MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Route 37 OPO Conversion (London, 1986)

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 1986 in West London . ..

wp-M514-RM2098-M835

It’s early June 1986, and lengthy orbital route 37 is in the middle of conversion from Routemaster to Metrobus, prior to OPO conversion on the 21st of the month. Both old and new order can be seen in this photo, with M514 on the 37 standing next to RM2098, and a further Metrobus on the 281 to the right of both of them (M835). Note the “Pay Conductor” flap on the 37 Metrobus (you can see it in the other, yellow “Pay Driver” position on the 281.

The 37 was a very lengthy and useful service at that time, travelling from Hounslow all the way across inner south London to Peckham in the south east. As with many other services, it has since been cut back and split over the years, and the length of the old route was such that this journey is now only possible by using three buses – the 37 from Peckham to Putney, the 337 from Clapham Junction to Richmond, and the H37 from Richmond to Hounslow.

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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.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC (Dublin, 1981) – CIE Atlanteans

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we visit the early 1980s, when CIE’s Leyland Atlanteans were looking down at heel

D235

By the early 1980s most of CIE’s 602-strong fleet of PDR1 Atlanteans had been repainted into the drab “tan” or orange livery that the newer VanHool bodied AN68s had arrived in. While undoubtedly more simple and inexpensicve than the previous cream & navy livery, it did nothing for the look of the fleet, and tended to fade rapidly, and show dirt and scuffs much more obviously.

1968 delivery D235 is seen here at Earlsfort Terrace heading south on route 20B, back in the days when the service was cross-city and ran to Bulfin Road on the South/West side, a routing long since abandoned by this route, and now served by the hourly 68A service.

D235, a native of Summerhill Depot,  is missing its CIE crest on the lower front, and carries a mismatched blind set – with terminal blinds in both upper and lower boxes, and no via points. Previously, the fleet had Irish language via points in the upper box, and final destination in English in the lower. During the late 70s and early 80s this was changed to bilingual final destination in the upper box, with English via point in the lower. D235 has received the new upper blind, but not the lower one, and so is using “AN LAR”  (City Centre) final destination blind as a makeshift via point.

D81

AS a bonus, we have a second classic shot today.  I wouldn’t normally include one as blurred as this, however it is appropriate this week for a very specific reason.

Donnybrook Garage will this week start putting into service a batch of new Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini buses numbered GT81-100, and this reminds me of the very similar batch of Atlanteans which were at the depot from 1967 to 1983, numbered D81-106.  These buses entered service on the 15/A/B routes in 1967, but moved to the 11 group a few years later, where they stayed for many years, until replacement by Bombardier deckers in 1981/2.  Coincidently, the new GTs, 81-100 are also for the 11 route, one of those rare synchronicities of allocation linking past and present which happen from time to time.

Above we see D81, early in 1980, and having strayed off the 11 and onto the 64A service, another long-vanished operation. Again, the CIE crest is missing from the front, but this bus retains its original fibreglass front panel, more attractive than the plain metal lower front which gradually replaced them as they became damaged.  This bus has the older style blinds, with Irish via points and English final destination in the bottom, though in this case the via points, which translate as Ballsbridge / Mount Merrion, are incorrectly set for the 64, rather than the 64A, which ran via Leeson Street rather than Ballsbridge.

I think the location of this photo is Moorehampton Road in Donnybrook, but I am not certain.

When GT81 enters service in the next few days, I will add a photo here.