RAILROAD-OWNED BUS COMPANIES

Today's transportation fans may think of intercity trains and intercity buses as rivals, sometimes bitter. In 1971, the privately operated money losing intercity passenger train network was finally nationalized as Amtrak, receiving subsidies and cutting certain fares in its first several months of existence. Greyhound protested, calling it "un-American" to run in the red. While ignoring the fact that Greyhound buses operate over subsidized roads.

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.


Santa Fe Railway - in 1928 formed bus subsidiary Santa Fe Trail Transportation, in 1936 joined Trailways, in 1948 resumed independent operation, sold 1948 to Transcontinental Bus System/Continental Trailways.

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad - in 1929 formed bus subsidiary West Virginia Transportation Co., sold 1955 to Greyhound Lines.

Bangor & Aroostook Railroad - in 1936 formed bus subsidiary Bangor & Aroostook Highway Division, sold 1984 to Cyr Bus Line.

Boston & Maine Railroad - in 1924 formed bus subsidiary Boston & Maine Transportation Co., from 1952 to 1957 was Trailways member, sold 1957 to Transcontinental Bus System/Continental Trailways.

Central of Georgia Railway - owned a bus subsidiary Central of Georgia Motor Transport Co., dates unavailable.

Central Railroad of New Jersey - in 1927 formed bus subsidiary Jersey Central Transportation Co., sold 1957 to Somerset Bus Co.

Central Vermont Railway - in 1931 formed bus subsidiary Central Vermont Transit Co., in 1956 ceased operations.

Chicago & Alton Railroad - in 1927 formed bus subsidiary Alton Transportation Co., sold 1930 to Jacksonville Bus Line.

Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad - in 1929 formed bus subsidiary Burlington Transportation Co., in 1936 joined Trailways, sold 1946 to American Buslines, sold 1953 to Transcontinental Bus System/Continental Trailways.

Chicago & North Western Railroad - in 1929 with Union Pacific Railroad acquired joint ownership of Interstate Transit Lines, in 1943 began operating under name Overland Greyhound Lines, from 1943 to 1952 had partial ownership of Overland Greyhound Lines.

Rock Island Lines - owned a bus subsidiary Rock Island Motor Transit Co., dates unavailable.

Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad - in 1926 formed bus subsidiary Denver-Colorado Springs-Pueblo Motor Way, in 1927 formed bus subsidiary Rio Grande Motor Way, in 1935 formed bus subsidiary Denver-Salt Lake-Pacific Stages, in 1936 joined Trailways, sold 1948 to Transcontinental Bus System/Continental Trailways.

Great Northern Railroad - from 1925 to 1955 had partial ownership in Northland Greyhound Lines, reorganized 1929 from Northland Transportation Co.

Gulf Mobile & Ohio Railroad - in 1936 formed bus subsidiary Gulf Transport Co., sold 1985.

Illinois Central Railroad - in 1929 formed bus subsidiary Central Transportation Co., in 1933 ceased operations.

Maine Central Railroad - in 1925 formed bus subsidiary originally named SamOset Co., reorganized 1932 as Maine Central Transportation Co., from 1952 to 1955 was Trailways member, sold 1955 to New England Greyhound Lines.

Missouri Pacific Railroad - in 1928 formed bus subsidiary Missouri Pacific Transportation Co., in 1936 joined Trailways, in 1948 resumed independent operation, sold 1957 to Midwest Bus Lines which was a Trailways member.

Nevada Northern Railway - operated bus service replacing passenger trains, operated until 1968.

New York Central Railroad - from 1936 to 1947 had partial ownership of Central Greyhound Lines.

New York New Haven & Hartford Railroad - in 1925 formed bus subsidiary New England Transportation Co., in 1958 ceased operations, also from 1939 to 1950 had partial ownership of New England Greyhound Lines.

Norfolk Southern Railroad - in 1928 formed bus subsidiary Norfolk Southern Bus Co., sold 1954 to Carolina Coach Co.

Northern Pacific Railroad - in 1931 formed bus subsidiary Northern Pacific Transportation Co., sold 1969.

Pennsylvania Railroad - in 1928 acquired as subsidiary Pennsylvania General Transit Co., in 1929 acquired as subsidiary Peoples Rapid Transit Co., consolidated 1936 into Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines, from 1936 to 1954 had partial ownership of Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines.

Reading Railroad - in 1927 formed bus subsidiary Reading Transportation Co., in 1955 joined Trailways, sold 1964 to various Trailways companies.

Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad - from 1929 to 1960 had partial ownership of Richmond Greyhound Lines.

St. Louis San Francisco Railroad - in 1937 formed truck and bus subsidiary Frisco Transportation Co., in 1938 introduced bus service, from 1945 to 1960 was Trailways member, in 1961 sold operations.

St. Louis Southwestern Railroad - in 1928 formed bus subsidiary Southwestern Transportation Co., consolidated 1933 into Southwestern Greyhound Lines, from 1933 to 1958 had partial ownership of Southwestern Greyhound Lines.

Southern Pacific Railroad - in 1927 formed bus subsidiary Southern Pacific Motor Transportation Co., consolidated 1929 into Pacific Transportation Securities, in 1930 renamed Pacific Greyhound Lines, from 1930 to 1956 had partial ownership of Pacific Greyhound Lines.

Spokane Portland & Seattle Railroad - in 1924 formed bus subsidiary Spokane Portland & Seattle Transportation Co., sold 1953 to Pacific Greyhound Lines.

Union Pacific Railroad - in 1927 formed bus subsidiary Union Pacific Stages, in 1929 with Chicago & North Western Railroad acquired joint ownership of Interstate Transit Lines, in 1943 began operating under name Overland Greyhound Lines, from 1943 to 1952 had partial ownership of Overland Greyhound Lines.


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