Skiway: Mt. Hood’s Fabulous Flying Buses

(first posted 3/16/2012)    I guess the title gives it away to some extent, but you’ll have to watch this two-minute video to see what that really entails. And it took me a couple of minutes to figure out how exactly it worked; this is no typical tramway, for sure. Pictures and explanation follows:

Son Edward (devoted Hood skier every weekend) first sent me a link to some pictures of the Skiway, but they weren’t very clear, and I was having a bit of trouble figuring it out, especially the wheels. But as this sharper one makes clear, these were self-propelled trams, relying on the bus’ under-floor engine to turn the rear wheel, which had the cable wrapped around it, as well as the idler front wheel. Wild. The buses were modified Kenworth Model T-216 Pacific School Coaches.

Unfortunately, the Skiway was a financial bust; the road to the Timberline Lodge was improved the following year, and the shuttle bus to it was 50¢ compared to the Skiway’s 75¢ fare. After three years, the Skiway went bust. Makes one wonder what happened to the buses; did they get converted back to transit use?

Skiway PS

Thanks to MikePDX, here’s a link to a Popular Science article that explains it in greater detail.

more Skiway history here at