Following on from the recent Biglorryblog posting on Bohn I am most grateful to Peter Robinson for introducing me to this wonderful piece of passenger vehicle history, and also to a number of other for helping me understand the story behind it including Graeme Farrar, Bill Richardson and especially to Bob Merchant, Editor of Trolley Wire in Oz who has kindly allowed me to reproduce some pages on articulated Australian buses from the issue of Trolley Wire Number 156, February 1975 featuring the article on Perth Semi-Trailer Buses by Mr H. C. Cowell. What so see above you is the wonderful Dysons Bus Lines Landliner (alsoknown, as far as I can understand as the Cheetah run by Western Australia Railways). I believe the above picture comes from The John Masterton Collection. Now click through here for more...
Reading an e-mail from Graeme I understand that the articulated Landliner's revolutionary design inclued the fact that it was driven and operated by the driver from within the passenger section of the trailer. The front lower section with four front wheels turned steering the bus. And as the article explains earlier articulated or semi-trailer design buses had a more conventional layout with an artic pulling a passenger semi-trailer.
Meanwhile, Peter tells me: "I have two photographs of these buses in Western Australia in operation by the Western Australian Government Railways where they were known as the 'Cheetah' type. Copies should be available from State Records Office of Western Australia. The negatives are: 10491-2 and 10663-2. I am checking with the archivist to see if drawings survived. I hope that the following is of interest."
I should say so Peter a most unusual design...!
The following picture below was also sent to me by Peter and I believe it comes from the excellent www.busaustralia.com website. From the posting on Peninsula Buslines I learn the following: and I trust no-one is upset by my quoting this short extract from their material
I gather that the Landliner was built for Peninsula Bus Lines in 1946 by Roy Weber and according to the Bus Australia site "It had two Ford V8 engines, one on the front bogie and one in the rear. All controls were hydraulically operated. After meeting operating resistance from most state authorities, including Victoria, it eventually went to the West Australian Government Railways [where I guess it became the Cheetah-BLB] but was eventually converted into a more conventional bus." And once again my thanks to everyone who have helped me put this story up on Biglorryblog.
This shot also comes from the Bus Australia site and you can get to the Landliner thread via this link which shows what happened to one of the Landliners/Cheetahs.....