|Cars No. 3 & 4 of 1892|
|Entering service in 1892
Cars 3 & 4 were out-shopped from Paston Place Works as 40 seat crossbench
opens. The only sign of any defence against the weather were a set of roll down
canvas screens on the seaward side - a very strange state of affairs
considering the all year round operation.
They were fitted with a radically new type of chassis built by Greenwood & Batley under licence from Magnus and his friend Anthony Reckenzaun. In this system a 7hp electric motor was connected to a worm gear differential on one axle. The phosphor-bronze worm wheel on the extended motor shaft meshed with a steel gear set midway along the axle.
|The onset of winter showed up the
deficiency in the design and both cars were rebuilt to become semi-opens. A
central saloon was added by the simple expediency of constructing two bulkeads
between the second and fourth roof supports and adding sides similar to those
of Cars 1 & 2. One bulkhead had a door with a window either side whilst the
other bulkhead had three windows and no door. The reason for this was that the
worm gear drive arrangement meant that the motor, gearbox and transmission
shaft were above the level of the floor hidden under seats and a low
transmission tunnel. Whilst it was possible to rearrange the seating over the
axle without the gearbox to provide a doorway it would have been virtually
impossible to do it over the axle with the gearbox.
There is no record of the final seating plan but it must have reduced the capacity by as many as six seats. The picture left shows one of the cars in its rebuilt form sometime in the late 1890s.
|With the extension to Black Rock in
1901 Magnus decided to rebuilt Cars 3 & 4 in the style of his latest
semi-opens. He also removed the temperamental Reckenzauns worm gear drive
and replaced it with a 8hp motor which drove the axle directly from the
armature shaft via a single reduction gear. This system, which he purchased
from the Compagnie Electrique Belge of Liege proved very reliable and is still
As far as the body was concerned Magnus removed the central roof support post and replaced it with a fixed glazed panel. The bulkhead door was sealed (the top hinges are still visible today), and two glazed sliding doors were hung each side to give access to the saloon which was fitted with crossbench seating.
|The other modification
was to provide a glazed screen on either side of the bulkhead seating. This may
well have been to protect the passengers riding in those seats from being
struck by the sliding doors which slid back as far as the front edge of the
bulkhead seat. And this is how the cars have remained to the present day -
except for them being fitted with the standard Volks underframe in about
Principle dimensions are: overall length 24 7 (Car 3) 24 4 (Car 4), width 5 11, height 7 8, wheel diameter 2 6, wheelbase 9ft.
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