Twin Coach to Luzern
By way of reversing the Leyland to Havana story in the previous blog an American bus export order to Switzerland of all places took place during the 1950s - also as part of local tram service conversion. In this case it involved the city of Luzern (Lucerne) and its blue and white transport fleet (both buses and trams). The city had attempted to modernise its tram fleet earlier in the decade by purchasing new 'Standard' four axle cars similar to those introduced in Zurich, however this bold step did not prevent the entire tramway network being replaced by buses. I was fortunate in being part of a School trip to Switzerland in 1958 - actually a skiing holiday but with a solitary day excursion for sightseeing in nearby Luzern.
Below : Typical Swiss trams of a certain era complete with large bow collectors - seen in Luzern.
Understandably this brief encounter involved close attention to the remaining tram services in and around the main railway station. Luzern's management had already agreed to sell their modern cars to Geneva which was operating very similar 'Swiss Standards' and the Luzern cars were destined for early withdrawal. Fortunately I captured one on film as it glided past my Brownie camera, along with the traditional two axle and trailer models so typical of Swiss systems at the time. Equally fascinating were examples of the unique US bus exports built by Twin Coach to typical American styling of the late 1940s. One conveniently posed at a stop allowing me to gain a hurried 'snap' of its distinctive front design. PS : Luzern also operated trolleybuses at the time.
Twin Coach 72 in the Luzern municipal fleet catching the afternoon sun's rays and my camera in 1958. Note the continental '7' in the fleet number and lots of chrome trim on the bodywork.