MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: New Olympian (Dublin, 1998)

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 1998 and a brand new Olympian . .

 

ass-RV427new

Dublin Bus built up a large fleet of Leyland and Volvo Olympians during the 1990s, eventually numbering 640 strong.  Disposals began in 2002, and the last was withdrawn from service in December 2012.

Here we see brand new RV427 in 1998, one of 60 Olympians delivered that year, and sporting the then brand new “core” livery of blue, cream and orange.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: MultiNational (Dun Laoghaire 1996)

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 1996, and a UK-registered National in Ireland

ass2-sealink

This picture might at first seem to be taken in the UK, given the British registration GAE300M sported by the subject vehicle. It is in fact, taken at Dun Laoghaire Ferryport in the Republic of Ireland, sometime during 1996.

GAE300M seems to have spent part of it life as a city bus in Bristol, before moving to East Kent in the late 80s, where it was used for ferryport transport at Dover.

By 1996 it was in regular use for Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire foot passengers, and is seen here with part of the old terminal building in the baclground.

The bus is decked out in the intermediate corporate branding used by Stena Line in the years after their acqusition of Sealink.

When Stena Line bought out Sealink British Ferries in 1990, the initial rebranding was to Sealink Stena Line, this changed after a few years to Stena Sealink, and finally Stena Line.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Full Load On Zion Road (Dublin, 1997)

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 1997, and a pair of shots encompassing both a route and a bus type that were soon to vanish.

KD232a

KD232b

The evening rush-hour is in full swing as the number 47 finally makes it to the head of a long queue of traffic on Zion Road, in south Dublin.  Traditionally a single-deck route, occasional double-deck workings started from the late 1970s, and become more common over the years. As the second of the two photos shows, the double-deck is clearly needed on this journey at least.

This is the original 47, the longstanding route through Rathmines, Rathgar and Rathfarnham and on to the Dublin mountains, with two distinct branches serving Whitechurch and Tibradden, or direct to Rockbrook.  In later years the branches were combined to form a circular service, so that a bus going out to Tibradden, as here, would return via Rockbrook and vice versa.

The 47, and it’s sibling the 47B were unusual in being “back-street routes” – eschewing the more direct main roads and serving a complicated network of small streets between Rathmines and Rathfarnham, of which Zion Road was the last, the bus here about to turn onto the main Rathfarnham Road.  The original 47A was unrelated, and went to Churchtown, but after that route was replaced by a rerouted 14, the 47A number was later used to distinguish anticlockwise trips on the new combined Rockbrook/Tibradden loop.

The revised 47/47A service in the late 1990s seems to have been doing well, as seen here, but even so it was axed around the turn of the milenium, with the replacement being a minibus service 161 which linked Rockbrook and Whitechurch to Nutgrove Shopping Centre, but did not at that time serve the old Tibradden terminus.  It did however restore service to a short section of route beyond Rockbrook which had been lost when the circular service was brought in.

Whitechurch Estate, which had blossomed out of green fields over the previous decade, was given extra service with a new infrequent 15C service, as well as as peak hour 116, which took a longwinded route via the Stillorgan QBC.

The next change took place as the gradual elimination of small minibuses forced the 161 to be worked by larger single-deckers, which were unable to turn at the Rockbrook terminus. After a confusing period when the 161 only served Rockbrook when a minibus was available, and curtailed to Whitechurch if operated by bigger buses, a new routing diverted the 161 away from the old Rockbrook terminus, and along part of the old circular route past Tibradden and down to Kilmashogue, which remains the current terminus – thus the original Tibradden terminus once more regained a service, while the original Rockbrook one lost out, though the buses do still come through the village proper (more a collection of cottages at a fork in the road than an actual village). The 161 eventually became wholly double-deck worked.

Meanwhile the 15C at Whitechurch had been replaced by an extension of the much more frequent 15B, but this only lasted a few years before further service changes diverted the 15B westwards to replace the short-lived 74A.

To replace the 15B at Whitechurch, new route 61 (which was also part replacing the 48A between Dundrum and the city) came to Whitechurch in 2012.  (a a result of which, there is now one part of nearby Grange Road which is served by four routes, numbered 16, 61, 116, 161 – must be a nightmare for the shortsighted).

Some journeys on the 61 are projected over the 161 out to Rockbrook/Tibradden/Kilmashogue, restoring a city centre connection to those places after a gap of more than 10 years.

Meanwhile the 161, which had originally turned round in Nutgrove Shopping Centre car park in the minibus days, eventually extended to Dundrum LUAS station, a far more sensible arrangement.

All of this is by way of explaining what happened to the travel arrangements of those people we can see on the 47 pictured above . . .

The bus is one of the famous and long-lived Bombardiers of CIE/Dublin Bus, of which the first prototype was delivered in 1979, and the final run in service took place in January 2001.  KD232 is the bus in question, delivered in 1982, and withdrawn sometime around 1998/9.

It should also be noted here that none of the above has any connection to the current route 47, which is a brand new service, and does not cover any of the same areas outside of the city centre (but whose short history is already complicated enough to be a story worth telling another day)

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC – Last New Green Bus (Dublin, 1997)

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 spring 1997, when, 16 years after it was introduced, the last new vehicle was delivered in the two-tone green livery which Dublin Bus had inherited from CIE City Services.

rv327b

rv327

Above: Two shots of Volvo Olympian/Alexander RV327 in its first week in service in 1997.

This was part of a 60-strong Olympian order for that year, of which only the first two (RV326, 327) were in standard green livery, the remainder being in either CitySwift colours (for QBC workings) or other special colours.

The first five buses of the order, RV326-330 were allocated to Donnybrook Garage for route 14/14A, and were the first new buses to be allocated directly to this route (as opposed to midlife cascades) since 1969, when Atlanteans D265-280, 289-294 and 306-308 arrived new as a shared allocation for the 14, 14A and 18. These buses  had formed the core allocation of this cross-city service (Churchtown/Meadow Grove to Phoenix Park) until the early 1980s, following which the route was operated by several series of more recent Atlanteans, and eventually Bombardiers, cast off from other routes.

By the time the new Olympians above were allocated to the 14/14A in 1997, the route had declined considerably in size, being extended at the southern end to Ballinteer, but losing its cross city status, with the Phoenix Park end vanishing sometime in the late 1980s.  The 14 had also been realigned in 1990 to run via Rathgar and Orwell Road, leaving the 14A to cover the original routing of Dartry and Lower Churchtown Road, the 14 reversing its direction of travel along Braemor Road (the old terminus) and joining the 14A at The Bottle Tower (top picture) to follow the old 14A routing to Meadow Grove, and then both running on to Ballinteer.

Eventually the routes were to be extended again, to Dundrum, on the southside, and regained cross-city status with a considerable boost to PVR in 2012 by taking over the former 20 route from city to Beaumont on the northside.

Of the RV326-330 batch which went onto the 14/14A in 1997 (only enough to convert half the route, and topped up by more new Olympians in 1999) only the first two were green, with 328 and 329 being in Wedding livery, and 330 in colours for Coastal Tours.

Below we see RV328, on its first day in service, at Lower Churchtown Road. It has the base colours for wedding livery, but has not yet got the special ad boards. Note that despite the destination display, the bus is actually outbound to Ballinteer.

rv328