September 1891, Vol. 1, No. 9 Canadian Electrical News and Steam Engineering Journal (Toronto) Page 113, col. 1

Metropolitan Street Railway.

The Metropolitan Street Railway Company is the first that has been successful in substituting electrical for animal power for the propulsion of street cars in Toronto. It has accordingly met with the favor and patronage of the public. The company commenced electrical operations on the first of September, 1890, under the following management:—Chas. D. Warren, President; R. C. Warren, Secretary and Superintendent.

Power house, Metropolitan Street Railway, Toronto.

The head office and power house is a neat structure of brick and stone, situated on the west side of Yonge street, about five minutes ride from the railway crossing at North Toronto.

The boiler house is a lofty, solid brick building, 35 feet by 25 feet, and contains two boilers each measuring 66 feet by 14 feetUnsure how a 35×25 boiler building housed 2 66×14 boilers., both carrying 20 square feet of grating surface, having a working pressure of 125 lbs. each. They were built by Messrs. Goldie & McCulloch, of Galt, and are fed by a No.6 Northey feed pump. Sufficient room has here been reserved for the addition of another boiler of the same size and capacity.

The company have obtained permission to extend their track north as far as Richmond Hill. This extension will be commenced early in the spring, and when completed the length of the line will be 16 miles.

The engine room, which is on the south side of the boiler house, is 39 feet in width by 58 feet in depth, and is a model power house. Here is located a Wheelock compound condensing engine, with high pressure 13" cylinder, low pressure 23" cylinder, 30" stroke, 100 h. p., the driving wheel of which measures 15 feet in diameter and 38 inches across the face, and runs at the rate of 95 revolutions per minute. Upon this great wheel is a perforated belt 83 feet long and 28 inches wide for transmitting the power to the shafting, which is built upon five stone pillars projecting up through the floor. Provision has been made for an additional engine of a similar description, and it will not be long before this is taken advantage of. Alongside the engine is a Thomson-Houston 500 volt dynamo, the armature of which runs at a speed of 900 revolutions per minute, provision also having been made for further generator power. At the west end of the room is a switch board containing voltmeter, ammeter, rheostadt, circuit breaker, main line switch and apparatus for taking potential of circuit. On the north side are the steam and vacuum gauges; in front, on the north side of the entrance, the offices and lavatory ; and on the south side, a cosily furnished waiting-room. Over these offices Engineer Outhwaite has a well arranged suite of rooms, with every modem household convenience, including bathroom, heating apparatus, incandescent lights and lavatory, with hot and cold water arrangements.

Beneath the engine house is the condensing machinery, hot water well and pumps, the supply of water being taken from running springs at the back of the premises.

The car shed is located at the rear of the main buildings. As the cars come in, they are run on a transfer car and placed side by side. Hydrants have been placed in different parts of the building and every provision made in case of fire. The whole of the inside electrical plant was built by the Thomson-Houston Co. The machinery is of the latest pattern, and is arranged with a view to obtaining the best results. The premises and cars are lighted by electricity. There are at present two cars running at intervals of 20 minutes, commencing at 6 a.m. and continuing until 1:40 [sic] p.m. each day (Sunday excepted). The cars used were manufactured by Jones Bros., of West Troy, N.Y., at a cost of $8,000 each, and are simpler than the ordinary street car in appearance, and in winter are provided with a small coal stove encased in mahogany and brass, occupying the space of one passenger, and the current passing outside the buildings along the trolley wire, and by the trolley down through the car to the motors, and from thence to the rails by the wheels. A large underground cable is laid in the bed of the tracks, to which pieces of wire are attached and extended to every junction of the rails, and so completing the return current. The motors are placed inside the floor of the cars and do their work without any noise or discomfort of any kind to the passengers.

The cars are fitted up with every modem improvement, including incandescent lights and electric bells, and have gates on the platform for the safety of passengers. The capacity for obtaining a high speed whenever necessary, and the light, noiseless, easy-running, commend them to the public as a good substitute for the noisy horse cars. This is demonstrated by the traffic having already increased so as to necessitate two additional motor cars, which are now under way.

The great weight of the motors in the cars demand a heavier rail, especially in snowy weather, and the company have put down a 56 lb. T rail. This being done, a perfect degree of safety has been obtained, the running is smoother, and a great reduction of time has been made possible on each trip. The points of the track open and close as the cars pass over them, and the conductor is not required to alight from the car except to reverse the trolley pole on the overhead line at end of his journey.

The distance covered by the company is about 2 3/4 miles, which is run in twenty minutes, including stops, but it is expected they will be able to reduce this to about fifteen minutes.

Railways: Met.Ry.