Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Preserved Atlanteans

LTT's 334 and 362

Three of the well known East Lancs Atlanteans are now in preservation, 334, 353 and 362. A fourth - 364 - is expected to follow when finally retired - indeed could be considered semi preserved now.

334 restored and posted at Mereside turning circle

334 (AHG334V) was new in June 1980 as part of the fourth batch of ten replacing PD3s including 529. New in the Southampton inspired 'layer cake' livery it was first repainted in September 1983, received the post deregulation livery in June 1988, January 1991 and then the version with black window surrounds in June 1994. It spent periods of 1995 in store or reserve use before a repaint into the final livery style took place in November 1995. From April 1996 it worked from Squires Gate (save for a few weeks back at Rigby Road in 1996) until this closed in 1999. Its final repaint was in November 1999

It was bought for preservation by Graham Oliver in June 2003 having last operated on route 20 on 29 May. It soon passed to LTT and restoration commenced during 2006 with the bus extensively stripped. A full repanel and new window rubbers completed the external work and a full repaint took place - with completion in September 2007.

353 at totallyTransport after restoration

353 (UHG353Y) One of a small batch of four bought in September 1982 this ran until July 2008 - a run of nearly 26 years making it the longest serving Blackpool bus at the time. It was repainted in Oct 1986 (orig) Nov 1988 and Dec 1991 (dereg), Nov 1994 (Zone card advert), Oct 1997 (last style). It was withdrawn in June 2006 but reinstated in January 2007 lasting until the July 2008 cull - managing a last day on service 1 on 29 July. It was bought by the Chesterfield 123 Group in September 2008 and rallied for the rest of the season. A body overhaul and repaint took place over the winter, returning the bus to its 1997 condition by June 2009. It returned to Blackpool for totallyTransport.

362 at the Zoo on the Farewell event

362 (A362HHG) is numerically the last of the bus seated examples and one of eight to arrive in August 1983. It was repainted in Feb 1987 - one of the last to be treated in the original style as the post deregulation livery was adopted the following month. In April 1989 it became one of five to receive an all-over advert for Mackeson stout, which was replaced by Bonaza Family Restaurant in May 1990 - both with fleet livery fronts. It returned to green and cream in April 1991 and was again treated (with black window surrounds) in Sept 1994. Again it was one of the last so treated. It received the final style in April 1996 and again August 1999. By 2004 Atlantean use was restricted to schools and seasonal services and withdrawal took place in July 2006. A brief reprieve in October 2006 saw it run on the Atlantean Farewell event operating on route 20 on both 28 and 29 Oct. It then passed to LTT and remains in as withdrawn condition.


LTT briefly owned 331 (AHG331V) between June 2002 and Sept 2003, before replacing it with 334. It passed to Fargo Coaches, Essex from where it has since been scrapped. 337 (AHG337V) was preserved from 2003, appearing in Kent and Warrington before returning to Blackpool. Never restored it was scrapped in October 2008.

Several of the ex Fylde Atlanteans that operated for Blackpool are also preserved:
445 (NJI5505) Blackpool Transport Omnibus Group
458 (ATD281J) LTT
471 (OJI4371) LTT
479 (HRN99N) LTT
496 (XHG96V) Andy Mitchell
137 (TKU469K) LTT.