Sunday, November 14, 2010

Like many of My fellow railfans, I am also a big fan of electric city streetcars and the many street railway companies that once operated in many of North America's town and large citties.

One popular and cost effective type of city streetcar used on some streetcar systems during the 1920's and 30's era....was the 4 wheeled one man Birney safety streetcar.I spotted the example shown here, at the internet website "Dave's Electric Railroads" located to the right of You'r computer screen.

Detroit Michigan, Chicago Illinois, Richmond Virginia, and Los Angeles California were just some of the many towns and citties that had utilized these little cars.
Large citties like Chicago had used these on lightly patronized transit routes prior to the coming of replacement motor buses. Some small town systems, had used these as their main type of streetcar.

While economical and cost effective at first, these little cars with their four wheel suspension system, had a tendency to bounce up and down and ride rough depending on the maintenace departments efforts on maintaining the tracks in the city streets. Chicago's 4 wheeled Birney cars operated by The Chicago Surface Lines Company, proved to be less than popular, and operated for approximately 10 years on the southeast side of Chicago.

Several preserved examples of the Birney 4 wheeled safety streetcar can be seen and ridden on today at several trolley museums and tourist railroads around North America.

The Fort Collins Municipal Railroad in Fort Collins Colorado operates one of these today, as does the Fort Smith Trolley Museum in Fort Smith Arkansas, and The Western Railroad Museum located in Rio Vista Junction California.

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