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U Class




In the 1950s CIÉ went away from half-cab front engined single-deckers to underfloored engined single-deckers. In 1953 they put on trial a Leyland Royal Tiger from Southdown in Brighton. After the trial CIÉ decided to buy 88 of these Royal Tigers. U1-50 were to the same design as the bus borrowed from Southdown and were built with Harrington bodies and were CIÉ's only ever centre entrance coaches. They were used on touring duties. Delivery took quite some time with U1-6 arriving in July and August 1954, U7-44 from May to August 1955 and U45-50 in June 1956. All were in a special yellow and grey livery throughout their working lives apart from six which were repainted into blue and cream for Airport service in 1964, replacing Titans R541-546.

U51-88 were built as buses and all were delivered in 1954. U51-70 were used on provincial services and U71-88 were used on Dublin City Services. They had rear entrances like the earlier P class Tigers. These had a destination display but the Dublin versions also had a route number display. The provincial ones had ladders at the back to reach the roof rack. In the early to mid 1960s U86 was converted to front entrance and subsequently all others in the U51-88 group were converted. Between 1965 and 1969 U51-54, U56-57, U59-61, U65-67, U70-71, U73, U76-85, U87-88 had a centre exit door added and these had their fuel tanks moved behind the rear axle. When the Great Northern Railway Board was dissolved in 1958 U225-228 were given to CIÉ however these had Saunders Roe bodywork. They operated from Donnybrook and were withdrawn in 1972. They were all withdrawn in the early to mid 1970s.

U10 was bought by the Transport Museum Society of Ireland.