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 . .

 

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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  Disposals began in 2002, and the last was withdrawn from service in December 2012.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: 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)

 

 

 

 

 

(History) 10 Years Of “Fleet Standard” [26Aug2013]

10 years ago the 1000+ vehicles in the Dublin Bus fleet were in a mish-mash of liveries – Blue & Cream “Core” livery for many services, White, Blue & Orange “City Swift” for QBC services, Red & Yellow “City Imp” for smaller buses . . and with no real demarcation of liveries to different types of service . . a mess.

And then, on the 7th of August 2003, AllAboutBuses.com was first to publish pictures of the arrival of AV76 back from the paint shops in a trial colour scheme that, when adopted three months later, we christened “Fleet Standard”

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The first bus in the new livery – AV76 has just arrived into Donnybrook, and is having its advert grips refitted.

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After inspection AV76 was returned to the painting contractor for a slight alteration to the upper shade of blue, which was made fractionally darker.

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Two days later, 9th August 2003, and AV76 is on the road for the first time in the new colour scheme.

After a couple of other colours were tried (on AV84) the yellow and blue combination seen here was adopted as the new fleet standard, and from December of 2003 repaints commenced into the new colours (AV134 being the second bus into the livery) , with new deliveries arriving in fleet standard from 2004 onwards.

Over the next three years of the repaint cycle, all the other liveries were swept away, with the sole exception of the white “Wedding Bus” specials.

(Dublin) Donnybrook’s New GTs on 11 & 54A [25Aug2013]

Donnybrook Garage has taken delivery of the first twenty of the eighty Volvo B9TL / Wright Gemini buses on order for Dublin Bus this year.  Further deliveries are now in progress to Ringsend.

Here we see some of the Donnybrook batch in action on routes 11 and 54A.

 

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GT88b

Above: GT88 seen from the front and rear in Suffolk Street, Dublin, on Saturday 24 August 2013.

The buses are built to Wright’s Gemini II specification, however Dublin Bus has requested that they have the older style of Gemini I front panelling for commonality of spares with their earlier Wright deckers.

Route 11 switched over to GT operation from Friday 23rd August.

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Above: GT84 is seen at Fortfield Drive, near Kimmage, heading outbound.

Originally the 54A was a cross-city route and came south just as far as this point, however over the years it has lost its northside section, while being continually extended to the south, the extensions allowing it to remain viable while the main 54 service was discontinued.

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GT82 is seen at the same spot, heading inbound.

The buses are the first in the fleet to carry the new Irish style of registration with a three digit year prefix rather than two – so instead of being 13-D, these buses are 132-D to signify that they were delivered in the second half of the year.

As of 2009, the company no longer pays for registration numbers to coincide with fleet numbers.

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.

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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.

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MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC – Shades Of Blue (Dublin and London, 1999)

 

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 sometime around 1999, with pictures from both Dublin and London, themed around blue . .

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At the end of 1997 Dublin Bus introduced a new livery of blue, orage and cream for it’s “core” fleet, thoses vehicles not in CitySwift or other special liveries.  The earliest single-deckers to be treated had a more simple version of the livery than the one eventually standardised on.

Above: One of Donnybrook’s AD-class DAF SB220/Alexander buses (possibly AD67) is seen on O’Connell Bridge in the early version of the livery, sometime around 1999.

Below: around the same time, in London, Arriva‘s new “aquamarine & stone” colour scheme was replacing the old two-tone green used by London & Country.   Route 85, from Kingston to Putney Bridge received new Northern Counties bodied DAF double-decks (DFD class?) replacing a fleet of impressively long Volvo B10M/East Lancs deckers, and bringing the new corporate colours close to the central area.

Before long, a policy change would banish non-red liveries from the TFL network, so this photo of R205CKD represents a fairly short period of time when these colours were seen in this location.

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QUICK-PIC (Dublin) – Clearing The Road [26July2013]

Route 33 is one of the longest on the network of Dublin Bus, taking in a number of coastal towns in North Co. Dublin (Balbriggan, Skerries and Rush) before running through open country, eventually reaching the outskirts of Dublin at Swords.

From there in it shares the road with the much more frequent 41 group of routes.

However Volvo B9TL / Wright Gemini GT57 seems to have caught a gap in the 41 service, and is getting heavily loaded at stops inbound along the Swords Road on yet another baking hot day.

The 33 also has an express variant, 33X, which avoids this part if the route and takes the motorway for a good part of the trip.

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MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: (Dublin, 1997) Bombardier KD80

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

This week’s classic takes us back to the 1990s . .

kd80

The Bombardier KD-type was the classic Irish double-decker of the 1980s, and radically different from anything that had been in the fleet before, or indeed, since.

Based on an integral design with General Motors Detroit Diesel engine, Allison transmission, and body built in Shannon by Bombardier, then much lesser known in European public transport circles than it is today, 366 of these buses ran on the streets of Dublin, Cork and Limerick (with occasional forays to Waterford and Galway) from May 1981 until December 2000.

KD80, delivered towards the end of 1981, is one of the first batch of Bombardiers allocated to Summerhill Garage, replacing elderly Leyland Titan PD3s dating from 1960, including by chance RA80, which itself had replaced a prewar TD type Titan R80 at the same depot two decades earlier.

KD80 stayed at Summerhill for all of its life, and worked the haevily used Airport routes 41/41A/41B as well as the lengthy 33 and the 20B, with less frequent outings on the cross-city 16/16A, which passed from Atlantean to Olympian operation without ever wholly embracing the KD type.

KD80 was withdrawn in the late 1990s, but Summerhill was to be the last depot to operate Bombardiers in regular service (from its later batches) in December 2000, on routes including the 20B.

(Dublin) Soon To Be Sold [29June2013]

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With a further 80 new double-deckers due to arrive into the fleet from mid-July 2013, Dublin Bus will be making further inroads into the originally 648 strong fleet of ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs.  A handful were sold last year after the final Olympians were culled, but this year will see a cull of more than 60 members of the AV class, being taken from those 00-registered vehicles which have not had LED destination indicators refitted, and retain the older, harder to read dot matrix displays.

Donnybrook will be the first garage to get new buses, so the days are numbered for AV137, see here at the Ticknock terminus of route 114 on Saturday 29th June 2013.

Contrast this picture to that of the terminus of London route 114 a couple of posts earlier – the Dublin version is somewhat more scenic!buses

Last 53A runs, but dockland service improves [21April2012]

It was the end of an era today (21st April 2012) as the long-established 53A bus service ran for the final time in Dublin’s docklands,  bringing to a close a once frequent service which had dwindled in recent years to just a handful of isolated journeys. However daytime service in the North Wall area is set to improve, with the introduction of an all day projection of sister route 53 into the area, rather than a handful of extended trips operated at present.

Under the new regime route 53 will run through Alexandra Road in North Wall hourly from 7am to 7pm, and for the first time will be projected eastwards to provide a link to the Irish Ferries Terminal, which until now has only been serviced by premium-priced special buses (numbered 53B) timed to connect to ferry arrivals and departures.

Overall the 53 is losing half its daytime frequency and its evening service, but gaining the extension to the Ferry Terminal and will now have a standard hourly clockface timetable whereas before departures were timed at different random intervals.

Route 53A, which ran via North Wall Quay (rather than via the East Wall 53 route) ran for the last time with the 1305 departure from Alexandra Road, and a number of transport enthusiasts and local residents were there to commemorate the passing of this little piece of local history.

Volvo B7TL / ALX400 AV37 operated the final journey, and is pictured above.

Below, from an earlier era, we see KC138, one of the Irish built GAC single-deckers used on the route from 1984 to the turn of the century.

Quick Pic: Olympian Twilight

Dublin’s once vast fleet of Volvo Olympians is dwindling rapidly, and the 64 or so still in service represent just 10% of the original Olympian numbers. All are due to be withdrawn this year, in order to reach a promised target of having a fully lowfloor accessible fleet by the end of 2012.

Those remaining are split between Harristown, Summerhill, Donnybrook and Ringsend depots, and can most often be seen on routes such as the 17, 44, some peak-hour 16s and 41s, and as seen here, all-day service on the 15A and 15B routes.

RV603 is seen on a winters evening approaching The Ferryman public house on the south quays.

Fare Glitch Hits Some Dublin Buses 27/01/2012

DUBLIN BUS reported this morning that due to a software glitch on their ticketing system, some buses operating from Donnybrook and Ringsend depots were unable to accept cash fares this morning, Friday 27th Jan 2012.

Passengers affected by the problem, which followed an overnight software upgrade, are being allowed to travel for free, and the company says it is working to resolve the problem.

The two depots between them amount to around a third of the overall fleet of just under 1,000 buses operated by DB, however not all buses were affected by the problem, and a company spokesman has confirmed that in total less than 50 buses were affected.

The affected systems were resolved by the end of the day.