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THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY

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THE 14XX SERIES OF PROTOTYPE/EXPERIMENTAL VEHICLES

After SELNEC (South East Lancashire/North East Cheshire) Passenger Transport Executive was formed on 1st November 1969 and incorporated the fleets of the 11 local council operations in the North West towns surrounding Manchester, being Ashton, Bolton, Bury, Leigh, Manchester, Oldham, Ramsbottom, Rochdale, Salford, SHMD (Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley & Dukinfield) and Stockport, they clearly appreciated there was difficulty in any exchange of body or chassis parts.

Consequently they embarked upon designing and adapting and having delivered a Standard double deck vehicle for the whole region and the first prototype was built in 1970, being EX1 (PNF 941J) which is preserved by the SELNEC Preservation Society.  This is a Northern Counties bodied Leyland Atlantean PD1A/1R and was shortly followed by five others of similar designation, EX2 - EX6.  Then Northern Counties bodied 15 Daimler Fleetlines, 10 with single door layout and five with dual door layout, being CRG6LXB chassis and these were numbered EX7 - EX21. 

The EX fleet number represented the word “Experimental” and once trials of these vehicles had concluded then production double deck Standard vehicles commenced in a new fleet number series, 7001 which ran right the way through to 7960 with further vehicles commencing at 8001 onwards, eventually concluding at 8765.  When the time came for the experimental vehicles EX1 - EX21 to be integrated into the ordinary fleet they were going to be renumbered 9001 to 9021 but eventually they were slotted into fleet number series of the areas in which they ended up, EX1 - EX6 becoming 5466 to 5471 in the Ashton series, EX7 - EX16 becoming 6245 to 6249 in the Rochdale series and 6395 to 6399 in the Bury series and EX17 - EX21, the five dual door vehicles, becoming 6250 to 6454 in the Rochdale series.

As the SELNEC PTE developed and they considered other vehicle acquisitions, in particular single deck vehicles of which there was not bespoke standard being built specifically for the company, they took on board a number of vehicles designated in the EX experimental series as follows.

EX22 – EX29 Not used          
EX30 – EX37 1330 – 1337 TXJ 507-514K Leyland National 1151/2R - B46D 1972
EX38 – EX41 1338 – 1341 VVM 601-604L Leyland National 1051/2R - B40D 1973
EX42 – EX49 1342 – 1349 TXJ 515-522K Metro-Scania BR111MH - B44D 1972
EX50 – EX53 1350 – 1353 VVM 605-608L Metro-Scania BR110MH - B40D 1973
EX54 – EX55 1354 – 1355 WVM 668-669L Mercedes Benz O 305 Northern Counties B43D 1973
EX56 – EX58 1700 – 1702 YDB 453 – 455L Seddon Pennine IV 236 Seddon DP25F 1972
EX59 6059 XDB 976l Seddon Pennine IV236 Seddon DP25F 1972
EX60 1360 VVM 609L Metro-Scania BR110 - B40D 1973
EX61 1361 XVU 387M Seddon-Chloride Seddon B43D 1973
EX62 1362 GNC 276N Seddon-Lucas Seddon B19F 1975
EX100 - CWO 600K Leyland – Crompton Willowbrook B19F 1972

By the time Greater Manchester Transport was formed on 1st April 1974 the fleet profile had and continued changing.  The Northern Western Road Car Company had been added or the majority of it had on 4th March 1972 and that upon formation of Greater Manchester Transport the Wigan fleet was also absorbed on 1st April 1974 and thereafter on 1st January 1976 LUT was acquired and fully integrated on 1st April 1981.

Greater Manchester Transport from 1st April 1974 remained loyal to the standard vehicle although by then it was in Mark 1A form with a redesigned front and curved windscreen and the interest in dual door vehicles had been  abandoned with all double deckers being single door layout.  However, it was clear that the Leyland Atlantean and Daimler Fleetline would not be available forever.   Indeed they had been in production in early form since 1959 and 1962 respectively and the technology with rear engined and under floor chassis was progressing.  Although in 1979 and 1980 it looked as if separate chassis production with independent body builders might come to end with all vehicles being of integral or semi integral off the peg designs as are cars, lorries and other vehicles, with the introduction of the Leyland Titan and MCW Metrobus, this did not happen. GMT did buy small quantities of these vehicles, being 15 Leyland Titans, 4001 to 4015, and 190 MCW Metrobuses, 5001 to 5190.  These were placed in main fleet series as they were intended to be operational vehicles and originally it was intended they would be delivered in larger numbers had it not been for supply problems, particularly with the Titan. 

That development aside however, Greater Manchester Transport were conscious that they would need to look at developing their standard body to fit newly developed rear engined or mid engine chassis and embarked upon a fleet number series in which to put these which very much mirrored the original EX experimental series used by their predecessors SELNEC.

The fleet number series chosen was the 14XX series.  This series started off when the Bristol VRT’s ordered by North Western delivered to SELNEC Cheshire had been renumbered.  They were delivered as 400 to 424 but were numbered shortly after to 1400 to 1424.  

Thereafter in 1974 Greater Manchester Transport had taken a proving quantity of ten of the new experimental Metropolitan Double Deckers and numbered these in the series 1425 to 1434 as no further Bristol VRTs were ordered by Greater Manchester Transport.  No further double deck Metropolitan BR111s were ordered as these in fact proved very costly to run and very unreliable and were disposed of within seven years.  However, when Greater Manchester Transport looked at adapting its Northern Counties standard body to fit some of the new chassis that were being developed they continued to use the 1400 series and the first two vehicles to be delivered were an experimental arrangement between Foden and Northern Counties producing the Foden NC.

In fact in total after a half vehicle experiment was built only six of these vehicles were ever put into production, two of which were delivered to Greater Manchester Transport and were numbered 1435 and 1436.  The remaining four went to West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, PMT and the West Midlands.  

A seventh Foden chassis was built but this was bodied by East Lancs for South Yorkshire.  These Foden NCs did not prove popular and 1435 and 1436 were withdrawn before their normal vehicle life of 13 years expired. 

Next Greater Manchester Transport turned its attention to the Dennis Dominator chassis and purchased two of these under DD110 configuration in 1980, 1437 and 1438 and a further two in 1981 under DDA136 configuration, 1439 and 1440.  This experiment of prototype vehicles did lend themselves to an order for production vehicles being an initial order of 30, 2001 to 2030, in 1984 followed by a further ten, 2031 to 2040 in 1990.  It was intended to increase the proving quantity of Dennis Dominators before production vehicles were ordered which was to run to eight up to 1445, hence why the next fleet number that was used was 1446 with a one off Volvo Ailsa B 55 secured in 1980.  Also this year a prototype Bristol Olympian chassis, the fifth made was secured by Greater Manchester Transport and Northern Counties adapted its standard body to fit it which required a considerable amount of work as the length of the chassis meant having to use different bays, different style windows and an entirely different approach and 1451 really does not look at all like other Standards built before or after.  Number 1451 was used because it was intended that there would be five Volvo Ailsas taken as a proving quantity in total.

In fact 1451, along with 1446 appeared at the Earls Court Commercial Vehicle Motor Show in 1980, along with recently delivered MCW Metrobus 5031.  In 1981 two further Volvo Ailsa were delivered, 1447 and 1448, but the expected additional two did not appear therefore leaving a gap in the fleet numbers 1449 and 1450.  Also Greater Manchester Transport did not secure any further prototype Leyland Olympians other than the single vehicle 1451 but they had decided this was the way forward.  Daimler Fleetline production had come to an end as had Leyland Fleetline production beyond it.  Leyland Atlanteans were not in keeping with European specifications and were eventually phased out and replaced by the Leyland Olympian.  Consequently, after just two years with one prototype, 1451, orders started to be placed for Leyland Olympians to be delivered in main production batches starting a new fleet number sequence of 3001 with ANA 1Y being the first vehicle appearing at the Commercial Vehicle Motor Show in 1982. 

This eventually led to 304 further production Leyland Olympians being built and delivered to Greater Manchester Transport and its successor Greater Manchester Buses over the years.  In fact the last 60 Leyland Atlanteans, 8766 to 8835, were cancelled in favour of more Olympians.

When Greater Manchester Transport turned its attention again to other potential chassis developments not wanting to be constrained just to the Leyland Olympian they did so by looking again at the Scania chassis which had now moved on and was available as a freestanding chassis as opposed to a semi-integral unit as had been the case with the Metropolitans 1425 to 1434.  Also it had become obvious from previous allocation of fleet numbers that Greater Manchester Transport were unsure as to what number of proving quantities the might need hence why they had gaps between 1441 and 1445 and 1449 and 1450.  They decided therefore as it was unlikely they would take more than ten of a proving quantity thereafter to start each new experimental batch of 1400 vehicles at the appropriate ‘one’ hence why Leyland Olympians started at 1451 and now having turned their attention back to Scanias these started at 1461.  In the event only two were delivered in 1983, 1461 – 1462, although, curiously, in 1990 this did not lead to an order for production vehicles in a main fleet series but a further five experimental vehicles carrying on where the earlier fleet numbers had left off, 1463 to 1467.  In 1984 Greater Manchester Transport took delivery of three of the experimental Dennis Falcon Vs, 1471 to 1473.  In fact in total only six Dennis Falcons double deck vehicles were ever built.  These GMT vehicles proved to be particularly unreliable and more out of service than in service for most of their operating lives.  

DENNIS FALCON V – DOUBLE DECK VEHICLES

1 XPD 659Y East Lancs Demonstrator Now scrapped
2 XRA 397Y East Lancs 397 – Nottingham City Tranpsort Now scrapped
3 WRR 396Y East Lancs 396 – Nottingham City Transport Now scrapped
4 A473 HNC Northern Counties 1473 – GMT Now scrapped
5 A471 HNC Northern Counties 1471 – GMT Now scrapped
6 A472 HNC Northern Counties 1472 – GMT Preserved by SELNEC Preservation Society

Finally, in terms of experimental vehicles in the 1400 series Greater Manchester Transport turned its attention to the Volvo Citybus, having a proving quantity of three of these delivered in 1986, 1481 to 1483.  These after evaluation did lead to an order for production vehicles but only ten of the B10 type, 7001 to 7010, being delivered in 1990, the same year 1463 to 1467 were delivered and, for that matter, 2031 to 2040, these being the 25 last Standards referred to in Item 9 in this newsletter. 

Hence the last three experimental vehicles in the 1400 series were 1481 to 1483.  Now matters were moving on in that after deregulation on 26th October 1986 an entirely different approach to public transport has developed in the private sector which would not see the research and development of bespoke bus design that had been prevalent over the previous 16 years since the formation of SELNEC on 1st November 1969. 

 The full list of the 1400 series is shown below.

1400-1424 Chassis Bristol VRT/SL2/6LX   Built 1973  
Bodywork Eastern Coachworks H43/32F Number in Stock 25
1400 AJA 400L 1405 AJA 405L 1410 AJA 410L 1415 AJA 415L 1420 AJA 420L
1401 AJA 401L 1406 AJA 406L 1411 AJA 411L 1416 AJA 416L 1421 AJA 421L
1402 AJA 402L 1407 AJA 407L 1412 AJA 412L 1417 AJA 417L 1422 AJA 422L
1403 AJA 403L 1408 AJA 408L 1413 AJA 413L 1418 AJA 418L 1423 AJA 423L
1404 AJA 404L 1409 AJA 409L 1414 AJA 414L 1419 AJA 419L 1424 AJA 424L
1425-1434 Chassis Metropolitan BR111DH Built 1974
Bodywork Metro-Cammell Weymann H44/29F Number in Stock 10
1425 GNC 277N 1427 GNC 279N 1429 GNC 281N 1431 GNC 283N 1433 GNC 285N
1426 GNC 278N 1428 GNC 280N 1430 GNC 282N 1432 GNC 284N 1434 GNC 286N
1435-1436 Chassis Foden NC Built 1976
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/32F Number in Stock 2

1435

LNA 258P

1436

PNE 358R            
1437-1440 Chassis Dennis Dominator DD110(1439/40:DDA136) Built 1980/1
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/32F Number in Stock 4
1437 HDB 438V 1438 HDB 438V 1439 TND 439X 1440 TND 440X    
1446-1448 Chassis Volvo Ailsa B55-10 Built 1980/2
Bodywork Northern Counties H44/35F Number in Stock 3
1446 NNA 134W 1447 WRJ 447X 1448 WRJ 448X        
1451 Chassis Leyland (Bristol) Olympian B45 TL11/1R Built 1980
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/30F Number in Stock 1
1451 NJA 568W                
1461-1462 Chassis Scania BR112DH Built On order for 1983
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/32F Number in Stock 2
1461 FWH 471Y 1462 FWH 462Y            
1463-1467 Chassis Scania N113 DRB Built 1991
Bodywork Northern Counties H47/28F Number in Stock 5
1463 H463 GVM 1464 H464 GVM 1465 H465 GVM 1466 H466 GVM 1467 H467 GVM
1471-1473 Chassis Dennis Falcon V DD405 Built 1984
Bodywork Northern Counties H47/37F Number in Stock 3
1471 A471 HNC 1472 A472 HNC 1473 A473 HNC      
1481-1483 Chassis Volvo Citybus B10M-50 Built 1986
Bodywork Northern Counties H46/33F Number in Stock 3
1481 C481 CBU 1482 C483 CBU 1483 C483 CBU        

Acquisitions

SELNEC Preservation Society have acquired the following 14xx series Prototype/Experimental Vehicles for preservation:

1448

BATCH:

1446 - 1448

gmt.gif (2279 bytes)

(WRJ 448X)

BODY:

Northern Counties H44/35F

 

CHASSIS:

Volvo Ailsa B55-10

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

3rd June 1982

 

PURCHASED:

28th November 2004

 

DETAILS:

This vehicle is the last and only remaining example of the three of these rare prototype vehicles.


1451

BATCH:

1451 (Single Prototype)

gmt.gif (2279 bytes)

(NJA 568L)

BODY:

Northern Counties H43/30F - Mark 1A

 

CHASSIS:

Bristol Olympian B45

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

1st October, 1980 (1980 Commercial Vehicle Motor Show)

 

PURCHASED:

28th June, 2000

 

DETAILS:

The first B45 prototype Leyland Olympian and the only one delivered to Greater Manchester. It was also the only GMT Olympian to run in orange and white.


1461

BATCH:

1461 - 1462

gmt.gif (2279 bytes)

(FWH 461Y)

BODY:

Northern Counties H43/32F

 

CHASSIS:

Scania BR112DH

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

1st April 1983

 

PURCHASED:

30th June 2004

 

DETAILS:

The only remaining Scania BR112DH delivered to Greater Manchester Transport


1472

BATCH:

1471 - 1473

gmt.gif (2279 bytes)

(A472 HNC)

BODY:

Northern Counties H47/37F

 

CHASSIS:

Dennis Falcon V

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

10th April 1984

 

PURCHASED:

13th October 2002

 

DETAILS:

The only remaining of 6 Dennis Falcon V built, and only remaining of 3 which was delivered to Greater Manchester Transport


1481

BATCH:

1481 - 1483

gmt.gif (2279 bytes)

(C481 CBU)

BODY:

Northern Counties H46/33F

 

CHASSIS:

Volvo Citybus B10M-50

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

1st June 1986

 

PURCHASED:

23rd October 2006

 

DETAILS:

The only remaining Volvo Ailsa delivered to Greater Manchester Transport

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