Old Bus Photos

Barton Transport – AEC Reliance – 839 EVO – 839

839 EVO

Barton Transport
1960
AEC Reliance 2MU3RV
Alexander C41F

The independent Barton company became very satisfied customers of the AEC Reliance, taking its first one early in 1955. In subsequent years many more entered service, Alexander and Plaxton bodywork being favoured. Here is one of a batch of five 2MU3RV coaches with Alexander C41F bodywork delivered in May/June 1960. 839 EVO is seen in the summer of 1961 in London on Elizabeth Bridge, which straddles the main Southern railway line just south of Victoria Station. The present day transformation of the somewhat neglected building immediately behind the coach, notwithstanding the fact that it sits directly alongside a cutting carrying trains into the second busiest railway terminal in Britain (Waterloo is No.1) is evidence of the ‘gentrification’ of much of our capital city – (Oh for the old days).

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


02/12/16 – 07:17

This type of Alexander body was widely used by Scottish companies, and were a common sight in the likes of Carlisle ‘Western’ and Newcastle ‘SMT’, but unlike the later ‘Y’ types, they weren’t embraced by many operators south of the border. That said, they weren’t a million miles away from the Park Royal bodies of the time. Was there a link?

Ronnie Hoye


02/12/16 – 16:03

Barton also had a number of Leyland Tiger Cubs with this style of body. I think they were designated dual-purpose, but it was rather stretching the meaning of the term. The seating standard was at the extreme "bus" end of DP. They were used quite a lot on the 15 Ilkeston – Long Eaton – Sawley route. The Reliances were very much more coach style. I remember seeing them on the Nottingham – Warsaw service that ran for a few years in the 1960s. Strangely (most of?) the Reliance "coaches" had route number/destination indicators above the rear windows, whereas none of the Tiger Cub "DP/buses" had them.

Stephen Ford


02/12/16 – 16:49

Ronnie,
The PRV link with this body was indirect in that both this and the PRV ‘Royalist’ coach on Reliance were inspired by alloy-framed ECW and Scottish Aviation bodies of a couple years earlier. This style was first fitted to four pre-production Tiger Cub Coaches in late 1952. The first Royalist was on a Reliance for Birch Brothers in 1954. Also in 1954 SOL and ALexander took PRV bodied AEC Monocoaches and from 1955-57 had Monocoaches Reliances and Tiger Cubs with Alexander bodies to the same outline, after that they took a body with this frontal treatment but a straight waist. Meanwhile Barton and Western SMT took this style until 1960.
PRV and Alexander both moved from Aluminium to Steel frames for their bodies at the turn of the decade to get BET orders, both built 30ft bodies to BET outline, and Alexander also combined this front with 31ft bodies for the Alexander companies and North Western in 1961 and 36ft Leopards in 1962 for North Western.

Stephen Allcroft


03/12/16 – 07:01

I took a rear end photo of a 1961 Barton Plaxton Panorama coach at Chilwell in September that had a destination box like Stephen F mentions.
www.ipernity.com

David Slater


 

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Midland General – AEC Regal III – KRR 255 – 175

Midland General - AEC Regal III - KRR 255 - 175

Midland General Omnibus Company
1949
AEC Regal III 9621E
Weymann DP35F

A classic combination of AEC Regal III and Weymann body.
Chassis number 9621E481 was combined with a 35-seat front-entrance Weymann body, M4122, and appropriate seating to allow dual-purpose use.
Worthy of note is the ‘MGO’ badge replacing the more usual AEC triangle and also the additional chrome-work of which Midland General were so fond. For me, the blue and cream livery was enhanced by this additional, but tasteful adornment. This superb vehicle was caught at Showbus 2016. 

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson


03/11/16 – 07:11

This Regal was one of a batch of twelve 174-185 with Midland General all of which were transferred from Mansfield & District in 1958. So it would have originally been in a Green and Cream livery and may of had a MDT badge on the grill and was fleet number 9, not sure if the chrome work is original or added by Midland General at a later date.

M A


03/11/16 – 14:49

There were some Leyland PS1s with similar bodywork placed in service by Crosville Motor Services which were diverted from Midland General. They have the same style of chrome work and more of it on the side panels.
Photographs to compare may be seen on the SCT’61 website: http://www.sct61.org.uk/index/operator/cv  
Photo 30 shows preserved LFM 302. Photo 31 of LFM 303 in quite a battered state after Crosville had sold it to a contractor.

David Slater


08/11/16 – 16:12

mgo_badge

Mention is made of the MGO radiator badge in the picture of KRR 255. I attach an image of such a badge, as the picture does not show it off very well.

Stephen Howarth


 

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London Transport – AEC Routemaster – WLT 339 – RM 339

London Transport - AEC Routemaster - WLT 339 - RM 339

London Transport
1960
AEC Routemaster 4/5RM5/4
Park Royal H36/28R

The 630 trolleybus route took over from the former South Metropolitan tramway that ran between West Croydon and Mitcham on 12 September 1937, and was extended northwards over ex LCC tramway routes to a destination that, on the vehicle blinds, rather indecisively declared itself to be “Nr. Willesden Junction”. It was actually about half a mile short of that point, and, many years later, the displayed destination was amended to “Harlesden”. The 630 trolleys ran speedily, quietly and reliably for 23 years, until the cheapness of diesel fuel against the price of electricity, coupled with the costs of overhead maintenance, spelt the doom of the trolleybus, not just in London, but nationwide. The 630 route fell victim to the diesel bus after operation on 19 July 1960, and brand new Routemasters on rebranded route 220 took over the following day. Here is RM 339, delivered to LT on 16 May 1960, approaching the West Croydon terminal point shortly after the introduction of the 220 route – the trolleybus overhead wires are still in situ. Today, the Croydon transport scene has changed beyond recognition, and route 220 no longer serves the town.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


23/10/16 – 13:37

As we know, hindsight is a exact science, and it was probably a mistake to get rid of trolleybuses. They were quick, clean and quiet, but they were restricted to where they could go by the overhead wires, they were capable of traveling short distances when disconnected, and had they been allowed to advance, its quite possible they would now be able to store energy and travel quite long distances when disconnected. They could use a pantograph instead of poles which could be dropped at the push of a button, thus allowing them to overtake each other, or go away from the wires altogether, and a single wire would probably be sufficient. Given the world we live in today, the biggest problem would probably be cable theft, or am I just being cynical?

Ronnie Hoye


23/10/16 – 13:37

I bet a lot of people wish the trolleybuses had stayed, given current concerns over pollution in towns, not to mention fluctuating fuel prices. They were quiet, comfortable and electricity could be generated in many different ways.

David Wragg


24/10/16 – 07:15

How would a trolley with pantograph and a single wire work without a return to earth. Surely a conducting strip rubbing on the road surface wouldn’t work.

John Lomas


24/10/16 – 07:16

I have seen photos of early trolleybuses, where the vehicle had a half-cab layout and even a representation of a radiator. Seeing this one under the wires, I wonder why I looked for the poles on the roof!

Pete Davies


24/10/16 – 07:18

And it’s a further irony that this section of road supports the overhead wires of the Croydon Tramlink.
The wheel has turned full circle, but I do regret the passing of London’s fabulous trolleybus system.

Petras409


24/10/16 – 07:19

The 830 route reminds me of my having a girlfriend who lived in Croydon and I used to catch the last trolleybus across to Mitcham – they could do 60mph across the common, according to a driver, with a lot of shuddering! I’d then get a 118 to Morden and walk the last two miles home. It will cause no surprise to learn that the relationship was short-lived! We did go to the Majestic Cinema at Fair Green a couple of times.
London’s trolleybuses were quite sophisticated, with regenerative braking and many had chassisless bodies, not repeated until the Routemaster. LTE had to pay a wayleave on each pole, unlike municipal operators. Also, much of the electrical infrastructure dated back to the trams and was worn out, as were the trolleybuses by the 1960’s. Electricity costs (already mentioned)and limited flexibility with route changes or new, expensive suburb extensions sealed their fate. However, to ride on them with their silence, amazing acceleration and hill-climbing ability was exhilarating!

Chris Hebbron


24/10/16 – 08:58

I think I’m right in saying that in the initial stages of design of the Routemaster there was the possibility of a trolleybus version being made.

David Chapman


24/10/16 – 10:28

John, I don’t know the ins and outs of how it would work, but I’m sure its not beyond the bounds of possibility. Remember, in 1969, the Americans sent a man to the Moon with less computer technology than there is in today’s mobile phones

Ronnie Hoye


24/10/16 – 13:22

Ah, Ronnie, you’re referring to what my son calls a camera that makes phone calls!

Pete Davies


25/10/16 – 06:41

I don’t think a pantograph would work as the big advantage of trolley poles was that if a trolleybus had broken down, all that had to be done was to lower the poles and following vehicles could then creep past it – there was that amount of leeway in the system. As a matter of interest, the very early and very short-lived Dundee system used buses with single trolleys, with the current being returned to the road surface using a trailing metal strip.

David Wragg


25/10/16 – 08:07

Never heard of that method before, David W. Why was the system shortlived; for being quirky or some other?

Chris Hebbron


25/10/16 – 14:00

The use of a single trolley pole with a return via the ground was used in the early days of trolleybuses when operators were testing them on existing tram routes. The trolleybus took the positive feed from the single overhead tram wire and used a skate running in the tram track for the negative return. I am pretty sure it was only ever used as a temporary measure under trial conditions.

Philip Halstead


25/10/16 – 14:01

This Dundee link shows picture of the first Dundee trolley which seems to have double poles/wires. www.dmoft.co.uk/2011/04

John Lomas


25/10/16 – 17:02

The system was short-lived because of the damage the trolleybus wheels inflicted on the poor road surfaces and the damage the road surfaces inflicted on the trolleybuses. As John L writes, the image he refers to does show twin trolley poles, but ‘British Trolleybus Systems’ by Messrs Joyce, King and Newman says that the trolleybuses used the existing tram overhead. The whole concept was seen as a feeder to the trams, not a replacement, giving the impression that once traffic built up or the city’s residential area expanded, the trolleybuses would be replaced by trams.
The system operated from September 1912 to May 1914, so it was Britain’s first trolleybus system, and also the first to be abandoned.

David Wragg


26/10/16 – 06:16

David, perhaps the Dundee trolleybuses were the first to operate in Scotland, as the first trolleybuses to operate in the UK were those of the Bradford and Leeds Transport Departments in 1911. Both undertakings first operated their trolleybuses on 20th June 1911 on their respective inaugural runs, but whereas Leeds then continued to operate them in service from that date, Bradford’s entered public service a few days later on June 24th. The Bradford vehicles operated on a short route from Thornbury to Dudley Hill via Laisterdyke, and connected with the tram routes on Leeds Road and Wakefield Road at either end. Leeds decided to close its system in 1928, when the trolleybuses and electrical equipment were apparently in need of replacement. In contrast however, Bradford continued to expand its network over the years and operated trolleybuses very successfully until March 1972 – the system being the last to operate in the UK.

Brendan Smith


26/10/16 – 06:17

Birmingham used the Skate to travel between depots and their overhaul works probably at night I guess.

Patrtick Armstrong


26/10/16 – 06:19

Two of those Dundee trolleybuses went to Halifax for the Corporation’s only trolley route between Pellon and Wainstalls. They were joined by a new Tilling-Stevens machine, but the route operated only from 1921 until 1926, when trolleybuses were abandoned forever by Halifax. During those five years, the trolleys ran between Pellon and Skircoat Road depot by connecting the positive trolley boom to the tram overhead and dragging a metal skid in the tram track to give the negative return to earth.

Roger Cox


27/10/16 – 08:19

If you would like an idea of what a Routemaster trolleybus might have looked like go here www.britmodeller.com/forums/ to see one modeller’s ideas and how he developed the idea and the advice he received.

Phil Blinkhorn


02/11/16 – 05:55

In Ken Blackers book he does mention that the option of electric power was considered,although given that by this times sentence had been passed on the trolleybus.
The trolleybus route 630 was intended to be worked from Thornton Heath and crews from there were provided with a staff bus whilst waiting for the wires to reach into Surrey which they unfortunately never did.
Trolleybuses should be the environmental public transport vehicle of choice, cheaper and more flexible than Trams

Patrtick Armstrong


03/11/16 – 06:20

Not quite sure, Patrick, what you mean about "the wires reaching into Surrey which, unfortunately, they never did". Croydon and Thornton Heath were in Surrey until 1973. Even Mitcham was, if I recall rightly.

Chris Hebbron


03/11/16 – 14:45

WLT 334

Here is another shot (rather less clear – it was taken in a heavy thunderstorm) of a Routemaster under the trolleybus wires at West Croydon. This is RM 334, taken into LT stock on 12 May 1960. If there ever was a project to make a trolleybus version of the Routemaster, it must have been abandoned early in the development programme, since the decision to abandon London’s trolleys was absolutely cast in stone by 1954, the year in which RM 1 appeared. On the subject of trolleybuses running in Surrey, parts of Croydon may well have been in the postal district of Surrey (some fell within the London SW postal area), but it was a self governing County Borough from 1889 until 1965 when it was incorporated into the GLC. Thus, trolleybuses never did run in the county of Surrey proper.

Roger Cox


04/11/16 – 06:16

With apologies to Chris H, he is right. Mitcham was a municipal borough in Surrey from 1915 to 1965, so yes, trolleybuses on route 630 did just enter the very northern tip of that county.

Roger Cox


06/11/16 – 09:52

That’s a lovely shot of RM334, Roger, ploughing through rain. I like evocative photos like this, as my recently-posted one of Morden Tube Station forecourt, in driving snow, testifies.
Apologies graciously accepted about the 630 route going through Surrey! I had kept some of my powder dry to mention the Fulwell Depot trolley routes 601-605, some of them working their way through Kingston to Tolworth and Wimbledon. Kingston-upon-Thames was only a borough, albeit a Royal one (I’m on one knee as I type this)! I’m old enough to recall travelling from Raynes Park to Kingston/Hampton Court) on the ‘Diddlers’ that frequented the 604/605. Poor things, sound chassis but frail bodies, even when extensively rebuilt, they creaked their way around and were replaced none too soon. I’d hazard a guess that they were the most worn-out vehicles London Transport ran at that time, lasting from 1931 to 1948. But I digress (again)!

Chris Hebbron


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 26th March 2017