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"TOW"-ing the line........
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 9683
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:31 am    Post subject: "TOW"-ing the line........ Reply with quote

Fellows:

Check out this undated (COMMAND) photo:

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3358

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)

One of the more obscure topics that I cannot recall being discussed here in the past, deals with the towing of disabled buses back to their respective garages/depots.

Today, does the MTA have its own tow trucks to rescue disabled buses, or is a private company used (or a City outfit)?

Going back in time, what about FACCo, SURFACE, MaBSTOA, and NYO?

Did any of these companies roster any tow trucks of their own, or, did they have to rely on "outside help" to tow a broken-down bus back home?

Think about it....how many vintage photos do you come across (either at bus.nycsubway.org, or other sources) that show a disabled bus being towed?

It HAD to have been something, back in the day, seeing an OOS 5th Avenue double-decker being towed back to home base!

Back in the streetcar days, disabled cars were towed back to the carbarns either by another revenue car, a work car, or, perhaps a "service" truck assigned to a certain carbarn/garage.

In one of my streetcar books,there is a photo of a truck towing TWO disabled PCC's back to the barns....sure looked like an INTERESTING sight, to me! Wink

Appreciate, as always, any input.....

"NYO"
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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 53
Joined: 02 Oct 2014
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Location: New York, New York, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here, from 1969 and the early months of the Third-Lexington-Lenox 101A route, a MaBSTOA tow truck is about to bring disabled bus #8483 back to the 100th Street depot. Dig what's on the batwing side sign, though - "2 5th & MADISON VIA LENOX." Which, north of 116th Street, this new route replaced back in March of that year. (North of 24th Street, it was a de facto revival of the old NYCO #4 Lexington and Lenox Avenues route, only going up Third.)

And a bonus: Both bus and tow truck sporting the 'OA' emblem . . .



mabstoa-8483_101a-c1969-.jpg
 Description:
Towing of #8483, c.1969
(For educational purposes only.)
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mabstoa-8483_101a-c1969-.jpg


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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

......I had this STRANGE feeling that either you or MABSTOA 15 was going to come up with at least one GEM of a photo! Wink

Here in NJ, when I was growing up in Union City, PS had a "wrecker" assigned to the UNION CITY garage ("carbarns" to the older locals of that era)

This sucker was a BRUTE, as you might well imagine; I remember also a similar old wrecker assigned to the old ORANGE & BLACK garage in Fairview, well into the NJT era (I think I read somewhere long ago that this vintage truck had been preserved, but am not sure)

I just dug out my copy of Ogden's FACCo. book, and found a 1945 photo of a VERY old-fashioned looking wrecker (#172); this ancient WALTERS indeed looked QUITE quaint, even in 1945!

Again, this is a topic that I cannot recall being discussed here in the past, but, nonetheless, I think is interesting...... Wink

"NYO"

BTW: Thanks for posting that COOL photo!!!! Very Happy
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a rare shot showing a disabled PCC streetcar in Brooklyn being towed back to home base by a wrecker.......

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/nyc/htm/bqt742.htm

(courtesy: newdavesrailpix)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another Brooklyn PCC/wrecker scene (circa 1950's).......

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/nyc/htm/bqt744.htm

(courtesy: newdavesrailpix)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....I'm sure it DOES pay to have a "backup" system! Wink

(5th Avenue & 86th, 1968).........

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?2394

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
....I'm sure it DOES pay to have a "backup" system! Wink

(5th Avenue & 86th, 1968).........

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?2394

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)

'Fifth Avenue Omnibus'. Probably describes FACCo in the 2-year period between NYC Omnibus swallowing them up in 1954, and the entire company's reorganization as Fifth Avenue Coach Lines in 1956.

Based on the date cited, the Columbus Day Parade, no?
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B.:

Given the number of buses (and the number of diverse routes) operated by FACCo, one would think they would have (at least) several wreckers (or "tow cars", as my dad always referred to them)

With streetcars, many hundreds (if not thousands) of photos depicting work equipment have been printed in countless traction books over the years, not to mention those online.

Of course, bus companies had no need for the diverse fleets of work cars commonplace with streetcar operators, but, when you think about it, there are very few photos of old buses converted into "work equipment" (I started a thread on just this topic here, awhile back)

I know that FACCo. once had very old "dumpers" used for salt/sand, but, to date, have only seen that one photo of an ancient WALTERS wrecker in the Ogden book........

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....HAD to include this classic scene from 1974 (5th Avenue & 41st), depicting a MaBSTOA ancestor in the company of a few modern descendants.......

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?2391

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
....HAD to include this classic scene from 1974 (5th Avenue & 41st), depicting a MaBSTOA ancestor in the company of a few modern descendants.......

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?2391

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)

The exact same double-decker bus as in the 1968 pic - only branded differently.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B.:

That must be the same bus pictured in "NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT MEMORIES" (Harold A. Smith) that, at the time it was snapped at 145th St. and Lenox in 1967, was owned by the "WASHINGTON SQUARE INN".

The photo caption states that the bus was on a fan trip; alongside the bus is one of the very last IRT kiosks........

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting back to bus tow trucks.......

Did the "Tee-Yay"/MaBSTOA have wreckers assigned to each depot, or only the larger facilities?

How does MTA Bus Operations handle rescuing disable buses today?

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very few streetcar/bus "service trucks" survive today; one noteworthy example is #501, a 1952 AUTOCAR used by both the BTC and the MTA (Baltimore)

It currently is part of the BSM's historic collection (scroll down page)*.........

https://www.baltimorestreetcarmuseum.org/collection

*Too bad that no such vehicles from "Noo Yawk" survive today; one would certainly make for a truly eye-catching Museum vehicle, today.
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
Getting back to bus tow trucks.......

Did the "Tee-Yay"/MaBSTOA have wreckers assigned to each depot, or only the larger facilities?

How does MTA Bus Operations handle rescuing disable buses today?

"NYO"

I can presume each depot had its own tow trucks . . .
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B.:

That's what I was also thinking.

Again, bus garage "service trucks/wreckers" seem to have been virtually ignored by the bus photographers of several decades back.

Most surely, there are SOME out there, but, clearly are not in great profusion.....

"NYO"
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