|Information about the RELH/ECW coaches is broken down into topics on different pages:|
The original ECW coach body on the Bristol RE chassis was built between 1963 and 1970, it was based on the body that ECW had been supplying on the Bristol MW for several years previously.
413 were produced, however one had been written off before production ended so only 412 were ever in existence.
After two prototypes were produced early in 1963 (521ABL in April and OWT241E in July) full production commenced late in 1963.
As a guide, fairly soon after production started, the list price was £4200 for the chassis and £3000 for the body with options such as improved seating and air suspension adding to the cost.
The early coaches were scattered among Tilling companies so that by Jan 1964 8 different companies were operating 20 vehicles, indeed by May 1964 most of the company that eventually ran the vehicles had received some of the 68 built.
Whilst this would have made a visual impact across the country, it would also mean that all of the operating companies were going through the same learning curve for a new design at the same time.
The 'Mark 1' Bristol RELH chassis was used for vehicles with chassis numbers in the 212, 222 and 238 ranges and featured a manual gearbox with air suspension available as an option.
Later production (1968 onwards with chassis numbers RELH-4-) featured the 'Mark Two' chassis on which a semi-automatic gearbox could be specified.
Several options were available for the body with 4 different destination displays and 2 different door designs, examples are shown on this page.
Various types of interior trim/seating were also specified, depending on the intended use of the vehicle (local coach services, express coach services, day tours or private hire).
ECW stopped producing this body design in 1970, however it waited until 1972 to produce a replacement coach design so supplied it's standard 'bus' shape body for the RELH chassis, with coach fittings inside, in the intervening years. Examples are shown here.
For more information on the whole of the Bristol RE chassis range, try the following books:
The Bristol RE - A Family Profile by Simon Butler, ISBN 1 8704 8400 2
Bus Monographs 5, The Bristol RE by Martin Curtis, ISBN 0 7110 1683 6
The Heyday of the Bristol RE by Kevin Lane, ISBN 0 7110 3276 9
Bristol RE - 40 years of service by Duncan Roberts
Ian Chancellor also produced a series of booklets called 'Reliable Bristol' that detail the vehicles usage in the 1990s.
For information on the bodies produced by Eastern Coach Works try the following books:
ECW 1965-1987 by Doggett and Townsin, ISBN 1 8984 3211 2
ECW A retrospect by Duncan Roberts and John Senior, ISBN 1 8984 3217 1
Coach work by Eastern Coachworks by Malcolm R White, ISBN 0 9547 3235 6
ECW Buses and Coaches by Alan Witton, ISBN 1 8541 4107 4
This site draws together information from a variety of sources and details photographs that are available.
I am grateful to a lot of people for allowing me to link to their Fotopic sites, and also for publishing their photographs so that other people can enjoy them.
A full list is shown on the credits page.
Details are also included for some photos on the Internet where I haven't been able to contact the site owner, and also for photos that only exist as physical photographs.
Where the photo is in a book obviously I cannot show it. Links are included to Amazon if you want to buy the book, all proceeds go towards restoring AFM103G!
EFE MODEL DETAILS
EFE has produced a model of the RELH/ECW coach in OO scale and Graham Farish have one in N scale, examples available so far are as follows:
Most of the models are very accurate, however the Midland General model is poor as it dosent feature the rear destination box or window vents that made these three coaches unique.
More information can be found at the British Model Buses or Model Bus Zone sites. For photographs click here or here.
Note: The models of ATA101B and AFM111G above are special editions to mark the 75th birthday of Victoria Coach station and are only sold by the London Transport Museum.
Birthdays this month
|Age this month||Registration (Bold = Still in existence)||Built 55 years ago.|
|Built 53 years ago.|
|Built 51 years ago.|
|Built 50 years ago.|
|Built 49 years ago.|
Links to websites about other Bristol REs, and all other Bristol/ECW vehicles can be found here.
If you can offer any information or photos to help improve this site (especially about AFM103G), please get in touch.