10 March 2021
IRM announces the launch of Leyland Olympian Dublin Bus RH Class buses from Britbus in the iconic City Swift livery.
Following the sell-out success of a similar commission in Railink Dublin Bus livery, Irish Railway Models (IRM) has gone back to Britbus and commissioned a new run of Dublin Bus double deckers. This time the focus is on a more mainstream model in the wonderfully attractive ‘City Swift’ livery of the 1990s on the Leyland Olympian chassis.
As IRM has seen with its first double decker model, there is a healthy demand for Irish themed vehicles in 1/76 scale for model railway layouts and/or collections. This will lead IRM to offer more Irish themed commissions in the future, as well as their own tooling on new model vehicles in the long term.
Their second commission from Britbus is of the popular Olympian buses that began operating in Dublin in 1990. They were retired from fleet service in 2012 but continued in tours services for several more years and can still be seen today in Ireland, the UK and beyond in service with private operators.
The Olympian chassis first debuted for Dublin bus as a Leyland product in 1990, featuring a Cummins L10 engine and replaced the then aging Leyland Atlantean buses produced at CIE (later Van Hool McArdle) Spa Road Works in Inchicore. A total of 175 of the Leyland RH class Olympian buses would be delivered to Dublin bus over the next three years, with the last delivery in 1993 being among the very last Leyland badged buses ever produced before the Volvo take over.
When delivered, the vast majority of these buses carried the then fleet standard livery of two-tone green with orange stripe, with others arriving in Wedding Bus livery or soon gaining attractive liveries for advertisements such as the EU and household name products.
In 1993 the City Swift concept was born, which sought to introduce single deck buses and operate higher frequency services to key routes in the city, beginning with route 39. The concept proved highly successful, and soon double deck buses were required to increase capacity and flexibility. This included new deliveries of Olympian double deckers from 1995 and later repaints of existing buses including the RH class in the mid/late 1990s.
IRM have depicted two of these RH Class Leyland buses repainted into this attractive livery in late 1990s early 2000s condition. City Swift livery has never previously been available on the Leyland model of this tooling and the previous release of the later Volvo bus in this livery has been long sold out and now attracts a high premium among collectors. They also feature distinct features like black painted bumpers and both styles of destination blind, depending on model.
RH70 is a 1991 registered Leyland Olympian which spent its career at Conyngham Road Depot operating a variety of routes out of the garage before being withdrawn and sold in 2005. On IRM’s model it is operating the now defunct 51B service to the City Centre via Clondalkin Village. It features the later style of illuminous numbering and lettering on the front destination blind.
RH126 was the first of the 1992 batch delivered to Dublin Bus for Alexanders in Mallusk, County Antrim. IRM’s model depicts Summerhill Depot based RH126 repainted into City Swift operating on the also now defunct 13A to Merrion Square via Coultry, featuring the memorable blue background for the 13A number on the front scroll with white number and text. RH126 was later repainted with grey bumpers but our model depicts its earlier guise with black bumpers. Both models had also lost their Leyland front badges before gaining City Swift branding which is depicted on our models too.
Development of these models began as the Railink buses were delivered in Autumn 2020, with production now complete and the models in stock. Price is €59.99/£51.50 each and both models are strictly limited to just 252 pieces each.
They are available to purchase now via the IRM website, www.irishrailwaymodels.co.uk for UK customers (with no additional VAT/Duty fees), www.irishrailwaymodels.com for rest of world.