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Who's on first??
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 5522
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:57 pm    Post subject: Who's on first?? Reply with quote

Gentlemen:

Most people generally assume that "streetcars came before buses".

In essence, this is correct, when one consider the hundreds of electric streetcar lines that were replaced by gas and diesel buses, through the decades.

However, if one goes back into transit history, it was actually the BUS (albeit in horse-drawn form) that predated the rail-bound streetcar.

By 1839, there were over 600 omnibuses operating in and around London alone.

By 1855, there were ten omnibus companies operating in Paris, with some 600 vehicles in operation; by 1859, a London-based company was in charge of Paris' omnibus companies.

Back here at home in the States, omnibuses in Boston began operation in 1826; the first horsecars did not begin operation in the city until 30 years later, in 1856.

In 1886, the Fifth Avenue Transportation Company, ancestor of FACCo., began operating horse-drawn buses on the then-fashionable thoroughfare.

The very earliest ancestors of even the omnibus were the "mail coaches" that were once commonplace in England and in Europe, from the later 1700's and into the 1800's.

It would seem that the lowly bus has one very interesting "bloodline"......... Wink

"NYO"

Sources: "BUSES, TROLLEYS, AND TRAMS" (Chas S. Dunbar)

"MOVING MILLIONS: A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF LONDON TRANSPORT" (Theo Barker)


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A detailed and interesting historical page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsebus
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The history of London's omnibuses (some great photos of classic and modern London buses as well here!)

http://www.knowledgeoflondon.com/buses.html
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HORSEpower on Fifth Avenue......... Wink

http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/f/fifth_avenue/fifth_avenue.htm

(courtesy: Coachbuilt)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stage to buses.......

https://chicagology.com/transportation/stagetobuses/
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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 52
Joined: 02 Oct 2014
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Location: New York, New York, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:49 am    Post subject: Re: Who's on first?? Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
In 1886, the Fifth Avenue Transportation Company, ancestor of FACCo., began operating horse-drawn buses on the then-fashionable thoroughfare.

Though that first route would become known as No. 1, ironically enough today's M1, despite it following the same path between 135th and 8th Streets on southbound runs as the FACCo route of the same number, is not that; instead it has always operationally been the ex-New York City Omnibus Fourth and Madison Avenues line which in turn was descended from the city's very first streetcar route which began operations in 1832. (The FACCo route 1, which was reduced to one trip daily around 1957, was discontinued on March 1, 1962 due to "the strike" which ended Fifth Avenue Coach's run in the city - and ushered in MaBSTOA.)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B.:

Once again, THANK YOU for taking the time to provide some more interesting historical trivia regarding buses (horse-drawn or otherwise!) on "The Avenue"! Wink

It is easy to see, just by looking at photos from the "HORSE power" days, that operating a large omnibus company was indeed a LABOR INTENSIVE enterprise.

Having to provide proper care of 400 horses on a daily basis (not to mention taking care of manure disposal!) had to be quite an undertaking, indeed.

Too, it is difficult for us today in 2018 to even try to imagine the great excitement and thrill felt by the "daring young men" who piloted the very first motor buses on Fifth Avenue; the riding public (as well as pedestrians) also had to be quite intrigued with the new "horse-less buses"!

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New York omnibus/streetcar builder John Stephenson..........

https://blog.mcny.org/2013/12/10/john-stephenson-company-streetcars/
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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 52
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seem to remember the Stephenson firm also built some of the IRT Composites for use on the NYC subway, but was among many manufacturers of the time that resisted the changes that were a-comin' in the railroad car building industry including the move to all-steel after American Car & Foundry built their steel cars (starting with the Gibbs') for the Interborough.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
I seem to remember the Stephenson firm also built some of the IRT Composites for use on the NYC subway, but was among many manufacturers of the time that resisted the changes that were a-comin' in the railroad car building industry including the move to all-steel after American Car & Foundry built their steel cars (starting with the Gibbs') for the Interborough.


W.B.:

You are quite right; also, STEPHENSON also built many of the early wooden El cars, that were later electrified and converted into motors/trailers.

These humble wooden vehicles rumbled and swayed above the rooftops of New York for many, many years; remember, too, that the pre-1903 electrification cars had been previously hauled by Forney engines!

STEPHENSON also built a number of early PSNJ streetcars.

You mentioned the early IRT steel cars; recall, the deck-roof Hi-V cars (ACF, 1907/1908), that lasted well into the 1950's; their trolley-style roofs looked quite out of place in a train of the usual railroad roof cars!

These distinctive cars also replaced the old wooden gate cars that ran for years on the old Dyre Avenue shuttle, the last remnant of the old NYW&B, which operated high-speed MU trains from 1912 until 1937.

The earliest IRT cars were built by:

STEPHENSON

WASON

St. LOUIS

JEWETT

*Many of IRT's early steel Hi-V cars lasted in revenue service until the late 1950's, some of these cars lasting over 50 years "on the job".....

"NYO"
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But these guys, are the current NYC record-holder's....66 years!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/38731257594

Tried copying the wiki link, under BMT Q cars, but it seems to refuse to copy properly for some reason...(just Google it)


But...the R-32's are giving them a run-for-the-money...almost 55 years. I'm confident they could easily break the record, but will be replaced in a couple of years...
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
The earliest IRT cars were built by:

STEPHENSON

WASON

St. LOUIS

JEWETT

Of those manufacturers, only St. Louis ultimately "got with the program" and began building steel cars, beginning with some of the BMT "Multis," the IRT 1939 "World's Fair" cars and the IND R-8 cars #66 and 67, then building the bulk of subway cars from 1955 until the infamous R44 order which led to their going out of business around 1973.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
The earliest IRT cars were built by:

STEPHENSON

WASON

St. LOUIS

JEWETT

Of those manufacturers, only St. Louis ultimately "got with the program" and began building steel cars, beginning with some of the BMT "Multis," the IRT 1939 "World's Fair" cars and the IND R-8 cars #66 and 67, then building the bulk of subway cars from 1955 until the infamous R44 order which led to their going out of business around 1973.


W.B;

Spot on! Wink

St. Louis, of course, not only was a major builder of NY subway cars, but also, they built QUITE a few PCC's and trolley buses as well (Brooklyn's postwar trolley bus fleet were built by St. Louis)

It was not until the arrival of the PRR/H&M "joint service" K class cars in 1958 (also, these were the first air conditioned, production model rapid transit cars in the country at the time) that "The Tubes" saw their first St. Louis products.

The "Black" cars and "Red McAdoos" were all built by ACF and PRESSED STEEL.

St. Louis also built the original PA-1 cars for PATH, which went into service in 1965........

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
But these guys, are the current NYC record-holder's....66 years!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/38731257594

Tried copying the wiki link, under BMT Q cars, but it seems to refuse to copy properly for some reason...(just Google it)


But...the R-32's are giving them a run-for-the-money...almost 55 years. I'm confident they could easily break the record, but will be replaced in a couple of years...


traildriver:

Yup!

And, just think, these humble old cars also had the distinction of being the LAST wooden rail passenger cars in revenue service in the country, when they were retired in 1969! Shocked

Remember, too, in their later years, they also ran on the 3rd Avenue El, using trucks from the old Composites (the cars would have been too heavy for the spindly El, with their original BMT trucks)

On PATH, the "longest service record" goes to the Class "B" cars of 1909; these ancient, "built like a tank" rapid transit cars (that I knew quite well as a youngster!) were running out the miles until 1965, when they were replaced by the new PA-1 cars; the "B" Class (built by PRESSED STEEL) had been in service for 56 years, a QUITE impressive service record...... Wink

"NYO"

* One Class "B" H&M car, #256, survives today at the National Museum of Transport in St. Louis.


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further on transit car "longevity"......

The remaining BUDD Brightliners in service today have now been in service for nearly 55 years, a MOST impressive service record!

I can still remember Mom and I seeing them on display at GCT, back in 1964....MOST impressive!)

The train had to be equipped with NYCRR type third rail shoes to enable the cars to travel from the Mott Haven Yards down to GCT for exhibition.

I have stood at the RFW of these venerable old cars too many times to count, over the years........ Wink

"NYO"
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