West Riding 577 (A577 NWX)

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577 is seen in Leeds Bus Station around 1990

TP5949

In March 2007, 577 is having a wash and brush up in Selby depot

In 1984 West Riding and Yorkshire Woollen received a large batch of Leyland Olympians numbered 564–592, and carrying the registration numbers A564–592 NWX.

A577 NWX was delivered on 6th July to West Riding and was allocated to Belle Isle Depot, Wakefield. At this time all West Yorkshire based new vehicles were being delivered in the PTE colour scheme of verona green and buttermilk and 577 was one of the first to carry this scheme, the previous deliveries of Olympians having been in NBC poppy red. With the advent of deregulation 577 was to receive a new livery of West Riding chevron green & cream, a later repaint into the 50/50 West Riding style and finally received Arriva aqua marine blue and stone for her twilight years in service.

For many years the Olympian was the mainstay of the West Riding fleet until purchasing policy changed and an attempt was made to standardise the whole fleet on single deck buses by the year 2000. Therefore, withdrawals of the trusted Olympian began in the mid 1990’s. However, all was not lost for the West Riding Olympian when in 1998 the fleet was re-branded by Arriva and the busiest route 110 was converted to single deck operation. Passenger feedback was resoundingly in favour of double deck operation and it was soon realised that single deck operation on some routes could not cope with passenger volumes. Thus the Olympian was granted a reprieve and withdrawals slowed to enable new double deck vehicles to be acquired and placed back into service on busy routes.

By mid 2007 and after more than 25 years of faithful service the West Riding Olympians were gone – well almost. 577 had been stored at Belle Isle Depot when a batch of DAF Commanders had joined the fleet and was recalled to service at Selby Depot after a Plaxton President suffered accident damage. Soldiering on as the last of its class, 577 had not gone unnoticed by West Riding Omnibus Preservation Society (WROPS) member Steve Hurley and Selby driver Ross Peacock who approached Arriva about preserving the vehicle. When gearbox trouble reared its head on Friday 7th September 2007, 577 was finally withdrawn and the last day of West Riding Olympian was unceremoniously over, ten months after the penultimate Olympian withdrawal, number 604 (B604 UUM). With the help of Arriva a deal was struck and 577 passed into preservation with Steve Hurley on 12th September 2007, a replacement gearbox was fitted on 14th September 2007 and 577 was driven out of Selby Depot on 20th September 2007.

Steve initially moved 577 to Keighley Bus Museum where work began on the replacement of lower deck bodywork panels until 2009 when he took the decision to undertake a repaint in to West Riding green and cream chevron livery. Having completed the bodywork repairs, 577 was MOT’d and moved to a more local secure location and has since been subject to full removal of all her paintwork, the rebuilding of her windscreen area, a full repaint, deep cleaning of upholstery and interior and is now resplendent once again in West Riding livery.

In Summer 2014, 577 was successfully presented for MOT and now forms part of the active WROPS collection.

Fortunately a West Riding coach seated Olympian registration C612 ANW is also privately preserved and whilst it is not active it is safely stored elsewhere in Yorkshire.

Technical details;
Chassis - Leyland Olympian ONLXB/1R ON1331
Body - Eastern Coachworks of Lowestoft
Power - Gardner 6LXB with 5 speed Hydracyclic gearbox

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