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London Transport's Last Buses (Hardback)

Leyland Olympians L1-263

British History Transport London 20th Century Buses London Transport

By Matthew Wharmby
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 112
Illustrations: 300
ISBN: 9781473823860
Published: 13th January 2016

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The Olympian was Leyland's answer to the competition that was threatening to take custom away from its second-generation OMO double-deck products. Simpler than the London Transportcentric Titan but, unlike that integral model, able to respond to the market by being offered as a chassis for bodying by the bodybuilder of the customer's choice, the Olympian was an immediate success and soon replaced both the Atlantean and Bristol VRT as the standard double-decker of the NBC. It wasn't until 1984 that London Transport itself dabbled with the model, taking three for evaluation alongside trios of contemporary double-deckers.The resulting L class spawned an order for 260 more in 1986, featuring accessibility advancements developed by LT in concert with the Ogle design consultancy, but the rapid changes engulfing the organisation meant that no more were ordered. During the 1990s company ownerships shifted repeatedly as the ethos of competition gave way to the cold reality of big business, an unstable situation which even saw London's bus operations broken up.The L class was split between three new companies, but the backlog of older vehicles to replace once corporate interests released funding ensured the buses up to a further decade in service. Finally, as low-floor buses swept into the capital at the turn of the century, Olympian operation at last declined, and the final examples operated early in 2006.

This profusely illustrated book describes the diversity of liveries, ownerships and deployments that characterised the London Leyland Olympians' two decades of service.

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About Matthew Wharmby

Matthew Wharmby is an author, photographer and editor who specialises in London bus history. His published books include London Transport’s Last Buses: Leyland Olympians L 1-263, Routemaster Requiem and Routemaster Retrospective (with Geoff Rixon), London Transport 1970-1984 (with R.C. Riley), The London Titan and The London Metrobus. He has also written many articles for Buses, Bus & Coach Preservation, Classic Bus and London Bus Magazine. This is his eighth book for Pen and Sword; the others are London Transport’s Last Buses: Leyland Olympians L 1-263, The London Bendy Bus, The London Enviro400, The London DMS, The London LS, Last Years of the London Titan and (with John Laker), London Buses 1970-80.

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Last Years of the London Titan (Hardback)

Already depleted by withdrawals in the London Buses Ltd era, the Leyland Titan fleet of T class was divided upon privatisation between three new companies; London Central, Stagecoach East London and Stagecoach Selkent. Together with a host of smaller companies operating second-hand acquisitions, the Titans’ declining years between 1998 and 2003 are explored in this pictorial account that encompasses both standard day-to-day routes, emergency deployments and rail replacement services. Only small numbers remained to usher out the type altogether at the end of 2005, when step-entrance double-deckers…

By Matthew Wharmby

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