Talk:National City Lines
Get Talk:National City Lines essential facts below. View Videos or join the Talk:National City Lines discussion. Add Talk:National City Lines to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Talk:National City Lines
WikiProject Trains / Streetcars (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Trains, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to rail transport on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
   This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Buses  
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Buses, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of buses on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
   This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
   This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Revision ostensibly for a neutral pont-of-view

Old version: Apologists for corporate interests generally claim that the conversion to buses would have occurred anyway, but NCL's illegal practices while carrying out this conversion are court documents.

DavidLevinson's version: Transportation historians note that the conversion to buses would likely have occurred anyway, and the streetcar ridership peaked in 1920 before the existence of NCL and was steadily declining.

Neither is very NPOV. What do real historians do? Do real historians ever note that an event would likely have occurred anyway? Or is that what apologists do?"

Can anyone tell the difference any more? What do Wikipedians think? My POV isn't N enough here... Wetman 19:22, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

"Real historians" should note whether an event would likely have occurred, yes. A principal duty of the historian is to determine whether a correspondence was the result of a chain of causation. In the case of the streetcar conspiracy theory, a "real historian" would have a duty to point out the gaping holes in the chain of causation put forth by Snell, Kuntsler, and all the other "juicefans." Any serious student of transportation history is going to be well aware of the changes that were taking place long before the "conspiracy" could have reasonably come into being. --Slightlyslack 08:51, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

I have always felt that their are 4 gaping holes in the National City Lines Conspiracy theory:
1. St. Louis started buying buses almost 20 years before National City Lines (NCL) bought interest in the property. No new streetcar lines were built in St. Louis after 1917 and any expansions to the system were made with buses. NCL did not buy their interest in St. Louis until around 1942.
2. Many of the non-NCL cities got rid of their streetcars before the NCL cities did. St. Louis' cross-state rival, Kansas City, was not an NCL property. Yet they discontinued their streetcars in 1957; nine years before NCL owned St. Louis did.
3. The last property NCL owned was El Paso, Texas. At the time NCL sold El Paso, they were still running streetcars. Furthermore, at the time NCL sold St. Louis, they were still running streetcars. Ultimately the cars in St. Louis were discontinued after the Bi-State developement agency took over the transit system.
4. Philiadelhia, Pennsylvania was an NCL property. Yet, to this day, THEY ARE STILL RUNNING STREETCARS! If it was the goal of NCL to kill the streetcar, as many insist, how come they are still running in Philiadelphia? Those who support the NCL conspiracy theory have never come up with an adequate answer to this question. Reason number 4 is the main reason why I personnally do not put much credit in the NCL conspiracy theory. wcheger St. Louis

Los Angeles is evidence of the conspiracy. Before the NCL takeover, Pacific Electric was one of the largest railway companies in the world, operating across over a thousand miles of mainline track. Within twenty years, all of it was gone, replaced with General Motors built buses.

Which 100 lines were bought by National City?

It would be nice to add the Streetcars that were bought out by National.

NATIONAL CITY LINES DID NOT DIRECTLY OWN THE PACIFIC ELECTRIC. They did own the Los Angeles Railway Company which ran the city streetcars. Another conglomerate, Metropolitan coach lines, took over the Pacific Electric Lines. This group owned the PE passenger lines from 1953 until 1958. At that time, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority took over what remained of both systems. The LAMTA ended the Pacific Electric Service in 1961 and the remainder of the Los Angeles Railway Company lines were discontinued in 1963. National City Lines was out of the transit business in Los Angeles by 1958. They did not make the final decision to end service. The final decision was made by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority. wcheger St. Louis

Yes, which exactly are the "100 electric surface-traction (streetcar) systems in 45 cities"? Orange Mike 19:30, 10 April 2006 (UTC)Orangemike

Yes, given the severity of the charges and the intensity of the emotion of this debate, it would serve legitimate research to have uncontroversial information be as complete as possible. A list of NCL-owned systems (and a list of non-NCL-owned systems which operated streetcars) would be instrumental. --Preceding unsigned comment added by Harpwolf (talk o contribs) 08:41, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Where are the facts about NCL?

Most of this article deals with the subject of the Great American Streetcar Scandal, which is a separate article. This article should focus on NCL, not GM and the "scandal".Vontrotta (talk) 11:16, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

NPOV and accuracy

I have just reworked the article to remove what I consider to be bias and some inaccuracies. In particular:

  • I don't think that 'front company' is the appropriate description for the organisation. For sure they were convicted of a crime later but so are many other companies and that in itself is not evidence for such a description in the first sentence of the lead. I have replaced it with 'controversial company'.
  • I think the section titled '1949 Conspiracy conviction' again gives too sinister a message. I have replaced it with 'Court case and conviction 1947-1949'
  • I have added more detail about the court case and a 'main' link to the Great American streetcar scandal article.
  • I have removed a single 'further reading' suggestion from the references section - there is a more comprehensive and balanced list of suggestions at the end of the Great American streetcar scandal article.

-- PeterEastern (talk) 09:02, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

E. Roy Fitzgerald

Here is the text of the now-deleted E. Roy Fitzgerald article

E. Roy Fitzgerald was the head of National City Lines, a corporation that expanded across cities of the United States throughout the 1930s and 1940s. After purchasing the inner-city railways he replaced them with buses which were removed in the 1950s and 1960s. America's cities went from having mass-transit to being almost fully car-driven.

See also


{{Uncategorized|date=October 2011}}

Establishment date

WE>(The article says it was founded in 1920, companies established in 1920 category too. Court documents say 1920. Even if under a different name, that is when the business started.)

No. The court documents reflect that NCL's roots stretched back to 1920, but the company itself only strictly from 1936, and even in the widest sense, only from the early 30s. The Fitzgeralds were also involved in Brill-centric car lines during the NCL period, for instance; do you see them as part of NCL? Anmccaff (talk) 17:35, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

The court decision says 'humble beginning in 1920, consisting of the ownership and operation of two second-hand busses in Minnesota,'
...which refers to the Fitzgerald's involvement in buses, which continued outside of NCL. NCL only came into existence in 1936. The Fitzgeralds only became "startup artists' around 1930. Neither NCL nor anything like it under another name existed then.Anmccaff (talk) 22:34, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
Another point, where is a reference for this to being a holding company today, and also proving that the holding company is the same company. Just having the same name doesn't mean its the same outfit. I found this[1] holding company it is 1985 it started so that can't be National....William, is the complaint department really on the roof? 17:59, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
In fact, that is, obviously even at a glance, exactly the same company, although doing business as a "foreign corporation" in Texas, rather than as one in Illinois. Manta is designed for business contacts, not corporate history; the date could reflect almost anything. Anmccaff (talk) 22:47, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
@Anmccaff: This article was about a company that was out of business, then you changed the article to it being in business with this edit[2]. Now you changed it to being out of business again. resource needs something more reliable than your memory.
A look at the history shows my memory was reliable; I noted that that was as of 2007, with the implication, of course, that something could have changed since. Anmccaff (talk) 22:43, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
Court document clearly says company had its 'beginning' in 1920....William, is the complaint department really on the roof? 20:28, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
Which has nothing to do with its own existence as a company, but only about its forbears. Anmccaff (talk) 22:34, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
@Anmccaff: OK, I just saw this Talk discussion, I didn't know it was already a "thing". I had made 1920 the establishment date, and then it was subjected to continuous removal by Anmccaff. I now see this has been discussed before, with no actual refutation (other than assertion) of the 1920 start date. All I can say is I've read and edited many, many resource articles on companies, and, barring complex mergers where separate pre-merger articles of the merger components might exist independently, the date of establishment is the date of the start of operations. This company began operating in 1920. Of course it changed drastically, often changing its legal structure, ownership, etc. but just about any company that appears in resource would have gone through a similar process, almost by definition. And BTW the same can be true (and often is true) for almost any organization, including educational organizations, even if businesses generally have more incentives for deliberate obfuscation of such moves, as may well be the case with National City Lines. Exactly when a company became a particular type of industry or entity might be a problem, but to say that the establishment of a company starts with some (almost inevitable) legal or structural change makes the whole idea of "establishment" of any moderately-large or significant company--that is, just about any company that belongs in Wikipedia--meaningless. If that frozen food conglomerate that pumps chemicals into the frozen simulacra of the organic matter it sells and that is now a Seychelles-based holding company, if that company started in great-great-grandma's kitchen in 1906, then it was established in 1906. And nothing else is really going to work. The date of establishment, as with any category, should match the article, and this article now shows that National City Lines began as a small bus company in Minnesota. And please note the word "began," that is all that matters for this particular category. The place to show the subsequent machinations of National City Lines is in the body of the article, with sourcing etc., and not by trying to change the definition of "establishment" to something arbitrary. Oh BTW, if the establishment of the holding company deserves a separate establishment date category--fine, I won't argue with that. But IMO a wholesale re-definition of Wikipedia's categorization standard for what constitutes "establishment"--which is what is really being pushed here by Anmccaff--is off the table. Doprendek (talk) 13:26, 30 July 2017


There is no need to refute the 1920 start date, there is no good evidence of it, except on Wiki itself. Anmccaff (talk) 15:23, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Except for y'know that **LEGAL RULING** that called the 1920 origin "undisputed" Doprendek (talk) 15:27, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
no. To begin with, legal rulings can be true for some narrowoint, but not for a wider one. O.j. Simpson, for example, has been found responsible and not responsible for the same activity in different courts. The fitzgerald's were involved in bus operationsack to he '20s, and NCL grew out of those. T doesn't mean they were a single thing. Anmccaff (talk) 15:54, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Top US Cities was developed using's knowledge management platform. It allows users to manage learning and research. Visit defaultLogic's other partner sites below: : Music Genres | Musicians | Musical Instruments | Music Industry