ONE IN TWELVE – Early Days Header

Side by Side - Dublin Bus & Bus Eireann

Side by Side - Dublin Bus & Bus Eireann

There is nothing particularly special about this photo, but I saved it for the end of the ONE IN TWELVE feature as it perfectly represents how things were back at the time when this site was founded in 1996. Indeed, although not the very first picture seen on the site, it was one of our earliest header images, and was on the main “index page” of the site for a number of years in the late 90s, chosen because it showed the two main operators, Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann, side by side.

KC34 is seen departing Busarus on the Airlink 747 service, while an unidentified PL loads up on the Dundalk service. Busarus was not as crowded in those days, and all Bus Eireann routes still operated from inside the station, or outside the back doors in store Street.

It’s been a very enjoyable journey this last month, bringing back the memories of the last 12 years, and though it has been hard to stick to the daily schedule, we managed it.

Thanks to all who have supported this site during the first 12 years of its operation, we continue with business as usual in December, and hope to be here for another 12 years.

Thank you and Goodnight

Gabriel

ONE IN TWELVE – The Faces

Some of the faces photographed for AllAboutBuses over the years.

Jimmy Hendricks, always top of my list.

Jimmy Hendricks, always top of my list.

Jimmy Hendricks is a man to whom I owe a lot. The Maint. Controller of Donnybrook 2 through the 1970s and 1980s, it was Jimmy who gave me, as a 12 year old schoolboy, my first ever invitation to come inside a bus depot. Jimmy had seen me hanging around outside peering in at the buses, and over the next 23 years up to his retirement in 1999 he welcomed me on hundreds of occasions, as I photographed and questioned and generally made a pest of myself.

Jimmy retired in the summer of 1999, and this photo was taken by me on his last day at work, posed with the newest bus in the fleet which had been delivered just hours earlier.

Joe Collins & Alan Westwell

Joe Collins & Alan Westwell

Joe Collins (left) was the PR man for Dublin Bus for many years, and a great friend of this site, championing us to the Dublin Bus management, and providing access to a lot of information and help. Joe was also very involved in organising the final KD run with us in January 2000, making sure that the chairman of CIE attended, along with John Browne the former head of Dublin City Services in CIE days and a man associated with the launch of the type. Joe’s retirement was a great loss to the company, though his immediate replacement, Christy Dorman was also very helpful and served the company well.

Dr Alan Westwell (right) was Managing Director of the company through a period of great expansion, and a very experienced transport manager. He was not afraid to stand up for the company, criticising the government at the official opening of Harristown Depot, and his unexpected retirement shortly afterwards was regretted by many.

Joe Collins with Christy Dorman at the AV launch on 9th November 2000

Joe Collins with Christy Dorman at the AV launch on 9th November 2000

Christy Dorman replaced Joe in the PR team, and was a friendly and approachable face for both enthusiasts and press for a number of years. He now works on other projects within the company.

Mary O'Rourke at the launch of the AV class

Mary O'Rourke at the launch of the AV class at the Point Depot in November 2000

Joe Collins and Mary O'Rourke share a few words at the AV launch

Joe Collins and Mary O'Rourke

Mary O’Rourke was Transport Minister for several years up to the 2002 election, and was responsible for obtaining the extra funding for all of the “euro” buses delivered in 1999 and 2000. I spoke to her at a number of functions covered by the site, and she had a rare gift for making you feel like you were the only person in the room when she was talking to you. No shiftily looking around to see if there was someone more important to talk to, as other Ministers do!

Martin Cullen, Paul Kavanagh & J J Kavanagh

Martin Cullen, Paul Kavanagh & J J Kavanagh

Transport Minister in 2005, Martin Cullen seen here at the launch of a new fleet of coaches in 2005, with the operators Paul and J J Kavanagh.

J J Kavanagh is one of the most successful private operators in Ireland, a very direct and no-nonsense businessman. I’ve always found him easy to deal with when approaching him as an enthusiast or journalist.

Brian Cowen & Martin Cullen at the Transport 21 launch

Brian Cowen & Martin Cullen at the Transport 21 launch

Bertie Aherne and a very bald journalist at the LUAS test run to Stephens Green. Unfortunately Seamus Brennan is mostly hidden in the left of the shot.

Bertie Aherne and a very bald cameraman at the LUAS test run to Stephens Green. Unfortunately Seamus Brennan is mostly hidden in the left of the shot.

Political Launches often make for poor photo ops for the genuine transport journalists as the mainstream press with little interest in the launch crowd forward to ask about the lastest scandal or topic of the day.

I was lucky enough to get a front row seat at the Transport 21 launch and some good shots, but the LUAS arrival at Stephens Green was a total scrum!

The staff of Mangan Tours, friendliest operator in the country!

Joe Mangan (third from left) and the staff of Mangan Tours, friendliest operator in the country!

Mangans Tours are a small but very successful operator in Co. Donegal, and one of the most welcoming of the many private operators I’ve had the pleasure of visiting over the years.

Locals protest against plans to axe the 48A in 2005

Locals protest against plans to axe the 48A in 2005

Nellie & Michael Corcoran on the 50th anniversary of the preservation of R1

Nellie & Michael Corcoran on the 50th anniversary of the preservation of R1

Saving the best for last, the grandfather of the preservation movement in Ireland and founder of the National Transport Museum, Michael Corcoran, with his wife Nellie, on October 1st 2006, the 50th anniversary of the withdrawal of R1 from service.

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.

ONE IN TWELVE – Mixed Doubles

A selection of some of the double-deck shots that I dug out this month, but just didn’t get room for.

Click on any picture to see it fullsize

The short-lived Rail-Link livery was soon lost under overall adverts.

The short-lived Rail-Link livery was soon lost under overall adverts.

September 2000 and Donnybrook's K-types are enjoying their final weeks

September 2000 and Donnybrook's KDs and KCs are enjoying their last days on the Rock Road routes.

Hello Billy! The bus which gave its name to a prolific Garaiste poster waits at the Enniskerry terminus of route 44. RV563 is now a Harristown bus.

Hello Billy! The bus which gave its name to a prolific Garaiste poster waits at the Enniskerry terminus of route 44. RV563 is now a Harristown bus.

Kennealeys ECW bodied Atlantean on Waterford City Services in 1996

Kennealeys ECW bodied Atlantean on Waterford City Services in 1996

RV482, one of a batch of buses which have worked the 48A (and now also 14/A) for 8 of the last 9 years, missing only a short few months when they were moved to the Bray Road for the launch of the 145.

RV482, one of a batch of buses which have worked the 48A (and now also 14/A) for 8 of the last 9 years, missing only a short few months when they were moved to the Bray Road for the launch of the 145.

ONE IN TWELVE – The Last Double-deckers in Limerick

We’re in to the last two days of our ONE IN TWELVE FEATURE for November, celebrating 12 years of this website.

Watch out for double updates on Saturday and Sunday, with evening as well as morning updates as we head towards the end of the month.

Later on Saturday we will have our double-deck clearout, but for now, back to the very birth of this site, which was just after the last deckers were withdrawn from Limerick’s streets.

I've just disembarked from KD193, after travelling on a double-decker in Limerick for the last ever time in December 1995

KD193 survived the end of double-deck operation in Limerick and was transferred to Cork. Here it is seen in Limerick city centre operating the busy route 8 at Christmas 1995.

KD50 spent its entire life in Limerick, and retained its original offset reg plate until the very end. Also in the picture are KE3 and DVH4.

Bombardier KD50 spent its entire life in Limerick, and retained its original offset reg plate until the very end. Also in the picture are KE3 and DVH4.

ONE IN TWELVE – Mixed Single Decks

The time is near.

There are only 3 days left of our special November feature looking back at the first 12 years of this site.

There are too many great photos left.

It’s time for our end of line clearout – today it is single-deck shots.

Everything Must Go! You can click on any photo to see the fullsize version.

The launch of the AW-class artics in 2001 was on route 90/90A - an unidentified AW is seen at Aston Quay in the first week

The launch of the AW-class artics in 2001 was on route 90/90A - an unidentified AW is seen at Aston Quay in the first week

AD19 was one of a very few of the class to go into the green livery.

AD19 was one of a very few of the class to go into the green livery.

Before the Setras, Aircoach had some very plain Volvos

Before the Setras, Aircoach had some very plain Volvos

One of the original batch of dual-door darts, DP2 in Cork on a foggy morning in January 2002

One of the original batch of dual-door Darts, DP3 in Cork on a foggy morning in January 2002

KC138 at the Alexandra Road 53A terminus in July 2000

KC138 at the Alexandra Road 53A terminus in July 2000

TE15 on a local commuter service at Cork

TE15 on a local commuter service at Cork

ONE IN TWELVE – The Lowfloor Trials of 1999

As part of our series of older photos celebrating this site’s 12 years of operation, today we present a series of photos of the vehicles involved in the Dublin Bus lowfloor double-decker trials of 1999.

6 buses were operated to gain experience of the 3 types available at the time – the Volvo B7TL (which was the eventual choice, though not with the President body), the Dennis Trident II, and the DAF DB250LF.

One of two Volvo B7TL / Plaxton President buses, seen at Donnybrook

One of two Volvo B7TL / Plaxton President buses, seen at Donnybrook

The President was the nicest body, in my opinion, and it is a pity that it was not favoured when the company eventually ordered their own Volvos.

The President was the nicest body, in my opinion, and it is a pity that it was not favoured when the company eventually ordered their own Volvos.

The second Volvo/President was based at Phibsboro

The second Volvo/President was based at Phibsboro

The Dennis Trident with ALX400 body was not chosen at the time, but did eventually win a small order

The Dennis Trident with ALX400 body was not chosen at the time, but did eventually win a small order

Arriva London DAFs DLA124/125 were loaned to Dublin for the trials

Arriva London DAFs DLA124/125 were loaned to Dublin for the trials

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 – A Thousand Words

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

Click on the picture for the full-size version.

KC5 in Cork, summer 2000.

KC5 in Cork, summer 2000.

I could write a long article about how lowfloor accessible buses make life easier for so many more people than just wheelchair users, but I reckon this picture says it better!

No matter how much you love old buses, and I loved the KDs and KCs, you have to admit that a modern lowfloor bus is easier when you have two armfuls of shopping bags, or are on the high side of 60!

ONE IN TWELVE – First New Buses

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 pictures for full-size versions.

RV328 on its first day in service in 1997

RV328 on its first day in service in 1997

RV329 minutes after delivery to Donnybrook Garage

RV329 minutes after delivery to Donnybrook Garage

When this site was started in November 1996, the very last of the RAs were just entering service.

The first new batch of buses that I got to report online were the 1997 RVs, starting with the delivery of RV326-330 to Donnybrook.

I was living in London at the time, but a visit to Dublin to update pictures happened to coincide with the arrival of the Donnybrook RVs.

Now the site is 12 years old, and those first new buses it covered are gone from the fleet.

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.

ONE IN TWELVE – Old and full of Blarney

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.

To see these pictures in all their glory, click on the picture for the full-size version.

Cork's second-last KD seen at Parnell Place

Cork's second-last KD seen at Parnell Place

KD182 spent its final days on the Blarney route

KD182 spent its final days on the Blarney route.

The end of the Bombardier’General Motors double-decks saw the end of double-deck operation in Cork, after more than 60 years (though the decker is now making a return to the city).

I’m trying to remember if it was the end of 1996 or 1997 that the majority of the Cork KDs were withdrawn, but in any case, two remained in service for another few months after all the others had gone. The very last was KD184, but it is the second-last we are looking at here, with photos taken of KD182 in its last week on the road, when it was still proving useful to shift the heavy crowds on the Blarney run.

Staff at Capwell told me they pleaded with the Dublin-based management to be allowed to retain double-deckers for routes such as this one, but to no avail.

At the outer terminus. KD182 is looking a bit worse for wear at the end of its life.

At the outer terminus. KD182 is looking a bit worse for wear at the end of its life.

The KCs which took over the route showed some signs of wear. A driver watches as KC148 sets off for Blarney.

The KCs which took over the route showed some signs of wear. A driver watches as KC148 sets off for Blarney.