(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.


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


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.




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.


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.


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 – 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 . .


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.



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.


(Dublin) Soon To Be Sold [29June2013]


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

Dublin (Not So) Mini Coach [27June2013]


Dublin Mini Coaches have long operated shuttle services serving Eastpoint Business Park in Dublin’s Docklands, which although host to thousands of high-tech workers is not directly on any public transport route. The business park, built on reclaimed land, is linked by shuttles to Clontarf DART (rail) station, as well as The Point (for O2) and Spenser Dock LUAS tram stops.

Buses used on the service have increased in size over the years, from mini to midi to fullsize single-deckers, and now the firm has acquired its first double-decker for the contract, an Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL imported from the UK.  Re-registered 02-D-120370 (the high number bearing testimony to its import status) the bus is seen here on East Road.


09 deckers hit the streets

New 09-reg Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse VG34

New 09-reg Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse VG34

2009 registered cars may be thin on the ground, but thanks to an ongoing delivery of buses originally ordered way back at the end of 2007, Dublin Bus has a number of smart new 09-reg double-deckers on the streets in the first month of the year.

The new buses have seen the end of the 44-year practice of matching fleet and registration numbers, making identification of buses difficult for both enthusiasts and staff alike.

The company bas started to introduce new larger fleet number transfers front and rear, but as seen in this view of Summerhill’s new VG34, not all buses have received these yet.

ONE IN TWELVE – Public Private Partnership

Unique photo? Private bus operating normal Dublin Bus service

Unique photo? Private bus operating normal Dublin Bus service

The replacement of a watermain at Ballymore Eustace in Co. Kildare in 2005 resulted in the somewhat unique situation of a normal Dublin Bus service being partly operated by a private operator, MacDiarmada. The diversion routes were too narrow for any buses in the DB fleet.

Although independents have operated Schoolink service for many years, this was a fully fledged normal bus service. The private minibus operated the southern section of the 65, meeting the Dublin Buses at Blessington.

At the Ballymore Eustace terminus.

At the Ballymore Eustace terminus.

Operation Freeflow 2008

Operation Freeflow aims to help buses beat those winter jams

Operation Freeflow aims to help buses beat those winter jams

Operation Freeflow commences on Sunday the 30th of November 2008.

An additional 166 Gardai have been transferred to the Dublin Metropolitan Region.

These probationers will be solely deployed on traffic duties for the duration of Operation Freeflow.

In addition to the 166 members there will be

  • motorbike patrols
  • members of the Garda Mountain bike unit daily
  • Daily Traffic patrols (am and pm) of the Air support Unit
  • The Garda Mounted Unit
  • Mobile patrols

An Garda Siochana encourage people to use Public Transport especially over the Freeflow period.

Schedules, timetables and availability of Public Transport Services can be accessed via the Public Transport icons attached to the web-site.

  • Keep junction free
  • Avoid illegal parking
  • Look out for VMS signs
  • Do not clog yellow boxes

Safety message – Security on Public Transport at Night.

–As part of our commitment to Operation Freeflow An Garda Siochana has undertaken to provide Gardai dedicated to ensuring the safety of persons travelling on, and in the vicinity of public transport Centres in the City. The unit will consist of one Sergeant and six Gardaí, who will patrol city centre transport centres and on the various modes of transport.

As part of ‘Operation Lifesaver’ (run in conjunction with Freeflow) on-going checkpoints will be held enforcing the Road Traffic Legislation. The following offences will be specifically targeted

  • Drink Driving
  • Speed
  • Inappropriate driving
  • Seatbelts
  • HGV offences
  • Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MAT) checkpoints will be held regularly over the Freeflow period

Traffic Control Centre, Harcourt Square will be the hub for the daily management of Operation Freeflow in the Dublin Metropolitan Region. The Traffic Control Centre has live video conferencing with the Dublin City Council traffic centre, who help regulate the flow of traffic through out the city.

ONE IN TWELVE – Distant Relatives

To celebrate the 12th birthday of this site, every day during November 2008 we are showing one or more old photos from the period 1996 to date.

A normal Dublin scene in the AD-era . . . or is it?
A normal Dublin scene in the AD-era . . . or is it?

At first glance this O’Connell Street scene from 1999 looks fairly normal, a couple of Dublin Bus AD-types passing in the city centre.

Look closer however, you you will see that this is a rare meeting of the AD on the left with its country cousin, Cork’s DA-class. (Both are Alexander Setanta bodied DAF SB220 citybuses, but the eagle-eyed will spot some slight differences between the two types)

AD41 and DA9 are seen outside Dublin Bus HQ in O’Connell Street.

As a bonus, below is another DAF SB220 odd shot – P40 seen on loan to Bus Eireann, working a short on route 126 in 1998.

P40 as Naas Express (this size only)

P40 as Naas Express (this size only)

ONE IN TWELVE – Wide Open Spaces

Tallaght LUAS station on Jan 22nd 2003

Tallaght LUAS station on Jan 22nd 2003

Sometimes you don’t notice places changing on a day by day basis, even though the changes add up over time to produce very large differences in the environment.

This shot of Tallaght LUAS stop, under construction in January 2003, shows just how much has changed in 5 years.

The wide open vista with lots of light, and the mountains visible to the left is long gone now, as this area is overshadowed by highrise buildings, and the line itself is actually underneath office developments just beyond where the buses are crossing.

The buses themselves have changed colour, but that is pretty normal for Dublin, where liveries have changed radically every decade since the 1960s – green to blue and cream, to orange, to green, to blue and cream, to yellow and blue . .

It’s only a matter of time before blue and cream comes round again, but the wide open spaces of Tallaght will never return.

ONE IN TWELVE – Instant Mods

To celebrate the 12th anniversary of the founding of the site, every day during November I’ll be bringing you one of my favourite photos from the past 12 years

Click on the picture for the full-size version.

Brand new RVs at Donnybrook in 1999

Brand new RVs at Donnybrook in 1999

The delivery of the final order for 195 RVs in 1999 included the first “euro” additional buses, and a lot of the later 500s were stored for periods of time before entering service. At the same time, a change in specification came into effect – following successful trials of a DMD display on RV460 earlier in the year, it was decided that all future buses would be so equipped.

No specific instruction was given to Alexander about how the destination window should look, so they produced these vehicles with a smaller destination glass, correctly sized for the DMD display, as used for many UK operators who specified DMDs.

However, on delivery, it was felt by Dublin Bus that these smaller destination boxes looked “ugly” and an immediate instructions were issued to Alexander to revert to the original sized window, with the DMD centred within it. After a very short period, those vehicles already delivered with the small destination glass were dispatched to Louth Commercials for modifications to make them look like the others.

The top photo shows some of the RV580s stored new in Donnybrook.

RV565 was one of a number of buses which ran in service with the smaller window for a short period in 1999.

RV565 was one of a number of buses which ran in service with the smaller window for a short period in 1999.

RV585 when new.

RV585 when new.