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ETS History


M. Parsons
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Something that's been on my To Do list for along time.. write up some sort of history on ETS.

Started off with the articulated bus.

I already have an (out dated) section on Barp with a history of artic buses in Edmonton... this is an update/ rebuilding of that.

Not complete yet... but I decided I should probably go to bed at some point...

Presently, all 3 transit agencies in the Edmonton area operate articulated buses. St. Albert Transit was the first to purchase any articulated buses, but Edmonton Transit tested a number of articulated buses from the late 1970's through to the 1990's.

The first articulated buses to operate on Edmonton streets were 3 foreign built buses. 1 was a Volvo/ Hess #101 used from August 1977 until about July 1978. #101 then headed off to Calgary for a period of time, while 2 MAN buses were tested in Edmonton. These 2 were #102 a SG 220- 16.5, and 103 a SG 220- 18. 16.5 and 18 referred to the buses length in meters. Both buses were powered by a MAN 6 cylinder 220 HP diesel engine, mounted horizontally underneath the floor, and a 3 speed automatic transmission.

While Edmonton would purchase neither MAN or Volvo buses, however, a number of US systems would. King County Metro (Seattle) purchased 2 batches of the diesel version, and one batch of trolleybuses. Chicago also purchased a fleet of MAN articulated buses, among other US systems.

Edmonton Transit's next articulated bus was a GM model TA-60102N bus. The bus used for this demo was Mississauga #5001 which at the time was being used on a cross Canada demo tour. This bus was demoed in Edmonton during at least a part of August 1982. This bus appears to have been used on the route 9, the route that ETS's first articulated buses would run on. The TA-60102N was only purchased by Ontario transit systems and was partially funded by Ontario government. The last TA-60102N was retired from service in 2007 by the Hamilton Street Railway after the arrival of DE60LFR buses. 2 are so far persevered. #XXXX by OC Transpo, and ex Mississauga #5034 by Scott Richards of Regional Transit Services of Riverside California.

Sometime around 1985 Edmonton Transit had on demo a Crown/ Ikarus articulated bus which was built as Portland Tri-met #781. This bus was equipped with a wheelchair lift, probably making it the first accessible bus that Edmonton Transit ran. Ikarus partnered with Orion to market an articulated bus in Canada that was known as the Orion III. The Orion III was only purchased by the TTC and OC Transpo.

The next articulated bus to visit Edmonton was the New Flyer D60 demo fueled by methanol. This bus was also involved in a cross Canada tour. This particular buses ended up being converted to diesel and sold to Community Transit of Everett, Washington. It was retired and sold to 911 Film Cars of BC where it resides today, being used in movies.

In 1991 St. Albert Transit received 3 New Flyer D60's, #801-803, followed by a further 3 more in 1995, #804-806. The 1995's had only 1 exit door vs. the 2 on the 1991's, wheelchair lifts, and larger destination signs. All 6 buses were rebuilt, with the 1995's receiving the new StAT logo. The 1991's were slated for retirement with the delivery of the 2006 D60LF's. However, growing ridership and the general poor condition of a number of earlier D40LF's prompted St. Albert Transit to retire #843-845 instead.

Strathcona County Transit was the next system to purchase articulated buses. The prototype D60LF was purchased from New Flyer, built in 1995. It was numbered as Strathcona #950. This bus originally operated with a roller destination sign, which was replaced with a Bailos sign in 2000. #950 also sported a vinyl wrap for XXXX for a period of time. In XXXX the bus was rebuilt, ensuring it's operation for at least a few more years to come. It does have one obvious difference than any other D60LF ever built- all of the hoses and cable running above the articulation joint. This bus has almost always been limited to peak hour work. Once articulated buses started holding down the midday departure from Edmonton on the hour, the 2001 D60LF's had been delivered.

Following 950, Strathcona County Transit purchased a D60 that was numbered 951. This bus was an ex New Flyer demonstrator, built to Mississauga specs including the 4 leaf double stream exit doors, A/C and parameter seating in a large portion of the bus, with brown vinyl seat inserts. The bus did run in it's blue/ red stripe paint scheme before eventually being repainted into the Strathcona colours. As delivered, the bus had a 6V92TA engine and ZF 4HP500 transmission. The transmission has since been changed to a Allison HTB-748. Window cards were used for route identification until a Bailos destination sign was installed. After retirement, it's believed this sign ended up in #953. In 2001 #951 was involved in a minor accident which required the replacement of a body panel that was never repainted.

These 8 articulated buses were the only ones operating into Edmonton until 2001. In 2001 ETS's first order of articulated buses arrived. 6 New Flyer D60LF model buses, #4900-4905. They arrived during April/ May 2001, with 4901 being the last one to arrive close to the end of May. These buses entered service on June 11, 2001. Until they entered service they were easy to find along the route 9 where they would be doing driver training. ETS also took the opportunity of testing the buses along other routes, including the route 66. Imagine my surprise to look out a window at school and watch a D60LF turn onto Mill Woods Road from Lakewood Rd. South!! These 6 buses are powered by the Detroit Diesel Series 50 engine, Allison XXXX transmission and Bailos destination sign.

ETS followed up the first 6 D60LF's with 7 more #4906-4912 that were delivered during August 2004. These buses had the Cummins ISL engine, the first ETS buses to have this engine. They also had Luminator destination signs that were now standard for ETS buses.

ETS's articulated buses originally operated on the route 9, Monday to Friday from the start of service until after the afternoon peak hour, as well as Park N' Ride services. With the additional vehicles, ETS operated two route 100 morning peak trips with articulated buses, as well as every regular 9 (non peak hour or short turn). The articulated buses are now used on every second trip on Saturday's on the route 9 as well.

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Strathcona County Transit was the next system to purchase articulated buses. The prototype D60LF was purchased from New Flyer, built in 1995. It was numbered as Strathcona #950. This bus originally operated with a roller destination sign, which was replaced with a Bailos sign in 2000. #950 also sported a vinyl wrap for XXXX for a period of time. In XXXX the bus was rebuilt, ensuring it's operation for at least a few more years to come. It does have one obvious difference than any other D60LF ever built- all of the hoses and cable running above the articulation joint. This bus has almost always been limited to peak hour work. Once articulated buses started holding down the midday departure from Edmonton on the hour, the 2001 D60LF's had been delivered.

Following 950, Strathcona County Transit purchased a D60 that was numbered 951. This bus was an ex New Flyer demonstrator, built to Mississauga specs including the 4 leaf double stream exit doors, A/C and parameter seating in a large portion of the bus, with brown vinyl seat inserts. The bus did run in it's blue/ red stripe paint scheme before eventually being repainted into the Strathcona colours. As delivered, the bus had a 6V92TA engine and ZF 4HP500 transmission. The transmission has since been changed to a Allison HTB-748. Window cards were used for route identification until a Bailos destination sign was installed. After retirement, it's believed this sign ended up in #953. In 2001 #951 was involved in a minor accident which required the replacement of a body panel that was never repainted.

Nice article. . but you forgot about my favourite, 950 1/2!!!

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  • 2 months later...

Final Years of TDH-5303's.

This is more of a recollection of memories than anything else.

First off... I'l start by saying that I'm not 100% certain of final garage assignments for 5303's... Although certainly the last handful I do know.

Secondly... ETS received 129 D40LF's between 1998 and 1999. Sure, a lot of buses were retired, but no where near 129 (just consider that 129 buses could have caused every 500 to be retired, as well as 29 400's. There were less than 29 400's in service in 1998). Hence, random retirments could occur at any point from September 1998 and on. Although, the 200's rebuild started in 1998 with 227.

Thirdly... I'll mainly deal with the 1966 and 1967 TDH-5303's. I don't recall seeing, or even riding many, if any, 1964 5303's.

Fourthly... A lot of my photographs and spottings were done on days I didn't have school. That meant January and June during exams, as well as PD days. Often at Christmas, and during summer, the oldest GM's were parked.

A lot of Ferrier's TDH-5303's met an early end... If you consider the Fall of 1999 "early". 515, however, managed to hang on until May or June of 2000, before being put in the Davies Compound. 515 did not return to service that Fall like a lot of other buses in that compound did. 515 was briefly joined by 514 which was being used in a non revenue service roll for the 2000 Bus Rodeo in May 2000. 514 returned to Westwood. I last photographed it on November 17, 2000.

506 and 510 were the last of the 1966's. Both ran out of Westwood. 506 I believe was the first retired. Early Fall 2000 comes to mind, while, December 2000 was aorund when 510 was retired (along with 519).

I'm not too sure when 513 went, although, like around December 2000 as well. I'm also not to sure on #527.

On June 28, 2000 I shot 510, 511, 513, 514, 519, and 523 pulling out of Westwood that day. Might have got 506 that day as well, although, I did get it in service in September 2000.

511 hung around Westwood for awhile. I believe it was in operation into 2001.

While Westwood had the most 5303's going into 2000... It was one of Mitchell's two that hung on the longest. #531 lasted until Nov. 2001 in service. My last ride on it was a route 100 from Downtown to WEM in Oct. 2001. 531 had had some marker lights added at some point in it's life, but, retained it's original tailgate (big light, small light on each side) until the end. A lot of 5303's had a large orange light replacing the lower, small, red light.

Attached ar a few random 5303 and 5307N pics.

Retirements:

- A lot of buses that ran at Ferrier lasted only until 1999.

494 and 497 were retired in 1998. I remember riding a 400 during the midday in the summer of 1998.

498 showed up at Ferrier in 1998.

501 showed up in Davies, before being put into Ferrier.

502 I did get pics of in November 1999, but it was retired by December. All of the above were Westwood as far as I can tell.

503 I remember being Ferrier bus.

505 was Ferrier as well.

506-510 were probably Ferrier as well. As I noted, Ferrier seemed to get rid of old buses first and I suspect 506 and 510 were sent to Westwood.

507-509 showed up retired in the Ferrier Compound around the same time. Maybe it was just easiest for Ferrier to retire buses as the Compound was next door to them.

511- I have noted as lasting into 2001.

512- 1998

513- Don't remember much, but this bus lasted until late 2000 at Westwood.

514- Photos show it as a Westwood bus, then it lurked outside of Ferrier for a few months in 2000, before being used to transport stuff for the 2000 Bus Rodeo. Went back to Westwood, ran there into Nov 2000 (photographed Nov. 17, 2000).

515- Last 5303 out of Ferrier. I believe it got parked in the Davies Compound, but didn't return in the Fall.

516- Seem to remember this being a Ferrier bus. Retired 1999.

517- I remember that one being a Ferrier bus. Retired 1999.

518- Another Ferrier bus, retired 1999

519- I believe only Westwood in it's last few years. Retired around December 2000.

520- Ferrier, retired 1999

521- Ferrier from what I can recall. Retired 1999

522- Westwood I believe. Retired 1999.

523- Westwood, lasted into 2000, although, I believe retired around September at the latest, as it was with A-1 Auto Salvage by October 2000.

524- retired by 1994

525/26- Ferrier, retired 1999

527- Mitchell as of early 1999, retired in 2000 not sure of the exact date

528- Not sure. Retired 1999

529- Likely Westwood. Retired 1999

530- Ferrier, retired 1999

531- Mitchell, retired Nov. 2001. Last 5303.

532-535- All Ferrier from what I recall. All retired 1999.

If anyone has any specific requests for pics of any particular units, let me know. I'm obviously working on scanning some of my older stuff right now.

Attached are:

510- Clareview as a route 2.

511- McDonald Dr, 101 St as a route 511 I had just got off of.

514- At the Agricom being used to transport pylons and stuff for the 2000 Bus Rodeo.

527- Route 2. Bill Kieth was driving. I remember bailing off of a frosted up 200 in Downtown when I saw 527. 527 still retained some grey seats. When at WEM before going into Lessard, 519 was heading inbound on the route 2.

536- In 2001. Note missing marker light. We thought she was done. That was actually my first time I saw 536 that I could recall. She returned in the white, and shortly after was refurbed.

Ex 585- Ex Fort McMurray 1918, exx ETS 585 still with McKay Gates.

I have scanned a number of these images in years past. Though, I have a better scanner now, that I can salvage some of my maybe not so great photos. As well, the other scans got lost in various computer changes and were crap scans anyways, regardless of what the original image was like.

As well, I didn't have the best camera around. I started using a SLR in May 2000. A lot of my better shots were taken (probably still with my P&S as I was still getting used to the SLR) in June 2000.

I also didn't have a bus pass, so I had to wait for my sister to get home from school, before heading out around 15:30 or 16:00. By that time it was often starting to get dark, hence, I didn't take many pics. One particularly memorable day though 515 was on the 67, which interlined with the 87 at Millgate and ran Downtown. Last 5303 I rode on the 67. Pics did turn out dark, I can't complain now. Especially when I take into consideration that there are members on this board who never took pics of 5303's in service.

ets0510_June_28_2000_040.jpg

ets0511_June_28_2000_046.jpg

ets0514_May_26_2000_058.jpg

ets0527_Jan_13_2000_076.jpg

ets0536_May_27_2001_091.jpg

exets05585_dec_20_2000_093.jpg

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I remeber my first and only experience with a 5303. It wasn't even a long ride, only 2 stops. It was 531 and i remeber it because the bus driver had to tell me i had to push the doors open, something i didn't really expect. Anyhow, it avoided me like the plauge from then on. Always going to opposite direction i was.

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Nice shot of 536 before refurbishment!I think 510 is leaving Westwood for a 153, not on a 2 Clareview. ;)
It was late when I posted that... should have been this pic.
You mean a Route 134 ;)
Yep! Again, late when I posted!!The bus had been running a route 9 before turning into a 134.

ets0510_June_27_2000_039.jpg

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  • 2 years later...

*Massive bump*

I figure I'll stick this in here...

Browsing the Provincial Archives website, found some interesting photos.

Churchill Station north concourse.

So that's what those crossbeams had... probably fake plants. Old signage as well.

https://hermis.alberta.ca/paa/PhotoGalleryD...ObjectID=A17000

The old entrance where Winspear is now. I miss that entrance. I miss that old signage too.

https://hermis.alberta.ca/paa/PhotoGalleryD...ObjectID=A16999

Old Belvedere. Belvedere was the reason I started photographing transit. As a result of them being my first photos, my shot of the old Belvedere suck.

https://hermis.alberta.ca/paa/PhotoGalleryD...ObjectID=A17008

As some may know, ETS wasn't always a POP based system. They actually had collection booths. Not sure if turnstyles were used or not.

The staffed booths didn't last for long before POP was brought in in the early 1980s.

From other photos of Corona Station on the Archives website, it appears Corona (and Bay) never had collectors booths, leaving just Central-Belvedere and perhaps Clareview with collectors booths.

This shot shows the collectors booth at Coliseum, a few years after POP came into use.

https://hermis.alberta.ca/paa/PhotoGalleryD...ObjectID=A17005

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From other photos of Corona Station on the Archives website, it appears Corona (and Bay) never had collectors booths, leaving just Central-Belvedere and perhaps Clareview with collectors booths

Did Corona, Bay, Clareview even exist before POP? Maybe that's why they didn't have collectors booths.

I remember the fake plants at Churchill and the old entrance by the (old) police station.

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I really like the original Belvedere Station. Sure beats the monstrosity that sits there now. I liked the original Clareview one too.

I hate these stations that seem like endless levels of walkways and tunnels. I feel like I'm in a Nintendo Game....expecting to battle a boss when I emerge from some far flung exit. :P

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I feel like I'm in a Nintendo Game....expecting to battle a boss when I emerge from some far flung exit. :P

Chucky? :P

I can remember the old turn style ticket machines, put your change in push a button, walk through the turn style and get your ticket at the other end

Excellent. Thanks for that. You wouldn't happen to have photos would you? :lol:

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  • 7 years later...

Time to randomly resurrect a thread.

Paterson Garage (formerly Davies Garage) has some historically significant signage. This is only something that occurred to me in the last few years as I did various research into ETS's history.

Researching into the 1976 changes that ETS went though... transition from letter/ number for routes, new paint scheme, redesigned routes, I came across in the Edmonton Journal a piece of the City designing a logo/ word mark. This is of course the stylized "Edmonton" we're familiar with (on the blue and white Paterson sign below). 

Prior to that the City crest was used as the logo. 

I'm not exactly sure when Davies was built, but, it does pre-date Ferrier, which I believe was 1977 or 1978. That does put it in all likelihood pre-1976, and, the lettering is an indication of that. First, it uses the full "Edmonton Transit System" name, and second it uses the City crest. Off the top of my head, I don't recall the City crest in use on any other buildings at present. 

The "Edmonton Transit System" lettering has made it though the "Flying E" era, it then became relevant again for about another 20 years until "Service" replaced "System". It will be interesting to see how long it remains.

Ferrier Garage still sports a "Flying E" on it's sign. 

DSC08933.thumb.jpg.099518c4be61bcc56825204a780cc895.jpgDSC08939.thumb.jpg.93df403ff8acfe1ac24cd45514e47153.jpg
Both of these pics were tweaked to try to bring out the lettering. The brick work kind of cause it to blend in.

DSC08944.thumb.jpg.d9bf8dc800bdd5b9db053aa6777a9dcf.jpg
New sign/ old sign

DSC08946.thumb.jpg.dc9ff5ac8f19e50bbe7966ec0ff68d17.jpg
I've always thought the style of the office part looked the like the front of a Flyer 800 series bus. It's worth noting that orange might/ probably dates from when the garage was built. That seemed to be the City colours back before 1976. It was used on transit equipment and other City vehicles. Of course, Ed Tel used orange. Edmonton Power, however, I believe was green. In 1976 the City moved towards blue. It showed up of course in Edmonton Transit's new livery, City vehicles became predominately blue with a white stripe, latter changed to white with the triple blue stripe used today, and the City logo was blue as a I recall from the Journal article.

DSC08924.thumb.jpg.f2589bd0294259a1bfc6fc3ad4b52e49.jpg
As a bonus, speeder 3679 was out today. Off the top of my head, this is the only non-historic piece of equipment still with the blue/ yellow stripes and the "Flying E" livery.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

While browsing Kijiji, I came across this bus located in Edmonton that was mistakenly posted in Vancouver. Can someone here help me identify it? It doesn't look anything like the ETS fishbowls I see on Google.

BTW it's free if anyone wants to pick it up

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-other-heavy-equipment/vancouver-downtown-west-end/free-old-city-bus/1318668360?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

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