The first Titans were purchased because Reading saw a need to source buses from two different suppliers (most new buses at the time being sourced from MCW) and because Leyland was keen to gain extra contracts at the time. The Leyland Titan was designed with the view to making it only available to London bus companies, but because they were so keen to attract Reading's custom they made an exception. The first two Titans were delivered in 1979 and were to London Transport Executive Specifications. At the end of 1996 these two buses left the ordinary town fleet and were repainted and re-upholstered for the newly won Thames Valley Park Shuttle contract, linking the Thames Valley Business Park with the town centre. They were then replaced by Optare Excel 2s in October 2000, at which point they were converted to single door and repainted into Goldline private hire livery until withdrawal in May 2002. Below is 68 at another former Reading Transport depot, the Kenavon Drive Engineering Works in September 1997 in it's special Thames Valley Park livery.
Below is 69, at St. Mary's Butts in the pair's final livery in July 2001.
68 passed to Thames Bus, whilst 69 went to Nash (dealer) in April 2002 and then Smiths Coaches. Smiths Coaches were taken over by Abbey Coaches of High Wycombe by September 2003. 69 was then acquired for preservation in July 2005 following the demise of Abbey Coaches from 3rd June 2005. Thames Bus was subsequently acquired by Centra (during 2004?) who then sold 68 to Wiltax, New Haw, Surrey in September 2005.
The second batch of Titans came in 1983, when ten arrived, 70-74 to bus specification and 75-79 to coach specification for use on the Goldline X1 service to London. In 1989, all of the coaches were transferred to the town fleet, during 1999 and 2000 they had their centre doors filled in along with all of the other dual door buses in the fleet, and then during 2001 they were all re-seated to bus specification.
Below is 77 in April 1998 outside Reading's former Mill Lane Depot, which now has been demolished for the Oracle shopping and leisure centre.
Below are 70 (left) and 73 (right) preparing to depart Great Knollys Street depot on 8th August 2002:
In May 2002 78 and 79 were transferred to the Goldline fleet to replace 68 and 69, repaints into Goldline livery following during June and July. 77 was transferred in November 2002 to replace Spectras 751-2. 79 is seen here on 11th July 2002:
Below is similar 78 looking immaculate at Reading Station on 13th August 2002:
78 helping out on town services on 11th August 2003:
71 was withdrawn for scrap in May 2004, then 70/2/4/6 were withdrawn in October 2004 following the arrival of the first Scania OmniDekkas. 70/2/4 were sold to Coachman Travel Ltd of Stratton St. Margaret and 76 went into preservation all leaving on 23rd October 2004. The remains of 71 remained on site until 20th June 2005 when it also passed to Coachman Travel for spares.
73/5 were withdrawn in November 2004. 75 was sold to Mike Nash, Cobham (dealer) and left on 22nd November 2004, whilst 73 followed 70/2/4 to Coachman Travel in early December 2004. 75 then passed from Mike Nash to the Hall Hunter Partnership, Wokingham (NPSV) in April 2005 for use as staff transport for fruit pickers. Following the collapse of Coachman Travel 73 was exported to British Bus, Spring Valley, Phoenix, USA in July 2008. 72 ended up with Swain Bus, Tonyrefrail by June 2009, and then passed from Chapman Coaches, South Wales to Ensign (dealer) in May 2010. From there it was sold to On-a-Mission (Letchworth) in June 2010. 74 passed Longleat Enterprises for conversion to an open topper, finally entering service at Cheddar Gorde in 2013. 74 is seen below on 20th September 2013. Thanks to David Smith for this photo:
79 was damaged by fire during 2004, and was originally to be repaired, but in the end was withdrawn for scrap after being replaced by Metrobus 193 on 21st February 2005. It passed to Coachman Travel on 13th May 2005.
The final two Titans 77/78 were withdrawn during August 2005 following the loss of the Berkshire College of Agriculture contract which they were primarily kept to operate (along with 79 until the fire). They were sold to Trustline, Hunsden departing on 1st September 2005. From there 77 was sold to Mass, Finningley by June 2007.
77 is seen below with Trustline on rail replacement services at Alexandra Palace on 30th April 2006. Thanks to Bob Stanger for this photo.
77 is seen below with Mass operating route 195 in Doncaster on 20th June 2007, still in Trustline livery. Thanks to Chris Maxfield for this photo.
Last updated: 22-09-13