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Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Swift » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:14 pm

I was looking at a poster I have of a London RM and it sunk in what an effective symbol of that city it was for so long.
I get the same feeling when I think of big bluey that used to be a common sight of Sydney for all too short a time, but during a period if great change and modernisation of the city. They had such a unique look and character to them and were a symbol of Sydney's transport.
What do others feel about it?
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby captainch » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:05 pm

i My Self felt that the old green & cream decker was a SYDNEY icon like the opera house or bridge the same when you think of trains you automatically think of 3801 or the south steyne when you think of ferrys. just my thoughts and a sydney tram was a O class tram.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:06 pm

I agree, the earlier double deckers were much more of a symbol of Sydney's Transport than the Atlanteans. (And it is good to see captainch back with about four posts today after an absence of a couple of months)
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Swift » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:54 pm

The green and cream (blue and ivory in a few cases later on) rear platform deckers were built in the RT era and the RM and Atlanteans were their respective DD successors.
It's a pity Sydney never got any Regent Vs at the same time London's RMs and RMLs were coming online, but the Atlanteans were all we got in the later period of the 70s and 80s. Yes the DMSs could be argued as the obvious Atlantean equivalent, but they weren't London's last "old school" deckers.
Our blue Atlanteans with many sporting some colourful AOAs were undeniably a classic looking and distinctive double decker for this city as the Routemaster was for it's town.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby boronia » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:28 am

Fleet Lists wrote:I agree, the earlier double deckers were much more of a symbol of Sydney's Transport than the Atlanteans. (And it is good to see captainch back with about four posts today after an absence of a couple of months)

He has been entertaining us on Facebook during this time.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby tonyp » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:48 am

I had a browse through old tourism poster art over the last century and I hate to disillusion you bus enthusiasts, but the transportation object appearing most often in publicity is the 'arbour bridge, followed closely by ferries. Nary a bus to be seen, not even a tram or train. There's nothing like the association of Melbourne or Prague with their trams or London with its red buses. It's hardly surprising as the harbour is the most appealing aspect of the city and the element that attracts the tourists.

Image
Image
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This is rather charming retro:
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Linto63 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:00 am

Not really, while the Routemaster was a success story, lasting for over 40 years in front line service, the Atlantean was a bit of a dud with many not even lasting 10 years, and all gone before they reached 15. Or put another way, Routemasters still feature on postcards in tacky tourist shops in London more than a decade after their withdrawal, you won't find an Atlantean on a postcard in an equivalent shop in Darling Harbour.

Sydney has many icons, but its buses have ever been one of them. The only public transport asset that sets Sydney out from other cities is the ferries.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Swift » Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:36 am

Just imagine a brochure of Sydney with the Opera House, SHB and a Leyland Atlantean rendered on a leaflet overseas somewhere lol. I don't think so. Maybe there's a 1970s brochure covering government bus services in the east with such a cover out there, but it would have been strictly for local consumption, not on a post card lol.
I somehow can't imagine Paul Hogan telling Americans to come say g'day and travel to Palm Beach by our iconic blue PMC deckers with the growl of an 0680 in the background!!
Yes I get your point.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby boronia » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:12 pm

A trip to Palm Beach in a CX19 would have been much more sellable.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Swift » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:14 pm

It's a pity we didn't build Routemasters here under a licence agreement with Park Royal. They would have looked good in green and cream as well as blue and ivory.
Chullora might have found them too complicated to overhaul though.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby boronia » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:59 pm

I just noticed on Facebook that someone posted a photo of a Japanese model of a RM, painted PTC white/blue with NSW logo and advert for St George Bldg Soc.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=915455965473417&set=pcb.968832606783859&type=3&ifg=1&__tn__=HH-R&eid=ARAl2OlgA5pz6lnZU9eCFmbe6SuzZLZCsFRNJLjF2kA8BMR0BzHWIksd2IU7nLap7TorlIVmdjjz3Upm
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby tonyp » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:45 pm

Swift wrote:It's a pity we didn't build Routemasters here under a licence agreement with Park Royal. They would have looked good in green and cream as well as blue and ivory.
Chullora might have found them too complicated to overhaul though.

The RM/RTs were the equivalent of our old double deckers and just as unpleasant to use as a daily commute (had lots of experience of both thanks). So we did build them, or equivalents thereof, here. The Atlanteans were a modern bus at the time and had nothing in common with those relics of the early 20th century.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Swift » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:51 pm


Link no work. Have you got an alternative as I'd like to take a look. Here is a real one in similar livery.
It's astounding all the different liveries they received around the UK in post London service. London withdrew hundreds in the 80s and were used by multiple operators during the bus deregulation madness.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Swift » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:57 pm

tonyp wrote:
Swift wrote:It's a pity we didn't build Routemasters here under a licence agreement with Park Royal. They would have looked good in green and cream as well as blue and ivory.
Chullora might have found them too complicated to overhaul though.

The RM/RTs were the equivalent of our old double deckers and just as unpleasant to use as a daily commute (had lots of experience of both thanks). So we did build them, or equivalents thereof, here. The Atlanteans were a modern bus at the time and had nothing in common with those relics of the early 20th century.

Have you ridden the Museum's RM after one of their Sydney deckers? The ride and interior feel light years ahead. They would have made a fantastic decker for the 1960s and they are amazingly nimble like a Mercedes Benz due to their light weight construction and sure footed independent front suspension.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby tonyp » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:34 pm

That's a driver's point of view! They were both very unpleasant to ride to work in.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby boronia » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:36 pm

The RMs were just a 1950s technical update of a 1930s concept.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby boronia » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:38 pm


Link no work. Have you got an alternative as I'd like to take a look. Here is a real one in similar livery.
It's astounding all the different liveries they received around the UK in post London service. London withdrew hundreds in the 80s and were used by multiple operators during the bus deregulation madness.
Sorry, it is a 'secret" group so you have to be a member to look.

It was blue on the bottom and white from the cantrail up, rather than split like the photo.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Linto63 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:29 pm

tonyp wrote:The RM/RTs were the equivalent of our old double deckers and just as unpleasant to use as a daily commute (had lots of experience of both thanks)..
Rubbish, the Routemaster was light years ahead of the RT (which was effectively an AEC Regent III), the design being the best part of 20 years newer.
tonyp wrote:That's a driver's point of view! They were both very unpleasant to ride to work in.
Depending on when you rode them though. By the mid-90s the Routemasters were pretty worn out, but the survivors were then overhauled receiving new engines. Some were further rebuilt at the turn of the century with automatic transmissions, new interiors and hopper windows. Aside from the lower headroom, they were more than a match for a new bus. A few of the latter are still operated on a heritage route within the London cbd, and apart from a bit of a bouncy ride courtesy of some rather stiff suspension, was quite comfortable when I last rode one.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby tonyp » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:06 pm

I rode RMs in the 70s and 80s mainly. Same cramped and rough as the Sydney ones from a passenger POV. Primitive loading facilities and way past their date in terms of international bus design progress. They may have had mechanical improvements but they were fundamentally a 1930s bus. Typical British mentality to keep something like this going for so long. But the red paint does make for a good tourist icon. I find Frank Pick and William Holden's branding of the London Underground a far more iconic transport symbol of London. Real quality there.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Linto63 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:29 pm

The Routemaster was considered revolutionary when designed in the 1950s, but by 1980 was over 20-years old, so of course they were going to be behind the times. That it was more lighter and more fuel efficient (8 miles to the gallon vs 5.5) than its 2004 built replacements indicated it had something going for it. Much like State Transit's 2000 vintage Mercedes O405NH that were considered state of the art, are now considered old and past it today. I don't know what MAN, Mercedes, Volvo etc were up to at the time, but I doubt their offerings in 1954 would have been any better.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby tonyp » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:47 pm

You can add GM to that international list. The RM was a dinosaur from the day it was born. The modern bus in 1950 already had air doors and plenty of modern outfit and a layout that processed passengers more efficiently. Even Comeng had designed a modern double decker at that time, but the DGT didn't take it up as it was changing to single deckers. The RM was also ill-equipped for the major industry change that was already underway - the introduction of one person crews.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Swift » Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:06 am

They may have been behind in layout, sure, but their reliability and ability to cope with London conditions was unsurpassed.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby tonyp » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:08 am

Swift wrote:They may have been behind in layout, sure, but their reliability and ability to cope with London conditions was unsurpassed.

I have no doubt that LT would have ensured that, but when you compare it to the Comeng double deck design of about five years earlier with its underfloor engine, two air doors and two staircases, there is no doubt which was the modern bus.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Linto63 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:52 am

Love it or loath it, the Routemaster remained in front line service for over 45 years, a record unlikely to be surpassed. And it did have a degree of flare that its boxy successors were unable to match.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Postby Swift » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:31 am

Don't forget that people were able to board and alight easily between stops when held up in traffic, thus saving dwell time. You seldom saw line ups with at stops with these. The luxury of a conductor helped and no amount of fuel and maintenance savings would pay for it.
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