The Classic Irish Buses website

by Shane Conway

Site set up February 2001, and last updated on 17th January 2018

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80 years ago, on Saturday October 16th 1937, the Great Northern Railway placed its first double deck bus into service. ZC 2576 was a Park Royal H30/26R bodied AEC Regent which entered service on the route from Eden Quay to Howth, via Killester and Raheny, on a trial basis. On the following Monday, sister bus ZC 2577 also took to the roads on the same route. Apart from a trio of privately owned AEC NS types which ran briefly in the late 1920s, these Regents were the first Dublin based double deckers, some two months ahead of the first Dublin United Leyland TD4s. 62 and 63 were the first of an eventual fleet of 39 AEC Regents bought by the GNR. 63 was painted in a non-standard livery, with extra cream around the lower windows. These two pioneers faded out of active service in July 1956, and sadly neither survived into the then fledgling era of Irish bus preservation. (Photos courtesy of the Bob Laird collection).

What's new? (all updates for the last three months)

12th January 2018: CIE 1956 - 61 page updated (RA34 and RA98 allocations updated)

17th January 2018: CIE 1945 - 50 page updated (AR2 - 11 w/d dates corrected)

Welcome to my website, the online home of classic Irish buses and coaches. I'm Shane Conway and my original (woeful) attempt at setting up the predecessor of this site was to initially record the passing of the last Dublin Bus Bombardier KD class deckers in January 2001. My interest in the topic of this website began with the wonderful (and much missed) CIE bodied Leyland Titan OPD2/10s allocated to Clontarf garage on the north side of Dublin Bay in the mid 1960s, mainly those working on routes 31 and 32, which passed within a quarter mile of my then front door.

This site is intended to be as definitive a history as possible of some of the various bus and coach fleets which have graced the roads of Ireland in the past. From the 1920s buses which started the replacement of Dublin's original trams, up to the Leyland and Volvo Olympians of Dublin Bus, and the thousands of buses in between, including those of Ulsterbus and their predecessors, Lough Swilly, Belfast Corporation and the various versions of Leylands operated by CIE all over Ireland over many decades, all have their place on this site, in the form of detailed fleet histories. Complementing these pages are chassis lists of Bristols, AECs and postwar Leylands in Ireland, some "light reading" travelogue pages of some of the places I've visited since the 1980s, a few photo collections, and also a couple of miscellaneous pages where some of our correspondent's pictures can be found. There are also sister sites covering London's Routemasters, the Isle of Man, and the 1960s Farina styled Morris Oxford and Austin Cambridge cars.

So, welcome aboard, I hope you will find something of interest as we journey down memory lane and recall Irish and Manx buses of yesteryear. If you like the site, tell others, if there's a mistake, tell me. Updates and corrections to the text, additional photo contributions and info on links to any other Irish transport websites are always welcome, even though it may take me a while to actually get round to using them.

Quick links guide to this site

Republic of Ireland buses and coaches:

Northern Ireland buses and coaches:

Chassis list summaries of Irish owned buses and coaches:

Manx buses and coaches:

British and overseas buses and coaches:

Classic cars, trucks and vans:

Thanks to the following people for their contributions:

Dick Gilbert, without whose help this website would not exist.

The various photographers who's work is scattered around this site.

Richard Davis for additional notes on the fate of some Manx buses.

Patrizio Castelli for additional information on buses in Rome

Please note that ALL photos (especially those by other photographers) on this site are strictly copyright, and that the material is considered suitable for viewing by all ages. While every effort has been made to ensure the information listed on the various pages is as correct or accurate as possible, updates or corrections to any mistakes are welcome.

Other (mainly) Irish transport websites

General bus interest

Classic Irish Buses    Classic Manx Buses    Routemasters    Email    Photo gallery    COMPLETE SITE MENU    Links    Morris Oxford car site    Henry's Coastal Tours    Classic Buses Website