Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion
Tim Williams
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by Tim Williams »

As an old Pom, I found it difficult to like the Sydney Atlanteans. They possessed a low capacity (66 seats vs UK ones up to 78 seats) rather basic, but tough body and being the pre-AN68 version, they were quite unreliable. I guess the low capacity was a result of the usual axle weight restrictions here and the strangly curved/tapering body shape was probably an attempt to avoid overhanging objects on the many roads with high cambers. the body in style still possessed reminders of the pre-war DGT deckers.

The Routemaster turned out be a wonderfully reliable bus after quite a number of early problems but I do believe London Transport's expensive Aldenham overhaul regime kept them running over their lengthy life. They are a visually well designed bus, but were expensive and, let's face it, obsolete even when first introduced. When they were being introduced into service in large numbers, other large fleets in the UK were introducing Atlanteans, Fleetlines and Bristol VRT's (plus various single deckers) enabling those fleets to eliminate conductors, when regulations allowed it - let's face it, labour is a significant percentage of operating cost.

Sydney's Routemaster should be named as the Bustech CDI, attractive, practical, reliable and innovative. That design is a layout that conforms to the restrictive axle weight allowances and has an amazing seating capacity of 96 passengers in a 12.3mtr bus. An absolute credit to its designers - it should be a Sydney Icon!!!!
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CDI 2.jpg
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boronia
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by boronia »

More a "Borismaster" than a Routemaster ??

But I wouldn't call it an icon.
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Tim Williams
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by Tim Williams »

Overseas visitors to Sydney what to see the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, probably experience the Harbour on a Manly Ferry and perhaps visit Bondi Beach. So, as Tonyp has mentioned, I think the Manly Ferry would be Sydney's only transport icon!

In London the old Routemaster and perhaps the RT were transport icons and often a ride on one was on the list things to do and see there, along with Buckingham Palace, House of Parliament, St. Pauls, Tower Bridge etc. Big Bus Tours in lots of places including London have really removed the perceived need to ride on a normal service bus. Ask anyone though "what is the colour of a London bus" and they will instantly tell, whereas most people (apart from locals and enthusiasts) would not know the colours of buses say in Sydney, Paris and New York - but they probably will know that New York cabs are yellow - does that make them an icon?

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boronia
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by boronia »

Probably not to the same level as London's black taxis with their unique style.

But it would be hard to take a street view photo anywhere in NYC without at least one yellow cab being in it.
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Tim Williams
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by Tim Williams »

boronia wrote:More a "Borismaster" than a Routemaster ??

But I wouldn't call it an icon.
The CDI is certainly not an icon, but I do think they are a better bus to travel in than the Borismaster, which feels quite cramped inside, particularly downstairs and the lack of decent air-conditioning makes them unpleasant to travel in, in hot weather!

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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by Swift »

boronia wrote:Probably not to the same level as London's black taxis with their unique style.

But it would be hard to take a street view photo anywhere in NYC without at least one yellow cab being in it.
Don't forget their checker cabs still in use during the 1980s.
I think their Chevrolet Caprices and to a lesser extent, their Ford Crown Victoria yellow cabs were iconic.
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Tim Williams
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by Tim Williams »

In New York the majority of Cabs now are ubiquitous (boring, but efficient) Toyota Camrys, with a few Toyota Klugers and Prius's and a few Ford Transits (not the same as our big UK Transit vans here).

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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by Swift »

Tim Williams wrote:In New York the majority of Cabs now are ubiquitous (boring, but efficient) Toyota Camrys, with a few Toyota Klugers and Prius's and a few Ford Transits (not the same as our big UK Transit vans here).
Here's HD video of New York from 1993 showing some quality footage of cabs in the streets.

https://youtu.be/fT4lDU-QLUY

Speaking of Atlanteans and NYC, this video shows some pics of the handful of Park Royal bodied examples New York ran during the 1970s.

https://youtu.be/Boehh0bhz5w
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boronia
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by boronia »

A few years back, Nissan made a special model for NYC taxis.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by Tim Williams »

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Swift wrote:
Tim Williams wrote:In New York the majority of Cabs now are ubiquitous (boring, but efficient) Toyota Camrys, with a few Toyota Klugers and Prius's and a few Ford Transits (not the same as our big UK Transit vans here).
Here's HD video of New York from 1993 showing some quality footage of cabs in the streets.

https://youtu.be/fT4lDU-QLUY

Speaking of Atlanteans and NYC, this video shows some pics of the handful of Park Royal bodied examples New York ran during the 1970s.

https://youtu.be/Boehh0bhz5w
Both very good. I was in New York in both 2014 and 2015 - I drove in and out of Manhattan, the traffic is not as bad as it might appear but the roads are rough full of holes (some are large) and steel plates. The photos shows a couple of Camrys and the steel road plates - I think boxy looking taxi the background and mostly obscured is a US Ford Transit.

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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by Swift »

It's interesting to see the same make and model of car being used as taxis in Syd and NY. This was unthinkable before the Camry hybrid was launched here.
Shows how homogenised the world has become.
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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by Merc1107 »

The condition of that road shows why the old American Land-Yatchs would have been the vehicle of choice; surely leaps and bounds ahead of a Toyota crashing along such an incredibly weathered road.

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Re: Was The Atlantean Sydney's Routemaster?

Post by Swift »

Merc1107 wrote:The condition of that road shows why the old American Land-Yatchs would have been the vehicle of choice; surely leaps and bounds ahead of a Toyota crashing along such an incredibly weathered road.
.
Smaller cars with their stiff suspension seem a backward step in that environment.
Big floaty sedans of old were way better and gave the city character. Luckily there are tonnes of YouTube videos on old New York. It's a shame the same can't be said for Sydney, though there is a doco on Sydney's taxis from 1980 titled Cabbies that's a real gem.
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