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
Bus Subsidiary:
Santa Fe Trail Transportation/Santa Fe Trailways

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
West Virginia Transportation Co.

Bangor & Aroostook Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Bangor & Aroostook Highway Division
Formed 1936, sold 1984 to Cyr Bus Line.

Boston & Maine Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Boston & Maine Transportation Co.

Central of Georgia Railway
Bus Subsidiary:
Central of Georgia Motor Transport Co.
Dates unavailable.

Central Railroad of New Jersey
Bus Subsidiary:
Jersey Central Transportation Co.
Formed 1927, sold 1957 to Somerset Bus Co.

Central Vermont Railway
Bus Subsidiary:
Central Vermont Transit Co.
Formed 1931, ceased operations in 1956.

Chicago & Alton Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Alton Transportation Co.
Formed 1927, sold 1930 to Jacksonville Bus Line.

Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Burlington Transportation Co./Burlington Trailways

Chicago & North Western Railroad
Partial Ownership:
Overland Greyhound Lines

Rock Island Lines
Bus Subsidiary:
Rock Island Motor Transit Co.
Dates unavailable.

Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Bus Subsidiaries:
Rio Grande Motor Way/Rio Grande Trailways
Denver-Colorado Springs-Pueblo Motor Way/Trailways
Denver-Salt Lake-Pacific Stages/Trailways

Great Northern Railroad
Partial Ownership:
Northland Greyhound Lines

Gulf Mobile & Ohio Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Gulf Transport Co.
Formed 1936, sold 1985.

Illinois Central Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Central Transportation Co.
Formed 1929, ceased operations in 1933.

Maine Central Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Maine Central Transportation Co.

Missouri Pacific Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Missouri Pacific Bus Lines/Missouri Pacific Trailways

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

New York Central Railroad
Partial Ownership:
Central Greyhound Lines

New York New Haven & Hartford Railroad
Partial Ownership:
New England Greyhound Lines
Bus Subsidiary:
New England Transportation Co.
Formed 1925, ceased operations in 1958.

Norfolk Southern Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Norfolk Southern Bus Co.
Formed 1928, sold 1954 to Carolina Coach Co.

Northern Pacific Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Northern Pacific Transportation Co.
Formed 1931, sold 1969.

Pennsylvania Railroad
Partial Ownership:
Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines

Reading Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Reading Transportation Co./Reading Trailways
Formed 1927, in 1955 joined Trailways, sold 1964 to various Trailways companies.

Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad
Partial Ownership:
Richmond Greyhound Lines

St. Louis San Francisco Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
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
Partial Ownership:
Southwestern Greyhound Lines

Southern Pacific Railroad
Partial Ownership:
Pacific Greyhound Lines

Spokane Portland & Seattle Railroad
Bus Subsidiary:
Spokane Portland & Seattle Transportation Co.
Formed 1924, sold 1953 to Pacific Greyhound Lines.

Union Pacific Railroad
Partial Ownership:
Overland Greyhound Lines


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