Quick-Pic: Hydrogen trial buses arrive in RoI [04Jan2021]

The three Hydrogen-electric powered double-deck bus intended for Bus Eireann have arrived in the Republic, and are currently at a dealer compound for inspection prior to delivery to the operator.

Numbered HWD1-3, the buses will be used in service on route 103 between Dublin and Ashbourne / Ratoath.

The vehicles carry the new standard Transport For Ireland (TFI) livery of green and yellow, which will roll out on new vehicles across all PSO (Public-service operation) supported operators on new deliveries, as well as on Euro-6 compliant buses in existing fleets.

Inspection, testing and training will be needed before these buses can enter service, and with current COVID restrictions this may take longer than usual.

Ireland’s National transport Authority are also taking delivery of low-emission plug-in hybrid ADL double-deckers, also due to start entering service soon – an initial batch of 100 (split 74/26 between Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann) with a follow-on order for 180 later in the year.

The NTA have also invited tenders for a framework allowing supply of up to 600 zero emission battery-electric double-decks over the next five years.

Above and below: HWD1-3 the hydrogen-electric buses awaiting inspection in Dublin, seen in the new TFI livery.

Hydrogen-electric powered double-deck bus in Dublin.

Quick-Pic:  London Comes To Cavan. [21Aug2017]

Bus Eireann’s 109 service from Dublin to Kells and Cavan is one of the most frequent and heavily used long distance commuter run, with departures every 15 mins in peak and every 30 mins all day. It uses a wide variety of vehicles – a core allocation of high spec 83 seat double-deck coaches (LD class) supplemented by single-deck coaches, and some hire-ins from private operators.

Almost anything can turn up at peak hours, and this week has seen an interesting hire-in from Ronnie Bruen of Dublin, in the form of a newly imported secondhand Volvo B7TL / ALX400 formerly of Arriva South London, and still wearing London colours and logos, complete with a full set of TFL interior notices!

This bus has worked the 6pm motorway express to Cavan at least two nights this week – at 120km / 70 miles a pretty long journey for a bus more recently used to working the 176 between Penge and Tottenham Court Road.

Former VLA26 ( LJ53BCZ now 03D121448) is seen here at Kells, Co. Meath, about 2 hours into the 2h40m journey on Monday 21st Aug 2017.  Note the rear display !

[08Feb2017]  Quick-Pic:  AV on 109

17 year old ex-Dublin Bus AV47, a year 2000 Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 worked the 1800 Bus Éireann 109 service from Wilton Terrace (Dublin) to Cavan today, hired in from a private operator to cover for unavailability of a regular vehicle or driver.

While ex DB deckers occasionally show up on the shorter BE commuter services, the 100km to Cavan represents quite a journey for an essentially city spec decker.

It is seen here at Kells, Co. Meath.

QUICK-PIC:  VR34 on rural service 447 [29Dec2016]

Bus Eireann’s once a week services in rural areas can often be a great place to find older vehicles still in service, as they are frequently interworked with school services using buses or coaches long since retired from frontline service.

The VR class (Volvo B7R Plaxton) entered service in 2000 on commuter routes, but have since been replaced on these duties by larger or newer coaches, and can now be found dotted around the country on school work.

Here VR34 is seen operating in normal service on route 447,  which links Finea to Mullingar through rural Westmeath. The service operates on Thursdays only, and uses buses from the Longford school fleet – SI 59 has also been seen on this service in recent weeks.

The location of the photo is on the R394 about halfway between Finea and Castlepollard.   1015am on Thursday 29th December 2016. 

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Up The Junction (London, 1984)

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

This week we jump back in time to 1984 in London . .


It’s summer 1984, back in the days when “the man on the Clapham omnibus” was more likely to be on the 19 than the 88!  The cut-back of route 19 to Battersea Bridge a few years later always seemed a particularly retrograde step, with the route terminating in the middle of nowhere rather than serving the bustling commercial centre and massive railway interchange of Clapham Junction.

Here we see RM570 at Clapham Junction,  heading northbound (the next stop would be beside the railway station itself).

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Marked In (Dublin, 1981)

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

This week we jump back in time to 1981 in Dublin . ..


Off all of the changes of livery on the Dublin bus scene over the years, possibly one of the slowest was the move away from the blue & cream livery for double-deckers, and into allover tan, fleetwide.  The first new buses in tan (orange) arrived in late 1974 (the VanHool AN68 Atlanteans) and by early 1975 repaints of the 602 earlier PDR1 Atlanteans had started.

But the repainting, which coincided with BMS full body overhauls at Inchicore Railway Works, was very slow paced, unlike today, when the entire fleet is repainted on a three-year cycle. By the time that the last D in Dublin was repainted into tan, there were already hundreds of KD-class Bombardiers on the road in the new two-tone green livery, so the tan never wholly ruled the roost. There were blue & cream halfcabs (PD3s) on the road until April 1982, and the last handful of Ds in the old livery lasted a few months beyond that in Dublin (and even longer in provincial cities).

D568 was one of the last to wear the old livery in Dublin, and is seen here in 1981, about a year before it finally got an overhaul and repaint.

At this point, the bus was 7 years old, but the blue & cream was very effective at hiding wear and tear and everyday scuffs (whereas the new tan livery tended to age quickly and look tired after a short period). As one off the final batch of PDR1s, this bus was delivered in the final version of the blue & cream, without the between decks stripe (new buses from D555 onwards did not have it, and many earlier buses lost it on repaint if they were lucky enough to have a blue & cream overhaul/repaint before the dreadful tan became standard).

Throughout this time, D568 spent pretty much all of its time on the 22 route, and it can be seen that 7 years marked in on the same route has faded the destination blinds to the point that they are almost unreadable.

The intermediate blind is correctly set for BAILE PHIB / CARNAN and as this blind served both directions, it was the most faded of the lot, as the ultimate destinations were at least only displayed 505 of the time, while the journeys would also alternate between 22 and 22A frequently, helping preserve the number blind.  If this bus had been visiting any other route on the day of this picture, the blinds would probably have been crisp and white!

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Route 37 OPO Conversion (London, 1986)

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

This week we jump back in time to 1986 in West London . ..


It’s early June 1986, and lengthy orbital route 37 is in the middle of conversion from Routemaster to Metrobus, prior to OPO conversion on the 21st of the month. Both old and new order can be seen in this photo, with M514 on the 37 standing next to RM2098, and a further Metrobus on the 281 to the right of both of them (M835). Note the “Pay Conductor” flap on the 37 Metrobus (you can see it in the other, yellow “Pay Driver” position on the 281.

The 37 was a very lengthy and useful service at that time, travelling from Hounslow all the way across inner south London to Peckham in the south east. As with many other services, it has since been cut back and split over the years, and the length of the old route was such that this journey is now only possible by using three buses – the 37 from Peckham to Putney, the 337 from Clapham Junction to Richmond, and the H37 from Richmond to Hounslow.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Destination: Refreshment (Dublin 1979)

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

This week we jump back in time to 1979 in Dublin.


Heineken had a very eye-catching and cleverly designed advertising campaign running on CIE buses at the end of the 1970s – wrapped around the destination display of double-deckers with the strapline “Destination: Refreshment”

The bus displaying it here is D826, one of the final batch of VanHool MacArdle bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68s delivered to CIE in 1977/78, following a gap in production as the Spa Road plant built double-deckers for South Yorkshire and A1 Motor Services.

These last Dublin-built buses differed from the earlier VanHools in having a revised lower frontal section made of fibreglass, and also originally sported the more modern square VanHool badge. Over the years they gradually lost these features, and ended up identical to the bulk of the VanHool fleet, which had been delivered between 1974 and 1976.

D826 is seen here heading inbound on the south quays (in the days before the traffic flow was reversed) and with a hopelessly mis-set destination display, the top blind being halfway between the outbound route 25 and 37 displays, and the lower displaying “via City Centre” which would be more commonly used on cross city routes – “via Chapelizod” would have been more appropriate for the 25.


MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Birmingham Double (1981)

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

This week we jump back in time to March 1981, and a pair of shots taken in the centre of Birmingham.



Our two photos today date from mid-March 1981, and are taken in Birmingham, close to the city centre.

The first shows Park Royal bodied Fleetline NOV806G, new to Birmingham in December 1968, and still in the older Blue & cream with kakhi roof, which served as inspiration for the CIE double-deck livery of the 1960s. The destination display is not the most effective in an area where “City” could refer to any one of the three major parts of the conurbation of Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Voventary – especially as the secondary display reads “from City” !!

This bus was, at the time, one of the older vehicles in the fleet, and had been withdrawn by the end of 1983.

The second photo, taken on the same day, shows the new order, with  then fairly new Leyland National AOL17T on the 101 Centrebus service. This National had a long life, being converted to dual-door and used for shuttle work at the International Convention Centre and eventually passing on to a fringe London operator, where it was still active in 2001.