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Day Two!

Day two… more pallets delivered by Angus. Evan & Alex maneuvered the fork lift to stack them on the shelves. Alex and Jason S. erected and secured shelving aided by Alex’s son, Eddie. It was “take your child to work” day. Eddie was a fast learner and eager worker! Five alarm companies have now visited our warehouse and will prepare quotations for a security system.

Due to very heavy traffic and accident on the Alex Fraser Bridge, we were unable to complete a second delivery. It will have to wait until the morning. Also tomorrow (Thursday), Mundies will bring two buses over, followed by two more on Friday. They will also take office bus #2805 to Rosedale on Monday. Also on Thursday, Bryan took #4612 for its CVIP inspection. It will be used as a backup coach for our Christmas Lights Tours.

Below, Sean & Milan continue to do sterling work at Roseberry loading pallets, while Jason anchors some shelving at Langley. Alex & Jason unload a work-bench. (Pictures: Bryan Larrabee, Michael Taylor-Noonan.)

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Movin’ on out to Langley… Day One


It’s day one of our move to Langley! Angus drove three trips with our rented truck from Roseberry where Sean & Milan loaded pallets. At the Langley end, Lawrence, Alex, and Jason S. unloaded. Bryan had “official” duties such as a walk-through with the landlord, meeting with a locksmith, and then assembled shelving with your author.

Despite a late start because the previous tenant hadn’t fully moved out, all of us were pleased with the progress of our move so far. It’s going to be a tight squeeze fitting everything into our new shop, there are still discussions about where to store everything to maximize our storage space. Onto Day Two!

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If the Shoe fits…

Streetcars used trolley wheels to collect electrical current from the circular profile overhead wires – as the trolleybus used newer grooved profile wire, it used a sliding shoe. This greatly increased the contact area reducing arcing. But a necessary component was a disposable, replaceable insert made of carbon. In the early and mid-20th Century, when our Brill trolleys were introduced, the premier supplier of overhead components was Ohio Brass of Mansfield, Ohio. In Vancouver, the carbon shoe insert used was manufactured by Morgan Advanced Materials based in England.

With the delivery of New Flyer trolleys, the design of the trolley shoe was changed to one by Vossloh Kiepe of Germany. The carbon inserts are not interchangeable.

Angus McIntyre, retired trolleybus operator, writes:

Ohio Brass shoes were made by different companies after Ohio Brass no longer made them. The Kiepe carbons for the New Flyer low floor trolleys are longer and narrower and simply drop in place. This speeds up carbon changes. The Ohio brass shoes require a socket wrench, bolt and cotter pin each time they are changed. OB shoes can operate in forward and reverse. Kiepe shoes are designed for forward operation – you might be able to travel a short distance in reverse at a very slow speed on straight wire.

(upper: Ohio Brass) (lower: Vossloh Kiepe)

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Preparation for our move continues

We’re on the “home stretch” for our move to Langley!  The first week of November is getting closer. 

TMS volunteers have been busy packing our stock of parts (after sorting through them to find out if we really, really need that item.) We have many lifetimes’ supply of carbons and interior lights, for example. They have also discovered some parts that are for interurbans; we are in the mist of arranging to donate them to the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway in Cloverdale. A big “shout-out” to Sean, Richard Alex and Jason Sharpe for their work!

It was good to see some of our younger members (Thomas, Oliver, and Milan) volunteer to help. Milan and Oliver packed and loaded our glass inventory onto MCI #4276. This week it will be driven to Rosedale for storage. 

Thomas helped myself , Lawrence, Sue, Matthew, and Aaron load the archives, library and memorabilia onto #730. It is now ready for its trip to Langley. 

James and Angus sorted through the trolleycoach parts and loaded them into #2805 for its journey to Rosedale. There it will be joined by #3404 (and the “beach bus” #678 from Deroche.)

We kept Bryan busy answering questions from all our volunteers about what goes where.

After a good days work, we’re all feeling a lot more optimistic about the move.


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Volunteer Appreciation

What better way to thank all our volunteers for a successful summer season of public engagement than a BBQ! Not just for the hosts, but drivers and our mechanics too! That’s what happened on Sunday September 25th; it was organized by Sue & Lawrence Walker. (Lawrence is our Events Coordinator, but in reality, it appears to be a “co-Events Coordinator”) Wife Sue seems to provide the “muscle” – not literally, but (as many of us volunteers can attest), the asking, persuading, gentle cajoling to make things happen. And while the Board approved spending of some Society funds for the BBQ, in the end very little was necessary as Sue got donations of food from Save-On-Foods and No-Frills. We thank both organizations.

Lawrence & Sue Walker thank some of our volunteers at the Appreciation BBQ on Sunday, September 25th at our Roseberry shop.

Watch for more photographs in the next edition of our newsletter, The TMS Transfer.

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50 Years of Transit Photography

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50 Years of Transit Photography:

A slide-show and talk by former bus driver, Angus McIntyre.

Angus retired from driving buses in 2010. That was forty-one years after he first started with BC Hydro!

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Over the years, Angus took many photographs of Vancouver’s buses, especially his beloved Brills.

Join him online as he recollects the fascinating history of Vancouver’s transit as he saw (and drove) it! When he travelled, he documented

other buses in other cities and countries.


The talk is free to attend via Zoom.

Wednesday, 15th June 7pm

(photos: Angus McIntyre/TransLink)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 859 4765 5017

Passcode: 323252

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Will it Be 678 or 740?

by Bryan Larrabee

A few months ago I was having coffee with my friend James Pearson who happens to work for 911
Filmcars. They provide an array of vehicles for the film industry. In passing I happened to ask about a
derelict GM Oldlook bus that had been stored for some time off Byrne Road in Burnaby. The bus had
mysteriously disappeared. James wasn’t sure where the bus went and I mentioned that if they decide to
scrap it, keep us in mind because we might want to take some seats and other parts.

The discussion was forgotten by both of us until a rainy Tuesday afternoon in December. Around 3:30
pm I got an urgent call from James. The Oldlook bus had been parked at a film set near the Golden Ears
Bridge for a few months. 911 Filmcars had to move it immediately and they decided to ask James to
arrange to have it towed to scrap.

James asked if the Transit Museum could have it if they paid for the towing and they said yes but it
would have to be moved immediately. My first call was to Dale Laird, our President, to ask “Can we take
this bus? At the very least we could part it out and scrap it to recover our towing costs”. Dale was
concerned about finding a place to park it because the City of Burnaby won’t allow us to park unlicensed
buses outside in our compound. After some discussion he agreed we could take it.

My next call was to Angus McIntyre who is on our Board of Directors. Angus has a good contact within
Mundies Towing and if anyone can get us a tow truck on short notice, it’s Angus. He was very doubtful
and asked if there was any way we could make arrangements for the next day. I said I would try and in
the meantime he would call Mundies. As Angus was arranging for a tow truck for noon the next day, I
was finding out that the bus couldn’t wait. It had to be gone that night. We were going to miss the
chance to acquire the bus.

I texted Mundies to say “Sorry it won’t work for us, the bus has go tonight”. My phone rang
immediately and Mundies said “Tonight is better. We have a truck clearing in Port Kells right now!”
So I called James back and told him we could do it after all. He made arrangements with the movie lot
and we agreed to drop everything and meet the tow truck at our Roseberry shop. I arrived 10 minutes
before James and was moving a bus out of the shop to make room when the tow truck with bus in tow
came sailing around the corner.

The driver showed his skill and backed the derelict Oldlook right into the shop, disconnected and drove
away. It was 7pm. It only took three and a half hours from the first phone call to delivery of the bus.
This left James and I standing there looking in silence at an extremely dirty bus full of junk and smelling
like musky mold. James looked at me and broke the silence by saying “What have we done?”

We had to leave a licensed bus outside while we rallied the Board of Directors to decide what to do with
the derelict Oldlook. I immediately evoked a “cone of silence” over the bus until all the Directors were
informed and the Board had a chance to discuss the fate of the bus. I didn’t want our volunteers to start
posting pictures until the directors had a chance to consider options. In the meantime James was able
to tell us that all the glass on the bus had been replaced, the fuel tank had been cleaned out and various
bus parts were stored inside. All the seats were intact except the driver’s seat. There were old wasp
nests to remove and a layer of dirt both inside and outside of the bus. We had to use N95 respirators to
work on the inside of the bus.

I bought some rubbermaid containers and we used them to store bus parts as we removed them. We
found garbage and mouldy cardboard that fell apart as we tried to remove it. We pushed the bus
outside on a Sunday and Kyle Little power washed part of the exterior as Harry Vagg and I worked on the
interior. Over the next week, Jason Sharpe and Matthew Walker joined in the cleanup.
At the Directors meeting it was agreed that we will have the bus assessed first for structural integrity
(the floor, bulkheads and suspension). The second assessment will be for mechanical condition
(driveline, engine and transmission). We will ask a Detroit Diesel mechanic to give us a
recommendation. We understand that if the Museum keeps the bus, it will become a long term project.
The bus was given fleet #740 when it first operated in Victoria and later assumed the current fleet #678
when it saw service in Prince George. This information is not verified but if we keep the bus, should it
be known as #740 or #678?