Northern Routemasters Enter Service
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THE first Routemasters, in a provincial livery were inspected. on Monday when the. Northern. General .TransPort Co. Ltd. staged a preview of their latest buses followed by a demonstration run from their Gateshead head office out through Chester-le-Street and back to Newcastle.
On show were some of the 18 Routemasters to be introduced by Northern today, and which are part of a contract for 50 similar forward-entrance machines placed with Park Royal Vehicles Ltd., making the company the only operator of Routernasters other than the London Transport Board. Initially, they will be based at two of the company's 12 depots and will operate on five of the company's, longer routes out of Newcastle, the longest of these being to Middlesbrough (40 miles) and the shortest to Crook (24 miles), the five services totalling 159 miles. All these services are operated jointly with United Automobile Services Ltd., of Darlington, who operate forward-entrance Bristol Lodekkas. (The standard Northern group double-decker for several years has been of the rearengined type.)
The new buses will replace Leyland PD2/12 types which will be transferred to other routes so that ultimately the buses to be withdrawn will be Guy Arab 56-seat double-deckers. The Routemasters are the 30-ft by 8-ft.' version with 72 seats (41 top deck and 31 lower), and powered by the Leyland Power Plus 0.600 engine.
In addition to the exterior finish of a rich red, Northern has specified' topsliding windows and its own interior trim making extensive use of plastics materials. Light oak Warerite is used for window surrounds, interior lining panels, seat backs and entrance and staircase partitions, with white Warerite ceilings and Vybak front and rear domes. The seat frames are Deans Beta/I type with stainless steel top rail, Dunlopillo cushions and Polyether squabs trimmed with Lister Moquette and Connolly hide.