ONE IN TWELVE – Getting High

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 best appreciated in full size (click on the photo to view the full version).

PD12 takes the high road in Co. Kerry

PD21 takes the high road in Co. Kerry

I know we have already featured Bus Eireann’s 282 service in this series, but I had to include this picture also, as it is one of my absolute favourites. This is a shot where the bus is a smaller part of the bigger picture, by design.

Shot from a grassy knoll on the side of the R573 road, it shows PD21 at the top of the mountain pass between Laragh and Barrack Cross in Co. Kerry. The 282 serves this location all year round, as a Friday-only service, with extra services in summer.

PD21 was the replacement for the KS types which held on until 2002 on this route, but it only lasted a year, and the service has been VC operated ever since.

ONE IN TWELVE – New Old Bus

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 we look at a Cork KC with a surprisingly young registration.

As always, you can click on this picture for the fullsize version.

KC169 was the last of the 848 K-family buses to enter service

KC169 was the last of the 848 K-family buses to enter service

The entry into service of the very last of the K-family of buses, GAC city bus KC169, did not happen until 1992, by which time the bus itself was 7 years old. Originally delivered with a UZG registration, the KC gained a 1992 plate on finally entering service, following years stored and cannabalised at Capwell depot.

Sadly, the modern registration did not prevent KC169 from being withdrawn along with the rest of Cork’s KCs at the start of this decade.

KC169 was a regular on the 14 in Cork for a long time, and it is seen thus employed on a wet Wednesday afternoon in Patrick Street.

ONE IN TWELVE – Echo Echo

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 shows one of the most colourful overall advert buses of recent years.

Click on any picture for the fullsize version.

It's long, it's pink, and it's right up your street!

It's long, it's pink, and it's right up your street!

Over the years, there have been many overall advert buses in the CIE fleets, some very bland, others amazingly colourful.

Cork’s DA5 is one that really sticks in my memory, advertising that famous Cork evening newspaper, the Echo.

I’m not sure exactly when I took this photo – I suspect it was around 1999.

The DA’s are now long gone from city service in Cork, having had an unusually short life for a Bus Eireann single-deck type.

ONE IN TWELVE – VC Heyday

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.

ONE IN TWELVE – Double KR

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 we have a double-feature, with pictures of two consecutive KR/KS type buses remaining in public service in 2002, in very different settings.

Click on any picture for the fullsize version.

KR205 at Cork on January 3rd 2002

KR205 at Cork on January 3rd 2002

Above: Cork’s KR205 survived to work in the euro-currency era, and is seen here loading for the Ballincollig service at Parnell Place on a cold January evening.

Below: Sister vehicle KR206 was also still in public service in 2002, seen here in the much more rural surroundings of the Beara peninsula, working the 282 Castletownbere to Kenmare service.

KR206 on route 282 near Barrack Cross, Co. Kerry.

KR206 on route 282 near Barrack Cross, Co. Kerry.

Translink add to Volvo order-book

Volvo Bus have confirmed an order for 45 B7RLE single-deck buses with ADL Enviro 300 bodywork for Translink, as well as confirming current Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus double-deck orders.

Volvo Bus)

Volvo B7RLE ADL Enviro 300 (Photo: Volvo Bus)

PRESS RELEASE

Orders totalling more than 200 vehicles confirmed at this week’s Euro Bus Expo show have underlined the market-leading position of the current Volvo bus range in the British Isles.

Whilst the new Volvo B5L Hybrid Double Deck may have stolen the headlines at the show, the current Volvo bus line up – the Volvo B7RLE Single Deck and the Volvo B9TL Double Deck, which are now available with four and three body choices respectively – continue to rack up important orders, maintaining their positions as the market-leading products in their respective classes.

Volvo B7RLE – versatile, durable and economic

Volvo’s low entry single deck citybus, the B7RLE, is part of the B7R family – Volvo’s best selling chassis worldwide. Renowned for its versatility, economy, durability and reliability it’s easy to see why the B7RLE is a truly competitive, efficient chassis – ideal for any urban environment. Two examples of the Volvo B7RLE are on the Volvo stand at Euro Bus Expo.

The Volvo Wrightbus Eclipse Single Deck is now a mainstay of the FirstGroup fleet and the example featured – destined for service with First Leeds – has the tried and tested 7.1 litre Volvo D7E Euro 4 engine rated at 290hp coupled to the ZF 6 speed automatic gearbox.

The Wrightbus Eclipse bodywork features 44 seats and ACIS RTPI system, guide arm compatibility and ten camera CCTV system. A newly face lifted Eclipse 2 is also displayed on the Wrightbus stand, one of 10 Volvo B7RLEs poised to enter service with Lothian Buses.

Another long-standing Volvo customer, Transdev Blazefield, has ordered 19 Euro 5 compliant Volvo B7RLE Eclipse 2s for their Burnley & Pendle operation, whilst Warrington Borough Transport have ordered 12 similarly specified vehicles – their first of this combination – as part of their fleet upgrade programme, which are due to go into service on a variety of routes around the borough in June next year.

In addition to the 27 Volvo B7RLE Eclipses delivered in the summer to trentbarton for their Rainbow 5 service between Derby and Nottingham, a further 14 of the new Eclipse 2 bodied B7RLEs will be delivered in the New Year for their Calverton Link service running from Nottingham. GHA in Wrexham have also taken three of the Ballymena-bodied Volvo single decks.

A second Volvo B7RLE  is displayed on the stand, this time Euro 5 compliant and featuring the ADL Enviro 300 bodywork, which forms part of an order for 45 vehicles for Translink, It has 55 seats with 3&2 seating in the rear section.

The Volvo B7RLE is also available with body options from Plaxton in the guise of its Centro model and now, for the first time – Optare with its newly launched “Esteem” model.

Rotola plc has purchased 33 Volvo B7RLE single decks for use on its Diamond Bus Network in the Midlands, twenty-two of which feature the Plaxton Centro bodies and have gone into service on a number of key routes in the Black Country under the ‘Black Diamond’ brand. The remaining eleven B7RLEs have Wrightbus Eclipse bodywork and are entering service in partnership with Worcestershire County Council under the ‘Red Diamond’ brand.

Kent County Council
will be the first operator to put the new Volvo/Optare single deck combination into service with a total of six such vehicles. Whippet Coaches are hot on their heels, with three due to enter service on the Cambridge busway in 2009 – a further 10 Volvo B7RLEs with Wrightbus Eclipse bodies, operated by Stagecoach and fuelled by bio-diesel are set to join them.

Volvo B9TL – leader of its class

Over 500 Volvo B9TL Double Decks have been registered in the UK alone this year, and with body options available from Wrightbus, ADL and Optare further orders in the pipeline are likely to cement its leading position, both in the UK and Ireland.

The Isle of Man
will see their first ever new Volvo bus when 11 Wrightbus Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL Double Decks enter service on the island in early 2009.

Across the Irish Sea,  a batch of 10 B9TL Geminis are currently being delivered to Bus Eireann, whilst Dublin Bus is currently taking delivery of 50 Volvo B9TLs with ADL Enviro 400 bodywork, with a further 50 to follow, and their first ever Wrightbus double decks will enter service in the Irish capital before the year end.

London sighting tour operator Big Bus have recently taken delivery of 10 Volvo B9TL Double Decks with Optare Visionaire body work – three of which are open top, with the other seven “half top”. The Euro 5 compliant vehicles are being deployed on all three of the companies “hop-on hop-off” tour routes which take in many of the capital’s tourist sights.  A further order for 10 has been confirmed for delivery during 2009.

Speaking at the show, Volvo Bus Sales Director Phil Owen said, “Our product range and the comprehensive options available is attracting new customers as well as retaining existing Volvo operators. “We are committed to providing the best in customer service – from the initial quotation to the vehicle handover and support through the life of the vehicle, with an emphasis on being able to recommend the best driveline configuration for a particular application to maximise performance and optimise fuel return.”

He added, “Whether it’s product information, driver training, soft products or after sales service, we want Volvo customers to feel that they truly are getting the best.”