Quick-Pic: Hydrogen trial buses arrive in RoI [04Jan2021]

The three Hydrogen-electric powered double-deck bus intended for Bus Eireann have arrived in the Republic, and are currently at a dealer compound for inspection prior to delivery to the operator.

Numbered HWD1-3, the buses will be used in service on route 103 between Dublin and Ashbourne / Ratoath.

The vehicles carry the new standard Transport For Ireland (TFI) livery of green and yellow, which will roll out on new vehicles across all PSO (Public-service operation) supported operators on new deliveries, as well as on Euro-6 compliant buses in existing fleets.

Inspection, testing and training will be needed before these buses can enter service, and with current COVID restrictions this may take longer than usual.

Ireland’s National transport Authority are also taking delivery of low-emission plug-in hybrid ADL double-deckers, also due to start entering service soon – an initial batch of 100 (split 74/26 between Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann) with a follow-on order for 180 later in the year.

The NTA have also invited tenders for a framework allowing supply of up to 600 zero emission battery-electric double-decks over the next five years.

Above and below: HWD1-3 the hydrogen-electric buses awaiting inspection in Dublin, seen in the new TFI livery.

Hydrogen-electric powered double-deck bus in Dublin.

Quick-Pic:  London Comes To Cavan. [21Aug2017]

Bus Eireann’s 109 service from Dublin to Kells and Cavan is one of the most frequent and heavily used long distance commuter run, with departures every 15 mins in peak and every 30 mins all day. It uses a wide variety of vehicles – a core allocation of high spec 83 seat double-deck coaches (LD class) supplemented by single-deck coaches, and some hire-ins from private operators.

Almost anything can turn up at peak hours, and this week has seen an interesting hire-in from Ronnie Bruen of Dublin, in the form of a newly imported secondhand Volvo B7TL / ALX400 formerly of Arriva South London, and still wearing London colours and logos, complete with a full set of TFL interior notices!

This bus has worked the 6pm motorway express to Cavan at least two nights this week – at 120km / 70 miles a pretty long journey for a bus more recently used to working the 176 between Penge and Tottenham Court Road.

Former VLA26 ( LJ53BCZ now 03D121448) is seen here at Kells, Co. Meath, about 2 hours into the 2h40m journey on Monday 21st Aug 2017.  Note the rear display !

[08Feb2017]  Quick-Pic:  AV on 109

17 year old ex-Dublin Bus AV47, a year 2000 Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 worked the 1800 Bus Éireann 109 service from Wilton Terrace (Dublin) to Cavan today, hired in from a private operator to cover for unavailability of a regular vehicle or driver.

While ex DB deckers occasionally show up on the shorter BE commuter services, the 100km to Cavan represents quite a journey for an essentially city spec decker.

It is seen here at Kells, Co. Meath.

QUICK-PIC:  VR34 on rural service 447 [29Dec2016]

Bus Eireann’s once a week services in rural areas can often be a great place to find older vehicles still in service, as they are frequently interworked with school services using buses or coaches long since retired from frontline service.

The VR class (Volvo B7R Plaxton) entered service in 2000 on commuter routes, but have since been replaced on these duties by larger or newer coaches, and can now be found dotted around the country on school work.

Here VR34 is seen operating in normal service on route 447,  which links Finea to Mullingar through rural Westmeath. The service operates on Thursdays only, and uses buses from the Longford school fleet – SI 59 has also been seen on this service in recent weeks.

The location of the photo is on the R394 about halfway between Finea and Castlepollard.   1015am on Thursday 29th December 2016.