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The Tiger era is drawing to a close. We have completed Phase 1 - well amost as there is still 2608 or 2609 to come - and we are trying to draw up plans for Phase 2 which will be the final phase.
First to recap. Our current fleet from Phase 1 is:
We are seeking opinions to answer some questions:
1. The first is how many Tigers we should preserve. We must bear in mind that once the Tiger is extinct it can never be replaced so now is the time we have to act.
Our current thinking is 18 to 21. The reason we have done this with Ulsterbus is their machines are arguably the best Tigers in the world and from a museum point of view if there are to be operational Tigers in fifty years time then these machines offer the best chance of surviving in full operational condition. That being the case the group should represent every type of Ulsterbus - and Citybus - Tiger. Our thought process is two of each batch.
2. Looking at our current batch 340 is the only weaklink in that she has serious corrosion. However there is no other 300 left or is there?
3. We have 400 and she appears to us to be an express Tiger complete with boot, roof racks and a 65 m.p.h. top speed. Now some people have suggested that we have no express Tiger. If 400 is not then will someone suggest other 400 candidates. Above all in suggesting mechanical reliability is first, second and third in decision making. ALSO WHEN MAKING SUGGESTIONS PLEASE LIST CURRENT LOCATION.
4. We need another 10XX. Any ideas?
5. We have earmarked 1274 but need another 12XX. Any ideas?
6. Of our two 13XX candidates we propose getting two Ballymena machines probably 1312 and 1313. Any views on this? Any other suitable 13XX candidates.
7. We propose two 14XX. 1484 is one. Any other candidates?
8. Finally we propose two 2635+ machines.
This would add ten to twelve machines.
9. We also propose bringing our Gardner total to four by the addition of 2609 and if she is not suitable then 2604 or 2608. Anyone know anything of their mechanical condition?
10. Finally can anyone tell us if the gearbox in a TL 11 is the same gearbox as in the Gardner and if they have the same control system.
I realise that answering these questions can take time and consideration but we have the feeling all Tigers will be withdrawn within a year or so and therefore we need to have our plans ready.
We appreciate all the effort our readers have put in in keeping us informed but between us we hope to have an unique event, 20+ Tigers and in 100% condition and in fifty years time.
My only regret is that I will not be there. However, with luck, Stephen will! I only wish we had the same cooperation in the south where the official policy is to scrap everything and to hell with our heritage!
So please reply and every contribution is welcomed.
Only input I can offer at the moment is that 400 definitely does not look to be an "express" tiger
400 is NOT an express tiger.
You need to be looking at the likes of 1134. These are no different to the standard N type tiger. The engine and gearbox are the same so is the running gear, the only differnce is that the express tigers had coach seats (or at least the early ones did ie 363), different passanger rear and front windows and side lockers.
The Ulsterbus Express Tigers were in three batches of ten in each: - 360-369, 460-469 and 1130-1139. All had when new Duple Diplomat coach seats. All were subsequently reseated either to B53F or B62F. Of the original batch 368/9 are still in service in L/derry - both are nowadays B62F. 360 also still exists (in Reserve) but this one was heavily modified for Citybus use with the addition of a wheelchair lift and reduced seating. Of the second batch all are now withdrawn with 460-462 and 466-468 held in Reserve and 469 awaiting scrapping having been heavily stripped being little more than a shell. Of the third batch until recently 1133/5/8 were still in traffic although several others are in Reserve.
All are recognizable in that the front and rear side windows are the same windows as the rear side windows of a Bristol RE but turned upsidedown.
Incidently the only standard dual purpose 3xx Tiger still on Company books is 396 stored at NB.
Michael, 400 in not an Express Tiger. See the link below for a link to an Ulsterbus Express Tiger. Look very closely at the side of the bus and you will see clearly that an Express Tiger is very different to Tiger 400.
At least 460, 1130, 1133, 1138 - all Express Tigers are still with Ulsterbus.