Free Model

B-Type London Bus


The London General Omnibus Company, by far the largest operator of horse-drawn omnibuses in London in the second half of the nineteenth century, started to experiment with motor-driven buses in the 1900s, buying a range of vehicles from several manufacturers. As the decade wore on however, the Metropolitan Police, as the licencing authority in London, imposed new limits on size, weight and noise, considerably more restrictive than those which applied outside London. As a result, by 1909 most of the LGOC fleet could not meet the requirements and new vehicles were needed.

LGOC undertook the design and construction of the new bus, and came up with a vehicle later know as the X-Type, outwardly similar to what had gone before, but able to meet the Police regulations. Sixty of these were built, entering service in late 1909 and early 1910. They apparently proved to be rather less than satisfactory, however, and a new design addressing the problems was embarked on in March 1910. The first of these new buses entered service late in 1910, and by 1914 over 2500 had been delivered to LGOC. This was the B-Type.

The B-Type bus was built on a straight four-wheeled chassis made from wooden beams clad on each side with thin steel plate. It had a four-cylinder 5.3litre petrol engine mounted at the front, with the driver seated behind it. Behind the driver was a passenger-carrying double-deck body based on those of horse buses, and a rear entry platform and spiral stairs to the upper deck. There was room for 16 seated passengers downstairs and 18 upstairs.

My model is to scale 1:32, and is based on one of the four remaining operational B-Types, B340, which is owned by the London Transport Museum. I have omitted some smaller fittings and much of the internal advertising, and have simplified the underside considerably where it is barely visible. Parts are provided for building the lower saloon either with opaque windows and no interior or with glazed windows and a full, if simple, interior.

Back right Front right
Front left Right side
Back left Back

Parts Building Guide Drawings
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