MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Marked In (Dublin, 1981)

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 1981 in Dublin . ..

568

Off all of the changes of livery on the Dublin bus scene over the years, possibly one of the slowest was the move away from the blue & cream livery for double-deckers, and into allover tan, fleetwide.  The first new buses in tan (orange) arrived in late 1974 (the VanHool AN68 Atlanteans) and by early 1975 repaints of the 602 earlier PDR1 Atlanteans had started.

But the repainting, which coincided with BMS full body overhauls at Inchicore Railway Works, was very slow paced, unlike today, when the entire fleet is repainted on a three-year cycle. By the time that the last D in Dublin was repainted into tan, there were already hundreds of KD-class Bombardiers on the road in the new two-tone green livery, so the tan never wholly ruled the roost. There were blue & cream halfcabs (PD3s) on the road until April 1982, and the last handful of Ds in the old livery lasted a few months beyond that in Dublin (and even longer in provincial cities).

D568 was one of the last to wear the old livery in Dublin, and is seen here in 1981, about a year before it finally got an overhaul and repaint.

At this point, the bus was 7 years old, but the blue & cream was very effective at hiding wear and tear and everyday scuffs (whereas the new tan livery tended to age quickly and look tired after a short period). As one off the final batch of PDR1s, this bus was delivered in the final version of the blue & cream, without the between decks stripe (new buses from D555 onwards did not have it, and many earlier buses lost it on repaint if they were lucky enough to have a blue & cream overhaul/repaint before the dreadful tan became standard).

Throughout this time, D568 spent pretty much all of its time on the 22 route, and it can be seen that 7 years marked in on the same route has faded the destination blinds to the point that they are almost unreadable.

The intermediate blind is correctly set for BAILE PHIB / CARNAN and as this blind served both directions, it was the most faded of the lot, as the ultimate destinations were at least only displayed 505 of the time, while the journeys would also alternate between 22 and 22A frequently, helping preserve the number blind.  If this bus had been visiting any other route on the day of this picture, the blinds would probably have been crisp and white!

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Destination: Refreshment (Dublin 1979)

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 1979 in Dublin.

D826

Heineken had a very eye-catching and cleverly designed advertising campaign running on CIE buses at the end of the 1970s – wrapped around the destination display of double-deckers with the strapline “Destination: Refreshment”

The bus displaying it here is D826, one of the final batch of VanHool MacArdle bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68s delivered to CIE in 1977/78, following a gap in production as the Spa Road plant built double-deckers for South Yorkshire and A1 Motor Services.

These last Dublin-built buses differed from the earlier VanHools in having a revised lower frontal section made of fibreglass, and also originally sported the more modern square VanHool badge. Over the years they gradually lost these features, and ended up identical to the bulk of the VanHool fleet, which had been delivered between 1974 and 1976.

D826 is seen here heading inbound on the south quays (in the days before the traffic flow was reversed) and with a hopelessly mis-set destination display, the top blind being halfway between the outbound route 25 and 37 displays, and the lower displaying “via City Centre” which would be more commonly used on cross city routes – “via Chapelizod” would have been more appropriate for the 25.

 

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)

 

 

 

 

 

(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”

za-av076-20030807b copy

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 – Shades Of Blue (Dublin and London, 1999)

 

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 sometime around 1999, with pictures from both Dublin and London, themed around blue . .

bluead

At the end of 1997 Dublin Bus introduced a new livery of blue, orage and cream for it’s “core” fleet, thoses vehicles not in CitySwift or other special liveries.  The earliest single-deckers to be treated had a more simple version of the livery than the one eventually standardised on.

Above: One of Donnybrook’s AD-class DAF SB220/Alexander buses (possibly AD67) is seen on O’Connell Bridge in the early version of the livery, sometime around 1999.

Below: around the same time, in London, Arriva‘s new “aquamarine & stone” colour scheme was replacing the old two-tone green used by London & Country.   Route 85, from Kingston to Putney Bridge received new Northern Counties bodied DAF double-decks (DFD class?) replacing a fleet of impressively long Volvo B10M/East Lancs deckers, and bringing the new corporate colours close to the central area.

Before long, a policy change would banish non-red liveries from the TFL network, so this photo of R205CKD represents a fairly short period of time when these colours were seen in this location.

bluedfd

xxxxx

QUICK-PIC – First Aircoach Clean Up With Ex Dublin Bus RVs [06Aug2013]

First Aircoach have hired in double-deckers to cope with loadings on their Airport services while state run competitor Dublin Bus are on strike.

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Above: One of the buses used today was ex-Dublin Bus Volvo Olympian RV560, which just 9 months ago finished its DB career as the last Olympian in the fleet with a run on route 16 to . . the Airport!

The Olympians were hired in by Aircoach from Callinans Coaches, and helped cope with very heavy peak flight loadings at the airport on the bank holiday Monday, and again today.

Below: RV560 (closer to camera) waits to pull in as RV558, also on Aircoach work, departs ahead of it.

aircoachrv2

xxx

 

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.

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MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: (Dublin, 1997) Bombardier KD80

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

This week’s classic takes us back to the 1990s . .

kd80

The Bombardier KD-type was the classic Irish double-decker of the 1980s, and radically different from anything that had been in the fleet before, or indeed, since.

Based on an integral design with General Motors Detroit Diesel engine, Allison transmission, and body built in Shannon by Bombardier, then much lesser known in European public transport circles than it is today, 366 of these buses ran on the streets of Dublin, Cork and Limerick (with occasional forays to Waterford and Galway) from May 1981 until December 2000.

KD80, delivered towards the end of 1981, is one of the first batch of Bombardiers allocated to Summerhill Garage, replacing elderly Leyland Titan PD3s dating from 1960, including by chance RA80, which itself had replaced a prewar TD type Titan R80 at the same depot two decades earlier.

KD80 stayed at Summerhill for all of its life, and worked the haevily used Airport routes 41/41A/41B as well as the lengthy 33 and the 20B, with less frequent outings on the cross-city 16/16A, which passed from Atlantean to Olympian operation without ever wholly embracing the KD type.

KD80 was withdrawn in the late 1990s, but Summerhill was to be the last depot to operate Bombardiers in regular service (from its later batches) in December 2000, on routes including the 20B.

Dublin (Not So) Mini Coach [27June2013]

DMC120370

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.

More progress on Cherrywood LUAS

Progress continues on the extension of the Green LUAS line from Sandyford to Cherrywood.

Major structures have been in place for at least 18 months, and most tracklaying was done in 2009, but now work is progressing on the overhead electric wiring.  The photos below show the wiring in place at the “Bride’s Glen” stop, in Cherrywood Science & Technology Park, and were taken on Saturday 20th February 2010.

A note: Somewhat confusingly, the “Cherrywood” stop will be in the Tullyvale residential area, while the last stop, actually in the Cherrywood campus, is “Bride’s Glen”.

Much work remains to be done, and I’d estimate empty testing to take place from summer, with an October/November opening date for the line.

Overhead wiring now installed at Bride's Glen terminal stop in Cherrywood

Cherrywood: services to start late 2010.

Snow continues in Dublin

Snow at Ballinteer, south Dublin.

Snow at Ballinteer, south Dublin.

Heavy snow that fell in Dublin yesterday resulted in the closure of the Airport, and disruption to many bus routes, particularly in south and southwest Dublin and Co. Wicklow.

The snow has remained on the ground, but with roads now cleared, only the mountain services 44B and 65 are curtailed.

Route 44b
Is operating to Johnny Fox’s Pub.

Route 65
Is operating to Blessington and Ballymore Eustace. Ballyknockan are not being served.

Ballinteer to Ilfracombe (via Palmerston Park)

Earlier this month I needed to travel to the North Devon town of Ilfracombe for a part-business part-pleasure weekend, and as is my normal preference, I elected to do this entirely by public transport, including the airport leg in Dublin.

For the first part of the journey I would be accompanied by “Donnybrook Observer” who was also flying that morning, while for the final leg of the tip I would be guided by an old friend and former Ensignbus colleague, John Burch, now Deputy Director of the Confederation of Passenger Transport in the UK, who had invited me to stay in his charming Ilfracome property, itself the former station master’s house of the long abandoned Ilfracombe branch line.

Taking the absolute minimum of baggage with me, and using only a Nokia camera-phone, I aimed to record as much of the trip and the various modes of transport seen and used as possible.

All these photos are available in fullsize mode – just click on the picture for the bigger view!

Setting off from Ballinteer on the 0900 14A

Setting off from Ballinteer on the 0900 14A

With our flights due to depart Dublin around midday, Donnybrook Observer and I decided to leave Ballinteer at around 9am, choosing the 0900 14A departure, so that we could get to sample the “via Palmerston Park” special working.

This diversion is less needed now that the 128 provides a regular service in the area, but when we arrived at Palmerston Park, the 128 at the stop was not yet loading, and so we took on around 15 of its potential passengers. Our bus was Volvo Olympian RV483, and was quite full by the time it reached Rathmines.

The diversion via Palmerston Park allowed us to steal some customers from a waiting 128.

The diversion via Palmerston Park allowed us to steal some customers from a waiting 128

RV483 drops off at O'Connell Street, stage 1 of the journey over.

RV483 drops off at O'Connell Street, stage 1 of the journey over.

The early morning sun made photography of both the 14A, and the next leg of our trip on the Airlink Express difficult, as it was both bright and directly behind the buses in O’Connell Street. The shot of RV483 is interesting, in the the Spire is visible over the bus, but not through the windows, making it look as if the entire weight is being supported by the roof of the bus. This optical effect is caused by a high level of reflection on the condensation on the inside of the bus windows.

Arriving at Dublin Airport on the Airlink Express. 8 year old AV125 and its sisters will be replaced on this service by new Wright Geminis in the new year.

Arriving at Dublin Airport on the Airlink Express. 8 year old AV125 and its sisters will be replaced on this service by new Wright Geminis in the new year.

Arriving at Dublin Airport in good time, DO’s flight was without problems, but I was faced with a long wait for the FlyBe Exeter service, as the plane had been delayed for 3 hours earlier in the day due to a security alert at Paris.

The FlyBe Bombardier finally arrives at Dublin

The FlyBe Bombardier finally arrives at Dublin

The FlyBe Bombardier eventually arrived, and the flight to Exeter was uneventful. The arrival in Exeter International was in the middle of a downpour, and I sheltered in the tiny terminal building for 20 minutes until the Stagecoach service arrived to take me to the city centre. Bus waiting facilities are poor, and boarding involved a dash across windswept roadways in the pouring rain.

Arriving at Exeter International in a torrential downpour, it's time to make a dash for the Stagecoach

Arriving at Exeter International in a torrential downpour, it's time to make a dash for the Stagecoach

The Airport service seems to be worked by ALX200 bodied Dennis Darts.

Stagecoach service 55 arrives into Exeter Bus Station

Stagecoach service 56 arrives into Exeter Bus Station

In Exeter, a selection of buses in the bus station and city centre.

Stagecoach Enviro 400s can be seen working a number of Devon services

Stagecoach Enviro 400s can be seen working a number of Devon service

Olympians are also still in evidence, retrofitted with modern LED displays

Olympians are also still in evidence, retrofitted with modern LED display

Independents Western Greyhound and Dartline add variety at Exeter.

Independents Western Greyhound and Dartline add variety at Exeter

Amongst the earliest lowfloor double-deckers into service, a batch of S-reg Trident ALX400s new to East London, now working on park and ride services in Exeter. The yellow and blue livery looks attractive.

Amongst the earliest lowfloor double-deckers into service, a batch of S-reg Trident ALX400s new to East London, now working on park and ride services in Exeter. The yellow and blue livery looks attractive

In Exeter city centre, buses on local town services. Routes are lettered rather than numbered, a practice dating back many decades to the long vanished municipal operator.

In Exeter city centre, buses on local town services. Routes are lettered rather than numbered, a practice dating back many decades to the long vanished municipal operator.

The next part of the journey was by rail – a walk to Exeter Central station to meet John Burch, who was arriving in from London on a Stagecoach SouthWest Trains service, and then we would take the local “Tarka Line” First service to Barnstaple.

I was amazed to see that there were lots of Leyland-National derived class 142 units still in service – the last time I encountered one of these strange beasts was at Goole in Yorkshire, almost 14 years ago!

Exeter Central station, with a class 142 unit heading west.

Exeter Central station, with a class 142 unit heading west

142067 at Barnstaple, showing the Leyland National body styling and bus-type doors and seating.

142067 at Barnstaple, showing the Leyland National body styling and bus-type doors and seating.

Arriving in Barnstaple, we had a walk to the town centre and time for a drink before boarding the bus for the final leg to Ilfracombe. John used his local knowledge to ensure that the bus trip was interesting – instead of taking the main Ilfracombe service on route 3, we took the Fridays Only 30E service, which takes a more direct but remote routing along tiny hilly laneways eventually approaching Ilfracombe and the Bristol Channel over the crest of a dramatic hill, giving a view of the lights of Wales far across the dark waters.

Heading along dark country lanes on the 30E.

Heading along dark country lanes on the 30E.

We arrived at John’s house at 2100 – 12 hours exactly sice the 14A started my journey.

Also included below are a couple of shots taken the following day around Ilfracombe. I did try to get the local independent Filers, but they were elusive on the day! However the holiday camp buses were a real find, with thanks to John for his local knowledge!

Ilfracombe Bus Station with a Firstgroup Olympian on the main Barnstaple service.

Ilfracombe Bus Station with a Firstgroup Olympian on the main Barnstaple service

Two vanishing bus types, a Bristol VRT and a very elderly E-reg Atlantean PDR1A at the local holiday camp.

Two vanishing bus types, a Bristol VRT and a very elderly E-reg Atlantean PDR1A at the local holiday camp.

Operation Freeflow 2008

Operation Freeflow aims to help buses beat those winter jams

Operation Freeflow aims to help buses beat those winter jams

Operation Freeflow commences on Sunday the 30th of November 2008.

An additional 166 Gardai have been transferred to the Dublin Metropolitan Region.

These probationers will be solely deployed on traffic duties for the duration of Operation Freeflow.

In addition to the 166 members there will be

  • motorbike patrols
  • members of the Garda Mountain bike unit daily
  • Daily Traffic patrols (am and pm) of the Air support Unit
  • The Garda Mounted Unit
  • Mobile patrols

An Garda Siochana encourage people to use Public Transport especially over the Freeflow period.

Schedules, timetables and availability of Public Transport Services can be accessed via the Public Transport icons attached to the web-site.

  • Keep junction free
  • Avoid illegal parking
  • Look out for VMS signs
  • Do not clog yellow boxes

Safety message – Security on Public Transport at Night.

–As part of our commitment to Operation Freeflow An Garda Siochana has undertaken to provide Gardai dedicated to ensuring the safety of persons travelling on, and in the vicinity of public transport Centres in the City. The unit will consist of one Sergeant and six Gardaí, who will patrol city centre transport centres and on the various modes of transport.

As part of ‘Operation Lifesaver’ (run in conjunction with Freeflow) on-going checkpoints will be held enforcing the Road Traffic Legislation. The following offences will be specifically targeted

  • Drink Driving
  • Speed
  • Inappropriate driving
  • Seatbelts
  • HGV offences
  • Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MAT) checkpoints will be held regularly over the Freeflow period

Traffic Control Centre, Harcourt Square will be the hub for the daily management of Operation Freeflow in the Dublin Metropolitan Region. The Traffic Control Centre has live video conferencing with the Dublin City Council traffic centre, who help regulate the flow of traffic through out the city.