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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2009 :  8:10:00 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
My cranked right up or my sub bus did doesnt do bad. i think we faired very well here in va. beach today nothing to abnormal. i remember one year when all the 1987 GMCs kept having the air systems freeze up even after people start driving them i know on my end of town we had about 4 or 5 that got messed up that way.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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IC-RE
Top Member

USA
4117 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2009 :  11:08:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit IC-RE's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes there were a few reports of units that had their brake lines freeze up, and they lost pressure, and had to pull over. One particular case was about 2 hours after the bus was pre-tripped and out on runs, and she had to pull over. Very interesting. It's abut 7 degrees here right now.

bus 1980, a 2008 IC RE 300 for Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, Virginia.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2009 :  6:40:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey! I found a photo of Fairfax County bus 1076 (from 1988) which I'm almost 100% sure was an 1987 Ward International. The photo is B&W and a bit fuzzy, so being 100% sure is difficult just going by the photo. In the photo, the bus number (1076) is painted on the passenger side of the front bumper as opposed to driver's side as we see today. It also appears the bus has no crossing gate.

Now here's my question. When did crossing gates become mandatory in Virginia? If my assumptions are correct, I believe that the first Fairfax County buses to come equipped with them were the 1990 Blue Bird's. I also believe that the 87' Wards, and 88-89' Waynes were retrofitted with them as all of them had crossing gates upon their retirement.

Can any of you history buffs help me out?
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IC-RE
Top Member

USA
4117 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2009 :  6:51:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit IC-RE's Homepage  Reply with Quote
1629, not sure how completely accurate this is, but to my knowledge, the buses in the mid-700's, 900s and early 1000's were 1986 Wards, and the late 1000's and 1100's and some other odds were 87 Wards. This would make the bus you are referring to, most likely an 87, so that would probably be correct.

You can also see the correlation between our 86's and our 2007 model IC's. Many of them have the numbering of the 86's, while our 09 IC CE's seem to have the numbering of our 87's. Two particular cases I can think of are 1140 and 1141 which are now 09s.

For 86's that are now 07's I can think of 1000.

This is what I am assuming to be the case, I'm not for sure.


bus 1980, a 2008 IC RE 300 for Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, Virginia.

Edited by - IC-RE on 01/20/2009 6:53:29 PM
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Gini
Top Member

USA
1243 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2009 :  6:53:02 PM  Show Profile  Send Gini an AOL message  Reply with Quote
my 86 Ford half lift, which came in spring 87, was retrofitted, but i don't remember just when.

1Peter 1:3
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2009 :  01:44:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by IC RE 1629

Hey! I found a photo of Fairfax County bus 1076 (from 1988) which I'm almost 100% sure was an 1987 Ward International. The photo is B&W and a bit fuzzy, so being 100% sure is difficult just going by the photo. In the photo, the bus number (1076) is painted on the passenger side of the front bumper as opposed to driver's side as we see today. It also appears the bus has no crossing gate.

Now here's my question. When did crossing gates become mandatory in Virginia? If my assumptions are correct, I believe that the first Fairfax County buses to come equipped with them were the 1990 Blue Bird's. I also believe that the 87' Wards, and 88-89' Waynes were retrofitted with them as all of them had crossing gates upon their retirement.

Can any of you history buffs help me out?



Let's see if BusFreak or someone with more historical background can help me out with my crossing gate question.
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MongoKen
Senior Member

USA
147 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2009 :  06:42:51 AM  Show Profile  Send MongoKen an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I know that in Prince William County, the first buses that came equipped with crossing gates were the 1988 Bluebird Chevy Diesels. These buses were the first buses ever purchased with automatic transmissions and diesel engines. They were also the first buses with the 8-lamp warning system. We had 1987 GMC Bluebirds (last year of the 4-lamp systems)that did not come with the crossing gates. They were later retrofitted in 1988.

Hope this helps

"Superior Buses..A Legend of the Past"
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MongoKen
Senior Member

USA
147 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2009 :  06:53:14 AM  Show Profile  Send MongoKen an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Also, just to add to my last comment....I remember when the bus numbers were painted on the base of the crossing arms. The 1988 buses came this way. The buses that were retrofitted also had the numbers on the crossing gates. Then, in 1990 our next batch of new buses had the bus numbers on the drivers side of the bumper (came this way from the dealer). We then converted all the numbers from the crossing gate side to the drivers side bumper.

Here is an example pic of of the original bus number location taken from bsaund09's site: Prince William buses were the same way.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7372257@N05/3163592767/


"Superior Buses..A Legend of the Past"
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2009 :  09:03:29 AM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
in Va.Beach in 1987 half of the GMCs bought came in with crossing arms already installed the ones with out the crossing arm had overhead compartments in them. the '88 models all came with installed crossing arms and during that summer all buses were retrofitted with the crossing arms. Norfolk installed crossing arms on school buses that didnt have stop signs weird but it must have been a rather serious mandate from the state.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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MongoKen
Senior Member

USA
147 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2009 :  10:12:24 AM  Show Profile  Send MongoKen an AOL message  Reply with Quote
bsaund09 - do you remember the old buses with the poles in the front and the "tick-tock" of the warning lights? I remember many of the old internationals we had did not have power steering. Boy, those were the days. No crossing gates or stop arms back then either and I think there was only one crossing mirror.

"Superior Buses..A Legend of the Past"
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2009 :  2:22:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BusFreak or Disneynuts, are you out there? Can you answer my question?
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2009 :  3:02:55 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I'm pretty sure that by the fall of 89, all buses had to come with them, or be retrofitted. As far as the number being on the service door side of the bumber, I don't think there was ever a requirement to move the existing number, and actually, I think that the requirement just says that it should be visible even when the crossing gate is in the open position. There were plenty of buses that had the number in the middle of the front bumper. I think that rule has recently been changed to the driver's side though, as we all saw the freak C2s from Sonny Merryman in 2006-07 which had the number on the service door side. They are now coming on the driver's side.

=
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IC
Top Member

USA
3413 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2009 :  3:56:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You guys just made me pull out my '60s Annandale HS yearbooks.

In the '68 yearbook there is a frontal photo of a row of buses at dismissal time. The bus number is on the service door side right next to the license plate. It appears to have been spray painted on with a stencil...can't tell what color (b&w photo. Most of the buses are mid 60's GMCs with Superior bodies (I think).

Incidentally, one of the buses has it's hood up and the driver is messing around in there....Heck, they couldn't get 'em started 40 years ago either! LOL
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2009 :  6:25:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So our 1989 Wayne Ford's may have been the first FCPS buses with factory installed crossing gates? or was it the 1990 Blue Bird's?

The October 2007 VAPT regulations state the bus number is to be on the driver's side of the front bumper. I found that interesting that several Loudoun and Arlington C2's have it on the service door side.

I remember looking at either a 88' Wayne GMC or 89' Wayne Ford at Newington a few years back and noticing the number painted on the service door side of the bumper. The number was blacked out, but you could see if you closely looked behind the motor for the crossing gate. The "visible" number was on the driver's side as we currently see today.
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pbfreak30
Senior Member

USA
171 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2009 :  07:42:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
well we are all out here again today..some icing...tomorrow morning will be bad, so im expecting at least a 2hr delay tomorrow as well

ARROW transportation RP..the best out there!
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2009 :  9:37:56 PM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
In Newport News, all buses as far back as I can remember had crossing gates. Whether they were original I do not know, but I would think that the ones that weren't original were retrofitted. All of our buses always had the number on the driver side, and never on the crossing gate.

When did they go from that wire crossing gate to the yellow one? I know that our AmTrans were most likely the first to get them, as all of the 'Birds we were getting until 95 had that wire gate, and most still do. Some of them were retrofitted with the yellow one, most likely due to the wire one getting heavily damaged.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2009 :  07:00:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I believe the first of the FCPS buses to get the yellow gate were the 1996 AmTran's we got. The "newest" buses I've seen with wire gates are the 95' Thomas ER's. Almost all have since been replaced with the yellow one.
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2009 :  11:02:28 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I know that Sonny Merryman (Thomas Dealer) made the yellow crossing gates standard in 96. I think that the Blue Bird dealer was the last to fall onto the bandwagon with them though, as the 99 Blue Bird GMCs in Virginia Beach came with wire ones. For a minute though, they upgraded the wire ones. They had yellow ends on them, with a cool rubber thing at the tip so that it did not scratch the paint when it smacked into the bumper. Come to think of it, the 97 (ish) AmTrans that Virginia Beach got for special ed also had the yellow gates, so 1629, I'm thinking your dating is correct! Blue Bird did not offer that as standard until later though.

=
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722
Senior Member

United States
129 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  1:24:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BusFreak

I know that Sonny Merryman (Thomas Dealer) made the yellow crossing gates standard in 96. I think that the Blue Bird dealer was the last to fall onto the bandwagon with them though, as the 99 Blue Bird GMCs in Virginia Beach came with wire ones. For a minute though, they upgraded the wire ones. They had yellow ends on them, with a cool rubber thing at the tip so that it did not scratch the paint when it smacked into the bumper. Come to think of it, the 97 (ish) AmTrans that Virginia Beach got for special ed also had the yellow gates, so 1629, I'm thinking your dating is correct! Blue Bird did not offer that as standard until later though.

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722
Senior Member

United States
129 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  1:29:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BusFreak

I know that Sonny Merryman (Thomas Dealer) made the yellow crossing gates standard in 96. I think that the Blue Bird dealer was the last to fall onto the bandwagon with them though, as the 99 Blue Bird GMCs in Virginia Beach came with wire ones. For a minute though, they upgraded the wire ones. They had yellow ends on them, with a cool rubber thing at the tip so that it did not scratch the paint when it smacked into the bumper. Come to think of it, the 97 (ish) AmTrans that Virginia Beach got for special ed also had the yellow gates, so 1629, I'm thinking your dating is correct! Blue Bird did not offer that as standard until later though.



1629 is correct about the 1986 IHC/Wards (Amtrans)being the first buses delivered with the crossing arm installed. They were dealer installed. The early delivery buses were retrofitted and the later ones were deliveried with the arm installed. They were the early loop design.

My bus was retrofitted about two weeks after I got it in 1985/86.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  4:40:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 722

1629 is correct about the 1986 IHC/Wards (Amtrans)being the first buses delivered with the crossing arm installed. They were dealer installed. The early delivery buses were retrofitted and the later ones were deliveried with the arm installed. They were the early loop design.

My bus was retrofitted about two weeks after I got it in 1985/86.



I believe we have some slight confusion about my question. My assumption was that Fairfax County's 1990 Blue Bird TC/2000 FE's were the first in Fairfax to be delivered with crossing gates installed.

The 1988 photo I have of an 1987 Ward IHC (FCPS bus 1076) doesn't appear to show a crossing gate of any style on the bus.

1) Anyone know how many 1986 Ward IHC's we had in Fairfax? I know we had a large number of 1987 models.

2) What buses were the first in Fairfax County to be delivered with crossing gates? (I know 722 stated the 1986 Wards, but I want to be sure he is talking about Fairfax...)

3) What buses were the first in Fairfax County to be delivered with the numbers painted on the driver's side of the front bumper?
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722
Senior Member

United States
129 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  5:37:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by IC RE 1629

quote:
Originally posted by 722

1629 is correct about the 1986 IHC/Wards (Amtrans)being the first buses delivered with the crossing arm installed. They were dealer installed. The early delivery buses were retrofitted and the later ones were deliveried with the arm installed. They were the early loop design.

My bus was retrofitted about two weeks after I got it in 1985/86.



I believe we have some slight confusion about my question. My assumption was that Fairfax County's 1990 Blue Bird TC/2000 FE's were the first in Fairfax to be delivered with crossing gates installed.

The 1988 photo I have of an 1987 Ward IHC (FCPS bus 1076) doesn't appear to show a crossing gate of any style on the bus.

1) Anyone know how many 1986 Ward IHC's we had in Fairfax? I know we had a large number of 1987 models.

2) What buses were the first in Fairfax County to be delivered with crossing gates? (I know 722 stated the 1986 Wards, but I want to be sure he is talking about Fairfax...)

3) What buses were the first in Fairfax County to be delivered with the numbers painted on the driver's side of the front bumper?



There were about 200 IHC/Wards purchased at FCPS. It was a very large order that came in over a year and a half. Now I am going off memory and it's not as good as it used to be. I know a have a streak of "oldtimers" so lord knows sometimes.

You got me on the other question, but I had one of the Blue Bird Transits new and it had the gate on it from the factory.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  5:46:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Most of the Wards I remember were 87's. I there were some 86's, but it seems to me that most of those were special ed buses.
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IC-RE
Top Member

USA
4117 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  6:54:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit IC-RE's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What I believe 722 is saying is.... That FCPS ordered 200 IHC Wards, and that they trickled in over a year and a half from 86 to 87... correct? If so, that is also what I heard to be true a while back.

bus 1980, a 2008 IC RE 300 for Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, Virginia.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2009 :  01:37:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know what 722 is saying, I'm just wondering what the break-down was of 86-87 models. (i.e. about 25 were 86's, etc)
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2009 :  5:21:48 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
hey, one of my supervisors shared some photos of some great old buses http://www.flickr.com/photos/7372257@N05/3248460839/ thanks G. Ponton

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  3:03:43 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
they moved the Vistas to the Glenwood garage finally i guess there days are numbered now till they auction them. i saw a few others going over with them to .

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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poor_driver
Senior Member

162 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2009 :  09:19:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
bsaund09

Is there a 4 light system bus still floating around the garages in VA Beach? like the thomas gmcs in your photos?
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schoolbuslover207
New Member

United States
3 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2009 :  03:46:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hi all. i went to great wolf lodge in va last week, and all in the williamsburg area i only saw Ic buses. i saw a few ihc vistas but other than that it was all Ic. i got a picture of a ic re 200 loadstar in a parking lot but not much else.

Who says kids cant like buses? Future Thomas Built bus designer. Buses rule!!!!!
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2009 :  04:17:20 AM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
poor driver-- all the 4 light buses are gone they have two in the junk yard at glenwood but that is it and the only 4 light gm s i know of are at the wave church on great neck rd.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2009 :  10:58:37 AM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Does anyone know of any districts in VA that still purchase manual transmissions? I was just looking at the pricing schedules for Virginia posted in October (buses are getting EXPENSIVE BTW), and Sonny Merryman (of course) is STILL offering the manual transmission deduct on the C2.

BTW, Blue Bird did not offer a bid on type D again....only Type C.

=
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pbfreak30
Senior Member

USA
171 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2009 :  9:13:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i know bedford, campbell, amherst, and lynchburg city are not ordering manuals...bedofrd hasnt since the early 80's, how ever campbell and lynchburg have some mid 90's thomas international's that are manuals, and pittsylvania has some manual FS-65's

ARROW transportation RP..the best out there!
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shadowrider257
New Member

United States
5 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2009 :  3:50:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit shadowrider257's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What I hate is that Newport News hasn't brought any Type-D buses since 2002 when they brought the International FEs. Since then, all we've had were IC CEs and Blue Bird Visions; and what's even worse, the REs (my favorites in the fleet) are now the oldest ones and they'll probably be retired before I graduate.

http://shadowrider257.webs.com
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2009 :  06:57:03 AM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
shadowrider, I am from Newport News, and graduated from Woodside in 2007. I think the reason behind moving from transit (type-d) to type-c, is because it is saving them money. There was a year recently, that they did not get any new buses at all, and retired some older ones. Anywhere they can save money they are doing so, especially with how tight it is now.
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shadowrider257
New Member

United States
5 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2009 :  1:59:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit shadowrider257's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info. I was wondering why because in a few years the fleet went from being dominated by type-d buses to overrun with conventionals.

BTW, I also made a flickr account and added some pictures of Newport News buses: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shadowrider257/sets/72157614777404326/

http://shadowrider257.webs.com

Edited by - shadowrider257 on 03/04/2009 2:10:21 PM
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