Sir Brian aims to inspire with Astromega

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Sir Brian Souter, left, hands Astromega over to Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust chairman Steven Booth. GVVT

Stagecoach co-founder Sir Brian Souter says he hopes his new partnership with a Glasgow museum will inspire young visitors to one day join the bus industry. He has loaned a unique and newly preserved 2013 Van Hool Astromega TDX29 sleeper coach to the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust (GVVT) for display at its ex-Glasgow Corporation Bridgeton Bus Garage. At 15 metres long, the tri-axle machine is without doubt by far the biggest exhibit in the GVVT collection of more than 130 vehicles, and the youngest.

It was new to the megabus Gold fleet and clocked up a huge mileage on sleeper services between London and Scotland, its berths converting to seats during the day. When the operation ceased in 2017, the Astromega was used on general express services.


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After arriving at Bridgeton with the coach and being reunited with vehicles of the vintage he conducted on as a student, Sir Brian said: “I’m really happy that my Astromega lives at Bridgeton. It’s unique. It marked a high point in vehicle development as the first custom-built sleeper coach for service in the UK. More recently it has operated a luxury sightseeing service in Edinburgh under the SuperBus brand, so it’s had quite an interesting life.”

When fully prepared, visitors will be welcomed on board during GVVT open days and on garage tours. Sir Brian added: “I welcome the opportunity to show the vehicle and share with visitors the Stagecoach story on the video screen. They will also see part of the coach in sleeper configuration. I hope it sparks the interest of kids in particular. It would be great if some go on to careers in the industry. Meanwhile, I look forward to developing a relationship with GVVT and working more together in the future.”

GVVT chairman Steven Booth said: “I was delighted to show Sir Brian around the garage and give him a chance to take a trip down memory lane, seeing buses that were part of his early working life. The arrival of the Astromega is special. This will provide a great attraction and fits with our drive to engage more with families, especially kids. I’m sure they’ll think it’s fantastic. We are very grateful to Sir Brian for providing access to the vehicle for visitors and look forward to working with him on more projects.”

Sir Brian has worked on and operated many a Bristol Lodekka in his time. GVVT
The Astromega is not a vehicle you could just tuck in anywhere! GVVT