Above: R541 in original format for use on Airport services. (Photobus)
Below: R541 as it is today. Seen in Dromod at the Cavan & Leitrim Railway on 3 August 2001. After finishing on Airport service all of R541-545 group were rebuilt to look like standard Rs.
From as early as 1937 the Leyland Titan R Class started as the DUTC bought Leyland chassis and built them under contract at Spa Road Works. On the 20 December 1937 the first of the R Class began operating and were, R1 & R2 worked the route 50 to Crumlin on their day of introduction and these were Leyland Titan TD4s.
By the time CIÉ was formed in 1945 there were 260 Leyland Titans operating. These included Leyland Titan TD4s, TD5s, TD7s, TS11s.
In 1946 a large scale bus building programme commenced and 27 double-decker chassis were purchased. These included 6 Daimler CWD6s , 1 AEC Regent and 20 Queen Mary class Leyland Titan OPD1s. They were imported in knock down form, assembled in Broadstone and bodied at Spa Road Works. These bodies are described in the fleet listings as CIÉ, they were in fact Leyland or Alexander designs. These were numbered R261-280.
In 1948 CIÉ bought 10 Leyland Titan OPD2s numbered R281-290. Also between 1948&1949 imported 100 Leyland Titan PD2s with Leyland bodywork to a Bolton specification and were numbered R291-390
In 1949 CIÉ imported 50 Leyland Titan PD2s and this time to a Capetown specification and numbered R391-440. It is worth noting that many of these above buses replaced the last trams in Dublin right the way through from their introduction in 1937 to the withdrawl of the last trams in 1949.
Between 1950 and 1953 CIÉ introduced 134 Leyland Titan OPD2s with CIÉ bodywork and numbered R441-574. In 1954 CIÉ rebodied the 6 Daimler CWD6s to Leyland Tian OPD2s and renumbered them R575-580. Between 1955 and 1958 CIÉ introduced another 218 Leyland Titan OPD2s with CIÉ bodywork and were numbered R581-798. In 1958 CIÉ introduced another 35 Leyland Titan OPD2s and were numbered R799-833. With this delivery/production of the R Class stopped or did it? See R900 Class .
Most of the R Class enjoyed a long life in service the last of the class being withdrawn in the 1976. R1 the first ever Leyland Titan to operate in Dublin, R389, R506 and R567 have been preserved by the Transport Museum Society of Ireland at either their Howth or Castleruddery sites. R819 which was converted to a tow wagon by CIÉ has also been preserved by the Transport Museum Society of Ireland. R686, R788 and R827 have benn privately preserved.
Below: R741 in Waterford with an SF class Ford Transit parked beside it. (Photobus)