Y and T type modifications

Martin Hughes has submitted this question. Can anyone help?

Why did Western modify the entrances on the 4 leaf door Alexander Y type bodies? Also why did they also modify the front and rear ends of T types when no other SBG company did?

To help, here’s a couple of side by side images. SS2854 BSD854T unmodified and KS556 BSD856T modified.

SS2854 BSD854T in un-modified condition.
KS556 BSD856T in modified condition

My personal thoughts are that the centre grab rail was too close to the doors and many passengers accidentally walked into it (I can certainly vouch for this as it happened regularly when the wide leaf doors were first introduced at Stranraer depot with the BSD-T batch). You’ll notice that the step layout changed from a two step arrangement to a three step arrangement and would make the steps shallower and easier for passengers to climb up.

I can confirm that these modifications started in December 1981 if that helps.

IS2859 DSD959V in un-modified condition
Preserved SS2936 DSD936V in modified condition

T type conversions are a little bit easier to explain as this was simply to modernise the look on the rear end of these buses. These refits began in January 1988 with KS564 (MSJ370P), SS934 (DSD934V), AS944 (DSD944V), KS974 (DSD974V) and KS978 (DSD978V) being reported as the first to receive them.

2 thoughts on “Y and T type modifications”

  1. ASD838T

    Alexander Y Type

    Thanks for the reply and the photos illustrating your points. If it was as simple as passengers walking into the centre grab rail, would the easy answer have been to paint it yellow?

    Why change from two step arrangement to three steps? The easier access makes sense, but why not covert the two leaf door Y types too?

    In Clydeside SCOTTISH: We tried to run a bus company… (p15), George Watson wrote:
    ‘The wide entrance (“Lancaster”) Alexander Y type Leopards with four leaf doors were introduced to ease the boarding of passengers but as this solved one problem, it introduced a major headache to the engineering departments.

    ‘From an early date, and despite modifications from Alexanders, the bracket supporting the step at the rear was not strong enough to support the increased width resulting in cracks appearing on the front door pillars… Most of the modifications would last only for a few months and so for the remainder of their life, periodic maintenance had to be carried out to the step supports.’

    Why did Western do this and none of the other SBG companies feel the need?

    Did Western just like “doing stuff”? Converting Y types to tow wagons, shortening YSD350/365L, converting the T types for disabled access?

    Thanks in advance for your responses.


    After much searching we can also confirm Western started a major refurbishment for it’s T types in January 1988 to bring them up to a more modern dual purpose standard.

    The interiors were provided with grey soft trim whilst the seats were covered in a two tone grey moquette with a red stripe. The buses also received the then latest dual purpose livery of tapered black and white with grey and red stripes. Seddon KS478 (DSD978V) was the first to receive this refurbishment followed by SS434 (DSD934V).

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