The Bridge at Dozan, Bolan Pass, near Quetta, Pakistan

The Bridge at Dozan, Bolan Pass, near Quetta, Pakistan
The bridge carried both road and rail over a creek bed. The bed had to be dug out by hand over many days, with much help freely given by locals. Click on the photo and scroll down, to bring up the story of this bridge. Go to: to find more.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

That awful-looking roof

During Albert's years with the hippie couple in Chepstow, South Wales, the roof was replaced, to restore the original over all height of the bus: 14ft. 6 inches, or about 4.4 metres in the new money. And thereby get more standing room upstairs.

 Not the most elegant design, but very strong, and weatherproof.

Way back in 1969, the original bus roof had been involuntarily reduced by a bridge on the Salzburg - Munich Autobahn in Germany. To a vehicle height of 14' 3" from its normal 14' 4" !
After Trip 02, from UK back to Australia, bearing in mind the adventure at Dozan Bridge in Pakistan, before departure for the next journey back to England, the roof was further reduced, to 13' 9". This was done at Doonside in Sydney's west, using a can opener in Andy's words !  A motor engineer might say using the cut and shut method.

However, now that Albert is actually two inches taller than when new, and not looking all that well-groomed, a new roof is to be constructed, to get over all height down to 13' 9", in anticipation of low road and bridge clearances which might cause problems. Normal semi-trailer pantechnicon height is about 14 feet, so if trucks can get through, so will Albert.
Naturally headroom in the top deck will suffer.  This space is used mostly as the dormitory at night, or as a forward observation lounge for seated passengers during the day, so it is hoped that  headroom of 5 ft. 9 inches (1.75 metres) will not cause too many cracked skulls!

Andy Stewart takes up the story:

Roof haircut.  That's me with the scissors and drill bit, facing south; camera facing west. Scotland's finest day this year.  Bus is alongside 40 foot container for access.  Just drilling out the 1000 odd rivets whilst the sun is shining.

Awaiting angle grinder delivery in the morning (Fri) by courier and also tarpaulin.  Pretty well everything comes on-line here.  Cheaper, efficient.

Action will be to peel panels to half-way back down bus, thus accessing frame from within bus, top deck.

Chop metal frame at 13' 8.25"; add new cross bearers (delivered yesterday); add longitudinal intermediate bearers from old frame (metal good); then cut original aluminium sheets (also good condition - only 30 yrs old) to fit flat across roof, secured to 8" down on either side.

Continue to back of bus.

Paint roof RED.

At this point it can be said that unlike in a modern car, where the roof is an important structural element, stopping the vehicle from bending down in the middle, the roof of a double decker is nothing more than a metal umbrella.  That's why it is so easy to make open topped sightseeing double deckers: just slice the roof off at window sill level!  And tell the passengers to stay seated when they go under bridges?

In a matter of only days, the old roof panelling is off.
The new steel roof bows are there, and the original fore-and-aft stringers are being re-used. The pole in the centre is holding the whole lot up until the curved brackets are inserted, attaching each bow to its matching side pillar.
The rather eerie-looking green ceiling is of course only a tarpaulin to keep the worsening Scottish weather out.  With winter coming on, Andy is seeking some undercover accommodation to permit work to proceed in some comfort while it's -10 deg. outside. 

No comments:

Post a Comment