City Railway / City Transit / Miami Valley RTA / Greater Dayton RTA
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New Stuff (July 2016)
First Run (Dayton Street Railway): April 23, 1933
First Run (Oakwood Street Railway): January 19, 1936
First Run (People's Railway): October 11, 1936
First Run (City Railway): March 25, 1938
First Run (Dayton-Xenia Railway): October 1, 1940
for a detailed historical roster. Add to it 1 Flyer purchased in 1971, 64 Flyers purchased in 1977, 3 ETI demonstrators in 1996, 54 ETIs in 1998 and 4 Vossloh-Kiepe-Gillig-Complete Coach Works Dual Mode NexGen demonstrators.
The Dayton Street Railway/Transit Co.
Ohio's 1st Electric Trolley Bus Line April 23, 1933
by Harvey Hylton
In August of 1932, the DSR Lorain Avenue car barn went up in flames, destroying most of the
DSRy's fleet of rail cars. While temporarily borrowing old cars from the other Dayton street car
companies, Phillip Worman, the DSRy President, had to make a monumental decision as to
how to keep the company afloat. The DSR's single line ran from Linden and Santa Cruz
on the east side of Dayton through the Central Business District (CBD) and thence out Salem
Avenue to Catalpa. Most of the trackage was in bad shape, and with the Depression in full
sway, revenues were hardly supportive of extensive rail renewal as well as obtaining
replacement rail cars.
Over in Indianapolis, the newly-reorganized Indianapolis Railways was experimenting with
Electric Trolley Buses (ETB's) on their Riverside-South Meridian line, with an inaugural
parade being staged on the 2nd of December 1932. Brill had provided 15 new
T-40 ETBs, consecutively numbered from 501 through 515. In attendance were several
Dayton Transit officials, including Phil Worman of DSR, and WW Owen of the
City Railway Company.
Later that day after the ETB parade, Brill executives, knowing of Worman's dilemma,
made him an offer to supply 12 identical T-40 ETBs and have them ready to roll in
Dayton by April of 1933.
Worman accepted the deal, and returned to Dayton to start stringing the
additional 2nd trolley wire needed by ETB's. Street car motormen were retrained to
become ETB operators in early April 1933, and Dayton had it's own ETB inaugural
parade on 22 April 1933. Revenue operation started the next day, the 23rd of April.
The DSR Brills were numbered by 5s, starting with #100, 105, 110, etc. The
traction orange and cream DSR Brills were an immediate success, and one-by-one,
the other 4 Dayton street car companies converted their rail lines to ETB operation.
Ridership grew and Worman ordered 5 more identical T-40 Brills, which had rear exit
doors and 2 GE traction motors. After another year or so, DSR ordered their final
ETBs, a pair of T-40 Brills, but these two (#185 and 190) had the exit doors at mid-bus.
By this time the Dayton Street Railway Company had renamed itself as the Dayton
Street Transit Company (DSTC).
On 12 April of 1941 the DST was sold to the big City Railway Company (CRC).
CRC paid $185,000 for the DST's 19 Brill T-40 ETBs, barn, overhead infrastructure,
and franchise. The Lorain Avenue barn was later sold off by CRC. DST had no
substations of it's own, buying 600-volt DC from the DPL CBD substation and from
the Oakwood Street Railway Company, which had a rotary convertor in their Brown
Street barn. Henceforth the Linden-Salem ETB line was operated out of the CRC
Western Avenue barns, and the tangerine and cream Brills were repainted and relettered
into standard CRC yellow and gold. Many of the sturdy ex-DST Brills remained in
CRC service into the early 1950s. None are known to have survived the scrappers,
and there is no known color photograph of DST Brills in their original paint.
The Oakwood Street Railway (OSRy)
Dayton's second trolley coach operation was the OSRy. Oakwood Street electrified their horsecar line
in 1895, and subsequently extended southward in 1916 and 1918. By Spring 1935, their streetcar plant was worn out,
with some of the original 1895 fleet still in operation, along with their franchise to operate in Dayton and Oakwood.
Building on the success of the Dayton Street Transit trolley bus line, OSRy recommended conversion of the line from streetcar
to trolleybus, which was approved in both cities.
OSRy started the conversion in fall 1935, and made the changeover on Jan 19 1936. In doing so, the OSRy retained the existing north
end of the line, with a loop at Salem and North Ave, and extended the line another six blocks south to Far Hills
and Claranna (also known as Dell Park Loop). OSRy, whose buses were delivered lettered for ODTC (Oakwood-Dayton Transit Company),
but never operated under that name, extended their line a block northward in 1949 to accommodate the three new Marmons they bought,
which could not get around the existing loop, and another three blocks south to Dorothy Lane in 1950. OSRy was eventually sold to
City Transit in Nov 1956.
The People's Railway was the third trolley bus operation in Dayton. The Cincinnati-Valley St line was converted from streetcar
to trolley bus in Oct 1936, after a series of derailments on decrepit track in the north end of Dayton. The decision for Peoples
to purchase trolley coaches was reported on January 20, 1936.
The success of the Cincinnati-Valley line begat conversion of the Lakeview-Leo line in Aug 1938, and the Main-Wayne in Aug 1940.
All People's Brill ETBs were purchased new from Brill. In March 1945 the Peoples' Railway Company, and all of
their 44 Brill ETBs, were sold to the City Railway Company. The ex-PRC Brills ran for many years afterwards, and
retained their same PRC fleet numbers. The "Coca Cola" red and cream paint was eventually replaced by the traditional City
Railway Company Gold and Yellow.
The PRC T-40 Brills had 2 General Electric 1154 motors; the T-44-S coaches had a single GE 1213 motor.