(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 – 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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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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ONE IN TWELVE – Fresh Cream

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 takes us back to 2001 to remind ourselves how good the old blue & cream “core” livery could look when freshly painted.

RA248 about to turn onto Matt Talbot Bridge

RA248 about to turn onto Matt Talbot Bridge

I was always very fond of the blue & cream livery which I felt looked well not only when freshly painted, but also stayed good looking over the years inbetween repaints.

This picture of RA248 fresh from a midlife repaint shows how much nicer a freshly painted bus could look without the usual adframes.

RA248 spent a lot of its life in Phibsboro, but moved to Donnybrook for a while when it’s position as a potential tourbus was usurped by RA260, which had suffered upper-deck damage in a malicious fire at Dun Laoghaire. RA260 was repaired by conversion to open-top, and 248 came across to Donnybrook as a replacement.