724 C724 MRC
New To: Nottingham City Transport
Chassis: Leyland National NL116TL11H/1R 07834
Body: Integral B52F
Status: Awaiting Restoration
Delivered in 1985 to Nottingham City Transport as part of a batch of 12 similar vehicles, 724 was supplied with a 52 seat single door layout. It is the penultimate Leyland National built.
It is fitted with Leyland’s Hydracyclic gearbox, which was a fully automatic gearbox, to make the drivers job easier and to reduce the wear of the transmission caused by drivers abusing the semi-automatic system. A semi-automatic bus has no clutch, but requires the driver to select each gear, leading to excessive wear and even failure if a driver rushes the change. The Hydracyclic system makes the changes automatically, based on road speed and throttle position. It also cuts the throttle when changing gear, leading to the hiss as the throttle air is dumped with each gear change.
When the Hydracyclic system was new, electronics were not as good as they are now, leading to many operators modifying the buses back to semi-automatic. 724 is unusual in still having its original transmission.
724 entered service with NCT in September 1985, and was used on a variety of NCT routes. It was also repainted into a unique cream and blue stripe livery when used on South Notts services, following NCTs takeover of South Notts in 1991. In 1996, 724’s seating capacity was reduced when a luggage rack was fitted to the front of the passenger saloon. Towards the end of its time with NCT, 724 was used as a driver trainer, and finally left the company in 2002. It passed to Bellamy’s coaches, and then onto Silverdale coaches following their takeover of Bellamys. It was acquired by us in 2016 and has since been in use during open days. Currently it awaits a mechanical overhaul.
Relevance To The Collection
724 is the last surviving MK2 National bought by NCT. 724 is also the penultimate Leyland National built, the last being C49OCM supplied new to Halton.