Leyland Atlantean PDR1 / PDR2 bus history
|Production:||1958 to 1972|
|Total production:||6,000 plus|
|Body and chassis|
|Body styles:||double-decker bus|
|Engine and Powertrain|
|Engine Type:||Leyland O.600 / O.680|
|Weights and Dimensions|
|Length:||30 ft (9.14 m)|
|Height:||13 ft 5 in (4.1 m )|
Leyland Atlantean PDR1 / PDR2 was a chassis built by Leyland Motors between 1958 and 1972 for double-decker buses . The superstructures came from different manufacturers . Leyland was a pioneer in the production of double-deck buses with rear engine and front entry for one-man operation. The conductor ( Conductor ), who transmitted the departure signal from the rear part of the vehicle to the driver and collected the fare was superfluous. After 1986 Volvo acquired the Leyland bus division, the production of Atlantean was discontinued and the Leyland Olympian was now the only double-decker bus from Leyland.
In the years immediately after the Second World War , UK bus operators and bus manufacturers in the United Kingdom and Ireland were faced with a decline in passenger numbers, and later a shortage of staff, so they were looking for ways to save. Even before the war, there were bus prototypes with engines in places other than the front axle, but they did not go beyond the experimental stage. In order to limit the space for the passengers as little as possible by an engine compartment, there were various designs with underfloor engine . Due to the design, this increased the body floor, which caused an additional level at the vehicle entrance. For double-decker buses, these problems were even greater - either the bus as a whole was very high or the interior height was insufficient.
In 1952, Leyland began experimenting with ideas for a rear-engined double-decker bus. A prototype was built with the then maximum width of 7 feet 6 inches (2.29 m), whose body was made by Charles H. Roe . On the back of the subframe, the Leyland O.350 diesel engine was mounted with a turbocharger . The platform frame had steel side rails, some parts were made of light metal . An automatic clutch and a Vorwähl transmission with pneumatically operated circuit manufacturer SCG were installed. The vehicle with the number 530001 was called PDR1 (R for rear-engined, rear engine).
1956 was a second prototype, no. 542209, this time with a body made by Metro Cammell Weymann . This had a centrifugal clutch and a bevel gearbox with pneumatically assisted gearshift. This vehicle was 4.03 meters high with a 4.94 meter long wheelbase with a total length of 9.09 meters and had 78 seats. Leyland called the prototype lowloader . Although two prototypes were extensively tested, the same problem remained with the front-engine buses: the entrance was at the back and the space next to the driver remained unused.
In 1956, the legal requirements were changed in the construction of double-decker buses. Now a maximum length of 30 ft (9.14 m) was allowed, allowing a wide entrance in front of the front axle. The basic idea was that the driver monitors the access to the vehicle and the Conductor collects the fare. Leyland Motors built the first prototype Atlantean at the 1956 Commercial Motor Showin Earls Court due to the new regulationwas presented. This now had the front door, which later prevailed on buses, but several factors prevented the series production. The main problem was the loud engine noise in the lower passenger compartment, as the engine was under the rear benches. Mechanically, the prototype Atlantean (281 ATC) was similar to the lowloader with a rear transverse Leyland O.600 diesel engine with an angle gearbox . The light metal floor panels were riveted directly to the frame, which at low weight both the frame reinforced and created a base for the floor. An inverted portal axisrear allowed a continuous flat floor, making the bus only one step from the street was walkable. The prototype was presented to various transport companies throughout the country. A non-road traffic registered duplicate was also built, which was made available to the transport companies as a test vehicle in the Leyland factory.
By 1958, Leyland continued experimenting with the prototypes to solve most problems. Afterwards, both were subsequently scrapped and the Atlantean PDR1 / 1 presented at the 1958 Commercial Motor Show . This had the engine now in a separated from the rest of construction closed engine compartment in the rear, and a wheelbase of 16 feet 3 inches (4.95 meters). It was equipped with conventional front and rear axles, leaf springs all around and steel frames technically simpler than the prototypes. The Glasgow Corporation , James of Ammanford and Wallasey were the first customers and put their copies into operation in December 1958.
From 1964, a rear axle was offered with lower drive for the Atlantean as Atlantean PDR1 / 2 (later version PDR1 / 3), whereby the access for the passengers was lower.
In 1967, the production of the Leyland Atlantean PDR2 / 1 started, which could be equipped with a 10 m long body.
Although some companies initially continued to buy front-engined vehicles for better reliability, the Atlantean became a very popular model. For example, in the major national transport companies such as the National Bus Company (NBC) and the Scottish Bus Group,the Bristol VR and Daimler Fleetline models used, while at the municipal operators in Aberdeen , Bournemouth , Glasgow , Edinburgh , Newcastle , Manchester , Liverpool , Newport , Nottingham and Plymouth the Atlantean was more and more the main model and was bought in large numbers.The Atlantean was also popular with Australian bus companies. The New South Wales Public Transport Commission in Sydneyacquired 224 copies of locally produced bodywork from Pressed Metal Corporation , between May 1970 and April 1973.
Many Atlantean PDR1 / PDR2s formerly used in the United Kingdom by Great Britain and Ireland were exported to Australia in the 1970s. Kirkland Bros Omnibus Services from Lismore and Westbus of Sydney were the main customers. In April 1974, a PDR1A / 1 chassis originally produced for the Southampton Company was damaged by fire in the bodywork at East Lancashire Coachbuilders . Pressed Metal Corporation fabricated from it the only Atlantean Singledecker bus , which was used at Seven Hills Bus Company .
By 1972, over 6,000 Leyland Atlantean PDR1 and PDR2 had been sold.