The Leyland Titan Bus


LEYLAND TITAN R1 1937-1956

To challenge growing numbers of private buses serving areas not reached by trams, the DUTC opened its first bus service (Eden Quay to Killester) in July 1925. A large network was built up by 1936, when the company had a legally protected transport monopoly and a new management team that preferred buses to trams. During 1938-1941, 220 diesel Leyland Titans replaced an equal number of trams. All but the first two of these buses were built at Spa Road, Inchicore.

R1 entered service on the 50 (Crumlin) route on 20th December 1937. From 1940, it worked from Clontarf Garage until withdrawal on 30th Sept. 1956. Sponsored by Bowmaker Bank to mark its own 50 years in business, the bus was rebuilt in 1987 and made a special 50th anniversary run to Crumlin on 20th December - a journey repeated ten years later for its diamond jubilee. In 1997, the bus was re-upholstered with the aid of a grant from the Heritage Council.

R1 cost £2,160.80 (d2,744.21) in 1937 and is the oldest known Irish double-deck bus. The first bus to be officially preserved in Ireland, it has appeared in films, attended civic functions, taken part in rallies and features in numerous transport history textbooks. It is a direct link with the long-vanished Dublin of penny fares - and Bang-Bang, who often jumped aboard as it passed through the Liberties.

R1's livery of Audley green main panels, olive roof and window surrounds, with cream waist and cantrail panels, all lined out, was used from 1935 to 1941. The bus has semaphore trafficators, predecessors of today's flashing indicators. When alighting, passengers overlooked by the conductor were expected to place their fares in the honesty (Misfares) box on the platform.

© Dublin City Public Libraries

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