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Horrell Transportation Company

Acquired by PAT on March 24, 1964

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Horrell coach 34 headed outbound from Pittsburgh

The Horrell Transportation Company can be traced back to a partnership between two school bus drivers in 1935. Samuel W. Horrell and Roy N. Lorish were school bus drivers in the Reserve Township area of Allegheny County and saw the need for a regular fixed route service to connect the township to the Pittsburgh Railways Company trolley routes that skirted the township border. Horrell and Lorrish applied for and were granted 2 routes that connected Keating Car House with the end of the line for the Troy Hill and Spring Garden streetcar routes.

Each of the new two new feeder routes were approximately three and a half miles long and began operation in early 1936. The service started with a well worn 1926 Garfield model KB and a new 1936 Chevrolet School Bus with a Superior body and transit style seating. The company name at this point was simply Horrell & Lorish.

During 1936, Horrell and Lorish applied for a direct route into Downtown Pittsburgh from the Berkley Hills section of Ross Township via Mt. Troy Road. The route was approved in 1937 and included a service restriction against local traffic along the Troy Hill streetcar line. This restriction was changed in 1940 to allow for limited local service for Horrell and Lorish along the streetcar line. At this time the first of the original feeder routes, the Keating-Troy Hill route, was eliminated in favor of the through service route to Pittsburgh.

October 1942 saw the elimination of the second of the original feeder routes as the Spring Garden route was discontinued. At the same time, the portion of the original two lines from Troy Hill and Geyer Roads to Keating was consolidated with the 1937 Berkley Hills line as a deviation from the main routing. A limited service alternate routing for the Berkley Hills line was also instituted at this time which went out Wible Run Road instead of Anderson Road.

The year 1946 saw several changes to service. The Berkley Hills line was extended to Wildwood and a new route that went from Pittsburgh via McKnight Road to Brooks Lane (Brookview Lane) was added. Connections between the Berkley Hills route and the new Brooks Lane route was permitted by the PaPUC. A new loop to Gibsonia was also added at this time.

Horrell & Lorish dissolved their partnership in March 8, 1950 with Roy Lorish going back into the school bus business and Samuel Horrell keeping the fixed route service and some of the school bus service. Horrell changed the name of the operation to Horrell Transportation Company. The reason for the split between Samuel Horrell and Roy Lorish is not known.

There apparently was some confusion with the new company name among some. Most references clarify that the Horrell Transportation Company was not part of the G. W. Horrell Transportation Company which was an intercity carrier that operated between Pittsburgh and Indiana, PA. It is not currently known if the Samuel W. Horrell and G. W. Horrell were related.

The first major changes to the new Horrell Transportation Company occurred on May 10, 1954 when Horrell purchased the Beaver Suburban Motor Coach Company that ran two routes in the North Hills area. Horrell immediately combined those two routes to form a single route known as the McKnight Road - Duncan Avenue route.

At this point, Horrell also combined and restructured the other routes along with the former Beaver Suburban routes and had 5 routes operating, McKnight Road - Duncan Avenue, East Street - McKnight Road, Mt. Troy Road to Ivory Ave./Gibsonia, Millvale - Laurel Gardens and Millvale - Shaler Crest. The later two routes were feeders and eventually became deviations of the existing through routes but it is unclear when this occurred..

In 1961, Harmony Short Lines went out of business and most of the Harmony routes were picked up by other operators. Two routes that weren't were the inner part of the Perry Highway route to Warrendale and New Castle as well as McKnight Road route to Cumberland Road and Perry Highway. Horrell applied for a new single replacement route via Perry Highway to Ingomar with a deviation via Cumberland and Guinevere Roads. This line was granted by the PaPUC in 1961.

Horrell operated much of its service in a rapidly developing area and had the highest income per passenger of any of the Independent Operators even though it carried far less people. This higher income was due mostly to higher fares charged. An example cited was an average of 50 cents per passenger revenue while Oriole Motor Coach averaged 22 cents per passenger. Horrell carried about 2,100 passengers a day and was about 1/5 of the daily passenger count of Oriole.

The equipment used by Horrell Transportation Company was well maintained. After the original company was dissolved, Horrell purchased and/or acquired several used buses of various makes. By 1957, Horrell was purchasing new GM coaches and a few second hand GM coaches. Horrell had 2 notable distinctions in the equipment area which were the purchase of the very first GM New Look coach in the Pittsburgh area in 1959 and the fact that they were one of three Independents that ran 40 foot coaches in the Pittsburgh area.

PAT acquired 26 coaches and 4 routes when it acquired Horrell Transportation Company on March 24, 1964. PAT also acquired 2 garages from Horrell, the main facility on Mt. Troy Road at Geyer Road and a secondary storage garage located near the Northway Mall which PAT did not utilize. Operations by PAT from Horrell's main garage lasted less than a year before the routes were transferred to the Manchester garage and the garages disposed of.

Equipment (with PAT number if acquired)
Horrell Number Make Model Year PAT Number Comments
? Garford KB 1926 - acq 1936
? Chevrolet ? 1936 - School Bus
? Fageol ? 1926 - acq 1936
? White ? 1936 - acq 1937
? White ? 1937 -  
? White ? 1938 -  
? White ? 1939 - acq 1940
? White 706-M 1940 -  
? White ? 1940 - School Bus
?-? (2) International ? 1940 - School Bus
? Brockway ? 1937 - School Bus
6 Flxible 25CR-41 1941 -  
? Chevrolet ? 1941 - School Bus
? White ? 1940 - acq 1942
? Reo 96-HT 1945 -  
? Reo ? 1945 - School Bus
? Reo 96-HT 1946 -  
? Dodge ? 1946 - School Bus
?-? (3) Reo ? 1947 - School Bus
15 Flxible 29B1-47 1947


16 Reo ? 1947 -  
17 Reo ? 1947 -  
18 Flxible 29B1-48 1948 -  
19-20 Reo ? 1948


School Bus
21 Reo E122 1950


School Bus
22 ? ? ? ? ?
23 Superior ? 1951 -  
24 Reo ? 1950 - acq 1953
25-26 Beaver 31-PT 1941 - acq 1954 from the Beaver Suburban Motor Coach Company 314, 316
27 Flxible 29BR-45 1945


acq 1955 from G.W.Horrell Transportation Co
28 Flxible 33B1-47 1947


acq 1955 from Glen Burnie Coach Co
29 Marmon School Bus 1956 15  
30-32 GM TDH4512 1957 351-353  
33-34 GM TDH4512 1958 354-355  
35 GM TDH4517 1959 525  
36 GM TDH4517 1960 526  
37-41 GM TDH3610 1947 879-882  
42 GM TDH4517 1961 527  
43 GM TDH5302 1962 1960  
44-46 GM TDH4517 1962 528-530  
47 GM TDH3610 1948 883  
48-49 GM TDH4519 1963 544-545  

NR indicates PAT acquired the coach but never renumbered it. A "-" indicated the coach was gone before PAT took over

Routes (shown with PAT numbers)
6A Troy Hill Road
11A McKnight Road
11B Evergreen Road
11C Perry Highway

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This page was updated on June 25, 2008

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