|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.