Jump to content

Bus Shite


Felly Magic

Recommended Posts

XBF was ordered by the NBC for comparative trials for the next generation of double deck purchases. It was placed with PMT to run alongside another experimental purchase, a Foden NC on their routes. Maidstone also had evaluation vehicles of its own, an Ailsa-Volvo with similar Alexander body to the Dennis and a Rolls Royce engined Metrobus. After the trials ended, the Dominator was sent to Maidstone (hence why it was red in the second pic - that one was actually taken not long after it was transferred). The Foden wasn’t so lucky as it withdrawn at roughly the same time as the transfer of the Dominator, after the umpteenth transfer  gear failure, and languished at the rear of PMTs Hanley depot until finally sold for scrap by First in the ‘90s (there’s a whole tale to tell about that but I won’t this close to bed time).

The upper photo of it was after it sustained fairly major front end damage after an accident. instead of just buying replacement Fiberglass panels from Alexander, Maidstone thought it could do it cheaper by employing its bodymen to craft a complete new front end out of aluminium and having a bespoke grille made especially for it.

Surprisingly, it didn’t end up cheaper and took many months to finish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/17/2021 at 2:38 PM, sierraman said:

It was new to SYPTE under Coachline which was some half baked coach hire/chartered route business thought up in the 80’s. It’s currently in the South Yorkshire Transport museum. 

There were 3 IIRC, and were ordered by Leicester City Transport. As the Coachline brand was being expanded the PTE did a deal with Leicester for them to get the Dorchesters and Leicester to get three of their next order of Dominators. They left a gap in the series where these should have been, fortunately as both Mainline and Leicester came under First ownership eventually and the three Leicester Dominators eventually got sent to Sheffield any took up their original intended numbers until renumbered into the new system. The single line (rather than twin destination display) made them obvious at a distance.

image.thumb.jpeg.faa7d9e60773660bd48a01b207ddaa96.jpeg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, back to B&W pictures from the start of the 70's and we might as well continue with Sheffield.

We'll continue where we left off (at fleetnumber 369) and there was a big gap then to the batch of 26 Weymann bodied Regent Vs that started at 435.  Here's 439 heading down Pinstone Street towards The Moor with the Town Hall behind it.

439_z.thumb.JPG.55e2fd101f5a9cba59040260a2433af9.JPG

To improve the shoppers lot, the Council decided to ban buses from here last year. Nice long walk with your shopping to find a bus stop now, and you wonder why city centre shops are closing and out of town shopping centers like Meadowhell are so popular. Cracking lots of chod (now also banned) abound.

After the Regents came a batch of 16 Roe bodied PD3/1s, here's 466 at the Far Lane, Dykes Hall Road Junction.  Note the period correct landlords car in the Beehive Pub (now a Tesco) car park behind it.

466_z.thumb.JPG.820eb51c5698e3f76e89c5fb44850ead.JPG

Those 1959 PD3s were followed (number  wise) by 20 Weymann PD2/30s delivered in 1957. Here's 492 ( on an enthusiasts tour) outside the now demolished Greenland Road garage at Darnall.

492_a.thumb.jpg.bb14c9cc8d48cb46aee533c77b7cb19d.jpg

More PD2/30s were delivered in 1958 but with Roe bodies. A pair of Park Royal bodied Swifts surround 515 in the old Central Bus Station (CBS) park.

515.thumb.jpg.b1547d4c85a048d56bab6fd0b95f3e8f.jpg

In 1959 Sheffield bough 5 rear entrance AEC Bridgemasters for use mainly on the Dinnington routes which obviously had a low bridge on route and a further front entrance one followed in 1961.

520.thumb.jpg.1f668c4fe498e22a1b4e9d75e4762db3.jpg

Photographed in CBS is 520 (above) on that service, whilst this shite shot of 525 being overtaken by one of the all Leyland PD2/1s delivered in 1947 is taken opposite the (Midland) railway station.  A brand new Sheaf Valley baths in front of 525 (now demolished), only the Park Hill flats above 542 give the game away.

525_D17.thumb.jpg.acccb9751d3ab99d6cd7cdf73ced97ed.jpg

 

Back soon.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Inspector Morose said:

XBF was ordered by the NBC for comparative trials for the next generation of double deck purchases. It was placed with PMT to run alongside another experimental purchase, a Foden NC on their routes. Maidstone also had evaluation vehicles of its own, an Ailsa-Volvo with similar Alexander body to the Dennis and a Rolls Royce engined Metrobus. After the trials ended, the Dominator was sent to Maidstone (hence why it was red in the second pic - that one was actually taken not long after it was transferred). The Foden wasn’t so lucky as it withdrawn at roughly the same time as the transfer of the Dominator, after the umpteenth transfer  gear failure, and languished at the rear of PMTs Hanley depot until finally sold for scrap by First in the ‘90s (there’s a whole tale to tell about that but I won’t this close to bed time).

The upper photo of it was after it sustained fairly major front end damage after an accident. instead of just buying replacement Fiberglass panels from Alexander, Maidstone thought it could do it cheaper by employing its bodymen to craft a complete new front end out of aluminium and having a bespoke grille made especially for it.

Surprisingly, it didn’t end up cheaper and took many months to finish.

I remember travelling on it and it was extremely cramped; especially downstairs at the back which was the family's preferred place. 

I felt it was lower in height than the usual Bristol VR buses on that route. It had a most unpleasant sound to it which I was told by the driver a Voith Gearbox. 

The Mk1 MCW Metrobuses also had this transmission except one which sounded different. Maxwell Gearbox? 🤔 

Incidentally, my favourite buses were the Bristol VR and Leyland Fleetlines- Ex London and ex Southdown... Childhood memories. I did get to drive a couple of buses I travelled on; a Bristol VR and a Bristol-built Leyland Olympian Coach... 😎

😎

 

Edited by Leyland Worldmaster
Shite writing and extra memories...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Leyland Worldmaster said:

...Incidentally, my favourite buses were the Bristol VR and Leyland Fleetlines- Ex London and ex Southdown... Childhood memories. I did get to drive a couple of buses I travelled on; a Bristol VR and a Bristol-built Leyland Olympian Coach... 😎

😎

 

I still need to even see a VR in person, much less drive one! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/17/2021 at 2:28 PM, sierraman said:

It’s a 1985 Dennis Dorchester with a Plaxton Paramount body, no idea on the engine, maybe a Cummins L10, not sure. 

Dorchesters were pretty rare beasts in England as they were mainly built for the Scottish Bus Group. Geoff Amos in Daventry had the biggest English fleet with five of them, all oddities unique to this operator. The first had a Reeve Burgess body (unusual on a full-size bus), followed by two Wadham Stringer and then a pair of Caetano coaches, all finished in a distinctive livery with pink/lilac stripes. All long gone now of course, as is the operator itself, going out of business in 2011.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stagecoach up here (Fife) have got a fair few, cascaded from places where they value the customers slightly more. Slightly. There's a 55 plate which gives every impression of wanting to be left alone in a corner to die in peace. There's a few 'luxury' ones from up north, with air con and leather seats.

I ran for one, one day, thinking it was kind of the driver to wait just beyond the stop for me. Nope, it had just shat its' diff, as evidenced by the short trail of oil and shrapnel. 

I'll grab a few pics some time...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, DaveAspley said:

Just realised today that all the Optare Solos have disappeared en masse around here very recently 

 

38460663255_70f1113572_b.jpg

 

4 hours ago, High Jetter said:

Too many complaint about the 'terrible draft in here...shut that door!" perhaps?

Could also be they are all broken at once.

I used to work across from the depot here and they were mostly found sitting outside, looking broken with pieces missing, engine covers off etc.

They certainly didn't give off the impression of a well built reliable money making vehicle for a company that needed them on the road significantly more than off it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Mrcento said:

 

Could also be they are all broken at once.

I used to work across from the depot here and they were mostly found sitting outside, looking broken with pieces missing, engine covers off etc.

They certainly didn't give off the impression of a well built reliable money making vehicle for a company that needed them on the road significantly more than off it.

We had 4 Solos, fleet numbers 420-3, and while they were a bit shonky they at least spent more time on the road than off, which is more than can be said for the Excels, which really were utter shit, fucking awful to drive and fell to bits when you looked at them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Mrcento said:

 

Could also be they are all broken at once.

I used to work across from the depot here and they were mostly found sitting outside, looking broken with pieces missing, engine covers off etc.

They certainly didn't give off the impression of a well built reliable money making vehicle for a company that needed them on the road significantly more than off it.

Maybe that's why they were given silly 'names'?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Took my son to Sandtoft trolleybus museum again yesterday  they were open until 6pm so you could ride the trolleys in the dark to experience the flickering lights.

The beige trolley had a diesel engine too, do any of you know more about its history (it would probably help if I'd taken better photos)

The other but was battery electric and from what I gather is a modern copy of an electric bus from 1911.

20211120_145032.jpg

20211120_144911.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The top one is the newest UK trolleybus, SYPTE 2450. Built as an experiment for a proposed trolleybus network, it only ever ran on a test course alongside Doncaster racecourse. The depot was opposite the course so wiring was also strung across the road to the depot making that little bit of overhead the last and newest trolleybus overhead used on public roads in the whole of the UK.

As nobody had built a trolleybus since 1962, there wasn’t a company in the UK that could build one ‘off the shelf’. Enter Dennis during its “you want a what? Sure, we can build that” phase. Although everyone calls it a Dominator, the chassis is very much more similar to its Falcon single deck chassis with its longitudinal rails all the way back to the rear of the bus. 
As you couldn’t buy trolleybus spares at your local factors, a little ingenuity was called for when trying to equip the chassis. The motor was a reconditioned ex-Bradford 120hp motor and was controlled by a scratch built thyristor control set up that plagues it to this day (the usual method to make it go involves lifting the rear side panel whee the control system is located and giving it a sharp kick where normal service is resumed).
making it go is one thing  but theres a lot of other systems on a bus to power. A compressor to supply air for the brakes, doors, wipers and suspension is needed and as it didn’t have an engine to drive it, one powered by the overhead was needed. A root around various stores of the sponsors of the project, a suitable set up was found that used to be housed in a class 08 shunter. Horribly over specced and large, it was available for cheap so in it went in the back. Next was hydraulic power for the steering and low voltage electric for the lights and other bus things. Here the solution was to find a motor-generator set from an underground train and modify one end to drive a hydraulic pump. This had to run all the time to keep steering and electrical power and was incredibly loud making the proclamation on the side as the ‘quiet revolution in transport’ a bit of a piss take. It also drew huge current on starting, making the initial current draw of the bus when switching on enough to occasionally trip the breakers on the overhead power supply when we ran it at the BCLM.

SYPTE wanted off wire manoeuvrability so a three cylinder Ruston diesel engine was perched on top of the back of the chassis, driving a generator that could supply the bus with enough electricity to make it move along at about 14mph on the flat (theres a tale about driving this to the local pub one evening but I’ll leave that for another day)

So, we have a chassis (bit of a lash up but it worked) so how to body it? Alexander was bodying a run of the standard SYPTE Dominators so they were ‘persuaded’ to modify an extra one of those to fit the trolleybus. The roof was calculated as being strong enough in itself to carry the weight of the poles on the roof.
Ah yes, trolleypoles. New ones were still being made on the continent so buying a pair wasn’t a problem but attaching them to the bus was. Nobody had made bases suitable for fitment to a double decker for over 20 years so to keep costs down, single deck ones were used and mounted at the right angle with a huge cowling fitted around it all to try and disguise the bodge - making this Alexander R type the tallest of its style ever made..

They had a bus and the route was wired using off the shelf continental overhead fittings and they were ready to test. This they did and it became a regular sight travelling up and down the racecourse route. On open days, it even carried the occasional passenger or two but it never actually entered what any sane person would call ‘service’. It was registered though as it had to cross a public road to get back to the depot  and the ministry of transport was an arse so the number B450CKW as the last of the run of a batch of standard Dominators delivered at the same time. Before it ver ran un anger as a complete bus, the plates were swapped, it becoming C45HDT instead as the first of a series that included another Dennis oddball, the Domino midibus.

After spending so much time and money, why did it fail? Admittedly, the bus was a total lash up but it did prove the concept and was enough to convince enough people that a properly built trolleybus could be a goer. Problem was Deregulation was just around the corner and nobody knew what was going to happen. Would competition be allowed to use any overhead constructed at great cost to the PTE? It was quickly decided that this sort of thing was not a clever idea in the current climate and so the whole thing was quietly and rapidly shelved. 

2450 sat at Doncaster for years, slowly donated body parts (near enough brand new and unused) to the identical diesel fleet and eventually the test route was dismantled and sold for scrap leaving 2450 marooned at the depot. To save costs, many depots were considered for closure and Doncaster was one of them. 2450 was effectively still owned by SYPTE and not the bus company, renamed Mainline. With Doncaster closing, the PTE had to move the bus somewhere so contact was made with Sandtoft to house the bus there, with enough bits to make it into a complete vehicle again. And here it’s stayed ever since, apart from being borrowed  for the Black Country Museums ‘Trolleybus Galore” event - the only time it has ever run under its own power other than Doncaster and Sandtoft. 

It was very much a fickle beast at the best of times and it looks like it’s complexity has won out as it barely ever runs now and is regarded very much as a static exhibit. Such a sad end for a bus that effectively never entered service and could be considered a brand new 1985 SYPTE spec Dennis.

 

The other bus is a recreation of an early Railless trolleybus that Sandtoft commissioned from, I believe, a Czech trolleybus group who specialises in recreating the early days of the trolleybus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Dan302 said:

Took my son to Sandtoft trolleybus museum again yesterday  they were open until 6pm so you could ride the trolleys in the dark to experience the flickering lights.

The beige trolley had a diesel engine too, do any of you know more about its history (it would probably help if I'd taken better photos)

The other but was battery electric and from what I gather is a modern copy of an electric bus from 1911.

20211120_145032.jpg

20211120_144911.jpg

Years since I was at Sandtoft 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Inspector Morose said:

 and the ministry of transport was an arse so the number B450CKW as the last of the run of a batch of standard Dominators delivered at the same time. Before it ever ran in anger as a complete bus, the plates were swapped, it becoming C45HDT instead as the first of a series that included another Dennis oddball, the Domino midibus.

There were indeed delays with the registration and the intended B450CKW was void by the ministry. It was then intended to be registered B45FET but, IIRC, the PTE wanted it to look like a "new" bus on show (in August) and as the old reg letter changed in August (therefore making it look like an older vehicle), they did some wheeler dealing and had Domino 45 registered as B45FET and it's reg, C45HDT put on the trolleybus..The batch of Domino's was 41 to 54 which were C41-54HDT, except for of course for 45.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Inspector Morose loved the details there! thats exactly the sort of stuff I love reading about :)

55 minutes ago, busmansholiday said:

The chassis of 2450 was exhibited at the Commercial Motor Show before it was bodied. I remember seeing it and thinking "that looks like a right lash up". Think I've a picture somewhere of arse end of it.

 

29 minutes ago, busmansholiday said:

There were indeed delays with the registration and the intended B450CKW was void by the ministry. It was then intended to be registered B45FET but, IIRC, the PTE wanted it to look like a "new" bus on show (in August) and as the old reg letter changed in August (therefore making it look like an older vehicle), they did some wheeler dealing and had Domino 45 registered as B45FET and it's reg, C45HDT put on the trolleybus..The batch of Domino's was 41 to 54 which were C41-54HDT, except for of course for 45.

that reminds me! since I know your good with the pictures you dont happen to have any pictures of MHJ54P do you? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, busmansholiday said:

There were indeed delays with the registration and the intended B450CKW was void by the ministry. It was then intended to be registered B45FET but, IIRC, the PTE wanted it to look like a "new" bus on show (in August) and as the old reg letter changed in August (therefore making it look like an older vehicle), they did some wheeler dealing and had Domino 45 registered as B45FET and it's reg, C45HDT put on the trolleybus..The batch of Domino's was 41 to 54 which were C41-54HDT, except for of course for 45.

Good man! I knew you’d come up with the info I missed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Inspector Morose said:

The top one is the newest UK trolleybus, SYPTE 2450. Built as an experiment for a proposed trolleybus network, it only ever ran on a test course alongside Doncaster racecourse. The depot was opposite the course so wiring was also strung across the road to the depot making that little bit of overhead the last and newest trolleybus overhead used on public roads in the whole of the UK.

As nobody had built a trolleybus since 1962, there wasn’t a company in the UK that could build one ‘off the shelf’. Enter Dennis during its “you want a what? Sure, we can build that” phase. Although everyone calls it a Dominator, the chassis is very much more similar to its Falcon single deck chassis with its longitudinal rails all the way back to the rear of the bus. 
As you couldn’t buy trolleybus spares at your local factors, a little ingenuity was called for when trying to equip the chassis. The motor was a reconditioned ex-Bradford 120hp motor and was controlled by a scratch built thyristor control set up that plagues it to this day (the usual method to make it go involves lifting the rear side panel whee the control system is located and giving it a sharp kick where normal service is resumed).
making it go is one thing  but theres a lot of other systems on a bus to power. A compressor to supply air for the brakes, doors, wipers and suspension is needed and as it didn’t have an engine to drive it, one powered by the overhead was needed. A root around various stores of the sponsors of the project, a suitable set up was found that used to be housed in a class 08 shunter. Horribly over specced and large, it was available for cheap so in it went in the back. Next was hydraulic power for the steering and low voltage electric for the lights and other bus things. Here the solution was to find a motor-generator set from an underground train and modify one end to drive a hydraulic pump. This had to run all the time to keep steering and electrical power and was incredibly loud making the proclamation on the side as the ‘quiet revolution in transport’ a bit of a piss take. It also drew huge current on starting, making the initial current draw of the bus when switching on enough to occasionally trip the breakers on the overhead power supply when we ran it at the BCLM.

SYPTE wanted off wire manoeuvrability so a three cylinder Ruston diesel engine was perched on top of the back of the chassis, driving a generator that could supply the bus with enough electricity to make it move along at about 14mph on the flat (theres a tale about driving this to the local pub one evening but I’ll leave that for another day)

So, we have a chassis (bit of a lash up but it worked) so how to body it? Alexander was bodying a run of the standard SYPTE Dominators so they were ‘persuaded’ to modify an extra one of those to fit the trolleybus. The roof was calculated as being strong enough in itself to carry the weight of the poles on the roof.
Ah yes, trolleypoles. New ones were still being made on the continent so buying a pair wasn’t a problem but attaching them to the bus was. Nobody had made bases suitable for fitment to a double decker for over 20 years so to keep costs down, single deck ones were used and mounted at the right angle with a huge cowling fitted around it all to try and disguise the bodge - making this Alexander R type the tallest of its style ever made..

They had a bus and the route was wired using off the shelf continental overhead fittings and they were ready to test. This they did and it became a regular sight travelling up and down the racecourse route. On open days, it even carried the occasional passenger or two but it never actually entered what any sane person would call ‘service’. It was registered though as it had to cross a public road to get back to the depot  and the ministry of transport was an arse so the number B450CKW as the last of the run of a batch of standard Dominators delivered at the same time. Before it ver ran un anger as a complete bus, the plates were swapped, it becoming C45HDT instead as the first of a series that included another Dennis oddball, the Domino midibus.

After spending so much time and money, why did it fail? Admittedly, the bus was a total lash up but it did prove the concept and was enough to convince enough people that a properly built trolleybus could be a goer. Problem was Deregulation was just around the corner and nobody knew what was going to happen. Would competition be allowed to use any overhead constructed at great cost to the PTE? It was quickly decided that this sort of thing was not a clever idea in the current climate and so the whole thing was quietly and rapidly shelved. 

2450 sat at Doncaster for years, slowly donated body parts (near enough brand new and unused) to the identical diesel fleet and eventually the test route was dismantled and sold for scrap leaving 2450 marooned at the depot. To save costs, many depots were considered for closure and Doncaster was one of them. 2450 was effectively still owned by SYPTE and not the bus company, renamed Mainline. With Doncaster closing, the PTE had to move the bus somewhere so contact was made with Sandtoft to house the bus there, with enough bits to make it into a complete vehicle again. And here it’s stayed ever since, apart from being borrowed  for the Black Country Museums ‘Trolleybus Galore” event - the only time it has ever run under its own power other than Doncaster and Sandtoft. 

It was very much a fickle beast at the best of times and it looks like it’s complexity has won out as it barely ever runs now and is regarded very much as a static exhibit. Such a sad end for a bus that effectively never entered service and could be considered a brand new 1985 SYPTE spec Dennis.

 

The other bus is a recreation of an early Railless trolleybus that Sandtoft commissioned from, I believe, a Czech trolleybus group who specialises in recreating the early days of the trolleybus.

The AS Book of Buses. You must write it! Really interesting write-up! 

I've a BUSES Magazine with a feature on this bus. I'll dig that part of my archives out and post here. 

Won't be for a while; I'm on "Derate" at the moment... 👍 😎

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we borrowed 2450 for the Black County Museum event, we had to drag it down from Sandtoft. Usually our recovery company of choice would suspend tow stuff down but one look at that tower perched on the roof and he decided it was coming down on a flat bar.

Guess who got the job of ‘driving’ it to Dudley? Quite possibly I must be the person who’s driven it the furthest distance in one journey. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...