中巴丹尼士喝采DS1 CMB Dennis Jubilant DS1
Dennis has been one of the main supplier of different franchised bus operators in Hong Kong and playing an important role in the history of Hong Kong Buses. Backed to 1920s, Dennis already exported it product to Hong Kong and further new buses joined KMB fleet in 1950s. Dennis was quitted from the Hong Kong bus market after the sole Loline, the first double decker of CMB, entered service in 1962 and in fact, bus manufacturing was no longer a part of Dennis business afterwards until the late 1970s.
Dennis finally backed to the bus manufacturing market with the Dominator, a rear-engined chassis. Before the first Dominator to be delivered to Hong Kong for evaluation, KMB already acquired a batch of 4 front-engined designed Jubilant bodied with their own designed bodywork and entered service in 1977 on cross-harbour tunnel route 103.
Though the Dominator demonstrator started evaluation in CMB soon after the commissioned of the Jubilant, both KMB and CMB placed order for the Jubilant instead of the more advanced Dominator until the start of the era of 3-axle bus model in early 1980s. Both operators tend to introduce front-engined model that suit for One-Man Operation after a valuable lesson learnt from the Fleetline, the first generation rear-engined model, even the source of new buses was limited. As a result, the Jubilant and it competitor the Leyland Victory Mk 2 were designed for the Hong Kong market. In fact, the Victory already out numbered the Jubilant with total 716 samples running in Hong Kong against the latter with 394 built for Hong Kong and a demonstrator tested in South Africa with BUSAF bodywork.
The bodywork fitted on the production Jubilant was different from the prototype, KMB chosen the Walter Alexander bodywork first and then the kits from Duple Metsec while all CMB Jubilant bodied with the CB-type bodywork from Alexander. Except the air conditioned demonstrator of KMB, all Jubilant completed their bodyworks locally. As there is a chapter about the KMB Jubilant, the remaining section would be moved to the CMB Jubilant.
CMB ordered a batch of 30 Jubilant and joined the fleet in 1980 with DS-class as fleet number. Dennis Jubilant was stationed at the Eastern part of the Island and mainly serving on route 8 and 82, in contrast to the Victory serving on the Southern side of the Island. As the Fleetline used to serve route 2 between Shau Kei Wan and Macau Ferry gradually withdraw from the fleet just before the end of the franchise of CMB, some of the Dennis Jubilant were then transferred to route 2 as a replacement. DS14(CE1170) was forced to retired after catching fire at the Island Eastern Corridor in 1993 while the remaining Jubilant sold to NWFB after the end of the franchise of CMB on 1 Sep., 1998. The Jubilant did not serve with NWFB long and finally replaced by the brand new fleet purchased before the end of 1998.
Fortunately, the first of the fleet (DS1/CD2198) was preserved by along with several ex-CMB fleet members as an exhibit of the proposed Bus Museum. To go one step further, a Volvo Super Olympian (fleet no. 5083) entered service in 2001 was registered with the original registration number of DS1. It was pity that the Government did not turn on a green light for the Bus Museum idea and DS1 was finally sold to the Hong Kong Transport Society. Since 2010, Hong Kong Transport Society showing this believed to be the only Jubilant survived in the world to the participants of the Hong Kong Bus Rally.
DS1 received a fully repaint of CMB livery in 2012 and it is looking forward to seeing further maintenance and tidy up works of the compartment can be carried out soon and showing a better look of DS1.
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