LUAS update (Cherrywood extension)

An update on the LUAS Green Line extension to Cherrywood in South County Dublin.

You can click on any photo to see the fullsize version.

Above is the new bridgework just put in place on the Brewery Road roundabout at Sandyford.

While we’re at it, let’s have a look at Brewery Road as it is now, compared to 28 years ago.

The upper of the two photos above shows the view at the top end of Brewery Road, looking towards the roundabout. Below is the exact same view taken in 1980 – note that despite the dramatic changes, the trees on the lefthand side have survived.

The lower photo shows how rural Brewery Road was in the early 1980s. The bus is a CIE bodied Leyland Atlantean “standard D”  (D396) of the type typical to the 86 route at the time (although this individual vehicle would more normally have been found on the 48A).

In those days the 86 still ran all day at a roughly half-hourly frequency, from Cabinteely to College Street.

The photo was not taken in the summer months – buses carrying the Mother’s Pride advert always had it replaced by an advert for Nimble “for summer slimness” in mid May, with Mother’s Pride returning in September.

Back to today, the above picture shows the extensive works on Ballyogan Road, the LUAS will run on the righthand side of the picture, while the greatly improved road will be on the left.

Glenamuck Road, seen from the bottom of the hill (i.e. the M50 is behind us) looking up towards the railway bridge. This road remains closed while the new bridge for LUAS is put in place, and the road itself is being totally transformed from narrow and twisty with no verge or footpath, to a much wider road with paths and cycle lanes.

Officially, Glenamuck Road is supposed to reopen to traffic on May 1st 2008, but I am not wholly convinced that the work can be finished in time. Here we see the new LUAS bridge which the road will run over.

Above the bridge, looking towards Carrickmines Cross, we can get an idea what the new road will look like when finished.

At Cherrywood, the major road crossing has now been put in place.

The end of the line, at Cherrywood Business Park, will see the elevated station named as Bride’s Glen.

Finglas Forays over the years

With Finglas bus services in the news, the need to get some up to date shots prompted me to look back through my collection to remember previous visits.Below are a selection of pictures and commentary from last Sunday, as well as my forays to Finglas 5, 8 and 26 years ago.

2008

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Whatever happens in the Irish bus world usually makes it into Coach & Bus Week (CBW) magazine the following Wednesday, and more often than not I have to get a photo to accompany the copy.

Given recent events in Finglas, including car hijackings on Patricks Day and occasional stoning of buses (the subject of the article) I was a little nervours about this assignment, especially given the circumstances of my last attempt to photograph in the location 5 years ago (see further below). So I took the car instead of the bus, and confined myself to failry mainstream locations, not too far off the beaten track.

Stopping first at Glasnevin Cemetary, after a few middling shots of buses heading to Finglas which were not displaying the destination, I got the picture above which would eventually accompany the article – ironically the only bus with “Finglas” mentioned on the display was actually heading inwards!

The bus is Volvo Olympian / Alexander RV550, new to Donnybrook Garage in 1999, and swapped over to Harristown in December 2005 as part of a cascade when the first triaxles arrived. It is on the 40A, and is picking up outside the main cemetary gates.

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I wanted to get more shots closer to the Finglas area, and this one of RV537 was my first attempt. I was surprised to see it still on the 40s, as I expected it to have transferred to Ringsend by the weekend (part of another cascade – new triaxles into Phibsboro releasing older lowfloor buses to Harristown, pushing 9 year old RVs to Ringsend to replace 12 year old RAs).

Even in the short time that I stood on Tolka Valley Road to get this shot, I was subject to taunting from local youths and passing motorists, so I decided to quit while I was ahead and leave the area.

2003

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 The source of my unease was an event five years earlier, when I had decided to take the newly extended/merged 83 to Finglas in the middle of the day on a Saturday, to get some shots around Finglas Village.

I had just stepped off the bus in the picture above, and photographed it to start my visit, when a group of local teenagers took exception to me, and started shouting insults and approaching in a threatening group. Within a minute of this picture I was having bottles and can thrown at me, in broad daylight close to the centre of the village.

This was something I had never encountered when photographing in any other area of Dublin.

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Discretion being the better part of valour, I legged it the short distance to the main road, where AV141 was just approaching as an inbound 40, and grabbed a quick shot before boarding and heading back into town.

2000

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In July 2000, when the above photo was taken, the Finglas QBC had just been launched (or relaunched).

The 40 was mainly P operated at the time, as these buses – Plaxton Verde bodied DAF SB220s – had been replaced on the 39 by higher capacity double-deckers.

This shot of P26 was taken on a quiet morning near Glasnevin – no trouble that day.

I liked the Ps, and was sad that they were withdrawn before their time, as single-decks went out of fashion in Dublin. They are a graceful looking bus, and can still be found at work as schoolbuses with Bus Eireann, mainly in the west.

1982

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My favourite Finglas photo, even if it is badly clipped at one side. The time is late summer 1982, and Leyland Atlantean PDR1 D1 is in its last weeks of service, one of just a handful of single-door examples hanging on in service at the time.

D1 is a much photographed vehicle, and there are endless publicity shots of it gleaming new in 1966, but this is how it looked at the other end of its life, battered and torn after 16 years of service.One headlight missing, a hole in the roof dome, badly patched metal around the lower destination display, and mismatching window surrounds – one rubber in the style of the D400s, and one original. Some of the early Ds did get the rubber window aurrounds after serious accidents, but usually both were done, and D1 looked very odd with half a repair job.

The Transport Museum did think about obtaining D1 on withdrawal, but in the end went for the much more solid D44 instead.

I do recall that I travelled back into town on D1 that day, and that this was the very last time I saw it on the road – it was confirmed withdrawn just a few weeks later.