Lean On Me

Leaning

A bus for those who lean to the left

It’s a long time since I’ve seen a leaning bus at Donnybrook, so the sight of Volvo Olympian RV495 (see picture above – click for fullsize version) brought me back many years, to the days when I used to visit the depot as a teenage schoolboy on my bike.

There were a lot of leaners in those days, especially among the dwindling number of halfcab open platform buses (Leyland PD3s with CIE bodywork) which used to lean to the nearside due to the effects of constant weight of people on the platform, or the other wayif they had an extra sping fitted to counter the nearside lean.

Occasional Atlantean leanings would also be seen, but it was the arrival of the Bombardiers with their air-suspension which took it to an art form. They could lean left or right, or occasionally even backwards or forwards.

The picture above was taken this January 2008, and shows RV495 with a pronounced heel, and the RV to our left of it doesn’t look too straight either!

Below is a shot from the late 1970s, showing a less pronounced leaner, D271, normally a regular on my home 14/14A routes, but obviously having recently put in a stint on the lengthy 84.

jp1423a-d271-ra151.jpg

The picture shows just how poor the tan livery looked on the Atlanteans once it had faded – compare D271 to the RA on the right, which was not only 8 years older, but whose last respray had been at least two years prior to the Ds one.

Happy days those, when all I had to worry about was the end of the summer holidays, and the prospect of looking at photos of buses on a computer was pure science fiction!