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Vestibuled Cars in Glasgow

January 5, 1911.

Glasgow Corporation tramway department are at present fitting vestibules to a number of cars, and on the result of the experiment will depend the question whether this addition will be made generally to the cars in that city. One vestibuled car has been run on the streets for about six months, and about half a dozen of' the type are at present in use. In all, 22 cars will be so fitted, in order that a good  trial may be made.

The ordinary Glasgow car has a 6 ft. wheel-base truck. Some of the vestibuled cars have this length of base increased to 7 ft. by the insertion of lengthen­ing pieces in the truck frame. In other cases a truck with an 8 ft. wheel-base is used. The trucks are by Mountain and Gibson, the Brush Company, and Hurst, Nelson and Company. Some of the cars have 8 ft. 6 in. wheel-base Mountain and Gibson radial trucks which have been changed to the rigid type. The vestibuled cars have the usual 17 ft. bodies, and accommodate 62 people each. The platforms are 6 ft. long, as in the case of all the cars with roof covers.


The style of the vestibules is shown in the accompany­ing illustrations. The glazed framework is built up from the dashboard. The off side of the rear platform and the near side of the front platform are completely closed in, while the entrance sides are left entirely open. The sash forming the front panel of the vestibule can be lowered and raised by a strap like the sash in a railway carriage door. To prevent the driver getting at night a reflection on the glass in front of him from the lighted car behind him, a folding wooden shutter is provided, which closes over the front window of the car body. For the same reason the window in the front door of the car is obscured except a part in the centre, which is left transparent to enable the driver and conductor to look through or communicate with one another when desired. The light coming through the transparent part is prevented from reaching the glass screen in front by the driver's body when he is standing in position for driving the car.



It was found on the earlier trials that a strong draught blew down the front staircase from the upper deck right on to the driver. This has now been prevented by the fitting of a hood over the staircase extending from the top-deck dashboard backwards. To allow of passengers ascending and descending the stair, the part of the hood at the stair-head consists of a roller shutter which is kept open at the end of the car which is the rear end at any time, and  kept  closed at the driver's end. Some improvements in car ventilation have also been introduced. All window sashes on both decks of Glasgow cars are fixed, and ventilation is obtained by small ventilators above the main sashes which open inwards on hinges to an angle of about 45 degrees. It was found that the air entering and striking the roof was frequently deflected downwards with uncomfortable force on the passengers' heads.

To prevent this, the arc swept by the top of the ventilator in opening or closing has been covered by perforated zinc in arched form. This breaks up the current of air entering, and has been found a satisfactory arrangement. In the newer cars further ventilation is obtained by an air extraction process dependent for its action on the speed of the car, as in the case of " torpedo " ventilators in railway carriages. The roof is perforated along the centre line by numerous small openings, and these are covered externally by a sheet iron plate, spaced about an inch from the outside of the roof. At intervals the plate is made a little broader, so as to give lateral projections.

The space at the sides between the plate and the roof is closed, but the projecting parts arc open front and rear, so that as the car runs along, a blast of air travels through the openings. This sets up suction action and draws air out of the interior of the car through the holes in the roof. The arrangement described applies to the upper deck, but a similar scheme is in operation for the lower deck. In the latter case the suction openings, if they may so be called, are at the sides of the car just above the ordinary ventilators.

The use of ticket boxes, in which passengers are invited to deposit their used tickets as they leave the car, has proved very successful. These boxes are now fitted on all the cars, and are attached to the end of the car body just beside the door. They have proved too small, and additional boxes are now being mounted inside the dashboards, giving four boxes per car. It is found that about one-third of the total tickets issued, are put into the boxes. The old tickets are sold for 33s- per ton, and the quantity so sold is at present about 55 tons a year. The cars and the streets are less littered than formerly with old tickets, so that in every way the plan is successful.

© The Tramway and Railway World