BRISTOL RELH/ECW     A website about the original ECW body on the Bristol RELH chassis.
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Information about the RELH/ECW coaches is broken down into topics on different pages:
The coaches in use    Examples of the services that these coaches would have run in their early years.
Bristol/ECW drawings    Some of the original manufacture's drawings for the chassis and body.
Numbers remaining    How many of these coaches existed in each year.
Body style details    How many of each body style were made, and for who.
Pictures by Location    A breakdown of the pictures by location, where this is known.
Pictures by Date    A breakdown of the pictures by year, where this is known.
Other Bristol chassis    Details of other Bristol REs, and other Bristol/ECW products.


The original ECW coach body on the Bristol RE chassis was built between 1963 and 1970, it was based on the body that ECW had been supplying on the Bristol MW for several years previously. 413 were produced, however one had been written off before production ended so only 412 were ever in existence.

After two prototypes were produced early in 1963 (521ABL in April and OWT241E in July) full production commenced late in 1963. As a guide, fairly soon after production started, the list price was 4200 for the chassis and 3000 for the body with options such as improved seating and air suspension adding to the cost. The early coaches were scattered among Tilling companies so that by Jan 1964 8 different companies were operating 20 vehicles, indeed by May 1964 most of the company that eventually ran the vehicles had received some of the 68 built. Whilst this would have made a visual impact across the country, it would also mean that all of the operating companies were going through the same learning curve for a new design at the same time. The 'Mark 1' Bristol RELH chassis was used for vehicles with chassis numbers in the 212, 222 and 238 ranges and featured a manual gearbox with air suspension available as an option. Later production (1968 onwards with chassis numbers RELH-4-) featured the 'Mark Two' chassis on which a semi-automatic gearbox could be specified.

Several options were available for the body with 4 different destination displays and 2 different door designs, examples are shown on this page. Various types of interior trim/seating were also specified, depending on the intended use of the vehicle (local coach services, express coach services, day tours or private hire).

ECW stopped producing this body design in 1970, however it waited until 1972 to produce a replacement coach design so supplied it's standard 'bus' shape body for the RELH chassis, with coach fittings inside, in the intervening years. Examples are shown here.

For more information on the whole of the Bristol RE chassis range, try the following books:
   The Bristol RE - A Family Profile by Simon Butler, ISBN 1 8704 8400 2
   Bus Monographs 5, The Bristol RE by Martin Curtis, ISBN 0 7110 1683 6
   The Heyday of the Bristol RE by Kevin Lane, ISBN 0 7110 3276 9
   Bristol RE - 40 years of service by Duncan Roberts
   Ian Chancellor also produced a series of booklets called 'Reliable Bristol' that detail the vehicles usage in the 1990s.

For information on the bodies produced by Eastern Coach Works try the following books:
   ECW 1965-1987 by Doggett and Townsin, ISBN 1 8984 3211 2
   ECW A retrospect by Duncan Roberts and John Senior, ISBN 1 8984 3217 1
   Coach work by Eastern Coachworks by Malcolm R White, ISBN 0 9547 3235 6
   ECW Buses and Coaches by Alan Witton, ISBN 1 8541 4107 4

This site draws together information from a variety of sources and details photographs that are available. I am grateful to a lot of people for allowing me to link to their Fotopic sites, and also for publishing their photographs so that other people can enjoy them. A full list is shown on the credits page.

Details are also included for some photos on the Internet where I haven't been able to contact the site owner, and also for photos that only exist as physical photographs. Where the photo is in a book obviously I cannot show it. Links are included to Amazon if you want to buy the book, all proceeds go towards restoring AFM103G!

EFE has produced a model of the RELH/ECW coach in OO scale and Graham Farish have one in N scale, examples available so far are as follows:

Most of the models are very accurate, however the Midland General model is poor as it dosent feature the rear destination box or window vents that made these three coaches unique. More information can be found at the British Model Buses or Model Bus Zone sites. For photographs click here or here.

Note: The models of ATA101B and AFM111G above are special editions to mark the 75th birthday of Victoria Coach station and are only sold by the London Transport Museum.

Birthdays this month
Age this monthRegistration (Bold = Still in existence)
Built 58 years ago.
(May 1964)
7286FM       1384R       1385R       1386R       837SUO       
971WAE       972WAE       AAH124B       AAH125B       AEL6B       
AWR401B       AWR402B       AWR403B       
Built 56 years ago.
(May 1966)
CVL848D       CVL849D       CVL850D       CVL851D       HAH890D       
HAH891D       HAH892D       HAH893D       HFM571D       HFM572D       
HFM573D       HFM574D       HFM575D       HFM576D       HFM577D       
HFM578D       HFM579D       JHN28D       JHN29D       JHN30D       
JHN31D       JHN332D       JHN333D       JHN334D       JHN335D       
LWT369D       LWT825D       LWW790D       
Built 55 years ago.
(May 1967)
KHW310E       LJB421E       LJB422E       LJB423E       NHN963E       
NHN964E       NHN965E       PWR858E       PWR859E       PWR860E       
Built 54 years ago.
(May 1968)
LDV472F       LDV843F       LDV849F       LDV850F       NHW309F       
NHW310F       NHW311F       NHW313F       ORP271F       ORP272F       
ORP273F       ORP274F       ORP275F       ORP276F       SHN769F       
SHN771F       SHN772F       SHN773F       SHN774F       SHN775F       
Built 53 years ago.
(May 1969)
AFM110G       WHN676G       WHN677G       WHN678G       WHN679G       
WHN680G       YWY513G       YWY514G       YYG217G       YYG218G       
YYG540G       YYG541G       
Built 52 years ago.
(May 1970)
BHN581H       BHN582H       BHN583H       BHN584H       BHN585H       
CWY498H       CWY500H       CWY501H       CWY502H       CWY503H       
RDV427H       RDV428H       RDV429H       RDV430H       RDV431H       

   Links to websites about other Bristol REs, and all other Bristol/ECW vehicles can be found here.
   If you can offer any information or photos to help improve this site (especially about AFM103G), please get in touch.