1958 City Transit Routes

ETB Route Changes made by MVRTA after 1988
As of November 2005

Around 1988 the MVRTA was headed toward total abandonment of the Dayton ETB system, and although this was never accomplished, several ETB routes were "temporarily" retired, but with the overhead trolley wires left intact.

One ETB route, #2W on the West end, was actually dismantled in order to allow construction of US Expressway 35 West to be built over most of the streets that 2W had traveled. (Construction of US 35 East, in 1967, had forced dismantlement of the Richard Street ETB route, old 3E, and Clover/Lorain Route 6E) Route 8W had originally looped around the lake; US 35 construction forced rerouting of 8W.

During the attempted drive to eliminate ETBs starting in the late 1980s, some of the lower-ridership ETB routes were converted to diesel operation, but the wires remained intact.

Route 1 (3rd Street-Murray) was dieselized, with the previously all-diesel Townview branch through-routed with the Mt. Crest extension on the East side. Rush hour-only ETBs continued to operate between Murray loop and Drexel.

Route 2 (5th Street-Home Ave) was operated as an East-side-only rush-hour tripper, looping in the CBD. The West end was dismantled, as set forth above. The West end was replaced with a new diesel route, #22; see below for details.

Route 3 (Wayne-Lexington) became an all-diesel route, serving the eastern suburbs beyond the original ETB terminus at Fauver.

Route 4 (Delphos-Hearthstone) remained untouched; the East end Hearthstone loop was re-wired by an experimental flexible overhead, which remains today.

Route 5 (Far Hills-Salem) became ETB only from the CBD to Stroop Road; Salem Avenue became part of Route 8.

Route 7 (N. Main-Watervliet) was shortened, and had wire removed north of Redwood, and East of Ewalt.

Route 8 (Lakeview-Leo) became Lakeview-Salem, the Salem segment formerly the North end of route 5. Both branches of the Lakeview end were retained, service alternating between the lake and Nicholas Road. The Leo end was abandoned, although the wire is mostly intact today. Service on the North end is somewhat covered by the new diesel route 22, which is through-routed on the West end running closely to the old route 2W ETB line, albeit not on Home Avenue, which is now under the US 35 paving for the most part. During construction of US 35 over the lake, the old 8W loop around the lake was dismantled and replaced with a temporary loop at Lakeview and Bowie, which is still used at night.

Route 9 (Cincinnati-Valley) was abandoned on the West end, with a new diesel route 9S replacing it. The wire remains mostly intact, except on Washington and Cincinnati streets. The Valley Street end later became through-routed with 5S (Far Hills) and today is operated week-days as a Route 5 AM & PM tripper, Saturday daytime only, no Sunday ETBs.


After the decision was made in the early 1990s to retain the ETB system, several ETB routes were extended, and some through-routing changes were implemented, to wit:

Route 1 (Drexel-Mt. Crest) was created in 1996 when the East end was extended beyond the Murray loop with a long one-way loop over Smithville/Mt. Crest/Radio Road before returning to 3rd Street. Murray loop is disconnected but the wire remains. The old west-side Bluecrest loop has been largely dismantled. All route 1 ETBs pass thru the Westown Hub in both directions. At night and Sundays no ETBs operate; diesels on 3rd Street from Wright State University are thru-routed with both Townview and Drexel. Route 11 diesel detours around Mt. Crest at night.

Route 2 (Cosler-Otterbein) is ETB-operated only as a week-day AM/PM tripper. Diesels extend the route on both ends, with the 2E diesel operating into the Eastown Hub. Some school trippers run into the E. 5th/Henry loop.

Route 3 (Townview-Eastown Hub): Most significant was the 1999 conversion of the Townview diesel line to ETB. Branching off West 3rd Street and passing through the new Westown Hub, on Elmhurst just North of 3rd Street, a new ETB line was built some 2.6 miles to the West through the city of Trotwood. It was through-routed with 3E (Wayne Ave) which was soon extended (in the summer of year 2000) to the Eastown hub, using former Route 4E wires on Smithville, Linden, Hearthstone, and Arcadia. Alternate diesels run between Townview and eastern suburbs. At nights and Sundays there are no ETBs on 3W to Townview (see Route 1 above). Route 3E is served at night and on Sundays by ETBs inbound only; see "4" below.

Route 4 (Delphos-Eastown) remains the same on the west end, but was extended in 2000 to the Eastown Hub, running both inbound and outbound on Linden Avenue. (The old Hearthstone loop is now covered by the Route 3) At night and Sundays, ETBs run Eastbound from Delphos via the CBD and Linden Avenue to Eastown Hub as a "4", and then return westward via Route 3 via Hearthstone, Arcadia, and Wayne Avenue to the CBD and thence to Delphos as a 4W.

Route 5 (Far Hills-Valley) See "9" above.

Route 7 (N.Main-Woodman): The line was reinstated to its original length, with rush-hour ETBs alternating into the Redwood loop on the north end. The Forest Park loop was not replaced. The South end operates to Woodman Drive and thence around the Rainbow loop.

Route 8 (Lakeview-Salem): Having taken over the old Route 5 Salem line, 8N was extended in 2000 beyond the Fairgreen loop to the new Northwest Hub. On the west end, new 2-way wire was strung beyond the "temporary" Bowie loop along the south side of the lake to Gettysburg, thence North to W. 3rd Street, where it uses the Route 1 & 3 wires to the new Westown Hub, which is the new terminus of 8W. Daytimes most ETBs either run Nicholas Road to Northwest Hub or Westown to Fairgreen. At nights ETBs run from Northwest Hub via the CBD to Bowie, backtrack to McArthur, and then cover the Nicholas road loop before returning to the CBD and thence out Salem to Northwest Hub. Route 8W was removed after 1988 from Washington Street between S. Main and Germantown Avenue, and rerouted over the dormant Route 2W wires on 4th and 5th between S. Main Street and Horace, thence over new wire to Mound Street and then South to Germantown and Washington. This avoided the busiest railroad crossing in Dayton, Washington Street, where both the B & O (CSX) and the NYC (Conrail) cross at grade, which previously played havoc with Route 8W schedules.

SUBSTATIONS: Originally the Dayton ETB system purchased 600 volt Direct Current (DC) from the Dayton Power & Light Co. (DPL). Substations owned by DPL included the main sub at 4th St. in the CBD and operated with rotary convertors, requiring around the clock attendants. There were two DPL rectifier subs, one on Conover St. on the near West side, and on Wyoming St. on the near East side. Two small automatic rotary convertor subs were located at Hillcrest and at Huffman Avenue. Starting about 1985 these were all eventually replaced with modern rectifier subs, now owned by the MVRTA, with high voltage AC 3-phase power being now purchased from DPL. Also, five additional self-contained "packaged" rectifier subs were installed around the periphery of the system in order to maintain better regulation of the DC trolley voltage. These are located at Delphos/W.3rd, Fairgreen/Salem, Fauver/Wayne, Far Hills/Stroop, and on Germantown/Lakeview. The rectifier (and two old rotaries) at Conover remain on stand-by status. The sub on Far Hills is a unique traction sub; it is hidden in a "garage" attached to a former residence in an upscale area. It is impossible to find, as all wires are underground.

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