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Strange Bedfellows

 
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 2091
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:42 pm    Post subject: Strange Bedfellows Reply with quote

Most people are familiar with the practice of "interline pools" enabling a carrier to offer its customer's a thru service, with no change of bus, well beyond its own territory. It is a practice that launched almost at the beginning of highway bus travel. Usually, all of the involved carrier's would contribute enough buses to the pool to constitute their pro-rated share of the operated mileages, on say, a monthly basis. The carrier's would try to offer the same or very similar type of equipment, to offer a consistent product to the passengers.

As the 'shaking out' of competing systems seemed to result in just Greyhound and Trailways systems, other independent carrier's would choose one or the other to 'align' with, based on how well their operation would fit it.

So it is somewhat surprising, that in some cases, the arch rivals found it beneficial to even 'pool' with each other...although sometimes it was a result of an earlier pool, before the partner's became 'aligned'...

First example...
Pacific Trailways - Greyhound, Spokane-San Francisco via Central Oregon.
This started out when PT was Mount Hood Stages, and was the 'bridge carrier' between Biggs, Oregon, and Klamath Falls, connecting Northwestern Greyhound with Pacific Greyhound. Later, Mount Hood joined the Trailways system, with the aid of Continental Trailways obtained rights from Salt Lake City to Portland, competing with Greyhound over most of the route.
As a result, Greyhound ended the pool, and threw PT out of all their terminals, refused to quote their services, and really hurt PT to the point that PT went to the courts for relief, which dragged on for decades before finally winning, and forcing Greyhound to return to the original traffic agreements.


Carolina Trailways - Greyhound, Washington to Ocean City, MD.
Capitol Greyhound had the franchise from Washington to Annapolis, and Red Star Lines had the Annapolis to the Eastern Shore franchise. Later on, Carolina Trailways bought Red Star, but they kept up the Greyhound pool. Since this was a relatively short distance, the way they worked it was Carolina Trailways ran all the way, but the driver made two trip envelope for each run, putting the appropriate ticket coupon in each envelope. To balance the bus and driver miles, for the summer season, Greyhound would run all the way, express a couple of times a day, also with two trip envelopes, even though they didn't even stop at Annapolis.
It was somewhat of a paradox...If you rode a New York to Miami Trailways trip, you might be on a Carolina Trailways bus, and would stop at the Washington Trailways terminal. If you rode from Salisbury, MD to Washington, you would also be on a Carolina Trailways bus, but you would go to the Washington Greyhound terminal.

There was another thru service between Louiville and Nashville via Scottsville, KY....SEG from Louiville to Scottsville, and CTL Scottsville to Nashville. Later, CTL took over the whole route.

The last one is Washington-Sunbury-Elmira-Buffalo GL Washington to Sunbury, Edwards Motor Transit (Lakes-To-Sea System) Sunbury to Elmira, and GL again Elmira to Buffalo. What made this interesting was when Continental Trailways bought Edwards.

If anyone knows any more Greyhound - Trailways pools, back when they were competitior's, please post....
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 17613
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver:

Your most welcome posting all the more further drives home the often-overlooked topic of "pooling"; far too often, most simply think of a "parent" company (such as GREYHOUND or TRAILWAYS) and think that thee companies have NO affiliates with any other company, in any shape, form, or fashion.

I, personally, would love nothing more to see some sort of published work on this topic; recall, when we were discussing early bus operations "down Texas way", we discussed quite a bit of "pooling", interlining, rivalry, etc.

If one has access to back issues of "MOTOR COACH AGE", there is quite a bit on this subject in multiple articles; even there, I am sure it is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg......

"NYO"
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 2091
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While only companies partially owned by GL could display the logo, GL was rather demanding with its pool partner's in other ways...

For example...any company pooling with Greyhound had to recruit and train its driver's to the same standards, and buy the same type of buses Greyhound ran in its pools. Mostly Yellow or GM. The buses had to offer the same amenities, and they had to be painted a matching blue and white, or silversided. Even if the 'house color's' in the rest of the partner's fleet had a different scheme.

I recall Edwards buses in the Port being red and white and silver, but the Edwards buses in the Washington Buffalo pool being blue and white.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver:

Once again, a most informative and interest bit of input; appreciate your posting here.

You mentioned "EDWARDS"; I've read that, at least through the 1940's, that this company also had service to Journal Square; likewise, GOLDEN ARROW and CHAMPLAIN.

GREYHOUND, as you and I both know, ran a VERY tight ship, back in the day; GREYHOUND drivers were often touted as being the safest and most dependable drivers on the highways (this is not surprising, given the Company's exacting standards regarding new "recruits", as well as a very extensive driver training program)

By the 1950's, it was clear that GM was indeed the dominant force in the fleet; the days of the old YELLOWS (and ACF-BRILLS) were numbered.

This, then, seems most ironic today, given that GREYHOUND later broke their long-established ties with GM, and went full-throttle into the MCI era........*

"NYO"

*This snippet from Robert Gabrick's "GOING THE GREYHOUND WAY"(2009), indeed, speaks many volumes:

".....Greyhound's pullback leaves big holes in a frayed network of rural transportation....."

'nuff said.
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roymanning2000



Age: 74
Joined: 01 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:41 am    Post subject: Strange Bedfellows Reply with quote

Not only did Edwards participate in a Greyhound pool, they were one of the few carriers allowed to buy GM PD-3751 Silversides new. Two such buses, fleet numbers 145-146 (serial numbers 376-377), were purchased in 1947. They were painted Greyhound blue and white initially. After their pool service days had ended, I believe they got the standard Edwards red and white.

Roy
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roy:

Thanks for this information; I did not know that EDWARDS bought new SILVERSIDES in '47.

Your mention of this also reminds us that, despite it being so associated with GREYHOUND for many years, prior to the introduction of the SCENICRUISER, it was also ued by other carriers as well.

If I might add to your comments, according to William A. Luke's "TRAILWAYS BUSES: ".....MISSOURI, KANSAS, & OKLAHOMA was one of the few bus companies that was able to acquire new GM PD-3751 SILVERSIDES......"

".......this particular model bus was always considered a GREYHOUND bus; MK&O's route between St. Louis and Oklahoma City paralleled GREYHOUND's route......"

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This page on the 4103 is also of interest; a few interesting bits on GREYHOUND and TRAILWAYS as well.....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_PD-4103
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What was really interesting, was in its last couple of independent years, before being purchased by Continental Trailways, was Edwards buying a few new Eagle buses. These were used on Edwards' "mainline", between New York, Williamsport, and Cleveland. Never in the GL pool.
I once saw one on the night run out of the old underground Greyhound terminal in Philly, at Penn Center destined to Williamsport, but the driver put "Buffalo" on the destination sign. What a strange sight to see the Eagle in that terminal...


I believe I have told this story here, a few years ago, but it is related to this...
Shortly after Continental took over Edwards, they were still running blue and white PD-4107's ("buffalo's") on the GL pool runs. So one day, someone at Edwards (or perhaps it was directed by CTS in Dallas, we'll probably never know), decided to 'cut' the Edwards 4107 in Williamsport, their home base, and replace it with an Edwards Eagle.. When the schedule arrived in Elmira, the waiting Greyhound relay driver took one look in amazement at it, and grabbed the phone to his dispatcher. He was told to refuse acceptance of the Eagle, and instead grab the Philadelphia to Elmira MC-5, that had come up thru Scranton to connect with his schedule, in order to continue the trip.
There was a lot of 'discussion' between Phoenix (then GL HQ), and Dallas (CTS HQ), over this. Greyhound told CTS that their driver's required training on any new to them type of equipment, before they would be 'certified' to operate it. In addition, GL required their buses to be equipped with power steering, which was a rare option on Eagles...


A year or two later, Continental equipped pool Eagles with power steering, sent a couple to Buffalo and Washington Greyhound facilities for driver training, and put them in the pool. So it was a very strange operation to see Greyhound driver's driving Continental Trailways buses for a few years until the pool ended.
Cool
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver:

Indeed, intercity bus operation, many years ago, was FAR from being "dull" or "routine"; VERY interesting "trivia".....thanks for posting here! Wink

If I might ask, you mentioned the "old underground GREYHOUND terminal at Philadelphia"; I've seen photos/postcards of the modern, 1950's era facility ("GREYHOUND BUS TERMINAL & TRANSPORTING BUILDING", between 17th St. and 18th St. on Market St); but am not familiar with the underground terminal.

How many buses could the underground terminal accommodate?

When was it phased out?

Appreciate any information.....

"NYO"
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 2091
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
traildriver:

Indeed, intercity bus operation, many years ago, was FAR from being "dull" or "routine"; VERY interesting "trivia".....thanks for posting here! Wink

If I might ask, you mentioned the "old underground GREYHOUND terminal at Philadelphia"; I've seen photos/postcards of the modern, 1950's era facility ("GREYHOUND BUS TERMINAL & TRANSPORTING BUILDING", between 17th St. and 18th St. on Market St); but am not familiar with the underground terminal.

How many buses could the underground terminal accommodate?

When was it phased out?

Appreciate any information.....

"NYO"


The Greyhound Terminal at 17th and Market Street, was the new terminal built to replace the one at the raized PRR Broad Street Station, in the mid 1950's. It was part of the new Penn Center office complex between Market Street and Pennsylvania Blvd. (Now Kennedy Blvd.) It extended from Broad Street west to 19th Street. Greyhound moved to its current terminal near the Reading Market at 10th and Filbert Streets in mid 80's.
As in many other cases at that time, the old terminal was much more elaborate than the new one...Chicago loop terminal is a very good comparison.

I used to travel almost every weekend from NYC to Philly, most often on EGL in 1967. I vividly remember that terminal as a result. At street level, was the ticket office, a Post House Cafeteria, (which later became a Burger King) a Bar, a travel b.ureau, and the Philly telephone information center. Above this was an auto parking garage.
You then descended on an escalator one level to the mezzanine. There was an underground passage into the Penn Center complex with the skating rink, a UPI office with its clicking teletypes in the window, and entrance into the Pennsylvania RR headquarters building at 6 Penn Center. Further along the passage, and you were into the concourse level of Suburban Station, with access to PRR suburban trains, as well as the Market Street subway and subway surface cars. If you continued down another escalator, you would reach the bus platform concourse, with 18 or so loading gates. Behind the gates on one side was the underpass up to 19th and Commerce Street bus exit. This was also used by trucks making delivery's to all the connected Penn Center office complex with a separate roadway.

There was a bus storage and servicing facility also behind those gates.

In the center of the concourse was an info booth and a Post House snack bar.

Altogether a very nice terminal. In a way, very reminiscent of the old Chicago terminal at Clark and Randolph Streets. It was a shame when they moved out of both of them.
They both have been torn down, with tall high rise office towers in their footprint....
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After rereading my post, in case I didn't make it clear, the 'underground terminal is the one you earlier referenced. It was on three levels, with the buses on the lowest, two levels below the street...
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver:

GREATLY appreciate the highly-descriptive details of this former terminal; I know I've never seen any photos of it (to my knowledge)......it, indeed, sounded like a "city within a city"!

I know I would have loved to experienced it myself, If I could travel back in time!

PRR's "Old Broad" was closed down about 1952; the READING TERMINAL lasted into the 1980's as a rail facility (at least, even though the trains are long gone, the structure itself still stands, with its mighty arched trainshed, similar to the one originally in place at "Old Broad", before a 1920's fire destroyed it)

I have a photo in one of my railroad books that shows a broad stairway in this long-gone station, with a large overhead sign reading "TO STREET CARS AND MARKET STREET SUBWAY"

This would have been way, way back in the pre-SEPTA, PTC era.

I was VERY interested to learn the there was also bus storage areas underground!

So sad that, in later years, so many of the old facilities became dingy and crime ridden; many former entrances/exits to the subways (where they existed) would have been closed off.

IMHO, when GREYHOUND was building the new, sleek, stylish, modern "Art Moderne" terminal facilities, the Company was fast approaching its Apex; this "Apex", IMHO, was reached when the era of the SCENICRUISER began.

By the later 1960's and 1970's and 80's, the stylish era of postwar highway coach travel had pretty much evaporated.......

"NYO"
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