Ensignbus Volvo Olympians

This page created 15th January 2012 by Ian Smith

Ensign Bus & Coach, as well as their bus sales business and their growing collection of museum and private hire stock, also maintained their railway replacement business, using the Ensignbus fleetname and silver/blue livery. A source of good-quality buses was available, of course, in the sales stock, and so, in time, Volvo Olympians became available.


164: Alexander Royale, ex AV9

London Central sold AV9 to Ensign after eight years of service, at the end of 2003. It was a Volvo Olympian with the good-looking Alexander Royale bodywork. London Central had twice reregistered the bus, first to ex-Routemaster registration WLT 789, and then to more mundane M264SGY (not its original M89MYM).

Ensignbus painted it into fleet livery of silver and powder blue, and put it to work on a diet of railway replacement duties.

But it did not stay long. It was transferred to sightseeing duties with Guide Friday during 2004. Then First Bus took a fancy to it, and it went to First Manchester as 34264.

161: Northern Counties Palatine I, ex NV60

The next Volvo Olympian was also ex-London Central, but this time one of the larger Northern Counties-bodied NV class. It had dual purpose coach seating from new. This one too had had a Routemaster registration for a while (260 CLT), but had reverted to its original R241LGH. Ensignbus acquired it in September 2004, and painted it into the apple green and cream livery adopted for the railway replacement contract for the Strood-Dartford service, while the Strood tunnel was being renovated. It had X80 route branding added.

This one too moved on to pastures new, literally going west in November 2005, to First Bristol & Avon, and then to First Devon & Cornwall, as First 31841.


126-129: Alexander Royales, ex Yorkshire Coastliner

Four more Alexander Royales were taken into stock by Ensignbus, and given the silver/blue treatment. These came from Lancashire United (966-969), having originated on the Yorkshire Coastliner expresses between Leeds and the Yorkshire Coast. As such they had coach seating, more suited to Ensignbus' hire business, and they have stayed in the company fleet, with regular work, particularly on railway replacement work for c2c, the DLR and the District Line in particular.

124, 125, 132, 136, 138, 152, 156, 159: Alexander RHs, ex Metroline

Metroline retired ten-year old Alexander RH-bodied Olympians in 2008, and sold them through Ensign Bus & Coach. Eight were taken on for Ensignbus' increasing workload on railway replacement work. The centre exit doors were removed, and they were treated to the blue and silver livery.

Ensignbus 156 on railway work ex-Metroline

156 on Railway Work, East End

Some haved been hired out to other companies as spot-hire vehicles. Some have been sold on.

163, 168, 195/395: Alexander RHs, ex-Dublin

ex-Dublin Ensign became the UK dealer for the disposal of Dublin's fleet of Alexander-bodied Olympians, first Leylands and then Volvos. So it was not surprising that some of them were taken into stock in 2008-9 for railway work.

195 was converted to open-top the hard way - by a railway bridge - in April 2010. The result was neatened up to produce a sightseeing bus, renumbered 395 in the open-top series. This was given City Sightseeing livery at first, but was later repainted into Ensignbus red and silver..

Bus Stop Olympian index Ensignbus Olympians bus histories photo refs