Tilling-Stevens TS3A Bus
It is the first bus model to run on the Barcelona bus network in 1922.
- Registration number: B-8302
- Model: Tilling-Stevens TS3A Petrol-electric
- It was acquired by the Barcelona SA General Bus Company in 1922
A little history
From the network:
This is the first bus model to run on the Barcelona bus network, opened on 14 October 1922. On that day, Line A was opened, and in under seven months four more lines, the B Sans - San Martín, the C Atarazanas - San Andrés, and the D Gracia - Barceloneta, were in operation. This bus network is the forerunner of the current network.
From the CGA
The CGA was an innovative urban transport company. New operating systems, new work systems, technological innovation in the workshop and in rolling stock, and the construction of buses and prototypes that value the manufacturer category.
From the vehicle
It was manufactured by the company Tilling-Stevens Motor Ltd. of Maidstone and an initial batch of three buses arrived in Barcelona on the 20th of May 1922. These first buses arrived by road via France. A fourth vehicle was also delivered by land in June, and the following vehicles were shipped to Barcelona.
It is a petrol-electric motor vehicle, the forerunner of current hybrids, assembled on solid wheels and with imperial bodywork, with a capacity of 48 places, 22 inside and 26 on the upper deck. Its price was £1,869, equivalent to 52.967 pesetas according to the exchange rate in May 1922. It came with the entrance and staircase to the upper deck on the left-hand side, following the left side driving rules in place in England. It was later modified so that passengers could access the bus from the right-hand side, from the pavement, rather than having to do so from the middle of the road. It was painted red, and the driver’s cabin, which was open and had no windscreen, was on the right-hand side.
It was used on a trial basis at the International Motor Show held in Barcelona in May 1922. The price was 0.50 pesetas and 0.80 pesetas for the return ticket. In order to avoid possible stability problems, and unlike trams with an upper deck, it was not permitted to travel standing up either on the platform or in the aisles and even less so on the upper deck.
Although the CGA added other bus models to the service, the Tillings-Stevens continued operating until the Spanish Civil War. At the end of the war, the CGA did a stocktake of its bus fleet, and found that only 8 buses were still operational out of a total of 88.
Vehicles that could not be repaired were taken to pieces to be reused. Thanks to this idea of saving to reuse, original parts of that vehicle have been preserved right to the present day.
During the recovery process, the original parts of vehicle B-8302 were restored. In 2012, a lorry also with original Tilling-Stevens parts was acquired from an individual in Maidstone, England. These parts were used to complete the vehicle. An original but very dilapidated passenger cabin was also purchased, to make an identical replica of this part.