Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by donredhead
Pennsy in the end was known for tactics to kill passenger rail by leaving the heat in the summer and no heat in the winter but what little is known is that the Pennsy helped turn Greyhound from a regional Minnosota carreir (Started in Missabe MN) to a national network using its own funding way back in 1930. Why was the Greyhound Station built next to Penn Station in Pittsburgh? Did they see the end of train service that far back? Well here perhaps is the answer-
from--http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... -2,00.html
When a $4,000,000 issue of Greyhound bonds was offered last month, large holders of the common stock were disclosed to be Pennsylvania, Southern Pacific, Insull interests, Goldman Sachs Trading Corp., Automotive Investments, Inc. How much each holds and especially how much Penn, has remained a closely guarded secret.

*Great Northern sold 2/3 of its interest in Northland to Greyhound Corp. in 1929.
  by Gilbert B Norman
No question whatever, railroads had interests in intercity bus operators as early as the 1920's. In addition to the noted Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines (PRR) and Pacific Greyhound Lines (SP), the New Haven has an interest in Trailways of New England. Boston & Maine had Boston & Maine Transportation' they also had an interest in an airline; Boston-Maine Airways.

All of this establishes that the railroad industry knew the writing was on the wall much...much earlier than is held by the contemporary railfan community. WWII provided a "spike' and possibly gave the roads false hope into what lead them into one of the poorest "market reading" and resulting investments that industry has made - namely the substantial "post-war' passenger train reequipping.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Fri May 22, 2009 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by TomNelligan
To add one further note to Mr. Norman's comments, the New Haven Railroad's New England Transportation Company subsidiary operated both bus service and LCL (less than carload) truck freight service as early as the 1920s, and insofar as regulatory agencies permitted, the NH steadily shifted some of its branchline business to NETC through the 1930s. Had it not been for the regulatory requirements of the time, there would have been even more of that sort of thing by the NH and other companies. Railroads were and are for-profit businesses (or try to be, anyway) and anything that would cut costs while maintaining revenue was a fair tactic. There are many other examples from the early and middle 20th century of railroad involvement with highway and even air affiliates (like Boston & Maine Airways).
  by JimBoylan
While 1890s railroads usually fought interurban trolley line expansion, shortly after that erA, Pennsylvania Railroad helped finance the trolley line along Lincoln Hwy. between Downingtown and Coatsville, Pa., to help get rid of the 5 intermediate local stations. One, Thorndale, recently regained passenger service under S.E.P.T.A.
  by Tadman
Mod Note: Thank you for an insightful post, but please remember this is the Amtrak forum and not the "general public transport" forum. I'm moving it to PRR.
  by BaltOhio
Under W. W. Atterbury, the PRR was quite enlightened, at least as far as intermodal services were concerned. Not only did it share ownership of Pennsylvania Greyhound (and had joint or adjoining rail-bus stations at numerous locations, including Penn Station in New York), but was involved in the famous coast-to-coast rail-air service and also pioneered in freight containerization. NYC, by the way, also had Central Greyhound Lines. By the early '30s, several large railroads clearly saw the lousy economics of local passenger train service and either formed their own bus subsidiaries (as the NH) or participated in a joint Greyhound operation.
  by JimBoylan
At one time, the North end of 30th St. Station, Philadelphia was a Greyhound depot. Later, it was moved to where part of Broad St. Station used to be.
Even in 1972, the same agent at Harrisburg, Pa. sold both Trailways and Amtrak tickets. The Greyhound agent was on the other side of the waiting room.
  by philipmartin
A lot of Greyhound drivers used the railroad YMCA on the eighth avenue side of the old Penn Station, New York, along with the railroaders. Officially, drivers could deadhead on our trains, and train crews could deadhead on busses. Unofficially, everybody else who had a Pennsy pass, including me, could ride the busses.
I took a steamship to Europe one time, and I found out that the Pennsy had an interest in that too. I might have been able to get a reduced fare on the boat because of my Pennsy connection.
I rode a Greyhound between Oakloand and San Francisco another time, and asked the driver if he would carry me on my Pennsy (New York Division) pass. They carried the local railroaders out there, but because he was employed by a different Greyhound company than the one he was driving for at the time, he didn't know. But he carried me.
  by TREnecNYP
My eyes i feel have been opened, combining this bit of info with other things like the great streetcar conspiracy.....

I think what ultimately killed off these 'roads was not bus or car, it was the government regulation and fees and such.

Knowing all of this i feel that the entire rail network including trollies should have been nationalized during ww2. This would have kept much pax service intact, and increased preference for rail freight vs truck (tax breaks etc).

They messed up now we are paying for their mistakes. At least this time around we have the advantage of government run services, but of course no one wants to pay taxes to improve their own quality of life.

- A
  by 2nd trick op
When this question is examined in the light of the economic facts of the day, nobody comes across as looking like much of a villain; local public transport in rural areas eroded because of the availability of the auto and the shrinking percentage of the public who did not drive, pure and simple.

I grew up in Berwick/Nescopeck, Penna, in the Susquehanna Valley (North Branch) halfway between Sunbury and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 1950, Pennsy and Lackawanna still operated three "accomodation" locals on this route, and each road's public timetable listed the schedules on the line on the other side of the river. Bus service offered four north-south departures in each direction. and the Edwards Lakes-to-Sea buses offered at least two departures daily on a direct New York-Wiilliamsport Cleveland service. PRR schedules also listed bus service to Lewisburg and State College on Penna Route 45, which paralelled its Bellefonte Branch (Mixed train also available daily except Sunday).

All the accomdation trains came off in late winter of 1952-53, but the bus service wasn't affected until the social stigma of women driving alone and the passing of the last generation reluctant to drive really took hold in the 1960's. Greyhound and Trailways (Edwards' successor) began cutting schedules drastically around 1980.

Bt the time I took a fling at operating the combined Greyhound/Trailways agency in Berwick 1992-1993, service was down to two daily Greyhounds in each direction north-south, and two Trailways, which ran only as far west as Williamsport. It has since stabilized, but I don't look for the current fuel problems to bring any further revival.
  by walt
One other thing to remember, though this may apply more to the traction companies, than to the PRR: The development of the motor bus began with the jitneys which were unregulated operations, often involving the use of touring cars. Jitney operators would often parallel interurban lines during peak periods and "pick off" riders which the interurbans needed to make up for the almost empty traction cars which ran during off peak periods. The better ( ie more profitable) of the jitney operations became some of the first bus companies, and developed the motor bus as we know it. One of the tactics employed by the more solvent traction companies to fight off the jitney-motor bus competition, was for the traction company to simply form its own bus company to operate in the area of its rail lines. The tractions often attempted to freeze out the independent bus operations so that they could maintain control of transit operations in the areas being served by their trolleys. This was the genesis of the involvment of railways, both interurban and mainline, in operating bus systems. The irony is that in many cases the bus operations outlasted the rail operations, and took over operation of entire systems when the rail operations were abandoned. ( Ex. the Cincinnati & Lake Erie Bus Company took over the routes of the Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad in 1938 when the railroad ( interurban) was abandoned.--- The C&LE Bus Company was ultimately sold to Greyhound following WWII)