R600 - R602
The early R "Standards" were built in small batches of 50 or less between 1948 and 1955, and were OPD2/1s. A continuous production of double deckers started in late 1955, with 237 more "Standards", all except 3 were OPD2/10s, followed by 152 RAs. These were primarily for replacement of the TD4/5/7s, R1 - R260, including the 4 TS11 double deckers as well as AEC Regents AR1-11. But they also allowed expansion of the fleet, and replacement of some GNR buses, which were absorbed by CIE in 1958.
The first 6 OPD2/10s went to Clontarf in November 1955. These were R597 - 602. They were allocated to routes 54/54a, replacing 1938 vintage TD4s. R597-599 are recorded as entering service on 9 November, with R600-602 following on 17 November. The next 6 were in service from 1 December, R603-608, but these were in Ringsend for routes 22/22a. Ringsend got 20 more of these in January 1956, indeed Ringsend was to be the dominant garage for new R600s in 1956.
As happened quite a bit in those, there were many transfers between garages. First was that the 22/22a was converted to RA class in summer 1959 and R603-611 were moved to Clontarf. Some months later, at the end of 1959, all remaining TD5s/7s in Cork, buses dating from 1940/41, were withdrawn and replaced by later Rs which were in the Dublin fleet. As part of this, R597-599 were moved from Clontarf to Cork.
So instead of R597-602 we now had the batch R600-611 in Clontarf. The common link was the trio R600-602. These buses were to stay in Clontarf until December 1974 when the Van Hool bodied AN68 Atlanteans arrived, a total of 19 years in Clontarf.
Route allocations changed around a bit. When the three R590s went to Cork, the route 54 allocation was broken up. R601 was already allocated to route 44a since 1958, where it was working at the time beside some newer R700s. When the fleet had settled down by early 1961, R600-603 were on the 44a. R610/1 were on the 20, while most of R604-609 were routes 42a/b. A change in route allocation early in 1963 kept R601 on the 44a, along with R603 606 611, while R600 602 moved to 42a/b, where they joined R605/7/8. R604 was on the 31 and R609 610 on the 20. The allocations to the 42a/b and 44a stayed in place for more than a decade, except for R611 being moved to Galway in November 1968.
R601 was one of the experimental blue and cream buses in July 1961. There were 6, one in each Dublin garage except Donnybrook, and two in Cork. From December 1961 on, the fleet was repainted to this livery, replacing traditional green.
When the Van Hools arrived in Clontarf, the R600s had reached the end of their working lives. However, there were short term needs in Conyngham Road and Summerhill, so some R600s were transferred R600-603 605 and some higher number R600s moved to C Road, while R606 610 and two others went to Summerhill. R 601 is recorded as withdrawn in March 1975, with R600 602 following in April 1975.
So these three buses worked from Clontarf for 229 months, but had to see out their last three or four months in the very unfamiliar territory of Conyngham Rd. They worked mainly peak extras on route 25 to Lucan, and Heuston Station train connection services.
Here are 9 photos of these buses that capture the range of years in which they operated in Clontarf.
Three photos of R600, all on route 42a, all in green livery. All would date from the period 1963 to 1966.
First one is in Beresford Place
Next is at Edenmore terminus
Next is in the short period in 1966 in which city termini were reversed, and these routes came inbound to Eden Quay, crossed O'Connell Bridge to pick up in Burgh Quay and outbound via Butt Bridge. More interesting is that although the bus is still in green livery it has the "broken wheel" logo. This logo dates from 1963, about two years after the livery change started. It was unusual for it to be applied other than with a repaint, making this photo quite significant.
Now we come to R601. First two photos on 44a in Amiens St. and Beresford Place (rear) were taken in 1961 shortly after this bus was painted in the then experimental livery of blue and cream.
Next photo is reversing at 44a terminus at Mount Prospect Ave./Drive in September 1973 only a week or so before the R600s were replaced by R900s on route 44a. At this stage R601 had been on this route for about 15 years.
For its last 15 months in Clontarf (October 1973 to December 1974) R601 was mainly working route 30, where this photo was taken at the Marlboro St. terminus.
The two photos of R602 also date from the 1963 to 1966 period, based on route operated and livery.
First is an inbound working on 42a at Donnycarney Church.
Next is dressed as 42b at the Eden Quay terminus