Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Happy Birthday: end of the Streetcar Previous Next
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Busterwmu
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Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 225
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 24.247.221.241
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 - 12:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just 50 years ago today, the very last run of the Department of Street Railway's PCC Streetcars operated down Woodward Avenue. After those last cars tied up at the carbarn, the rails would sit silent until removal or pave-over. No longer could you hear the sound of the metal-on-metal as a streetcar made a tight turn or accellerated faster than any bus anywhere.

Nowadays you have to go to somewhere like Toronto to hear this sound:
http://transit.toronto.on.ca/archives/audiovisual/squeal.wma

Woodward and Vernor early 50s:
281

The last run on th Woodward Line, April 8, 1956:
last day
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Busterwmu
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Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 226
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 24.247.221.241
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 - 12:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is an excellent article about the last day of streetcar operation in Detroit, on the fantastic DSR-2-DDOT Yahoo website:
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/DSR-2-DOT/message/1685

Also, a link to the DSR Streetcar Memories thread which was extremely popular from November 05 through February 06 and includes many streetcar memories, photos, and other information:
https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/messages/62684/60222.html


Courtesy DSR-2-DDOT
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3566
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 - 1:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

busterwmu, excellent thread. You're killing us with those pictures.

Besides Toronto, you can hop streetcars in Boston, Portland, Ore.(new Czech Skodas), Kenosha, Wisc., Philadelphia, San Francisco which has a collection of PCCs on the Market line, and many new light rail systems which run on and off city streets like St. Louis, Denver, Miami, Los Angeles, BART, Seattle Monorail, Newark, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Houston, Dallas. At some places, the Chicago "L" runs down alleys and city streets too.

As you know, Detroit had many streetcar lines, some of which were the Baker, Woodward, Trumbull, Michigan Ave., Grand River, Oakman, Gratiot, Jefferson, and Crosstown cars. Street car retail was how Detroit shopped for many decades.

jjaba, changing cars at Manchester yards for the Oakman in HP. (behind the Excello plant.)
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Stipes
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Username: Stipes

Post Number: 34
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 205.188.116.137
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 - 1:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the thread and pictures.....Was really great!!!!
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1549
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 70.236.175.171
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 - 2:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

TODAY:

http://www.detroittransit.org/ streetcar-event.asp

On the people mover. See the history and future of Detroit Transit. Ask how you can get invovled!
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 1265
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.14.122.57
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 - 4:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's another Forum thread on this anniversary: https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/5/69573.html?1144339246.

Check out additional comments, links, and new book announcement on this subject.
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1023
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 66.2.148.70
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 - 11:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



It would be nice if Lowell could move the DSR memories thread, to the Detroit Memories Page of this site, so that someone who forgot to keep that thread alive could post new finds to it.
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Sknutson
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Username: Sknutson

Post Number: 514
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 64.139.1.36
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 2:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I love riding the PCC cars on the San Francisco Muni F line. Its cool that they are painted in historic colors from other cities, but unfortunately not in the old Detroit color scheme. This link refers to the color schemes.

http://www.sfmuni.com/cms/mms/ rider/histcars.htm

Philly got three and Detroit zero - not fair!

(Message edited by sknutson on April 09, 2006)
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3578
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 2:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Try Mexico City Sknutson. Sad but true.

jjaba.
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Busterwmu
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Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 227
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 24.247.221.241
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 11:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hornwrecker, where did you get that color photo of an old DSR Peter Witt? That must have been one of the last Witts running because many of them were retired in the late 40s as a few lines were closed and others replaced by the newly arriving PCCs. The last Witts made it to 1954 and into the creme and red scheme which you have shown there. Excellent!
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1024
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 216.203.223.79
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 11:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I snagged it off of ebay a couple of months ago. If I knew then what you just told me, or if I would have thought about it, I would have bid on it. Oops. I didn't notice it was a Witt until I PSed it from a faded looking, crappy jpeg.
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Andrew69
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Username: Andrew69

Post Number: 20
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 24.236.192.96
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 8:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's sad that not only the streetcar is gone from that first picture at the top of the thread, but so is pretty much every building in that picture now that Motown has been demolished.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3580
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 3:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Andrew is correct. That's Woodward Ave. and Vernor Highway. Doesn't it look vibrant and busy compared to today with I-75 dug into the city?

Cass Tech.and High School of Commerce were just off to the left.

Can BusterWMU gives us data on the Oakman DSR line? jjaba rode it in the day. Were those Peter Witt's jjaba rode and do we know the dates of operation? jjaba would have used that line in the 1940s from about Schoolcraft to Manchester Yards in HP, changing to the Woodward line Southbound.

jjaba
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Busterwmu
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Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 228
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 24.247.221.241
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 12:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba-
I haven't found much yet on your Oakman line, but my search is just beginning! I do have some good information for you about the streetcars that were on that line, however. You sir most certainly rode the Peter Witts every time you took them to your transfer to the Woodward Line. The Witts were the standard streetcar in Detroit through the 1930s and most of the 1940s, as the first PCCs arrived in '47 and the second order in '49. Until 1952 when just four main streetcar lines were left in the system (Woodward, Gratiot, E. Jefferson, and Michigan Ave.) Peter Witts remained in regular service on other lines (Grand River only saw the Witts and never a PCC that I know of). Once 1952 arrived, and the four main lines were solid PCCs, even then 20 Witts were retained as back ups until 1954 when the Jefferson line was the first of the four Streetcar lines to switch to buses, allowing those extra PCCs to be rotated in on the other three lines and the last Peter Witts to be retired. The links below have some good information about the arrival of the PCCs in Detroit, and also mention Peter Witts and some other streetcar lines, which jjaba and others will find most interesting I am sure. I will continue to hunt for more on Oakman Line!


http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/DSR-2-DOT/message/51
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/DSR-2-DOT/message/60


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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3588
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 11:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba would bet the farm that the St. Louis PCCs never appeared on the Oakman line. So where were Peter Witts made?

jjaba knows he rode the Oakman line, along Ewald Circle and Oakman Blvd. to Highland Park in the 1940s. We would get on at Schoolcraft.
The Peter Witts look familiar.

jjaba rode the Woodward streetcars until they were sold to Mexico.

Buster would find an audience in jjaba noting the Grand River Ave. feeder buses, by years and history.
jjaba has described his adventures on them on several previous threads.

jjaba, on the Dexter bus.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 445
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 207.200.116.139
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 11:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Grand River line was replaced with the 'trackless trollies' contraptions when the Peter Witt streetcars were at the end of their days. Yeah, that was around '47 or so. Near as I recall, though, only two lines had the trackless trollies: Grand River and the Crosstown.

"Trollies" don't look right. Is it "Trollys"? Busses with two power poles, anyway.
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Detroit1969
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Username: Detroit1969

Post Number: 35
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 70.236.145.111
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 6:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oakman was the first line discontinued after the war: 1946, I think.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3594
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 7:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We called the Grand River line, Feeder Buses.
It is the onliest feeder line jjaba ever rode.
They still use them in Seattle, and other cities.
"Trackless Trolleys" must be something Ray1936 picked up in Las Vegas. (Ray, what happens in Nevada, stays in Nevada.)

Thanks Detroit969 for the info. That sounds a bit early, but you could be right. jjaba was born in 1941 and does remember riding that streetcar to Highland Park.

jjaba and mother would go to Hudsons for Little jjaba's haircuts in the horsie chairs. His very first haircut was there. The reward for not crying was a corned beef sandwich and a Vernor's at the Broadway Market sandwich stall.

jjaba, Westside Memories.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 446
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 207.200.116.139
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 7:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oooooo.....corned beef and a Vernor's from Broadway Market....yeah...I remember the exotic smells at the place....made me drool just to walk in there. Thanks for that memory.

I'm sure the GR and Crosstown vehicles were commonly called trackless trollys in their day. Feeder buses sound like something put out by the Salvation Army. But you guys east of Meyers Road were in a different world anyway. :-)
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 1107
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.42.251.225
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 8:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For those streetcar historians/buffs, Kenneth Schramm, author of "Detroit's Street Railways" will discuss the street cars and the (then) public transportation system in Detroit on the 50th anniversary of the last trolley run. His lecture is free and open to the public and will be held in the Community Room of the Children's Home of Detroit, located at 900 Cook Road in GPW on April 26 at 7:30 PM. Call 313-884-7010 for furthur information.
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 523
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.189.188.28
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 11:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jjaba mentioned Seattle's trolley buses. The (Seattle/King County) Metro Employee Historic Vheicle Association has a history of trackless trolleys at their website, www.mehva.org/60years.php that might be worth a look. There's also links to other bus and trolley history type organizations. It's worth a look....
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3599
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 4:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Excellent report. Thanks Douglasm.

jjaba.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 3961
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 141.217.174.229
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 10:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good ol jjaba, He take showes us the grand tour of Detroit, before demarcation and gentrification. I wish I could be back in those days. Mom and pop retails line up in ever main street for miles, movies palaces, just around the corner, ballrooms, bowling alleys just footsteps away. And nice middle income housing and friendly neighbors and block clubs. Now today it's just memories and fictional mythologies.

I wish I could hop on those PCC trollies.
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Gravitymachine
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Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 997
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 198.208.159.20
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 10:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

metro phoenix is putting in streetcars/lightrail now too
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 1111
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.42.251.225
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 10:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Danny......."Those were the days, my friend....."

And jjaba really IS an old-timer. I understand he was sitting in the lobby of the La Salle Hotel in Detroit reading the Jewish News when Jerry Buckley was blown away by the bad guys. This guy goes WAY back, but an historian, he is. There's only one jjaba.
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Busterwmu
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Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 230
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 24.247.221.241
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 11:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Buster has found much on the subject of jjaba's feeder buses and Ray's trackless trolleys of the 50s and 60s (there were earlier ones in the 20s and 30s, but I won't talk about them here).

Courtesy of the website DSR-2-DDOT, here are some interesting quotes from this article: Grand River Avenue Operations, http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/DSR-2-DOT/message/333

"By early 1951, a little over one year after the Crosstown line had been converted to trolley-buses, the DSR was down to operating just nine streetcar lines, with Baker, Clairmount, Mack, Mt. Elliott, Oakland and Trumbull still being serviced by the older Peter Witt cars; and Woodward, Jefferson and Michigan-Gratiot being serviced by the modern PCC's. The sixty-two bus routes (including many shuttle, feeder and lightly serviced routes) were now being serviced by both small and large buses, most were gasoline powered."

"Finally, on June 1, 1950, the Street Railway Commission approved the conversion of the fourteen mile long Grand River bus line to trackless trolleys, and eighty 48-passenger coaches were ordered from the St. Louis Car Company in July of 1950. The first major streetcar line in Detroit to have been converted to motor bus operation had been Grand River back in May of 1947. At that time, city and state officials were planning a major repaving project for Grand River, and the residents and businessmen along that line wanted the streetcars and safety islands removed in order to open up additional traffic lanes. "

"In June of 1951, the eighty St. Louis trolley-coaches began arriving, and on July 6, 1951 electric trolley-bus operation began. On October 18, 1951, full service began on the entire length of the Grand River line from downtown to across Seven Mile Road into Redford Township. Storage and maintenance facilities for these coaches would be based out of the Coolidge Terminal. With ninety-eight gasoline buses now having been released from Grand River, the DSR was now able to convert the Clairmount line from streetcars to buses in July 1951."

Crosstown Line was the other operated by trackless trolleys in the 50s and 60s, though the Grand River trolleys were St. Louis Car designs, and the Crosstown were Twin Coach designs.

"Since no wire connections ever existed between the Grand River and Crosstown routes, and with the two types of trolley-coaches being based out of different operating terminals, the Twin Coach and the St. Louis trackless trolleys were never intermingled in service. The two lines only crossed-over each other at Grand River and Warren Avenues."

"After the arrival of fleets of GM "new-look" coaches in 1961 and 1962, the trackless trolley era was over. With Warren Avenue already having been converted in 1961, trackless trolley service on Grand River came to an end on Friday, November 16, 1962."

Some important links to look at:
Grand River Line Trackless Trolleys (where these quotes came from): http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/DSR-2-DOT/message/333
Crosstown (Warren etc) Line trolley coach operation: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/DSR-2-DOT/message/321
The menu to find all of these stories and many more about public transit in the DSR and DDOT eras in Detroit: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/DSR-2-DOT/message/1278


This is one of the St. Louis Car Co's Trolley-buses operating on Grand River Ave. This is in the DSR's 1950s creme and red scheme. Note the rollboard indicating a destination of City Hall, on the Kennedy Block.


Another view of a St. Louis trolleybus... the first in the series #9101.


In color on the Grand River Line! This is the later creme and green scheme which the DSR continued to use varieties of until the DDOT era.

Some photos of the Twin Coach trolleybuses operating from 1949-1961 on the Crosstown Route:
9001 9001
9008
On December 15, 1949 full service began on the Crosstown (Warren Ave) line from St. Jean to the Pierson Loop in Rouge Park. Coach #9008 is seen here across from the Shoemaker Terminal on Warren Avenue @ St. Jean, the eastern end of the line.

9019

Photos of Twin Coach Trolleybuses: http://finance.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/DSR-2-DOT/photos/browse/a0b7
Photos of St. Louis Car Co. trolleybuses: http://finance.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/DSR-2-DOT/photos/browse/ad0c
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Busterwmu
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Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 231
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 24.247.221.241
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 12:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just for jjaba - is that your head in the third window? This is a GMC Old Look bus.

Dexter Bus
DSR GM 'OLD LOOK' #1019
The TD-4506's were originally only assigned to the DSR's busy Dexter line, which would explain the "Dexter" route signs displayed on all earlier photos. Here #1019 sports a slightly altered paint scheme, with bottom red trim and solid cream doors. No Date (courtesy DSR-2-DDOT)

Note how the styling of thw windows and doors closely matches that from the PCCs, as GM and many other companies tried to copy the futuristic streamlined look of the streetcars they hoped to replace.

More about the Peter Witt Streetcars forthcoming...
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3605
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 1:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba appreciates the work of BusterWMU. You've given jjaba some key dates and locations. "DEXTER THROUGH" was priceless. With the second sign in the window, a Detroit invention, passengers didn't have to guess which portion of the line that bus was ending. "Through" meant it went to the end of the line.

Grand River has a bunch of destinations as you've seen. Oakman, Schaefer, Southfield, Lahser, Telegraph, and Through. There were others.

Today, there are two scrolls, denoting the terminal. It was always fun to watch the operators change the scrolls on a bus. It gave you the feel of all the other lines that bus could work.

We called Highland Park Yards, "Manchester Yards" since that's where it was located. Our Oakman streetcars would wind their way into the yards to a platform as close to Woodward Avenue as they could get, since so many passengers were transferring to the Woodward PCCs.

Ray1936 is vindicated with his "Trackless-Trolleys." We called them Feeder buses for the electric feeder power. The DSR calls feeder buses, small lines like the Northlawn Avenue which feed the Grand River.

That Northlawn was a hell of a service for our neighborhood. It eliminated long walks and parked in front of Cunningham's on Oakman and Grand River. It turned right onto Grand River, right on Northlawn to Schoolcraft. Then left to Wyoming, Right on Wyoming to Intervale, then back down Cherrylawn down to Grand River.

So BusterWMU, when did they removed the Northlawn line?

Thanks again for the fine visuals and scholarship. You worked hard for us.

jjaba, Old timey Westside DRS rider.
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Busterwmu
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Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 234
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 24.247.221.241
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 11:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Northlawn Line:
THE NORTHLAWN WAS A SHORT LINE LIKE THE BASSETT LINE
IT WENT FROM INTERVALE AND WYOMING TO CLOVERLAWN AND GRAND RIVER
SERVICE WAS EVERY 20 MIN MONDAY THRU SATURDAY
SERVICE STARTED AT 5:00AM TO 11:00PM
IN THE LATE 70'S SERVICE WAS MERGED WITH THE MEYERS LINE
LIKE THE REST, THE NORTHLAWN FELL ON HARD TIMES
SERVICE WAS DISCONTINED IN 1989

Oakman Line:
THE OAKMAN LINE STARTED AT MT.ELLIOTT AND NEVADA AND WENT DOWN NEVADA TO JOS CAMPAU TO DAVISON TO EWALD CIRCLE TO OAKMAN TO OHIO TO JOY ROAD TO SCHAEFER TO FORD GATE 11.
SERVICE STARTED AT 402A TO 210A MONDAY TO SATURDAY, AND ON SUNDAY FROM 531A TO 1241A.
SERVICE WAS GOOD TOO. DURING THE PEAK HOURS OAKMAN RAN EVERY 9 MIN
AND DURING NON PEAK HOURS WAS EVERY 30 MIN.
EVEN SATURDAY SERVICE WAS GOOD, EVERY 30 MIN
SUNDAY EVERY 40 MIN ALL DAY
THE OAKMAN WAS KNOWN FOR CARRYING A LOT WORKERS FROM PLANTS ON THE EASTSIDE TO THE FORD MOTOR PLANT IN DEARBORN.
OAKMAN CARRIED A LOT OF PASSENGERS WHO LIVED IN HIGHLAND PARK AND A LOTS OF SCHOOL KIDS.
IN 1973 THE OAKMAN LINE SPLIT UP FROM SCHAEFER AND WAS JOINED WITH THE WEST CHICAGO LINE AND WAS RENAMED THE CHICAGO-DAVISON LINE.
THE SCHAEFER LINE TOOK OVER FROM JOY AND SCHAEFER TO WEST JEFFERSON.
JUST LIKE THE REST THE CHICAGO-DAVISON SERVICE HAS BEEN CUT REAL BAD
THE CHICAGO-DAVISON RUNS EVERY 20 MIN ALL DAY AND EVERY 60 MIN AT NIGHT
IN 1989 THE CHICAGO-DAVISON WAS STOPPED AT 6 MILE AND JOS CAMPAU
AND THE CHENE LINE TOOK OVER AT DAVISON AND JOS CAMPAU TO VAN DYKE AND NEVADA
ON SUNDAY SERVICE STOPS AT 8P
THE OAKMAN LINE WAS KNOWN BACK IN THE DAY AS THE WORKING MAN'S LINE OR JUST THE DAVISON LINE

And what became of Robert Oakman's streetcar line? After the DSR took over the DUR in 1922, it later renamed the route, the "Oakman" line. Those center islands along Ewald Circle, Northlawn, Ohio, Joy Road, and Manor are the only remnants of what's left from the streetcar line that Robert Oakman built.

More on the Oakman Streetcars here: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/DSR-2-DOT/message/735

Some DEXTER Line coaches, which are of the GM "Old Look" design - these were the eventual replacements for most of the streetcars in the late 40s and through the 50s. The earlier orders were all in the PCC cream and red scheme, while the later orders in the late 50s has an adaptation of the DSR creme and green. The first "Old Looks" went into service on the Dexter Line, and little jjaba could have been one of the first riders!


The GM "old-look" style coach operated on Detroit streets from 1945 thru 1973. The first old looks to arrive in Detroit were the first General Motors buses and the first diesel powered coaches for the DSR. Coach #1005 poses at the Highland Park Shop.


The first DSR post WWII buses arrived in Sept. 1945 after the U.S. Navy had cancelled part of a long-standing 80 coach order after the war. Thirty GM TD-4506's, built to Navy specifications, were diverted to Detroit. [Detroit News Photo]


Coaches #1001-1030 were the first of a 120 bus order. These 45-pass. 35 foot diesel coaches introduced a new DSR paint scheme of mostly cream with red trim. They came equipped with the GM heating and ventilation system of roof-mounted fans or "ears".


During their early years, GM diesels were assigned to the Dexter line, the DSR's heaviest bus line, and operated out of the Highland Pk garage. Here Dexter coach #1047 is SB on Woodward just south of Elizabeth.


Live in Living COLOR! During its last days, DSR coach #1034 was used as a Shoemaker mechanic's bus. Here former DSR mechanic Bob Gardner is seen posing with coach #1034 in 1968.


Live in Living COLOR! Beginning with the TDH-5105's that began arriving in March 1956 came a change in the DSR's paint scheme. The trim color was changed from red to green and the paint scheme was also revised. The first 130 which were delivered prior to 1956 (#1201-1330) were all later repainted. These repainted #1200 series old-looks in this photo were still retaining their cream and green livery when this photo was taken in Oct. 1968, nearly twelve years later.

ALL of the photos and notes are from the yahoo group DSR-2-DDOT.
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Jjaba
Member
Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3621
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 8:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

BusterWMU, send jjaba your email for a prize for the scholarship. You are amazing.

Little jjaba did ride those huge Dexter buses, which back then, was on a very narrow Dexter Blvd. He always wanted to drive one of those big boys.

If the Oakman stteetcars left us in 1945, that means jjaba rode them until he was 4 yrs. old. jjaba was born in 1941. But those memories are quite distinct.

Ofcourse, he rode the Northlawn much later. It ran until 1989 from in front of Cunninghams on Grand River and Oakman. After the Oakman streetcars left us, we switched to the Northlawn and Grand River Feeder buses downtown. It was probably faster and closer, given the layout of a diagonal street.

jjaba rode the Dexter to Hebrew School and synagogue. The Dexter was a very busy line, as stated. It meananders right through the heart of the Westside.

Many thanks. Props to BusterWMU.

jjaba, on the Dexter.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 458
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 207.200.116.139
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 9:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aw, man, Buster....what a trip through memory lane! Thanks ever so much for all that data and those great photos.

You weren't perfect though. You got Jjaba's Dexter bus several times, but you missed my Wyoming bus going to Mackenzie High. I think I spent half of four years waiting for that coach.

But seriously.....a heartfelt thanks. Your post was a real trip for me.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3625
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 1:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, the Wyoming bus was a real workmen's commute.
If you got on that bus after a shift, you could smell the metal shavings on the workers' clothing.
jjaba will always remember that smell of workers in company uniforms coming home from Fords, Desotos, Chrysler Glass Plant and other plants lining that route.

jjaba thinks The Wyoming would be a nice read.
Thanks.
jjaba on the Wyoming at Michigan changing for the bus to the train depot.
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Jams
Member
Username: Jams

Post Number: 3105
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.79.98.35
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 7:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I like this site specifies the bus line you use to get to the sights.

http://www.iexplore.com/citygu ides/Michigan/Detroit/Where+to +Go
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Busterwmu
Member
Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 235
Registered: 09-2004
Posted From: 24.247.221.241
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 11:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am glad that this thread has been so educational and also has taken a few people on a short spin (by streetcar of course) on the Memory Lane Line. I wish I myself had some memories to share! BusterWMU will be away from a computer for the holiday weekend but will be back starting Monday and I can see what else I can find to post here. Will it surprise anyone that I am a History Major? I think all this stuff is so much fun!
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The_rock
Member
Username: The_rock

Post Number: 1119
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.42.251.225
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 11:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Buster- --History rules! I gather that you are a Western Michigan alum or perhaps a current student there.
I have a soft copy of "All Aboard! A History of Railroads in Michigan" (1969) written by WMU professor Willis F. Dunbar, as well as a hard copy of Dunbar's "Michigan-A History of The Wolverine State" which he wrote in 1965.He covers interurbans, busses and streetcars briefly in his latter work. Both books make fascinating reading to this day.
I assume that Mr. Dunbar's name is still revered on the Western campus, especially in the History Department.
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Ray1936
Member
Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 460
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 207.200.116.139
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 1:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Buster, if your future is as brilliant as your posts, you are the man!

Ray1936, wondering why it took me so many years into my maturity to become fascinated by history.......

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