Old Bus Photos

Yorkshire Traction – Leyland Atlantean – FHE 340D – 1340L

Yorkshire Traction Leyland Atlantean PDR1/2

Yorkshire Traction
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/2
Northern Counties H42/33F

I do not have many photos of rear engined buses they did not have the same charisma has the front engined buses, a little bit boxy for me. Although this Northern Counties body on this bus does look good, mind you I think it was brand new at the time I took the photo. According to the fleet lists I researched the information from for this bus it is classed as a highbridge body but the fleet number ends in an ‘L’ which would suggest lowbridge so why the ‘L’? If you know, let me know, please leave a comment.
Photo taken again at the old Bradford bus station, and the bus in the background is an AEC Regent V of Yorkshire Woollen District.

The term "lowbridge" or "highbridge" refers to whether or not the bus has a sunken offside or a central gangway on the upper deck, and not to the overall height of the bus. Any bus with a drop-centre rear axle (Lodekka, Fleetline, later Atlanteans etc. can be lower in overall height than one with a conventional straight rear axle and still have a centre gangway upstairs, at the expense of a more complicated floor layout in the lower saloon.
Tracky were plagued by lots of low bridges, so they nearly always went for the low height option, and the fleet number code was intended to tell staff where the bus could safely go, rather than the seating layout.

David A Jones

That’s a lovely picture of a Tracky bus and shows a service which disappeared some time ago. The 66 service to Sheffield was a marathon and took 2 hours and 44 minutes to get from one end to the other. It was split in the late sixties and after that Sheffield C fleet double-deckers, which also worked the service, were no longer seen in Bradford. Yorkshire Traction took a brief break before returning with joint operation of a revised Huddersfield to Bradford via Cleckheaton service in the early seventies.

David Beilby

The PDR1/2 and PDR1/3 Atlanteans had the Albion Lowlander drop axle and a Daimler gearbox. Early PDR1/1s were not particularly good or reliable – especially compared with PD Titans – but the nadir was reached with drop axle versions. It took until 1972 for Leyland to produce another top quality bus, the AN68 Atlantean, which never had a drop axle version. [By that time, Leyland offered either the Daimler Fleetline or Bristol VRT for this option.]

David Oldfield

The PDR1/3 wasn’t something to be proud about as a manufacturer. If I remember rightly there were only somewhere just over eighty built and it was pretty bad. The Fleetline was a much better proposition.


27/02/11 – 17:06

The 66 service, and also the 67 Sheffield – Barnsley -Leeds, disappeared in April 1971 as part of an NBC reorganisation, and Sheffield buses then no longer ran north of Barnsley. Sheffield JOC and "Tracky" were joint operators on both routes, with Yorkshire Woollen on the 66 and West Riding on the 67. Part of the 66 route became "Tracky" service 109 Barnsley – Dewsbury.

Geoff Kerr

27/02/11 – 21:00

Strictly speaking, Sheffield JOC disappeared in 1970, with the formation of NBC – which is why Yorkshire Woollen received the C Fleet buses (including PD2/ECW and PDR1/Weymann).
Sheffield did continue going north of Barnsley, but on the White Rose Express which eventually faded until the pre-Stagecoach private Yorkshire Traction axed it within the last ten years. Tracky used ex-Lincoln double deck coaches in latter days.

David Oldfield


Yes, I should have written "and Sheffield Corporation buses (which took over the JOC share of the 65/66/67 after its winding up in 1970) no longer ran north of Barnsley on a local stopping service."
Interestingly, I’
ve just come across a photograph taken in 1967 of a Sheffield Corporation Atlantean at Bradford working the 66. This was either working off mileage accumulated on Corporation A routes by C fleet buses or maybe the depot had nothing else to send out.

Geoff Kerr

03/03/11 – 08:50

Geoff, your 1967 Atlantean could have been doing both. I have a picture of PDR2/1/Park Royal 193 (WWB 193G) on a demonstration loan to someone on service 26 to Bradshaw. (I’m sure someone will tell me where.)

David Oldfield

24/08/11 – 08:26

David, Service 26 to Bradshaw – that will be Halifax.
Halifax Corporation/JOC operated Fleetlines but had no Atlanteans – presumably they wanted to try one.

Geoff Kerr

10/12/11 – 12:27

Just a comment regarding the Daimler Fleetline vehicles which were operated by "Tracky" I drove these vehicles during my time at "Tracky" and hated them, the brakes were very poor with absolutely no pedal "Feel", quite often the pedal was "on the floor" and the vehicle was just stopping in it`s own time, very disconcerting I can tell you. The steering was vague, and engine performance left a lot to be desired, this just about summed up the general standard of Daimler vehicles.

David Adshead

11/12/11 – 06:45

David, interesting perspective. I would personally agree with you about the Fleetline but it says a lot about the PRD1 Atlantean that people moved away from it in droves towards the Fleetline – especially "Leyland" companies like Tracky.

David Oldfield

11/12/11 – 06:47

If the YTC Fleetlines suffered from poor engine performance, then somebody in the engineering department must have been tinkering with the Gardner engine speed governors to reduce the output in an attempt to lift the mpg. The 1968 batch had 6LXB engines running up to 1850 rpm, but the 6LX motors installed in the earlier Yorkshire Woollen District Fleetlines were certainly not lacking in power if set correctly, even if the modest 1700 rpm governed speed did somewhat limit maximum road performance.

Roger Cox

15/01/17 – 07:18

Just re-visiting this site and read the comment from David Oldfield and Roger Cox regarding the Daimler Fleetlines, it seems pretty obvious to me that they never drove these horrible buses, one in particular (Fleet No 663) was absolutely dire, right from new it had no power, booked off repeatedly for P**S poor performance, it never got any better, on one journey to Highburton near Huddersfield I had to ask the passengers to get off and wait until I came back down the hill because the horrible thing could not manage the hill with 20 or so passengers on board, after serious complaining the company sorted it, they banned the vehicle from further use on that route.

David Adshead

15/01/17 – 11:01

Its amazing how individual drivers have opinions oceans apart on various bus models. For my money, with considerable experience, the Fleetline (Daimler or later Leyland) was the finest of the first generation of rear engined buses – I always loved them, and can’t remember ever driving a really "duff" one.

Chris Youhill

15/01/17 – 11:15

David A, having read your comments on the Fleetline, I must put myself firmly in the camp of David O, and Roger. Before you ask, yes, I have driven Fleetlines a mile or several thousand, and for me they were a far superior vehicle to the PDR1/1 Atlantean.
Between 1967 & 1975, I was a driver at NGT Percy Main depot, and we had both Atlanteans and Fleetlines. I left Percy Main in 1975, and I have limited experience of later Atlanteans.

Percy Main Atlantean and Fleetline up to 1968:
PDR1/1 Atlantean
CFT 636/644 – 236/244 Weymann
DFT 245/249 – 245/249 Roe
FFT 754/761 – 254/261 Roe
CRG6LX Fleetline
HFT 366/375 – 266/275 Weymann
JFT 276/280 – 276/280 Weymann
AFT 783/789C – 283/289 Alexander
DFT 290/292E – 290 292 Alexander
EFT 693/702F – 293/302 Alexander

If as you say, your Fleetlines wouldn’t pull, then it must have been the way they were set up. The ones we had didn’t have the top speed of an Atlantean, but even with a full load they were more than capable of keeping pace with the traffic, and as for hill climbing, they could literally leave an Atlantean for dead.
The standard of maintenance at P/M was extremely high, nevertheless, breakdowns with an Atlantean were not uncommon, and I lost count of the number of times one packed up on me. I contrast, I can count on one hand with fingers to spare, the amount of time I was let down by a Fleetline.
Unfortunately, when NBC came into being, and the lunatics had taken control of the asylum, despite the vehement protests of NGT, most of our Fleetlines were transferred to East Yorkshire Motor Services.

Ronnie Hoye

15/01/17 – 14:55

Yorkshire Tracky PD’s out of Doncaster could, I suggest, tell the same tale as David A’s Fleetlines: they felt sadly underpowered and unlike Doncaster CVD’s, never got a move on: the drivers seemed reluctant to change down- probably because they daren’t drop the revs, so the most modest railway "flyover" hill turned into "can a do it"? What was that about messing with the governors?


15/01/17 – 16:12

I found this particular thread this morning. My student days were in Birmingham in the mid to late sixties, so after the comparative trials between the Fleetlines and the Atlanteans. It can’t have been just coincidence that they bought Fleetlines and very little else thereafter.

Pete Davies

17/01/17 – 06:56

I suspect decisions to buy Fleetlines rather than Atlanteans were much more often influenced by the availability of Gardner (high torque at low speed and fuel frugal) engines!

Geoff Pullin

FHE 340D_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

17/12/18 – 07:18

All the Atlanteans and Daimlers were fitted with a Semi Automatic gearbox by Self Changing Gears Co Ltd Coventry, they had nothing to do with Daimler other than supplying the gearbox, British Leyland bought the rights to this gearbox and fitted it to all the later BL buses as standard.


18/12/18 – 07:14

I assume David’s comment is in response to David Oldfield’s statement that the PDR1/2 and PDR1/3 Atlanteans had a Daimler gearbox. When the PDR1/2 first appeared, no less an authority than Alan Townsin wrote: "The gearbox is a Dammler direct selection epicyclic unit, as fitted to the Fleetline, with concentric drive." (British Double Deckers Since 1942, published 1965)
A later article in Commercial Motor magazine, describing the problems Nottingham Corporation had with their PDR1/2 Atlanteans, says: "This model, since dropped by Leyland, employed Daimler epicyclic gearboxes in place of the usual SelfChanging Gears epicyclic box, featuring an output drive on the same side as the input drive of the gearbox and thus facilitating the lower axle installation.
Read more at http://archive.commercialmotor.com/

Peter Williamson


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Yorkshire Traction – Leyland Tiger Cub – LHE 506 – 1078

Yorkshire Traction Leyland Tiger Cub
Photo by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Yorkshire Traction
Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/2
Burlingham ‘Seagull’ C41F

If you go back to a previous posting at this link you will be able to compare the difference between this ‘Yorkshire Traction Seagull’ bodywork and the ‘Ribble Seagull’ . The main difference that strikes me is the Horizontal split windscreen and slightly different lighting arrangement. Is this a Mk 2 or Mk 3? Maybe they are both Mk 3s and in the one year age gap improvements to the screen were made. If you know, let me know, leave a comment.

06/03/13 – 16:46

This Seagull is a Mark V. This was available with either front or central entrance and replaced the central entrance Mark III and forward entrance Mark IV. The distinguishing feature of the Mark V from the models it replaced was the single piece rear windscreen with rear quarter lights. The Mark V was produced for the 1957 and 1958 seasons. The windscreen arrangement was optional on the Mark IV, V and VI, either single piece flat screens or horizontally split. For example, Ribble had Mark IV and Mark VI Seagulls with flat screens, whilst North Western, Trent, Wallace Arnold and Yelloway (at least) had Mark V Seagulls with flat screens.

David Williamson


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Saturday 23rd January 2021