Bluehounds and Redhounds

the History of Greyhound and Trailways






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by Jon Hobein

Great Lakes Greyhound Lines

Dr. D.B. "Doc" Rushing

©  Copyright, 2009-10, Duncan Bryant Rushing.


 

Contents

Introduction
Origin
Eastern Michigan Motorbuses
The First Ohio GL
Great Lakes GL of Indiana
Cincinnati and Lake Erie (C&LE) Transportation Company
Safety Motor Coach Lines
Motor Transit Corporation
Michigan Routes of Central GL
Great Lakes GL as a Division
New Routes for Great Lakes GL
Great Lakes GL in 1957
Merger with Northland GL
Beyond Great Lakes GL
Conclusion
Related Articles
Bibliography


 

 

Introduction

The Great Lakes Greyhound Lines (GLGL), an intercity highway-coach carrier, was a Greyhound regional operating company, based in Detroit, Michigan, USA.  It ran from 1941 until -57, when it became merged with – not into but rather with – the Northland Greyhound Lines, a neighboring company, thus forming the Central Division of The Greyhound Corporation (the parent Greyhound firm), known also as the Central Greyhound Lines (making the fifth of six uses of the name of the Central Greyhound Lines).

Origin

The Great Lakes Greyhound Lines resulted from a combination of three major components:

  • the Eastern Michigan Motorbuses,
  • the (first) Ohio Greyhound Lines (GL),
  • and the Michigan routes of the Central GL (a subsidiary of The Greyhound Corporation with the second use of the name of the Central Greyhound Lines).

That third source, the (second) Central GL, is of particular historical interest.  It had descended from, among other elements, the Safety Motor Coach Lines, in which Edwin "Ed" Eckstrom, an early investor and participant in the Greyhound development in northern Minnesota, first applied the name Greyhound, albeit in a borrowed use, to the coaches and the companies and first applied the blue-and-white livery to the coaches.

Eastern Michigan Motorbuses

The first of those three major sources, the Eastern Michigan Motorbuses (EMM), started as a subsidiary of a railroad firm.

In 1924 the Detroit United Railway (DUR) Company, an electric interurban rail carrier, formed a highway-coach subsidiary, then named as the People's Motor Coach (PMC) Company.  The purpose of the new concern was to enable its parent firm, a railway business, to reduce its operating costs and expenses and to strengthen its competitive position against an increasing number of rivals operating buses on the developing and improving roads.  [The DUR Company had already become involved in the first of its two bankruptcies and reorganizations.]

During the following years the PMC Company developed an extensive bus system, mostly by the acquisition of existing smaller companies, operating along both suburban and intercity routes.

In one notable event, late in 1924, the DUR Company bought the Detroit-Toledo Transportation Company from Ralph A.L. Bogan, another original busman from northern Minnesota.  Bogan (along with Swan Sundstrom, another early driver in Hibbing, Minnesota, and elsewhere) in 1923 had begun to use (for the Detroit-Toledo firm) the brand name, trade name, or service name of the Blue Goose Lines.  [Bogan previously had used the same brand name for one other bus company (the Gray Motor Stage Line, running in Wisconsin, between Janesville and Watertown); in 1925 he used it again for a third firm (running in Indiana, from Indianapolis southward to Evansville and northward to Kokomo and soon onward to Fort Wayne).]  The DUR Company extended the name of the Blue Goose Lines and the image of a blue goose to its entire intercity system (but not its city-transit system).

Eventually all three of those Bogan routes became segments of the growing Greyhound route network; Bogan himself continued as a key player at Greyhound, serving eventually as the vice president 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.]

Other acquired firms included the White Star Motorbus Company, the Wolverine Transit Company, the Star Motor Coach Line, and the Highway Motorbus Company.

In 1928 the DUR Company became renamed as the Eastern Michigan (EM) Railways, and the PMC Company, its highway-coach subsidiary, became renamed as the Eastern Michigan Motorbuses (EMM); then in 1931 the EM Railways went into its second and final bankruptcy and reorganization.

The renamed EMM continued to acquire other firms, including the Southern Michigan Transportation Company, the Great Lakes Motor Bus Company, and the Grosse Ile Rapid Transit Company (which had begun in 1919 as the Grosse Ile Transportation Company).

Despite the lack of success of the parent EM Railways, by 1938 the subsidiary EM Motorbuses had become the largest and most profitable intrastate bus company in the Wolverine State.

Then in 1938 The Greyhound Corporation, the umbrella Greyhound firm, bought a controlling (majority) interest in the EMM under the supervision of the receivers and the court in bankruptcy.

However, the federal Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) did not at first allow Greyhound to control the EMM or to merge it into Greyhound, not until 1941, after a change in the membership (the commissioners) of the ICC.

Because of the large size of the Eastern Michigan Motorbuses, its route network, and its operations, The Greyhound Corporation created a new subsidiary, named as the Great Lakes Greyhound Lines, which in 1941 took over the EMM.

Thus began the Great Lakes GL.

The First Ohio GL

The second of the three major sources of the Great Lakes GL was the first Ohio GL, which had run between Detroit and Louisville, Kentucky, via Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati, all three in Ohio, plus along a detached route between Evansville and Indianapolis, both in the Hoosier State.

The route segment between Louisville and Cincinnati had come from the Southland Transportation Company, which Harris Spearin, with the backing and financing of Wickman in Minnesota, had founded in 1925, after, in 1923, he sold his White Bus Lines, running three routes based in Duluth, Minnesota, to Wickman's Mesaba Motors Company (separate and different from the Mesaba Transportation Company).  [The last two firms were predecessors of the Motor Transit Corporation, which in 1929 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).]

In November 1927 the Motor Transit Corporation (MTC), before it became renamed as The Greyhound Corporation, bought the Detroit and Cincinnati Coach Lines, using the brand name, trade name, or service name of the Sunny South Lines, running between the two named cities, thereby gaining the intrastate rights in Ohio, in addition to the interstate rights, along a large part of the Greyhound route between Detroit and Cincinnati.  The MTC made that purchase through a new subsidiary, the Greyhound Lines, Inc., of Ohio (the GLI of Ohio), which then operated the new property.  [The seller of the latter firm was Walter Nisun, who had founded it, and who later, about 1934, sold to the Pennsylvania GL another of his motor-coach properties, running between Detroit and Saint Louis, Missouri, via Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, both in the Hoosier State.  Nisun had previously operated the Detroit-Chicago Motor Bus Company, which failed in 1929.  He later formed the Ni Sun Lines, which took over the defunct Nuway Lines, formerly known as the Safeway Lines, which ran in 1935 from September until December, when he sold it to the All American Bus Lines, which later became the American Buslines.  The last firm later became merged with the Burlington Trailways and became renamed as the Continental American Lines, as a subsidiary of the Transcontinental Bus System (that is, the Continental Trailways), which in 1959 first enabled the Continental Trailways to reach from coast to coast, between California and New York.]

In 1930, during the formation of the Pennsylvania GL, The Greyhound Corporation redistributed the routes of the GLI of Indiana and the GLI of Ohio – to the Pennsylvania GL and to another new subsidiary, named originally as the (first) Central GL.  The Pennsylvania GL got the east-west routes and the other routes paralleling and coinciding with those of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which made a minority investment in the Pennsylvania GL, and the (first) Central GL got the other routes (that is, the ones between Indianapolis and Evansville and between Detroit and Louisville).

The (first) Central GL in 1935 became renamed as the (first) Ohio GL, to allow Greyhound to reassign the name Central to an even newer subsidiary (the 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 Central GL and the Pennsylvania GL bore, in addition to their usual Greyhound markings, the logos of the related railway companies – the oval or ellipse of the NYC System and the keystone of the "Pennsy" Railroad.]

The (first) Ohio GL continued to increase its route network, in Ohio and Indiana, mostly by the acquisition of existing carriers.

[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.]

The GLI of Ohio, which ran 1927-30, was completely separate and different from both the first Ohio GL, which ran 1935-41, and the second Ohio GL, which ran 1946-48.

Great Lakes GL of Indiana

In 1941, shortly after the creation of the Great Lakes GL, The Greyhound Corporation renamed the Ohio GL as the Great Lakes Greyhound Lines of Indiana (the GLGL of Indiana), based still in Indiana but as a subsidiary of the main undenominated Great Lakes GL, based in Detroit.

{To comply with an Indiana statute (one which required that corporations doing business in the Hoosier State be domiciled there), Greyhound, to conduct the route between Evansville and Indianapolis, used a series of corporations based in Indiana, first the GLI of Indiana (1927-30), then the (first) Central GL (1930-35), then the (first) Ohio GL (1935-41), then the GLGL of Indiana (1941-48).  [In 1927 the Greyhound Lines, Inc., of Indiana (the GLI of Indiana) also started service between Chicago, Illinois, and Indianapolis, and it made the first public use of the name of the Greyhound Lines.]}

The GLGL of Indiana in 1947 closed the gap between its two detached routes (the one between Detroit and Louisville and the one between Evansville and Indianapolis), by obtaining authority from the State of Indiana to run between Madison and Paoli, both in the Hoosier State, thereby also providing a new direct (shortcut) through-route between Evansville and Cincinnati.  [In 1949 the GLGL of Indiana extended one trip each day in each direction on a new interlined pool route between Cincinnati and Memphis, Tennessee, in conjunction with the Dixie GL, between Evansville and Memphis.]

Cincinnati and Lake Erie (C&LE) Transportation Company

In 1945 The Greyhound Corporation bought a controlling (majority) interest in the Cincinnati and Lake Erie (C&LE) Transportation Company, which had begun in 1923 as the highway-coach subsidiary of the Cincinnati and Lake Erie (C&LE) Railroad, an electric interurban railway in western Ohio, which had ended its rail operations in 1939.  The C&LE bus firm ran on a main line between Toledo and Hamilton (a suburb of Cincinnati), including several alternate loops, plus along branch lines between Dayton and Columbus, Dayton and Delaware (a city in Ohio), Xenia and Columbus, and Lima and Springfield, all in the Buckeye State; it also ran extensive local suburban operations based in Dayton.  That purchase provided Greyhound with the valuable intrastate rights along many route segments on which it had previously held only the interstate rights.  Greyhound in 1946 got approval from the federal ICC and in 1947 merged its new property into the Great Lakes GL of Indiana.

Safety Motor Coach Lines

The last of the three major sources of the GLGL started as the Safety Motor Coach Lines.

Edwin "Ed" Eckstrom, an accountant, born in Ludington, Michigan, and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, in 1917 became 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 1923 Eckstrom acquired (from Wickman's corporation) a controlling (majority) interest in the Eastern Wisconsin Transportation Company (running between Madison and Fond du Lac, both in the Badger State), which in 1921 Wickman had financed during its founding by E.J. "Ed" Stone.  Eckstrom then went to Wisconsin and took charge of his new property.

Stone in 1924 resigned from the firm which he had founded, then he went to work as a bus salesman for the Mack Truck Company.

Shortly afterward the Eastern Wisconsin concern became sold again – to an electric interurban railway and later (the last time) to the Northland GL.

Later that same year, 1924, Eckstrom, with the backing of Wickman, founded the Safety Motor Coach Lines, starting with two Fageol (pronounced as fad-jull, rhyming with "fragile" or "satchel") Safety Coaches (hence the name of the firm, with the pleased approval of the Fageol brothers, Frank and William), running between Muskegon and Grand Rapids, both in Michigan.

Within months Eckstrom extended his route network northward to Fremont and to Ludington, both in Michigan, and to the southwest to Chicago, Illinois, via Holland, South Haven, and Benton Harbor, all three in Michigan, and Michigan City, Indiana.

Eckstrom also started a detached route, farther north in Michigan, between Petoskey and Traverse City – which he sold later, about 1926, which, in 1948, the Great Lakes GL reacquired (from the North Star Lines) – thus completing a direct through-route between Chicago and Sault Sainte Marie, in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, via Benton Harbor, Muskegon, Ludington, and Saint Ignace, all in the Wolverine State.

Eckstrom used the name Greyhound by which to refer to his coaches, and he caused that name to be painted onto them.

Eckstrom's firm also began using a logo or trademark, consisting of a running greyhound dog superimposed on a ring, which bore (on its lower half) the name "Safety Motor Coach Lines" and (on its upper half) the words "Greyhounds of the highway".

That logo began to appear on the sides of the coaches and in print ads, not only in Michigan but also later in Texas, after Eckstrom took a major leadership role in the expansion of Greyhound in the Southwest, leading to the formation of the Southwestern GL.

That logo, with only slight modifications, mostly in the inscriptions, also became the pattern for shoulder patches on the uniforms for drivers throughout the entire Greyhound system, and it continued as such until late in the 1980s.

Eckstrom also used and promoted the slogan "ride the Greyhounds".

By the end of 1925 Eckstrom's firm appeared to own and operate as many as 30 coaches, mostly Fageols plus a few Macks.

In 1927 the Safety Motor Coach Lines introduced overnight service between Chicago and Muskegon, during an era while nighttime long-distance highway running was still a rarity.

All that took place while the Ford Model T was still in production, before Henry Ford in October 1927 introduced his (second) Model A.

Motor Transit Corporation

In a crucial move on 20 September 1926, Carl Eric Wickman and his collaborators and investors in Duluth, Minnesota, formed a holding company, named as the Motor Transit Corporation (MTC), which in 1929 became renamed as The Greyhound Corporation.

The MTC, a holding company, promptly began to buy controlling interests in operating companies in the highway-coach industry in a growing number of parts of the US.

The MTC on 15 October 1926 first bought the Safety Motor Coach Lines, which in 1924 Ed Eckstrom had founded.

On the same day the MTC bought also a controlling interest in the Interstate Stages, using the brand name, trade name, or service name of the Oriole Lines, running in part between Chicago and Detroit via South Bend and Elkhart, both in Indiana.  [The coaches were known as Oriole Flyers.]

Ed Eckstrom then served as the first president of the MTC.

[However, in 1927 Wickman next sent Eckstrom to Fort Worth, Texas, where he took over two other firms – the Southland Transportation Corporation, which the MTC had started, and the Red Ball Motor Bus Company, which the MTC had bought – which two firms later became major parts of the Southwestern GL.]

During that era many bus companies used the names of animals, often coupled with the names of colors, by which to refer to the buses, the companies, or both (such as Cardinal, Oriole, Blue Goose, Purple Swan, Blue Bird, Eagle, Jackrabbit, and Thorobred) along with colored objects (such as Red Ball, Green Line, Gold Seal, White Star, Silver Line, and Red Arrow) – and, inevitably perhaps, Greyhound.

Several early operators used the word greyhound.  For instance, one firm, named as the Greyhound Bus Line, running in eastern Kentucky from Ashland to Paintsville and to Mount Sterling, was one of the carriers in 1928 bought by and merged into the Consolidated Coach Corporation, which began using the brand name of the Southeastern Greyhound Lines in 1931, and which became renamed as the Southeastern Greyhound Lines in 1936.

According to the best information now available, Ed Stone of the Eastern Wisconsin Transportation Company made the first such use of the word greyhound directly traceable into the Motor Transit Corporation (which in 1929 became renamed as The Greyhound Corporation), for Stone had informally referred to his coaches as greyhounds, commenting on the resemblance of them to sleek, swift, slender, graceful hounds.

Many authors, observers, and bus historians have credited Ed Eckstrom, with his flair for promotion and marketing, with the first use of the name Greyhound in a way which became the name of the once-great company.

It's true that Eckstrom took the use of the name Greyhound into the MTC when the MTC bought Eckstrom's Safety Motor Coach Lines.

However, it appears that Eckstrom had gotten that use from E.J. Stone when Eckstrom took over the Eastern Wisconsin Transportation Company.

When the MTC bought Eckstrom's Safety Motor Coach Lines, Eckstrom and his 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 Wisconsin, with the support of his associates in Minnesota, to go eastward.]

In 1928 the MTC bought the Southwestern Michigan Motor Coach Company, which had recently become formed, to acquire most of the routes of the Shore Line Motor Coach Company, a subsidiary of an Insull railway property, to the east of Gary, a suburb of Chicago in the northwest corner of Indiana.  Those routes consisted of one between Chicago and Detroit via Kalamazoo, Michigan, an alternate one between Chicago and Grand Rapids via Benton Harbor, and one between South Bend, Indiana, and Detroit (which extended and made connections with a railway route).  [The last bus route, between South Bend and Detroit, no longer operates; however, the last rail route, between Chicago and South Bend, still runs in 2010, now under the name of the South Shore Line.]

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 (using former-Insull routes),
  • 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 of Michigan (the EGL of Michigan), which in 1935 became renamed as the Central Greyhound Lines of Michigan (the 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 1930, when the name of the EGL of Michigan came into use, the firm owned and operated a combined fleet of about 135 coaches.

Michigan Routes of Central GL

Starting in 1935, the (third) Central GL (the CGL of Michigan) and then soon, starting in 1936, the main undenominated (second) Central GL operated all the Greyhound routes in Michigan, including the heavy traffic between Chicago and Detroit, as well as the likewise heavy mainline traffic between Chicago and New York City via Cleveland, Ohio, including the route via Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany, all in the Empire State, paralleling the touted "water-level route" of the New York Central (railway) System.  [The (second) Central GL ran also 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, and Worcester, all the last four in Massachusetts.]

In 1947 The Greyhound Corporation finished reacquiring the remaining shares of the non-voting common stock in the Central GL which in 1935 it had transferred 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.

Great Lakes GL as a Division

On 31 December 1948 the Great Lakes GL became a division, rather than a subsidiary, of The Greyhound Corporation, thus losing its separate corporate existence.  Then Greyhound merged the GLGL of Indiana (the smaller Indiana corporation) into the main undenominated Great Lakes GL (as a new division of the parent firm) and transferred into the Great Lakes GL all the Michigan routes (including the ones reaching to Chicago) of the (second) Central GL.  [By that time the State of Indiana had ended its requirement for domestic corporations there.]

The new division, the Great Lakes GL, took over all the coaches of both previous Great Lakes firms (that is, both the GLGL and the GLGL of Indiana, both the main firm and the Indiana subsidiary) plus all the coaches previously assigned to the Michigan routes of the (second) Central GL.

New Routes for Great Lakes GL

During 1954-55, in connection with the merger of the (second) Central GL into the Pennsylvania GL and the redesignation of the enlarged Pennsylvania GL (along with the New England GL) as the new (second) Eastern GL, The Greyhound Corporation transferred three groups of routes in Illinois and Indiana to the Great Lakes GL:

  • first, all the Illinois routes of the (second) Central GL (formerly the routes of the Illinois GL) – that is, for the most part, 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 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, on the state line between Iowa and Illinois, and both Champaign and Springfield;
  • second, the route between Detroit and Indianapolis via Fort Wayne and Kokomo, from the Pennsylvania GL;
  • third, the important bridge route between Chicago and Evansville via Danville, Illinois, and Terre Haute and Vincennes, both in Indiana, plus a branch line from Paris, Illinois, to Paducah, Kentucky, from the Pennsylvania GL (a pair of routes acquired in 1954 with the purchase of the Southern Limited from the Fitzgerald brothers).

Great Lakes GL in 1957

By 1957 the Great Lakes GL reached as far to the north as Sault Sainte Marie, on the upper peninsula of Michigan, as far to the east as Port Huron and Detroit, both in Michigan, and Columbus, Ohio, as far to the south as Louisville and Paducah, both in Kentucky, and Evansville, Indiana, and as far to the west as Davenport, Iowa, and Saint Louis and Louisiana, both in Missouri.

It met the Eastern Canadian GL (in Saint Ignace, Port Huron, and Detroit), the Northland GL (in Saint Ignace and Chicago), the new (second) Eastern GL (in Chicago, Toledo, and Columbus), the Atlantic GL (in Columbus and Cincinnati), the Southeastern GL (in Cincinnati, Louisville, Evansville, Paducah, Effingham, Springfield, and Saint Louis), the Southwestern GL (in Saint Louis and Louisiana), and the Overland GL (in Chicago and Davenport).

The Great Lakes GL took part in a number of major interlined through-routes (using pooled equipment in cooperation with other Greyhound companies) – that is, the use of through-coaches on through-routes running through the territories of two or more Greyhound regional companies – including these:

  • connecting Detroit with Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, via Sault Sainte Marie in Michigan, with Duluth in Minnesota, via Saint Ignace in Michigan, and with Charleston in West Virginia, Memphis and Nashville, both in Tennessee, Mobile and Birmingham, both in Alabama, New Orleans in Louisiana, and Jacksonville, Miami, and Saint Petersburg, all three in Florida;
  • connecting Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with Minneapolis, Minnesota, via Detroit and Chicago, with Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, via Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis, and with Miami and Saint Petersburg, both in Florida, via Detroit;
  • connecting Chicago with Memphis in Tennessee, New Orleans in Louisiana, Laredo in Texas (via Dallas and San Antonio, both in Texas), and Los Angeles, California, via Louisiana and Kansas City, both in Missouri;
  • connecting Buffalo, New York, with both Chicago and Saint Louis, both via Detroit and Saint Thomas, Ontario, Canada;
  • connecting Cincinnati with Memphis via Evansville.

Merger with Northland GL

In September 1957, in another round of consolidation, The Greyhound Corporation further 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).

The administrative headquarters functions of the Great Lakes GL moved from Detroit to Minneapolis, the home of the NGL.

The Northland GL had reached as far to the north as Sweetgrass, Montana, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, as far to the east as Saint Ignace in Michigan, Milwaukee in Wisconsin, and Chicago, as far to the south as Chicago, Dubuque in Iowa, and Sioux City in South Dakota, and as far to the west as Sweetgrass, Great Falls, Helena, and Butte, all four in Montana.

It had met (to the west) the Northwest GL, (to the north) the Western Canadian GL and the Eastern Canadian GL, (to the east and south) the Great Lakes GL and the (second) Eastern GL (formerly the Central GL and the Pennsylvania GL), and (to the south) the Overland GL.

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

Beyond Great Lakes 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.

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 Great Lakes GL made a major, significant, and lasting contribution 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:

  • November 1984;
  • November-December 1989;
  • July-August 1990;
  • April-June 1995;
  • October-December 1997;
  • October-December 1998;
  • October-December 1999;
  • January-March 2001;
  • January-March 2002.

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 17:34 EST, Saturday, 05 December 2009.
Revised most recently at 13:58 EST, Saturday, 13 November 2010.

 




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