Leyland “Titan” TD1 Double-Decker Bus

My challenge was to build this model using only the contents of a 1954–1961 № 9 set which included a wide selection of the newly introduced Triangular Flexible Plates, but not as yet Narrow Strips. At 1:16 scale — ¾":1’ -, this model is built to the same scale as my TD7.

The prototype first appeared in 1927, and pioneered the low height layout with dropped side gangway upstairs, which enabled the overall height to be kept to about 13 feet. Its revolutionary design resulted in sales running into thousands, and was a significant factor in ensuring the eventual demise of the tramcar in many cities.

The model depicts the first version of the bus, as supplied to Thames Valley, which originally had an open staircase at the rear. Due to the parts restriction, no attempt has been made to model the seats. Unfortunately, 2” Pulleys and Tyres are considerably over scale, so recourse has had to be made to Road Wheels 187 which preclude twin rears.

However, it has the side gangway, characteristic front destination indicator box, curved-in lower side panels, and under-body lifeguards. The handrails feature right angle bends employing Cord Anchoring Springs for the purpose. The chassis is fitted with suspension including a representation of the front shackles, and steering.

Problems still to be solved are the connection of the steering gear to the steering wheel, and perhaps a partial representation of the stairs.

Prototype information was obtained from the following Transport Publishing Co. books:

  • The Best of British Buses № 1 Leyland Titans, 1927–1942, Alan Towsin.
  • British Bus Systems № 3 Thames Valley, Peter Holmes.
  • British Bus, Tram & Trolleybus Systems № 10 Glasgow Buses, Stewart Little.

The model has been written up in the February 2007 issue of the Runnymede Meccano Guild Magazine, and in the May 2007 issue of the North East London Meccano Club Newsletter & Review.

The Holy Trinity Meccano Club kindly awarded the model the “Noel Ta’Bois Trophy” at their April 2007 meeting.


Dear Geoff, I just received Modelplan 239 (Boris Bus). But, reading the Modelplan I discovered that the interior of the bus lacked most of the seats. A couple of years ago I built the London General ‘NS’ bus (by Geoffrey Boswell), with all seats in it. I realize that we are talking about a set 9 model, but nevertheless, it would be better to have some instructions for the 40 seats on the upper deck and some 24 on the lower deck. Without the interior complete it is a more or less ‘poor’ model. Brgds, Nico.

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