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

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Looking for a German Classic: Maybe their Alexander Y-Type

In Britain enthusiasts will happily roll off their favourite coaches that have become classics like the Bedford OB Duple Vista, the Burlingham Seagull or the Harrington Cavalier. For us Brits though looking abroad to mainland Europe it's a bit harder to find so many vehicles that readily stick in the mind as real crackers, designs that looked good then and still do now. The Integral Setra built by Kassbohrer of Germany did not turn quite so many heads as it slowly evolved over a number of years into this beautiful sleek temptress, but as well as a lovely coach I also see it rather like an up-market equivalent of our versatile Alexander Y-Type from the Sixties as it could perform any number of functions from the humble dual-entrance service bus to luxury touring coach. The Swiss Post office's own Regie fleet employed over one-hundred of the S213 UL working as service buses in the tourist areas where their large windows and coach-like appearance made them more attractive than the usual Mercedes O405 widely found elsewhere on the system. Also a small coach-specification fleet of S215 HM coaches slowly started to arrive from 1986 onwards employed on the prestigious longer distance express services like Brig to Sas-Fee, Chur to Bellinzona and this one Lugano to St.Mortitz. Here St. Moritz based P26002 of 1987 picks up outside Lugano Station as it prepares to leave for distant home passing through a bit of Italy on the way. Like many this service passing through beautiful scenery often has to be cancelled during the winter months because of the snowy conditions.


Andy R said...

I did the Lugano to St. Moritz some years ago on one of these coaches. The ride is truly impressive, and the drivers deserve a lot of credit for their skill in taking these huge beasts along the hairpin bends of the Maloja Pass.

By the way, the tram tracks on the photograph are the remains (I believe) of the Lugano - Cadro - Dino interurban tramway. Despite this line being closed in 1970, this bit of track remained visible until the mid 1990s.

Andy R said...

Sorry, got that wrong, these tracks belonged to the Ferrovia Lugano-Tesserete, which closed in 1967.

christopher said...

Yes probably a good classic postcar journey too as the Bellizona-Chur run has been smoothed out with modern roads although the bus does turn off here are there giving a reminder of the old roads.