1950-59 EQUIPMENT PHOTOS (Page 2)
FOR D.S.R. 1950'S GM "Old-Look" PHOTOS (PAGE 3) CLICK-ON "NEXT" (Below)
© 2006 (PAGE LAST MODIFIED ON 06-20-10 (addition 10-10-11))
In this 1960 photo, the operator of coach #9117 gets a chance to read the newspaper while he's
laying-over at the beginning of the Grand River line.  This coach is just south of the Garfield
Loop turn-around on Grand River, north of Seven Mile Road in Redford Township (two blocks
west of the Detroit city limits).  Coach #9117 will soon be headed downtown for "City Hall," well,
actually to Capitol Park, which is now six blocks from the newly opened City-County Building.
[photo courtesy of the Krambles-Peterson archive collection: GM Andersen photo]
After having been praised by the DSR general manager as being more cost-efficient than gas buses,
and even though public opinion polls conducted by the DSR in 1952 showed that the electric
trolley-buses on both the Crosstown and Grand River lines were well liked by its riders (who wanted
more on other lines), the DSR made a sudden about-face.  In 1955, the DSR announced that the
"trackless" trolley-coaches were a "mistake" and should never have been purchased.  Instead, the
DSR now favored purchasing GM diesel coaches.  Plans to expand electric bus service to other lines,
including the Jefferson line
(a former PCC rail line), were then abandoned.
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Detroit D.S.R. (Department of Street Railways)
This photo of DSR St. Louis Car Company built trolley-coach #9137 — taken in November of
1961— looks north along Schaefer Highway at Grand River.  Coach #9137 has either just pulled-
out from the nearby Coolidge Terminal, or has just short-turned at Schaefer, and is south on
Schaefer, about to turn onto Grand River and begin southbound service into downtown Detroit.
Just one year later, the Grand River line would be converted over to 100% diesel bus operation.
[Scalzo collection photo, courtesy of Tom's Trolley Coach Pictures—Detroit, MI]
The long length of the Grand River line (14 miles one-way) resulted in a number of short-turns
along the route.  One such short-turn was at Southfield Road.  In this slide-film image, trolley-
coach #9162
(sporting its ivory with green trimming paint scheme) loops on Southfield Road,
just north of Fenkell, for its return trip back downtown.  This short-turn was removed in 1960 to
make way for the new Southfield Expressway, which was dug right through this center median.
[slide-photo image courtesy of the S. Sycko photo collection]
Throughout their entire service life, the St. Louis Car Company built trolley-coaches were all
housed outdoors at the Coolidge Terminal.  In this photo, a number of these electric buses can
be seen lined-up along the Coolidge back-dock area, sporting both the old and new liveries.
[James Alain photo courtesy of Tom's Trolley Coach Pictures—Detroit, MI]
After the elimination of the Southfield Road short-turn in 1960, a replacement short-turn was
installed about one mile to the west—just west of Outer Drive.  After passing Outer Drive, the
coaches would veer along a separate center-lane overhead and loop via left on Puritan, north on
Evergreen and back to Grand River.  Outbound coaches would display a metal "OUTER DRIVE"
sign in the windshield.  In the above photo, coach #9178 is seen turning off Evergreen Road
onto Grand River Avenue for the southbound return trip back to downtown Detroit.
[James Alain photo courtesy of of Tom's Trolley Coach Pictures—Detroit, MI]
In late 1955, the DSR opened its new redesigned bus shelter and waiting station in Capitol Park.
This circa 1960 photo shows two of the Grand River trolley-coaches laying-over northbound on
Shelby north of State Street in Capitol Park.  The two coaches can be seen sporting both the old
(cream with red trim) and the new (ivory with green trim) DSR color schemes.
[photo courtesy of Tom's Trolley Coach Pictures—Detroit, MI]
In this photo, coach #9173 can be seen traveling eastbound on Grand River, between Seven and
Six Mile Roads.  Beginning March 11, 1956, trolley-coach service hours were reduced, and now
operating only during weekday daytime hours.  Sadly, after only eleven years of service, Grand
River trolley-coach service came to an end on Friday, November 16, 1962.  The cars were never
sold to other transit properties and were scrapped.  The GM take-over in Detroit was on the way!
[Joe Testagrose collection photo, courtesy of Tom's Trolley Coach Pictures—Detroit, MI]
Just like a streetcar, a trolley-coach draws its electricity from suspended overhead wires using
spring-loaded trolley poles.  A streetcar normally uses one wire and one pole, and utilizes the
track as the return part of the electrical path, but a trolley-bus requires two wires and two poles
to complete its electrical circuit.  But from time to time, mishaps occur and the trolley pole
jumps off the overhead wire, requiring the operator to exit the coach and return the pole back to
the power line.  That's evidently what occurred in the above photo when coach #9101 attempted
to turn off Grand River onto Schaefer during its pull-in trip to the nearby Coolidge Terminal.
[James Alain photo courtesy of Tom's Trolley Coach Pictures—Detroit, MI]
During the late 1950s, a number of the St. Louis trolley-coaches were repainted with the new
DSR redesigned paint scheme of ivory with green trim, first introduced by the DSR on its GM
"old-look" diesel buses delivered in 1956.  Coach #9136 is seen here sporting this new livery
while south along Hubbell Street, just south of Grand River, on its pull-in trip to the Coolidge
Terminal.  The Grand River pull-ins from the north end of the line short-turned at Schaefer, via
south on Hubbell, east on Schoolcraft and north on Schaefer to the garage, all while in service.
[photo courtesy of Tom's Trolley Coach Pictures—Detroit, MI]
THE 1920's
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THE 1930's
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THE 1940's
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THE 1950's
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THE 1960's
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THE 1970's
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THE 1980's
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THE 1990's
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THE 2010's
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THE 2000's
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