A-Z Archive: G Challenge

From My Archive I Choose…

G is for Green and Gold

Green and Gold

A 1970’s Greenline Coach stands beside a modern Arriva Southern Counties bus.   The Greenline Coach is an AEC Reliance with Park Royal bodywork whilst the Arriva vehicle is a Volvo B7RLE with Wright Eclipse bodywork.   Despite the 30 years difference in ages between the vehicles the Reliance still looks relatively modern.   However, a ride on each vehicle soon demonstrates the changes in the intervening period.   The Reliance has a harsh ride and the body flexes noticably.  The seats are less well contoured for passenger comfort.   There is no provision for disabled persons either with steep steps at the entrance and a high level floor above the mid-mounted engine.  On the Volvo, the engine is mounted at the rear allowing a low floor.  It can kneel at the front to make the step onto the platform easier for the elderly and the rear doors have a wheelchair ramp.   So, those are some of the key changes to buses over the last 30 years in the UK.   Of course (from an enthusiast’s point of view) the modern bus does lack a quality sound system… Nothing beats the ear-splitting roar of an AEC AH691 engine at full chat 😉   


    1. Thank you Jeanne – I should add, that the Arriva bus on the right isn’t a Greenline vehicle. They have some very nice modern coaches for that service these days! 🙂

    1. Thank you Kate – I took this on the 80th anniversary of Greenline Coach services in London. The AEC Reliance (RP90) is preserved but I did have the pleasure of riding on her and it brought back so many memories 🙂 The smell of warm formica and oil… Don’t get that any more 😦 I had travelled some of the way to Guildford on a modern Van Hool Greenline Coach and the difference in ride quality was very noticable but the real difference was the smell and the ever present roar of that engine! My son wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it though he was pleased that I was very happy 🙂

  1. Your buses seem so much more open than the buses here in America. It’s cool to be able to see differences in things we all take for granted on a daily basis. I can’t believe how big those windows are. I’m assuming they are some sort of plexiglass? Do you know?

    1. Hi Orples – I guess that’s just a matter of design to suit the environment they work in. Different bus companies will require their vehicles to handle varying types of traffic.

      The windows are made of toughened laminated glass in the same way as modern car windshields. In some designs they are held in place by standard rubber gaskets but they can also be bonded to the body shell. A good example of that approach is the windshield of the East Lancs Olympus body – ironically, the side windows have rubber surrounds. Checking on the company website – the operators can choose bonded or gasket construction for their windows and I’d guess the same is true for all the body manufacturers and their products. Hope this is of interest 🙂

  2. More great buses. The colours stand out really bright. I really like the idea of modern buses lowering for elderly & disabled people. It’s a great idea that makes some people’s lives just that little bit easier.

    1. Thanks Tony – glad you like them. The kneeling bit is great. The wheelchair ramp can be a bit problematic as it spends weeks below the floor of the bus without being used and then when it does get used some of the switches designed to prevent the bus from moving off with it extended fail and the bus driver can’t put the vehicle in gear. I had a ride on one like that a couple of weeks back. The driver had to shut down and restart the vehicle half a dozen times before the switches finally realised that the ramp was retracted and allowed him to put it in gear!

    1. No, not that particular one – just a standard diesel. They do have some hybrids and more are coming on line in London every week with all the operators.

      ps… Did you borrow my keyboard to type the first comment Karen 😉

      1. hahaha!
        Just before I moved from New England, my city (Worcester, MA.) brought in a new grouping of hybrids that i loved! Big improvement over the old 70s buses they replaced. The hybrids had a neat feature I dubbed “mezzanine seating” —3/4 of the way back were two steps you walked up to access the rest of the seating. Made for a great vantage point!

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