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D Class Leland Atlantean PDR1s

Above: D72, a single-door example, is seen in Galway garage. (Shane Conway)

In November 1966 CIE introduced the Leyland Atlantean to its fleet. The first order consisted of 341 vehicles. All were CIE bodied Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1A and were called the standard Ds. D1-218 were single-door with 78 seats and until the AV class of 2000 were the last buses to be delivered without a centre door. D219 onwards were dual-door which became standard policy. They entered in the blue&cream livery of the 1960s but from 1974 onwards they gained the very ugly tan/orange colour livery and in 1987 remaining examples gained the two-tone green livery of Dublin Bus and red&white livery of Bus Éireann, this was much better than the tan livery. Originally they were powered by the Leyland 0600 engine but this engine became very unreliable engine. Later on the buses were powered by the 0680 engine, however the Atlantean was never a reliable design of bus and many problems arose such as premature failure of fuel pumps, power steering rams, fluid clutch, engine overheating, alternators and starters to name but a few. From the 1970s CIE decided to replace the Leyland engines with Cummins, DAF and General Motors engines which were more reliable. Altogether 602 of these buses were built between 1966 and 1974. All were withdrawn from service by 1995 but 2 survive sightseeing tour buses in Dublin and Limerick.

Any of the D class that were re-engined were reclassified the DF class. As stated above many of the D/DF class were converted to open-top and painted in green&cream tours livery.

D44 has been preserved by the Transport Museum Society of Ireland at either Howth. D316, DF415, DF464, DF471 are all privately preserved. DF450 is the Ghost Bus tour bus in Dublin and D454 is with Bus Éireann in Limerick.

Above: D518, a dual-door example, is seen in UCD, Belfield. (Shane Conway)

Below: D44 in the National Transport Museum on 6 July 2002.strong>