Bluehounds and Redhounds

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by Jon Hobein

Central Greyhound Lines

Dr. D.B. "Doc" Rushing

©  Copyright, 2009-10, Duncan Bryant Rushing.


 

Contents

Introduction
The First GLI
The First Central GL
The First Ohio GL
Background of the Second Central GL
The First Eastern GL
The Second and Third Central GL
The Fourth Central GL
More Growth for Central GL
The Second Ohio GL
Further Events for Central GL
Merger into Pennsylvania GL
Through-coaches on Through-routes
Meeting Other Greyhound Companies
The Fifth Central GL
The Sixth Central GL
Beyond Central GL
Conclusion
Related Articles
Bibliography


 

 

Introduction

Central Greyhound Lines is a name used in six different contexts or applications in the intercity highway-coach industry in the USA.  In each of the first five instances, the name was used for a regional operating company (that is, a division or subsidiary) of The Greyhound Corporation, the parent Greyhound firm.  In the last instance the name was used for an internal administrative department of the (second) Greyhound Lines, Inc., the (second) GLI.

The names and organizations described in this article and the changes in them, especially with regard to the large number of similar and sometimes identical names, are the most confusing and complicated ones in the history of the Greyhound Lines.

The First GLI

Late in the 1920s there were three Greyhound subsidiaries which used the name of the Greyhound Lines, Inc., the GLI.  They were the GLI of Indiana, the GLI of Ohio, and the GLI of Delaware.  Those three firms are often known collectively as the first GLI.

The Motor Transit Corporation (MTC), the original Greyhound firm, before it became renamed as The Greyhound Corporation, started a new route between Chicago, Illinois, and Indianapolis, Indiana, in February 1927, five months after its formation (as the MTC).

To comply with an Indiana statute (one which required that corporations doing business in the Hoosier State be domiciled there), the MTC in November 1926 created a wholly owned subsidiary, based in Indiana and named as the Greyhound Lines, Inc., of Indiana (the GLI of Indiana), to conduct the route between Chicago and Indianapolis, which was and is almost entirely in Indiana.

Thus the GLI of Indiana became the first business unit of the growing Greyhound empire to make a public use of the name of the Greyhound Lines.

In June 1927 the GLI of Indiana acquired and took over the Indianapolis-Cincinnati Bus Company, running between the two named cities.

In November 1926 the MTC had created also a sister subsidiary, named as the Greyhound Lines, Inc., of Ohio (the GLI of Ohio), which in November 1927 began service between Detroit, Michigan, and Cincinnati, Ohio, after taking over the Sunny South Lines.

[For a short time during 1927-28 there was also a third subsidiary (of the MTC) using the name of the Greyhound Lines, Inc. – the Greyhound Lines, Inc., of Delaware (the GLI of Delaware), which came into existence to buy the Purple Swan Safety Coach Lines, running between Chicago and Kansas City via Saint Louis, the two last in Missouri, and which became renamed as the Pickwick-Greyhound Lines, after the Pickwick Corporation bought a one-half ownership interest in that firm (hence the hyphenated name).  Then, after the dissolution of the parent Pickwick firm in 1932 during bankruptcy proceedings, Greyhound completely took over the Pickwick-Greyhound Lines, then transferred the route segment between Saint Louis and Kansas City to the Southwestern Greyhound Lines (GL) and transferred the segment between Saint Louis and Chicago to the Illinois GL (then in 1948 to the second Central GL, then in 1954 to the Great Lakes GL, which in 1957 became a major part of the fifth Central GL).]

The GLI of Indiana in September 1928 took over another firm, the Blue Goose Lines, which had made the third use of that name by the same founders, running in the Hoosier State from Indianapolis southward to Evansville and northward to Kokomo and soon onward to Fort Wayne, all four in Indiana.  The MTC bought the third Blue Goose Lines from Ralph A.L. Bogan and Swan Sundstrom, two original busmen from northern Minnesota.  [The two sellers continued as key players at Greyhound.  Bogan served eventually as the vice president of The Greyhound Corporation during the presidencies of both Carl Eric Wickman, the principal founder of Greyhound, and Orville Snow "Sven" Caesar.  Sundstrom later served as a long-time president of the Pennsylvania GL and concurrently as a vice president of the Richmond GL.  Bogan had previously used the same brand name for two other bus companies – first the Gray Motor Stage Line, running in Wisconsin, between Janesville and Watertown, then the Detroit-Toledo Transportation Company, running in Michigan and Ohio, between the two named cities.]

In 1929 the MTC became renamed as The Greyhound Corporation (with an uppercase T, because the word the was an integral part of the official name of the corporate entity).

The GLI of Indiana and the GLI of Ohio continued to develop additional routes within their own areas, mostly by buying existing properties.

The First Central GL

In 1930 The Greyhound Corporation, the parent Greyhound firm, formed two new regional operating companies – the Pennsylvania GL and the (first) Central GL.

The purpose of the Pennsylvania GL was to provide an entity in which the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) soon bought a minority interest – a subsidiary in a territory which coincided with the territory of the railway firm – so that the rail company could supplement its train service, substitute bus service in place of some of its unprofitable and marginally profitable passenger trains, and make more of its track capacity available to the more profitable freight trains.

Greyhound then redistributed the routes of the GLI of Indiana and the GLI of Ohio to the two new companies.  The east-west routes went to the Pennsylvania GL, as did the other routes paralleling other lines of the PRR.  The remaining routes (that is, those between Evansville and Indianapolis and between Detroit and Cincinnati and onward to Louisville, Kentucky) went to the (first) Central GL.

The First Ohio GL

The (first) Central GL in 1935, five years later, became renamed as the (first) Ohio Greyhound Lines [separate and different from the GLI of Ohio, which had run 1927-30, until its routes (between Evansville and Indianapolis and between Detroit and Cincinnati) became transferred to the (first) Central GL, and separate and different from the Eastern GL of Ohio (the EGL of Ohio), which had run 1930-33, until its routes (between Cleveland and Chicago, with a branch between Detroit and Toledo) became transferred to the EGL of New York].  The purpose of the renaming was to allow Greyhound to reassign the name Central to an even newer subsidiary (the second Central GL), in the Midwest and Northeast, a subsidiary in an area which coincided with the territory of another major railway company, the New York Central (NYC) System, a property in which Greyhound transferred a minority non-voting interest to the NYC System.  The Greyhound executives wanted the new company to bear a name (Central) which suggested the kinship of the Greyhound concern with the related railway firm (New York Central), as in the case of the neighboring Pennsylvania GL and the Pennsylvania Railroad.

[For several years during the 1930s the coaches of the second Central GL and the Pennsylvania GL bore, in addition to their Greyhound markings, the logos of the respective related railway companies – the oval or ellipse of the NYC System and the keystone of the "Pennsy" Railroad.]

Despite the name of the (first) Ohio GL, the firm was based in Indiana (as had been the GLI of Indiana and the first Central GL), to satisfy the statutory requirement of the Hoosier State for domestic corporations for operations there.

The (first) Ohio GL continued to increase its route network within its own area, mostly by the acquisition of existing carriers.

Background of the Second Central GL

Thus in 1935 there came into existence the second Central GL, based in Cleveland, Ohio, as a subsidiary of The Greyhound Corporation, and it continued as such until late in 1954, when it, along with the Capitol GL, became merged into the Pennsylvania GL.

[In the next year, 1955, the newly enlarged Pennsylvania GL, along with the New England GL, became renamed as the Eastern Division of The Greyhound Corporation, known also as the (second) Eastern GL, the first of four huge new divisions (along with Southern, Western, and another Central).]

The (second) Central GL in 1935 came from three major components:

  • first, the former Safety Motor Coach Lines, running from Chicago into Michigan, including the routes between Chicago and Detroit, and throughout the western part of the lower peninsula of the Wolverine State;
  • second, the several routes between Chicago and New York City via Cleveland, Ohio, including the route via Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Schenectady, and Albany, all six in the Empire State, paralleling the touted "water-level route" of the New York Central (railway) System (in contrast with the shorter but mountainous route of the Pennsylvania Railroad between Chicago and New York City via Fort Wayne in Indiana, Bucyrus, Mansfield, and Canton, all three in Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Altoona, Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Philadelphia, all five in Pennsylvania, and Trenton and Newark, both in New Jersey);
  • third, a large route network throughout upstate New York, with one extension from Albany to Montréal, Québec, Canada, and another extension from Albany to Boston via Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester, and Marlborough, all the last five in Massachusetts.

The first major part of the (second) Central GL, the Safety Motor Coach Lines, had begun in 1924, with the backing of Wickman and due to the work of Edwin "Ed" Eckstrom, an accountant, born in Ludington, Michigan, and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota.  [Eckstrom in 1917 had become an investor and participant in the Mesaba Transportation Company, based in Hibbing.  That concern was the first incorporated firm (which replaced the Hibbing Transportation Company, a partnership consisting of Eric Wickman, Ralph Bogan, and others) leading to the founding of the Greyhound empire.]

In 1926, after the Motor Transit Corporation (MTC) came into existence, its first purchase was Eckstrom's Safety Motor Coach Lines, and Eckstrom became the first president of the MTC.

[When the MTC bought the Safety Motor Coach Lines, Eckstrom's company contributed to the MTC not only the name Greyhound and the image of a greyhound dog but also the blue-and-white livery (color scheme) used on Eckstrom's coaches.  Eckstrom is said to have proposed the use of the name of the Greyhound Lines even before he left, with the support of his associates in Minnesota, to go back eastward.  For more details please see the article about the Great Lakes GL.]

In 1929 the Safety Motor Coach Lines, as a subsidiary of the MTC, took over three other subsidiaries, each of which the MTC had already bought:

  • the Interstate Stages (which had used the brand name of the Oriole Lines and had named its coaches as the Oriole Flyers),
  • the Southwestern Michigan Motor Coach Company,
  • and the YellowaY of Michigan (a part of the YellowaY-Pioneer System, bought from the American Motor Transportation Company, based in Oakland, California).

The MTC had bought each of those three other firms through its related acquisition company, named as the Automotive Investments, Inc., based in Duluth, Minnesota.

The Safety Motor Coach Lines continued, as a subsidiary of the MTC, until 1930, when it became renamed as the Eastern Greyhound Lines (EGL) of Michigan, which in 1935 became renamed as the Central Greyhound Lines (CGL) of Michigan (making the third use of the name of the Central GL), which in 1936 became a part of the main undenominated (second) Central GL, a part of which in 1948 became merged into the Great Lakes GL.

[In 1948 Greyhound transferred all the Michigan routes of the (second) Central GL, formerly those of the Safety Motor Coach Lines, to the Great Lakes GL, which had begun in 1941.]

The second major part of the (second) Central GL, the routes between Chicago and New York City via Cleveland, began in 1923, when Clark McConnell, a lawyer in Cleveland, founded the Cleveland-Ashtabula-Conneaut (CAC) Bus Company, running about 71 miles from Cleveland to Conneaut, both in Ohio, reaching to the east-northeast on the way toward Erie, Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, New York.

[McConnell and one of his associates started two significant threads of history in the motor-coach industry in the US.  McConnell had begun in the bus business in 1919 by taking part in starting two other firms in Ohio – the Cleveland-Akron Bus Company and the Cleveland-Elyria-Toledo Bus Company (which latter firm, despite its name, ran from Cleveland only as far as Norwalk, beyond Elyria but well short of Toledo).  O.B. Baskett, a former driver and sometime manager, 1919-24, for those two other firms, in 1925, after a brief stint in North Carolina, began running coaches of his own in East Tennessee between Knoxville and Johnson City, then in 1928, along with Al Kraemer, co-founded the Tennessee Coach Company (TCC).  The TCC long (1929-56) cooperated with the Atlantic GL, the Dixie GL, and, especially, the Southeastern GL, in part by running through-coaches on through-schedules in pooled interline operations.  In 1956 the TCC became a member of the Trailways association, then named as the National Trailways Bus System, and in 1966 it became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Continental Trailways.]

[While Baskett lived in North Carolina, 1924-25, he worked a short while for the Carolina Motor Coaches, which soon became a major part of the newly founded Carolina Coach Company.  The latter firm in 1940 became a member of the National Trailways association (and thus became known also as the Carolina Trailways) and in 1997 became a wholly owned subsidiary of the (second) Greyhound Lines, Inc., the (second) GLI.]

[One curious result of that last step is that now a Greyhound subsidiary (the Carolina Coach Company, still known also as the Carolina Trailways) is a member of the Trailways association, now named as the Trailways Transportation System.]

The CAC Bus Company in 1927 extended its route from Conneaut to Buffalo.

CAC in the next year, 1928, became renamed as the Great Lakes Stages (GLS), and it extended all the way to New York City – via Buffalo and Olean, all three in New York, Port Allegany, Mansfield, Scranton, and Stroudsburg, all four in Pennsylvania, and Columbia, Dover, and Newark, all three in New Jersey.  [Some of the trips of the GLS ran directly between Erie and Olean via Jamestown in the Empire State, thus bypassing Buffalo; others ran directly between Erie and Port Allegany via Warren, Pennsylvania, thus bypassing not only Buffalo but also both Jamestown and Olean.]

The GLS also developed a branch line between Erie and Pittsburgh, both in the Keystone State.

In 1929 the Motor Transit Corporation (MTC) bought the GLS, and (in a separate transaction) the MTC became renamed as The Greyhound Corporation.

The GLS in 1930 became renamed as the Eastern Greyhound Lines of Ohio (the EGL of Ohio), which was completely separate and different from three other similarly named subsidiaries:

  • the GLI of Ohio, which previously had run 1927-30 between Detroit and Cincinnati,
  • the first Ohio GL, which later ran 1935-41 between Evansville and Indianapolis and between Detroit and Louisville,
  • and the second Ohio GL, which ran 1946-48 in northeastern Ohio and in nearby areas.

The other route between Cleveland and New York City (the "water-level route" via Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Schenectady, and Albany) came into existence during the development of the set of routes described next.

The prelude to the third major part of the (second) Central GL, the routes in upstate New York (with the two extensions), began in 1913 in the Thousand Islands region, a resort area along the border between Canada and the USA, on the Saint Lawrence River, which is the outlet to the Atlantic Ocean from Lake Ontario and therefore from all five of the Great Lakes.

In 1913 Fred Dailey began service with a Cadillac open touring car between Watertown, New York, the nearest town with a train station (in the US), and Alexandria Bay, on the southern shore of the Saint Lawrence River, a distance of about 29 miles.

Dailey and others, with various degrees of success (or lack of it) developed a number of routes throughout the region.  Dailey also extended downstream from Alexandria Bay to Ogdensburg, both in the Empire State.

In 1923 Walter Aldrich and several others started a bus firm to run from Syracuse to Watertown, about 73 miles to the north.  [Aldrich already owned a firm running from Syracuse to Norwich, about 66 miles to the southeast, using Fageol (pronounced as "fad-jull", rhyming with "fragile" or "satchel") Safety Coaches.]

By the next year, 1924, Aldrich alone ran the line between Watertown and Syracuse, using Fageols, on the first highway link between that part of northern New York and the rest of the Empire State.  He also took over the two routes between Watertown and Alexandria Bay.

In 1925 a group of investors in Watertown set out to assemble a bus line between Binghamton, New York, and the Canadian border, a distance of about 180 miles.  They formed the Colonial Motor Coach Corporation, which then bought Aldrich's routes from Watertown to Syracuse and from Watertown to Alexandria Bay.

Colonial then developed routes from Watertown to Utica and to Plattsburgh (via Canton, Potsdam, and Malone) plus several branch and feeder lines, mostly by the purchase of existing firms.

By 1928 Colonial had indeed extended from Syracuse – not only just to Binghamton but also all the way to New York City – along two routes – one via Binghamton and Scranton, Pennsylvania, and one via Utica, Albany, Kingston, and Newburgh, all four in the Empire State, in part along the west shore of the Hudson River, and via Ridgewood, New Jersey.

[The route segment between Scranton and New York City, with interstate rights only (that is, without intrastate authority), duplicated one segment of the Great Lakes Stages on its route between Cleveland and New York City.]

Colonial continued to increase its route network within its area (that is, the central part of upstate New York).  Late in 1928 it extended westwardly from Syracuse to Rochester, then early in 1929 eastwardly from Albany to Boston, Massachusetts, and westwardly again from Rochester to Buffalo.

In 1928 Colonial began acquiring the intrastate rights between Syracuse and Buffalo, by buying existing firms.  That process continued until 1930, even after it became a Greyhound subsidiary.

The Motor Transit Corporation (MTC) in 1929 bought the Colonial Motor Coach Corporation, and (in a separate transaction) the MTC became renamed as The Greyhound Corporation.

Greyhound in 1930 renamed the Colonial Motor Coach Corporation as the Eastern Greyhound Lines of New York (the EGL of New York).

When the MTC took over the Colonial firm, in 1929, Greyhound made its first presence in New England (between Albany and Boston, along the entire width of Massachusetts).

Despite the extensive background described above in this section, in 1930 the second Central GL still did not yet exist, not until 1935.

The First Eastern GL

In April 1929 the Motor Transit Corporation (MTC) formed the Eastern GL (EGL), as a holding company, rather than an operating company, to own a number of Greyhound subsidiaries, both existing ones and future ones, to the east of Chicago – other than the Pennsylvania GL, in which the Pennsylvania Railroad soon acquired a large but minority interest.

As described in the previous section, in 1929 the MTC bought both the Great Lakes Stages and the Colonial Motor Coach Corporation, then in 1930 Greyhound renamed the GLS as the Eastern Greyhound Lines of Ohio (the EGL of Ohio) and renamed Colonial as the Eastern Greyhound Lines of New York (the EGL of New York).

Those two regional companies, the EGL of Ohio and the EGL of New York, became operating subsidiaries of the undenominated main (first) EGL (the holding company), as did both the EGL of Michigan (formerly the Safety Motor Coach Lines) and the EGL of New England (which began running in 1930 between Boston and New York City).

Even before the MTC completed its purchase of Colonial, a number of Colonial coaches began to appear in the Greyhound livery, including lettering for the "Colonial Greyhound Lines" (which never existed at all as a distinct or separate entity) – in part, for a short time, to take advantage of the goodwill attached to the name of Colonial.

Likewise the names of the GLS and Colonial were retained and used in public for a while.

In 1928 the MTC bought the Detroit-Toledo-Cleveland Bus Company, which served the cities named, then in 1931 Greyhound merged it into the EGL of Michigan (formerly the Safety Motor Coach Lines), then transferred that route to the EGL of Ohio (formerly the Great Lakes Stages).

Thus by 1933 Greyhound consolidated the entire service between Cleveland and Chicago (including the branch from Toledo to Detroit) in the EGL of Ohio (formerly the Great Lakes Stages).

Later in 1933, however, Greyhound transferred the routes from Cleveland to Detroit and to Chicago (from the EGL of Ohio) back into the EGL of Michigan (formerly the Safety Motor Coach Lines), then merged the remaining routes of the EGL of Ohio (formerly the Great Lakes Stages) into the EGL of New York (formerly the Colonial Motor Coach Corporation).

Thus the former GLS routes between Cleveland and New York City and all the former Colonial routes became consolidated in the EGL of New York.

[Paul Wadsworth, who had worked for Clark McConnell as the general manager of the Cleveland-Ashtabula-Conneaut (CAC) Bus Company, which in 1928 became renamed as the Great Lakes Stages, did not stay with the firm when, in 1929, Greyhound bought the GLS (and renamed it as the EGL of Ohio); instead he continued elsewhere in the industry.  With the help and support of McConnell and with the financial backing of the Van Sweringen brothers in Cleveland, through their Alleghany Corporation, the holding company which owned several major railway firms (including the Erie Railroad, the Pere Marquette Railway, the Nickel Plate Road, and the Chesapeake and Ohio, C&O, Railroad), Wadsworth, using a name which was similar but not quite identical, formed the Great Eastern Stages (GES), reassembled a number of his key former employees (from the GLS), and went into direct competition against Greyhound – first between Chicago and New York City (with a branch line between Detroit and Toledo), later also between Saint Louis and Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City, with a long branch between Cleveland and Cincinnati via Columbus.  Wadsworth affiliated his GES with The Short Line System, thus interchanging passengers with other Short Line members and subsidiaries, providing all of the Short Line connections west of the Atlantic Seaboard (the only such Short Line connections).  After The Short Line System became unraveled during the Great Depression and as a result of it, the GES also fell into irreversible financial difficulties (largely due to its lack of through-passengers).  In 1935 Greyhound bought the GES and merged the nonduplicating routes into the Greyhound network.]

The Second and Third Central GL

In 1935 The Greyhound Corporation renamed the (first) Eastern GL, a holding company, as the (second) Central GL.  The purpose of that move was to attach the name Central to the territory coinciding with that of the New York Central (railway) System (in preparation for the pending transfer of a minority interest in the new Greyhound subsidiary, the Central GL, to the NYC System).

Greyhound then renamed the EGL of Michigan (formerly the Safety Motor Coach Lines) as the CGL of Michigan (the third Central GL), as a subsidiary of the main (second) Central GL.

The CGL of Michigan (previously the Safety Motor Coach Lines) continued only until the next year, 1936, when, in a move as a part of a tax strategy, Greyhound merged it into the undenominated main (second) Central GL.

The Fourth Central GL

In 1935, in connection with the renaming of the (first) Eastern GL as the (second) Central GL, Greyhound also renamed the EGL of New York as the CGL of New York [as a subsidiary of the (second) Central GL].  Thus the CGL of New York became the fourth entity to use the name of the Central GL.

[In 1935, when the EGL, the EGL of Michigan, and the EGL of New York all became renamed (respectively as the CGL, the CGL of Michigan, and the CGL of New York), the EGL of New England continued with the same name (as the first direct subsidiary of The Greyhound Corporation), because of its location, which was and is clearly eastern rather than central, and which was outside the territory of the NYC (railway) System.]

In 1936 The Greyhound Corporation began to eliminate its multiple (and often complex) intermediate holding companies (between the parent firm and the operating companies).  The purpose of those steps was to avoid a hugely increased federal income tax on the undistributed earnings of corporate subsidiaries.  The tax increase took place under the Revenue Act of 1936, which the national Congress had passed as a means by which to cause or force a simplification of complicated corporate structures in the public-utility industries (including the transportation industries).

In that same year, 1936, Greyhound, by necessity, applied to the federal Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) for its mandatory approval to merge both the CGL of Michigan and the CGL of New York, as divisions rather than subsidiaries, into the main (second) Central GL, to convert the main CGL from a holding company into an operating company.

The ICC approved.

However, the Public-service Commission (PSC) of the State of New York, which also held jurisdiction over the activities of the CGL of New York within its own state, withheld its approval, saying that the proposed merger would jeopardize its authority over operations within its state.

Therefore the CGL of New York remained, until the end of 1955, as a separate corporate entity and as a subsidiary (of the main second CGL), but as a subsidiary of a subsidiary operating company, no longer as a subsidiary of a holding company.

In December 1955 the New York PSC finally agreed to drop its requirement for a domestic Greyhound subsidiary in New York – on the condition that Greyhound continue to obtain the vehicular base registration in New York for all the coaches assigned to the routes operating in that state.

[In 1937 The Greyhound Corporation formed the New England GL (NEGL), completely separate and different from the EGL of New England.  In 1939 the federal ICC gave its required approval, and the NEGL began operating.  In 1940 Greyhound transferred to the NEGL the routes of the EGL of New England between Boston and New York City, on which the latter firm had begun operating in 1930.  Then the EGL of New England continued running to the north of Boston, on routes which it had acquired in the meantime, to Portland, Maine, then on several lines in Maine, reaching eventually Saint Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, on the border, across from Calais, in the eastern part of Maine, until 1950, when it became merged into the NEGL.]

More Growth for Central GL

The (second) Central GL continued to develop its route network, mostly and typically, by acquiring other properties.

In 1942 the CGL of New York bought the Champlain Coach Lines, thereby gaining its routes between New York City and Montréal, Québec, Canada, including not only a branch on the east shore of the Hudson River (via Beacon, Poughkeepsie, and Hudson) between New York City and Albany but also a branch along each side of Lake Champlain (on the west side via Plattsburgh, New York, and on the east side via Rutland and Burlington, both in Vermont), between Albany and Rouse's Point, New York, at the Canadian border.

In 1946 the main (second) Central GL bought the West Ridge Transportation Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, the Buffalo and Erie Coach Corporation, thus gaining their route networks, roughly within an irregular polygon enclosed by line segments connecting Ashtabula, Erie, Buffalo, Olean, and Pittsburgh, then back to Erie.  The routes in the southwest corner of the Empire State became transferred to the CGL of New York.

The Second Ohio GL

For a short time, 1946-48, there was a small Greyhound subsidiary, named as the (second) Ohio Greyhound Lines.  It became created specifically to take over The Penn-Ohio Coach Lines Company, which had run in northeastern Ohio and in nearby parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  On 01 January 1949 it became merged into the (second) Central GL.

Further Events for Central GL

In 1947 The Greyhound Corporation finished reacquiring the remaining shares of the non-voting common stock in the Central GL which it had transferred in 1935 to the NYC System.  [It had begun to reacquire it in 1937.]

No longer having a need or wish to maintain a subsidiary coinciding with the territory of that railway firm, Greyhound next reorganized some of its routes in the Midwest and the Northeast, seeking a more efficient operation.

During 1948 The Greyhound Corporation merged the Illinois GL into the main (second) Central GL.  The routes involved, all in Illinois except into three cities on state lines, were those between Chicago and Effingham (on the way to Memphis, Tennessee, and New Orleans, Louisiana), between Chicago and Saint Louis, Missouri, between Chicago and Louisiana (not the state of Louisiana but rather the city of Louisiana, Missouri, on the state line between Missouri and Illinois and on a shortcut, bypassing Saint Louis, to Kansas City, on the state line between Kansas and Missouri), between Springfield and Champaign, both in Illinois, and between Davenport, Iowa, on the state line between Iowa and Illinois, and both Champaign and Springfield.

On the last day of 1948 Greyhound converted the main (second) Central GL from a subsidiary into a division of The Greyhound Corporation, thus ending the separate existence of the CGL as a corporate entity – after the completion of reacquiring the stock in the CGL which the NYC (railway) System had held.

Greyhound in 1949 merged into the Central GL also the Valley GL, another small short-lived (1946-49) subsidiary.  It had become created specifically to take over the Valley Public Service Company, which had run in southeastern Ohio.

Merger into Pennsylvania GL

In 1954 Greyhound merged the main (second) Central GL, plus the Capitol GL, into the Pennsylvania GL, then in the next year, 1955, Greyhound redesignated the newly enlarged Pennsylvania GL, along with the New England GL, as the Eastern Division of The Greyhound Corporation, known also as the (second) Eastern GL, the first of four huge new divisions (along with Southern, Western, and yet another Central).

Thus ended the second Central GL (as well as the Pennsylvania GL, the Capitol GL, and the New England GL), and thus began the second Eastern GL.

About the end of 1955 Greyhound merged the CGL of New York into the new Eastern Division, the (second) Eastern GL.

Thus ended the fourth Central GL.

Through-coaches on Through-routes

The main (second) CGL and the CGL of New York ran a large number of through-coaches along their own routes, including those between Chicago and Boston, Chicago and New York City, Montréal and New York City, and Buffalo and New York City.

They took part in relatively few pooled interline through-routes in the Northeast in cooperation with other Greyhound operating companies – those between Montréal and Washington and between Syracuse and Philadelphia, each with the Pennsylvania GL, between New York City and San Francisco, California, with the Overland GL and the Pacific GL, and between Cleveland and both Miami and Saint Petersburg, both in Florida, with the Atlantic GL and the Florida GL.

Starting in 1948, after receiving the routes of the former Illinois GL, the main (second) Central GL took part in several more pooled interline through-routes – those between Chicago and New Orleans, Louisiana, with the Dixie GL and the Teche GL, between Chicago and both Houston and Laredo, both in Texas, with the Southwestern GL, and between Chicago and Los Angeles, California, with the Southwestern GL and the Pacific GL.

Meeting Other Greyhound Companies

The (second) CGL and the CGL of New York met the Eastern Canadian GL to the north, the New England GL and the EGL of New England to the east, the Northland GL, the Overland GL, and the Southwestern GL to the west, the Atlantic GL, the Dixie GL, and the Southeastern GL to the south, the Great Lakes GL at several points between Chicago and Detroit, and the Pennsylvania GL at various points along many of their routes.

The Fifth Central GL

In September 1957, in another round of consolidation, Greyhound merged the Great Lakes GL with – not into but rather with – the Northland GL (NGL), a neighboring company – thus forming the Central Division of The Greyhound Corporation (known also as the Central GL, making the fifth of six uses of that name), the second of four huge new divisions (along with Eastern, Southern, and Western).  [Greyhound had already merged the Overland GL into the NGL (in the previous year, in August 1956).]

Thus ended the Great Lakes GL and the Northland GL, and thus began the (fifth) Central GL.

Later, about 1969, The Greyhound Corporation reorganized again, into just two humongous divisions, named as the Greyhound Lines East (GLE) and the Greyhound Lines West (GLW); even later, about 1975, it eliminated those two divisions, thereby leaving a single gargantuan undivided nationwide fleet throughout the US.

The Sixth Central GL

For a short time late in the 1980s, the (second) Greyhound Lines, Inc., the (second) GLI, made the sixth and last use of the name of the Central Greyhound Lines, not as an operating division or subsidiary but rather as an administrative department (in bookkeeping and other internal purposes), along with the (third) Eastern GL, the (second) Southern GL, and the (third) Western GL.

Beyond Central GL

In 1987 The Greyhound Corporation, the original umbrella Greyhound firm, which had become widely diversified far beyond transportation, sold its entire highway-coach operating subsidiary [its core bus business, known as the (second) Greyhound Lines, Inc., the (second) GLI] to a new company, named as the GLI Holding Company, based in Dallas, Texas.  The buyer was a separate, independent, unrelated firm which was the property of a group of private investors under the promotion of Fred Currey, a former executive of the Continental Trailways (later renamed as the Trailways, Inc., the TWI, also based in Dallas), which was by far the largest member company in the Trailways association (then named as the National Trailways Bus System, now named as the Trailways Transportation System).

Later in 1987 the GLI Holding Company, the new firm based in Dallas, further bought the Trailways, Inc., the TWI, its largest competitor, and merged it into the GLI.

The lenders and the other investors of the GLI Holding Company ousted Fred Currey as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the GLI after the latter firm in 1990 went into bankruptcy.

The GLI has since continued to experience difficulties and lackluster performance under a succession of new owners and new executives while continuing to reduce its level of service.  The reductions consist of hauling fewer passengers aboard fewer coaches on fewer trips along fewer routes with fewer stops in fewer communities in fewer states, doing so on fewer days (that is, increasingly operating some trips fewer than seven days per week), and using fewer through-coaches, thus requiring passengers to make more transfers (from one coach to another).

After the sale of the GLI, The Greyhound Corporation, the original parent Greyhound firm, changed its name to the Greyhound-Dial Corporation, then the Dial Corporation, then the Viad Corporation.  [The contrived name Viad appears to be a curious respelling of the former name Dial – if one scrambles the letters D, I, and A, then turns the V upside down and regards it as the Greek letter lambda – Λ – that is, the Greek equivalent of the Roman or Latin letter L.]

The website of the Viad Corporation in January 2010 makes no mention of its corporate history or its past relationship to Greyhound – that is, its origin as The Greyhound Corporation – as though to ignore or dismiss Greyhound or to escape from it.  [The GES Exposition Services, Inc., a subsidiary of the Viad Corporation, began in the 1960s as the Greyhound Exposition Services (GES).]

Conclusion

The Central Greyhound Lines, in the sense of the first five uses of the name, made major, significant, and lasting contributions to the present Greyhound route network.

Please see also any one or more of the articles (by clicking on any one or more of the links) listed in the navigational bar in the upper left part of this page.

Bibliography

Jackson, Carlton, Hounds of the Road.  Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 1984.  ISBN 0-87972-207-3.

Meier, Albert, and John Hoschek, Over the Road.  Upper Montclair: Motor Bus Society, 1975.  No ISBN (due to age of book).

Schisgall, Oscar, The Greyhound Story.  Chicago: J.G. Ferguson Publishing Company, 1985.  ISBN 0-385-19690-3.

Motor Coach Age (a publication of the Motor Bus Society), various issues, especially these:

  • August 1977;
  • March 1979;
  • September 1979;
  • October 1979;
  • May 1980;
  • April 1982;
  • July 1984;
  • July-August 1990;
  • January-February 1992;
  • March-April 1993;
  • October-December 1996;
  • October-December 1997;
  • October-December 1998;
  • October-December 1999;
  • January-March 2001.

Backfire, the corporate newspaper for the Southeastern Greyhound Lines, all issues, from January 1938 through February 1956.

Jon's Trailways History Corner, a web-based history of Trailways by Jan Hobijn (known also as Jon Hobein).

Schedules and historical data at the website of the present Greyhound Lines.



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Posted first at 00:58 EST, Sunday, 20 December 2009.
Revised most recently at 22:36 EST, Sunday, 14 November 2010.

 




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