|THE FORMER D.S.R. WYOMING TERMINAL
Only a small cornered-off vacant lot is all that remains today, but the current Wyoming Loop turn-around located at
Michigan and Wyoming was once part of a much larger DSR-owned property known as the Wyoming Terminal.
The Wyoming Terminal was one of the last of five city-owned terminal facilities to survive under the former DSR —
a once vibrant operation, which during its peak years operated with over a dozen carbarns and a half-dozen bus
garages. The facility was located at 5170 Wyoming Street in the city of Dearborn. The property stretched nearly
one-quarter of a mile to the south along the east-side of Wyoming just south of Michigan Avenue, between Wyoming
and Stecker streets. Originally built by the City of Detroit as a streetcar barn, the facility opened as the Wyoming
Carhouse on March 3, 1930. The Wyoming Carhouse replaced the former West Jefferson (Fort) Carhouse
(W. Jefferson at Brennan) which closed on that same day. The nearby Michigan Carhouse (Michigan at Military)
would close the following year on August 8, 1931.
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As the DSR entered the 1960s, the department would find itself struggling to survive, as revenue and ridership
numbers continued to plummet. One immediate solution sought to alleviate the self-supporting department from the
burden of paying property taxes — not only to the City of Detroit, but also to a number of the surrounding suburbs
where the DSR also owned property. Even though the voters of Detroit — on September 1, 1964 — approved an
amendment to the charter that relieved the DSR from paying city and school taxes, and charges rendered by other
city agencies, that obligation in other cities remained. According to a series of newspaper articles that ran in The
Detroit News during February of 1964, the DSR paid an estimated $634,049 in city, school and county taxes to five
communities during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1963. This included $97,970 for property located in Dearborn. It
was estimated that the closing of the Wyoming property would grant the DSR an annual savings of $213,000.
On Monday, September 30, 1963, the Wyoming Terminal would close and the property later sold to a trucking
firm. The DSR would use the $554,000 it received from the sale of the terminal to pay for equipping two-way radios
on the DSR's fleet of 1,500 buses. Today, all of the former Wyoming Terminal buildings still remain standing and
are part of the Truck City Truck Stop complex, including the adjacent Truck City Restaurant.
For decades after the city had sold the terminal the extreme northern one-block long area of the property, at
Michigan and Wyoming, was retained by the city and served as the relocated Wyoming Loop turn-around for the
Grand Belt, Michigan and Wyoming bus lines. Today, if one was to visit that intersection of Wyoming and
Michigan Avenues, they could easily overlook a much smaller cornered off vacant lot which surrounds a lone bus
stop shelter which now serves as the Wyoming Loop. A rather small and unimpressive reminder of what once was.
|This July 1963 Detroit News photo shows the Wyoming Avenue side of the former DSR Wyoming Terminal. This view looks
south, with Wyoming Avenue located just outside the fence (extreme right). The original office building (left) was built in 1930,
while the two coach fueling buildings were erected later—the oldest addition in 1943, fuel/wash bays #9–12 added in 1957.
(Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University photo #29985 — see disclaimer below)
© 2009 (PAGE LAST MODIFIED ON 06-16-11)
After the end of World War-II, the DSR would revive its pre-war plans to convert its streetcar lines to motor buses.
Beginning June 20, 1948, the carhouse portion of the property was closed and its few remaining lines transferred to
the Baker Carhouse (Vernor at Livernois), resulting in Wyoming temporarily serving as a bus-only facility.
Meanwhile, by the mid-1940s, plans were in the works for the DSR to convert a number of streetcar lines to electric
"trackless" trolley-coach operation. In April 1949, under pressure to retain streetcar operation on its major rail lines,
the DSR placed an order for 106 additional PCC streetcars, while also ordering sixty electric trolley-coaches built by
Twin Coach for its Crosstown (Warren Avenue) line — a former streetcar route recently converted to motor buses
two years prior. Thirty of the Twin electric-buses and 28 of the new PCCs were assigned to the Wyoming facility.
In order to accommodate both electric-buses and streetcars, the Wyoming property would undergo a renovation.
The facility had to be modernized so that inspection and light repairs could be performed on the new vehicles. On
October 2, 1949, the carhouse reopened once again, and by December full electric-bus operation had been
attained on the nearby Crosstown line, as more new trolley-buses became available. Access to Warren Avenue
from the terminal was reached via one-and-a-quarter mile of non-revenue overhead wire which ran along Wyoming
Avenue. With the reopening of the Wyoming Carhouse came the arrival of PCC cars, which were assigned to the
Michigan line where full PCC operation was attained by January, 1950. Initially, a total of 28 PCCs (#129-139, 142-
158) were housed out of the Wyoming Carhouse for service on the combined Michigan-Gratiot line, and briefly
during weekends on the Baker line.
|Although the former Wyoming Terminal buildings are today owned
by a Trucking concern, the original office building still displays
"CITY OF DETROIT" along the Wyoming street side of the building.
(Photo taken by Reggie A. Craig)
The construction of the Wyoming Carhouse followed the
opening of two large DSR streetcar loading yards that were
built along Miller Road at Eagle Avenue, across from the
Ford Motor Company's expanding Rouge River complex in
Dearborn, MI. Before 1928, the only streetcar access to the
Miller Road side of the Ford Rouge facility was from the
south via the Baker and Fort Street lines. By July of 1928,
the DSR had constructed over one mile of double track along
Wyoming — from Michigan Avenue to Eagle — to provide rail
access from the north, and extended its Michigan line along
Wyoming. To power this extension the city's Public Lighting
Commission built a 2,000-kilowatt substation near Wyoming
and Michigan.l Land to construct the nearby carhouse was
purchased for $224,000 in August of 1929 from the Clippert
Brick Co., one of a number of brick manufacturing companies in the area at the time.
When the Wyoming Carhouse opened in 1930, the DSR had to utilize two St. Louis Car Co. built wooden-body
streetcars (both built in 1903) to temporarily house its employees until the permanent buildings were completed.
|ORIGINAL WYOMING LOOP TURN-AROUND|
|This 1946 photo shows the street entrance to the Wyoming Loop
turn-around. The loop was located along Wyoming just south of
Michigan Avenue, on the Wyoming Terminal property. Streetcars
would loop-around via the loop's interior, while motor buses
circled around and boarded passenger along the loop's exterior.
(photo source: MCA Magazine)
|This Xerox photo shows a PCC car entering the semi-circular |
Wyoming property Loop from Wyoming Avenue. The original loop
was located just to the north of the property buildings, further
south than the current Wyoming Loop location. Remnants of the
original Loop area can still be seen in the pavement today. The
canopy-like roofing was added sometime during the late-1940s.
(Xerox photo copy courtesy of Kenneth Schramm)
Car #1028 was used as the terminal offices and car #1040
for the men's lobby. Initially, there were no bus facilities
built at the Wyoming Carhouse, since the much larger
recently built Coolidge Terminal (which opened in 1928)
and the new Highland Park (bus) Garage (built in 1929)
were well able to handle the department's bus needs.
However, shorty after the DSR launched a new campaign
during the mid-1930s to convert its mostly street railway
operation over to an "all-bus" operation, bus facilities were
added onto a number of DSR carbarns. As a result, a bus
facility was then added to the Wyoming location, and the
Wyoming (bus) Garage opened on June 21, 1943. Both
streetcars and motor buses were now housed at Wyoming.
|This photo shows
a 1961 aerial view
of the Wyoming
which was located
near the southeast
Also visible are the
two additions later
added to the main
building. During this
time the Wyoming
was located mid-way
and the terminal
|The former DSR Wyoming Terminal building today houses the Truck City Truck Stop—–which includes an office building, a
warehouse, a restaurant and a truck fueling station and convenient store. Aside from the alterations and upgrades, the
exterior of the building still resembles those days when it was a bus terminal. The south addition to the building has housed
the Truck City Restaurant for a number of years. Only a small north-end portion of the property was retained by the city and
for decades served as the Wyoming Loop end-of-the-line turn-around for the Grand Belt, Michigan and Wyoming bus lines.
(June 2008 photo taken by Reggie A. Craig, Sr.)
Unfortunately, the PCC operation out of the Wyoming Terminal facility would be short-lived, as the DSR began
eliminating the last of its rail operation during the early-1950s and began closing its remaining carhouses. When the
Gratiot Cahouse (Gratiot at Harper) closed on September 8, 1954, most of the Michigan-Gratiot operations were
transferred to the Wyoming Carhouse. However, when PCC operation was discontinued on the Michigan portion
of the Michigan-Gratiot line on September 7, 1955, the Wyoming Carhouse was closed permanently. All of the
remaining PCCs from the Wyoming Carhouse were then transferred to Highland Park — which would now provide
the service on the two remaining carlines; Woodward and Gratiot. Although electric trolley-coach operation would
still continue out of the Wyoming Terminal, its days too would soon be numbered. When electric trolley-coach
service was discontinued on the Crosstown line on March 31, 1961, the Wyoming Terminal once again became
an all bus facility. It would remain as such through its last remaining years of operation.
|BUS ROUTES ASSIGNED TO THE WYOMING TERMINAL DURING ITS LAST YEARS (EARLY 1960s)|
|Virtual Motor City Collection photo #29985 and second 1963 photo used by permission of the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.
All rights, including those of further reproduction and/or publication, are reserved in full by the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University. Photographic
reproductions may be protected by U.S. copyright law (U.S. Title 17). The user is fully responsible for copyright infringement.
Information for the above article was compiled from various sources, including "DETROIT'S STREET RAILWAYS Vol II: City Lines 1922-1956" by Schramm,
Henning and Dworman (Bulletin 120 – Central Electric Railfans' Association); from Motor Coach Age magazine articles "Detroit's DSR, Parts 1 thru 3" written by
Jack E. Schramm; form The Detroit News articles "DSR: It Can't Afford to Run in Red" (Thursday, July 25, 1963), "The DSR's Dilemma (Part 2): Tax Help
Faces Battle at Polls and in Council" (Monday, February 17, 1964) courtesy of the S. Sycko Collection; and from miscellaneous sources in author's possession.
|This panoramic view of the DSR Wyoming Terminal property appeared in the Thursday, July 25, 1963 edition of The Detroit
News. The photo was taken while looking south toward the property buildings. The Wyoming Terminal, for the most part, was
an outdoor facility with very few enclosed bays for indoor storage. Consequently, most of the equipment was stored outdoors.
(Photo courtesy of Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University — see disclaimer below)
|ROUTES ASSIGNED TO WYOMING COACH/RAIL FACILITY — EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 6, 1950 TIMETABLES|
|MICHIGAN [RAIL– P.C.C.] (34)||
|CROSSTOWN [TROLLEY-BUS] |
|*( ) Number displayed in parentheses denotes the total number of weekdays runs assigned to each line|
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