NST 130 – Welland Depot

I’m working my way through the collection of photographs, maps and other materials I’ve recently acquired from William Flatt – and I thought I’d share some of the images that speak strongly to me about the Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway. In posts earlier this week, I shared a couple of black and white photos of the 130-series. Here’s one of the class car – number 130 – in colour:

NST 130 - Welland

NS&T 130, Welland – Date and photographer unknown.

NS&T 130 makes a station stop at Welland. I don’t know the date but the 130-series was used in Main Line service, which was discontinued in 1947. Possibly, this photo was taken after that.

I don’t have too much to say about the car in this photo except that it’s a beautiful example of a wooden interurban. As I noted in yesterday’s post, unlike its sisters this car was not scrapped by the railway. It was preserved in Sandy Pond, NY but allowed to rot in place.

I do love this photo, though: the well-dressed motorman (at least, I assume he is) is in the midst of the group of ladies on the platform, presumably taking their tickets and helping them aboard.

EDIT: As discussed in the comments, a closer look at the high-res version of this photo shows a motorman clearly in the front window of the car. You can just make out his bare arm in the window closest to the ladies on the platform. That would make the railway employee on the platform likely the conductor.

5 thoughts on “NST 130 – Welland Depot”

    1. I’m pretty sure at the time this photo was taken, there was only one motorman and no conductor on the cars. But I will do some reading and confirm this.

      1. During the Depression my grandfather went from a senior manager to a car man on the Portland, Oregon trolley system — a job at a reduced status was better than no job!

        My dad had a job in 1938/39 timing the traffic lights in downtown so that trolley stops were long enough to discharge passengers. Best part was he had a 1936 Ford Coupe as his “company” car.

        While I was in Portland in law school in the early 1970s the city tore up the streets to put in the new Metro system (modern progress!) and they were shocked to find paved over trolley tracks — how soon they forget.

      2. Ah – I stand corrected! I have a higher-resolution version of this photo, and I zoomed in on it: there’s a motorman in the front window of Car 130, so the guy on the ground is the conductor. That means at least a two-person crew.

        1. Further to this, I posed the question on the NS&T group on Facebook. Gord McOuat replied…

          It’s a complex question. Streetcars from around the 1920’s were one man and had Safety Car Control which had deadman equipment on the controllers and door interlocks which cut power to the line breaker or circuit breakers and apply brakes. Multiple unit interurban trains such as those going to the Falls would likely have a full crew, Motorman, Conductor and maybe a Trainman (passenger brakeman) or two on longer trains. Some passenger trains were also required to carry a flagman for specific situations such as crossing the QEW at grade in the case of Niagara Falls trains. The interurban cars used in later years such as the 620’s and 82, 83 were equipped for one-man operation. To get a real handle on this, you’d have to go through Mills’ book for details.

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