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Bus Éireann/Irish Bus

On the 20th January Bus Éireann was formed and commenced trading on 1st February 1987. Bus Éireann suffered heavy losses in its first year because of low air fares and stiff opostion to OPO. It took the Labour Court till September to reach an agreement. State subvention was cut by 34% to under 4% of 1987s total receipts, well below Dublin Bus' 18%. However Expressway trafic just grew and grew by 6% between 1987 and 1993.

When it was formed Bus Éireann had only 18 coaches which met the standards for Expressway. So over the next few years Bus Éireann set about buying new coaches. Namely 40 Leyland Tigers the TE class, 66 DAF MB230LT615s the PD class and 60 second-hand Leyland Tigers the PL class. By 1993 it could boast 202 coaches that met the standards, all with air suspension, automatic transmission, air conditioning, adjustable seating as standard. Also in 1993 they bought 10 DAF SB220 single-deckers for Cork City Services the DA class and 20 Van Hool Alizee coaches for CIÉ Tours International the DVH class.

On the school bus front Bus Éireann aquired manily second-hand buses, 104 from Ulsterbus, 130 ex Singapore which now at over 320 and 101 from the Ministry of Defence in the UK. They also converted over 90 of their older Expressway vehicles and gave contracts to private operators aswell.

Between 1994 and 1998 Bus Éireann took delivery of 147* Volvo B10M-62s with Caetano bodywork for Expressway dutes, the VC class (*VC67 was destroyed by fire in June 2001 it is unclear whether she will return to service and if not she will be the first of the class to go). In the early to mid 90s Bus Éireann withdrew the last of the Van Hool Atlanteans from regular service however 2 were kept on for Tours work in Cork and Limerick and only Cork City tour now operates using D795. One of the Atlanteans with CIÉ bodywork is in a yard somwhere in county Sligo this is DF454.

In 1996 Bus Éireann took delivery of the first of the now over 120 strong fleet of Volvo B10M-62s with Plaxton bodywork for use on Expressway services. They continues to be delivered year after year including this year 2001, all of the class of are leased except for 47 which were bought in 2000, all these coaches are the VP class.In 1997 Bus Éireann took delivery of 9 Volvo B10Bs with Wrights bodywork for Cork and Limerick to replace the 1980s KD Bombardier double-deckers on certain routes the VW class. In 1997 also took delivery of the first of a 30 strong fleet of Volvo B10BLE single-deckers with Wrights bodywork. It was Bus Éireann's first low-floor single-decker the VWL class. VWL2-11 were delivered in 1999 and VWL101-119 in 2000.

Between 1998 and 2000 Bus Éireann took delivery of 70 Scania Irizar City Century coaches for Expressway work and all of the class are leased, the SI class. In 1999 after many years Bus Éireann finally bought 12 Dennis Darts with Plaxton dual-door bodywork, the DP class. In 1999 CIÉ Tours International took delivery of 33 Mercedes Hispano bodied O404s however many are now used on Expressway duties. In 1999 Bus Éireann also withdrew the last KD Bombardier double-decker from service KD184, however thankfully it is now owned by the Kells Transport Museum.

In 2000 Bus Éireann got 22 leased Dennis Darts with Plaxton, Wright and East Lancs bodywork to speed up withdrawl of the KC class single-deckers the DPL class. In 2000 Bus Éireann took delivery of 21 Dennis Darts with Plaxton single-door bodywork for Waterford, the DPC class. In 2000 Bus Éireann took delivery of 55 Volvo B7Rs with Plaxton bodywork for commuter services, the VR class. In 2000 Bus Éireann took delivery of 35 DAF SB120s with Wright bodywork for rural services (DWR class) and city services (DWM class). Also in 2000 Bus Éireann took delivery of 20 Mercedes Citaro single-deckers for city services in Limerick & Galway, the MC class.

In 2001 CIÉ took delivery of 27 Scania Caetano City Century coaches for tours work and are very similar to the SI class however the SC class is owned and SI class is leased. Currently Bus Éireann is taking delivery of 15 Volvo B10M-62s with Caetano Enigma bodywork these follow on the earlier VC class.


This page will be updated as Bus Éireann's history grows.

Last updated: 8 September 2001