Tri-Met Transit Terms Tuesday: A Light Rail Trio of Fun.

Welcome to another edition of TTTT

Warning: I’m suffering from a full on cold and i’m under the effect of pure Girl Scout Thin Mint’s so I really can’t be held responsible for what I say or do.

Today we are going back to a the wonderful world of light rail. That’s right we are talking about the trains. Oh did I mention, that it’s a three for the price of one deal? That’s just how much we love you here at the Roll Easy Blog soget your transit brain fired up because here comes the knowledge 

Our First Subject: The Pantograph

I know what your thinking, Wasn’t the Pantograph one of those cool dances you would see on Soul Train in the 70’s, “Look at that brotha Pantograph… Right ON!” 

But no, the Pantograph is the huge black arm thing on the top of the train that touches the overhead wires and draws the current. Yeah no kidding that’s what it is. All those spring loaded black arms pushing upwards, that’s the Pantograph. 

 

Second Subject: The Bow Collector

I remember sitting in rail training, it was a hot day and the class room was overheating. I was just about to nod off when I heard the term “Bow Collector”  

In my mind I saw a DC comics archery based bad guy, you know who worked for the Mob collecting debts. That wasn’t it at all. The Bow Collector is the cross piece at the top of the Pantograph arms. Nothing to do with the Mob though it does collect. Collect Electricity. 

Bow Collector?

Bow Collector?

But this was not the case, the Bow Collector is the cross piece at the top of the Pantograph arms. Nothing to do with the Mob though it does collect. Collect Electricity. It looks like two bows. 

 

This leads us to our spotlight subject in todays trio of terms. 

The Third Subject: The Carbon Shoe! 

I know it sounds like some old vaudeville stage performance from the 1920’s. Like you would hear them backstage planning, “First I’m going to do a little juggling, then I will hit them with a little Carbon Shoe, then exit stage right” 

The carbon shoe is that thick black material on top of the Bow Collector that contacts the overhead power lines. The carbon shoe is meant to collect the current and slowly degrade. By slowly degrading it spares the overhead lines ware and tear 

So there you have it

So Pantograph, Bow Collector, Carbo, Shoe

Now your brain has ben embetterated, Ok I made that word up. The Pantograph, Bow Collector and Carbon Shoe are real. 

Check you out down the road 

Roll Easy or don’t roll at all.