100,000 miles up, and still rolling smoothly
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The Leyland Atlantean has been doing yeoman service for London Country since the spring of 1980 and Noel Millier has been watching its progress
FOR its first year in service, with the fleet of London Country Bus Services at its Crawley garage in Sussex, a Charles Roe-bodied Leyland Atlantean AN 68 double-decker was monitored by CM.
Since our first feature in the spring of '81, the bus has remained in service and although the in-depth monitoring that provided the basis for the first report has ceased I have followed its progress by keeping in touch with the garage engineering staff at Crawley.
The normal preventative maintenance rotas employed by London Country have ensurec that the bus has been reliable Looking at the vehicle's record, could find no case of it failing tc complete its scheduled duty in fact, the further I delved intc the record cards the more realised just how little had gone wrong with the bus in its firs 100,000 miles and just how diffi cult it was going to be to finc something to write about it.
Although the Atlantean hat now been superseded by the Leyland Olympian, which is nov meeting LCBS bus require ments, the company still has al most 300 Atlanteans, and these a e likely to form the backbone its fleet for many years to C. me.
The AN68 Atlantean is not a s artling performer although its erformance is undoubtedly c nsistent with what is required f om an urban double-deck bus. Despite the trusty Leyland 680 e gine not meeting new EEC n ise and emission legislation, interior and exterior noise I vels seem completely satis f ctory and make the bus no noi s er than its new generation ablemates.
Fuel consumption remains at a creditable, level — about 8.9 pg and significantly better t an the Leyland National s ngle-deckers in the fleet.
The list of items on the bus
t at required more than routine a ention is short. There was a ater leak caused by a faulty ater union, a new spring ndbrake lever was fitted and a alternator pulley was wrongly Ii ed from new and needed refj
As the bus has got older, it has r ported a couple of engine oil I aks and a leaking flywheel.
hese repairs and adjustments ere carried out during the noral preventative maintenance c ecks.
The brakes have obviously en relined.
What seemed potentially s rious was a reported knock in t e engine but this was found to e the fault of a faulty safety lye rather than an internal enme problem.
The bus looks in good body c ndition and now carries no s gn of the accident that necess tated a visit to the body shop rly in its career.
Inside the bus, Crawley's c eaners have kept the appeara ce well up to standard. There F little sign of vandalism and the moquette-covered seats are showing little sign of wear.
In the driver's cab only the large Leyland steering wheel shows signs of the mileage covered for its rim is badly peeling. The wheel will be replaced in due course when stock becomes available.
The Atlantean is one of 42 buses garaged at the LCBS Crawley garage and is used on local flat-fare C-Line services within the town and out to Horsham, Redhill and Croydon.
Most of this Atlantean's running has been from an old garage at Crawley which had limited engineering facilities (only two pits between 50 vehicles). A brand new Elm garage has since been built next to the LCBS central works. In contrast to the buses' previous base, the new garage has five pits built in the latest swimming pool style. The new garage also has its own paint and body shop and a service lane including a vehicle wash in a separate building.
The reliability of the Atlanteens over the last two years has been such that the Leyland Olympians which are to replace them will have a lot to live up to.