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All Service Vehicles at Journal Square?
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 742
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:24 am    Post subject: All Service Vehicles at Journal Square? Reply with quote

The recent onslaught on Martin Luther King Drive (former Jackson streetcar) raised several memories for me. Today's question: I can recall All Service Vehicles at a terminus near the south end of West Side Avenue, but I recall no double wire around Journal Square. Neither Jackson Avenue nor Bergen had ASV.
--
Did All Service Vehicles get near Journal Square?
Thanks.
Joe
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:32 am    Post subject: Re: All Service Vehicles at Journal Square? Reply with quote

N4 Jamaica wrote:
The recent onslaught on Martin Luther King Drive (former Jackson streetcar) raised several memories for me. Today's question: I can recall All Service Vehicles at a terminus near the south end of West Side Avenue, but I recall no double wire around Journal Square. Neither Jackson Avenue nor Bergen had ASV.
--
Did All Service Vehicles get near Journal Square?
Thanks.
Joe


Joe:

Just caught your post today.

I looked through a book I have on vintage photographs of Jersey City, and found one photo (taken during WW2) showing Sip Avenue (looking east) at Journal Square.

Double wires for ASV's can be seen on Sip Avenue, as well as streetcar tracks (only one front-engine PS bus is on Sip Avenue, heading west), but no other buses, no ASV's, nor streetcars are to be seen on Sip; the picture looks to be taken on a quiet Sunday afternoon; passengers can be seen boarding a front-engined "indy" bus that is pointed south, just off Sip Avenue.

In the lower right hand corner of the photo (taken from the roof of the Trust Company Building, if you look closely, you can see that the double ASV wires are edging away from the streetcar tracks on Sip Avenue, and beginning to turn south.

In this book, there are also photos showing ASV double overhead (but, again, no ASV's) at these locations:

COMMUNIPAW AVENUE & WEST SIDE AVENUE

NEWARK AVENUE & JERSEY AVENUE

BERGEN AVENUE & VROOM ST.

In another book I have (this one on PSNJ "Compromise roof" streetcars), there is a photo from 1944 showing a streetcar making a turn at Communipaw & Sip; ASV double overhead is clearly visible.

A few other 1940's photos show ASV's along with the streetcars at the GREENVILLE (Jersey City) yards.

PS replaced all ASV's with buses in 1948.

Hope this info helps....... Wink

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:24 pm; edited 2 times in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe:

Here is an interesting gallery of ASV photos; most photos are from the HUDSON and ESSEX Divisions.

Not all photos have captions, however, so guesswork (or memory searching!) may be needed here..........

"NYO"

See:

http://www.trolleybuses.net/psct/psct.htm

(courtesy: trolleybuses.net)
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 742
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the research on ASV wires in the neighborhood of Journal Square. I much appreciate those who took the photos in the link you provided and those who have preserved and hosted them.
---
I wonder how long Journal Square photos from 2020 will be preserved. Or will Uber-style services lead to the demise of local transit?
---
Last night's PBS coverage of Jim Lehrer's life had a clip of a few seconds in which he described his interest in interstate motorcoaches. How the private car has led to their disappearance! "No, sir, you can't get there from here."
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe:

You are quite welcome! Wink

My mother and my brothers (who grew up in Union City during the 40's) recalled both streetcars and ASV's (I remember that they called the ASV's "electric buses"!)

The first major conversion from streetcar to ASV was the "#49 UNION" line, which operated between Newark and Bound Brook; this conversion took place in September, 1935 (my folks had only been married a month then!)

I've read much on the ASV's over the years; their operation was quite interesting, especially when the vehicles had to snake through complex overhead at junctions.

It is interesting, too, to note that, while PS pulled the plug on the ASV's in 1948, by 1950, they were looking to begin ASV operation again, in the Newark Subway, using new GM 4509's adapted for diesel-electric operation.

The buses (which also would have been used to replace streetcars that then ran on the subway-surface lines) would have utilized overhead only in the confines of the Subway; PS took delivery of one new GM ASV, D900, which operated via specially-erected overhead at the BELL ST. (Montclair) car house.

Though the tests were successful, the bus never operated in revenue service under wire.

When PS found out that the City of Newark would not pay to have the Subway paved over for ASV use, PS scrapped the new-generation ASV plan, and opted for the second-hand TCRT PCC's, that served until 2001.

D900 went to the PLANK ROAD shops where all electrical gear was removed, and it became a straight diesel.

It operated for some years on the #29 (which went to bus in 1952), but, by 1960, had been transferred to the HUDSON Division, and was based out of GREENVILLE for the remainder of its service life......

"NYO"

*It is also interesting to know that today's dual-powered trolley bus operations (Seattle and Boston's Silver Line) are both direct ancestors of PS's pioneering ASV's of the 1930's.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe:

You also mentioned the late Mr. Lehrer (see my post on the general bus board regarding this fine gentleman's passing)

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another fascinating aspect of PSNJ's unique ASV fleet was not only did the fleet comprise of new vehicles, but also, older front-engine YELLOWS that were converted to ASV configuration.

Regarding the newer-model ASV's, all were built by YELLOW, save for one lone MACK.

Further regarding HUDSON Division streetcar-to-ASV conversions:

"NEWARK AVENUE" ( to ASV 6/15/38 )

"MONTGOMERY" (to ASV 5/16/37)

"GREENVILLE" (to ASV 5/16/37)

"NEWARK" ("PLANK ROAD"; to ASV 8/1/37, route #15)

"PASSAIC" (aka "WHITE LINE")/ (conversion to ASV came in two stages: Hoboken-Secaucus 6/16/36, and Paterson-Passaic 3/22/37)

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:15 pm; edited 4 times in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note:

All of PSNJ ASV operations were converted to diesel bus by 1948; all of the remaining HUDSON Division streetcar lines were converted to bus in August of 1949; this also included the abandonment of the Hoboken El, which carried the cars of several lines down to the DL&W's Hoboken terminal.

These lines were:

"UNION CITY"

"SUMMIT"

"JACKSON"

"OAKLAND"

With the conversion of these lines in 1949, all forms of electric public transport (PSNJ) disappeared.......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another interesting aspect to the ASV's is that, even though they could operate off-wire, they seldom did, with the exceptions of detours or when being transferred from one garage to another.

The off-wire capability, from what I've read, indeed was a godsend when traffic was blocked due to fires or water main breaks.

I have, interestingly enough, seen photos and video showing ASV's off-wire as charter coaches, including running out to Flushing Meadows for the 1939/1940 World's Fair.......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one of the older, converted ASV's at Hoboken; the copper-clad structure above the ASV was a portion of the elevated PS trolley terminal, which served streetcars until 1949.

The old-fashioned diner on the left was still there in the early 60's; though quite young, I remember eating breakfast there!

At the time of the photo, two ASV routes served Hoboken (#15 and #21)

"NYO"

http://www.trolleybuses.net/psct/htm/usa_h_psct_yellow_011_newark_bv.htm

(courtesy: trolleybuses.net)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Experimental GM ASV D900, alongside a veteran PS Compromise roof streetcar (2600 series) at Bell St., Montclair.........

http://www.trolleybuses.net/psct/htm/usa_h_psct_gm_d900_bellstloop_01_1950_pcbv.htm

(courtesy: trolleybuses.net)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.....had the Newark Subway been converted for ASV operation, post WW-2, it would have been most interesting, to say the least, at seeing the succeeding generations of new ASV models operating in the Subway, and then, with poles down, operating the balance of their routes as diesel coaches.

ASV's in Newark DID operate underground (though not in the City Subway); these routes used the lower level of the old PS terminal (via the Cedar St. Subway) which they shared with streetcars until 1938.........

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This converted front-engined YELLOW ASV is seen here after it just exited from the Cedar St. Subway, which connected to the lower level of the PS terminal in Newark.

The bus is running on the "#43", which, until 1938, was a streetcar line (Jersey City-Newark)

Look closely and you can see the old streetcar rails........

http://www.trolleybuses.net/psct/htm/usa_h_psct_yellow_009.htm

(courtesy: trolleybuses.net)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recollections of an ASV driver.........

".......at busy junctions, where one line's wires switched off from the other, you would try to get a "running start", especially if you were about to head uphill......."

"......if traffic stopped you, and you had to use power again, the poles would switch to the left (regardless of the route you had intended to take).....with the bus going on straight ahead....."

"......of course, this would have to happen during a rush hour, and, of course, the automatic retrievers would not work.....the gas motor would not start, and you had to get out and risk the heavy traffic trying to replace the poles onto the correct wires......."

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recollections from another veteran PS ASV driver:

This driver was running on the "#11 FRELINGHUYSEN AVE." (Newark) line when his route was blocked by fire trucks. This, normally, presented no problems to the driver.....simply pull the poles down and go around the block.

However, the driver pushed the button to retrieve the poles, then pressed the starter button for the gasoline motor.. There was no response, He tried again and again, but there was no response from the engine.

Puzzled, the driver got out and went to the rear, and opened up the engine compartment to have a look.

What was the problem?

Mechanics had been working on the gas motor the previous evening at the garage, and had removed it, but failed to notify the dispatcher!

Since, earlier that day, the ASV had been standing under wire at his home garage, the driver simply raised the poles and went out on his run.

SOMEONE'S butt was most surely going to get kicked, that night, back at the garage!

"NYO"
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