What is generally not known to today's transportation fans, is that many of the private railroads were active in the marketing of intercity bus services, mainly during the 1930's and 1940's. Some railroads formed bus subsidiaries, and operated buses to replace certain lightly used trains, along with buses along the railroad routes to thwart off bus lines competing with their passenger trains. While some railroads acquired stock in existing bus companies, which would complement the passenger trains.
Meanwhile, more intercity bus companies were getting together, forming the Greyhound and Trailways systems. Eventually Greyhound consisted of a number of regional companies with varying degrees of ownership by the main Greyhound corporation. While Trailways consisted of many separate companies working together as "members" of the Trailways system.
And many of these railroad owned bus companies eventually became part of Greyhound or Trailways. Some Greyhound regional companies became jointly owned by a railroad and Greyhound, identified with a Greyhound name. Or some railroad bus companies became members of the Trailways system, adding "Trailways" to their operating names. A few bus companies remained independent.
But by the 1950's, the railroads generally gave up all interest in the bus operations, with the routes becoming entirely owned by Greyhound or Continental Trailways. And despite Greyhound's early objections to Amtrak subsidies, Greyhound now recognizes the value of added passengers connecting to and from Amtrak trains. Both Greyhound and Amtrak benefit by working together, competing against the automobile.
Many of these subsidiaries also operated trucks for freight service. Not listed are motor subsidiaries which only operated trucks.
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
West Virginia Transportation Co.
Bangor & Aroostook Railroad
Bangor & Aroostook Highway Division
Formed 1936, sold 1984 to Cyr Bus Line.
Boston & Maine Railroad
Boston & Maine Transportation Co.
Central of Georgia Railway
Central of Georgia Motor Transport Co.
Sold 1940 to Southeastern Stages.
Central Railroad of New Jersey
Jersey Central Transportation Co.
Formed 1927, sold 1957 to Somerset Bus Co.
Central Vermont Railway
Central Vermont Transit Co.
Formed 1931, ceased operations in 1956.
Chicago & Alton Railroad
Alton Transportation Co.
Formed 1927, sold 1930 to Jacksonville Bus Line.
Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad
Burlington Transportation Co./Burlington Trailways
Chicago & North Western Railroad
Overland Greyhound Lines
Rock Island Lines
Rock Island Motor Transit Co.
Formed 1927 as primarily a truck subsidiary.
Operated supplemental buses between Bureau and Peoria IL 1941-1963.
Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Rio Grande Motor Way/Rio Grande Trailways
Denver-Colorado Springs-Pueblo Motor Way/Trailways
Denver-Salt Lake-Pacific Stages/Trailways
Great Northern Railroad
Northland Greyhound Lines
Gulf Mobile & Northern Railroad/Gulf Mobile & Ohio Railroad
Gulf Transport Co.
Illinois Central Railroad
Central Transportation Co.
Formed 1929, ceased operations in 1933.
Maine Central Railroad
Maine Central Transportation Co.
Missouri Pacific Railroad
Missouri Pacific Bus Lines/Missouri Pacific Trailways
Mobile & Ohio Railroad
Mobile & Ohio Transportation Co.
Formed 1939, merged 1940 into Gulf Transport Co.
Nevada Northern Railway
Operated bus service replacing passenger trains, until 1968.
New York Central Railroad
Central Greyhound Lines
New York New Haven & Hartford Railroad
New England Greyhound Lines
New England Transportation Co.
Formed 1925, ceased operations in 1958.
Norfolk Southern Railroad
Norfolk Southern Bus Co.
Formed 1926, sold 1954 to Carolina Coach Co.
Northern Pacific Railroad
Northern Pacific Transportation Co.
Formed 1931, sold 1969.
Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines
Reading Transportation Co./Reading Trailways
Formed 1927, in 1955 joined Trailways, sold 1964 to various Trailways companies.
Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad
Richmond Greyhound Lines
St. Louis San Francisco Railroad
Frisco Transportation Co.
Formed 1937 as truck and bus subsidiary, in 1938 introduced bus service, from 1945 to 1960 was Trailways member, sold 1961.
St. Louis Southwestern Railroad
Southwestern Greyhound Lines
Southern Pacific Railroad
Pacific Greyhound Lines
Spokane Portland & Seattle Railroad
Spokane Portland & Seattle Transportation Co.
Formed 1924, sold 1953 to Pacific Greyhound Lines.
Union Pacific Railroad
Overland Greyhound Lines