MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: (Dublin, 1997) Bombardier KD80

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week’s classic takes us back to the 1990s . .

kd80

The Bombardier KD-type was the classic Irish double-decker of the 1980s, and radically different from anything that had been in the fleet before, or indeed, since.

Based on an integral design with General Motors Detroit Diesel engine, Allison transmission, and body built in Shannon by Bombardier, then much lesser known in European public transport circles than it is today, 366 of these buses ran on the streets of Dublin, Cork and Limerick (with occasional forays to Waterford and Galway) from May 1981 until December 2000.

KD80, delivered towards the end of 1981, is one of the first batch of Bombardiers allocated to Summerhill Garage, replacing elderly Leyland Titan PD3s dating from 1960, including by chance RA80, which itself had replaced a prewar TD type Titan R80 at the same depot two decades earlier.

KD80 stayed at Summerhill for all of its life, and worked the haevily used Airport routes 41/41A/41B as well as the lengthy 33 and the 20B, with less frequent outings on the cross-city 16/16A, which passed from Atlantean to Olympian operation without ever wholly embracing the KD type.

KD80 was withdrawn in the late 1990s, but Summerhill was to be the last depot to operate Bombardiers in regular service (from its later batches) in December 2000, on routes including the 20B.

ONE IN TWELVE – Lost Location

To celebrate the 12th anniversary of the founding of the site, every day during November I’ll be bringing you one of my favourite photos from the past 12 years.

Today we look at a picture taken 11 years ago which can never be recreated – not only is the bus long gone, but the location itself has vanished forever.

Click on any picture for the fullsize version.

Bombardier KD105 parked on the now vanished ramp up to Connolly Station.

Bombardier KD105 parked on the now vanished ramp up to Connolly Station

When this site first started back in 1996, virtually the entire fleet of 366 Bombardier/GM double-deckers were still in service with Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann, and the first 4 years or so of the site recorded their steady decline and eventual scrapping.

This picture, taken in 1997, shows a typical Dublin KD – Clontarf’s KD105 – in the two-tone green livery in which they ran all of their lives, the only modification being the introduction of a thin orange band and logo when Dublin Bus devolved from CIE.

This picture, taken on a wet Friday in May, reminds me of how useful the ramp up to Connolly Station was as a location for layovers. Behind the KD are a couple of Bus Eireann vehicles, including a VC which would probably still be in service today. The location no longer exists – the ramp was levelled and removed in 2002 to make way for the new LUAS Red Line tramway station which opened in 2004.

KD105 is here resting on duty 3/27B – it had been delivered new to Clontarf in February 1982, and was one of the batch which replaced the last open platform Leyland PD3 buses at that garage.