The Process of Making Trolley Tracks

by Laurel | January 22nd, 2012

22 January 1892

The Coburn Trolley Track Company is now nearly established in the Bigelow Street Building. The process of making the track is an interesting one. The work is done by drops, and there are three steps in the process. Flat steel 10 inches wide is used, and the first process makes a sort of a trough with square corners. The next drop gives the sides of the trough a bend inward and the last drop curves the edges to hold the wheels of the door hangers. The company has two machines for forging the track, and the entire process of making a section of track takes about two minutes. The capacity of the shop is over 8000 feet a month. Some of the dies used weigh about 500 pounds, and others half a ton, and the whole mass of metal is dropped about 5 feet. Six or eight blows of the shop make the track complete. The wood-working shop is on the second floor and the ladders are made and put together there. Three gauges of steel are now used in making the tracks for different purposes and the pieces are carried automatically from one section of drops to the other. Most of the hangars and casting are made in New York. About 30 men are employed in the ship and the force will soon be increased to 40.

From The Springfield Republican.

Note: the method discussed here appears to utilize the drop forge technique.

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