MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Route 24 Routemaster (London, 1985)

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 the mid 1980s, when route 24 was still crew operated . .

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Route 24 has had something of a high-profile existence in recent decades.  Most recently the first route to be fully converted to the “New Bus for London” LT type, and previously the first really high profile route to be tendered in Central London with Grey Green.  And before that, back in the 1960s, it played host the a trial batch of Leyland Atlanteans, run alongside Routemasters.

These two pictures, taken on a hot Sunday in summer 1985, illustrate the route in the years before it got converted to one-man operation with Titans (in the late 80s).

The first shows a very smart looking RML2666 on Charing Cross Road, whlle the second features a slightly less pristine RML2294 nearby.

In the second photo a RM is running behind on route 29, identified by the yellow stripe and prominent route branding (this was applied for a while in the mid-80s to high profile central routes, though why the 29 should be more deserving than the 24 is something of a mystery).

 

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  Disposals began in 2002, and the last was withdrawn from service in December 2012.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: MultiNational (Dun Laoghaire 1996)

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 1996, and a UK-registered National in Ireland

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This picture might at first seem to be taken in the UK, given the British registration GAE300M sported by the subject vehicle. It is in fact, taken at Dun Laoghaire Ferryport in the Republic of Ireland, sometime during 1996.

GAE300M seems to have spent part of it life as a city bus in Bristol, before moving to East Kent in the late 80s, where it was used for ferryport transport at Dover.

By 1996 it was in regular use for Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire foot passengers, and is seen here with part of the old terminal building in the baclground.

The bus is decked out in the intermediate corporate branding used by Stena Line in the years after their acqusition of Sealink.

When Stena Line bought out Sealink British Ferries in 1990, the initial rebranding was to Sealink Stena Line, this changed after a few years to Stena Sealink, and finally Stena Line.

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)

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Twilight VanHool (Cork, 1980)

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 1980, when CIE’s fleet of 238 VanHool MacArdle bodied AN68 Atlanteans were still reasonably new, and in the original as-delivered “tan” livery.

D706

It’s late in the evening of a summer’s day in 1980, and the setting sun is about as far west as it gets, with the front of our southbound bus being just a degree or two away from deep shadow. This light serves of accentuate the boxlike nature of the body, with panel joins clearly visible.

D706 is five years old at this point, one of a batch delivered to Cork in 1975 to clear out the ramaining halfcab Leyland Titan PD2s (a type which continued in service with CIE in Dublin until 76 (the PD2s) and 1982 (PD3s).

At this stage, the majority of VanHools, based in Dublin, had been modified with a bar across the front upper deck windows, but the Cork ones, for the most part, never got this.

The route number display is somewhat interesting, considering that this is a one-piece rather than three-track number blind – the space between the 7 and the A is very noticable.

Cork buses at this time made use of only a single destination blind, with English-only final destination in large lettering.  The lower “via blind” was always blanked out with black paint or masking.

The 7A route, the northern half of which still survives today, went to Skehard on the southside, and was equally frequent to the main 7 service.

QUICK-PIC: Kerry Schoolbus [15Sep2013]

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When the Free School Transport Scheme was introduced by the Irish Government in 1968, a fleet of 800 dedicated schoolbuses (the SS class) were built. However when these came up for end-of-life replacement in the 1990s, there was insufficient funds to purchase new dedicated schoolbuses, and so cascaded service buses were used instead.

In 2007, Bus Eireann purchased a smaller number of dedicated build schoolbuses as a trial, one of which is this BMC vehicle, BS9, seen here in Kilgarven, Co. Kerry.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: West Croydon Metrobus (London, 1985)

 

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 to1985, and an unusually quiet West Croydon Bus Station.

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It’s a Sunday in 1985, and almost new M1167 is all alone in West Croydon Bus Station – quite an unusual situation, even on a Sunday morning!

The M is resting between turns on the high frequency 130 group of routes, which at that time linked Croydon with the vast sprawling estates of New Addington with each suffix taking in a slightly different part of the area. The coming of the trams in recent year relegated the 130 to a much lower key role, it is now a single route, operated by midibuses, and does not reach Croydon.  The London practice of using tiny lettering for the suffix makes it hard to see that what is being displayed here is route 130B, and must have been difficult for those with poor eyesight!

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Tired Airport Coach (Dublin, 1980)

 

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 around 1980, when CIE was still the sole operator linking Dublin with its airport, and really didn’t have to try too hard in terms of vehicle quality . .

PL25

At the dawn of the 1980s, CIE’s bus fleet still consisted of Leylands of many varieties, and little else.

Atlanteans and halfcab Titans (PD3s) for city services, and Leopards in various forms for city and rural bus services, with VanHool bodied examples for coach tours . . and a handful of rather down-at-heel Plaxtons too, some of which could be found on the airport service, where they represented a step up from the bus bodied C-class Leopards which had been used through most of the 70s.

PL25 is looking a bit tired in this photo at Busarus.

(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.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Barking Sunday (London, 1984)

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 June 1984, and the eastern side of London, back in the days when Routemaster operated services still operated far out into the suburbs.

RM580

It’s Sunday 3rd June 1984, and West Ham’s RM580 is heading in from Becontree Heath, on the Sunday version of the route (which on weekdays ran as far as Waterloo, but on Sundays stopped at Old Street).  The picture is taken close to Barking.

Route 5 had an interesting history, having been converted to One Person Operation with DMS class buses in April 1971, running as an OPO route for a decade, before converting back to crew operation and Routemasters in April 1981.  Crew operation lasted until November 1985, when Titans took over. The route still survives today, but like many others, has been drastically cut back, and now comes no further in than Canning Town.

RM580 survived the conversion of the 5, and moved westwards, eventually ending its days on the 28, and being withdrawn when that route was converted to minibus operation in 1989, and recorded as scrapped the following year.

(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.

GT84

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

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.

QUICK-PIC: North Cork Commuter [23Aug2013]

Bus Eireann route 245 is a key commuter service linking Cork with the prosperous farming towns in the north of the county.

VDL/Berhhof coach LC28 is seen this afternoon approaching Fermoy on the old N8 road, now downgraded to the R639 as intercity traffic uses the adjacent M8 motorway.

This particular journey runs as far as Fermoy only, with others continuing on to Mitchelstown.

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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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