Auld Glesga Trams & Buses

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Postby scotia47 » Tue Oct 25, 2005 5:42 pm

McShad wrote:The AH buses were the Ailsa Horizontal. Volvo engines, Ailsa made...
most of them had the same body except about 3 of them which had unique prototype bodies.

The Horizontal comes from the fact that the engine was in a horizontal postion under the bus instead of on the back. Gave more seating room but was a bugger to work with when it broke down.


I assume this is the type you mean?

Image

I've noticed that some have windows at the back, yet others don't. Can anyone explain? :?

This talk about the Leyland Atlanteans brings back a lot of memories. Must admit that I prefered the ones with leather seats (in fact, anything with leather seats gets my vote). I have no recollection of the 8 single-decker buses though, how long were they in service? Seems like a a waste to do that to perfectly good double-deckers. :?

I do however remember seeing recovery vehicles, painted yellow, that I think were cut-down Atlanteans.

Finally, am I the only one that's annoyed that so many double-decker buses have been replaced by single-decker buses? I'm not that keen on getting wedged in on the way to and from college.* :evil:

That said, I do like the bendy buses.

*Unless the bus is wedged full of hot burds.
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Postby mustardman » Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:36 pm

Great info, I wonder where the remaining Atlanteans are now? Did SPT sell them off or were they scrapped? I know some of them were a bit shoddy, however they were good workhorses. Reliant. The SPT certainly got there money's worth!
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Postby glasgowken » Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:07 pm

scotia47 wrote:
McShad wrote:The AH buses were the Ailsa Horizontal. Volvo engines, Ailsa made...
most of them had the same body except about 3 of them which had unique prototype bodies.

The Horizontal comes from the fact that the engine was in a horizontal postion under the bus instead of on the back. Gave more seating room but was a bugger to work with when it broke down.


I assume this is the type you mean?

Image

I've noticed that some have windows at the back, yet others don't. Can anyone explain? :?

This talk about the Leyland Atlanteans brings back a lot of memories. Must admit that I prefered the ones with leather seats (in fact, anything with leather seats gets my vote). I have no recollection of the 8 single-decker buses though, how long were they in service? Seems like a a waste to do that to perfectly good double-deckers. :?

I do however remember seeing recovery vehicles, painted yellow, that I think were cut-down Atlanteans.

Finally, am I the only one that's annoyed that so many double-decker buses have been replaced by single-decker buses? I'm not that keen on getting wedged in on the way to and from college.* :evil:

That said, I do like the bendy buses.

*Unless the bus is wedged full of hot burds.


The lack of rear windows is so they can stick those giant adverts on, it makes the bus even more gloomy than usual :-(
It's always double decker's for me, I never did think of single decks as 'proper' buses, although I do admit a liking for the bendys, they're just so different to anything we're used to in the UK.


On to history :-D The single deck Atlanteans were around for quite a few years, sadly none were preserved.
The PTE (and GCT before) never had much luck with single deckers, the Leyland Panthers bought in 1969 were a bit of a disaster, but at least the Atlanteans were tried & tested. They even cut down an accident damaged Volvo Ailsa for the same purpose.
Another deciding factor may have been the fact that the bodywork of many Atlanteans from the LA751-LA1350 batch were suffering from serious structural fatigue, this was one way to give a few a new lease of life.
I suppose yet another reason was the PTE being a public funded body could afford to play around with buses and try out ideas (and whims). Look at the indecision over the livery from 1980-1985.

The last PTE & SB recovery vehicles were cut down single deck Leyland Leopard buses (although most had old Atlantean front panels grafted on), Atlanteans were never used as recovery vehicles.
Image
But before that the GCT, & GGPTE did use some rather fine cut down double deck Leyland Titan half cab buses.

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'Uncut' Leyland Titans still in service around 1974-75.

Image
One of the cut down Leyland Titans (note the AEC Matador in the background, it's bodywork was rebuilt using an old bus roof).

There's still a couple in storage as possible preservation projects, but in VERY poor condition :-(
Image

Happily at least 4 complete Glasgow Titans have been preserved.

mustardman wrote:Great info, I wonder where the remaining Atlanteans are now? Did SPT sell them off or were they scrapped? I know some of them were a bit shoddy, however they were good workhorses. Reliant. The SPT certainly got there money's worth!


Some were sold to smaller operators, others passed through the Firstbus network to different parts of the company, some were converted to become playbuses, or for educational use, and many were scrapped :-(
Image

One (LA510) was even converted to change the lights in the Clyde Tunnel. It had a sliding hatch cut into the roof.
(This is it today)
Image

And there's still a few around in preservation.

http://www.busworld.info/
http://gvvt.org/

And not to forget the daddy of them all, LA1, at the Museum of Transport, Glasgow.
Image


I own 1 and a 1/2 Atlanteans myself :D
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Postby viceroy » Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:49 pm

This thread has been of particular interest to me because I did a stint as a driver with the old Glasgow Corporation Transport Department, going back nearly 35 years ago now. I started off in Partick Garage in Hayburn St. [long since gone] and then transferred to Knightswood Garage. The buses I drove were mostly Leyland Titans, AEC Regents and Leyland Atlanteans [but the latter as a crew driver, not as a one-man operator].

The Titans were a joy to drive, nippy and full of character. The Regents were mostly pretty nasty, with heavy steering and brakes which were either too fierce or hardly worked at all. No power steering in those days, by the way. As for the Atlanteans, what can I say? Unwieldy and sloppy as far as I was concerned, never really liked them at all. Also drove a Daimler once or twice, with a preselect gearbox - what a rigmarole that was if you weren't used to it!

I've stood and looked at LA1 many a time at the Transport Museum. I never drove that particular bus, but I remember driving LA2 which was more or less a wreck by the time I got my hands on it. It was reputed to be the slowest bus in the fleet and after less than five minutes behind the wheel I realised that its reputation was richly deserved. Actually, in those days a lot of the buses were pretty dodgy from a mechanical point of view. If the punters really knew what they were being driven about in half the time, they might have preferred to get off and walk.

On the question of real leather seats - I don't remember ever coming across any of those. I really don't think GCT would have been prepared to splash out on such luxurious upholstery just to give Glaswegians the privilege of parking their arses on it.

As for rear windows, these are pretty well superfluous as far as the driver is concerned. I used the internal mirror to check what happening in the downstairs passenger saloon, not to see what was going on behind the bus. That's what the outside mirrors were for. I suppose it's a sign of the times that the rear window area now gets used up for advertising space.
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Postby glasgowken » Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:32 pm

Hiya Viceroy, yeah even as a passenger I remember Atlanteans as being very bumpy, & rattling all over the place, all the dodgey repairs would often come to light as bits started coming loose. But I guess the mind over the years cuts out the bad stuff, and leaves the good, i'd loved to have driven the buses you did, especially LA2 8)

Just dug up this pic of LA2 when brand spanking new. (sporting the snazzy, 'Glasgow style' bodywork)

Image

I actually own one of these, but it's about 2 steps from the scrappie, only good for spares to keep the others running.
A few Atlanteans did have leather seats, (some original cushions still exist in the Busworld museum), but a lot were replaced with vinyl over the years as the arses & ned knives got to work :?

Do you have any pics, or stories, from your time with GCT, like this sort of thing ? http://www.semple.biz/hobbies/johnwalker1.htm
It's the memories of an ex conductor, it's a great read.
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Postby DC » Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:44 pm

crazygray23 wrote:anyone got any pictures of the buses in the old corporation colors kicking about just after strathclyde council broke up



Dont have any photies but i have this timetable, i knew it would come in handy one day :D it commenced on 12/5/96 i dont think GCT lasted any more than a year.

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Fares Scotstoun West- Red road £1.05
Balornock East - Pollok Centre £1.15
Parkhead - Springburn £0.80
Last edited by DC on Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mori » Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:49 pm

Quite a few Glasgow and Scottish Bus sites on this link here guys.

http://www.busstation.net/busuk/busuksco.htm#strathclyde

My Dad worked on Glasgow Corporation the busses Ken, i also have some great memories of the Atlantean No 4 From Drumoyne from Govan High Secondry, The driver used to end up drivin us all in to orkney st Police station for causin too much noise on the bus ::):. the top deck back window you talk about was a good escape hatch for some that sneaked on with out tickets, we all escaped many times from the Ispector that checked the tickets. :wink:

How much can you pick one of these buses up for as a matter of interest??
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Postby glasgowken » Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:26 pm

Ah the dreaded inspector. Poor blokes, hated by all, especially the drivers :P
My sis was once on a bus taken over by an inspector. It was obviously a few years since his last drive, as he ended up smashing several windows when getting too close to a tree 8O

Mori wrote:How much can you pick one of these buses up for as a matter of interest??


Altanteans usually range in price from £500 to £2000, with many thousands for old Regent & Titan half cabs.
A lot of people will only sell them for preservation though, i'd do the same, There are really only a handful of Glasgow Atlanteans left. It's terrible to see an old original bus gutted, and turned into a playbus, or holiday home :( This does happen, even to very rare buses.
But anybody seriously wanting to get into the restoration & preservation side would be more than welcome at Busworld, or the GVVT. Working on buses is often easier than cars (just bigger bits :wink: ).
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Postby Socceroo » Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:19 pm

Image

Image


MMMM......www.clubclassbus.com.........my kind of bus........... :D
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Postby glasgowken » Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:53 pm

Hmmm, after studying that photo very closely, I can see it's an ex-Nottingham bus, so I don't care if the ladies have a sticky messy orgy in that one (with me in the middle 8) ).
Just as long as they don't do it in an old Glasgow bus, I have to be strict :D

I saw that bus parked up a while back, tried to peer through the windows, didn't get inside though :(
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Postby McShad » Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:12 am

I have an aerial photograph in a book somewhere of parkhead depot after they decommisioned the LA buses... its a pictures of the rear yard with hundreds of them awaiting further use.

How often did you seen an Atlantean break down? I've seen alot more of the new scania low floor buses getting towed than the old rust buckets. They might have pished out oil and fuel on the roads, but they always kept going. Was a pity to see them go in a strange 'not a bus geek' way, but I think the operators licence for them was almost up and would have probably cost more to keep them road worthy....

I doubt they pass the 2006 euro III test on emmisions anywho

I think its sad to see the scrapped LAs with their final service number on them.... and probably 'parkhead depot'

There is one of the new mega double deckers that says 'BED' in the back window when its going out of service.... And I saw one going down Renfield street once with 'Get Bent' in the front board
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Postby mustardman » Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:16 pm

Hi 'GlasgowKen', you say you have a couple of LA's. Where did you get them from? And I also take it you have suitable storage...the thing is, I like old Vehicles myself, and at one point, would like to restore something...possibly a Seddon Atkinson 401 Tractor Unit(IRN-BRU). I love hearing about these stories, the LA is a true mark of Glasgow, from when I was a kid. Nothing more satisfying than getting an old engine that hasbn't been started in years, and getting it running again...the heart of it!
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Postby glasgowken » Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:45 pm

Hey McShad, is there any chance you could scan that aerial photo please ? I don't think i've seen that one.
To be honest I did see quite a lot break down, Atlanteans, especially the early model, had it's failings, mainly with overheating :?

Hi mustardman, great to see your interest in getting a vehicle.
Old buses & lorries crop up from time to time, there are a couple of specialist magazines, 'Bus & Coach Preservation' & 'Classic Commercials', both have plenty of ads. Many old vehicles are also found by word of mouth, perhaps a sighting in an old field, or lying at the back of a garage. But probably the best way is to get involved with one of the preservation groups.

Despite the name, other historical vehicles are welcome at Busworld, the current storage cost is £30 a month, which isn't bad when you consider the size of a bus.
Under 10 Glasgow Atlanteans are known to survive in preservation, which out of a continuous fleet of 1449 isn't that much. All apart from LA1 are owned privately.

I'm quite a newbie, I own one outright, and have a half share in another, mine is really on it's last legs, and will be stripped to help the others.
The other bus is in Wales where it's spent the last few years as a school bus, but it's in remarkably original Glasgow condition. Dealings are still going on to get that one back home, shouldn't be long.

You would be more than welcome to come along and look around the set up at Busworld, and if you're not careful you may even be roped into helping with a few little jobs :D
Also as you're in Aberdeenshire, the Scottish Vintage Bus Musuem at Lathalmond in Fife, isn't too far from you. That's always worth a visit, but they only have one Glasgow bus (and it ain't an Atlantean :( ).

Let me know if I can help at all.
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Postby scotia47 » Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:03 pm

Many thanks glasgowken for all the information. :) Shame about the single decker Atlanteans. :( What's worse is that given that there are so few of the double deckers left now, I can't see anyone having the balls to try and create a ninth.

I've got some more questions for you. :oops:

glasgowken wrote:The last PTE & SB recovery vehicles were cut down single deck Leyland Leopard buses (although most had old Atlantean front panels grafted on), Atlanteans were never used as recovery vehicles.
Image


That's what I remember, thanks for the pic. I'm still sure I saw a few painted yellow though. Some questions:

1. Why did they feel the need to graft bits of Atlantean onto it?

2. What's that black thing on the front?

3. And how come we never see these sort of vehicles nowadays?

glasgowken wrote:One (LA510) was even converted to change the lights in the Clyde Tunnel. It had a sliding hatch cut into the roof.
(This is it today)
Image


Oh dear. Is this the one you own?

I've got one more question (for now). After they were withdrawn, did First hang on to a couple of Atlanteans for driver training? I'm sure I saw some kicking about for a period of time after they were gone from scheduled services, painted red with yellow stripes and L plates. One looked like a big display/tartan interior version with the panel painted out. :?
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Postby glasgowken » Wed Oct 26, 2005 11:14 pm

No problem, I like answering questions, gives me a big head :-D
But i've got to admit I may not be able to give a definite answer to some of your questions. My interest in buses fades out around the mid 1990s, so info on anything after that is a struggle. The current crop of First, Stagecoach, & Arriva, etc, does nothing for me.


Hmm, don't know why they changed the front on those ex bus recovery vehicles. They were second hand purchases, so perhaps the fronts were damaged, or the lighting arrangement didn't suit, or it could just be another whim from the PTE engineering manager :-)
You're right about them originaly being painted yellow, here's a pic of another member of the SB recovery fleet converted at the same time. This was a different bodybuilder from the others and for some reason it's retained it's original bus front.
Image

The black item on the front is a towing hook up, in case a bus had to be towed backwards, or pushed, out of bother. Here's a similar arrangement on the front of an old AEC Matador.
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These cut down bus, recovery vehicles are of great interest to enthusiasts, they were often kept for 30+ years.
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A GCT pre-war AEC Regent, (this vehicle is for sale btw).

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AEC Matador. Not a bus, but rebuilt by the GCT using an Atlantean roof, (also for sale).

I'm not sure if First still have anything similar, but I think they tend to use vans, & purpose built vehicles these days.


8O No that tunnel bus isn't mine, but the condition is not far off. Here's my bus. (sorry about the pics, it's a bit hemmed in).
Image Image

Yes, Firstbus did retain about 6 Atlanteans from the 1980-81 batch to use as trainers, thankfully most have since passed to preservationists and are being restored.
The conversions were fairly simple, a handbrake & seat were fitted for the instructor, and the anti-ned shielding around the cab was removed. Most also had the destination screens paneled over.
Image Image


Hope this info was of interest :-)

Image
Last edited by glasgowken on Sat Nov 11, 2006 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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