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1922: Tilling-Stevens are here
The first 4 buses, displayed in Catalunya sq. in May 1922. Photograph: José M. Sagarra. Autor's archive

History:  At the beginning of the '20s, tram services were not enough to cope with the increasing patronage, so that City Council imposed its ideas about to improve tram services and create a bus network. After the failed first attempt in 1921, on 15th March 1922 was aproved a four route bus system and awarded to Mr. Antoni Antich. Seven days later, was created the 'Compañía General de Autobuses de Barcelona' (CGA) and the agreement transfered. The project involved also some british companies and, amongst them, Tilling-Stevens bus manufacturers, intended to provide the petrol-electric buses for the Barcelona network.

As the services did not began in May 1922 as scheduled and in order to avoid a cancellation clause, CGA decided to start a non regular service and ask Tilling-Stevens Motors Ltd. for a very quickly delivery of buses. The company sent four buses that arrived to Barcelona by road, with British plates and after crossing the Channel and France.

The new TS 3A buses in Catalunya sq.
May 1922
The batch of TS4X being loaded off.
August 1922

The TS4X in the Barcelona harbour. August 1922


The first three arrived on 20 May 1922 and the fourth some days later. The first ones were d/d in red livery and fitted with different number of seats. The fourth one was a green d/d fitted with windscreen and cab doors. All this and also some minor changes suggests that the factory sent the first four buses they could, intended for other places.

Technically, the 4 buses were identical and from the 3A type, fitted with petrol-electric system, solid tyres, electric equipment, 2 highlights, 2 city lights and a rear light and spares box. After the public display in the Catalunya sq, the new buses received spanish registration plates and were numbered 1- 4 and run special services as beaches, hippodrome and 'Salón del Automóvil' (Cars show), leaving from city center.

After trial services, the buses were fitted with right-hand platforms and unified dark red livery with black numbers. The company distributed a leaflet where explained the company origins and the four lines projected with 4X type bus' pics. Next august, from the Maidstone factory, were sent the 12 new 4X type buses, arrived to Barcelona harbour in august 28th . After trials, the new buses were numbered 5-16 and intended for the launching -in 22nd October 1922- of the first regular service, the route 'A', 16 years after the closure of the Barcelona's first bus service with the Brillié-Schneider of 'La Catalana' company.

The buses in the harbour. August 1922
The inside pic of a 4X type .
Bus 7 in the road to Sta. Coloma de Gramenet. Route 'AC'. May 1932
Bus 3 in Catalunya sq.
May 1922
Bus 4. May 1922
A 3A type bus in the International Exhibit. 1929

TS3A & TS4X buses characteristics

Long: 7.500mm
Width: 2.500mm
Axles: 2        
Engine: Petrol,
4 cyl. 5.100 cm3
Power:    40 HP
Dinamo:  Generator 100V DC
Brakes: To rear axle
Capacity:    3A type: 48 places, 4X type: 44 places

Basic bibliography:
GONZÀLEZ MASIP, Albert: Els autobusos a Barcelona. 1906-1939.  Ed. autor. Barcelona, 1996. In catalan

© Albert Gonzàlez Masip. If not shown otherwise, pictures are of unknown photographer.