• Leyland Titan KWG655 in early Northern livery featuring scroll-style fleet name

Vehicle details

Year

September 1958

Registration

KWG655

Fleet number(s)

RB194

Chassis

Leyland Titan (Ld PD3/3)

Chassis number

581491

Engine

Leyland 0.600 9.8 litres Diesel

Body

Alexander lowbridge 5532

Seating

L35/32R

New to

Walter Alexander & Sons Limited

Other operators

W. Alexander & Sons (Northern) Limited

Current owner(s)

Taybus Vintage Vehicle Society member(s)

Current livery

-

Status

Restoration work is being carried out on the owner's behalf free of charge by a local transport museum since 2010. The vehicle remains an important part of the Taybus collection and is privately owned.

 

Vehicle history

This vehicle is a remarkable survivor. Delivered new to Walter Alexander at Dundee in 1958 it passed to the new Northern company on its formation in 1961. Much of its working life was spent in Dundee and Montrose. After withdrawal from passenger service it became a driver trainer. It was then sold to a farmer in Aberdeenshire where it remained out of use for 20 years. Northern relied on Titans as its standard double-decker for many years. The only other survivor appears to be KAG856 NRB301, a PD2 which was one of many bought secondhand from Western during the 1970s.
 

In preservation

Despite sitting out of use for several decades when the current owner purchased the vehicle at the end of 2006 the engine started first time. The bus was painted in this orange and cream livery, with a handpainted broadside advert for the company’s express coach services to London. The vehicle moved south from Aberdeenshire in August 2008 and in July 2010 it was taken to the premises linked with a local transport museum where restoration began with a promise that the bus would be fully restored "within six months". Currently the project remains unfinished.

It is planned to restore the vehicle to the later version of Northern livery which it carried at the end of its service life, depicted in this view of another bus from the same batch at Dundee bus station in 1977. Although the vehicle looks tatty it is substantially complete. Most of the paintwork has been stripped, and the wheels have been removed, shotblasted and primed. The rear platform and the bottom half of the staircase have been removed for rebuilding. Some reconstruction will also be required at the front end of the bus, where some of the nearside wheelarch is missing. The radiator has been sent off for complete refurbishment.

A gallery of photographs showing the restoration in progress can be found here.
 

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