Sweden

One of AEC's & PRV's primary export markets was Sweden.

Björn Forslund kindly sent in his photograph of the only remaining Park Royal bodied AEC Regal in Sweden; built in 1952 this AEC Regal Mark IV was restored during the 80's by the Linjebuss company but was eventually donated to the the Svenska Omnibusföreningen (Swedish Omnibus Association) after Linjebuss was bought by Connex in the 90's.  The photo (© Björn Forslund), was taken at the Swedish 100 year celebration of the first regular bus service at Malmkoping in 1999; at that time it was still owned by Linjebuss/Connex company. Please visit the Svenska Omnibusföreningen (Swedish Omnibus Association) website where you will find links to photos and descriptions of their preserved buses (it's in Swedish but the Google toolbar translator solves the issue for those like me! Ed.).

The following are AEC Regal Mk III's dating from the early 1950's (Can anyone add more information?)

 Björn Forslund writes "these images are of the first AEC Regal Mk III chassis imported to Sweden by ANA of Nyköping. The chassis was probably No. 9621E937 dating from 1949.  It was initially demonstrated at a bus exhibition and then provided with bodywork by Hägglunds of Örnsköldsvik. It was run as a demonstrator before it was handed over to Linjebuss for operation in February 1951; remaining in use until 1965.  You can se the 'H' symbol in the front denoting Hägglunds".

Björn advises that, during the 1950s, about a hundred AECs were imported to Sweden.  Approximately seventy were pre-built in the UK with PRV bodies and the rest were bodied in Sweden.  The majority (about eighty), including all the PRV bodied buses, went to the Linjebuss company.  However, when Sweden converted to right hand traffic¹, almost all AECs were scrapped. A few survived for some years converted for other duties and, since the mid 60's, one of them (No. 506) has been "resting" at a former scrap-yard in Värmland, near the Norwegian border; however, after an accident, 506 was rebuilt with a Swedish Arvika body.

PRV-bodied Regal Mk III:s were running on the Linjebuss Company's international routes in Europe. The first opened in 1946 to Basel; then Paris, Rome, Prague and more cities followed. It was at a time when most of the continental infrastructure had been destroyed by bombing and by the Germans.  For international duty, there were two drivers, alternating three hours each at the steering wheel in a glass sealed cabin to reduce noise in the passenger compartment. A hostess took care of the passengers and could communicate with the driver via an intercom. Distances could be up to about 500 km/day with the nights spent in hotels. However, by the mid fifties, air travel had expanded and the long distance bus routes became unprofitable. Mr Johnson, the visionary main owner of Linjebuss, had an idea of an operation similar to the Greyhound Lines in the US, but due to restrictions (and protection) it was never realised.

There were two kinds of Regal Mk III's; one type had the steering column to the left and entrance doors on both sides at the rear; these were intended for the international routes (¹right hand traffic). The other type, with a slightly simpler interior, had the steering column to the right (normal for Sweden at that time) These buses were intended primarily for routes in Sweden (and charter of course), but they were also used on international duties if needed.  

In the mid fifties, the AEC's were replaced by a special new kind of frameless longliner designed by Linjebuss together with Volvo and ASJ bodyworks; many ideas however were copied from the AEC vehicles.

Björn adds "this bus is a Scania-Vabis with Hägglund body (bound for Rome - Linjebuss International routes).

Hägglunds was a huge manufacturer of bus bodies, bus trailers, trams, underground stock and railway diesel cars. Bus production ceased in 1973. Hägglunds is now a military vehicle manufacturer, owned by Alvis. 

Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (Greater Stockholm Transport Board) operated Leyland Panther single-deckers and Atlantean double-deckers bodied by Park Royal. The single-deckers were in service between 1967 to about 1984 (double-decker operation ceased in 1976).

Photos © Dick Hallström

Of the single-decker Panther; 200 were delivered in 1967 to replace many buses and trams that were scrapped due to the conversion to right hand traffic¹. The Panthers operated routes in central Stockholm and in the southern suburbs. The last Panther was scrapped in 1982 but one is preserved at the Spårvägsmuseet (Stockholm Transport Museum).  

Fifty Leyland double-deckers were also delivered in 1967, mostly running on ex-tramway lines in the town centre.  They were supposed to have the same seating capacity as a two-car tramway set but on some routes passengers didn't use the upper floor, and on other routes it was vice versa (there were problems with inappropriate activities on the upper deck during evenings & weekends). So, together with forty German Büssing double-deckers, all Leylands were scrapped after only 9 years.  Fortunately three Leylands are preserved in running condition; one at the Spårvägsmuseet (Stockholm Transport Museum) and two at the Svenska Spårvägssällskapet (Swedish Tramway Association).

Please visit the Svenska Omnibusföreningen (Swedish Omnibus Association) website where you will find links to photos and descriptions of their preserved buses (in Swedish but the Google toolbar translator largely solves the issue for those like me! Ed.).

A PRV bodied Leyland Panther (Body No. B54926) is seen here in the PRV works new in September '67 and ready for delivery to SL Stockholm as fleet number A74448 (Photo: ©Eric Jones).

Given everything above, the leftmost bus in this image is a curiosity. It is definitely a PRV bodied Leyland Panther (Body No. B52908) and is pictured here in Stockholm along with two unidentified "fleet siblings". This one-off bus was new in November '64 predating the first main batch of Stockholm bound PRV-Panthers by some 20 months yet having a considerably later fleet number A75412.  I suspect that this bus was built as a demonstrator and shipped to Stockholm for test purposes before the contract for the main batch of 200 similar buses was signed (Photo: Supplied by Eric Jones but ©Unknown). [Does anyone know the photographer? Ed.]

linjebuss_sweden.jpg (42381 bytes) An artists impression of a Swedish Linjebuss (Can anyone add any information about this image?)

¹(On September 3rd 1967 Sweden changed from driving on the left to right hand traffic - Högertrafik). 

0----------0----------0----------0----------0

Värmland - is an historical province of Sweden in the mid-west bordering Norway. The words used above "a former scrap-yard" being the resting place for an AEC bus rather dulls ones view of the area and I think it a golden opportunity to right this wrong with some tranquil music.  Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974) was a Swedish composer (also a cellist & conductor) and an electrical engineer, who divided his genius between music (he wrote nine symphonies) and his employment at the Swedish Patent Office in Stockholm. Here is his Värmlands Rhapsody composed in 1933 and bearing the hallmarks of a composer steeped in musical romanticism and shunning the contemporary modernist style of the period.
Enjoy!  It is a beautifully reflective piece.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfPkAHLmnFg

(As usual I make no apologies for finding opportunities to introduce serious music into this website - It's my site and I care not!)