SRJ Nov. 1896 pp. 722-23 & 732-33 explains the total transformation of the C&C RR Co. from a 5'2½" animal traction street ry. to a 4'8½" electric traction system, totally new trackage, as well as rolling stock. The engineering firm of Ford & Bacon was hired by the directors of the C&C RR Co. to do this (Mr. Davis soon after joined Ford & Bacon). See also S pp. 120-21, ff.
Originally the Ford Bacon & Davis specifications considered the American Car Co. No. 3 truck, but instead chose the Lord Baltimore, a stable and rugged truck (see C p. 33 — the FB&D cars for the C&C RR Co. were perhaps the first railway to use this truck) which soon became the most widely used single truck in N. O.
FB&D sub-contracted much work on the cars to Schminke & Newman, who even furnished the Lord Baltimore trucks, and worked with American Car Co. to complete this important order, launching a new car and truck combination that positively developed the whole street railway industry.
Each car had two GE 800 motors, GE K-2 controllers. Trucks had 7'6" wheelbase, 4" axles, 33" wheels weighing each 375#.
Body framing, well seasoned white oak. Bonnets (umbrella hoods) secured by nickel plated tubing, and steel rafters from each side post reinforced the characteristic wide monitor which FB&D called “ventilator dome pattern.” Exterior paint was “olive and stone buff” (the same olive green used by RTA on their Perley Thomas 900s on St. Charles, almost 100 years of use by electric transit, surely a record). Trim was combination of cream and gold.
Interior appointments were nickel plated brass. Wood finish interior was mahogany. Seats were H&K walkover, reversible backs with spring rattan, poss. supplied by Adams & Westlake in Chicago. Window curtains were Burgess cloth mounted on spring rollers with Acme fixtures. Interior lighting: 11 16 candle power 100v lamps. Headlights were electric. Each car equipped with one Sterling No. 1 register.
When the South N. O. Lt. & Trac. Co. barn in Algiers burned in 1924 (in 5th Dist. on right bank of Mississippi, whose street railway's history is in S Vol. 1) NOPSI SLD 7 FB&D cars to the company. Work orders state this (see: NOPSI in N as well as S Vol. 1 p. 26). P car 76 FB&D in Algiers, S Vol. 1 p. 26. These FB&D ran until reorganization of S. N. O. Lt. & Trac. Co. into Louisiana Power & Light Co. Streetcars made their final runs in Algiers in 1931.
One FB&D survives and is in excellent running condition as a work car, a duty it has performed since the 1930s. The ornamental steel plates protecting the end sills at bulkheads, at each end of the car body, bear the artistic embossed “The American Car Co. St. Louis USA” indicating the car is one of the 1896 order. Current number is 29 (a REN of 129?).
After the 400s, 800s, and 900s came to N. O., the way was clear to retire the older ST cars requiring the most expensive RB. The FB&D cars were rugged and had held up well during heavy use over 20 years (late teens). Many of the NO&C and ex-C&C FB&D were RB & RG, some receiving Brill 21-E trucks and many retaining their Lord Baltimores (P - car 208, S p. 122). RB entailed the sloping steel single side panel replacing the attractive waist and rocker panels, giving an austere economical, and ungainly, look. No wonder the new feature got the nickname “fishbelly.” As routes were abandoned or converted to buses and electric coaches between 1925-1932, the surplus of FB&D cars grew, and their numbers multiplied on the storage tracks of the “cream cheese” barn (the Orleans RR Co. barn at White & Laharpe) waiting for a miracle to occur, calling them back to service. By 1940 all were scrapped, leaving only no. 29 which work service had insured its survival. Had the FB&Ds lasted past 7 Dec. 41, perhaps they would have had the call back to service. P - No. 29 - S p. 173, scale drawing S p. 123. Many P - N.
|25||CLA 1/18/98||40||Common 10/21/96|
|26||CLA 10/19/96||43||CLA 3/14/97|
|27||CLA 5/17/97||46||CLA 10/19/96, TU 7/24/97, 7/16/99|
|29||CLA 10/11/96||48||CLA 6/6/97|
|30||CLA 6/24/97||50||CLA 3/5/00|
|31||CLA 11/30/97, 7/16/99||51||CLA 5/5/97, 12/27/97, 11/17/99|
|32||CLA 12/9/96||52||CLA 9/20/98|
|33||CLA 10/23/96||53||CLA 8/29/97|
|34||CLA 12/17/96, 3/18/98||54||CLA 7/25/97|
|37||Common 10/17/96*, TU 10/2/97||57||CLA 2/13/98|
|38||CLA 2/18/97, 4/18/97, 7/12/97||58||CLA 1/8/98, 9/16/98*, TU 6/27/99, CLA 9/2/99|
|*37||Common St. changed to Tulane Ave. ca. 1897.|
|*58||9/16/98 collision with N. O. Spanish Fort & Lake RR train. FB&D rugged, survived, repaired, seen as 158 on NO&C RR.|
The O&J was chartered 1 June 97 and the NO&P Ry. Co. on 8 July 1901. DT DR cars ordered from Brill in 1902 cancelled, never arrived in N. O. (see: Cancelled Orders, p. ee). The O&J fell into financial distress, although much grade work accomplished and track materials delivered. SRJ v. 17 p. 204 - P. The O&J was financed by investors represented by Mr. John Blair Macaffee (B 7 Apr. 1861). Mr. Macaffee promoted many small railway projects, promising future growth. He was a charismatic enthusiast of many projects that, while indicating great future possibilities, usually faded before fruition. Mr. Macaffee started with a degree in law, and changed early in his life from lawyer to promoter of electric railways. The NO&P was organized to fulfill the O&J project, and itself was rescued from oblivion by its lease to New Orleans Rys. Co., which operated by leases all the city's street railways (except the Algiers railway lines, see Vol. 1 pp. 20-29). N. O. Rys. Co. completed the O&J project 1 Jan. 03, the “Royal Blue” line (Napoleon Ave. from St. Charles out to the cemeteries).
The NO&P Ry. Co. lived as a paper corporation until finally consolidated with New Orleans Public Service Inc. 27 Sept. 22. The NO&P was credited with 5 closed cars in 1907, but these were provided by the N. O. Rys. Co. or its successor, N. O. Ry. & Lt. Co. Service records reveal which cars serviced the line. Until 1906 the NO&C RR Co. Napoleon Line ran from St. Charles to Tchoupitoulas, and the Royal Blue from St. Charles to the cemeteries. After that the NO&C portion was RG to be compatible with 5'2½" lines, and the two Napoleon lines were joined to make one thru line from the ferry on Miss. River to City Park Ave. & the cemeteries. A variety of ST and DT cars operated the line, the Perley Thomas 800s being the last, until conversion in 1953.
Copyright © 2008 Louis C. Hennick. All rights reserved.
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