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Greyhound experimental coach X-1948
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ripta42
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Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:09 pm    Post subject: Greyhound experimental coach X-1948 Reply with quote

At a model railroad show last weekend, I saw a brochure for an experimental Greyhound coach with lounge areas and other amenities. There were no photos, only artist's conceptions; the number "X-1948" was written in the front license plate area, which leads me to believe it was published in 1948. The asking price was $10; it's available at Grayland Station in Chicago.
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Mr. Linsky
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Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,

The bus that they might be talking about, and the only that I know of that Greyhound was working on at the time, would have been a 'prototype' for the Scenicruiser which was used mainly to compaign for a 40 foot length limit in states that still only allowed a maximum of 35 feet.

From that model GM fashioned their own prototype in 1953 designated as EXP 331 which eventually became an operating PD 4501 (ser# 1001) in 1954.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, NY
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Dieseljim
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:12 am    Post subject: Precursor of the Famous Scenicruiser Bus Reply with quote

That 1948 bus was definitely the precursor for the GMC PD4501 Scenicruiser, which went into service in 1954 with twin 4-71 detroit diesel engines and a transmission/axle combination that gave the early buses what amounted to six speed manual transmission. This powertrain was NOT successful and was replaced with the then new 8V71 diesel engine and Spicer 4 speed manual transmission. I have the book GM Intercity Highway Coaches and details of it can be found. I am not sure if any of the 71 series Detroit diesels are being made anymore or not.
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That little propulsion problem on the PD 4501's was the catalyst that ended the relationship between Greyhound and GM.

And I truly believe that it was also the beginning of the end of bus manufacture altogether by GM! when you consider that Greyhound was their largest customer.

I am uncertain as to whether GM ever made good on the alterations which, by the way, were peformed on virtually all 1,100 buses by Marmon-Herrington - the well known drive train specialists.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, NY
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Dieseljim
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:36 am    Post subject: Quality of the PD4107 Buffaloes Reply with quote

AFter the trouble with the Scenicruiser, would the quality of the PD4107s that Greyhound received also be the final nail in the coffin for General Motors as a bus builder?
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D.J.,

I am unfamiliar with what problems there might have been with the PD 4107's - perhaps you could refresh me on that.

I will tell you this though; the best buses (hands down) that ever rolled on a U.S. highway were GM's PD 4104's and 6's and Greyhound had a number of them as can be seen with the 4104 below.

Nothing ever built before or ever built again will be as reliable, tough and good looking as these jobs!

An interesting note; the bus in the picture carries the legend 'Scenicruiser Service' which was almost immediately changed to 'Highway Traveler' upon the introduction of the 4501.

They were sensational!

Photo courtesy of Trailways archive.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, NY

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Dieseljim
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: The PD4104s Reply with quote

A number of these ex Greyhound PD4104s found their way to both Lockport Bus Lines and Grand Island Transit Corporation, though with the conventional wipers they were originally delivered with rather than the pantograph wipers shown on the Greyhound example, though not all of Greyhound's 4104s ever got this modification. My guess is that Greyhound wanted more of the windshield to be wiped in rainy weather than the conventional wipers could handle and thus the switch. Same goes for the Scenicruisers. Some 4104s fininished their careers with one of each type of wiper, with the pantograph on the driver's side and the arcing one on the passenger side. Most peculiar.The two ex Greyhound 4104s that Grand Island Transit got, 106 and 108, evidently came with the pantagraph wiper on the driver's side (108 was later switched back to a single arm arcing wiper) from Eastern Greyhound. These were an excellent bus, which is why so many carriers got 20 years or more of service from them as compared with some of the junk going down the highways today.
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D. J.,

First of all, when you talk of 4104's and their successors the 4106's (see below) you're talking about the 'busses to end all busses'!

Nothing that's made today which, by the way, is built with 'planned obsolescence' in mind, can touch the quality, reliability and raw power that these busses conveyed upon the industry!

In fact, if you could see a graph of GM's achievements in coach building the highest point on the chart would unquestionably be the late fifties and early sixties when nothing could touch them.

I'll tell you one better than that (if I can get on my soap box for a moment);

GM has made many bad decisions through the years which has helped to put them where they are now but the worst without question was not buying MCI (which they could well have afforded to do at the time) after the Greyhound '4501' debacle that lost them that business and which eventually led to the end of GM bus manufacturing.

Had they made that purchase, I truly believe that they would still be the premiere bus maker in the U.S., and in far less trouble than they are now in.

There, I said it!

Just a little nostalgia below courtesy of 'Trailways'.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, NY

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Dieseljim
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: PD4104s, ETc. Reply with quote

Another favorite GM bus of mine is the TDM4515 suburban, which used the same engine and transmission as the PD4104 did. I used to ride Canada Coach Lines' 1700 series 4515s between Buffalo and Crystal Beach, Ontario. Other than the transit type body, these buses had almost the same sound as the 4104 and that is the charm of these buses, that 6-71 Detroit Diesel being wound up between gear shifts by the driver. Some had underfloor compartments for baggage/express since these buses were used on short haul intercity runs as well as suburban runs and yes, even as school buses on occasion since most were equipped with the red flashers at both ends of the bus. From some publications I have seen, I have found it interesting that some 4104s came without air conditioning and many others did. Canada Coach Lines and Gray Coach Lines both got 4104s without air conditioning. The 4106 was another great bus as well. When Grand Island Transit used theirs on the Buffalo-East Aurora-Wellsville route, that bus seemed to have power to spare, thanks to that 8v71 engine. This route, no longer in operation, is located in some very hilly territory of Western New York, particularly between East Aurora,Warsaw and Silver Springs. Yes siree, GM did make some really fine buses and I am sure glad to have got ten to ride many of them. On the transit/suburban side, the fishbowls are my favorite. It is ashame that buses are not built like that any more. Too much junk running around.
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D.J.,

I know just what you're talking about!

When we were kids (about the same time that John McCain was!) we'd take an unauthorized day off from school and hop into Manhattan on one of those fast R-1 'F' expresses from Union Turnpike (that's the subway from Kew Gardens Queens).

This one trip we decided to take the Public Service Coordinated Transport #118 from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Newark (N.J.) where they were displaying, among other interesting autos, Adolph Hitler's Mercedes Benz Staff Car.

To make that part of the story as short as possible, we did get to see the cars as well as a burlesque show at the famous Minsky's Theater (not rated X by today's standards).

The most interesting part of the trip was the ride back and forth on a TDM 5108 (pretty much the same as a 4515 except a little longer). A reasonable facsimile posted below.

We deliberately sat all the way to the rear so we could really enjoy the revs of that 6-71 as it made its way through the shifts time after time.

The car show and the girls were great, but those busses were the best part of the whole trip!

Photo courtesy of Dennis M. Linsky

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, NY

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Steve Carras



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Precursor of the Famous Scenicruiser Bus Reply with quote

Dieseljim wrote:
That 1948 bus was definitely the precursor for the GMC PD4501 Scenicruiser, which went into service in 1954 with twin 4-71 detroit diesel engines and a transmission/axle combination that gave the early buses what amounted to six speed manual transmission. This powertrain was NOT successful and was replaced with the then new 8V71 diesel engine and Spicer 4 speed manual transmission. I have the book GM Intercity Highway Coaches and details of it can be found. I am not sure if any of the 71 series Detroit diesels are being made anymore or not.


LOl---I have that book, too [by Andrew Gold and B.Gram; published by the Iconographix press; bought mine in Vegas at that Car show in the Imperial palace in 2007].

Yes, the experimental bus WAS the prototype for the S'Cruiser, and was said in a MOTOR COACH AGE MAY 1974 PDF Adobe format archive file to have I guess the usual four speeds, and the two speed rear like 4104 did except the unsucceful originaL stick trans for Scenicruisers, with the two speed rear was three speed, thus six before failing early, and eventually standard four speed transmissions with switch on solenoid rev-up just like ordinarily were installed, likewise the same story could be told with the Scenicruiser 4501's engine as most here clearly know, just change details to two 4 cylinder engines replaced with the first 8 cylinders.

Rather a complicated story. I wonder if the 4 speeds were heavier to accomodade the giant buses, only the buses never had just a 6-71 but first those break down easy twin 4-71 then the 8-71.Like that one Golden Chariot made at the time: the 4901, both Scenicuriser and 4104 styles.

And I'll just end by noting the 4104 and 4106 differences can be most easily be seen on rear of the drivers side:
The funny litle 4104 "indented triangle windows" with one rounded rectangle, in short, three little windows like a fragmented slanted window
and a rounded front would mark a 4104, while the standard "intact slanted window" [despite retaining the 4104's "transitional" rounded front, something the RTS's certainly did at the end of GM's bus era!!] I.D.'s it as being a 4106, the last "12 feet high" GMC bus before the 4107 [the last Greyhound GMC as already mentioned by others, the first to in some rare models use an automatic though the Spicer 4-speed manual still would take predence till the 70s, and the first "Buffalo Bus", again as others note.]
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

The easiest 'instant' identification between a 4104 and a 4106, for me at least, is the more squared appearance of the 4106 roof line with the slight crown crossing just behind the much larger destination sign.

Of course, there are many other significant differences but, as I said, the roof line does it for me - especially from a distance.

On another subject; it's an irony that months after our esteemed member Diesel Jim met with his untimely demise, his works on BusTalk still evoke lively discussion.

His banter is very much missed!

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, NY
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HwyHaulier




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Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr "L" -

Alas! I miss Jim. He had various interests. He so wanted to see the Accident Report on the bad wreck of a "commuter airline" craft approaching
Buffalo in bad, winter weather...

Between several of us here, I think we had the "draft Accident Report" about completed, and settled. Some of the causalities were inexplicable,
and alarmingly "off the scope" compared with perceptions how an aircraft should be handled...

BTW. Sigh! One can guess they are getting older, when one declares the "spotting features" of a 4104 with a 4106 are like day and night.
CONTINENTAL, Our Way Or The Highway TRAILWAYS had a good set of specs for its collections of "6" types...

...................Vern..............
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

H. H.,

If we talk about D.J., it means he's still around (at least in our minds anyway), and I think he would enjoy that!

As it turned out, the ineptness of the 'alleged' pilots was a major contributor to the Buffalo crash - it's too bad so many had to die at their hands.

You're right about us oldsters conjuring up memories of the days of yore (that's my specialty, isn't it?) and what set of buses could ever be better memorialized than the 4104's and 4106's - they were the 'cat's meow' in my book!

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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HwyHaulier




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Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr "L" -

God Bless Diesel Jim, wherever he may be at the moment. Maybe someone's VP- Operations, overseeing roomfuls of dispatchers?

Oh, that sorry and tragic wreck East of Buffalo. It was so needless. A number of terribly inept actions at the controls. The flight situation was very bad,
but not one where there was no recovery. I still can't understand why the captain, and second in command, could not, or clearly did not perform some
actions to bail out of it. We'll never know...

It shouldn't have happened! Yes, it can be a nasty aircraft, when pushed too hard. The flight environment wasn't the same as the incident where the
AAL Commuter, Embraer went into an Indiana cornfield...

.................Vern.................
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