Single Deck Conversions

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by scosutsut, 15 Apr 2019.

  1. scosutsut

    scosutsut Member

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    Where I grew up there was an odd little single decker bus that always intrigued me and that was nicknamed the "pan loaf" - due to its likeness to the bread that was popular locally.

    It was clearly a former double deck vehicle, I knew it as Kelvin Central's 1100 in the mid to late 1990s.

    Not my photo or history, full credit on link:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/theor...U6J-5CJ89Y-9eXK8N-k839hB-73sXQo-fEkVSZ-bgZT7z

    I know damaged double deckers are often converted to open toppers, but how many others got treatment this severe and saw service?

    From the write up on the above a quick bit of googling tracked down the 8 Atlantean's Strathclyde cut down on purpose, and also conjured up an Ailsa of theirs that was converted after a bridge fight, again, not my photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/42318062@N07/4772130416/

    Does anyone know of any others?
     
    Last edited: 15 Apr 2019
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  3. jp4712

    jp4712 Member

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    There was a West Midlands one, I can't recall its registration number but I think it may be preserved.
     
  4. Bus Lightyear

    Bus Lightyear Member

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  5. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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  6. AndyW33

    AndyW33 Member

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    Birmingham had a batch of over 20 single deck Fleetlines, that looked exactly like cut down double deckers, even to the engine bustle. But they were built that way as new. These all passed to West Midlands and may be what you're thinking of.
     
  7. EnviroExplorer

    EnviroExplorer Member

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    No there was a converted Fleetline that West Midlands Travel did - 1956/6956 WDA956T which is preserved at the Transport Museum Wythall, South Birmingham
    https://flic.kr/p/pPzQpw
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/21611052@N02/5036291985/in/photolist-8F3j9r-awALHo

    Can’t think of any others myself
     
  8. Man of Kent

    Man of Kent Member

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  9. ChrisPJ

    ChrisPJ Member

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    I think someone did a VR, Guide Friday maybe?

    Also there was a routemaster with the top deck removed but not sure if that was for passenger service.
     
  10. Typhoon

    Typhoon Member

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    There was also at least one double decker bus that was converted for further use. WDA 956T. Ugly looking brute. http://www.wythall.org.uk/vehicles/vwda956t.asp

    Sorry, beaten to it.
     
  11. overthewater

    overthewater Established Member

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  12. GusB

    GusB Established Member

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    Not a conversion as such, but I recall seeing a photo of an AEC Regent that was built as a single deck because there was a particularly low bridge on one of the routes. I don't have the book to hand, so I can't name the operator, but it was somewhere in Wales (a bit vague, sorry!)
     
  13. class387

    class387 Established Member

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    RM1368 was the Routemaster which had the top deck romoved after a fire - it then became the Chiswick test bus.
     
  14. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    West Monmouthshire ?
     
  15. martinsh

    martinsh Established Member

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    There was more than one location !

    Llanelli (Western Welsh) and Blackwood (West Monmouthshire)

    Also, Nottingham converted an Atlantean in the mid 1980s (OTO555M I seem to recall)
     
  16. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    The VR was ex Ribble, CBV 9S - later reregistered.
     
  17. Man of Kent

    Man of Kent Member

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    Right location, wrong company. Llanelli was South Wales Transport. One still exists: http://swtpg.org.uk/fleetpic38.htm

    The West Mon examples were not generally double decks, but chassis noted for their hill climbing and braking ability, in order to negotiate a steep hill with a sharp bend under a low railway bridge. These included Swiss-built Saurer and a Leyland Bull - picture of the latter on the Omnibus Society's photo site: https://theomnibussociety.zenfolio.com/p99500510/e8869da46
     
  18. scosutsut

    scosutsut Member

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    Fascinating finds guys really appreciate the replies.

    So genuine accidental decapitations are:
    * The GMT Fleetline
    * The Strathclyde Ailsa
    * The Guide Friday VR

    The WMT Fleetline, and the Strathclyde Atlantean's were done on purpose.

    The rest so far are deliberate re-bodies, or non standard original designs.

    I assume the heavyweight chassis and engine for a decker would make the single deck conversions relatively quick for the size, at the expense of being comparatively thirsty for their capacity?
     
    Last edited: 15 Apr 2019
  19. carlberry

    carlberry Established Member

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    I believe the WMT Fleetline was because of extensive damage to the top deck. And Southampton also had a few Atleanteans rebodied as single deckers.
     
  20. scosutsut

    scosutsut Member

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    Interestingly the WMT Fleetline was deliberate according to Wythall who have it (link further up):

    Anymore detail on the Southampton vehicles?
     
  21. robertclark125

    robertclark125 Established Member

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    I saw a photo once in a book of a single deck conversion at Southampton Citybus in 1993. It had an East Lancs body, and was called the "Atlantean Sprint". Indeed, it was badged as that. Although it was the same size as a Dennis Dart, the Atlantean Sprint was twice as heavy.

    Sheffield Omnibus had an Atlantean converted as well with an east Lancs body.

    Regards the West Midlands vehicles, weren't they called "Baseball Bats"?
     
  22. ChrisPJ

    ChrisPJ Member

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    Regarding performance, likely that acceleration would benefit from the reduced weight, and a couple more mph top speed perhaps due to aerodynamics. But also maybe a worse ride due to springs having less load on them, and roadholding affected too with steering more vague.
     
  23. GaryMcEwan

    GaryMcEwan Established Member

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    Something in the back of mind tells me that when the Glasgow lot where lopped, they were never re-registered as single decks but remained registered as double deckers.
     
  24. overthewater

    overthewater Established Member

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    Wasn't a bunch of single decker rebodied as Double deckers for Greyline?
     
  25. DunsBus

    DunsBus Member

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    IIRC Fylde were skint at the time and couldn't afford new buses, so refurbishing and rebodying were the only options open to them. They'd already had a few Atlanteans refurbished by Northern Counties a year or so earlier, so having some rather elderly Atlanteans rebodied as single-deckers seemed a natural progression. Plus it gave them modern-looking buses at a fraction of the cost of buying new. I seem to recall that these single-deck rebodies were given Northern Irish plates to hide the fact that bodies dating from 1993 were built on chassis dating from 1972!
     
  26. iantherev

    iantherev Member

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    The last West Mon vehicle built for Aberbargoed Hill was a Leyland Titan PD2 with a single deck body. Following the diversion of the route it received a Massey double deck body in 1966.
     
  27. DunsBus

    DunsBus Member

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    "

    Certainly the case with the Ailsa rebuild, as Black Prince found out soon after they bought it from Strathclyde in 1994. The story I heard was that Black Prince were looking to sort out the front-end droop (caused by the front engine and a lack of a top deck) which the Ailsa had acquired in its later years in Glaagow, when they found out that the conversion paperwork was "incomplete". As getting it completed was going to be costly, that was it for this bus.
     
  28. Beemax

    Beemax Member

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    There were 5 of the Southampton examples. The donor vehicles were also East Lancs dating from1974/5. The rebodies were done in about '92 , were kept for a few years and then transferred to Hants and Sussex in Emsworth which Southampton citybus owned for a short while.
     
  29. rich.davies

    rich.davies Member

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  30. carlberry

    carlberry Established Member

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    Surprising (given the quality of the bus museum at Wythall) the quote on the website is wrong! Even at the time the vehicle was delivered (as a double decker) one man DD working was almost universal at WMPTE and when it was converted nobody would have seen a conductor for years. It was converted to try to provide a mini/midibus size vehicle that the drivers would accept a lower pay rate for, but with big bus engineering (as the operator didnt like dealing with the light weight mini/midi bus vehicles). However it cost too much to do and, once it had been finished, the differing pay rates had become less of an issue.
     
  31. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Greyline ? - of where ?
     

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