Car Blog

What’s My Favourite Bus?

My previous post looked at what my favourite cars are, and this follow up post explains what my favourite bus is. Unlike with cars, this question is far easier to answer.

I became hooked on buses back in 2012, when on a visit to the Blackpool area I dragged my parents and brother to the British Commercial Vehicle Museum at Leyland on the return trip home. Here I bought two second hand Buses mags from earlier that same year, and it was the February issue in which I first encountered what became my favourite bus.

Specifically, it’s the Alexander Y-type body, as built in both Falkirk and Belfast on various chassis including Leyland Leopard and AEC Reliance. The article I read featured the last two to be bodied, both one off vehicles for Northern Scottish.

Two Alexander Y-types, both with Leyland Leopard chassis and both preserved in the colours of former County Durham independent operator Venture. In this case, only the bus on the right was actually operated by Venture. Photo copyright 2019 Scott’s Transport Site, used under license.

The Alexander Y-type was first produced in the early 1960s, with the last being produced as late as 1982. The curvaceous design remain largely unchanged, although the design below the windscreen did receive an update. It was produced for so long that some operators, including Midland Scottish bought new Y-types to directly replace old Y-types.

The Y-type body proved highly versatile, and was built in bus, dual-purpose (coach seating in an otherwise bus body), and full coach forms. As can be seen in the above photo, a variety of door styles were available, including the single piece and dual leaf forms shown above. Both buses in the photo above have the large panoramic windows, but smaller windows did also feature, particularly on vehicles built solely for bus use.

What I like about the Y-type is it’s looks. It appears very well put together, with all elements of the design appearing as a complete package. I’ve never seen a Y-type that looked ugly, though with most having had destination displays above the windscreen, the few photos I’ve seen of vehicles without this feature have looked a little odd. The body style seems to have suited most operators liveries (colour schemes) rather well. Whether with chrome trim or without, the various colour schemes appear to suit the Y-type bodywork very well.

I’ve yet to have the opportunity to ride on a Y-type, but the looks alone are enough to make it my favourite. Alexander today is now part of the Alexander Dennis group, itself now a subsidiary of Canadian company New Flyer Industries.

The modern day equivalent of the Y-type is the Alexander Dennis Enviro200. This second generation is a complete Alexander Dennis product (though still with a separate chassis and body, a single company now produces the entire product). Photo copyright 2019 Scott’s Transport Site, used under license.