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

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

TG 27701 The Numbers Game, look twice are you sure it's a proper Swiss Post Bus?

In the good old days when one could spot the genuine Post Office owned post buses by their P-prefix registration numbers the fleet of about twenty articulated buses were numbered in a series starting at 27700. So at first glance in 2000 this Mercedes Citaro seen outside the Bahnhof in Saint Gallen might have quite easily been mistaken for one of those real post buses till they noticed it had a TG numberplate from the next door Swiss Canton of Thurgau. This was because it belonged to the contractor PAH Neff of Arbon, a town famed as the home of the main Swiss bus and truck manufacturer Adolph Saurer AG till it was bought out by Mercedes in 1982. From 2005 the law was changed and all post buses including the state owned fleet had to carry cantonal plates and pay taxes. So after this change no doubt the former Post Office indexed examples carried any random number allotted to it as so it was nice in a way that it was probably left to this PAH impostor to through mere coincidence continue this nice tradition on it's own. From an operational point of view it had made sense that the main Post Office owned buses should have carried a special number all of their own as now it is hard to trace their movement as they have to carry a new registration each time they are moved and reallocated to a new canton. Still the Post Office doesn't seem too concerned otherwise they could have continued to keep that lifetime single identity in the form of fleet numbers. Today there is no system at all and no doubt everything is understood by the computers but it doesn't make life easy for the bus enthusiasts trying to track their movements. I'm sure it's really because those Swiss are a secretive lot!

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