PASSENGER TRAVEL NEWS.
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The Latest Doings and Developments in the Bus and Coach World.
A BIG MIDLAND BUS COMPANY'S PROGRESS.
The Opening of a New Garage, of which we give Brief Details, Provides an Opportunity for the Examination of the 1929 Model of the S.O.S. pus.
IN our issue for last week we referred briefly to the fact that the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Co., Ltd. had recently had erected at Digbeth a new garage of capacious proportions. We have now received further details of the garage and, as it is built and equipped on most modern lines, we
, now propose amplifying the particulars already given.
The garage was officially opened on January .3rd, and the occasion was taken for staging in the new garage two of the company's 1929 S.O.S. buSes, these /eh-ides being the advance models for the present year. This particular type of vehicle embodies certain improvements, as suggested by operating experienee during the.past year, which have been incorporated primarily to give passengers more comfort, and in this connection it can be mentioned that bucket-type seats are noW used. In the math, the chassis is practically the same as that hitherto .employed, but certain minor modifications have been made. and four-wheel hydraulically operated brakes have now been adopted.
A picture appearing on the next page shows the latest tYpe of vehicle, and its symmetrical lines and good appearance immediately strike the eye. The total unladen weight of this vehicle is a little more than that of the company's original S.O.S. model, which weighed 3 tons 15 cwt.
In addition to staging the two Com' plate buses, the company also displayed commendable enterprise by exhibiting a Stripped chassis,many of the units of • which were sectioned so that the interior parts could be seen, the working of them being made realistic by the use of a small electric motor. In addition to the chassis, numerous component parts, such as crankshafts, cylinders, valves, connecting rods, pistons, etc., were Made available for inspection. . So far as the garage itself is concerned, the layout has been arranged
so that there is a large main entrance and a main exit at the extreme ends of what might be termed a rectangularshaped building.
• Seven petrol pumps, arranged in line side by side, are situated at a bus length inside the • main doors, so that the fuelling of sir vehicles can be carried out at the same time. In connection with the fuel-supply arrangements, it is interesting to note that a new type of automatic-filling apparatus is being tested. To avoid the use of extension lamps an electric light with a special reflector is fitted aboveeach pump, and it is arranged so that light is thrown directly on to the filling orifice of the fuel tank. A row of aluminium studs is sunk into the floor at such a distance that when the front wheels are touching the studs the filling orifice is in the correct position in rektion to the petrol pump.
The new building is to be used as a "
running" garage and, consequently, only machinery required for enabling running repairs to be carried out has been installed. The equipment in the main consists of tool grinders, drills, pneumatic-tyre repairing plant, pressure gauge and air bottles, lamp-resistance booster set for charging batteries and, of course, the usual stores and mess
rooms.. The petrol-storage equipment is of 25,000 gallons capacity.
No supporting pillars in the garage itself are needed, the roof being carried by main lattice girders which extend for the full width of the structure. The maximum length of these main girders provides a 185-ft. span, the girders being under cover of the main roof—a practice which the Birmingham and Midland Omnibus Co., Ltd., has adopted for some considerable time with much success.
The total length of the new building is 300 ft. and it provides a floor area of 39,000 sq. ft. The height from the floor level to the underside of the girders is 16 ft. 6 ins. The number of buses which will be* worked from the new garage is 110, whilst the privatehire fleet will also be operated from it.
So far as the layout and general arrangement of the garage and works are concerned, credit must be extended to Mr. L. G. Wyndham Shire, the company's chief engineer. The design and architectural work was carried out by Mr. Arthur Ashton, F.R.I.B.A,, of Leamington, who has been responsible for similar work in connection with a number of garages erected by the company.
Some idea of the comprehensive character of the activities of the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Co., Ltd.,' can be gathered from the fact that regular bus services (over 1,000 in all) are run in 14 distinct counties, whilst several of them run over the border into Wales in several places.' In addition, the company has established a number of express services, amongst these being Birmingham and Nottingham, Birmingham and Leicester, Coventry and Nottingham, Bitintigham and Northampton, and Leicester and Nottingham.
In addition to its pasaenger-vehicle operations, the company conducts it parcels and goods businos which has been sueceseful for many years and regular parcels tiervices ate in operation to all parts of the Midlands, with daily services to London, Leicester, Nottingham, Stoke and other centres. The parcels department of the company has in excess of 500 agencies in different parts of the Miidland counties.