Leased Buses in/from Hamilton, and Demonstrator Buses
Not every bus that has ever run in service on the HSR has been an HSR owned bus. Sometimes the HSR has leased buses from other transit agencies, while on other occasions the HSR has operated demonstration buses supplied by bus manufacturers in the hope of making a sale.
Alternatively, HSR buses have been found in operation well outside the city of Hamilton, having been leased out to other agencies when the HSR has had extra buses on hand.
Leased Buses in Hamilton
Burlington Transit 9889 & 9894
In 2000, the HSR leased two Burlington Transit Orion II buses, BT #9889 & 9894, for a two month period. These buses kept their BT paint job and numbers, but HSR logos were applied to the front and sides.
Buses leased from Hamilton
Hurricane Hazel disaster relief
On October 15, 1954, Hurricane Hazel hit the Toronto area. In addition to causing massive flooding that killed dozens of people, the bridges over the Humber River were badly damaged. Seven streetcars on Lakeshore Rd were left stranded on the west side of the river. Once electricity was restored these streetcars could operate, but were cut off from the rest of the streetcar network until the bridges could be repaired. Buses were needed to connect the two portions of Toronto's streetcar system, and so with the installation of temporary bridges fifteen HSR and ten CCL buses were sent to Toronto on October 18 under police escort to help out. The HSR buses were used for regular service, and the CCL buses were used during rush hour. Additionally, some HSR buses were used on the Berry Road route.
HSR #214:2 at Humber loop on Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto on October 25, 1954. HSR #214 is acting as a shuttle bus, crossing temporary bridges to connect the two halves of the QUEEN streetcar route (note the card in the front window) severed by the damaged bridges. In the background are several Toronto Transit Commission PCC streetcars, including TTC #4734. (Photo courtesy of the Toronto Public Library, Digital Collections)
An HSR bus crossing the Humber River heading east for Parkside loop on October 25 1954. Notice the heavy damage to Lakeshore Blvd on the right. (Photo courtesy of the Toronto Public Library, Digital Collections)
Several buses trying to cross the temporary Humber River bridge in October 1954. From top to bottom are a TTC CC&F C36 bus (#1103?), a former Roseland Bus Lines White 706M bus, a TTC Ford transit bus still in the colours of its previous owner Roseland Bus Lines, and CCL #1431, a Flxible 29BR-45. The former Roseland Bus Lines White 706M bus looks like it's in CCL colours, and it may be. Roseland Bus Lines, which had been bought out by the TTC a few months before, owned a single White 706M bus. It had been purchased from a Catholic convert in Hamilton in 1950, and was in a unique paint scheme that was very similar to the CCL's. It is possible that the bus was a former CCL bus that was never repainted by either of its subsequent owners. The TTC never used this bus and set it aside to be scrapped, but it looks like the TTC pulled it off the scrap line for emergency service. (Photo courtesy of the York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC05573)
Two HSR buses crossing the temporary Humber River bridge, October 1954. (Photo courtesy of the York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC05572)
CCL #1431 about to cross the temporary Humber River bridge, October 1954. (Photo by J.D. Knowles, courtesy of Leonard Jacks)
The HSR leased out a number of TA60-102Ns over the years. During June in the 1980s, Transit Windsor leased a TA60-102N from the HSR for special events in Windsor. The following table lists which buses went to Windsor and when.
Guelph Transit leased HSR #8215 for a while in the early 1990s, to test whether or not these buses would be useful in Guelph. (Guelph decided not to acquire articulated buses).
In 1997 Niagara Transit leased HSR #8210, #8212 & #8214 (and renumbered but not repainted them to NT #9748, #9749 and #9750). The HSR broke the lease with NT after two months when the HSR found itself short of buses after the 9100 series Orion V's were pulled off the road due to problems with the CNG tanks.
Western Flyer E700 (TTC #9213)
On March 23, 1972, TTC E700 #9213 arrived in Hamilton for a 10 day demonstration period to show off the latest in Trolley buses. The result of a rebuilding project between the TTC and Western Flyer, #9213 had been leased by Western Flyer from the TTC 2 weeks earlier for a tour of North America's trolley buses systems. The HSR's own fleet of E700s would arrive the following November.
TTC #9213 on Reid north of Dunsmure, March 1972 (Photo by Reg button, used with permission)
TTC #9213 at Roxborough and Ivon, March 1972. HSR #738 is in the background (Photo by Reg button, used with permission)
TTC #9213 at Beland and Dunsmure, March 1972 (Photo by Reg button, used with permission)
On May 18, 1977 an AM General articulated bus ran in Hamilton on a series of test drives in Sanford yard, the downtown core near Gore Park, and up the escarpment along the Jolley Cut.
This articulated, dual mode (either diesel or electric) bus ran as a demonstration bus in Hamilton starting on November 24, 1986. The demonstration was unfortunately halted when slush from an early winter storm on December 3 clogged the bus's air intake, overheating the engine and causing the bus to break down.
The Neoplan Demonstrator bus on Queenston Rd, west of Riverdale Dr, November 25, 1986. (Photo courtesy of Ted Wickson, used with permission)NFI DE40LF
NFI demonstrated its DE40LF in Hamilton for a three week period in January 2006, assigned to the Redeemer University Shuttle route. The HSR would go on to buy their own fleet of similar buses, the DE41LFs
Nova Bus LFX
Two separate Nova Bus LFX's have demonstrated with the HSR. Nova Bus's 2008 LFX demonstrator model arrived in Hamilton on March 25, 2010 for a single day of demonstration, followed by the 2010 LFX demonstrator on January 18, 2011. Neither demonstration run resulted in the HSR purchasing buses.
Arboc SOM26D (DARTS #410635)
The HSR leased DARTS #410635 as part of a three month trial from March 29 to June 28, 2010. The bus was run primarily on the 52A DUNDAS LOCAL, 18 WATERDOWN and 12 WENTWORTH routes.
As a result of this test run, the HSR would purchase its own fleet of SOM26Ds.
New Flyer XN60 (Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority #6004)
On May 13, 2013 New Flyer demonstrated its XN60 in Hamilton. The bus was actually Akron (Ohio) Metro Regional Transit Authority #6004, which was detoured to Hamilton as it was being delivered to Akron. The HSR would go on to buy their own fleet of New Flyer XN60 buses.
New Flyer XE35
From November 28 to December 6 2018 New Flyer demonstrated its XE35 in Hamilton. This bus was a demonstration model, and was only used to 'shadow' HSR buses on regular routes. No orders for this bus model resulted from the demonstration.
Proterra Catalyst BE40
On April 26, 2019 a Proterra Catalyst BE40 was demonstrated in Hamilton. Not used in actual service, this bus 'shadowed' HSR buses on regular routes. No orders for this bus model resulted from the demonstration.