Los Angeles Railway

6339 at Exposition Park

Posted on: March 3, 2013 by Pacific Electric 17 Comments
Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

Los Angeles Transit Lines bus #6339 poses for the camera at Exposition Park in 1990.

From Ralph Cantos:

It is the last known surviving example of the 300 bus order that NATIONAL CITY LINES / LATL unleashed on the streetcar loving-citizens of Los Angeles. These buses were used to replace streetcars on rail lines A - D - U and all the shuttle car lines. These GM 4506's were also used to replace older gasoline powered "brand X" buses that LATL inherited from LARY.

Ralph Cantos Collection

17 Responses

  1. Duncan Still

    March 4, 2013

    Ugh!

    Reply
  2. Duncan Still

    March 4, 2013

    “ugh” refers to the subject of this photo, the vile machine that destroyed our LARY streetcars, polluted our air, and added to traffic congestion. I’ll never lose my resentment for buses (and I’ll never dignify them by calling them “motor coaches”.

    Reply
  3. Ralph Cantos

    March 4, 2013

    Duncan, I can undersand your point of view. As a young “trolley fan” growing up in LA , I cried when I saw the Hollywood cars at Terminal Island. I thought the Hollywood cars were the most beautiful streetcar ever built. I HATED BUSES!!! I even hated bus drivers. I carried that hate with me for many years UNTIL I saw buses being scrapped. I felt really bad about what I saw. Later on in life I came to see the bus as “a missed used instrument of progress”. Buses should be used to “feed streetcar lines, NOT EAT THEM”. But National City Lines, and Jessie Haugh and their likes, used buses for their own personal and financial gain,and they used the buses to do it! These people did not GIVE A DAMN about anything or anyone. General Motors just happened to build the best mouse trap, because they had the money to do it. In 1983, when the SCRTD took delivery of 900 new RTS’s ( A PIECE OF SHIT BUS), 900 old and new look buses were driven under their own power to a scrap yard in South LA , and what I saw there was as bad, as anything I saw as a kid at Terminal Island.

    Reply
    • Ralph Cantos

      March 4, 2013

      one last comment. Today I look at “older buses” as big old antique cars of sort. By automotive production standards, some buses are VERY RARE! ONLY 1000 SCENICRUISER’s were built for Greyhound. Only 800 “Silversides” were built. I have a 1957 MACK suburban bus in my collection that ONLY 35

      Reply
      • Ralph Cantos

        March 4, 2013

        comment continued..Only 35 of thsee suburban MACK’s were built. Only 3 are known to survive. It these production numbers were applied to a 1957 automobile, the value of such a car would be priceless. What I saw at that So. LA bus junk yard can only be discribed as A CARNAGE!

        Reply
  4. Bob Davis

    March 4, 2013

    This discussion reminds me of the 1960s, during a period when my first wife would leave our daughters at my parents’ home in Monrovia when she went to work. I would get a ride to “the old homestead” and, after visiting a bit, we’d walk down to Huntington drive to catch the #64 RTD bus to Duarte. Sometimes an “old look” bus (similar to 6339) would be assigned to this line, and one of the girls would spot it and say, “Look, Daddy, a ROUND BUS!” The Niles Canyon Railroad sometimes has an “old look” bus running shuttle service between their western terminal and the nearest BART station. 50 years ago, I thought I’d never see the day when a GM 6-71 engine sounded “nostalgic”.

    Reply
    • Ralph Cantos

      March 5, 2013

      the antique historic buses used on the Nies Canyon shuttle belong to the Pacific Bus Museum .

      Reply
  5. Jim Gannon

    March 5, 2013

    Great photo of 6339 Ralph. . couldn’t agree more about the RTS. We had the first at Long Beach and the second day out, I put it on the sidewalk at Pacific and Ocean when the steering pump when out. . .our old 3612’s didn’t rattle as much as the RTS did with those plug doors.

    Reply
  6. Retired In Kalifornia

    June 16, 2014

    The photo was taken by the late Zeke Allen 24 October 1977 close to the Seely G. Mudd building on McClintock Avenue on the University of Southern California.

    Reply
  7. Bob Davis

    June 18, 2014

    As I recall, McClintock Ave. was where the “U” line streetcar served the USC campus. When my older daughter graduated from USC in 1983, I took a photo of the pavement, which had cracks about 42″ apart. I also caught a glimpse of a Southern Pacific SW-1500 going by the south side of the campus, never dreaming that the rickety old PE tracks would be transformed into a modern light-rail line about 30 years later.

    Reply
  8. Retired In Kalifornia

    March 31, 2015

    Oh By The Way. I’d OWNED this bus at the time the photo was taken on my 26th birthday. I’d just had it finished being partially restored month or so earlier.

    This was my first trip from Sacramento to Los Angeles with it; had (probably still does) HV90 fuel injectors giving it lotta extra performance over the B55 economy ones; got true 7 m.p.g., could do 60 m.p.h., could had gotten faster but speed governor couldn’t be adjusted upwards. No problem going up & down through the mountains, climbed 25 m.p.h. lightly loaded, not bad then for a 31 year old bus!

    Reply
    • Pacific Electric

      March 31, 2015

      wow, that’s an AWESOME story, RIK! Thanks for sharing! – Editor

      Reply
      • Retired In Kalifornia

        April 12, 2017

        Ralph, if you’re the “Editor” I’d not talked to you since 1992. Does 6339 still exist? Is it operational?

        Recently viewed YouTube video of the March 2, 1990 La Purente West Coast Motor Coach Society Bus Museum yard move narrated by Stephan Schwarzwald, glad I’d driven most everything there before the move.

        Reply
  9. Dick Short

    April 4, 2015

    The only good bus is a dead bus.

    Reply
  10. Bob Davis

    April 16, 2017

    Next month, on May 7, Orange Empire will be hosting the annual Antique Truck meet. I don’t think we’ve had any large transit buses, but small coaches have visited, and the museum collection includes one of the last “old look” GMC buses.

    Reply

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