Thursday, 29 April 2010

First Olympians Withdrawn

Blackpool's first Olympians - 365-367 acquired from West Yorkshire PTE in October 1986 to replace fire damaged Atlanteans were withdrawn on Wednesday 28 April along with Metrorider 515.

New in 1982 as WYPTE 5005, 5011 and 5015 (UWW5/11/15X), 5011 spent time back with Leyland as a demonstrator. At deregulation the PTE was required for form a limited company to take over its bus operations and this emerged as Yorkshire Rider. The fleet size was reduced and the new company chose not to take on some quite young leased vehicles and Blackpool quickly snapped up these three Olympians - the arrived on 31 October - less than a week after deregulation day.

The trio went into service in November still in WYPTE verona green and cream livery and it was not until February that the first went into the paint shop. This was 366 which was the second bus to emerge in the then new fleet livery, followed by 367 in late March and 365 in early April. All three had a fairly unremarkable life - rear end adverts were applied briefly and all there were repainted in 1990 and again in 1993 (gaining black window surrounds). The new livery with more cream was applied to 365/7 February/March 1996 with 366 lasting another year until it received a Zone Card all-over advert in March 1997. May 1996 had seen the batch move to Fylde's Squires Gate Depot - technically still a separate undertaking for a few more weeks and they remained there until its closure in April 1999. During summer/autumn 2000 all three were in store along with older Atlanteans but the Metro bus network saw a reprieve. 2003 saw all three adopt the new "Schools + Line 1" scheme of orange and yellow with a further repaint in this scheme in late 2006.

During 2010 367 has spent a long period in store with engine problems and was joined by 365/6 on Wednesday 28 April.