(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.


(NEWS) McDermott Is First With Volvo B11R [14Aug2013]


Volvo Press Release

The first Volvo B11R that was ever ordered in the UK and Ireland is now in active service with Northern Irish operator McDermott Coach Hire.

 McD 1(1)

Following the vehicle’s introduction at Euro Bus Expo in 2012, McDermott Coach Hire showed an immediate interest in the new chassis and were quick to secure an order. The vehicle was delivered earlier this year and is now in full service.


“We have six large coaches in our fleet and all of them are Volvos,” explained McDermott Coach Hire’s Owner Adrian McDermott. “We know, like and trust the Volvo brand. The opportunity arose last year to order the new Volvo B11R, after viewing the specifications of the new vehicle, I ordered one straight away. They tell me it was the first B11R ever ordered in the UK and Ireland, which is obviously a great privilege.”


Already in service, the new B11R coach is being used on a variety of McDermott Coach Hire’s work, including private hire. With a busy schedule of work ahead, it was important to McDermott’s to have vehicle that they felt would be reliable, with strong back-up and support. “We have Dennison Commercials as our local Volvo dealership,” continued Adrian McDermott. “It is important that every eventuality is covered and with Volvo it is.”


“The promised fuel economy of the new B11R was one the major contributing factors in us specifying that particular vehicle and it hasn’t disappointed us so far. We look forward to monitoring its continued progress over the coming months and years.”


McDermott Coach Hire’s new B11R is specified with Alcoa Durabright alloy wheels, it has 53 passenger seats, two internal TVs, DVD player, sound system, centre toilet, air conditioning and a rear servery with fridge.


It is equipped with the fuel efficient Volvo D11C six cylinder diesel engine. First-class driveability and exceptional torque also ensure that the vehicle runs smoothly and effectively on the road.


“Safety and fuel economy are obviously key priorities for us as a business,” continued Adrian McDermott, “however, we also look for a vehicle that is comfortable for both passengers and the driver – you certainly get that with the Volvo B11R.


“I’d also particularly like to thank Volvo Bus Sales Manager, Duncan Crosby for his hard work during the purchasing and delivery process,” he concluded.



(NEWS, World) Volvo sells 200 hybrid buses to Bogota, Colombia [13Aug2013]


VOLVO Press Release

Volvo sells 200 hybrid buses to Bogota, Colombia

Volvo hybrid chassi


Volvo Bus Latin America has sold 200 hybrid buses to the Public Transportation System of Bogotá, capital of Colombia. The buses will be operating the city’s BRT system TransMilêmio. The chassis will be manufactured in Volvo Buses’ plant in Curitiba, Brazil.


“With this acquisition, the city of Bogota definitively enters the age of electromobility and takes a major step in adopting a sustainable urban mass transit system, both from an economical and an environmental stand point”, affirms Luis Carlos Pimenta, President of Volvo Bus Latin America.


The buyers are Consórcio Express, acquiring 156 vehicles; and GMovil, acquiring 44 vehicles. The deal includes, in addition to the chassis, a 12-year battery protection contract and a five-year service agreement. The buses will be bodied by Busscar and Superpolo in Colombia.


“Our hybrids are the best option on the market and this deal consolidates Volvo’s leadership in electromobility not only in Europe, but also in Latin America. Once again, we are breaking paradigms and offering the market a new solution in transportation. This is a breakthrough order for us and we expect more orders to follow”, says Luis Carlos Pimenta.


The hybrids, which will start operating in Bogota in December 2013, will expand the coverage of the city’s Integrated Public Transportation System. Part of the route will be on the TransMilêmio trunk lines (dedicated lanes) and part will be on the regular street grid, where there currently are no feeder lines. The buses will have doors with access steps on the right hand side and bus-floor level doors on the left side, to allow boarding and debarkation at the Transmilêmio stops.


The city of Bogota is working towards putting in place an urban transport system based on clean energies, creating a new class of compensation for hybrid or electrical drive vehicles.




Total vehicle maintenance included

With the onset of production of hybrid buses in Curitiba in June 2012, Volvo established a new business model. The sale of the hybrids includes a solution package that ensures peace of mind for carrier operators. The package includes total vehicle maintenance, from filter and oil changes all the way to repairs.


“In the same format as deployed for the 100 percent diesel vehicles, Volvo Buses now has a full service plan that covers our hybrids, offering operators support and availability at a fixed cost per kilometer”, explains Euclides Castro, urban bus manager at Volvo Bus Latin America.


The company signs a battery contract for monthly installment payments to cover any form of battery repair or changes until the end of the vehicle’s lifecycle.

This ensures a linear cost, free of risk for the customers.



Less fuel, less emissions

Volvo’s hybrid buses consume up to 39 percent less fuel and emit 39 percent less carbon dioxide than conventional diesel buses.  In addition, the vehicles issue 50 percent less particles and nitrogen oxide (NOX).


Volvo’s hybrid bus runs entirely on electricity, quietly and emission-free, from standstill to a speed of 15-20 km/h. At higher speeds the bus receives additional power from a small 4-cylinder diesel engine running on biodiesel. The energy generated during engine braking is stored in the on-board batteries and is used to power the bus’s electric motor and auxiliary systems.

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.


(News) Volvo Bus Break Even Despite Challenging Market [24July2013]

Rover's new Volvo B7R / Sunsudegui  (photo by Volvo Bus)

Rover’s new Volvo B7R / Sunsudegui (photo by Volvo Bus)

Volvo Press Release

Volvo Buses – breakeven in spite of low market volumes


Volvo Buses reported an operating profit of SEK 11 M in the second quarter 2013. Order intake in the second quarter totaled 2326 buses, which was 13% higher than the same period last year. Volvo Buses continue to strengthen its position as a world leader in hybrid technology, with the launch of the plug in hybrid bus.

Global bus market still on low levels, but some signs of improvement

In 2013, the European market is expected to remain on the same level as in 2012 and is still under severe price pressure. In India demand is much lower on the coach market, and in the city bus segment the Indian government has announced government grants for purchases of buses, JnNurm, valid 2013-2016. In China higher quoting activity is expected in Shanghai during 2013.

In North America there are indicators of a recovery, both on the transit and coach market. In South America the Finame incentives continue to support market growth. Tender activity in Brazil is expected to improve towards the end of the year.

Weaker market hampers volume growth

Deliveries during the second quarter of 2013 amounted to 2,050 buses, compared to 2,117 units for the same period in 2012, which is a decrease of 3%.

Order intake in the second quarter totaled 2,326 buses, which was 13% higher than the same period last year. Volvo Buses continues to strengthen its position as a world leader in hybrid technology. During the second quarter the new plug in hybrid was introduced in field tests, followed by the launch of ElectriCity, a planned co-operation between Volvo Group, the City of Göteborg and other regional stakeholders. The objective is to introduce fully electric buses in 2015, along with creation and trial runs of new bus-stop solutions, traffic-routing systems, safety concepts, energy supply and business models.

Breakeven in the quarter

Net sales in the second quarter decreased by 20% to SEK 4,008 M (5,040). Adjusted for currency fluctuations, sales decreased by 16%. Buses reported an operating income of SEK 11 M compared to an operating income of SEK 188 M during the second quarter of 2012. Compared with the second quarter of 2012, operating income was negatively impacted by changes in currency exchange rates in an amount of SEK 63 M. Earnings in the second quarter of 2012 were positively affected by VAT credits in Brazil of SEK 50 M relating to previous years. Operating margin was a positive 0.3% (3.7).

A cost reduction program is in focus in Volvo Buses to offset the negative market development.  Concentration of manufacturing of complete buses in Europe to Wroclaw, Poland, has been fully implemented. Manufacturing of Volvo buses in Säffle, Sweden was discontinued during the second quarter.


(UK, News) New Volvo Coaches For Lochs and Glens [10July2013]



VOLVO PRESS RELEASE: New Volvos for Lochs and Glens


Scottish-based coach holiday specialists, Lochs and Glens have taken delivery of eight new Volvo B13R, 14 metre, tri-axle, Jonckheere bodied coaches as part of an ongoing upgrade to their all Volvo fleet.


The Gartocharn registered company operates 16 coaches in total, all of which are specified on the proven Volvo chassis. “Lochs and Glens has always been a traditional Volvo operator,” explained Transport Manager, Steve Nicols.


“Five of the new vehicles are being operated by us, the remaining three are in our livery and are working on our holiday programme, but are actually owned and operated by Leeming Bar based Procters Coaches,” he explained.


“Obviously we’ve had Volvo B13Rs before so we knew what we were getting. The key factors for us in determining vehicle selection were fuel economy, reliability and engine power,” he continued. “We need the extra torque up here in Scotland, because the vehicles are regularly travelling over steep terrain to reach any one of our seven idyllic hotel locations.


“The Jonckheere bodywork also played a part in our decision. The styling combined with the Volvo chassis really does give us the complete package.”


Lochs and Glens new 57 seater vehicles are specified with Volvo’s fuel efficient, 13-litre, diesel engine rated at 460hp, coupled to the Volvo I-Shift gearbox. Each of the eight new coaches feature an eye-catching light Ivory paintwork and includes the company’s logo on the livery.


An ergonomic driving position, with easy-reach controls, adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel means the B13R is a popular choice with drivers and makes it ideal for long journeys, such as those undertaken on the Lochs and Glens holiday tour programme.


The Volvo B13R is equally suited to the needs of its passengers with carpet throughout, three-point safety belts, leather headrests, two TV screens, CD & DVD capability, as well as an on-board toilet. Additional features on the vehicles include a fridge, hoover and CCTV system.


“We deal with the Volvo Bus dealership North and Scotland at Cardonald,” continued Steve Nicols, “they’ve been a good support to us and of course we’ve traditionally worked with Volvo Bus Regional Sales Manager, Duncan Crosby.


“I was sorry to hear Duncan would be changing position within the Volvo Group as I enjoyed working with him, however we’re now working with another top Volvo Coach Sales Manager in James Hyde and we’ve already put in another order ready for next year.”

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.


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.

NEWS: Record Year For Volvo Buses In 2011 (03/Feb/2012)


Volvo Bus has reported a record year for sales worldwide in 2011, despite difficult market conditions.

The manufacturer’s end of year sales report states::

Deliveries were up 29%, which means 4200 units delivered in the fourth quarter. Volvo Buses  delivered almost 1000 more units  than the same quarter of 2010, though hard market conditions. Net sales increased by 19% in Q4, mainly due to South America.

Weak markets in North America and Europe, growth in South America

During the fourth quarter, the European bus market was at the same low levels as in 2010. In North America, the total bus market remained weak. The city-bus market declined 17% in 2011, when cities’ investments in new buses were very restricted. The coach market in North America increased 25% from an exceptionally low volume in 2010.

In South America, demand remained strong, with approximately 30% higher volumes in heavy buses, compared with 2010. In Mexico, the total bus market increased from very low levels in 2010.

The market for heavy buses in China grew 13% in 2011, compared with the year-earlier period.

Record deliveries in fourth quarter

Deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2011 totaled 4,172 buses, up 29% compared with 3,230 in the year-earlier quarter. South America accounted for the largest increase. Order intake for the fourth quarter amounted to 3,941 buses, up 7% compared with 3,677 in the year-earlier period.

During the quarter, Volvo Buses signed its largest order ever in Columbia, 688 buses for Bogota. A new bus range, consisting of one city bus and two coaches, was launched in India.

Sales and earnings increased

Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 19% to SEK 6,680 M (5,602). Adjusted for currency fluctuations, net sales rose 22%.

Operating income improved to SEK 295 M (221). Compared with the year-earlier period, operating income was positively impacted by higher volumes, and improved market mix. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, operating income was negatively impacted by changes in currency exchange rates in an amount of SEK 22 M. The operating margin increased to 4.4% (3.9).

• Deliveries increased 29%

• Continued negative market trend in North America and Europe, but growth in South America

• New bus range launched in India

Net sales by market area Fourth quarter Year
2011 2010 Change in % 2011 2010 Change in %
Europe 2,225 1,581 41 7,009 6,242 12
North America 2,167 1,885 15 7,541 7,200 5
South America 1,001 582 72 2,721 1,737 57
Asia 833 947 (12) 3,027 3,299 (8)
Other markets 454 607 (25) 1,991 2,038 (2)
Total 6,680 5,602 19 22,289 20,516


Wrights deliver to Burnley & Pendle

Volvo / Wright Eclipse 2 - photo © Volvo Bus

Volvo / Wright Eclipse 2 - photo © Volvo Bus


Nineteen new Volvos with Northern irish built bodywork for Transdev Burnley and Pendle

Transdev Blazefield have taken delivery of 19 Volvo B7RLEs for its Burnley and Pendle operation.
Specified with Volvo’s Euro 5 Incentive, common rail fuel injection D7E 7.1litre engine rated at 290hp and ZF six speed gearbox, the 12.15m vehicles feature the new Wrightbus Eclipse 2 bodywork.  Fitted with 44 Civic V3 saloon seats, the buses also have capacity for 39 standing passengers as well as a storage area for buggies and bags. Disabled access is by means of a powered ramp and the vehicles also feature a 10 camera CCTV system and electronic destination equipment with full colour front destination blinds.

“The Volvo/Wrightbus combination is well known to us and has a proven track record,” explained Transdev Blazefield Managing Director, (Operations) Russell Revill. “So we were pleased to be able to buy Volvo once again, particularly with the excellent quality assurance package they offer.”

Volvo’s Regional Commercial Manager, Arthur Argyle added, “We’re delighted to be doing business with Transdev Blazefield once again. It’s an excellent reflection on our vehicles that they continue to meet the stringent standards of one of the major names in the bus industry.”

The new vehicles are being deployed on Burnley and Pendle’s Mainline group of services operating in the Colne, Nelson, Burnley and Padiham areas, as well as covering adjoining towns from Accrington, Keighley, Clitheroe and Barnoldswick.

Burnley and Pendle is one of seven companies within the Blazefield Group, each with its distinct local identity and the Blazefield Group is owned by Transdev, who operate in nine countries in Europe, Canada and Australia. Transdev provides transport to more than 1.2 billion passengers a year.


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.

Today’s picture is from 1999, when the VC-class formed the backbone of the Bus Eireann fleet, and the oldest examples were only 5 years old.

Click on any picture for the fullsize version.

VC4 (left) and VC1 at Galway in 1999

VC4 (left) and VC1 at Galway in 1999

The VC class (Volvo B10M Caetano) have been one of the most widely distributed types in the Bus Eireann fleet since the old M-class. Used on everything from Eurolines express and national services to regional and local routes, the VC has got everywhere, and unlike many of the other classes of the 1990s, were owned rather than leased, and thus stayed in the fleet long term.

Now the VCs are slowly cascading onto school work, and thouse which remain in service are more likely to be on rural routes than Expressway.

This shot, taken at Galway in 1999, shows VC4 and VC1, in pretty much original condition, working local and commuter services to the west.