The London Bus Page In Exile

Thursday 8 February 2007

2006 In Review – GTL’s Last Titan Day

Filed under: Companies, Special Events, Travels, Vehicles — londonbuspageinexile @ 7:50 pm

This may be a London-oriented page, but I reserve the right to leave the crazy place behind once in a while and explore what else is to be found up and down the country. After all, the general consensus seems to be that right now London’s bus scene is at its very lowest ebb in terms of quality and appeal. Still, the cascade of vehicles out of the capital has led to them leading often more eventful (and certainly longer) lives in the provinces than they ever would have in London.
This time last year the rule of the Leyland Titan in Liverpool finally came to an end when GTL retired its last four serviceable examples amid ceremony on Saturday 4th February 2006. The Gillmoss garage that was separated from the old MTL North (formerly Merseybus) when Arriva bought the majority of the company had continued on as GTL (Glenvale Transport) and even found itself acquiring an equally sizeable neighbour, CMT, adopting that company’s all-red livery but maintaining the GTL tradition of naming buses after employees’ children or pets (which produced some wacky titles that were fun to collect!). However, in 2005 Stagecoach swept in and within six months the company was unrecognisable – out went all the ex-London Metrobuses and Titans, together with the motley collection of Dart and Volvo B6 single-decks scraped together from all over the place, and in their place came seventy new Dart SLFs. With Arriva and Stagecoach now effectively sharing Liverpool between them, the scene is considerably duller, but the Titans represented a more carefree sort of time. Liverpool’s certainly a nice surprise – friendly people, smashing buildings and certainly worth visiting.
GTL Leyland Titan 10850 (A850 SUL) at Liverpool Pier Head, 4th February 2006. From a peak of over 250 vehicles a decade ago, by February 2006 only four Titans were left – identified first by their Stagecoach numbers they were 10046 (WYV 46T – formerly 2046, T 46), 10337 (KYV 337X – 2337, T 337), 10624 (NUW 624Y – 2624, T 624) and 10850 (A850 SUL – 2850, T 850). Of this quartet only 10337 was red and had been converted to single-door. The latter two were comparatively recent arrivals from Stagecoach Selkent’s final clear-out in 2001, but T 46 had been one of the first Titans to leave London for Merseybus. Unfortunately, it proved unserviceable on the last day, so the farewell tour mounted by Gillmoss’s staff was led out by the other three. Joining for the day were a handful of other Titans, like T 1 from Stagecoach East London and 10698 (T 698) in Stagecoach corporate. T 910, preserved in London Transport condition, was also present, and of the non-Titan types you could see Atlanteans and even RML 2716. In this convoy a couple of dozen enthusiasts were taken round town over some of the numerous routes to have been operated by Liverpool’s Titans thirteen years of operation. The main picture shows a successful attempt to cram four of them into the width of the seafront road at New Brighton after a trip through the Mersey Tunnel, while the inset shows 10850 bringing up the rear of a static display at Pier Head.
A belated thanks to Gillmoss’s people for putting on the event – it was a lot of fun!

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2 Comments »

  1. I drove brand-new Titans [& new metros!] on route 18 out of Westbourne Park garage [X-ray] in the summer of 1983.
    No drivers screens back then, and we still had conductors too!
    The 18 was a good run, sudbury to London Bridge.
    The Titans weren’t bad, though I never liked the small almost car-like steering wheel or the pre-select gear lever. Otherwise quite nice to drive, though I preferred the metros.

    Comment by bill — Sunday 11 February 2007 @ 12:07 am

  2. With the Titans, least T1 & T2 have been preserved, T1 [East Lndon Bus Group] & T2 [Blue Triangle] have repainted them back into the original livery when new with the white window surrounds and multi-ride logo, also you can see T2 and other Titan on Rail Replacement Service at weekends when there is engineering work on the Underground, I remember before all buses had to go Low Floor, that when blue triangle waas foing rail work and needed to go under a low bridge, they use to take the Darts of route 368 (This route is now with Docklands Busses) & route 66 and for on spare Tridents, if not it would have been Metrobuses or Titans.

    Comment by Richard — Sunday 11 February 2007 @ 8:05 am


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