XAK355L

Privatly Owned Not for Hire

The Story

In 1960 the Daimler Fleetline was introduced as the second rear-engine production   double-deck bus. The introduction of a drop rear axle design however maintained a low floor throughout the bus on both decks as opposed to the earliest designs on the Leyland Atlanteans, and thereby avoided the traditional lowbridge body designs required for low height vehicles. Whilst the prototype vehicle was fitted with a Daimler engine, most of the production models were fitted with Gardner units up to 1971. As Daimler became incorporated into the Leyland business, the Leyland 0.680 engine was also made an option from that year. In 1973 Daimler production was moved from Coventry to Leyland, and just one year later the Daimler badge was replaced by Leyland. In 1980 all Fleetline production ceased.

In 1967 Bradford purchased its first rear-engine buses, with batches of both Atlantean and Fleetlines being ordered, while 33ft dual-door versions of both vehicles were added to the fleet in 1970/1. The following year a batch of twenty Fleetlines were ordered, but this time reverting back to single door, thirty foot length vehicles and specifying the Leyland power unit.

Within 4 months of  the end of trolleybus operations in Bradford, 355 entered service on 1st August 1972, being not only the last vehicle numerically of it’s batch, but also the last new acquisition by Bradford City Transport before the absorption the West Yorkshire PTE when it was re-numbered 2355. Prior to deregulation in October 1986, it was withdrawn, and transferred to Yorkshire Rider, where it was held in storage at the Leeds Bramley garage with others of that batch as part of a reserve fleet. However it saw no further service and was secured for preservation in September 1987. After purchase, 355 was stored at the former PTE garage at Middleton, before being kept out in the open at Baildon and Tockwith, finally arriving at the Keighley Bus Museum in November 1994.