ZY1684 was an AEC Regal IV new to Great Northern Railway (Ireland) in 1956, numbered 344. It had a PRV/GNR DP40R body, assembled and finished at the GNR works at Dundalk on Park Royal frames. It was transferred to CIE ownership in late 1958 and received an AU prefix to the GNR fleet number.
Many of the ex GNR(I) AEC Regal IVs had an interesting history under CIE ownership and this was one of them. Sam Simpson's excellent book "Great Northern Railway of Ireland Motor Services 1925-1958" gives full details, but in essence CIE needed more coaches to cater for an increase in foreign tourists, particularly from the United States. They therefore took 12 of the former GNR Regal IVs into Broadstone and Spa Road works, fully overhauled them, and fitted them with 34 full luxury seats removed from CIE's River Class coaches. They were painted into the CIE tour bus livery of sunflower and lavender, and served in this role until 1962. At that stage it was decided to convert all the rear entrance Regal IVs to front entrance, in preparation for one man operation and this was done at Spa Road works, Dublin, with the whole class becoming B45F with air operated twin leaf entrance doors, in which condition it appears in the photograph. Withdrawn in 1971 it then passed in 1973 to Bord Na Mona, the Irish Turf Board, as a rail coach!
Photo taken by Trevor Leach, July 1964, Ballyshannon CIE depot
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