History of Transit in the Harrisburg Area


Looking Back……

The picture for this article was taken in Covington Kentucky ….. Wonder what the connection is to Harrisburg’s transit history?

Harrisburg Railways Company, from the mid-1950’s was owned by American Transportation Enterprises, Inc. (ATE)…a management firm based in Cincinnati.  At the time they owned nearly 20 mid-size transit systems – several of them here in Pennsylvania.

Although they purchased many new buses they always had an “eye” for reasonable used buses.  An unusual purchase in 1959 was a group of 1948 41- passenger Twin Coach buses formerly owned by the Buffalo, N.Y. system.

Harrisburg Railways show crews received all of the buses – painted them standard Harrisburg colors (silver and green).  This color scheme became the standard for all ATE properties after that period.  Of the 38 used buses Harrisburg Railways retained 18 of them (fleet numbers 1041-1058).  They were used, mainly, for school and tripper service. ATE frequently transferred equipment, which was easy to do with all vehicles being painted alike…hence the bus shown in this picture (Green Line Co. #479) once was Harrisburg Railways number 1046!

Most of the original 18 buses of this group assigned to Harrisburg, ran out their service life in our city, were retired and sat in the back lot for several years.

Another chapter in Harrisburg transit history.