THE EARLY LIMERICK DOUBLE DECKERS
With the return of double deckers to Limerick (March 2016) it is worth looking at the early double deck involvement in Limerick.
GSR, which already had many double deckers in Cork, procured 10 new TD7s in 1940. These were built by DUTC to the same body style as their own.
The first 7 (824 - 830, later CIE R251 - 257) went to Cork, with Cork registrations. The last 3 (831 - 833, later CIE R258 - 260) went to Limerick, with Limerick registrations, being the first double deckers in that city.
There were two city routes in the immediate postwar timetable, and presumably these were the routes on which the double deckers were used. They ran from Kileely to Janesboro and from Ballinacurra to Roses Ave. Each route ran every 20 min and required two buses, so there was some single deck involvement.
In 1948, with a transfer of 20 TD5s to Cork following delivery of Boltons to Dublin, 4 of the GSR TD7s were moved to Limerick from Cork. These were R254 - 257. The 7 TD7s were the only double deckers in Limerick for the next decade, and they were used on a somewhat expanded city network.
There were two significant developments in the late 1950s/early 1960s. First was the introduction of newer Rs with platform doors for provincial services. Second was the replacement of the TD7s on city services.
Brand new R705 - 707 went to Limerick in January 1957 for the Shannon Airport route. They were replaced later that year by R768 - 770, which were fitted with platform doors. With the expansion of Shannon Industrial Estate, bus services were introduced from many parts of Counties Limerick, Clare and Tipperary. By 1962, there were 9 double deckers for these services (R766 - 773 797).The 6 transferred from Dublin had not got doors originally, but they were fitted for the Limerick routes.
The aging TD7s were replaced around turn of year 1959/60 by R639 - 645, buses dating from 1956 which had been in Dublin service. Unusually, the TD7s were transferred to Dublin, where they worked in either Clontarf (R254/5) or Summerhill (R256 - 260) for between two and eight months before final withdrawal.
Limerick also got re-engined Queen Marys R261 280 in 1962 for city services. The fleet was expanded by more Rs with platform doors in mid-1960s, then new D class Atlanteans in 1967, and perhaps most surprisingly, by 6 Boltons also in 1967. The double deck fleet in Limerick peaked at 35 around 1970, and was gradually reduced throughout the following decades, with the last KD withdrawn in 1996.
GSR 831 (later R258) in Limerick city service
832 (later R259) on the Roses Ave. - Ballinacurra route in GSR days
Same bus on same route, different company, different livery. It is now R259 of CIE. Date is 1 August 1946.
R257, a Cork registered bus, which was moved to Limerick in 1948, worked out of Summerhill for about two months in early 1960. Here seen on cross city route 19.