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Southern Vectis Leyland Olympian in April 2007
|Body and chassis|
|Doors||1 to 3 door|
|Floor type||Step entrance|
9.56m, 10.25m and 11m
10.4m, 11m and 12m
The Olympian shared the same chassis and running gear as a the Leyland Titan integral double deck bus which was ordered en masse by London Transport. At the time there was a demand for non-integral vehicles, with operators wishing to have the chassis bodied by other manufacturers. Thus Leyland created the B45 project, which was named Olympian, in 1979. This was in many ways an update of the popular Bristol VR (Bristol Commercial Vehicles merged with Leyland in 1965), with many VR customers choosing Olympians; the bus was also initially built at the former Bristol factory. Later the Olympian also replaced the Leyland Atlantean.
It was available in two lengths, 9.56m and 10.25m. Engines were either the Leyland TL11 unit (an 11.1-litre development of the Leyland O.680), or the Gardner 6LXB or 6LXCT. Some later Olympians had Cummins L10 engines; one had a 5LXCT.
For the export market a three-axle version was built with lengths of 10.4m, 11.32m and 11.95m. This was very popular with operators such as Kowloon Motor Bus. In 1988, Leyland developed an air-conditioned version of the Olympian, with the air conditioner driven by the main engine instead of a separate engine.
The Leyland Olympian was built with a wide variety of body types:
United Kingdom and Ireland
The Leyland Olympian was popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with orders from operators both before and after privatisation.
EAS of Athens received 19 Leyland Olympians in 1983, they were withdrawn by 1994.
Leyland Olympians has been popular in Hong Kong (Eastern Coach Works and Alexander bodywork) with Citybus, China Motor Bus and Kowloon Motor Bus. These buses has been withdrawn by October 2011; however some of the Citybus examples were kept for driver training and non-franchised purposes (such as open-top buses for advertising promotions).
Singapore Bus Services had ordered the basic 200 Leyland Olympian 2-axles in 1985, and were delivered between 1986 and 1989; of which these were deployed to Toa Payoh, Ang Mo Kio and Jurong depots. Singapore Bus Services had ordered 200 Leyland Olympians in August 1992 and they were delivered in August 1993. These were registered SBS9000S - SBS9199C and the last Leyland Olympian, SBS9168S is also included. Buses were consolidated into the same depots since the de-registration of the earliest Leyland Olympian 2-axles between June and December 2003. The final Leyland Olympian 3-axles was withdrawn in April 2013.
Grosvenor Coach Lines (Gray Line) of San Francisco received 10 Eastern Coach Works bodied three-axle Leyland Olympians in 1986 for sightseeing purposes. These buses were later transferred to New York City and Seattle for further service.
In 1988 Leyland Bus passed to Volvo, who only continued with the Olympian and Lynx due to the vast number of outstanding orders. More buses also went to Dublin Bus, London Buses, China Motor Bus and Hong Kong Citybus.
The completion of the final orders from Strathclyde Buses, Dublin Bus, China Motor Bus, Hong Kong Citybus and Singapore Bus Services saw the discontinuation of the Leyland Olympian, but the last bus, SBS9168S (chassis number ON21080) was delivered to Singapore Bus Services, and marked the closure of the manufacturing plant in Workington. SBS9168S was preserved in the United Kingdom after de-registration on 22 March 2013.
- Curtis, Martin; Freeman, Norman (2010). Olympian - Bristol/Leyland/Volvo. Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 9780711034792.
- Jack, Doug (1994). Beyond Reality. Venture Publications. ISBN 1-898432-02-3.
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