Sister coach to Bus 87
Motor Bus Society
diesel electric bus
Motor Buses
Acquired by the Museum
No. 87 is stored inside Central carbarn. It is located along the left (south) wall at the rear of the barn. The bus is a rusted shell with no windows and missing many interior features. The builder's plate appears to be missing.

Surface Transportation Corp. 87

From New York, New York


Mack Trucks (originally named Mack Brothers Company) built its first bus in 1900 and continued in the bus business until 1960. Early buses were usually gasoline powered. Mack began building diesel buses in 1938. No. 87 is a diesel bus with an electric transmission which avoided the need for shifting gears. Later, hydraulic transmissions supplanted electric transmissions. Mack built this bus for Surface Transportation Corporation in 1942. It was one of a group of Mack CM-4DE buses for Surface Transportation numbered in the 600 series, but the specific number for this bus is uncertain. (The current lack of a builder's serial number makes more specific vehicle identification unlikely.) Surface Transportation was the bus operating subsidiary of Third Avenue Railway System in New York City. Surface Transportation ran on routes that had been converted from streetcar to bus operation. After only a few months in New York, the Office of Defense Transportation requisitioned this bus, but others of its type continued to operate in Manhattan and The Bronx until the mid-1950s. By 1957, Surface Transportation merged into Fifth Avenue Coach. After requisition by the Navy, this bus went to a U.S. Navy base at Corpus Christi, Texas and later to the Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, CA, near San Francisco. Seashore identifies this bus as No. 87 which may have been its number in Navy service, but it retained its Surface Transportation colors. Pacific Greyhound Lines operated No. 87 for the Navy on local shuttle routes for shipyard workers. Women typically served as drivers. After the war, No. 87 was stored at Mare Island for many years. The Bay Area Electric Railway Association began collecting transit vehicles in 1946 and established a museum site at Rio Vista Junction, CA in 1960. Around 1980, Jim Bruggere, an association member, acquired No. 87 and kept it at the museum. In 1985, the association changed its name to Western Railway Museum, focusing on rail vehicles. That year, Bruggere donated No. 87 to Seashore. It is believed to be the only surviving Mack diesel-electric bus.

Technical Information

  • Seats: 44
  • Engine: Mack
  • Tires: 11.00 x 20

Weight and Dimensions

  • Length: 35’
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