L.C.C. Trailers By M.J.D. Willsher Soft Cover British
L.C.C. Trailers By M.J.D. Willsher Soft Cover British
L.C.C. Trailers By M.J.D. Willsher Soft Cover British

L.C.C. Trailers By M.J.D. Willsher Soft Cover British

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L.C.C. Trailers By M.J.D. Willsher Soft Cover British
The L.C.C. Trailers By M.J.D. Willsher
59 pages soft cover
Copyright unknown
Part 1 Legislation and experiment
Contractor Control Apparatus for Subway Cars 572/3
Trailer Cars
Part 3: Design and construction of T9-T158
Part 4: The Clapham route to 1918
Delivery of the new Trailers
Service 2/4 to 1918
The Marius Road shunt  recalled by Frank Dix
Part 5: Other trailer routes, 1915-1918
The Streatham route
The New Cross circular route
The Greenwich route
Part 6: 1919 to 1922
Part 7: Withdrawal of trailer services, 1922-1924
Under cover all the way
Part 8: Disposals and conclusion
The M.E.T. Coupled Cars by C. S. Smeeton
The L.C.C. Trailers
by M. J. D. Willsher
Part 1: Legislation and experiment
THIS series of articles is based upon notes
made by the late A. W. Morant, which formed an appendix to an extensive archive on, the London County Council (LCC) Tram-ways that he had compiled partly from research and partly from his own recollections. Detailed as these notes were on trailer operation, there was comparatively little on the events which led up to the regular operation of trailers in London, and on this the author has carried out his own research, based mainly on the records of the LCC Highways Committee and the contemporary technical press. There are still some areas where the existing accounts, published and unpublished, are vague or contradictory, particularly in regard to the extent of trailer operation on the London - Woolwich -Abbey Wood route. The present work should, therefore, be regarded as a provisional account and the author hopes that readers will respond with additional information that can be incorporated into any future edition's of this booklet.
The use of trailers was not common practice on British tramway systems, which by and large preferred to operate solo double-deck cars, although in most other countries single-deck cars augmented on the busier systems by trailers were the norm. There were, however, experiments with the use of trailers in Britain, and in the years preceding the First World War there was much discussion in the technical press on the merits of trailer car operation as opposed to the use of the traditional British double-deck car. Both the 'Light Railway and Tramway Journal' and the 'Tramway and Railway World' adopted a vigorous pro-trailer stance.
The Board of Trade, the government department responsible for regulating the operation of tramway systems, appeared to be somewhat undecided on trailers. There was no general regulation either permitting or prohibiting their use. The Board treated each case on its merits, although there were certain standard requirements. One of these was that each trailer should be staffed by at least one crew member at all times, which made operation uneconomical except where and when traffic was very heavy. By 1909, however, 28 tramway undertakings had been given powers to run trailers, although-such powers were not necessarily always used and most of the trailer experiments that did take place were short-lived.
In London at this time the London County Council Tramways were interested in either trailer or multiple-unit operation as a means of coping with very heavy loadings at peak times. This problem was particularly acute on the busy radial routes of south London. There was also a more specific problem with the Kingsway tramway subway. The subway at this time could accommodate only single-deck cars (it was rebuilt to take double-deck cars in 1930-1), each of which seated only 36. The automatic signalling system, which had been installed in the subway to comply with the Board of Trade's requirements, limited the headway between cars, and the only way that the LCC could see to increase the subway's capacity beyond that limitation was to run the cars as coupled pairs or to attach trailers. This problem and the more general one of dealing with rush hour traffic was aggravated by restrictions on standing passengers on the LCC trams.
As well as having to conform to Board of Trade regulations, the LCC had to obtain a stage carriage licence from the Metropolitan Police for each of its tramcars. This gave the police considerable power to affect tramway operation in the capital, and it was unfortunate that they tended to regard the tramcar not as an efficient mover of people but as a potential obstruction to other vehicular traffic on the highway, apparently working on the principle that the longer the vehicle the greater the obstruction.
As early as 1905, the LCC had asked the Board of Trade for permission to use trailer cars. The Board subsequently agreed to trailer operation but only for transporting stores etc, and that only between 22.00 and 06.00 hrs. They would not agree to passenger trailers, and the times during which the goods trailers were allowed to operate were so restrictive that it is doubtful whether the powers were ever exercised. Indeed, two self-propelled stores vans were delivered in 1905 (class J, 05 and 06) and these were later joined by further self-propelled vans, which suggests that trailer vans were not used for stores transport.

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