EX30 and Beyond: Greater Manchester and the Leyland National

How Leyland’s revolutionary single decker began 42 years of National service within Greater Manchester

SELNEC Leyland National
EX30, seen on the turning circle outside the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport.

For your maximum enjoyment, this article is best read in conjunction with the Not So Perfect Ten article on Experimental SELNEC and GMT Buses Since 1969. Thank you.

For many people, 1971 meant Decimalisation, hot pants and T-Rex. In the bus world, the orange and white of SELNEC made its presence known throughout today’s TfGM boundaries; in our living rooms, 10 million homes tuned in to the antics of Stan Butler and company in London Weekend Television’s On The Buses. Instead of the fictitious Luxton, Lillyhall was the UK bus industry’s centre of gravity. A legacy that would outlive LWT’s series by several years. Not only on our streets, but also on our railways. Continue reading “EX30 and Beyond: Greater Manchester and the Leyland National”

Know Your Sprinters: The Class 150 Series of DMUs

An easy to digest guide to Sprinter units

On our railways, the Sprinter family of diesel multiple units have formed the mainstay of provincial services for nearly 30 years. Today, they are still common with Greater Manchester and South Wales happy hunting grounds for the DMUs. With longer distance routes covered by more modern units (i.e Siemens’ Desiros), Sprinter units of various degrees are seen on local services. Continue reading “Know Your Sprinters: The Class 150 Series of DMUs”

Train Interiors from Hell: The Infamous Five Alive

Go back to your stations and prepare for backache, piles and migraines ahead…

Greater Manchester, besides having more Pacer units than anywhere else on the planet plays host to some rather grim trains. Most of which are fellow Northerners built in Lillyhall, Workington from bus bodies. Till recently, a lot of our rolling stock were cast-offs from the South of England. By 2012, we will getting some more Southern cast-offs, though seven of these are returning to their spiritual home. They are the seven Pacer units returning to the North of England from First Great Western, four of which The Infamous Oldham Four, referring to the spare units used on the Oldham-Rochdale Loop line.

For the purpose of our new feature, The Infamous Five Alive, we are focusing on the railway carriage interiors which have brought shame onto our railways. Continue reading “Train Interiors from Hell: The Infamous Five Alive”

Runaway Carriages: The Beginners’ Guide to Class 153s

Leyland’s successor to the Class 140 – 144 railbuses

“On My Own, Once Again…”: the Class 153, waiting to be whisked off to Leeds by a helpful Class 156 Super Sprinter

Being as Leyland’s National buses didn’t quite sell in the great numbers they wished for, their Workington plant also became the birthplace of the Pacer units. Besides them, there was also the Curious Incident of the Mark I Pacer Carriage (more in a future post within East of the M60). Another one of their projects was the Class 155 DMU, which later spawned the Class 153. Continue reading “Runaway Carriages: The Beginners’ Guide to Class 153s”