Welcome to The Open Top Bus Site. This website is for anyone interested in open top buses in all countries of the world.
Our aim is to record the details of all current open top buses, together with lists of buses no longer in existence; that is, scrapped or believed to be scrapped. Ultimately, we are compiling histories of each bus and hope to be able to publish these as and when time becomes available.
This project started in 2000 with a private database of buses in the United Kingdom. The website first appeared on the internet in 2006 as a simple list of open top buses that you could find in the United Kingdom. It has steadily grown to a list now containing over 7,500 buses in 119 countries where open top buses can be seen. The website is run by David McGow, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and assisted by a small team of researchers. Much of our information is gleaned from the bus enthusiast press, clubs and societies’ news sheets and publications, from bus operators directly, from individuals and from research on the internet. Some information comes our way purely by chance after searching for clues. A lot of data is difficult to find, so we are always grateful to receive information and photos directly from individuals. Reports of sightings, even of buses already listed, can confirm to us that certain buses still exist, or may have changed location or owner, so please contact us with your sightings. Details on how to e-mail us are on the Front Page.
Operation of the website is an all-year-round interest, and it is updated usually weekly, often more frequently during British summer time. Data Update notifications will be notified on a link on the Front Page, and will let you quickly see what has changed since your last visit.
The presentation of some of the pages is different to others. This is because I want to include photos where possible and when time permits, and also to give a tidy presentation of the website. However, most of those who use the site are primarily interested in the content rather than what it looks like, and so the presentation and style of pages may not all be consistent with each other, but will be ‘uplifted’ when possible. The amount of work required to provide illustration is time consuming, and this is not a full time occupation. The core data is the fleet lists, and I will come back to them to add the photos and other enhancements later. If it is simply the vehicle detail that you want to see, I hope that what we have presently is adequate.
The site has been designed using NetObjects Fusion 10.0 and is best suited to a screen resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels or higher. I have tested it using Internet Explorer10, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari. It should work with other internet browsers, including mobile applications. If you have any difficulties with viewing any part of the website, please let me know by using the contact details on the Front Page. The website is not programmed in any way to use ‘cookies’ to gather any personal information or any website use-tracking systems. However, some computers have their own cookies set up to store previous versions of website pages to make it quicker for you to see the pages. In that case, what you see may not be the most up to date page from the internet, and we recommend that you please click on the ‘Refresh’ button on your internet browser when you select a page to view.
I have tried to use photos with the permission of the photographer or copyright owner. There are currently a few photos on the site that I have borrowed from the internet, and have credited to the photographer. Where this has happened, clicking on the photo will take you to the original source of the photo, usually the photographer's own website, so that he/she gets the credit for the photo and another way for visitors to see the source website. I also welcome submissions specifically for use on this site, so if you have any photos that you would like to illustrate any part of the website or a particular subject, please let me know.
Registration Numbers/Licence Plates
Being based in the UK, I tend to refer to vehicle licence plates as 'registration numbers', usually abbreviated to ‘Reg No’, which is probably a British term. In some countries, particularly the USA, these plates are more commonly referred to as 'licence plates' or ‘tags’. However, for the majority of this site, I use the term 'registration number' or 'reg. no.' to identify individual vehicles. In UK terms, buses normally have a 'registration number' for life, although some are later reregistered usually to obtain a number plate that the owner desires. In these cases the buses are listed with the current registration number/licence plate, and then the previous number(s) follow in brackets, with the most recent plate first in cases of subsequent reregistrations. In some countries, such as the USA and France, I believe that 'licence plates' stay with the owner/operator and when the vehicle changes ownership, it receives a new licence plate or in some areas new plates are issued every year. In such cases, for our purposes, the normal sequence of events of reregistering or 'relicencing' applies.
Body Layout Codes
The 'Layout' codes that are used in the lists are those commonly used in the UK by the enthusiast press and societies. These describe the seating capacity of the bus and the general layout, such as the entrance door position, number of doors, whether convertible or full open top, etc. Occasionally, some codes appear that are not in the list and I hope are self-explanatory, but if you want to clarify a particular entry, please let me know. The common codes are as follows:-
O Permanent open top
CO Convertible open top, can be operated with or without roof fitted
PO Part open top, part covered roof (usually the forward part covered)
OO Optional open top, for example a bus fitted with a slidingroof, perhaps metal/glass sections, or rolled canvas cover
OB Open top single deck bus
OC Open top single deck coach
For double deckers, this is shown with the top deck seating capacity first, for example 45/30, indicating 45 seats on the top over 30 on the lower deck. Where the split is not known, the total figure is given, in this case 75. For single deckers, only the total figure is shown because these are all seated on one deck.
D Dual doors, usually at the front and in the centre, for separate entry and exit
F Front, in front of the front axle, or Forward if behind the front axle on buses with short front overhang
RD Rear, with platform doors fitted
T Triple doors, usually at the front, centre and rear. An unusual combination in open tops, but may apply
* * indicates an offside (driver’s side) door fitted where this would not normally apply to a bus of that type. This normally applies to British designs now operating in other countries where the rule of the road is to drive on the right
For a double deck bus, O28/26R would be a permanent open top with 28 seats on the upper deck and 26 on the lower deck (26 over 24) with a rear entrance, perhaps a traditional front-engined bus with rear open platform. CO43/31F would be a convertible open top bus (i.e. with removable roof) with 43 seats over 31, with a front entrance, such as a modern rear-engined bus.
Buses For Sale
I occasionally receive enquiries from people asking where they can buy open top buses. I do not sell buses, as much as I would like another source of income. However in some cases, I can refer you to several bus dealers in the UK, or 'overseas' if I know of any. I don’t have any agreements with dealers, I just pass on contact details.
Private Hire Requests
Likewise, I often receive messages asking for prices and conditions for private hire/charter arrangements. If you wish to hire an open top bus, it is best to contact an operator in your area by looking on the appropriate page of the website; you should be able to find contact details for operators in local telephone directories or on the internet.
Links To Other Websites
Sometime, I will have a page with links to other relevant websites, whether operators, enthusiasts, Flickr, etc. If you have an appropriate website or want to recommend one, please send me a link, and if I like it, I’ll advertise it.