Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Our newest bus on the floor on the Museum is a 1951 Fitzjohn on loan to us by Wolf's Bus Lines, Inc. of York Springs, PA, a very respected Pennsylvania charter and tour operator who bought the vehicle new in 1951. It was operated in local service from Carlisle to Mechanicsburg and in local service around Carlisle through the late 1960s. They restored the vehicle and are proud to loan it to us.

Fitzjohn buses were manufactured in Muskegon, Michigan, from 1927 until 1958. During the period in which they were built, deliveries were made to various transit and intercity properties all over the US. Some rather large deliveries were made to Mexican and Canadian operators as well.

Fitzjohn's intercity buses were operated by various members of the National Railways Bus System but we have no records of any of them running in Greyhound fleets. They were, perhaps, more famous for their city buses such as the model FTG that we have on display. City buses, produced by Fitzjohn, were low-cost, low-maintenance, and affordable buses. A lot of their repeat business was with Western Pennsylvania operators, especially in the greater Pittsburgh area.

Prior to the creation of the current Port Authority in Pittsburgh in the early 1960s, there were 28 private bus companies offering transit services to various areas in Pittsburgh and vicinity. Most of them had Fitzjohn buses in their fleets--with varying engine types (Fitzjohn offered gas or diesel powerplants by several engine manufacturers). They were common sights on Pittsburgh streets. Hope you have a chance to visit the Museum while this restored bus is on the Floor? If not, then take the time to visit us. We are open 7 days a week, 9-5 pm.

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