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Transit buses with rear windows/ETB's, etc.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6695
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
It seems strange that they would use the ASV's so far from home territory.
I'm sure it would be highly illegal, but wonder if any ASV driver's were ever tempted to "borrow" some electricity from 'foreign' trolley wires to save gas along the way....I imagine if caught, that would go over like a lead balloon... Laughing
That is, if in fact the overhead power supply, and the hardware was even compatible...


traildriver:

If I had not seen that rare piece of film footage myself, I would have NEVER thought of the ASV's being run that far from "home base"!! Shocked

In fact, it was the FIRST image (of any kind) where I saw the ASV's off-wire at all.

By the way, the ASV's could swing no more than 12 feet away from the path of the overhead wires; the savvy driver knew just how much "leeway" he would have, when trying to swing around an obstruction.

Back in the day (this is a TRUE story), an ASV driver was driving his bus on the #11 route in Newark; he soon encountered fire trucks blocking the street (Frelinghuysen Avenue)

The driver thought all he had to do was to simply "pull the poles" and just go around the block, after switching to the gas engine.

The driver pushed the button that retracted the poles, and then he pushed the starter button for the engine.

NO response.

The frustrated driver (with traffic piling up behind him) tried this time and time again, to no avail.

He then got out, STEAMED (!!) and walked to the rear to open the engine compartment to see if he could find the problem.

NO GAS ENGINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shocked Shocked

What had happened was that the mechanics had been working on the motor, removed it, but failed to tell either the supervisor or the dispatcher!

Since the coach was standing at the garage with its poles up and was ready to go, the driver, totally oblivious to the fact that there was NO gas motor aboard, simply pulled out to begin his day's runs......(!!) Shocked

It must have been VERY interesting indeed, to say the least, to see what transpired once the "brass" found out about this most interesting run, later in the day.......Rolling Eyes

* This story was gleaned from the pages of an old PSNJ booklet I've had for years (given to me by a good friend and fellow transit enthusiast), which commemorated the 50th anniversary of Division No. 823 (Elizabeth, NJ), Amalgamated Transit Union.

The newest photo in this booklet dates to 1967; there is a wealth of old and rare PS streetcar, ASV, and bus photos......the old-time trolley cars are here, as well as front-engined buses, FORDS, ASV's, and Old Looks (no New Looks, though)

Sadly, all of the drivers, supervisors, dispatchers, and mechanics seen in the photos have long since departed for that big garage/car barn in the sky (the younger fellows seen in the 1960's photos would be well into their 80's by now, if they are still with us)

But, the personal accounts of so many veteran PS men bring these hardy fellows (and their vehicles) back to life in a flash....their stories are far more valuable than any money....that's for dang sure.......Smile

"NYO"
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 1206
Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NYO--

What a GREAT story...thanks so much for sharing it!! Smile
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6695
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
NYO--

What a GREAT story...thanks so much for sharing it!! Smile


traildriver:

You are MOST welcome! Wink

There are other ASV tales as well in this old booklet; another interesting tale is of an ESSEX Division driver who swerved sharply to avoid to avoid a speeding motorist who cut him off, causing his coach to de-wire.

Not only did the poles de-wire, but BOTH retriever ropes had snapped!

The less-than-thrilled driver ended up climbing up on the foof (in his nice clean uniform!) and then, one pole at a time, wrapping the retriever rope around his wrist, and then coming down with the spring of the pole breaking his fall.

In this unorthodox manner, he DID manage to get both poles on the wire again, to the cheers of a large group of highly intrigued commuters!

I would have PAID to have seen this "high wire" act......... Wink

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6695
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver/All:

Oddly, only a couple of years after PS pulled the plug on the ASV's, they again became interested in the dual-powered bus concept (this was in 1950)

Here, they were going to order a new fleet of GMC's, which would operate under wire in the Newark City Subway, and then operate as diesel buses on the street (these would have replaced the subway-surface streetcar lines)

Only one ASV prototype was built (D-900, a TDH-4509); it was tested under specially erected wire in the streetcar yard adjacent to the Bell St. (Montclair) car barn, which then served streetcars running on the #29 subway-surface line.

This unique bus never ran under wire in revenue service, though the trials were successful.

PS had planned to pave over the Subway and use modern ASV's instead of streetcars; however, when the city of Newark refused to fund the paving of the subway, PS dropped the plan and purchased second hand PCC's from TCRT, which ran in the Subway until 2001.

After the trials at Montclair, D900 soon had it its electrical gear removed, and served well into the 60's as a conventional diesel bus.

Pictures of this unique Old Look can be found at:

http://www.trolleybuses.net

(click on the link for PUBLIC SERVICE COORDINATED TRANSPORT; there are many rare PSNJ ASV photos to enjoy, and two of the aforementioned D900!) Very Happy

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tiny Tim



Age: 58
Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 63
Location: Cape Coral Fl

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Transit buses with rear windows/ETB's, etc. Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:


On the Flex units, I still recall how you could tell that the rear window area had once been much larger, but, then, later on, was filled in to greatly reduce the window area (was this done to add extra support for the roof-mounted a/c unit?)


"NYO"

I never liked the look of the flexes with that small back window.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6695
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Transit buses with rear windows/ETB's, etc. Reply with quote

Tiny Tim wrote:
NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:


On the Flex units, I still recall how you could tell that the rear window area had once been much larger, but, then, later on, was filled in to greatly reduce the window area (was this done to add extra support for the roof-mounted a/c unit?)


"NYO"

I never liked the look of the flexes with that small back window.


Neither did I.

I always preferred the original rear window myself; the smaller rear window on the later Flex New Looks almost looked like an afterthought that didn't look quite right.....

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver/All:

I'm willing to wager that many of today's transit enthusiasts do not know that the dual-powered coaches on the MBTA's Silver Line, as well as the units that run in Seattle, are direct ancestors of the humble ASV, brought into the transit world by PSNJ, back in the early/mid-1930's.

I'm sure you'd find this out on ancestry.com....... Wink

"NYO"

*PSNJ was quite enamored with the ASV concept early on that, not only did they purchase a new fleet of dual powered coaches (all YELLOW COACH, save for one lone MACK) but they also converted a number of older front-engine YELLOWS into hybrid trolley/gas buses.

These highly unusual buses served long and well, not being retired until the ASV era came to a close in the late 1940's.......
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a rare view of PSNJ D900 undergoing testing at Bell St., Montclair (1950).........

https://www.lightrailnow.org/images/nwk-hist-tb-asv.jpg
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6695
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further on PSNJ experimental ASV D900:

After having its electrical gear removed, D900 served ESSEX Division routes through the 1950's; by 1960, however, the bus was transferred to the HUDSON Division (Greenville) and operated on routes based out of that garage until its retirement later in the decade......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver:

Here you will find photos/diagrams of the old PS TERMINAL in Newark.......streetcars, buses, and, of course, ASV's!

Sadly, NOT A TRACE of this massive facility remains today.

Streetcars used it through 1937, ASV's until 1948, and motor buses until the 1960's.

This was, for many years, "Newark's Own Port Authority Terminal"! Shocked

Enjoy! Very Happy

"NYO:

http://www.thecanteen.com/subway02.html

(courtesy: thecanteen.com)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further on PSNJ's D900 and postwar ASV plan:

PSNJ was quite intent (aided by local on-line city fathers) on replacing the remaining streetcar lines in Hudson and Essex counties after the War.

As I had mentioned earlier here, PS had ambitious plans to pave over the City Subway in Newark, and replace the elderly pre-WW1 streetcars with a new generation of ASV's, built by GM.

The buses would have not only served the # 7 CITY SUBWAY line, but also, the remaining subway-surface lines (#21 and #29; the #21 had two branches then in use)

The #23 CENTRAL had been converted to bus in December, 1947; more than likely, this line would have also become a new ASV route serving its customers via the Subway.

Overhead wires, of course, would not be utilized once the dual-powered buses left the Subway proper at several locations (Warren St., Orange St., and Bloomfield Avenue)

There would be no more complaints from town officials about slippery rails in the street and ugly wires overhead; plus, PS would no longer have to maintain miles of street trackage and overhead wiring, and would no longer be required to clean the streets of snow where the streetcars ran.

That PS took delivery of one prototype (D900) tells us that they were clearly going with a new generation of ASV's, IF the City of Newark paid to pave over the Subway.

As soon as it was a profound and vocal "NO" from the City, PS scrapped the new ASV plan, and opted to buy second hand PCC's from Twin Cities Rapid Transit (these cars were rehabbed at PS's extensive Ferry St. facility in Newark)

It is interesting indeed to think of "what might have been".........

"NYO"
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
traildriver/All:

I'm willing to wager that many of today's transit enthusiasts do not know that the dual-powered coaches on the MBTA's Silver Line, as well as the units that run in Seattle, are direct ancestors of the humble ASV, brought into the transit world by PSNJ, back in the early/mid-1930's.

I'm sure you'd find this out on ancestry.com....... Wink

"NYO"

*PSNJ was quite enamored with the ASV concept early on that, not only did they purchase a new fleet of dual powered coaches (all YELLOW COACH, save for one lone MACK) but they also converted a number of older front-engine YELLOWS into hybrid trolley/gas buses.

These highly unusual buses served long and well, not being retired until the ASV era came to a close in the late 1940's.......



NYO--

I really love to ride the SL-2, every time I take a cruise to Boston. Even when the cruise line provides a free shuttle from the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal to Faneuil Hall, I will forgo it for the Silver Line...
It is so neat to depart from the Design Center, make a couple of stops propelled by the diesel until pulling into "Silver Line Way". The A/C blowers quit, and the engine shuts down. A second later, the blowers start again, but not the engine, and the coach silently starts moving. The security barrier goes down, and the coach starts down a ramp into the subway tunnel, and suddenly, you are on a rubber tired, 'subway train'. At each station, all the doors open, and the driver no longer has to collect fares. Upon reaching South Station, you transfer free to all the MBTA subway lines.

I wonder how much longer those Neoplan AN460's dual mode artic's will go on before being replaced?

https://www.google.com/search?q=mbta+neoplan+an460lf&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS739US739&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=dvpqgEzsg3rS7M%253A%252CPSkhi1fjRlkMGM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kQRinCUNbNTj5SwsLL0hPef1MSqww&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjb1-rLreTdAhUlTd8KHfgjCTYQ9QEwBHoECAQQDA#imgrc=dvpqgEzsg3rS7M:
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver:

Man, that sure sounds like a hoot-and-a-half! Shocked Very Happy

I was last in Boston in 1997; I DID ride the Cambridge trolley buses, as well as the Mattapan-Ashmont PCC's.....I did have QUITE a bit of fun, as you might expect! Wink

From 1937 until 1948, certain ASV routes DID operate underground in Newark; these routes utilized the Cedar St. Subway to reach the lower level of the old PS terminal; believe it or not, diesel buses used this subway route until the 60's!

Back in the day, only Boston and Newark had trolley bus routes that operated underground; this is yet another reason why so many enthusiasts find the MBTA system so interesting! Wink

Back in the early 70's, one of the City Subway shop crew at the Penn Station shop told me he heard a rumor long ago that a lone ASV had been abandoned in the PS terminal's lower level when it was closed, and simply left there. Shocked Shocked

Odds are that rumor was false, but, man, what a premise for a new "urban adventure" Indiana Jones flick, "THE RAIDERS OF THE LOST ASV".......... Very Happy

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Cedar St. subway, used by PS streetcars, ASV's, and motor buses........

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




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More on the old PS Cedar St. Subway in Newark (photos, historical data, etc.)

I well recall Mom and I watching the buses rumble in and out of the Cedar St. portal, many eons ago; I remember calling them "subway buses"! Wink

We also rode a "subway bus" now and then, too, on our excursions to Newark, back in the day....ahhhh, memories! Very Happy

http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/abandoned/cedarst.html
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