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A mechanic (and also an enthusiast) at Halifax Corporation with first hand experience of dealing with their five Lolines once wrote a piece in the local bus club’s newsletter (and I am taking the liberty of quoting him here): "The transmission was unusual in that there was a transfer box at the rear of the engine which altered the rotation of the propellor shaft and gearbox, but allowed the propellor shaft to run along the chassis side, thus permitting a low floor level.

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Between 1964-66, the 30 ft long front entrance Routemaster RM 1254 was tried out towing a separate luggage trailer, and this experiment was deemed to be successful.

Thus, in 1966/67, BEA took delivery of 65 front entrance Routemasters of the shorter 27ft 8ins length with the slightly reduced seating of 56 to allow space for hand luggage at the rear of the lower deck.

The RMAs were progressively withdrawn from airport work from January 1975 until mid 1979, when the entire fleet of 65 was sold to London Transport, thereafter to suffer a curiously chequered, and somewhat wasteful career.

In the photo taken at Heathrow in March 1972, orange adorned BEA 41, NMY 641E stands alongside BEA 32, NMY 632E.

Unlike BEA, operations were not subcontracted to London Transport.

We have to remember the vogue for these colours in the 70’s- bright and striking and definitely non-traditional- a reaction against formal "liveries". What does seem naff is the choice of vehicle- high floor with perhaps a noisy transmission and speeds for which it was not really designed- with trailer!

As Allan White correctly states, these did have AV690 11.3 litre engines, though I suspect that they might have been de-rated a bit. If these powerful, very highly geared, fluid flywheel coupled double deckers could run regularly at high speeds without problems, why did the Halifax Lolines suffer such transmission trouble?

Forgive me for straying from the main subject to mention the problems with Halifax’s Lolines for a moment.

They were fitted with higher backed coach type seats more suitable to long-haul airline passengers.

Photographs may be seen here: BOAC’s fleet pre-dated the Atlanteans and consisted of a fleet of single-deck vehicles, although I am not sure about the technical details.

They had well padded comfortable seats , superb suspension, were nimble and quiet (certainly no problem with transmission noise). The Atlantean may have looked better, but as a tool for the job, would have been inferior. Outbound to Heathrow vehicles were assigned to specific flights with the luggage in the trailers going directly to the aircraft.

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