E640BRS / BSK756 / FSU309
NCT40, 454, 434, 59082
Leyland TL11 diesel
Northern Scottish, Inverness Traction, Bluebird, JW Coaches, Strathtay Scottish, Meffan Kirriemuir, RM Buses Shropshire, Kelvin Valley Coaches Cumbernauld
Ian Forbes, Graeme Muir
Strathtay Scottish c.2001
In 2000 Stagecoach finally admitted defeat with their Leyland Tigers. Whereas the maintenance on the older Leopard was becoming more frequent, the jobs took much less time to complete than on the Tiger due to complete inaccessibility of many components. The Tiger always had two very unlovable (by most) features: the Leyland TL11 engine was well known for blowing head gaskets and warping cylinder heads in addition to the Leyland Hydracyclic gearbox which wasn't up for working any more than 100,000 miles.
To complement Strathtay's fleet of one Alexander TC Tiger (415VYA was the only new Tiger bought by the company in 1987) they also inherited Alexander TE Tigers and a handful of Tigers from Glasgow. Strathtay also purchased in its entirety the fleet of D-XRS and E-BRS Tigers from Northern and two of the D-FAS batch from Fife. This was complimented by a rather nice arrival of 435 (365DXU) which was a big Tiger 260 coach from the south. Slightly later, a group transfer brought vehicle 404 (128NNU) to Dundee. This rare beast had been fitted with a Volvo engine. It did not seem a hit with the drivers and eventually caught fire on a Megabus run somewhere near its 25th birthday.
These vehicles survived a long hard life at Strathtay all moving into Stagecoach ownership, E640BRS being the last one to operate in the fleet having passed to Meffans of Kirriemuir, a sister company.
From the point of view of Stagecoach, all these vehicles they thought they would never be seeing again were back having taken over Strathtay but their days were certainly numbered.
D718FES (now 415VYA) lives with the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust, D277FAS (now XNR453) is rumoured to live on near Glasgow and, far away, the good chaps in Chesterfield have restored D278FAS to its former glory. Affectionately known as "Bruce Leyland" E640BRS lives on at the Angus Transport Group in Montrose