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History of the Double-Decker Bus

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Kit happily writes articles on almost any topic you could hope for. When he's not knee-deep in programming, he enjoys chilling with his cat

The first double-decker in France looked like this.

The first double-decker in France looked like this.

Initially, the bus started life like its predecessor, with just one deck and one front door. However, in the 1960s, it was permitted to have two decks, allowing it to be longer than the standard bus size, and it became known fondly as the double-decker.

A French Origin

The double-decker bus was first used in Paris and were horse-drawn omnibuses. In 1906, the Schneider Brillie P2 was invented as a motorized version of the horse-drawn bus.

London Routemaster Idea

The history of the double-decker bus in London has been fascinating. The first model was Routemaster, with an open rear-door entrance. The demand peaked in the 1950s, and the open-top design appealed to many passengers.

The double-decker bus is an icon of London's public transport system. It was first used as a two-decker horse-drawn carriage in 1828. Stanislas Baudry invented the concept in Paris. After the famously known Routemaster was introduced, it became a staple of the city's public transport system. It originally entered service in 1959, replacing trolley buses.

The first double-decker bus in London was the RT 2819, a bright red vehicle with extra decals. It was the fastest double-decker in the fleet and could even reach highway speeds.

The original London double-decker bus, known as the Routemaster, had excellent fuel efficiency and an innovative design. The original Routemaster was developed by AAM Durrant, Colin Curtis, and Douglas Scott. The goal was to design a bus that would be lighter, easier to operate, and easier to maintain than the existing buses. It was built to seat 64 passengers.

1962 AEC Routemaster coach – RMC1461

1962 AEC Routemaster coach – RMC1461

Manufacturers of Double-Deckers

The double-decker bus is a type of bus with two levels. Its height is about 36 feet, and its engine was typically a 4.2-liter V8 style engine with superchargers. Daimler built the busses between 1960 and 1983. It the second type of double-decker bus to have its marque and alphanumeric identity code.

Daimler-Chrysler began making buses in the early 1900s and produced engines for airplanes and tanks. In the late 1920s, Daimler acquired the Lanchester Motor Company, which made Britain's first production car.

Daimler designed the first double-decker buses in 1958, using a rear-engine chassis and a drop-center rear axle. These features allowed for low-height bodywork and a seating layout on the upper deck. In the 1960s, Leyland also began offering a similar design in their Atlantean double-decker. In 1968, the two companies merged to form a single company, the Daimler Group.

Bristol Commercial Vehicles

In 1927, Bristol Commercial Vehicles developed a new chassis known as the "A-Type." It was designed to be larger than its predecessors and had a lower floor. The company also developed a new engine. The engine was a Gardner 5LW cylinder oil engine used in the K-Type double-deckers. By 1934, production of the B-Type had reached 778 units.

Exporting Double-Deckers Worldwide

Malayan Bus Companies

The double-decker bus originated in Malaysia and is still a popular form of transportation. However, the operational costs of the double-decker bus have limited its use there. The bus requires ample driving space and is expensive to operate.

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The early double-decker municipal buses were used in Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown in Penang in the late 1940s and early 1960s. These buses eventually began to be replaced by cheaper single-deck buses.

Today, the Malayan government is taking notice of innovations and has begun a planning process for a new service. It is hoped that the service will be available in Kuala Lumpur by the middle of next year. The service will start with 10 double-decker buses and will be operated by Prasarana Malaysia.

The bus will be equipped with tour guides, and eight languages recorded information on the city. This service will be similar to that offered in other major cities worldwide.

Ashok Leyland

The double-decker bus was first developed by the Indian company Ashok Leyland in 1949 in Ennore, south of Madras. The company had the exclusive rights to manufacture and import Leyland commercial vehicles for seven years. The company started by assembling four Comet 350 engine tippers for the Mangalore Tile Factory.

Later, the government approved the development of the double-decker bus and gave a license to produce 1,000 Comets a year. The company also introduced the "Titan," the first Indian double-decker bus with over 50% indigenous components.

The Ashok Leyland double-decker has a unique style. Its sleek design is contemporary and features a feel-good interior. It comes equipped with air conditioning for effective cooling in the hot climate of India. Its ergonomic seating allows for up to 65 passengers, is equipped with two staircases and an emergency exit, and conforms to the latest safety standards.

Guy Arab bus

Guy Arab bus

The Future of the Double-Decker Bus

Aston Martin, the luxury car maker, has partnered with architects Foster and Partners to design the newest double-decker bus. The new version is 15% more fuel efficient than its predecessor and 40% cheaper than diesel-driven double-deckers.

The design was chosen after a competition held by Transport for London. The designers of the new bus were tasked with creating a modern and eco-friendly vehicle that would appeal to tourists and commuters alike.

They also surveyed real users to determine what features passengers wanted from the double-decker bus. For example, studies have found that buses with many windows are more likely to appeal to tourists.

The original Routemaster was a British icon that held a special place in the heart of the British people. The new double-decker bus is to replace the Routemaster, which has been in use for more than 50 years.

Hopefully, more manufacturers will turn to more fuel and material efficiency in their production, as electric and hydrogen become more mainstream technologies commercially, as the cost of traditional fossil fuels continues to rise.

New Hyundai Double Decker

New Hyundai Double Decker

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Kit

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