Preserved B-Type B340
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Click here to see brief notes about this vehicle and technical notes about this particular drawing >>


Notes About This Vehicle

Following on from several different designs, operated by several operators, there are strong arguments to say the B-Type was London’s first ‘standard’ motor bus.
Though they were far from all being the same, the model was certainly the first to be mass produced and entered service in late 1910. The chassis, which varied in height, carried wooden bodies from more than one builder, closely reminiscent of their horse bus forebears. Steel wheels of different designs were used, with solid tyres, though there were no front brakes.
A product of dominant operator the London General Omnibus Company, the bus was a success. Its overhanging upper deck variations saw a few different seating layouts too, though the norm was 16 lower and 18 upper.
The early radiators had a flat top sporting ‘LGOC’, later being replaced by those more curved and displaying ‘GENERAL’. The wheelbase varied and a few single deckers were also built. Experiments with the ‘lifeguards’ between the wheels eventually settled on that shown in this drawing and these were retrospectively fitted to older buses.
The bus entered service in 1911 though this drawing attempts to show B340 as closely as possible to how it looks in its state of preservation in 2014; several aspects need to be considered however.
Requisitioned for the War effort in 1914 and staying in London, it returned to passenger service in 1916 but with a new body. It was withdrawn in 1924 and retained for preservation. After some meandering of locations and uses, it ended up in the British Transport Museum at Clapham in 1960. It was re-painted in red, as shown here, though B-Types had been a darker red until 1913.
On the vehicle though not originally fitted are the front headlamps, added from 1913; the driver’s sun visor is a later addition and a far more modern offside mirror has been added; some of the reproduction adverts use typefaces not designed when the bus was in service.

Notes About This Drawing

This drawing is based on an undated ‘general arrangement’ drawing, though the offside was not portrayed. This type of black & white sketch drawing, as implied by the name, is not intended to define detail but as a specification guide to builders. More than one of these drawings exists and the vehicles themselves varied considerably.
All the fine detail in this particular interpretation has been sourced from over 200 contemporary colour photographs and measurements of the vehicle itself at London Transport Museum’s Acton store. None of the detail here can be regarded as definitive.
It should be understood that all four elevations are seen here as one would see all parts of the vehicle at a truly perpendicular angle. In real life this is of course impossible.
© drawing copyright Douglas Rose – October 2014
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