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These Vintage Convertible Buses Were a Wonder

Back in the 1930s-1950s transportation experts were tinkering with some innovative ideas. The concept of the convertible street-to-rail bus was a novel mode of transport which allowed buses to go from street to rail quickly thereby reaching more stops and taking rail shortcuts to avoid traffic. The idea was to provide better service to their customers.

The bus operator would flip a series of levers in order to bring the rail wheels down from inside the wheel wells. Other models used a separate chassis fitted on site. Not only is this concept fascinating, in theory safer since a bus could stop at points where the street intersected rail traffic much more easily than a train ever could. We have to wonder why these marvelous buses never caught on. Have a look at some of these convertible buses from Michigan, Tennessee and all the way over in Germany in the video below.

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The evolution (and near extinction) of the streetcar: Click “Next Page” below!

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