Doncaster 94

Doncaster 94
(EDT 703)

Chassis: Leyland PD2/1
Chassis No: 472364
Engine: Leyland 0.600, 9.8 litres
Bodywork: Roe (1955) H34/28R
Body No: GO4069
Length:  
Width: 7ft 6in
Unladen Weight:  
Entered Service: 1947
Withdrawn: 1973
Owner: Doncaster Omnibus and Light Railway Society
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Brief History

94 was one of four Leyland bodied Titan PD2/1's received by Doncaster Corporation in 1947/8. They had Leyland 0.600 engines and rather troublesome synchromesh gearboxes, which were eventually replaced by half-synchromesh units with constant mesh on 1st and 2nd gears. These vehicles were lively performers in more ways than one and their suspension originally left a lot to be desired. Initially used on the Intake and Leicester Avenue routes, they later spent much of their time on those to Woodlands and Highfields.

Doncaster Corporation had rebodied a number of trolleybuses, mostly new during the Second World War with poor-quality utility bodies, with new Roe bodies in the mid-1950s (see Doncaster trolleybus 375). When the trolleybuses were abandoned in 1963 theses bodies were considered too good to scrap and were adapted by Roe before transfer to motorbus chassis.

94 was given the body from trolleybus 393 and re-entered service in January 1964. The origins of this body are easily discernable as the mounting brackets for the erstwhile trolley gantry are still visible. Due to different wheelbases (393 had originally been a single-decker) the front bulkhead behind the engine had to be moved back slightly, resulting in the top deck protruding beyond the windscreen and a longer rear overhang than normal. 94 is now therefore slightly longer than the 26 feet it was originally. The conversion was far from straightforward - and we must assume therefore costly - but must have been considered worthwhile as 94 went on to serve Doncaster Corporation in all day service for another 10 years, by which time its "new" body was 18 years old, completing more than 1¼ million miles.

These unusual hybrids caused much interest at the time and when withdrawal was imminnent Tom Bamford, then Doncaster Corporation Transport General Manager, was eager to see one preserved. 94 was chosen after discussion between Les Flint, D.O.L.R.S. Chairman, and Tom Bamford because it had the highest mileage of all the PD2's. In reality it was not a good choice as a cracked chassis member had been welded and plated, hence the reason that number 94 always seems to be leaning! Withdrawn in 1973 it was placed on loan to DOLRS, taken to The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft in June 1975 and was rallied frequently for some years. It later received a replacement engine and some bodywork repairs were undertaken. In 2005 the ownership of number 94 passed outright to D.O.L.R.S.

In 2018 an extensive program of refurbishment was started and this work continues today. It includes re working the upper and lower saloons, replacing body paneling as necessary, re-painting internally and externally, work to the fuel tank and piping, braking system, springs and much more. It is hoped that the vehicle should be able to re-enter service in 2021.

The vehicle can be viewed at the Museum.

 

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The Trolleybus Museum
Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster
North Lincolnshire, DN8 5SX

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