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EFE38122 - Bristol VRT I Double Deck Bus Solent Blue Line
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EFE E38122 Bristol VRT I Double Deck Bus Solent Blue Line

EFE38122
Was 34.50 now only 29.95 Currently in stock & available to ship
Brand: EFE
Part Number: E38122
Scale / Type: OO Scale
Our Code: EFE38122

The Bristol VR is a rear-engined double-decker bus chassis manufactured by Bristol as a competitor to the Leyland Atlantean and Daimler Fleetline. The first production vehicles entered service with Eastern Scottish, a member of the Scottish Bus Group, in December 1968. Almost immediately, problems were experienced with the transmission and overheating of the engine, problems similar to those experienced by early versions of the Leyland Atlantean and Daimler Fleetline. A large number of the initial production versions entered service with the Scottish Bus Group. Continued reliability issues resulted in 1973 in the exchange, on a one-for-one basis, of 91 Bristol VRTs from Central SMT, Eastern Scottish and Western SMT for front-engined Bristol Lodekka FLF6Gs from the National Bus Company. A revision of the vehicle, the Series 2, was introduced in 1970, with changes including a replacement of the single-piece wrap-around engine compartment door with a 3 piece version with a lift up rear section and swing out sides. In 1974, the Series 3 was introduced, with the main changes being to the engine compartment, to keep in line with new noise legislation. The most visible change was to move the ventilation grills from alongside the engine to higher up, just below the top deck windows, connected to the engine compartment by trunking, plus the removal of the grilles from the rear engine compartment door. The short, lowheight version became the standard vehicle for the National Bus Company. The VRT remained in production until 1981, by which time 4,531 had been built. The Leyland Olympian, the successor to the VR, shared many similarities to the Series 3 VR, although with updates such as air suspension. Later versions of the VR proved reliable, and remain in service with many independent bus operators across the United Kingdom. A notable number have been exported to other countries. Some major bus companies continued to operate VRs until recently: Wilts & Dorset only withdrew their last examples in 2007, and some continued operating until 2009 with subsidiary Damory Coaches two of which survive with Go South Coast to this day in the events fleet and are based on the Isle of Wight with Southern Vectis; First Devon & Cornwall withdrew their last conventional VRs in December 2006, but retained a few for open top tourist services until the end of 2007. First Hampshire & Dorset operated one VR on an open-top service between Weymouth and Portland Bill until September 2010, and Arriva Buses Wales own a VR for an open-top tour of Llandudno and Conwy during the summer. Plenty are still in service (2017) in school-run capacities.

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