Old Bus Photos

Ribble – Leyland Atlantean – RRN 407 – 1807

RRN 407_2

Ribble Motor Services
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Weymann "Orion" L39/33F

Ribble bought a hundred early Atlanteans with MCW "Orion" bodywork in 1959/60, seventy highbridge and thirty lowbridge. These were followed by a reversion to the Titan model, with ninety five PD3/5’s with Metro-Camell "Orion" fully fronted bodies in 1961/2. These were followed by fourteen lowbridge Atlanteans, including this one, which proved to be the last PDR1/1 to enter the fleet. Subsequently Titans and Lowlanders were bought, followed by fully lowheight PDR1/2 Atlanteans. It was generally thought that Ribble preferred the Titan but used Atlanteans for lowbridge/lowheight vehicles.
The original version of the Atlantean Chassis had a dropped-centre front axle, and a "normal" rear axle. This meant that the lowheight body could be built with "normal" seating at the front, but at the rear a side gangway arrangement was necessary. The last four rows of seats were thus on a raised platform, in four passenger benches, but with the gangway on the nearside – the opposite side from the conventional lowbridge double-decker. This photo was taken in the twilight years of the bus, which is wearing the NBC poppy red livery rather than the traditional cherry red livery used by Ribble for so many years. Despite it’s age it was being one-man-operated on an extremely long journey.
1807 is seen here passing through Troutbeck Bridge on the almost legendary service 555, heading from Keswick to Lancaster. This lengthy route still runs, still operated by double-deckers, passing through the Lake District – surely one of England’s most scenic bus routes.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Don McKeown

05/03/15 – 07:13

Very nice, Don. Thanks for posting. This route used to be the 68 when I first took an interest in buses [in my secondary school days in Lancaster] – I’m not sure when it was renumbered to 555.

Pete Davies

Thanks for posting Don. I know the area fairly well having stayed in Troutbeck Bridge a time or two.
To Pete, If it helps, I have just consulted my Ribble Area No 1 timetable, dated 30th September 1963 and under Table 50 it shows these services :-
Service 68, Keswick to Lancaster
Service 70 Kendal to Lancaster
Service 555 Keswick to Kendal
So 555 was shown in use at that time, be it for only part of the route, with 555 journeys shown separately as either between Ambleside & Keswick or between Kendal and Ambleside, but strangely for the most part they did not connect !

Mike Norris


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Thursday 21st January 2021