The Scania OmniDekka (bodied by East Lancashire Coachbuilders, then latterly Darwen Group and Optare) is a double-decker bus built for sale in the UK market, introduced in 2003. Originally built on Scania N94UD chassis at Euro 3, and later Scania N230UD and N270UD at Euro 4 and Euro 5, the bodywork consists of a modified East Lancs Myllennium double decker, but with the standard front end cowl and windscreen replaced with that of Scania’s own integral OmniCity.
Scania was late in bringing a low-floor double-deck chassis to the market, having previously only sold low floor single deckers mainly bodied by Wright, which included the N113CRL/Wright Pathfinder (also with East Lancs MaxCi bodywork), the L113CRL/Wright Axcess-Ultralow, the L94UB/Wright Axcess-Floline, the L94UB/Wright Solar and then latterly the integral OmniCity product on CN94UB chassis. It had however worked with East Lancs some years prior in 1995 to produce a high-floor step entrance double decker on the N113DRB chassis, this being the Cityzen.
In 2002, East Lancashire Coachbuilders bodied a batch of short wheelbase N94UB chassis with Myllennium bodywork (at this point still with the original design) for London Easylink. The OmniTown midibus was to be a further development of this product, modifying the front end panelling to resemble that of an OmniCity. A year later in March 2003, the OmniDekka was finally unveiled - the first examples (being of the 10.6m short wheelbase and of dual door layout) going to Metrobus in south east London. A near identical batch for Brighton & Hove (only differing in being single door) followed this in the May, along with the first 11.9m long wheelbase examples, which went to Nottingham City Transport in the September of that year.
Eventually, the OmniDekka became commonplace across the UK, being featured in the fleets of numerous London operators, as well as the provincial operations of Stagecoach, and from 2005, First, who had previously failed in getting Wrightbus to body the N94UD, citing body to chassis weight distribution issues with the Gemini bodywork.
In November 2006, the bus was officially replaced in East Lancs’ product range by the Olympus model on the then-new Scania N-series chassis at Euro 4 emissions certification. The Olympus was not as successful as had been hoped; around a year earlier, Scania had soft launched a double decker version of their integral OmniCity, which at Euro 4 would go into full production and ultimately replace the East Lancs effort as the Scania vehicle of choice, especially amongst London operators.
From this point onwards, the OmniDekka was not on general sale, subsequent vehicles generally only being built for existing customers.
With the collapse of East Lancs in August 2007, the assets were purchased by the Darwen Group, who quickly rebranded the former product range with their own badge and name, however this was short lived; a year later in June 2008, the assets of Optare were acquired in a ‘reverse takeover’, once again the former East Lancs product range was rebadged, this time with the branding of Optare.
Many of its original customers became repeat buyers, most notably Nottingham City Transport, who by the mid 2000s had begun to standardise its fleet with this model, purchasing 84 11.9m examples on N94UD chassis, along with a further 40 on N270UD (Euro 4) and 50 on N230UD (Euro 5) chassis - the last batch of these in November 2011 (on ’61’ plates) also being the final ever buses built at the former East Lancs factory in Blackburn, which by this point, was under the badge of Optare.
Shortly after this in 2012, the Blackburn site was closed for good, and subsequently all double deck body-on-chassis products were discontinued; Optare preferring to focus on its integral range at a new facility in Sherburn-in-Elmet, of which in time it intended to add a new double deck product to, in 2014 being unveiled as the MetroDecker.
The spiritual successor to the Scania chassis products however, came from rival Alexander Dennis, who began offering their Enviro400 and later Enviro400 MMC and City bodywork styles on the N-series chassis.
|Manufacturer||East Lancashire Coachbuilders/Optare (built on Scania chassis)|
|Body and chassis|
|Doors||1 or 2|
|Floor type||Low floor|
|Capacity||68–100 seated |
|Length||10.6m / 11.9m|
|Successor||Optare Olympus, Optare MetroDecker|
Other Scania buses sold in the UK:
The Dennis Trident 2 is a 2-axle low-floor double-decker bus chassis originally manufactured by Dennis, which was unveiled in 1997 and replaced the Dennis Arrow. It was built by TransBus after Dennis was incorporated into the group in 2001 (the Dennis brand name was once dropped). From 2004, it was built by Alexander Dennis. The Dennis Trident 2 can be built as either a closed top bus or an open-top bus.
The Trident 2 chassis features a transversely mounted engine on the right side, with the radiator mounted on the left side of the engine compartment. It could be fitted with C-series Euro II engine (later Cummins ISCe Euro III engine), coupled to Voith DIWA or ZF Ecomat gearbox. It was available with Alexander ALX400, Plaxton President and East Lancs Lolyne/Myllennium Lolyne bodywork.
In the first few years of production, the Trident 2 was popular with a large number sold to large bus operators such as Stagecoach, FirstGroup, Travel West Midlands and Lothian Buses. Some Tridents were exported to Ireland (for Dublin Bus) and Spain (for sightseeing operations in Barcelona and Madrid). But later, due to increased competition after the launch of the Scania OmniDekka and TransBus being put into administration, the sales of Trident 2 dropped significantly, leaving Stagecoach as its major buyer.
In 2005, Alexander Dennis developed the new version of Trident 2 chassis for its Enviro400 double-decker. Marketed as the Enviro400 chassis, the name "Trident 2" continued to appear on the manufacturer's plate and it retained the Cummins ISCe Euro III engine (soon replaced by Cummins ISBe 6-cylinder Euro IV) and Voith/ZF gearbox, it also received a number of modifications such as a longer front overhang, with a different shape of fuel tank became available. Production of the older version of Trident 2 chassis continued until 2006, with the newest example being delivered to Isle of Man Transport.
The new version of Trident 2 chassis was also available with Darwen/Optare Olympus bodywork, the first example was delivered to CT Plus of London in 2008.
In 2008, Alexander Dennis unveiled the hybrid-electric powered version of Trident 2 (the Enviro400H) using BAE Systems's HybriDrive series drive system with Cummins ISBe 4-cylinder engine fitted for power generation. Also in the same year, Alexander Dennis unveiled the further developed version of Trident 2 for the "New Generation" Enviro400, with the engine being moved to the left side and the radiator being moved to the right side of the engine compartment. It could be fitted with Cummins ISBe Euro V/EEV or MAN D0836LOH engine, coupled to Voith DIWA or ZF EcoLife gearbox. In 2009, Alexander Dennis developed the Hong Kong version of the Trident 2 (Enviro400). Based on the further developed version unveiled in 2008, it has a longer rear overhang and could be fitted with Cummins ISLe Euro V engine.Docklands Buses
Docklands Buses is a bus company operating in East London. It is a subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group and operates services under contract to Transport for London.East Lancashire Coachbuilders
East Lancashire Coachbuilders Limited was a manufacturer of bus bodies and carriages founded in 1934 in Blackburn, Lancashire, England.
In 1994 the company expanded into new premises and commenced a programme of development that resulted in a range of single and double deck buses which was the primary source of income for the company.
On 17 August 2007, the company went into administration, but was saved and bought out by the Darwen Group the next day. It is thought that the problem was a direct consequence of changing to the Euro IV chassis, with a shortage of Scania chassis being a factor. After the purchase, the Darwen Group rebranded the company as Darwen East Lancs.
In 2008, Jamesstan Investments, an investment company controlled by the Darwen Group, purchased another bus manufacturer, Optare. Later, in June 2008, a reverse takeover was performed, with the Darwen name disappearing in favour of Optare's. This brings East Lancs name into the Optare Group, with an expanded range of vehicles.
Production of all the original East Lancs bodies ceased by 2011, and the premises in Blackburn closed in 2012.East Lancs Cityzen
The East Lancs Cityzen is a double-decker bus body that was built on the Scania N113 chassis by East Lancashire Coachbuilders between 1995 and 2000. The name started East Lancs' tradition of using 'misspelt' product names. It was built as a closed top bus, but some were later converted to open-top buses.East Lancs Lolyne
The East Lancs Lolyne is a type of double-decker bus body built by East Lancs. It is the double-decker version of the Spryte. It continued the long line of 'misspelt' names which continued until the Scania OmniDekka. It was built on the Dennis Trident 2 twin-axle low-floor bus chassis and it can be built as either a closed top bus or an open-top bus.
Later on in its life there was a decision made by East Lancs whether to change the name to Lowlander. It was decided to use the Lowlander name to body DAF/VDL DB250s.
The East Lancs Lolyne lasted through the Myllennium series as the Myllennium Lolyne.East Lancs Vyking
This article is about the East Lancs Vyking, the East Lancs bus body on the Volvo B7TL. For the similar bodies on the Dennis Trident 2 and DAF DB250, see East Lancs Lolyne and East Lancs Lowlander respectively.
The East Lancs Vyking is a type of double-decker bus body built by East Lancashire Coachbuilders. It is the double-deck version of the Spryte. It continued the long line of 'misspelt' names which continued until the Scania OmniDekka. It was built on the Volvo B7TL chassis.
The East Lancs Vyking lasted through the Myllennium with the new name East Lancs Myllennium Vyking. The name "Vyking" was derived from the chassis being built by a company from Sweden.Elizabeth Allan
Elizabeth Allan (9 April 1910 – 27 July 1990) was an English stage and film actress who worked in both Britain and Hollywood, making about 50 films over more than a quarter century.George Larner
George Edward Larner (7 February 1875 – 4 March 1949) was an English athlete who competed mainly in the 10-mile walk. He was a multi-time Amateur Athletic Association of England champion, and won two gold medals at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.Ipswich Buses
Ipswich Buses is a bus company that operates in Ipswich, Suffolk. It is owned by Ipswich Borough Council.
The company operates buses throughout the town and surrounding villages. Its depot is situated in Constantine Road, near Ipswich Town's Portman Road football ground. First Norfolk & Suffolk also operate bus services in the town on complementary routes.London Buses route 13
London Buses Route 13 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between North Finchley bus station and Victoria station, it is operated by Tower Transit.London Buses route 64
London Buses route 64 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Thornton Heath Pond and New Addington, it is operated by Arriva London.London United Busways
London United is a bus company operating mostly in west and south-west Greater London. It is a subsidiary of the RATP Group and operates services under contract to Transport for London.Metrobus (South East England)
Metrobus is a bus operator with routes in south London, and parts of Surrey, Kent & Sussex. Formed through a management buyout in 1983, Metrobus was purchased by the Go-Ahead Group in September 1999.
Metrobus previously operated many routes under contract to Transport for London in south and south-east London, but following a restructure, on 1 April 2014 these were transferred to Go-Ahead London. The remaining operations were brought under the control of Brighton & Hove on 1 July 2014.Nottingham City Transport
Nottingham City Transport (NCT) is the major bus operator of the city of Nottingham, England.Optare MetroDecker
The Optare MetroDecker is an integral twin-axle double-decker bus manufactured by Optare. Unveiled in May 2014, four examples were built as demonstrators.
Optare initially aimed to have MetroDeckers on the streets of London by the end of 2014 and sales of over 100 MetroDeckers within eighteen months of launch; however, this did not occur, with no orders placed until June 2018. The MetroDecker was designed as the successor to the Optare Olympus and Scania OmniDekka double-deckers, which were both discontinued in 2011, however unlike these, the MetroDecker is only available in integral form.Optare Olympus
The Optare Olympus (introduced in 2006 as the East Lancs Olympus, and sold as the Darwen Olympus between 2007 and 2008) is a double-decker bus built by Optare. It could be built as a body available on Alexander Dennis Enviro400, Volvo B9TL or Scania N230UD/N270UD chassis with the 2-axle and 3-axle variants.
It is the double-decker equivalent of the Optare Esteem. Some 3-axle Olympus buses were built. A single prototype integral Olympus, designated the Olympus O1030, was built; this later became the basis for the new Optare MetroDecker.South Notts Bus Company
South Notts Bus Company was a bus company operating in Nottinghamshire from 1926 until 1991 when sold to Nottingham City Transport who continue to use the brand name today.Stagecoach in Preston
Stagecoach in Preston was a network of bus routes running within the city of Preston, Lancashire and into the surrounding area. It was founded in 2009 after Stagecoach Group acquired Preston Bus that was founded in 1904. The company operated from the main depot on Deepdale Road and their other depot on Selbourne Street.Volvo B7TL
The Volvo B7TL is a low-floor double-decker bus which was launched in 1999 and replaced the 2-axle version of the Volvo Olympian (its 3-axle version was replaced by the Volvo Super Olympian). It was built as the British bus operators seemed hesitant to purchase the B7L double decker with a long rear overhang (although some have since entered service in Glasgow, Scotland as 12m long double deckers).
The B7TL chassis was designed by the Leyland Product Developments consultancy based at the Leyland Technical Centre. It was initially built in Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland. In 2000, production was gradually transferred to Sweden. In mid-2004, production of the MkII version of the B7TL was started.
Like the Olympian, the B7TL features a transversely-mounted rear engine and a shorter rear overhang, but the radiator was mounted on the right side of the engine compartment. It was equipped with Volvo D7C engine and ZF or Voith gearbox. The B7TL was initially available with Alexander ALX400 and Plaxton President bodywork, later followed by East Lancs Vyking and Myllennium Vyking bodies, and also the Wright Eclipse Gemini.
The Volvo B7TL was very popular in the United Kingdom, with a large number being purchased by most of the major bus groups such as FirstGroup and Arriva. Also Travel West Midlands purchased over 320 B7TLs with Plaxton President, Alexander ALX400 and Wright Eclipse Gemini bodies. Translink of Northern Ireland also purchased over 150 B7TLs.
|Full-size bus||Delta||Agora Line||Esteem (ELC)|
|Double-decker bus||Spectra||Spectra LF||Olympus (ELC)||MetroDecker|
« previous — Scania AB timeline, 1995 to date
|Low-entry trucks||P-series with low-entry cab||L-series|
|Bus chassis ranges||4-series||Scania's bus and coach range (K-, N- and F-series)|
|Front-eng. chassis||F94HA + F94HB/F114HB||F HA + F HB|
|Low-floor chassis||N94UA + N94UB + N94UD||N UA + N UB + N UD|
|Low-entry chassis||L94UA + L94UB + K94UB||K UA + K UB + K UD|
|Intercity chassis||L94IA + L94IB + K94IB/K114IB/K124IB||K IA + K IB|
|Coach chassis||K94EB/K114EB/K124EB||K EB|
|Low-floor buses||OmniCity (CN94)||OmniCity (CN)||Citywide LF|
|Low-entry buses||OmniLink (CL94)||OmniLink (CK)||Citywide LE|
|OmniExpress 3.20 LE||Citywide LE Suburban|
|Intercity buses||OmniLine (IL94)||OmniLine (IK)||OmniExpress 3.20||Interlink LD|
|Coaches||OmniExpress 3.40 + 3.60||Interlink MD + HD|