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Lost on Belmont

Looking for old bus roster-type info

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I'm trying to do some research on a few retired (read old) models but I'm having a little difficulty. At the moment I'm just trying to pin down some basic numbers and info for these buses: length, seats, engine, etc. The ones in question are:

  • Yellow Coach Y-L-238
  • Yellow Coach X-M-284
  • White Motor Co. 788
  • GM TDH 4509

So far, the internet has failed me. Don't know if anyone can point me in the right direction. Any help would be appreciated.

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Lind's book on Chicago Surface Lines has near the back a list of all buses acquired by CSL or by CTA with CSL money.

In the case of any GM bus, the first two numbers are the number of seats (35 foot bus had 45 seats) and the last two numbers are the model series. This lasted through the new look era, thus a 4523 was about the last model of 35 foot bus, which the RTA had.

TDH would indicate Transit Diesel Hydromatic. Later they went to T6H  and T8H.

Ohio Museum of Transit site might also be of help.

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3 minutes ago, Busjack said:

Lind's book on Chicago Surface Lines has near the back a list of all buses acquired by CSL or by CTA with CSL money.

In the case of any GM bus, the first two numbers are the number of seats (35 foot bus had 45 seats) and the last two numbers are the model series. This lasted through the new look era, thus a 4523 was about the last model of 35 foot bus, which the RTA had,

The question is, did the CSL have these models? The two Yellow buses were more for suburban/interurban travel and did not have room for standees.

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1 minute ago, Lost on Belmont said:

The question is, did the CSL have these models? The two Yellow buses were more for suburban/interurban travel and did not have room for standees.

Whites were 684, 706M, 805, H13S, 798.

Yellows are all in the GM format noted  above, so no. Latest GM CSL had was TDH 4507.

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4 hours ago, Busjack said:

Whites were 684, 706M, 805, H13S, 798.

Yellows are all in the GM format noted  above, so no. Latest GM CSL had was TDH 4507.

Actually, the Whites were 805M's not 805's. The difference is that an 805 was a hood in front type, while an 805M had body all the way forward - "Metropolitan". Lind was wrong, as were CSL rosters.

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5 hours ago, Lost on Belmont said:

I'm trying to do some research on a few retired (read old) models but I'm having a little difficulty. At the moment I'm just trying to pin down some basic numbers and info for these buses: length, seats, engine, etc. The ones in question are:

  • Yellow Coach Y-L-238
  • Yellow Coach X-M-284
  • White Motor Co. 788
  • GM TDH 4509

So far, the internet has failed me. Don't know if anyone can point me in the right direction. Any help would be appreciated.

Y-L-238 was a 225-inch wheelbase chassis built 1926. 139 built, 101 with Yellow Y-K-237 parlor type bodies, 37 with non-Yellow bodies, 1 unknown. Built at Chicago plant (Austin & Dickens SW corner - still stands!)

X-M-284 was a 210-inch wheelbase chassis built 1926-28. 317 built, 285 with X-Q-292 city service bodies, 15 with X-R-294 city service bodies, 17 with non-Yellow bodies. Also built Chicago.

Some basic info on how Yellow Coach models worked in the 1920's:

There were five basic chassis series  -

V - 225-inch wheelbase, parlor bodies, last of the engine-in-front types 1931-1936

W's were the smallest, 185", some later 215" wheelbase. Cadillac engines, later Buick. 1165 built, some parlor, some city service.

X was an intermediate size - 205", later 210". Yellow 4 cyl sleeve-valve engines. 952 built, most city, a few parlor

Y was a larger size - 225" wheelbase, 6 cyl sleeve-valve engine, 901 built, all parlors

Z  was the big chassis series, for double deckers and other large buses. There were many variations of these, with wheelbases from 193inch (early CMC double deckers) to 250 inch. Some were even built as gas-electrics (an early version of hybrid, I suppose). 921 built

Z-200 or Z-29 - 193 or 200", for single-deck bodies - 1192 built

Z-33 - 230 inch wheelbase - 416 built

Z-230 gas electric - 1149 built

Z-240 240 inch wheelbase - 592 built

Z-250 250-inch wheelbase, mostly for Greyhound - 1838 built

Also, to explain the model designations, the second letter (or letters) was a sequential designation starting with A for each chassis type, and the bodies designed for that chassis, with the numerical part being sequential for ALL chassis types in order of design.

As an example:

Z-A-199 first DD chassis for CMC

Z-B-200 revised design CMC

Z-C-201 another revised chassis

Z-D-202 open-top body for Z-A-199 or Z-B-200

Z-E-203 low-floor open-top body for same

Z-F-204 semi-enclosed body

Z-G-205 semi-enclosed body

Z-H-206 semi-enclosed body

Z-I-207 Chassis for Philadelphia

Z-J-208 semi-enclosed body for Z-I-207

Z-K-209 SD chassis - 193 inch

Z-L-210 SD chassis - 200 inch 

Z-M-211 high floor body for Z-K-209

Z-N-212 High floor body for Z-L-210

When letters to to Z, next type was AA, then AB, etc, but numbers continued sequentially. Eventually numbers reached Z-CV-859 Greyhound bodies from 1936), but not all letters or numbers were actually built.

In 1930, the model designation was much simplified, starting with 700 (though a few Z's built towards the end were stuck in with this series. When series reached 899, it jumped to 1200 as 1000's and 1100's were trucks. Finally in 1939 the "TD-2101" type designations were started.

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