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[Heritage] The sorry state of a vintage Leyland Atlantean bus at Limerick depot

  • 24-09-2011 2:06am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 20,009 ✭✭✭✭ Run_to_da_hills


    This bus can be seen at the Bus Eireann Scrapyard just before Colbert Station in Limerick..

    It is sad to see a 40 year old classic in such a neglected state. I went to school in them and at the time we would refer to them as the "new busses" as they were so far advanced from their front engined mounted Leyland Taitan predessors.

    The roof being butchered on this bus makes matters worse as it makes the interior totally exposed to the elements. It was not too long ago when it was a privilage for GAA football and hurley teams to be seen on top of this bus.

    Is there any preservation group that would rescue it, even as an open top classic, There must not be that many Atlantians left in the country.

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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,463 CIE


    This is a D-class or DF-class? What's the reg #?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,009 ✭✭✭✭ Run_to_da_hills


    CIE wrote: »
    This is a D-class or DF-class? What's the reg #?

    I couldnt get a close shot from the tgrain, it looks as if the plates were removed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 393 ✭✭ Conway635
    Registered User


    This is D454, which served from Summerhill depot, mostly on the 20/B, 54A routes throughout its service life, and was then converted for use as an open-top for BE in Limerick.

    It's been withdrawn for more than 5 years - was put out to tender for sale in 2006 and I understand that there may have been some legal dispute about the result of this.

    It is a Leyland Atlantean. Where do you get the "Alas" part from?

    C635


  • Registered Users Posts: 393 ✭✭ Conway635
    Registered User


    OK, I've done a bit of googling, and I see where this "Alas Atlantean" misnaming comes from.

    The Transport Museum in Howth used the title "Alas Atlantean" as the title of an article about these buses on its website. This has then been copied and only slightly reworded by the public library service for one of a series of articles about Irish transport, which captions the pictures of the buses as "Alas Atlanteans".

    But "Alas Atlantean" in the original article title was not referring to the vehicle manufacturer - it was an ironic title, referring to these buses chronic unreliability in service (at first - they became more reliable when they were re-engined and better understood by CIE midlife).

    As in "Alas poor Yoric . ."

    When first introduced, the Ds had huge problems, the forced ventilation systems did not work leading to high internal temprature and passenger discomfort, and buses had to be retrofitted with opening windows.

    The engines themselves were prone to overheating (the CIE body was heavier than the more sparse bodywork on UK examples) and mechanics used to the older front-engined buses found them difficult to work on.

    The terrible state of Leyland in the 1970s didn't help either, and there were often shortages of vital parts keeping buses off the road.

    From D410 onwards CIE switched from the 0600 to the bigger 0680 engine, and in later life many were re-engined with DAF units.

    D603 onwards (the VanHools) were to the new AN68 chassis design, which was much improved.

    All told, there were 840 Atlanteans put into service by CIE between 1966 and 1979. (the last one was produced in 1977, but was delayed entering service as it went to Germany for two years).

    C635


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,426 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin
    Registered User


    I always had a soft spot for the Leyland bodied Atlanteans, they have a wonderfully somber yet dignified look to them and a almost sleep inducing hum as they toddled around the city from A to B :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 273 ✭✭ Weylin
    Registered User


    I always had a soft spot for the Leyland bodied Atlanteans, they have a wonderfully somber yet dignified look to them and a almost sleep inducing hum as they toddled around the city from A to B :)
    the drivers looked something similar ;)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,463 CIE


    That's kinda sad.

    I used to wonder why these buses didn't get Detroit Diesel two-stroke engines...the CIE body style is slightly reminiscent of General Motors' own "Fishbowl" buses, especially the parallelogram shape to the windows...
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    2002_0706_150643AA.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,280 ✭✭✭ dowlingm
    Registered User


    There are GMs still in service here in Toronto - god help you if you're stuck on one between mid July and mid Sept. They were very well built frame wise though which led to rebuild after rebuild when newer buses were chopped. Their high floors make them non-accessible though so they are finally down to 33 1982 "New looks" and 2 1987 Classics.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,426 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin
    Registered User


    I think Leyland stuck with their own engines as that's what they knew plus there was pressure on them not to import and put local jobs at risk. At the time the O 600 was touted as the next big thing but in reality it wasn't at the races. The Bombardier engines had some GM engines installed but they were found to be reliable thirsty wenches when in service.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,009 ✭✭✭✭ Run_to_da_hills


    Which bus use to whistle? I think around 1979 / 1980. Use to hear them climbing Glenageary hill when I was out scateboarding. :p


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,426 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin
    Registered User


    Which bus use to whistle? I think around 1979 / 1980. Use to hear them climbing Glenageary hill when I was out scateboarding. :p

    Probably a Titan, there was the odd one left around then. The Liberties had a "Musical Bus" that was famed with the locals for years for it's rather rhythmic engine sound. I remember Titans on the streets and have a memory of the odd trip on one from the Coombe passing Christchurch; when they were retired there was a lot consternation from the traveling public, in spite of many of them being over 20 years old!


  • Registered Users Posts: 393 ✭✭ Conway635
    Registered User


    The "whistling buses" were a small subset of the VanHool bodied AN68 Atlanteans, those ones from D764 upwards which had Voith two-speed fully automatic gearboxes. At the same time as the gearbox change, a small change in the engine air-intake had been made, and these buses made melodic sounds as the engine went through various speed ranges when under load.

    The first route to get these (764 upwards - there were already 150 other VanHools on the road) was 7A / 8, followed then by 66/67 and 78/A/B so your memory of Glenageary Hill is indeed correct.

    This was late 1975, there was even an article about it in the Evening Press, the buses very quickly received a mod to cure the "problem".

    C635


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,463 CIE


    I remember sets of both the CIE-bodied and VanHool-McArdle-bodied Atlanteans being equipped with the two-speed automatic gearboxes; they had push-button controls. How was it determined which buses got which? (Just about all of the automatics with the CIE bodies ran out of Phibsborough garage.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 393 ✭✭ Conway635
    Registered User


    Yes, there were two batches of 2-speed fully auto gearboxes:

    D511-602 (standard CIE/Metsec bodied buses)
    D764-840 (VanHools)

    The CIE bodied ones were split between Phibsboro (the majority), Ringsend and Cork. (when new - they spread around more towards the end of their lives)

    The VanHools with fully-auto boxes were new to Donnybrook and Conyngham Road only (likewise spread around to more depots in later life).

    D838 has an experimental 3-speed fully-auto box, was new to Conyngham Road, but was transferred to Cork after a couple of weeks, where it was used mainly on provincial services.

    The semi-auto buses (D1-510 and 603-763) were better on fuel and better on outer suburban routes, but required frequent replacement gearboxes because of the abuse by drivers. The correct way to drive these is to ease off on gas during gearchanges, but CIE drivers just whacked them from gear to gear at full revs, which, over time, would cause the unit to fail.

    Now, ideally, the two-speed fully auto buses should have been kept for city routes, as they were dreadful on longer (faster) runs, but good old CIE logic saw them at Conyngham Road for the 66/67 while Summerhill had it's semi-autos on the 16/A . .

    C635


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,009 ✭✭✭✭ Run_to_da_hills


    CIE wrote: »
    That's kinda sad.

    I used to wonder why these buses didn't get Detroit Diesel two-stroke engines...the CIE body style is slightly reminiscent of General Motors' own "Fishbowl" buses, especially the parallelogram shape to the windows...
    61white-nycta.jpg

    2002_0706_150643AA.jpg

    They probably swiped the wrap around rear window design from the VW Sanba. :p

    124k1fr.jpg

    28a84ua.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,009 ✭✭✭✭ Run_to_da_hills


    In its former glory. :)



  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭✭ tony.aspergers
    Registered User


    Not sure what is likely to happen to D454. Will the legal challenge mounted by Dr Grimes of the Kells Transport Museum work out in the end? If not this bus should certainly be given to a museum or a Transport Collection of some sort or another, in Ireland, for definite preservation.

    Is it still there in Limerick?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,009 ✭✭✭✭ Run_to_da_hills


    Not sure what is likely to happen to D454. Will the legal challenge mounted by Dr Grimes of the Kells Transport Museum work out in the end? If not this bus should certainly be given to a museum or a Transport Collection of some sort or another, in Ireland, for definite preservation.

    Is it still there in Limerick?

    It was still there yesterday afternoon, and not improving :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭✭ tony.aspergers
    Registered User


    It was still there yesterday afternoon, and not improving :)

    So presumably it is outdoors, which mean deterioration on a grand scale?!

    It should go here, ideally - http://northmidlandbus.org

    :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,009 ✭✭✭✭ Run_to_da_hills


    So presumably it is outdoors, which mean deterioration on a grand scale?!

    It should go here, ideally - http://northmidlandbus.org

    :)
    Being butchered as an open top i'm sure its well deteriorated by now, still it would probably do for parts.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭ rathfarnhamlad
    Registered User


    I don't know if anyone is still subscribed to this thread, but I was passing Roxboro Garage on the train earlier today & D454 wasn't there, so unless someone acquired it for preservation I think it's safe to assume that it is no more...



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