The final batch of Fleetlines new to Derby were 289 - 315 (XRR 289-98S ; GTO 299-308V and MTV 309-15W). The chassis were all produced in 1978 and the registration sequence XRR 289 - 315S were reserved. However there were problems with the bodybuilding company, Northern Counties. Consequently 299 - 315 were stored in chassis form at Ascot Drive until despatch to Wigan for their bodies to be fitted. Above is 291 after a motorcycle had argued with it at a notorious and very busy crossroads. Both occupants of the cycle were thrown through the driver's cab window and out through the (very fortunately) open platform doors missing 291s driver in the process. Remarkably those on the cycle survived the 60mph impact!
298 is seen just four years old and almost in as delivered livery. The old Corporation style of fleetnumbering is applied on the cabside panel. This gave way to small black numerals above the cab window due, in part, to the vulnerable nature of the cabside panel!
After various livery experiments following deregulation this two tone blue and grey scheme was adopted. 301 displays this in Derby Bus Station. At this time the vehicle was running with the Gardner engine from the ill-fated Foden NC 101 (WTO 101S) and had also been fitted with the power steering system from a withdrawn ex London Transport Fleetline. Notice also that the upper deck front opening windows have gone. These proved quite troublesome especially when the vehicle was at speed, they would simply open unaided, apart from that sizeable gaps appeared around the frames allowing rain to enter! In addition to this many Northern Counties bodied vehicles in the fleet have had the ventilation grille above the upper deck windows plated over. This vehicle has the distinction of being the last Fleetline to operate in Derby surviving until June 2008.
315 was the very last Fleetline to be delivered, the vehicle appeared in the Corporation Green and Cream livery to celebrate 100 years of public transport in Derby. The nearside carried the lettering 'Derby Corporation Tramways'. Strict orders were given that no advertisments were to be applied to the vehicle. Unfortunately this was not complied with when 315 appeared with adverts, shortly afterwards it was repainted into blue/grey livery. This view is opposite Derby Railway Station.
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