The Little Bus Company the-bus.gif (21152 bytes) LITTLE BUS COMPANY

6 Appleyard, Haworth Close,
Halifax, HX1 2NN.
Tel: 01422 301600

E-mail:

www.little-bus.com

 

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Northern Coachbuilders Two-Axle Trolleybus
TNB 2
The Prototypes

Between 1946 and 1951, benefiting from the continuing post-war demand for new bodies or complete vehicles, Northern Coachbuilders Limited (NCB) constructed a considerable number of bodies for 2-axle and 3-axle trolleybuses at their Claremont Road, Spital Tongues, Newcastle upon Tyne works. Apart from the full front, the basic design was closely related to their motorbus bodies of the period. This Little Bus Company kit, the first of a provincial trolleybus, features the "standard" NCB 2-axle body of this period which was 26ft long and 7ft 6ins wide, and can be assembled to represent prototypes from the following systems:

Bradford

The Bradford undertaking re-bodied a number of pre-war AEC661T trolleybuses with NCB bodies in the late 1940s. The Mark I bodies of 1946 differed from the Mark II bodies of 1947-49 in the position of their window ventilators, the Mark I body providing the prototype for this kit as supplied.

1934 AEC661T 597, 598, 602-604, 607, 610, 611, 614-617 (reg. KY8200, 8201, 8205-7, 8210, 8213-4, 8217-8220), originally equipped with English Electric bodywork, were given new NCB H30/26R bodies between 1946 and 1949. The seating capacity was changed to H31/26R or H32/26R (607, 614-616) by 1958. Withdrawal of these re-bodied vehicles took place between 1957 and 1962.

1935 AEC661T 618-632 (AK420-434), also originally with English Electric bodywork, were given new NCB H30/26R bodies between 1946 and 1949. The seating capacity of 619, 620, 624, 630 was changed to H31/26R, and that of 621-22 to H32/26R by 1958. Withdrawal of these re-bodied vehicles took place between 1955 and 1962.

Livery: light blue with cream window surrounds, dark grey roofs, black beading, mudguards and wheels. From June 1953 repaints featured blue roofs. In June 1961 NCB bodied 603 appeared in a reproduction of the 1911 dark blue and cream livery suitably lettered to celebrate fifty years of trolleybus operation in Bradford.

Maidstone

The small Maidstone Corporation system purchased 12 new Sunbeam W trolleybuses 62-73 (HKR1-12) equipped with NCB H30/26 bodies in 1946-47 to replace its aging original fleet of 1928 Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies and 1930 English Electric three-axle vehicles. A number of body modifications were carried out during their service life: all examples received an opening nearside driver's cab windscreen in the early 1950s whilst between 1959 and 1963 opening "push out" ventilators were fitted to the top of the upper saloon front windows. Also in the early 1950s the lower saloon side window ventilators of 64 and 66 were reposition in bays 1 and 2.

The first example was withdrawn in April 1965, a further six came out of service towards the end of 1965 and the remaining five lasted until April 1967, four being in service on the last day of trolleybus operations, 15 April 1967. Maidstone's last trolleybus, 72 is preserved in operating condition at the Sandtoft Transport Centre.

Livery: golden ochre brown and cream with black painted wings, applied in a variety of different styles and lettering.

Newcastle upon Tyne

In the late 1940s Newcastle Transport set about completing its tramway conversion programme, a major expansion of its trolleybus system and the replacement of its pre-war trolleybus rolling stock. In addition to a large fleet of 3-axle vehicles, some 86 2-axle vehicles with BUT and Sunbeam chassis were purchased with a mixture of MCCW and local NCB all metal bodywork, these being particularly associated with the Benton Park (39/40) and Heaton (41/42) circular services:

1949-50 Sunbeam F4 529-53 (reg. LTN529-53)
1949 BUT 9611T 554-78 (LTN554-78)

Withdrawal of all 50 vehicles took place either in the May 1963 or February 1964 stages of the trolleybus system closure.

Livery: cadmium yellow with cream window surrounds and roof, maroon beading at the upper and lower deck waist rails and upper deck floor line, maroon wings. The interior lower panels and upholstery were red, ceilings cream and floors bauxite.

South Shields

South Shields Corporation Transport standardised on the NCB composite H30/26R body for all their new post-war trolleybuses deliveries except 2 Roe-bodied examples that closely resembled the undertaking's "relaxed" utility vehicles:

1947 Karrier W4 246-248 (reg. CU4716-18).
1947-8 Karrier W4 251-255 (CU4873-77) and 256-60 (CCU4943-47).
1950 Karrier F4 261-266 (CU5100-105) and 267-70 (CCU5279-82).
The 1950 deliveries had a concealed trolley gantry and are thus inappropriate prototypes for this kit as supplied. They were ordered as Karriers but arrived with Sunbeam maker's nameplates. Withdrawal took place between late 1962 and April 1964.

Livery: royal blue with primrose yellow window surrounds, black painted wings and a medium grey roof. The saloons had brown lower panels, polished wood window surrounds and white ceilings. The platform area and staircase were painted blue.

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