I AM CHRISTOPHER LEACH THE ARTIST. I started this blog so that I can share with everyone my vast collection of transport photographs showing a personal and nostalgic view of the industry with images that span some 45 years taking in the U.K and some of Europe. I have no darkroom and so rather than being the perfectionist after tidying them up I upload the images warts and all, and even those that won't scan squarely or are scratched. In a way it adds age and character. You are all free to download these for your personal use but please remember I still own them and you are not just free to use them without prior permission for any knd of publishing. Click on images to enlarge them and if you want to see more leave your comments or visit my website for the mother-site with galleries including those Buses & Girls: PICTUREWORLD

Saturday, 17 November 2007

You can not be serious: A SwissToblerone on Wheels?

With all due respects to John Mac-Enroe things have changed rather a lot in the last decade or so in Switzerland. Once this was the most conservative of countries with sensible old-fashioned laws and regulations about almost everything including bus-use and specification and that mentality still remains, but Switzerland itself has changed a great deal too and even the old alpine roads with those sticking out jagged rocks on one side and a sheer drop on the other with their very tight passing places and scary hairpin-bends have been replaced by wide fast highways and long straight tunnels that cut through the mountains like a knife and the only time you glimpse the romance of the old days is when the bus turns off to call in at some cluster of crumbling barns and old houses clinging to an oversized whitewashed church and of course a bus stop a Co-op Shop and a lottery ticket machine. But now you don't see many of those still charming Romansh speaking so-called villages any more and the only danger seems to be when the not too professional driver uses his mobile-phone whilst driving. But of course there has always been a more modern side to the bus services in Switzerland and I well remember the swish-looking articulated buses running in Geneva when I first visited it in 1963. Also since the bus services were Deregulated and Post Buses too lost their legal state protection and special status not only can communities look elsewhere for public transport the Post Office itself can now tender for new better business competing on busy urban routes in new areas and has even opening up new frontiers abroad as has happened in nearby France across the Jura. So we shouldn't be too surprised when on our travels we encounter double-deck coaches up in the mountains and endless beasts like this three-axle Setra S319 UL delivered in 1997 such as this one P27812 seen in 2000 at the then new garage at Delemont. Maybe I should I have looked but I expect there was a hook on the back for the trailer.

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