Changing Ends ~ Sunday, May 20, 2012
Taking a break from watching a Wini's Theatre on Ice team at a San Jose rink, Nathan and I walked to the nearby San Jose History Museum. We didn't get to ride this time (a special event was going on and cleared up just about when we had to go), but found a working wigwag:
(Nathan is a huge fan of wigwags). And got some ice cream. (The museum is sort of a reconstruction of San Jose and the Santa Clara valley as it once was, with examples of historical types of businesses, including an ice cream parlor).
As we were leaving, the trolley side of the museum was bringing out their Birney. The trackage arrangement requires crews to change ends after pulling out, to pull into the museum proper.
I notice that the motorman keeps one pole up while raising the other. Back in the day, some properties forbid this, specifically requiring that one pole be lowered before the next went up, for safety reasons (the poles might end up touching electrically isolated sections of wire, with potentially exciting results). Others specifically required it, so that the car would always be under power, keeping the air pressure up for the brakes.