Driver Trainers

The vehicles shown in this section of the site do not include a number of demonstrator vehicles that were used as driver trainers or a number of Leyland Nationals/Leopards that were attached to the training unit mainly for type training though full size vehicle training to automatic rather than manual license standard started much earlier at Digbeth than other garages

2059 HAC628D

HAC259D was new to Stratford upon Avon Blue Motor Services as vehicle number 62 in June 1966. The vehicle is a Leyland Leopard L1 (the last one to be built) and was built with a 41 dual purpose Marshall body and was allocated to their Kineton depot. The vehicle was fitted for one man operation in January 1970 and renumbered 59 in August 1970. The Stratford Blue Company was absorbed into the Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited and 59 was renumbered 2059 in May 1971. The vehicle was withdrawn from PSV use in May 1978 and converted to a training vehicle in May 1979. On the split of Midland Red in September 1981 it passed to Midland Red West and was based at Worcester to form what became their driver training unit. The vehicle continued to be used as a driver trainer until 1992 when it was withdrawn with gearbox problems. Mechanical spares were becoming more and more difficult to obtain and so the vehicle was replaced by three Leyland Leopard vehicles (2052-4 MHS17/33P & WSU428S) acquired from Kelvin Central Scottish Buses Ltd in March 1991. HAC628D was purchased by the Worcester Bus Preservation Group in April 1995 and was moved to a local coach firm for restoration. It was completely stripped inside and out, and several new seats had to fabricated to replace the front two pairs which were removed when the vehicle became a driver trainer, all of them being recovered. The roof panels at the rear of the saloon had to be replaced with new panels after a fire whilst in storage at Worcester before purchase. The work took around 18 months and the vehicle was turned out in original blue and cream livery. Following a review of vehicles owned by the Worcester Bus Preservation Group the vehicle was sold to Midlands-based preservationist Roger Burdett. HAC628D was sold once again in June 2004 and is now owned by Graham Clifford and is kept with the Southdown Historic Vehicle Group Collection in West Sussex. 

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Vehicle Type

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Date withdrawn

Disposal

HAC628D

2059

Leyland PSU3/4R

Marshall

DP41F

May-78 (as a driver trainer)

1992

Worcester Bus Preservation Group 4/95 then Roger Burdett in 2004

Various Hired Mercedes 608D Minibuses

In the autumn of 1985 Midland Red West joined the national urban minibus bandwagon. Under the Transport 1980 the government had altered driver licensing so as to introduce additional categories 3 and 4 for minibus driving entitlement as well as 1 (for double deckers) and 2 (for any single deckers). Midland Red West/First Midland Red owned and or operated a total of 154 Mercedes 608D vehicles. This includes the five vehicles that were hired and used in late 1985 and early 1986 as driver trainers. These five vehicles were as follows:

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Body type

Seating Capacity

Use with MRW

A648VOJ

-

Not Known

C19F

On loan from Foley Self-Drive of Kidderminster between 12 August and 26 November 1985 as a driver trainer

B119RRE

119

PMT

B21F

Used as a driver in the Autumn of 1985 at Worcester. Vehicle was on loan from PMT -

B909BGA

-

PMT 3163

C21F

On loan from Blythswood (dealer) Glasgow as a driver trainer between 3 September and 21 November 1985

B476MAD

-

Reeve Burgess 14807

C21F

On loan from WJ Oldacre (Services) Ltd as a driver trainer between September 1985 and 2 June 1986

C308GOC

-

Devon Conversions 98586D

C21F

On loan from Foley Self-Drive of Kidderminster between 6 February and 2 May 1986 on a "as required basis" as a driver trainer

1450/1 C788/90FRL

Vehicles C788/90FRL were new to Western National in January 1986 where they carried the fleet numbers 91 and 93 respectively. In the Midland Red West fleet C788FRL took the fleet number 1450 and C790FRL took the number 1451. 1450 was initially on loan from 18th November 1988 and 1451 from 5th November 1988. Both vehicles were initially used still in their Western National colours as driver trainers. For which the majority of the internal cab surround was removed so access to the drivers seat could be made directly from the passenger saloon. 1450 was repainted red and cream in April 1990 and 1451 in October 1990 whilst both were still in use as driver trainers. During 1991 both entered proper passenger service at Worcester Garage. 1450 was withdrawn in August 1998 with the introduction of the Mercedes Vario minibuses but 1451 managed to survive until November 2000 as the vehicle was transferred to Hereford garage in August 1998.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into MRW Service

Date Withdrawn

Disposal

C788FRL

1450

Reeves Burgess 15448

B20F

May-89

Aug-98

exported to the West Indies Dec-98

C790FRL

1451

Reeves Burgess 15464

B20F

May-89

Nov-00

Erith Commercials, Belvedere 6/01, for scrap

2052/2053 or 90271/2054  MHS17/33P & VSU428S

In March 1991 Midland Red West finally decided to replace the training bus 2059 (HAC628D) which had serious gearbox problems and spare parts were becoming more difficult to find so three Leyland Leopard based vehicles MHS17/33P and VSU428S were acquired from Kelvin Central Scottish Buses Ltd. They had the fleet numbers 1404/15/28 respectively in the Scottish fleet. These vehicles had what had become the standard Scottish Bus Group Alexander bus body and most importantly manual gearboxes. With a number Leyland Leopard vehicles still in the fleet spare were readily available. Each vehicle was prepared for service at a number of Midland Red West garages with much of the work being done in between other jobs. All three vehicles were painted yellow and lettered up as driver trainers. All three vehicles were nominally allocated to Worcester garage where the company driving school is based though normally the vehicles were out stationed at other garages more often and not because either a group of potential drivers for that garage were being trained or the instructor had taken the bus home and parked it at the nearest garage.  The vehicles continued in service until early 2003 when because the need for manual gearbox training had ended and because of the age of the vehicles they were withdrawn. All three were allocated national fleet numbers in March 2004 but none actually carried the numbers. 2054 (WSU428S) was withdrawn in March 2003 following fire damage on the 9th March whilst parked in the yard at Worcester Garage. The same fire which was started in Leyland Tiger D276FAS by vandals totally destroyed this vehicle which had be acquired as a replacement for these Leyland Leopard vehicles. The picture of WSU428S was taken hours before the fire.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

National Fleet Number

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into MRW Service

Date Withdrawn

Disposal

MHS 17P

2052

N/A

Alexander

B53F

Mar-91

Jauary-01

Ripley, Carlton 1/03 for scrap

MHS 33P

2053

90271

Alexander

B53F

Mar-91

March 03

PSV Carlton 7/04 for scrap

WSU428S

2054

N/A

Alexander

B53F

Mar-91

March 03

Ripley, Carlton 4/03, for scrap

101/3101/101/2803/2501 or 90270 HHA101L  

HHA101L has in recent years become the star of the training bus fleet with First Midland. The vehicle as 101 was new to Midland Red in December 1972 and was the first of an initial batch of 58 Leyland Nationals being the ninth production Leyland National to be built. The vehicle entered service in the Birmingham area but just before the transfer of much of the Birmingham and Black Country Midland Red operations to the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive the vehicle was transferred to Leicestershire where it stayed until January 1985 when it was purchased along with sister vehicles HHA128/30L from Midland Fox who had renumbered 101 to 3101. All three vehicles entered service in Hereford as replacements for Leyland Leopard based vehicles. HHA101L remained in service until March 1989 and towards the end of passenger service it was used at both Redditch and Worcester garages. On withdrawal the vehicles was loaned to Western National from 5th September until 16th December 1988 where it was renumbered 2803. When HHA101L returned to Worcester the plan was to donate it to the Wythall Bus Museum who were keen to have it. Unfortunately, Midland Red West had joined the Badgerline Group and their management would not allow the vehicle to be donated to the bus museum. So it was converted to a driver trainer bus in April 1989 when it was renumbered 2501. During it's time as a trainer the vehicle has been repainted at least twice. In November 2004 the vehicle was "restored" back to as near as possible back to its original as delivered condition in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the creating of the Midland Red in 1904. Repainted from yellow to red the vehicle now renumbered back to 101 sees very little use if any. The lack of spare parts namely mechanical ones for the vehicle is likely to eventually become it's downfall though preservation is definitely on the cards for what is the longest serving Leyland National still with it's original owner. The vehicle currently spends much of its time at Kidderminster Garage.  Preservation finally came for 101 in March 2008

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Vehicle Type

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Current Allocation

Repaint dates

HHA101L

101 (90270)

Leyland National

Leyland

B51F

April-92 (as a driver trainer)

Withdrawn - sold for preservation 3/08

Midland Red (11/04)

2039  C339PNP 

In August 1998, when the Mercedes L608D minibus fleet was replaced by new Mercedes Vario vehicles 1339 was retained and repainted in yellow and given the new fleet number 2039. It was allocated to First Midland Red's Driving School based at Worcester depot for use as a driver trainer. It was re-seated to B6F and plated as a "heavy car" to allow holders of normal car licenses to drive it. As such it did not find much use but when the Crowngate bus station was closed during the flooding in Worcester in November 2000, the vehicle came into its own when it was used as a mobile dispatch office. A desk was hastily added to the empty area in the rear of the vehicle allowing the dispatch staff to operate the temporary bus station at the Cornmarket car park site. In June 2001, the seats were replaced, plus an extra central seat was fitted for the driving instructor to make it B21F. However it didn't last much longer as a driver training vehicle and was withdrawn in February 2002, passing to Erith Commercials for scrap in July 2002.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Old Fleet Number

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Date withdrawn

Livery

C339PNP

2039

1339

Robin Hood

B6F

Oct-85

Feb-02

Yellow

51012  L812SAE 

With the use of small wheel chair accessible minibuses at both Evesham and Worcester Garage which have been provided for use on Worcestershire County Council Flexi-link services there is a need to train drivers with manual gearbox licenses. In practice the training is a conversion course as all new recruits are trained with to full category D license standard for automatic gearbox passenger carrying vehicles. 51012 had been withdrawn from passenger service at Hereford during 2003 and was in store there until it was re-instated to service as a driver trainer in October 2004. For this role the vehicle has had a minimum amount of conversion work done with the main addition being a secondary brake valve for the driver instructor to use when and if necessary. The vehicle does not see much use as a trainer being parked up at Worcester Garage for long periods or used as a run about vehicle moving spares etc for engineering staff between garages.

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Old Fleet Number

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Current Status

Livery

L812SAE

51012

1812

Reeves Burges

B22F

Nov-01

Withdrawn from service at Hereford but reinstated in 10/04 at Worcester as a driver trainer - withdrawn sold to James Tamworth 7/07.

Barbie2 (10/01)

60311/29/40  M516PNA, N534/45WVR

Whilst Leyland Lynx vehicles have been the recent chose for conversion to driver trainers these are now becoming long in the foot and the group has turned to other late model step entrance buses that are being replaced by new low floor vehicles. An example of a type now being converted to Driver Trainers are Volvo B10B based buses which in themselves are modern versions of the Leyland Lynx. N545WVR arrived from First Manchester in June 2007 and was already converted to a driver trainer and is used to replace 90270. During early February 2008 M516PNA (60311) and N534WVR (60329) arrived from First Manchester for conversion into Driver training buses to replace both 62714 and 90269 (D350ESC). Both vehicles arrived via First Leicester were they were stored for a short period before arrival at Worcester.  60311, 60329 and 60340 were built as part of a batch of vehicles M501-520PNA (Which were originally numbered 501-520 and became 60296-60315) and N521WVR-N554/6WVR (521-554/6 which became 60316 60349).  

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Body Type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Allocation

Livery

M516PNA

60311

Wrights U152

DP50F

December 2008

Worcester - in use as a driver trainer

Barbie2

N534WVR

60329

Wrights U152

DP50F

December 2008

 Withdrawn 8/11 and sold for scrap to PVS Barnsley 9/11

Barbie2

N545WVR

60340

Wrights U152

DP50F

June 2007

Worcester - in use as a driver trainer

Barbie2

62714  G114HNP

For a number of years First Wyvern had been looking for a replacement training vehicles for 101 (HHA101L) Consideration had been given to converting one of the former Bristol OC MarkII Leyland Nationals (BOU5/8V) which following their withdrawal from passenger service in May 2002 were stored for around twelve months before being sold for scrap at the rear of Redditch Garage. On 22nd January 2002, First Wyvern acquired F622RTC from First Bristol for conversion to a driver-training vehicle to replace Leyland National HHA101L. Problems were found when F622RTC was sent away to have dual control brakes fitted and the work was not completed, even though other operators such as Travel West Midlands have successfully carried out similar conversions on Leyland Lynx vehicles. F622RTC was stored at Worcester depot for several months before returning south to First Bristol where it was put back into service and allocated to Hengrove depot after it was repainted into "Barbie2" livery. During the early part of 2004 G114HNP was taken out of passenger service at Redditch and moved to Worcester for conversion to a driver training vehicle. As with many conversions to driver trainers or tow trucks the work on the vehicle was done by staff between other more important jobs. Work on the conversion very nearly came to an end when the vehicle was in the Worcester garage workshop when a fire broke out on the afternoon of the 17th March 2004.  Lance 67320 and tow truck JHA230L were damage to such an extent that they were withdrawn. G114HNP only experienced minor fire damage and the conversion of the vehicle was completed the following month.   

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Old Fleet Number

Body Type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Allocation

Livery

G114HNP

62714

1114

LX1719

B49F

Apr-90

Withdrawn and sold to PVS Carlton 4/09 for scrap

Barbie Training Bus livery(6/04)

90269  D350ESC

D350ESC was new to SMT Lothians as fleet number 2350 in 1987 and later became 350 in the First Edinburgh fleet at their North Berwick depot. The vehicle passed to First Midland Red Buses Ltd on 12th June 2002 and was initially stored at Redditch Garage later moving to Worcester where it was converted to a driver trainer. The vehicle was repainted on 4th August 2003 into the FirstGroup Training Bus livery. The vehicle entered service in August 2003 as a Driver Training vehicle with the fleet number 2050. It was renumbered into the national numbering scheme on 13th March 2004 as 90269.Sister vehicle D276FAE was acquired from the same source on 12th June 2002. During 9th March 2003 it was destroyed by fire when it and existing training bus WSU428S were set on fire. D276FAE 2050 (D350 ESC) and D276FAS were two of five Leyland Tigers transferred from Scotland to Northampton during 2002 where it was planned to use them in service. In the event they proved unsuitable and some (at least) were later parked at Leicester, from where these two were collected by First Midland Red on 12th June 2002

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Body Type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Allocation

Livery

D350ESC

90269

Alexander TE

C50F

N/A

Was in use at Kidderminster - now withdrawn

Barbie Training Bus livery (4/03)

D276FAE

N/A

Alexander TE

C50F

N/A

Destroyed by fire - passed to Wigley (dealer) for scrap (16/4/03

N/A