maandag 24 maart 2008

BoekTip: The London Titan

De Leyland Titan was de laatste Londense dubbeldekker die min of meer volgens de wensen en eisen van London Transport gebouwd was. De bus bleek in de praktijk een stuk beter te voldoen dan z'n voorganger, de Daimler Fleetline. Over deze bus is een fraai boekwerk verschenen: De London Titan.

The Leyland Titan was the last double-deck bus to have at least some hand in its design by the old London Transport. Suffering in the early 1970s from the reliability problems of the DMS class of Daimler Fleetline, and no longer able to design and build its own buses, London Transport resolved not to be caught out twice. Thus was developed the Leyland Titan, an attractive, amenable and reliable second-generation OPO bus that entered revenue-earning service on 4 December 1978. With 1,125 bought new and six acquired second-hand, the T class went on to complete nearly 25 years on the London frontline. Although its technological sophistication, combined with industrial problems afflicting Leyland at the time, put off buyers outside the capital, the privatised descendants of these same concerns would snap up second-hand Titans when the tendering losses incurred by London Buses Ltd caused examples to flood onto the open market, in some cases after less than ten years of service. Many of them would go straight back into service on London routes! The T class saw London through the uncertain period of division and privatisation, and in the hands of three successor companies to London Buses Ltd continued to provide stalwart service until 19 June 2003, when T1018 operated on a stage service for the last time. With all remaining examples, including those latterly used on schools and private-hire work, now gone from frontline service, the future careers of the London Transport Titans have been no less fascinating, with buses seeing use by operators large and small the length and breadth of the country. In The London Titan, Matthew Wharmby explores in detail the complete history of the last of the bespoke London Transport buses. Illustrated throughout with over 300 colour and black and white photographs, this book will appeal to the many bus enthusiasts around the country.

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