LSU 381V - Leyland Atlantean


Vehicle Details:

Registration Number:    LSU 381V
Chassis Type:   Leyland Atlantean AN68A/1R
Chassis Number:    7900297
Body Type And Seating:    Alexander AL H45/33F
Body Number:     AL82/2276/74
Date New:    December 1979
Original Operator (Fleet Number):    Greater Glasgow PTE (LA1324)

Vehicle Information:

Part of a batch of 40 buses, LA1324 was delivered to GGPTE in December 1979 and was allocated to Knightswood Garage. These 40 buses were the last Atlanteans to be bought by the PTE and bodied with Alexander's panoramic body.

By the time of LA1324's delivery the PTE was becoming aware of deficiencies with the panoramic body, leading to the final 99 LAs being given Alexander short bay bodywork. Whilst solving further problems, it didn't solve the defects in the 600 panoramic Atlanteans that had been delivered and were in service.

In February 1981 LA1324 was temporarily delicensed and sent to Larkfield Bus Works. When the bus was relicensed it had clearly undergone major surgery: the downstairs panoramic windows had been replaced with short bay windows on both sides. Far from being a one-off, LA1180 and LA1330 were also rebuilt around this time as well. Unsure how successful these repairs were, the PTE filled LA1324 with sandbags and drove the bus around the streets of Glasgow on a ghost timetable. Clearly the repairs were good as the bus survives today, but the repairs were dear and very few panoramic LAs were rebuilt with short bay windows. Most buses that remained in the fleet instead received strengthening of the affected parts of the chassis and body which was a cheaper repair.

But for large numbers of buses between LA751 and LA1050, withdrawal without repair was the cheapest solution of all.

When LA1324 finally returned to passenger service, it was back at Knightswood and the bus remained here until August 1985 during which time it was repainted into Strathclyde PTE orange and black livery. Its transfer to Newlands Garage was to last only a year as the closure of Newlands in August 1986 saw LA1324 sent back to whence she had come. The following 11 years proved to be uneventful for the bus and in 1997 she was transferred within Strathclyde Buses to the GCT subsidiary. After only a few months service with GCT, LA1324 was withdrawn and sent to store at the closed Old Kilpatrick Garage.

In September 1997 LA1324 was 1 of 8 SBL Atlanteans transĀ­ferred to First Cymru and the only one to wear United Welsh Coaches livery. In 1999 the bus was transferred once again within FirstGroup, this time to Western National. The following year the bus was sold to Chepstow Classic Coaches where she stayed until June 2004. In early June, LA1324 entered preservation. Taking just under a day, at a sedate 37mph, the bus covered the 478 miles back to Glasgow without a problem and arrived at 9.30 am on Tuesday the 8th of June.

Full restoration work to the outside of the bus and repairs to the vehicle are now under way, with the ultimate aim of restoring the bus to Strathclyde Buses orange and black livery.

The photo below is of Strathclyde PTE days in 1983, still in GGPTE livery but with Trans Clyde fleetnames. 

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