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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Traction Orange anyone ?

As work on Centenary car 641 is entering the final phase in August - the application of Blackpool FC tangerine (as opposed to Blackpool Transport's orange) brings back memories of the many US trolley systems which favoured what is known as 'traction orange'. A classic example from a little known system - Altoona and Logan Valley car 70 heading for 'Eldorado' above. This was one of the 'Electromobiles' built by Osgood Bradley company in the late 1920s - referenced in an earlier blog in July. While it is very difficult to detect the detail - the front fender has the same sprung metal features as the design adopted by English Electric for its new streamline models introduced in Blackpool and Sunderland in 1933 - and on subsequent designs for Belfast, Rotherham, Darwen and Aberdeen. The Altoona traction orange, white and black colours are reflected in Blackpool's Football Tram display to be introduced during this year's Illuminations courtesy

of the FHLT and a host of supporting organisations and companies.

Another traction orange example at the Branford Trolley Museum, Connecticut. Johnstown was famous for operating PCC cars in its later years - being the smallest US trolley system to purchase PCCs with just 17 examples. When Johnstown closed the trucks and equipment were sold to Brussels where they provided the running equipment for a further batch of that city's famous standard design - seventeen in total... Number 356 of course is a more traditional US car - double ended and showing off its fender with 'Benscreek' on its blind. Number 1414 is one of the Connecticut company's very large fleet of open crossbench cars which survived into the 1950s to provide capacity for the 'Yale Bowl' University

football game - an annual event drawing massive crowds which clung to every possible part of these by now venerable survivors, even the roofs.

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