The Times of Skinker DeBaliviere
April 1, 2016
Round the Corner to the End of the Track
By Derek Knight
Changes for the Loop Trolley have been continuous for the last year, and DeBaliviere is in the
middle of a transformation. The junction of Delmar and DeBaliviere has seen some significant work, particularly on the water lines, and for the last few weeks the traffic lanes around the junction have been changing it seems almost daily.
Rails were laid on the two streets and concrete poured, and then one morning on my drive I saw that the two sets of tracks were connected by a gentle curve, and it was suddenly possible to visualize the trolley taking the corner.
The project recently publicly celebrated the milestone of the last long straight rail being laid, but for me, seeing this curve somehow made the process more real, and brought home the fact that soon there will really be a trolley taking this corner along with the cars and trucks.
Once on DeBaliviere, the trolley will travel to the terminal at the History Museum. The end of the line there has now become very apparent, with the tracks stopping at a pole, which will carry the overhead power cables. Since the roadway has been reopened, it seems that it has always had this configuration, or perhaps it’s just that the tracks look natural being there.
When I was in the area a few days ago, I took some pictures of the end of the line and started to walk around the curve towards Lindell. As I did so, I noticed something that struck me as odd. Everywhere I’d seen the tracks there were two metal rails, one each side, but here there was another rail, on the inside of the one nearest to the History Museum. About halfway around the curve, it stopped, and the standard 2 single tracks were seen again.
Inquiring minds need to know, and I discovered that this is called a “restraining rail.” This configuration is seen on curved areas of track only and is an extra safety feature to ensure that the trolley wheels stay “on track” (literally) as the train takes the bend.
The Times of Skinker DeBaliviere ©April 2016