Leyland Titan TD1 Double Deck Bus Wilts & Dorset

Scale(s): 1:76 Scale, OO Scale
Leyland Titan TD1 Double Deck Bus Wilts & Dorset
(RRP: £24.95)
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The first of Rackham's new T-Type Leylands was, importantly, the double-deck bus. This was the Titan TD1 (mythological names for double-decks and animal names for single-deckers and lorries grew to be a Leyland tradition); it was a masterly synthesis of worldwide best practice in design. It and the single deck Tiger TS1 equivalent were announced at the London Olympia Motor Show of 1927 after an intense development period. "They represented an immense advance on what had gone before, either at Leyland or elsewhere. It was not so much that the features were all new — most had been seen in isolation before — but the combination of them in one vehicle and the overall concept of the vehicles set a cracking pace for competitors, which left most of them so far behind it took them years to catch up," said former AEC employee Alan Townsin.[7] An important feature of the new Leyland buses was the engine; it was a six-cylinder overhead-camshaft petrol engine of 6.8 litres displacement, developing between 90-98 bhp at up to 2,200 rpm. Other drive-line features were a single-plate clutch driving into a four-speed sliding-mesh gearbox; these were mounted as a unit with the engine. The drive-line featured subtle inclination of engine and transmission, allowing straight drive shafts into the underslung worm-wheel single-reduction rear axle – which had the differential offset to the offside to reduce gangway floor height on the lower deck. Vacuum-servo brakes on all four wheels were standard between Tiger and Titan, but the Titan had a near right-angle drop in its frame after the rearmost spring-mounting to provide a low passenger entry platform.[8] Leyland Motors already had its own coachworks established just after the Great War, next to Leyland in the neighbouring parish of Farington. It was on stream by 1921, and most Lions and many Lionesses had been bodied there; a pre-Rackham feature was that Leyland Motors would also license the designs to other coachworks, but would take to law those building "pirated" Leyland designs. A significant difference between these forerunners and the body for the Titan is that it was patented. It was the first lowbridge double-deck bus body and as a result of the offset upper-deck gangway with four-abreast seating to the nearside the Titan could carry 48 or more seated passengers and yet within a 25 ft long body have an overall height of less than 13 feet 1 inch, with a covered top – a height about 2 ft less than the Leviathan or the NS. A Titan on pneumatic tyres, with the standard Leyland body, weighed less than 5? tonnes unladen. This meant that as standard a Titan could carry pneumatic tyres of the same type proven with Lions and other competitive single-deckers. Pneumatic tyres on a heavy vehicle at the time meant it could legally travel at 20 mph rather than 12 mph for solids. Not only was height and weight less than competing six-wheelers, so was price.[8] At this time Leyland had by far the best bus advertising in the trade press, only Albion Motors coming anywhere near. Albion sold on low first cost and fuel economy, while saying that they were "As Sure As The Sunrise" in reliability; but Leyland's advertising had the "Zoo" names to fix individual models in customers' minds, and in particular they used a photograph of the original TD1 prototype TD9522, passing underneath the 15 ft mediaeval Stonebow in Lincoln with clearance to spare, which they accompanied with the slogan "Bury your trams: mark their passing with Titans." Lincoln City Transport had the first production TD1, which was exhibited at Olympia prior to delivery.[9] 2,352 TD1s were built up to 1931; most of them carried either the Leyland body or licensed copies. From 1929 a version of the standard body was available with the rear stairs enclosed, following contemporary tramway practice, and by 1930 Leyland offered its own "Hybridge" body, with central gangways on both upper and lower decks, to a height of roughly 14 ft 6 in.

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