Nevada Northern & Railroads of White Pine County


NNRy Passenger Motor Coach Service, 1941-1968


The hard surfacing of U.S. highway 93 in Nevada was completed in 1937. By January 1938, Nevada Northern Railway management was considering the fiscal benefits of replacing railway passenger service with buses; they reportedly lost some $8272 on passenger service in 1938. The change from steel wheels to rubber tires was approved by the Public Service Commission on 15 June 1940, and two GM busses were subsequently ordered on 06 Sept 1940.

The City of Ely and the City of Wells were products of the Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company, an affiliate of General Motors Corporation. They were reportedly custom designed for the Nevada Northern and included a completely equipped rest room (toilet and lavatory), as stops were infrequent on the long desert run. The $8040.52 price for each 21-seat unit (including shipping) covered double shock absorbers and a tire pump, but no air conditioning. Drivers uniforms were a standard "Greyhound" style of the period, olive drab in color with a gold letter "Nevada Northern" insignia.

The vehicles themselves were more colorful than the aforementioned uniforms, having an aluminum roof with a base body color of "desert sand" and "Burlington red" trim. Both the palette and design would form the basis for the livery of the Nevada Northern's lone diesel unit, No. 401, some 11 years later.


City of Ely

Motor Bus Society Photo;
Martin/Healy Collection;
Used with permission.


Note that the rear four windows have security bars and that the rear section is also blocked off from the front interior. Access to the rear section is only from the outside and was designed as such to carry baggage, mail, and express packages in a secure manner.

      — David Sellers



Roundtrip daily bus service between Ely and Wells replaced passenger train service beginning 01 August 1941. The initial cost analysis was favorable as a net profit of $801.10 was realized during the first two months. The buses provided both mail and passenger service, but by the 1950's passenger traffic had waned. Steve Swanson recalls, "when I rode it in the fifties, there were only about six seats for about twelve passengers. There was a partition after the seats and the rest of the bus was used for U.S. mail. The mail was the only reason the bus was run for all those years".

The bus service to Wells was abandoned in 1968. An original token receptacle from one of the busses is on loan from the White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation to the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum.



Motor Coach Service Time Table — 1955
Courtesy of Steve Swanson


Nevada Northern Railway Motor Coach Roster
Road No.
Build Date
Serial No.
Yellow Truck & Coach/GMC
PG 2505
July 1941
City of Ely
Yellow Truck & Coach/GMC
PG 2505
July 1941
City of Wells
TDM 4512
Aug 1956
Sold in 1968 for $4500
Transit / 6-71 Diesel Engine / Manual Transmission / 45 passenger / Model 12; 35-ft length; 96-in width
Flxible Co
Starliner; 2183DD1-63-SPECIAL
26 June 1963
Sold in 1968 for $15,000
MOTOR: 4A-99888



"Fifty-Nine Years Ago." Summer 2000. Ghost Tracks - Official Newsletter of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. p. 5.

Flxible Owners International. 22 September 2001. "Flxible Starliner Production Date: Serial Numbers 31076 - 31135." [Internet, WWW], ADDRESS: [Accessed: 27 September 2001].

Ohio Museum of Transportation. 19 May 2001. "GM TDM4512 U.S. Production List." [Internet, WWW], ADDRESS: [Accessed: 27 September 2001].

Sellers, Dave. 02 July 2000. Rule book and questions. [Internet, e-mail to Keith Albrandt].

"Sixty-Two Years Ago." Autumn 2000. Ghost Tracks - Official Newsletter of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. p. 4.

Swanson, Steve. 10 May 2001. Re: Passenger train snow scene. [Internet, e-mail to Keith Albrandt].

Wagner, Jack R. 1971. Short Line Junction. Revised ed. Fresno, CA: Valley Publishers.



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Last modified 09 Jan, 2002 -/-