1986 Kowloon Motor Bus 3BL146 - DJ1454
Alexander bodied Leyland Olympian (MIL5574)
Leyland Olympian is a chassis developed by Leyland Bus based on the rear-engined Leyland Titan, an integral product. Unlike the Titan, operators are able to choose from a range of bodies to be built onto the chassis.
In early 1980s, the colonial Hong Kong government suggested that tri-axle buses were to be used to ferry residents living in new towns. In response, bus makers in England developed their own tri-axle, 12-meter buses and Leyland Olympian was one of them.
While China Motor Bus (CMB) opted for two doors, KMB installed three doors on all its 12-metre tri-axle buses, with an aim to shorten the time required to unload passengers. These giant buses had a carrying capacity of over 160 passengers and were allocated onto cross-harbour routes and routes serving new towns including Shatin, Tsuen Wan and Kwun Tong.
3BL146, first registered in 1986, is one of the vehicles in KMB's last batch of 12-metre buses in the 1980s. Its three-door design and large standee area made it ideal for urban trunk routes and routes serving Shatin new town via the then newly built Shing Mun Tunnel. During its 17 years of service in Hong Kong, she mainly served routes originating from Mei Foo bus terminus, including 6, 6C and 46X.
After 3BL146 has been withdrawn in 2003, she was then imported back to England by Bright Bus in South Yorkshire. It was subsequently sold to Swift Coaches in Glasgow in 2017 after Brightbus's closure. Unlike most 3BLs re-imported back to England, 3BL146 retains her Gardner 6LXCT engine and Voith 851 3-speed gearbox.
In 2019, we purchased the vehicle. After being stored in Scotland for about five months further, it took a 350-mile trip to England, where restoration work will be carried out.
Our team hope that 3BL146 will be ready for rallies and running days soon.