This article, from The Street Railway Journal, March, 1891, describes the new cable line of the Baltimore Traction Company.
The Baltimore Cable Line.
The Baltimore Traction Co's cable line, a brief description of which was given in our August issue, is rapidly nearning completion, and will probably be put in operation about the first of April. The line embraces eleven miles of single track and makes fifty-eight single track curves, there being 2,900 ft. of curve construction. As before stated, the engineering difficulties encountered were very great, it being necessary to sewer a portion of the line and to put in cross sewers to conduct the surface drainage of intersecting streets beneath the conduit, there being no system of street sewerage in the city.
The street work has been done by the United States Construction Co., while the Pennsylvania Iron Works Co., of Philadelphia, furnished the boilers and machinery equipment for the two power stations, also the vault machinery, the carrying and curve pulleys with their mountings, and the grips. The entire construction has been done in a first-class manner, and reflects great credit upon the engineers and contractors, causing this system to rank among the best that have been established.
Through the courtesy of the principal contractors and that of the Traction Co. we are able to present to our readers the accompanying illustrations of the buildings, driving machinery and boilers of the Druid Hill plant, the equipment of the two stations being duplicates of each other.
Two ropes are to be driven from each station, one at seven and a half miles per hour, and the other at eleven and a half miles, regulated by the diameter of the winding drums, which are respectively ten and a half and sixteen feet in diameter. It will be seen from illustration, Fig. 1, the method of driving is a new departure from that ordinarily employed. Two Corliss engines, 28 X 60, each 500 H. P., supply the power which is transmitted from the engine shaft to the main shaft by thirty-two rope belts. The rope driving drums are, respectively, eight and twenty-four feet in diameter, each having an eight foot four inch face. The cable drums are not geared together, but the driver is equipped with the Whitton compensating gear and the idler is a double drum, one half being keyed to the shaft, the other mounted loose on the shaft. The drums are provided with removable rims as shown in the figure. The main shaft is eighteen inches in diameter, reduced to fifteen inches between the rope wheel and cable drums, and this, as well as the engine shaft, is provided with jawed clutches, operated by compound gear. All the shafting is supported by extra heavy bearings on a heavy cast-iron bed-plate.
The steam plant, Fig. 2, consists of six horizontal tubular steel boilers eighteen feet long and seventy-two inches in diameter, with full cast-iron fronts. They are divided into two nests, one on each side of the stack, each set being connected to a large steam drum, as shown. They are set in the usual return flue manner, and are so arranged that each nest, both nests, or each boiler may be used separately.
A Worthington duplex pump and two Monitor injectors are provided, each of suitable capacity for feeding all the boilers, and so connected as to feed one or all.
The steam fittings are extra heavy, and the piping not carried overhead, is laid in brick trenches and covered with floor plating, so that it is readily accessible. A large Berryman feed-water heater is also provided, as shown.
Fig. 3 is a ground plan of the building, showing only one-half of the car house, however. The tracks are constructed over ten pits running the whole length of the building, the space between the rails paved with stone and grouted, and the pits lined with cement. A transfer table, operated by a cable driven by a duplex vertical engine and the Grist drums, in the front end of the building, will receive the cars as they come from the street and transfer them, without removing the grip, to any of the storage tracks.
The power house, Fig. 4, is one of the finest structures of the kind in the country, and extends 264 ft. on Druid Hill Avenue and about the same diance on Retreat Street. The style is a modified Romanesque. The material is dark red brick, with red joints, trimmed with Richmond granite. The cornices are of copper, and the roofing terra cotta tiles. The floor and wainscot of the engine room are of oak, while the boiler room and vaults have a concrete floor, and the coal room is paved with Belgian blocks.
The present car equipment will consist of twenty eight-wheel coaches built at the shops of the Philadelphia Traction Co, and after the latest style turned out from these shops. They will have two four-wheel trucks, the wheels being twenty-two inches in diameter, and the gripman's cab will be in one corner of the car. The cars are thirty feet long, and the rear platform is railed in on one side. The cars are painted light color with yellow upper and main panel, the interior finish is plain, the heading being painted white. The cars are lighted with three globe centre lamps.
The track consists of a seventy-eight pound Johnson girder rail, with the exception of the curves, which have a rail of special form laid on wooden stringers, the object of the stringers being to deaden the noise of the curve pulleys. The cast iron yokes in the tangent construction weigh 410 lbs. each, the curve yokes weigh 420 lbs. each, while the special yokes designed for the ends of the pulley vaults weigh 560 lbs. each. The curve construction cost about three times per foot that of the tangent while the cost of removing water and gas pipes, together with the sewer pipes as noted above, has made this one of the most expensive lines ever constructed
The lines have been constructed under the supervision of Mr. A. D. Whitton of Philadelphia. chief engineer, assisted by F. H. Hambleton of Baltimore, consulting engineer, and Mr. A. N. Connett who has had immediate oversight of the street work. Mr. Henry Branus of Baltimore, architect, made the plans for the station, and the builders were S. H. and J. F. Adams. E. D. Smith & Son were the sub-contractors for the street construction. Mr. Edwin A. Moore, representative of the Pennsylvania Iron Works Co., supervised the placing of the machinery and boilers.
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