Tuesday Time Tunnel: Eastern Counties Greenway Refurbishments

LN585 in Ipswich as a standard Leyland National (Peter Horrex)
In this week's Tuesday Time Tunnel installment, we take a look at the Leyland National refurbishments across the Eastern Counties operations.

The Leyland National was a popular type among National Bus Company operations, very much being the Alexander Dennis Enviro200s and Wright Streetlites of its era. Not only were Leyland Nationals delivered to new to Eastern Counties, a number of used examples from across the Country found their way into Norfolk and Suffolk.

By the 1990s, many of the Leyland Nationals were becoming a tad worn out, although they still had the potential to keep going for a few years longer. At the time, London & Country had devised a plan to recondition their enormous fleet of Nationals - being owned by the Drawlane Group, who also owned East Lancashire Coachbuilders, the scheme was soon made available to all operators.

LN585 was refurbished, seen here in 2003 (Steven Hughes)
The Greenway rebuild maintained the basic shape of the National, but saw the fitting of a near enough complete new body shell, brand new interior and reconditioned Gardener 6HLXB engine. A new two leaf door set and new windows were also fitted.

Like most operators, Eastern Counties Greenways were re-registered with cherish registration plates to hide the fact that what then appeared to be a brand new buses was simply a reconditioned bus potentially around twenty years old.

Leyland National Greenways were the buses I grew up on in Norwich, and a real fond memory for me. In Norwich they could be found across the network, although most commonly on county routes to Wymondham, Dussindale and Plumstead.
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About Kieran Smith

Norwich Buses Blog was founded in December 2013 by Sam Larke after he left another popular blog, Norwich Bus Page. Since it's launch, the site has grown dramatically, especially whilst written solely by Kieran Smith during 2015. The blog is now in it's third year and we look forward to more success and growth in the future. If you think you'd make a good writer for Norwich Buses Blog, please do get in touch via email: samuel.larke@gmail.com
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  1. Interesting that the LN Gardner engine conversion project started and ended with Eastern Counties. LG781 was the first road-going Gardner-powered LN and the last Greenway conversion was the last of Eastern Counties' second batch, 654 (NIL3954, PVF369R).

    Sixteen were done in total for Eastern Counties.
    Body VRM Chassis Seating New New VRM & Fleet No.

    Batch 1

    B7801 WVF598S LN 11351A/1R 04931 B52F 10/1993 NIL3960 660
    B7802 WAH593S LN 11351A/1R 04775 B52F 11/1993 NIL3959 659
    B7803 XNG768S LN 11351A/1R 05389 B52F 1/1994 NIL3963 663
    B7804 TVF620R LN 11351A/1R 04468 B52F 1/1994 NIL3955 655
    B7805 PVF368R LN 11351A/1R 03600 B52F 2/1994 NIL3953 653
    B7806 YFY5M LN 1151/2R 01164 B52F 4/1994 NIL3967 667
    B7807 UFX854S LN 11351A/1R 04730 B52F 3/1994 NIL3966 666
    B7808 VFX981S LN 11351A/1R 04954 B52F 5/1994 NIL3965 665

    Batch 2

    B15001 XNG765S LN 11351A/1R 05231 B52F 8/1995 NIL3962 662
    B15002 WAH588S LN 11351A/1R 04760 B52F 8/1995 NIL3957 657
    B15003 WVF599S LN 11351A/1R 04933 B52F 10/1995 NIL3961 661
    B15004 DPW782T LN 11351A/1R 05918 B52F 8/1995 NIL3964 664
    B15005 WAH590S LN 11351A/1R 04762 B52F 8/1995 NIL3958 658
    B15006 WAH587S LN 11351A/1R 04759 B52F 12/1995 NIL3956 656
    B15007 PVF367R LN 11351A/1R 03599 B52F 12/1995 NIL3952 652
    B15008 PVF369R LN 11351A/1R 03784 B52F 2/1996 NIL3954 654