Operating Exhibited Cars

RST: At the World's Industrial & Cotton Centennial Exposition (commemorating first bale of cotton shipped to Great Britain in 1784) in N. O., the 2-axle small narrow gauge Leo Daft electric loco “Volta” (see S pp. 20-21) pulled two open trailers (P - N) on approx. 900' track, both rails powered (no trolley wire, no third rail).  The service began 19 Jan. 1885.  First electric railway to operate (below Louisville, KY) in the South.  The Edison Elec. Ry. exhibited in Louisville a few weeks before Daft's “Volta” ran in N. O.  The Daft elec. ry. ran with success for several months.

COND: Van Depoele Elec. Mfg. Co. exhibited a standard gauge overhead trolley elec. ry. at the following exposition in N. O. (North, South and Central American Expo.).  One mot. car and 2 trailers, all STDR opens built by Chicago City RR for exhibit.  The cars were standard street railway revenue cars, their “standard design” — Chicago City RR.  This line opened late 1885 and also ran several months (JRS, P - G p. 61).

Work Equipment

The only new entries for work equipment — use of sprinkler eqpt.  The Orleans RR had one unit, builder and details unk., see p. k, running 1899.  Every railway in the city used sprinkler cars to reduce dust and clean after manure carts had scraped up as best they could.

RTA has but one rail work car, no. 29, last of the famous FB&D cars.  It has just been beautifully restored to continue this service and is assured of permanent life.  All rail historians hope some day to see 29 restored to its 1896 glory.

NOPSI_044-tank Only sprinkler car found in research, NOPSI numbering, circa 1925. — Louis Hennick Collection of The Historic New Orleans Collection

Instruction Cars

N. O. Ry. & Lt. Co. / NOPSI: ERJ 8/2/24 p. 157 P - stationary RB St. Louis 1892 open car ordered for Judah Hart franchises (see p. m).  Number of car unk.  Car inside training school, is numbered 1921 to signify the year the car was RB for training carmen.  School established by VP/GM A. B. Paterson who came to N. O. Ry. & Lt. Co. from Meridian Lt. & Ry. Co.  GE K-36-J controller at one platform, Whse. K-68-A controller at other.  Wheels elev. 3" above floor.  Car static - instructs student to uses of control and brake systems, how to trouble-shoot & overcome common elec. problems.  Replaced by 453 circa 1940.

NOPSI: Car 453, REN from 303 ca. 1917, BLT Amer. Car Co. 1906, DTDR Semiconv. (see pp. t-u).  Semis retired late '34 - 35 SCR.  453 only one retained, at Canal Sta. (P - N) until moved to Napoleon “Yard” ca. 1940.  (See pp. t-u for dates & disposition.)  Car currently inside storage, Carrollton Station.

Cancelled & Contemplated Orders

Orleans & Jefferson Ry. Co.
New Orleans & Pontchartrain Ry. Co.
(see p. j) Ordered 7 cars — never delivered, no news coverage.
DTDR Nos.?  28' OB 27-G Trucks Brill ON 11670 16 Jan. 02 Promised Feb. 02 7 cars
(Truck order) 14 27-G ON 11670½ 16 Jan. 02 Prom. Feb.
(Elec. work) ON 11671 16 Jan. 02
Order notes “John Blair MacAffee for N. O. & Pontch. Ry.”
The Brill order records had no cancellation entry.  Cars never reported in N. O. newspapers.  No P, other info.
? Type Nos.?  Dim.? Truck ? St. Louis Car Co. ON 52 & 53 1899 Cancelled
The St. Louis order also w/o P or news coverage.
In 1907 NO&P credited with 5 closed cars, but from 1901 was subsidiary of NOC&L/NORys/NOR&L.  Five cars from the holding co.
New Orleans Ry. & Lt. Co. An impressive order that never happened:
DTAR Nos.?  34' 8" OB 77-E-1 Trucks Brill ON 20295 3 May 17 Promised 9/15 to 10/15 35 cars
“Ordered by U. S. & E. Eng. Corp. for N. O. Ry. & Lt. Co.”
(Truck order) 70 77-E-1 Trucks ON 20295½ Cancelled 15 May 17 (surely due to WW I)
These cars probably would have been something like the 400s, with possibly something other than 39-E trucks.
Private car “Palatine” St. Louis Car Co. ON 302 5/30/02 “DT Private” For N. O. Rys. Co.  St. Louis 23 trucks, truck order 5130.
NORys cancelled, but car was BLT.  1902 SLD to Union Elec. Lt. & Pwr. Co. of Illinois, personal use of GM Charles H. Ledlie, kept orig. name “Palatine”.  SLD Apr. 1905 to Washington Alexandria & Mt. Vernon Ry. Co., renamed “Mt. Vernon”.  Ran while WA&MtV suffered two reorganizations, finally SLD 1933 for non-rail use.  Present status unk.
Birney Car N. O. never saw a Birney car.  A GE catalog credited with one order (N. O. Ry. & Lt. Co.) but it never happened.  Birney cars a curiosity, however.  TP 22 May 19 and others urged N. O. Ry. & Lt. Co. to buy them.  Apparently Birneys came near to being ordered.  TP 6 Mar. 20 “Safety cars for Prytania line” p. 1 and on 16 Mar. 20 p. 6 — “Cars [safety] to begin July 1 [3 months hence].”  Did not happen.  Perhaps 288 was the “safety car” idea, but a one-man car impossible in N. O. in 1920 — even in 1929 (causing, or helping cause, a strike).  No one-man operation until 42 years later.
PCC Car NOPSI joined and contributed to the Presidents' Conference Car Committee which developed the PCC, however did not order a single one.  The two-man/one-man problem probably one cause, and the Thomas car's rugged and economical operating characteristics surely another.  PCC cars did come to N. O., however, in 1995 — see p. bb.

Text and picture captions copyright © 2009 Louis C. Hennick.  Pictures copyright © 2009 by the persons credited.  All rights reserved.


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