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'DC TRANSIT'S A/C'D 5105'S'

 
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 4976
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:36 pm    Post subject: 'DC TRANSIT'S A/C'D 5105'S' Reply with quote

The first experimentally air-conditioned GM TDH-5105 visited D.C. Transit of Washington in the summer of 1956 and was painted in an attractive two-tone green with orange flamingo striping and a kitchen white roof (see lower photo).

D.C.'s president liked the scheme enough to have adopted it as the company's new livery which first appeared on sixty-seven 5105's numbered 5600 to 5666 and delivered in July of 1958.

What was most unusual about this order was the fact that they were among the first GM transit coaches to be factory air conditioned using a powerful Frigidaire compressor directly off the main engine and, while it would have been thought that a DD 8V-71 would have been more suitable for the load, the standard '6' did the job very well.

Pictured (top) and meandering the avenues of the nations capital sometime in the mid sixties is fleet number 5623 which boasts it cooling qualities in its livery and wears a neatly packaged condenser above custom modified rear windows.

Upper image thanks to Bruce K. at eBay.
Lower image by Al Holtz with some information from Burlington Replicas.

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


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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr 'L' -

You have the backgrounder, so that, "...and now you know... the rest of the story...?

The paint treatment first appeared on a G M C - T & C Demo, rolled out in New York. It is widely agreed the
attractive appearance the work of the builder Design Group.

With D C T S, early assignment on introduction of bus operation on GEORGIA AV NW - 70 - 72 - 74 lines.
On the long prevailing upgrade, outward from Downtown, the coaches did tend to drag a bit on hot days,
with the A/C working...

On balance, they were truly superb coaches...

.......................Vern.................
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 406
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm looking for the word Articooler on those buses. Memory (which could be faulty) says that they arrived with Articooler in script above the windows.
----
Also, I beg to differ about the Georgia Avenue routes, which, according to this Wikipedia article, had streetcars until January 3, 1960, about 18 months after this fleet was introduced. Memory says they first showed up on Connecticut Avenue. I lived near the Avondale terminal (Michigan and Eastern Avenues, N.E.), and one of the two downtown routes terminating there got them, either the E4 or F2. Yes, they later saw service on Georgia Avenue when it was converted.
----
When O. Roy Chalk balked at removing streetcars, I was fascinated by his request to turn the 70 routes (Georgia Avenue) into streetcar right-of-way, with crossing gates at intersections! At that time, I had no imagination that the Washington Metropolitan Area would receive a much faster heavy-rail system that would extend to the Maryland and Virginia countryside. Shades of the 82 to Beltsville!
----
I lived near Avondale 1956-1959, and I recall newspaper articles about which streets allowed 102" buses, but I don't recall whether that involved
the GM 5105's or earlier vehicles.
Thanks for the photos and the conversation.
Joe
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe -

Many Thanks! Note I used phrase, "early assignment" and not "initial assignment" in my considered use of the language.
I agree with your views. IIRC, initial assignments may have included L - CONN AVE NW and S - SIXTEENTH ST NW

Otherwise, indeed! Where's the "ARTICOOLER" markings?

The "102" Wide" issue may have surfaced earlier with the WHITE (5400 - 5500) types. Some (all?) of the group labeled
as 1150WD, reported "WIDE" and "DIESEL". IMHO, a group of excellent performers. Evidently, no units remain...

....................Vern..................
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bystander



Age: 72
Joined: 14 Sep 2010
Posts: 26
Location: South Eastern Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject: DCT and the 102" bus Reply with quote

"Big Bus" problems were all but solved by the time The Articoolers (Yes, it was on them, and all air conditioned buses after that-want to see a Fishbowl labeled Articooler?) arrived on the scene. I think it was more a part of drivers getting used to 102" buses,which the 1150's definitely were.

I can remember when the 1150's were introduced on Connecticut Ave and my Grandma was full of stories of how '"These new buses are just too big for our old city".Then everyone adjusted and life has been wonderful ever since.

Well..........
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 406
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please allow a digression on the the route and destination signs shown in the color photo of 5246, "H2 South Dakota."
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In the late 1950's, the paper transfers of D.C. Transit allowed two uses of the transfer in a continuing trip. That led me to use the H2 sometimes, a useful crosstown route connecting Wisconsin Avenue (and its PCC's) with Brookland and the Michigan Avenue buses. I think that, when Washington General Hospital opened in March of 1958, the H2 was diverted to the hospital grounds, entering, looping, exiting and continuing on its crosstown route. At the time, given the crowds on board, I thought this extra loop was a good use of bus service. (On Staten Island, the S74 loops into a jail!) Anyhow, it was a smart idea. Hospitals provide fares.
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In that era, there was another other long east-west crosstown bus in the northern part of the District, using Military Road, connecting Friendship Heights with somewhere in Brookland. I think it had a K2 or M2 route number. Many route numbers in Washington have changed in fifty years.
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I cannot read the other line in the "South Dakota" destination, but it may have been Monroe Street. In that era, quite a few bus destinations were expressed as intersections, as the famous "Half and O S.E." on another thread.
Joe
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe -

In an aging (such as myself) CAPITAL TRANSIT - GUIDE MAP, of March 1, 1955 date, it advised: No K2. The M2 identified
"Military Road - Crosstown", end points, Ivy City and Wis. Ave. Terminal via Military Road.

The MAP itself a gem. CTCo sold it at fifteen (15) cents per copy. Should any one advise: How I take this to a local guy, get
"JPG" (?) scans, and on the cheap? It is approx a 22" x 36" sheet, printed both sides. Folded to four in. x eight in. I'd be
pleased to post it up here as a FAQ. (With my OUIJA BOARD, I have contacted Messrs. Wolfson and Chalk. Neither much
care about Copyright issues)...

.......................Vern.....................
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 406
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for identifying the Military Road crosstown as M2. I forgot that the east terminus was Ivy City. The big 102" buses were not on that route.
---
Because I have no scanner, I have done some scanning at Walgreens, where about twenty scans of photos or newspaper quarter-sheets yield a CD the next day for under $10. It's a tedious process of almost an hour, though, because the scanner has to work on each shot before it is ready for the next. The results get stored on Walgreen's photo dept hard drive. When the clerk gets through his backlog of work, he makes a CD from your scans.
Joe
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

N4 -

Walgreen's? Oh, is that right! They are more common than chain burger joints around here.

Any one else here with some ideas? It is encouraging to hear this may be done on the cheap. There are a couple
of even older BALTIMORE MAPS in my collection. I'd like to get both scanned, and available as digital images.

M2? And, I must submit that I doubt if I ever noticed it there, at end of (rail) 30. Perhaps it had the WHITE 1144
coaches? I know that Georgia & Alaska frequented by the "little" GMC coaches on short "shuttles". Also, terminal
for the S2, Sixteenth St., with the "big" 1150s (they were a delight!)...

.....................Vern.......................
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timecruncher



Age: 63
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 450
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if an 8V-71 would have fit in the old-look frame in the standard transverse setup of the day. It would have sucked fuel, for sure!

I also have to wonder how well these coaches ran with the a/c compressor running off of the 6-71 engine. I remember too well how lethargic the early newlook GM coaches were with a/c hooked up to the 6V-71 engine. They ran just fine without a/c, but turn the unit on and the 35+ horsepower needed to crank that compressor really had an effect on acceleration, even in a relatively flat city like Louisville. It might have had something to do with the hydraulic pump that fed the compressor clutch.

St. Louis and New Orleans both had old look coaches with a/c retrofitted, and any number of other bus lines used Themo King aftermarket units that were generally self-powered.

Later newlook coaches had a different arrangement for the a/c compressor, if I am not mistaken, and the 1968 units were almost as fast with air on as with it off.

timecruncher
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