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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee

Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 1:03 pm    Post subject: 'LONG BEACH RAILWAY COMPANY (NY) DOODLEBUGS' Reply with quote

Before making the within presentation, I think it appropriate to define the word Doodlebug as pertaining to railed vehicles;

In the United States, Doodlebug was the common name for a self-propelled railway car and while such coaches typically had gasoline-powered engines that turned generators which provided electricity to traction motors and then to axles, some versions with mechanical transmissions also existed.

Doodlebugs sometimes pulled a trailer car, but were more often used singly. They were popular with some railroads during the first part of the 20th century to provide passenger and mail service on lightly used branch lines, obviating the need for conventional trains consisting of locomotives and coaches.

Many smaller communities opted for this method of local transit which eliminated the need for costly overhead wiring grids.

Long Beach, a small city occupying a narrow strip of land, known as a barrier island, off the south shore of western Nassau County, was a pioneer in the use of the Doodlebug from the early teens until the first buses of the Long Beach Bus Company arrived in the mid twenties.

Seen, upper image, are two such vehicles on Park Street in the vicinity of the City Hall and the Long Island Railroad Station awaiting their next runs.

The manufacturer of the motive power is not recognizable but both Ford and Mack played a major role in Doodlebug development.

The concept of the Doodlebug didn't fade completely and as late as mid century the Budd Rail Diesel Car or Buddliner was loosely considered as such a version.

Also seen below in a shot taken in 1930 is the city's successor to the Doodlebug era in the form of Long Beach Bus Company fleet# 7 - a mid twenties Mack Model 'AB' standing at Park Street and Putnam Boulevard in Atlantic Beach.

Upper photo courtesy of the Trolley Museum of Kingston, New York
Lower photo courtesy of Long Beach City Archive
Definition of Doodlebugs culled from Wikipedia

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York

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