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'READING BUS COMPANY'
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seen in September of 1974 at its yard in Reading, Pennsylvania is fleet # 709 - a 1946 GM Coach Model TD 4007 and one of fifteen likenesses numbered from 703 to 717 delivered to the then Reading Bus Company of that Keystone State city.

While this nearly three decade old 'family retainer' was still sound enough to ply the company's routes in one form or another, it was never the less relegated to wear its older paint scheme as opposed to that of # 700 standing next to it and sporting much later colors.

However, # 709 was treated to a face lift sometime after the war which included the replacement of its original 'bug eyed' headlamps with more modern recessed units and the addition of the familiar stainless wings and GM logo under the windshield which was not available on early 1946 models.

The very unusual rod running between the two windshield wiper transmissions was a temporary solution or jury rig to allow a good transmission to tow a bad one along until it could be replaced (an old trick used by many operators in those days).

Note that at the time the photo was take, # 709 had been re-flagged for the Berks Area Reading Transportation Authority (BARTA).

About BARTA;

The City of Reading and the County of Berks purchased the failing Reading Bus Company in 1973. This led to the creation of the Berks Area Reading Transportation Authority (BARTA) which began operation on October 8, 1973. In January, 2010, BARTA became a County Authority and the name was changed to the Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority.

Photo thanks to eBay.

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

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JimmiB



Age: 76
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. The 709 looks pretty rough. Can't blame me for the front end damage. I got laid off during the service cut backs before BARTA took over. That was one of the few buses that got that paint scheme.
Note that there are passengers on the bus. The lot was the layover point for the 11th Street/Albright College and the 9th Street/Schuylkill Ave. routes.
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Rob




Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Photo Mr. L - Thanks so much for sharing.
Rob
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JimmiB



Age: 76
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While searching boxes of photos trying to find one that is among the missing, I came across some other items from Reading.
First is a photo of fleet number 809, a former Green Lines coach eastbound at 5th and Penn sts in Reading, on the Albright College line.


Also found my employee pass from 1969.


Another thing I found was a safety handbook that was issued during driver training. The first page is a little rough but the rest of the book is in good shape. If anyone is interested I'll scan the rest of it.
Judging by the drawing of the bus on page 3, this booklet was pretty old at the time. I believe I had gotten it in 1966.


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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JimmieB,

Re Reading # 809 (ex GBL 310); thanks for the clearer picture (mine has an eBay vendor's watermark which really spoils it).

Up to now, the best photo I have of # 809 (below) shows it in its final resting place at Crawford's yard some years ago - a sad ending for a beautiful bus!

Photo by RayPa.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'

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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pictured at a yard in Hazleton, Pennsylvania sometime in 1979, we see fleet # 730 - a 1946 GM Model TD 4008 operating for the Baran's Transit Lines of Beaver Meadows, Pennsylvania.

I won't stake my reputation on it but # 730 sure looks exactly like ex Reading Bus Company # 730 and, if so, it would be one of twenty-one TD 4008's numbered from 718 to 737 originally purchased by the Reading Street Railway Company of Reading, Pennsylvania in December of 1946.

Whatever its history, it certainly looks great at the ripe old age of 33!

Photo courtesy of eBay.

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

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JimmiB



Age: 76
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure you're right Mr. L. That was the original BARTA livery, right down to the placement of the railroad Roman numbers that the Reading shop always used. Also has the square under the windshield that used to hold the Green Spot bottle cap logo. Several old looks were sold when BARTA got their first order of new looks. I remember seeing one of Reading's 660 series in Pottsville as an East Penn unit. Followed it up Rt. 61 with one deflated air bag, leaning to the left.
A few years back, while I was working in the office at Lebanon Bus Co., I got a call from our local competition, D.B.Fisher. Asked me to come out to their shop, that he had something I might be interested in seeing. They had bought a used old look that they think might be an ex-Reading bus, and were converting it into a shuttle bus with bench seating.
After looking it over and feeling the "bump" in the paint where the number inside had been painted over, I'm pretty sure it was former Reading Bus # 661. They had gotten it from East Penn, who had just gone out of business.
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JimmiB,

You speak of Lebanon Bus Company; does the attached photo of a 1954 Reo fleet # 54 from Lebanon Auto Bus Company taken in 1964 jog your memory?

Now I'll tell you about my experience in recognizing an ex Green Line 4512;

I came into Newark Airport from Florida on one of my many trips to visit my parents back in the sixties and I come out to the front of the terminal and standing at the curb is this beautiful 4512 done up in a nice white over blue livery.

I looked it over and their was something very familiar to me about it including the rare set of extra stainless steel wings under the windshield that all of Green Line's 4512's and 5104's had.

The interior was the same peach color and I was certain that it was what I thought but I made one further test.

No matter how you prepare a bus for a new livery, certain of the old lines and even remnants of the lettering and numbers will remain and if you stand at a certain angle with the lighting just right you'll often esily see those outlines and, sure enough, it was one of a number of 4512's that Green Line had sold to Jersey operators.

Photo courtesy of eBay.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'

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JimmiB



Age: 76
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Considering that I ended up as general manager of this company, I have no information that we ever owned a REO, and I never saw anything in that livery in our line of coaches in our "bone yard". It took me a half hour on Google Earth just to figure out where this shot was taken. This photo was taken about 15 years before I moved here. The bus is southbound on S. 12th Street, 1/2 block south of Cumberland St. (Rt.422). The angled street is Old Cumberland. The Sterling building was destroyed in the hurricane Agnes flood in 1972, but was still standing when I first moved to Lebanon. There is now a Rite Aid store in its place.
Judging by the "Lebanon" on the roll sign, I would guess that it was on a line run, possibly returning from Fort Indiantown Gap. I would assume that they owned this unit for quite a few years since the word "Auto" had been dropped from the name sometime in the late 50's.
Interesting photo Mr. L. Thanks.
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Rob




Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://gallery.bustalk.info/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=0&pos=0[/url]

Check out this photo taken at the Exeter Street Carbarn of the Reading Street Railway Company of what appears to be Bus #113. Notice the snow chains on the tires. In case this url thing doesn't work, I have added it to my member photo gallery. You can also see a trolley lurking off to the right in the background.

If anyone has any guesses on the make, model, year or even what is going on here. I am open to hearing them. It is not sure if the photographer is Robert Rhoads, or if he is the man on the right. His grand-daughter says it looks like him from the back. It also resembles J. Edgar Hoover though to me...... Wink

Hopefuly Grand-dad is at a happier place, so he isn't givivng us clues. Rosie also flashed a photo of RBCo #733 in a Maier's Bakery / Little Miss Sunbeam "wrap" style paint job from 1957. B&W Sad
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JimmiB



Age: 76
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. When I was a teenager I remember watching for the "loaf of bread" bus.
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great and very rare photo of Reading # 113!

My records show that # 113 and # 114 that arrived with it were 23 passenger 1934 Model 716 Yellow Coaches and were only the fourteenth and fifteenth buses that the company had ever bought.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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Rob




Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mr. L. I have a photo of #112 from a "Trolley and Transit" publication sitting in front of the Historical Society of Berks County on Centre Ave., however it is a front engine, Model T looking thing. One thing I noticed, I hope that bus wasn't expecting to get four of those guys across in the seat row!

From what I can see the bread laof bus looks like the ends were probably blue, mid section white. While it doesn't seem to be a color print the sign on the front and the rims have a strange red hue to it, which leads me to think the ends were blue.

Thanks again for the info!
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob,

O.K.; # 112 was one of thirteen (100 to 112) 23 passenger 1930 Yellow Coach U-C-607 models and were of 'conventional' configuration meaning that the engines were in front of the windshields.

Interestingly, # 112's chassis survived as a service truck until 1961.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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Rob




Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This photo and some other photos of the Grandfather Robert Rhoads got me thinking. Rosie said he was the shop supervisor.
1. I saw a photo of the Rhoads' Buick of the era, it was more of a silver blue with a white roof. (compared to the Buick in the 4104 photo) and may have been his retirement gift to himself. Prior to that he had a yellow 50ish Roadmaster.
2. If Robert Rhoads (1892-1985) retired when he was 70, which was not unheard of at the time, it would coincide with the arrival of Mr. Succa as the replacement shop supervisor.
3. It would also explain his presence in a photo of a 30's era bus.
Rob
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