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BusExpert32

Historic Buses

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You need a degree to keep track of that fleet!

Yeah because their transit system and therefore their fleet is so freaking huge. :lol: I'd hate to see if they traded buses among garages with a frequency anywhere near as much as CTA. :huh::)

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Yeah because their transit system and therefore their fleet is so freaking huge. :lol: I'd hate to see if they traded buses among garages with a frequency anywhere near as much as CTA. :huh::)

Going back to the Transit Talk page, something is going on. It is by garages, but some are listed as being former private franchise operations that were taken over by the MTA under the Bloomberg administration. However, unlike the days when they were private operations and ran RTSs and really mostly MCI classics, it looks like the fleet is more evenly distributed.

I think Andre said the main determinant was whether the garage fleet was hybrid or CNG,

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Back to MrCTA's point, that link indicates that NY only considers Old Looks and New Looks historic. No reference there to saving RTSs and Orion Vs, which prevailed in NYCTA's fleet in the 80s and 90s.

There are RTSes, Orions, and a Grumman in the historic fleet, but they're too "modern" to run on the vintage holiday specials.

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Heres a Blast From the Past!!!  I remember this commercial very well!  My dad drove these GMCs out of North Ave Garage!  The bus is this commercial was from the old Limits Garage in Lakeview. I always wondered why it was called "Limits"  Anyone know??? 

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4 hours ago, CTA5750 said:

Heres a Blast From the Past!!!  I remember this commercial very well!  My dad drove these GMCs out of North Ave Garage!  The bus is this commercial was from the old Limits Garage in Lakeview. I always wondered why it was called "Limits"  Anyone know??? 

When Limits was built in 1889, the northern city limit by the lake was Fullerton. So the area around Clark and Diversey would've been a few blocks north of the city limit which gave it its name, just my theory on it.

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Limits was opened by North Chicago Street Railway in 1880 as a horse car barn. Clark Street cable cars were based there from 1886 to 1906. The car house that eventually became the CTA bus garage opened in 1909. @dailycommuter62 is correct that the name came from the fact that the city limits only extended to Fullerton at the time.

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7 hours ago, CTA5750 said:

Heres a Blast From the Past!!!  I remember this commercial very well!  My dad drove these GMCs out of North Ave Garage!  The bus is this commercial was from the old Limits Garage in Lakeview. I always wondered why it was called "Limits"  Anyone know??? 

I didn't live or travel on that side of town,  but I can't seem to place exactly where the North Ave garage actually was.  I thought it was around Laramie.   Continental Air Transport  (aka Airport Express) had a bus garage on North Ave just west of Laramie,  but I don't think that was the site.  Besides,  didn't North Ave stay open until Chicago Ave garage opened?  There's nothing around Laramie that I can tell to make me believe a CTA garage was once there.

Also,  where exactly was the Lawndale garage?  I know it was once closed but reopened when K was rebuilt.  Also, what was the sticker for that garage?  My memory is

A - Archer

B - Beverly

F - Forest Glen

K - Kedzie

L - Limits

N - North Ave

P - North Park 

5 - 52nd/Cottage Grove

6 - 69fb/Ashland 

7  77th

I know 103rd replaced Beverly. 74th replaced 69th,, and Chicago replaced North.   52nd Archer, and Limits were closed and not replaced.

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4 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I didn't live or travel on that side of town,  but I can't seem to place exactly where the North Ave garage actually was.  I thought it was around Laramie.   Continental Air Transport  (aka Airport Express) had a bus garage on North Ave just west of Laramie,  but I don't think that was the site.  Besides,  didn't North Ave stay open until Chicago Ave garage opened?  There's nothing around Laramie that I can tell to make me believe a CTA garage was once there.

Also,  where exactly was the Lawndale garage?  I know it was once closed but reopened when K was rebuilt.  Also, what was the sticker for that garage?  My memory is

A - Archer

B - Beverly

F - Forest Glen

K - Kedzie

L - Limits

N - North Ave

P - North Park 

5 - 52nd/Cottage Grove

6 - 69fb/Ashland 

7  77th

I know 103rd replaced Beverly. 74th replaced 69th,, and Chicago replaced North.   52nd Archer, and Limits were closed and not replaced.

North Ave garage was on the SW corner of North and Cicero, Lawndale garage was on Cermak on the south side of the street Immediately east of Ogden.

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On 4/7/2020 at 6:11 PM, artthouwill said:

I didn't live or travel on that side of town,  but I can't seem to place exactly where the North Ave garage actually was.  I thought it was around Laramie.   Continental Air Transport  (aka Airport Express) had a bus garage on North Ave just west of Laramie,  but I don't think that was the site.  Besides,  didn't North Ave stay open until Chicago Ave garage opened?  There's nothing around Laramie that I can tell to make me believe a CTA garage was once there.

Also,  where exactly was the Lawndale garage?  I know it was once closed but reopened when K was rebuilt.  Also, what was the sticker for that garage?  My memory is

A - Archer

B - Beverly

F - Forest Glen

K - Kedzie

L - Limits

N - North Ave

P - North Park 

5 - 52nd/Cottage Grove

6 - 69fb/Ashland 

7  77th

I know 103rd replaced Beverly. 74th replaced 69th,, and Chicago replaced North.   52nd Archer, and Limits were closed and not replaced.

I literally spent half my childhood at the North Ave Garage when my dad worked there. :)   It was located on the southwest corner of North/Cicero  A shopping center now occupies the site! It closed in 1986, My dad transferred to Forest Glen where he thought would be temporary' He planned to return to North Ave when it was rebuilt but of course notorious city politics has to step in at the time and after some political infighting, the garage was eventually relocated to todays Chicago ave Garage. My dad decided to stay at FG because the 77 Belmont route, which he enjoyed working, would remain at FG.  North ave brand new 9800 Flyers also went to FG. that was my first taste of seeing new buses! I was so used to the sight of GMCs and Flxibles. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! LOL! :)  Of course later when I became a bus operator in 1997, I got the itch of working Belmont when I began working at FG in 1999. :)  I loved working Belmont because it reminded me of my dad and the days I would ride with him on the GMCs  Only I did it with Flxibles and RTS's  It was and still is a crazy busy route and I enjoyed every moment! :) Thanks Dad!!!  lol!  Sorry to veer off topic a bit. I love looking back on my CTA Forest Glen days. I had previously worked at Kedzie and North Park. There are a couple of trolley line poles which may still be on site on the North ave side near Lamon ave. You cant miss them!  My dad has long passed on but I can remember when he spoke highly of the trolleys which he drove only six months before they were gone in 1973, My vivid memory of him was driving a GMC 5307 on 73 Armitage and 77 Belmont! He did mention he would work\91 Austin but I was confused as that was an FG route  But I think North ave operated some rush hour trips on Austin. I always wondered over the years why 91 Austin didnt fully operate out of North ave instead of FG since North was closer.  Great! Great Memories!  Ill certainly cherish! Whenever I have to make a trip to Chicago ave to pick up my CFD bus, I pass North/Cicero. I cant go by that location and not think about the garage and the fun CTA memories I had there as a kid. Lawndale was situated on the south side of Cermak just east of Pulaski. I think the lot still sits empty and some long covered streetcar tracks have been resurfacing along the sidewalk apron in the last several years! Rough area but its worth a quick look.    

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16 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I didn't live or travel on that side of town,  but I can't seem to place exactly where the North Ave garage actually was.  I thought it was around Laramie.   Continental Air Transport  (aka Airport Express) had a bus garage on North Ave just west of Laramie,  but I don't think that was the site.  Besides,  didn't North Ave stay open until Chicago Ave garage opened?  There's nothing around Laramie that I can tell to make me believe a CTA garage was once there.

Also,  where exactly was the Lawndale garage?  I know it was once closed but reopened when K was rebuilt.  Also, what was the sticker for that garage?  My memory is

A - Archer

B - Beverly

F - Forest Glen

K - Kedzie

L - Limits

N - North Ave

P - North Park 

5 - 52nd/Cottage Grove

6 - 69fb/Ashland 

7  77th

I know 103rd replaced Beverly. 74th replaced 69th,, and Chicago replaced North.   52nd Archer, and Limits were closed and not replaced.

This video has some footage of the old North Ave Garage starting at (5:40). Very interesting to watch!!!  The garage/transportation office building is where a Sketchers store now occupies the spot today. if you want to check it out one day. The garage or "carbarn" building stretched the entire length of North Ave almost to Lamon. By the time I was old enough to remember the garage in the late 1970s, trolley buses were gone and the garage was mostly 13,14 and 1500 series GMC 1330-1524 to be exact! :)  As well as 3700 series Flxibles for Lake St. and I believe some 300s were assigned too at the time. I do remember seeing a few there. In total almost 250 buses were assigned to North Ave when it came to closing time. 

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1 hour ago, CTA5750 said:

This video has some footage of the old North Ave Garage starting at (5:40). Very interesting to watch!!!  The garage/transportation office building is where the Sketchers store now occupies the spot today if you want to check it out one day. The garage or "carbarn" building stretched the entire length of North Ave almost to Lamon. By the time I was old enough to remember the garage in the late 1970s, trolley buses were gone and the garage was mostly 13,14 and 1500 series GMC 1330-1524 to be exact! :)  As well as 3700 series Flxibles for Lake St. and I believe some 300s were assigned too at the time. I do remember seeing a few there.  

Thank you @CTA5750.  I do remember riding the 1300 thru 1500s on Chicago Ave with the N stickers in the mid to late 1970s.  North Ave and Cicero makes perfect sense as the shopping area that's there now is big enough to have once been a garage.  I don't know where I got Laramie from.

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Just now, artthouwill said:

Thank you @CTA5750.  I do remember riding the 1300 thru 1500s on Chicago Ave with the N stickers in the mid to late 1970s.  North Ave and Cicero makes perfect sense as the shopping area that's there now is big enough to have once been a garage.  I don't know where I got Laramie from.

If you watch the video, the garage scenes is the shopping center today!  I remember the large firewalls  All the buses by the time I remember were parked angled, nose into the firewalls. Drivers had to back out and tap the horn!  Not lined up, straight out pointing to Cicero Ave as shown in many stills of the trolley bus era.  I used to love calling out the bus numbers to myself  So many of them!!! LOL!   My favoite bus was #1473!

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12 hours ago, sht6131 said:

North Ave garage was on the SW corner of North and Cicero, Lawndale garage was on Cermak on the south side of the street Immediately east of Ogden.

Thanks.  What was Lawndale sticker?  Based on what you said, it seems like I have some history mixed up.  If North Ave Ave closed in 1986, then did Lawndale open or reopen until Chicago Ave was built?  I was under the impression that Lawndale had been closed but reopened while K was being rebuilt.

Or is it possible that each garage K and N kept their own stickers while they were operating out of Lawndale?  But then, while N was clises, K would've been closer to N routes than Lawndale.  Was there a route shift during that time?

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23 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

Thanks.  What was Lawndale sticker?  Based on what you said, it seems like I have some history mixed up.  If North Ave Ave closed in 1986, then did Lawndale open or reopen until Chicago Ave was built?  I was under the impression that Lawndale had been closed but reopened while K was being rebuilt.

Lawndale was closed but reopened And its buses kept the  "N" desigation since North ave was now closed. I remember the 5400 Flixibles had an N  on their windows. 

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3 minutes ago, CTA5750 said:

Lawndale was closed but reopened And its buses kept the  "N" desigation since North ave was now closed. I remember the 5400 Flixibles had an N  on their windows. 

Did Lawndale keep all of B routes or did Lawndale run some K K routes and K run the northern N routes?  I do remember the 20 once being run out of K.

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26 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

Did Lawndale keep all of B routes or did Lawndale run some K K routes and K run the northern N routes?  I do remember the 20 once being run out of K.

Good Question , I dont know too much of the history of Lawndale  I do know they ran 21, 53, 54, 60 and 37 when it used to terminate at Cermak/Pulaski. When Kedzie was being reconstructed North ave took many Kedzie routes such as Madison, Jackson, Washington and even the old #17 Westchester.  As for buses, I remember them getting North aves GMC 9500 series buses. FG ended up getting Flyers 9850-9929 along with Routes 76.77,86   Kedzie got Routes 65 66 70 72 74     

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3 hours ago, CTA5750 said:

I literally spent half my childhood at the North Ave Garage when my dad worked there. :)   It was located on the southwest corner of North/Cicero  A shopping center now occupies the site! It closed in 1986, My dad transferred to Forest Glen where he thought would be temporary' He planned to return to North Ave when it was rebuilt but of course notorious city politics has to step in at the time and after some political infighting, the garage was eventually relocated to todays Chicago ave Garage. My dad decided to stay at FG because the 77 Belmont route, which he enjoyed working, which would remain at FG.  North ave brand new 9800 Flyers also went to FG. that was my first taste of seeing new buses! I was so used to the sight of GMCs and Flxibles. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! LOL! :)  Of course later when I became a bus operator in 1997, I got the itch of working Belmont when I began working at FG in 1999. :)  I loved working Belmont because it reminded me of my dad and the days I would ride with him on the GMCs  Only I did it with Flxibles and RTS's  It was and still is a crazy busy route and I enjoyed every moment! :) Thanks Dad!!!  lol!  Sorry to veer off topic a bit. I love looking back on my CTA Forest Glen days. I had previously worked at Kedzie and North Park. There are a couple of trolley line poles which may still be on site on the North ave side near Lamon ave. You cant miss them!  My dad has long passed on but I can remember when he spoke highly of the trolleys which he drove only six months before they were gone in 1973, My vivid memory of him was driving a GMC 5307 on 73 Armitage and 77 Belmont! He did mention he would work\91 Austin but I was confused as that was an FG route  But I think North ave operated some rush hour trips on Austin. I always wondered over the years why 91 Austin didnt fully operate out of North ave instead of FG since North was closer.  Great! Great Memories!  Ill certainly cherish! Whenever I have to make a trip to Chicago ave to pick up my CFD bus, I pass North/Cicero. I cant go by that location and not think about the garage and the fun CTA memories I had there as a kid. Lawndale was situated on the south side of Cermak just east of Pulaski. I think the lot still sits empty and some long covered streetcar tracks have been resurfacing along the sidewalk apron in the last several years! Rough area but its worth a quick look.    

I hear you as I also spent half of my childhood at North Ave Barn  but that was even before your dads time I traveled on my bike after grammar school from the Kedzie and North area to the barn to watch the rush hour streetcars pull out. The only buses were the trolleys.I started by being a real streetcar fan. Also hung around the barn at Division and Western as my grandma lived off the opposite corner.

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17 hours ago, sht6131 said:

I hear you as I also spent half of my childhood at North Ave Barn  but that was even before your dads time I traveled on my bike after grammar school from the Kedzie and North area to the barn to watch the rush hour streetcars pull out. The only buses were the trolleys.I started by being a real streetcar fan. Also hung around the barn at Division and Western as my grandma lived off the opposite corner.

Where was that barn located exactly?  I wish traces still existed. 

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57 minutes ago, CTA5750 said:

Where was that barn located exactly?  I wish traces still existed. 

It was on the SE corner of Division and Western and extended to Oakley. There is a great pictorial and story titled Division Street My Neighborhood My Carbarn by George E Kanary in the book Chicago Surface Lines Linking Chicago`s neighborhoods. He lived near that corner. Also hung around Armitage car barn but that was boring as it housed only Milwaukee and Armitage Milwaukee streetcars.

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Just now, sht6131 said:

It was on the SE corner of Division and Western and extended to Oakley. There is a great pictorial and story titled Division Street My Neighborhood My Carbarn by George E Kanary in the book Chicago Surface Lines Linking Chicago`s neighborhoods. He lived near that corner. Also hung around Armitage car barn but that was boring as it housed only Milwaukee and Armitage Milwaukee streetcars.

If you are interested the book is from Shoreline Interurban Historical Society Dispatch 9

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I wonder if CTA will restore a GMC 5307 Fishbowl  I know they still have the sitting in their boneyard. That is one bus that was a familiar sight for two decades. It deserves to be in their historic fleet.   

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1 hour ago, CTA5750 said:

I wonder if CTA will restore a GMC 5307 Fishbowl  I know they still have the sitting in their boneyard. That is one bus that was a familiar sight for two decades. It deserves to be in their historic fleet.   

Someone had posted a while back that one of the GMC 5307 training buses (BT-??) was considered but had some kind of mechanical issue and the restoration was called off. I would rather see them restore the CPD 5300 Flxible (which last I heard was sitting along the fence at 77th) or the CFD 6000. When CFD no longer needs 6163 it should go to CTA, not IRM, IRM tends to neglect their diesel powered buses and give more attention to their trolley buses. The last thing I would want to see is 6163 parked and slowly sink in to the ground.

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1 hour ago, jesi2282 said:

Someone had posted a while back that one of the GMC 5307 training buses (BT-??) was considered but had some kind of mechanical issue and the restoration was called off. I would rather see them restore the CPD 5300 Flxible (which last I heard was sitting along the fence at 77th) or the CFD 6000. When CFD no longer needs 6163 it should go to CTA, not IRM, IRM tends to neglect their diesel powered buses and give more attention to their trolley buses. The last thing I would want to see is 6163 parked and slowly sink in to the ground.

CPD bus is done and already planned for scrap,

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