Jump to content
jajuan

What's your favorite Americana?

Recommended Posts

In light of the favorite retired bus thread, I decided to take that thread a step further for our Americana fans. Which Americana in the CTA's fleet was your favorite and which route did you like to ride it on? It's ok if you have more than one. It would be interesting to also hear from any operators who may have had an opportunity to drive one like CTA5750.

To start off, for me I'll say 4079 and 4098 during those final years of Americanas at Kedzie. I particularly liked to get them on 82 Kimball/Homan and 126 Jackson. Out of 103rd, I'll say riding 4290 on either the old 6 Jeffery Express or the 14 S. Lake Shore Express.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite was #4206 & 4212 on #146 Michigan Express because those bus was the last to paint in red,white and blue.and my friend a former CTA bus driver out of North Park was #4250 on #145 Michigan Express because it was very fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite Americanas are 4146 (145 Wilson/Michigan route) 4287 (thunderous engine), 4290, 4317, and 4347 on the 6 Jeffery & 14 South Lake Shore routes. 4290 & 4347 (mainly 4290) seemed to sound different from the rest of the fleet, which fueled my likeness for those buses. I wish MAN would come back to the states & build Americana LF's, because I miss those so much. But maybe we'll ride a New Flyer that sounds like 4290.

PS: Two more things. One, does anybody remember a male bus driver who had blond, curly hair, kinda chubby, and wore blueblocker sunglasses? Cool guy. He drove Americanas on the 6 Jeffery a lot in the mid 90's.

Two: Does anyone remember a time in late 1997, maybe 98 where Americanas returned to the 95E route? I went to the Evergreen Plaza around that time, and one of those days I rode one of those buses headed to the Red Line. It was odd because at that time, the 95E became all Flxibles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite Americanas are 4146 (145 Wilson/Michigan route) 4287 (thunderous engine), 4290, 4317, and 4347 on the 6 Jeffery & 14 South Lake Shore routes. 4290 & 4347 (mainly 4290) seemed to sound different from the rest of the fleet, which fueled my likeness for those buses. I wish MAN would come back to the states & build Americana LF's, because I miss those so much. But maybe we'll ride a New Flyer that sounds like 4290.

PS: Two more things. One, does anybody remember a male bus driver who had blond, curly hair, kinda chubby, and wore blueblocker sunglasses? Cool guy. He drove Americanas on the 6 Jeffery a lot in the mid 90's.

Two: Does anyone remember a time in late 1997, maybe 98 where Americanas returned to the 95E route? I went to the Evergreen Plaza around that time, and one of those days I rode one of those buses headed to the Red Line. It was odd because at that time, the 95E became all Flxibles.

I remember that difference you're talking about. That's part of why I liked 4098. It sounded like 4290, but with a bigger roar when it was really picking up speed. 4065 was the first I heard to have that distinctive sound of 4290 with that extra roar before Kedzie adjusted it to sound like the majority of Americanas. 4079 was adjusted for a while to sound like 4098. Now that I think about it, so was 4001 but not nearly as long as 4079 had been.

Also that would have been 95W you saw those Americanas on if you were at Evergreen Plaza. Sounds like 95W was also seeing a few Americanas during those few times 103rd would lend a few to 77th. I remember seeing a rare Americana on the 24 Wentworth on a couple occasions around that same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite Americanas were Kedzie's #4000/4001, 4018 on Old #25 West Cermak, #82 Homan/Kimball. I missed the Route #25 W. Cermak with nuthin but Americanas and Flyer D901s.

103rd's- #4326 on old #6 Jeffery Express, I loved the engine sound in a last gear on high speed on Lake Shore Drive.

Back in Late 90s, I liked seeing the Americanas occasionally on #28 Stony Island, even though it was already an accessible route.

North Park's- I liked #4020 and #4306 on #146 Inner Drive Express, I was so sorry for #4020 was broken down so many times in 2004 before retired. And I loved #4146 which was the last Americana I've rode for CTA before retired in Summer 2004 on #145 Wilson Express, that bus was the fastest went near 60 mph on Lake Shore.

I'm Truly missed them!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What were the Americana numbers at FG in 2001? I just need the numbers because I want to post a reply and nobody saying i'm wrong about a bus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What were the Americana numbers at FG in 2001? I just need the numbers because I want to post a reply and nobody saying i'm wrong about a bus.

The numbers varied in the 4100s and 4300s. Basically what would have been left from 74th and 103rd around the time those garages went full accessible with the exception of the 4900s still at 103rd for the U of C routes. If I remember correctly they were basically what were left of 4110-4149 and what were left of the 4300s. I believe 4113-4117 were at NP though. I'm not completely sure I just remember a few of the 4110s were at NP instead of Forest Glen. And I remember 4148 and 4149 fluctuated between NP and Forest Glen. I think 4150 and 4152 might have been at FG for a while too before the remaining Americanas that weren't retired at FG or Kedzie got transferred to NP.

Double check under the 'What's left of the Americanas' thread though for more answers. I believe when Busexpert gave his list of the remaining Americanas after the first NOVAs got here, he might have mentioned which Americanas spent some time at Forest Glen once the Flyer 901s were all gone. Hope this helps you out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favs were #4019, 4049, 4087, 4118, 4138. All the 4200s at NP I enjoyed driving. NP took better care of their MAN fleet than Kedzie. I spent more time on the Americana than any other bus in the fleet. I drove Americanas from all three garages I worked out of. That was the bus you needed on heavy routes. My first day in service when I got hired I was assigned my first bus, MAN#4025 on the #125 Water Tower, guess what happens next?? It breaks down on me on Michigan ave!.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I seem to remember a numerical cluster of Americanas: 4144-4150. They were reassigned from 74th to ForestGlen at the same time and then migrated in a bloc to NorthPark once the FG Novas began to arrive. It always seemed unusual to me that buses with seven consecutive numbers would survive until the end of operation for that series --- especially considering the initial size of the MAN Americana fleet (362 units).

It seemed to defy the probabilities. Just wondering if those particular buses may have received a special rehab, or were part of some special operation at some point in their service lives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I seem to remember a numerical cluster of Americanas: 4144-4150. They were reassigned from 74th to ForestGlen at the same time and then migrated in a bloc to NorthPark once the FG Novas began to arrive. It always seemed unusual to me that buses with seven consecutive numbers would survive until the end of operation for that series --- especially considering the initial size of the MAN Americana fleet (362 units).

It seemed to defy the probabilities. Just wondering if those particular buses may have received a special rehab, or were part of some special operation at some point in their service lives.

Yes they were at FG, but I think 4148-50 went to NP for a time before heading to FG then back to NP with the rest of that cluster you mention for their last days of service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favs were #4019, 4049, 4087, 4118, 4138. All the 4200s at NP I enjoyed driving. NP took better care of their MAN fleet than Kedzie. I spent more time on the Americana than any other bus in the fleet. I drove Americanas from all three garages I worked out of. That was the bus you needed on heavy routes. My first day in service when I got hired I was assigned my first bus, MAN#4025 on the #125 Water Tower, guess what happens next?? It breaks down on me on Michigan ave!.

Oh no! What a way to start your first day. Though Americanas seemed to hold together really well over all, despite some neglect during their last days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no! What a way to start your first day. Though Americanas seemed to hold together really well over all, despite some neglect during their last days.

Those double stream front doors were a plus when you had streets in Downtown, Kimball/Homan or Addison. Despite the hard service, the MANs held up very well to Chicago standards. They were great buses, excellent engineering by MAN. I loved that engine sound!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to say that #4316 (I think that's the number, not quite sure anymore) is my favorite Americana since I remember that it was my very first Americana to board on, in 2001. It was on #81 Lawrence that day heading to Austin. I boarded it and was just amazed how it looked inside and its speed. Yes, #4316 had great speed that day.

A few minutes later, we got off at Austin, only to board another Americana that was on #91 Austin heading to Roosevelt. The bus was #4128 i'm thinking. The engine I heard on that bus was LOUD though the bus didn't have much speed (a reason why I miss it more) so that means I really got to enjoy the ride.

For you guys talking about #4098, well, I saw that bus in Downtown in the summer of 2003 speeding on a Lakeshore route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For you guys talking about #4098, well, I saw that bus in Downtown in the summer of 2003 speeding on a Lakeshore route.

Yes, that would have been a year after Kedzie switched its last 40xx's for about 20 to 25 4200s from NP to serve 125 and 156, its last remaining nonaccessible routes at the time. This was a switch similar to this year's switch of NABIs between Kedzie and NP a couple months ago. The 40xx's had less wear and tear than the 4200s because the 4200s had been used for years on NP's LSD express routes. So presumably NP needed better condition buses for the 135, 145 and 146 at the time, therefore the switch. Kedzie of course transferred those remaining Americanas back to NP in December 2002 when 125 and 156 were designated accessible.

Btw, by the time 4098 got to NP, its engine had already had been changed while at Kedzie to sound like a standard Americana.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that would have been a year after Kedzie switched its last 40xx's for about 20 to 25 4200s from NP to serve 125 and 156, its last remaining nonaccessible routes at the time. This was a switch similar to this year's switch of NABIs between Kedzie and NP a couple months ago. The 40xx's had less wear and tear than the 4200s because the 4200s had been used for years on NP's LSD express routes. So presumably NP needed better condition buses for the 135, 145 and 146 at the time, therefore the switch. Kedzie of course transferred those remaining Americanas back to NP in December 2002 when 125 and 156 were designated accessible.

I do remember seeing an P sticker on it, just can't remember the route.

Btw, by the time 4098 got to NP, its engine had already had been changed while at Kedzie to sound like a standard Americana.

I didn't hear its sound, I only saw it speeding. I wasn't close enough to hear the sound but I do remember seeing the number, which was #4098.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do remember seeing an P sticker on it, just can't remember the route.

I didn't hear its sound, I only saw it speeding. I wasn't close enough to hear the sound but I do remember seeing the number, which was #4098.

If you like buses that have a strong roar to the engine, you would have liked 4098 when still at Kedzie before its engine was changed. I'm glad to hear that it was still at speed demon after going to NP. That was my favorite bus to ride on local routes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favorite parts of the Americana were also the rims. They looked really cool like a military vehicle. One thing I always notice on any city bus are the rims. I think the coolest looking rims are the Flxible 6000s. They have the Alcoa aluminum truck rims. Also the more traditional style rims like the ones found on the GMC fishbowl, TMC and Flxibles. I remember seeing Flxible #6063 with these style rims at one time instead of the Alcoas they normally have on them, they also look like military truck rims. Ill discuss this more in another thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favorite parts of the Americana were also the rims. They looked really cool like a military vehicle. One thing I always notice on any city bus are the rims. I think the coolest looking rims are the Flxible 6000s. They have the Alcoa aluminum truck rims. Also the more traditional style rims like the ones found on the GMC fishbowl, TMC and Flxibles. I remember seeing Flxible #6063 with these style rims at one time instead of the Alcoas they normally have on them, they also look like military truck rims. Ill discuss this more in another thread.

I remember 6069 had them at one point as well, both front and back wheels. If I remember right, 6063 only had them on the front. It was maybe halfway between it's transfer from 77th to Kedzie and from Kedzie to FG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember 6069 had them at one point as well, both front and back wheels. If I remember right, 6063 only had them on the front. It was maybe halfway between it's transfer from 77th to Kedzie and from Kedzie to FG.

6063 did have the painted rims on the front in the beginning then all six tires were swtiched to painted rims. Then later they were switched to all Alcoas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QUESTION : Why did the CTA retire this buses?

Also i agree with CTA5750 i to like the Alcoa aluminum rims.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bus were almost 20 years old and it was their time.

Yep. Most went when Options 1 and 2 of the Novas were received; about 60 lasted until about Option 2 of the NABIs (approx. late 2004). Also, CTA's were not accessible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buslover and Busjack are both correct. The two main reasons the Americanas were retired was because by the time they were all retired, those that were left were 18 years old and as Busjack pointed out they weren't accessible for people in wheelchairs. In order to be ADA compliant, the CTA had to eventually have a 100% accessible bus fleet, which became true in 2005 once the TMC 4900s, which were too narrow to have lifts, were retired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buslover and Busjack are both correct. The two main reasons the Americanas were retired was because by the time they were all retired, those that were left were 18 years old and as Busjack pointed out they weren't accessible for people in wheelchairs. In order to be ADA compliant, the CTA had to eventually have a 100% accessible bus fleet, which became true in 2005 once the TMC 4900s, which were too narrow to have lifts, were retired.

Thank you all for the input .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. Most went when Options 1 and 2 of the Novas were received; about 60 lasted until about Option 2 of the NABIs (approx. late 2004). Also, CTA's were not accessible.

It seems that CTA's Americanas were the only ones in U.S. were not accessible, because the ones in New Orleans RTA, Seattles, San Diego MTS, and Charlotte CATS were accessible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...