Chicago Transit Authority 9763
|Model 58DWTT Articulated
Few manufacturers worked as hard to improve bus technology and increase buses’ role in public transit as Fageol-Twin Coach, from Kent, Ohio. This company, begun by brothers Frank and William Fageol, had built their groundbreaking Model 40 bus, capable of carrying a quantity of passengers previously thought only a streetcar could carry. (See St. Louis Public Service 3529 in our collection for more on the Model 40.)
The desire to carry even more passengers with a single vehicle and driver led to the creation of the first “Supertwin” trolley bus in 1940. It was 47 feet long, spread over three axles (with the front and rear axles steering in opposite directions), and had a hinge in the middle so that all three axles would stay on the ground when driving over changes in elevation. It seated 58 passengers. It was sent as a demonstrator to several cities, and Cleveland eventually bought it. No orders for Supertwins were placed before World War II caused restrictions on bus manufacture to be introduced.
Fageol-Twin Coach redesigned their products after WWII and built another Supertwin demonstrator (this bus) in 1946, this time with two gasoline-fueled engines. Like the 1940 version, it bends in the middle, but only up and down; the length of the bus is rigid. Again various cities tried it, but only Omaha placed an order, for fifteen propane-fueled units. The reaction in Chicago was positive, and CTA paid to have it converted to a trolley bus in 1948. It was initially numbered 999, then 9763. It ran for several years on the 76-Diversey route, and finished its service life on the 77-Belmont in 1962. It was purchased by Glenn Johnson and donated to IRM in 1966. It is complete and is being restored to operation.
Builder: Twin Coach
Year Built: 1948
Width: 8ft 8in
Height: 9ft 6in
Weight: 22000 lbs
Motors: 1 WH 1442
Control: Electro Cam
Description: Articulated Trolley Coach
Condition: Complete / unrestored / not operational