We take a look round the Eldorado Motors HQ, and see what's "in t' yard"
This appeared as an article in the August 2002
issue of the Model Bus Journal, hence some of the text has now been
superseded by later events.
In the workshop, Scania / Wright 203 (Y203 AKN), minus front panel and doors, is being repaired, while one of the managers throws a tantrum over how one of his newest vehicles came to sustain the accident damage in the first place.
In the adjacent bay, Lynx 249 (A9 ELD) receives attention to its exhaust system. Lynxes 249 and 250 (A10 ELD) were the vehicles that took part in the launch of the Park & Ride scheme several years ago, and were given their cherished registrations as part of the publicity surrounding the launch. Judging by the state of the benches in the background, someone ordered a tidy-up
because they knew our cameras were coming!
Dumped down the side of the workshop is this old Leyland National, which met an untimely end due to a fault in its wiring. Some bright spark, presumably aware that
the cameras were going to be visiting, has hung the "Not To Be Used In Service" sign on it.
This former midibus is now in use as a van by the Engineering Dept. A Plaxton Beaver bodied Mercedes 814D, E12 (M874 NOL) is not an Eldorado fleet cast-off, but was acquired specifically for its current role.
A small group gathers to admire the latest addition to the double deck fleet. 105 (DA02 PMJ) is a Dennis Trident with dual door Alexander ALX400 bodywork, acquired specifically to deputise for the Neoplan Centroliners
while they are undergoing their scheduled maintenance. The
dual-door Metrobus previously allocated to this duty is now deemed to be unsuitable.
Note this vehicle has since been
Meanwhile, at the other end, a couple of the workshop staff search in vain for the re-assuring Scania badge on the engine!
Parked down the side of the workshop, we find 221 (ARY 221K), an ex-Leicester Metro-Scania. At some stage during its life, someone has converted it to single door. Eldorado plans to restore it to dual-door in the future, when suitable parts can be found.
A cut-down oil drum comes in handy for one of the cleaners, as she puts a shine on 64 (A4 ELD), a Scania K113TRB with Plaxton Paramount 4000 Mk 3 bodywork.
The latest addition to the Engineering Dept fleet is E13 (DA02 BNX), a Scania R144 recovery vehicle. Note that Eldorado operates a commercial heavy recovery service, as well as using the vehicles for its own fleet when necessary.
With the exception of the Neoplans and the Trident above, Eldorado has departed from its normal policy of buying new double deckers, and replaced its last Atlanteans and earliest Olympians with second-hand Metrobuses. Typical of these is 153 (E153 MKN). Some have suggested that this is just a stalling tactic until a low-floor Scania double decker is available ……
Now the admirers have dispersed, and the Trident's engine cover has been closed. In the meantime the boss has returned, and his Saab 9.3 (with registration A2 ELD - formerly carried by one of the coach fleet) is parked outside the office. It is not really visible in this shot, but the Saab's interior trim is in Eldorado red. Until recently, of course, Saab was the car division of Scania.
Meanwhile, the van has been out to fetch some parts, which gives us a chance to get a front view of it.