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Old 04-06-2011, 11:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Battery electric rail car (Jitney) used to serve Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Bit of recently discovered EV trivia, FYI...

I try to visit friends in Lunenburg, on Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast, a few times each year. Great little town - friendly people, lots of boat stuff to capture the attention & imagination, interesting historic architecture...



On my latest vist, I learned there used to be an electric, battery powered single train car ("Jitney") that ran 4x daily from Lunenburg to Mahone Bay, the next town up the coast. This was around the 1920's - 1930's.

Similar to this:



source: View Image

Green tidbit: it was recharged by renewable power (hydro electric), I was told. Note the battery compartment under the carriage.

The engine shed where the Jitney was parked/recharged used to be at the end of the tracks that ran along what is now Bluenose Drive - the main waterfront street that accesses the town's wharves (shown in the top pic). The shed's foundations are still there (I went and looked).

Learned this stuff from a railway museum in the town: Lunenburg: Halifax and South Western Railway Museum

The tracks between the towns along this stretch of coast are long gone too. They're now recreational trails.

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Old 04-07-2011, 12:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Neat. There were so many electric "interurban" lines that time forgot and getting back to "Light Rail" this Century is tough. In Olathe, Kansas, I used to live off of "Strang Line Road" -- it was always a odd name that apparently had no explanation until a recent visit to the National Archives in Kansas City, Missouri revealed that it was named after an extensive electric railroad.



The "Strang Line" (named after community developer W.B. Strang) essentially built the Johnson County suburbs from 1910-1940, until urban sprawl and the post-War automobile generation killed it off. The only areas I can think of that have electric street transportation in North America today is Toronto's trolleys and San Francisco's electric MUNI buses.

On a side note, the people of Lunenburg are so friendly -- on a trip there, I was looking for a store or restaurant to make change for the parking meters, and accidentally stumbled into a private office for a restaurant. The lady in the office (probably the General Manager) asked if I needed help and insisted on offering change. Further Northeast, I was really amazed by the hospitality of the folks in Louisbourg. Not only was the pistachio cake the best ever, but every single person made you feel like part of a community family. There are so many places across Canada with a relaxed, polite attitude

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Old 04-07-2011, 08:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah - hard to beat east coasters for a laid back, friendly attitude. The rat race hasn't caught hold there. I went to Louisbourg by tall ship 2 summers ago - really cool place. I assume you visited the fortress? (I had one of the best meals of the trip there too!)

Cool research, Rick. When I lived in Toronto, I rode the streetcars to work.

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