London Buslines Leyland Olympians

This page created 5th August 2003 by Ian Smith

The low Alexanders: 46-56, later LA46-56.

London Buslines low Olympian London Buslines had become involved in London route tendering with Daimler Fleetlines, but in August 1989 it took over the old 90B route as the new 90, using eleven new Olympians. These had Alexander RL low-height bodywork, and wore London Buslines simple livery of rich yellow with a brown skirt. The brown included the front grille and the engine compartment.

The livery was later modified, with bands in shades of brown above the skirt, and narrow lines in the same colours below the upper deck windows. The radiator grille became yellow, and the livery bands were continued around the engine compartment.

The buses worked on route 90, and on Sundays worked the 441, working from Southall garage. They were originally un-numbered, but gained numbers 46-56 to match their registrations in December 1990.

  • 90: Richmond - Hatton Cross - Northolt Stn
  • 441: Windsor - Staines - Heathrow (Sundays)

Centrewest low Olympian Centrewest took over the company in March 1996, but this did not produce immediate changes. But changes to route 90 in August 1997 did: the Olympians no longer had a home on this route, and 46-54 moved to the Centrewest garage at Alperton (ON).
  • 83: Golders Grn Stn - Ealing Hospital
  • E1: Ealing Broadway Stn - Greenford

They were repainted red with Challenger fleetnames for the 83 and Ealing Buses for the E1. Fleet class letters were added, the buses becoming LA46-54. The other two, 55 and 56, moved out to Bracknell, where they became Beeline 505 and 506. In April 1999 a need for low-height buses in Eastern Counties territory took them out of London: they moved to First Eastern Counties, where they were joined in September 2000 by the two from Bracknell.

Northern Counties: 29-45, later LN29-45.

London Buslines NC Olympian London Buslines bought another seventeen Olympians ready for a November 1990 start on route 92. These wore full-height bodies by Northern Counties. Livery was overall yellow with chocolate skirt and brown/orange bands. They were numbered 29 to 45 to match the registrations.
  • 92: Ealing Hospital - Neasden Tesco
Although bought for the 92 they strayed onto the 90, and later the 79, on a fairly frequent basis. The London Forest strike saw them working on route 123 between Tottenham and Gants Hill, a long way from their home territory at that time.
Centrewest/First Capital NC Olympian

After the Centrewest takeover they continued without change until September 1997, when they were transferred to Centrewest along with route 92. They were repainted red for the change, initially receiving long grey skirts, until Centrewest shucked off the London Buses image and went for all-red with a yellow band. They worked at Alperton with Challenger fleetnames on the 83, and at Greenford with Ealing Buses on the E1. They received class letters, becoming LN29-45.

But some did not stay with Centrewest for long. The transfer eastwards of lowheight buses took not only London Buslines examples from Centrewest, but some of First Capital's lowheight Alexanders too. So eleven moved eastwards to replace them at First Capital in April 1999, followed by another in August. mostly they worked at Hackney, particularly on the 158, but also on schools extras on other routes. They took various vacant numbers in the 1** series.
123 at Stratford, August 2002

First Capital 123 was at Stratford Bus Station in August 2002, working on the 257
The five that remained at Greenford stayed there until 2002-3, when they moved north to First Huddersfield. But the east London gang proved persistent. Although their use on normal TfL services eventually became proscribed due to their step entrances, they found a role on rail replacements, where they turn up all over London.

LDN34340 at Stratford, Sat. 23rd April 2005 LDN34340 at Stratford, Sat. 23rd April 2005 LDN34340 at Canary Wharf, Sat. 23rd April 2005

LDN34340 (ex 180) was on DLR Replacement duty between Stratford and Canary Wharf on Saturday 23rd April 2005.

The high Alexanders: 24-28, later LA24-28.

Centrewest high Alexander Olympian

Five more Alexander-bodied buses were bought by London Buslines in October 1993 for use on route 79, where they saw off the last of the Fleetlines. This time they were full-height RH-bodied types. They did not spend long in London Buslines livery before the Centrewest takeover, when they were divided between Ealing Buses, for the E1, and Challenger for the 83. They did look good in London red!

However, First moved them north to Huddersfield in July 2002.

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