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R900 Class

 

Above: Seen on Eden Quay on the 42 to Malahide is R917. In the background under the Loop Line bridge a C class Leopard can be seen. (Photobus)

In 1964/65 CIÉ was faced with a shortage of double-deckers. Production of the standard Titans was finished and Spa Road was so busy building C Class Leopards that it could not build any new double-deckers.

Many of the P Class Tigers of the early 1950s were being taken out of service as the Leopards entered service and much of the mechanical equipment was in great condition. So CIÉ sent the very best to the former GNR(I) Dundalk Works and it was here that they put together Leyland Chassis with Park Royal bodies to form 26 "new" double-deckers numbered R901-926. The reason for the class not following on from the last standard Titan R833 was because they were so different in most aspects.

Their plan of using gearboxes and other units from the Tigers made good sense at the time but by the late 1970s they were the last manual-gearbox double-deckers in the DCS fleet and became very unpopular with drivers. The entire fleet spent its last 6 years at Clontarf Garage.

When the KD Class Bombardier double-deckers came along in 1981 all of the R900 Class were withdrawn from service and this left the slightly older but semi-automatic RA Class to linger on for 9 more months.

R911 & R920 have been preserved by the Transport Museum Society of Ireland at either Howth or Castleruddery. R913 is preserved by the Kells Transport Museum.

Below: R913 seen at Dublin Port on a run organised by the Kells Transport Museum on Saturday 18 August 2001.