE 57 motors, K-11 control, ? seats, hand brake (a)

Rock Island County Historical Society

Retro Quad Cities

Rock Island County Historical Society

eBay listing

Retro Quad Cities

Augustana College

51-62 - LaClede 1892 - all cars gone before 1918

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

unknown single-trucker, may be #246, photo from Retro Quad cities

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

Electric Railway Review

Photo from SchuetzenPark.info

Stephen Scalzo Photo Collection, Illinois Railway Museum

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

270-279 (10 cars) - Cincinnati 1909 ord#1080, L=32'10", Peckham 11 truck, 2xGE 80 motors, 28 seats (c.2)

Stephen Scalzo Collection, Illinois Railway Museum

Double truck (closed)
6, 8, 10 - Stephenson (1902), L=41'0", McGuire trucks, 4xGE 67 motors, K-6 control, 44 seats, Christianson AA1 pump (d)

Retro Quad Cities
Oops. Retro Quad Cities
Augustana College
Augustana College

12, 14 - Cincinnati 1905 ord#145, L=43'5", McGuire trucks, 4 x GE 67 motors, K-6 control, 44 seats, Christianson AA1 pump (e)

53 - builder/year?, L=38'10", Std O-50 trucks, 4xGE 80 motors, K-28B control, 40 seats, Christianson AB1 pump (e.1)

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

Electric Railway Review


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 (g)
Jim Reep Photo / Retro Quad Cities


Krambles-Peterson Archive


Car 219 in Bridge Line green; Retro Quad Cities photo

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 (h)

Period postcard showing car 241
What appears to be a 238-243 series car is shown on the causeway to Grand Isle (today known as Credit Island) - Retro Quad Cities

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 (i)

Period postcard showing a 238-243 series car at bottom center

Car 243 was involved in a wreck with a CD&M interurban car on October 13, 1926 (the CD&M car had recently been purchased by that line from Tri-City Railway)

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 (j)

244 - Tri-City Railway 1917, L=42'2", Brill 27G trucks, 4xGE 52 motors, K-12 control, 44 seats, GE CP27 pump (j.1)

Car 284 after conversion to a salt spreader; photo from Iowa Trolleys

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

Stephen Scalzo Collection, Illinois Railway Museum

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 (m)

Electric Railway Journal

Photo from donsdepot.donrossgroup.net

Electric Railway Journal

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 (n)

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

TCR 414-415 series as built

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

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 (r)


TCR 428 in East Moline on October 2, 1931 - color scheme unknown - R.V. Mehlenbeck photo from the Illinois Railway Museum's Stephen Scalzo Collection

George Krambles photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive

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 (r.1)

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 (s)

Kat Hat photo / Retro Quad Cities

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 (t)

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 (u)



601-606 (6 cars) - American Car 1923 ord#1329, L=38'6", Brill 77E1 trucks (v)

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

Single truck (open)
63-68 - Pullman 1895 ord#859, L=26'11", McGuire truck, 2xGE 57 motors, K-10 control, 45 seats, hand brake (x)

69-74 - Pullman 1898 ord#898, L=26'11", McGuire truck, 2xGE 57 motors, K-10 control, 45 seats, hand brake (x)

75-84 - Pullman 1899 ord#923, L=26'11", McGuire truck, 2xGE 57 motors, K-10 control, 45 seats, hand brake (x)



85-94 - St Louis Car 1900 ord#108, L=30'11", McGuire truck, 2xGE 52 motors, K-10 control, 60 seats, hand brake (y)

Davenport Public Library


Retro Quad Cities

Double truck (open)
3, 5 - Jackson & Sharp 1902 ord#2215-2216, L=35'0", McGuire trucks, 2 x GE 80 motors, K-10 control, National A3 pump (z)
Retro Quad Cities


Retro Quad Cities

Period postcard view

7, 9, 11, 13 - St Louis Car 1903, L=37'5", McGuire trucks, 2 x GE 67 motors, K-10 control, Christianson AA1 pump (aa)

Rock Island Public Library

300-313 (14 cars) - St Louis Car 1903, L=37'0", Brill 39E1 trucks, 2 x GE 80 motors, K-10 control (aa.1)

Work cars

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


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

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

"City of Davenport" - ST sprinkler - Tri-City Railway (year?) - L=18'0", McGuire 211 truck, 2xGE 67 motors, K-11 control, National pump (dd)

"Rock Island" - cab-on-flat - Tri-City Railway (year?), L=25'0", McGuire trucks, 2 x GE 54 motors, K-10 control (dd.1)

"Jumbo" - DT locomotive - Tri-City Railway (year?) - Standard O-50 trucks, 4 x GE 80 motors, K-28 control (ee)

Period postcard of car 4 in Davenport c1910. This is likely a CD&M interurban car.


No information exists on these TCR sightseeing cars, apparently rebuilt from double-truck open cars. The second photo is from July 1909 and shows two of them. They may have been destroyed in the 1913 fire.* Photos from Retro Quad Cities

Notes
(a) As of the 1918 roster, only cars 2, 11, 25 and 35 were still on the roster, likely in utility use; cars 25 and 35 had GE 52 motors
(b) Car 247's condition as of 1918 listed as "junk"
(c) These cars were the only remaining cars in 1918 of a 20-car series, cars 250-269, built by TCR in 1906; in 1916, two cars were sold to the Albia Light & Ry as their #11-12; 1 car sold 11/1916 to Iowa Southern Utilities as their #7; 1 car rebuilt 1917 to DT car 244, which see
(c.2) Cars 270-279 were all off the roster by 1918; 2 were sold 11/1916 to the Mason City & Clear Lake as their #35-36, possibly 2 more cars sold 11/1916 to Iowa Southern Utilities as their #7-8?
(d) Car 8 had K-28B control and only 42 seats; acquired from the Moline, East Moline & Watertown, a suburban line absorbed in 1906, same numbers. The MEM&W began service in 1902 with four Stephenson cars (including a car numbered 6), two 12-bench open cars built by Jackson & Sharp, and a Wason plow. It is not obvious whether any of the other MEM&W equipment (other than cars 6-14, even only) was still on the TCR roster as of 1918.
(e) Acquired from the Moline, East Moline & Watertown in 1906, same numbers
(e.1) Acquired 11-1917 from the Grand Rapids Grand Haven & Muskegon, same number
(f) Cars 79 and 81 were acquired 11-1917 secondhand, original owner unknown
(g) Rebuilt as PAYE cars - dates differ: cars 200-203 built 1900 or 1902, 204-222 built 1901 or 1903, 223-229 built 1902 or 1904, 230-237 built 1903 or 1905; 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; car 215 was rebuilt into Clinton Davenport & Muscatine work car 88 c1931; one other car rebuilt c1924 as CD&M locomotive 66; three cars sold 1922 to Cedar Rapids & Marion City as CR&MC 110-112
(h) 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*
(i) 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 sold in 1923 to the Rock Island Southern as RIS #2 or #240 (?); cars 238-243 were largely identical to the Chicago "Matchboxes," at the time a commonly-offered SLCC design
(j) Car 243 had St Louis O-O trucks and 4xGE 70 motors as of 1918, however a 1926 wreck photo clearly shows that at that time it had Standard O-50 trucks
(j.1) Car 244 was rebuilt from a 250-series single-truck car
(k) PAYE cars; ex-"Bowling Alley" unrebuilt 1429-1505 series cars built c1899 by Chicago Union Traction; 284 and 285 (and possibly others) later converted to salt spreaders
(m) PAYE cars; car 306 had Standard O-50 trucks; rebuilt from SLCC-built open cars of the same number, according to ERJ vol. 51 no. 4 p. 212 these cars were rebuilt in 1917 by TCR
(n) PAYE cars; ex-Chicago Union Traction open cars 5979-5982, 5984, 5986-5990, 5992-5993, 5995-5996, 5998-5999, 6001, and 6003-6005 built by CUT in 1900 and rebuilt by CSL at West Shops for resale, equipped for two-car train operation for use in Arsenal service due to a shortage of operating crews; apparently retired following WWI
(p) 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*
(q) 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.
(r) PAYE cars (at least some later rebuilt to one-man); 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; 9 cars were rebuilt 1923-1924 for interurban service, 3 sold to Mason City & Clear Lake as their #4-6, 6 sold to Clinton Davenport & Muscatine as their #21-26 (#23-26 renumbered #31-34)
(r.1) Cars 428 and 435 got 4 x GE 200 motors from 488 and 495 in 1935
(s) PAYE cars (at least some later rebuilt to one-man); car 483 from this series is preserved at IRM as a car body
(t) PAYE cars; built as Cedar Rapids & Marion City 41-50, purchased by TCR in 1914, in 1935 six cars were rebuilt and sent back to the CR&MC as #113-118 (renumbered #213-218)
(u) PAYE cars; car 505 had Brill 51E1 trucks
(v) This listing not in 1918 roster but rather sourced from American Car Co order list
(w) 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
(x) By 1918, only 14 cars numbered 64-69, 74, 77, 79, 80-84 were still on the roster, likely in utility use; car 77 had a Brill 21E truck; cars 64, 65, 67, 74, and 81 had GE 52 motors; car 65 was a trailer
(y) 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
(z) Ex-Moline, East Moline & Watertown same numbers, acquired 1906; car 5 noted as having no motors, presumably out of service; these cars are described in the 1918 TCR roster as being built by American Car but that appears to be incorrect
(aa) Ex-Moline, East Moline & Watertown same numbers, acquired 1906; car 7 had Bemis 40 trucks; cars 7 and 11 had K-6 control; car 7 noted as having no motors
(aa.1) 13-bench open cars, all but cars 303-306 were destroyed in the 1913 barn fire, those four were rebuilt in 1918 into closed cars with the same numbers, which see
(bb) At one point there was also a sweeper #1, not on the 1918 roster; sweepers #2 and #3 were sold in 1936 to Chicago & West Towns #18-19; date of #1-4 unknown, #5 built 1912, #6-8 built 1913
(cc) Later rebuilt as snow plow; another source says built by American Car on ord#908
(dd) "City of Davenport" marked as poor condition
(dd.1) "Rock Island" not listed on 1918 roster at all
(ee) very little information marked for "Jumbo" but other sources say it was rebuilt from a steam railroad coach, sold 1946 to Rock Island Southern as RIS #800

*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.

In later years cars were painted yellow with a red stripe at the belt rail. The exceptions were cars used in Bridge Line service between Rock Island and Davenport via Arsenal Island, which had a green livery. Cars delivered around 1913 may have been overall yellow when new. Hand-colored postcards suggest pre-1913 colors were dark green with white or cream along the windows but this is suspect given the source.







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

5 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?

Frank 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.

Lucas McKay said...

Is the tri city streetcar body still stored outside, specifically in yard 15? While touring the south yards yesterday, I came across a tarped electric car body that I believe to be the tri city car. It seems to be suffering from the outside storage, as any car would.

Frank Hicks said...

Yes, the tarped streetcar at the end-of-track in Yard 15 is indeed the Tri-City Railway car.