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 All are due to be withdrawn this year, in order to reach a promised target of having a fully lowfloor accessible fleet by the end of 2012.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.

London MEP Visits Ballymena To See New Bus In Build 30/01/2012

MEP Marina Yannakoudakis on the platform of the New Bus For London at the Ballymena factory

 

PRESS RELEASE

London MEP visits factory building New Bus for London and other hybrid buses

Ballymena, 30 January 2012 – “Green transport will help London meet its obligations on EU air pollution regulations,” said London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis on a visit to the Wrightbus factory today.

Marina visited the vehicle factory in Ballymena, Northern Ireland which is currently constructing the New Bus for London, inspired by the iconic Routemaster. The bus, as well as being a new design classic for London, will use some of the most advanced hybrid technologies in the world making it more than twice as fuel efficient as conventional diesel buses and 25% more fuel efficient than even other London hybrid buses.

Marina said: “Standing on the platform of the New Bus for London today gave me a real thrill. The bus is a beauty and I’m pleased to be here in Northern Ireland to see how the best of British engineering can deliver a first-rate, hi-tech new vehicle for the 6.5 million passengers in my London constituency who travel by bus every day.”

“The bus doesn’t just look good, it will also emit less than half the NOx (oxides of nitrogen) levels of a conventional diesel double-decker. Costs of the bus are comparable to another hybrid double-decker, yet the technology used is extraordinary; this is the first British bus to use fibre reinforced plastic normally used in yacht racing.”

Marina Yannakoudakis upstairsin the new bus.

“I have also seen other green buses being put together here in Ballymena. Hybrid buses not only improve fuel efficiency making them cheaper to run, but they are also less polluting. Green transport will help London meet its obligations on EU air pollution regulations.”

“I look forward to seeing the New Bus for London on the streets of the capital later this year. Mayor Boris Johnson has kept his promise to deliver a 21st Century version of the Routemaster while improving air quality for Londoners.”

Wrightbus supplies approximately one-third of the double-deckers in London. In 2002 the Wright Group received £680,000 of EU funding from the PEACE II programme to back a dedicated automotive centre of excellence, focusing on Research and Development activities. The project allowed Wrightbus to improve its R&D capacity over the past decade.

Fare Glitch Hits Some Dublin Buses 27/01/2012

DUBLIN BUS reported this morning that due to a software glitch on their ticketing system, some buses operating from Donnybrook and Ringsend depots were unable to accept cash fares this morning, Friday 27th Jan 2012.

Passengers affected by the problem, which followed an overnight software upgrade, are being allowed to travel for free, and the company says it is working to resolve the problem.

The two depots between them amount to around a third of the overall fleet of just under 1,000 buses operated by DB, however not all buses were affected by the problem, and a company spokesman has confirmed that in total less than 50 buses were affected.

The affected systems were resolved by the end of the day.

Matthews take more Volvo coaches

MatthewsTours-12a

MatthewsTours-33a

from the Volvo Press Release files

Co Monaghan based Matthews Coach Hire have taken five Volvo B9R coaches with Plaxton Panther bodywork, just weeks after taking their first ever new Volvo – the B12B with Plaxton Elite body which was exhibited at last year’s Euro Bus Expo 2008.

Noel Matthews, Fleet Manager of Matthews Coach Hire explained, “There are a number of reasons for choosing Volvo products this time, not least because the Volvo name is associated with reliability. When we demonstrated the B12B tri-axle Plaxton Elite it returned excellent fuel figures, along with the outstanding driveability of the I-Shift. The fact that the B9R is lighter and the driveline incorporates the I-Shift will hopefully give us even better fuel returns.”

Noel continued, “Volvo coach products come with competition beating warranty terms – two years, plus third year driveline – and the products benefit from superb support through Volvo’s aftermarket, which, where we are based, means that we can utilise both Irish Commercials and Dennison Commercials.

“A quarter of our 24 vehicle fleet is now Volvo and we will be closely monitoring the six new vehicles’ performances, but from what we have seen from the B12B we are very optimistic for them all.”

The B9Rs are specified with Volvo’s 9.4 litre D9B engine rated at 380hp and I-Shift combination. In a theatre-style configuration, the 57 seats have leather headrests and three-point seat belts, climate control air conditioning, audio/visual system, a seven camera CCTV system, GPS tracking and fleet management system, Wi-Fi capability and are fitted with electronic destination equipment.

Matthews Coach Hire are proud of their 100% safety record. So committed are they to promoting road safety that they were the first operator in Ireland to introduce Alcolock starter inhibiters, which immobilise the vehicle on detection of alcohol, and they are now fitted across their entire fleet.

The Volvo B9R comes with safety as standard, with all round disc brakes, ABS with ASR and their latest generation of Electronic Braking System incorporates Hill Start Aid, Emergency Braking Assistance and Brake Blending, whilst Volvo’s VR3250 compact retarder offers very powerful auxiliary braking, resulting in considerably reduced brake wear too.

James Hyde, Regional Coach Sales Manager commented, “We’re delighted to have our first B9Rs in operation in Ireland. The product has obvious benefits such as the weight advantage and the clean and efficient driveline, making it a versatile option for operators for a number of applications.”

Matthews Coach Hire was founded in 1995 by Paddy and Mary Matthews and remains family owned and operated by them, their three sons – Noel, Paddy Jnr and Gerard – and a team of 45 employees. The company specialises in private hire, daily commuter services and their own tour programme throughout Ireland and Europe.

Bus Eireann confirm Limerick cuts

 

BUS EIREANN has confirmed that 27 buses are to be cut from its fleet at Limerick as part of the cutbacks due to take effect next month.

Although still under negociation with the unions, a spokesman for the company has confirmed to the Limerick leader the scale of the proposed fleet cutback in the city.

See full Limerick Leader article for details

New interchange approved for Limerick

 

A MODERN two-storey bus station is to built at Parnell Street within two years which will bring the terminus “up to the 21st century” according to a report in The Limerick Leader.
An Bord Pleanala has granted planning permission for the €5.5million redevelopment of Colbert Station, which was was originally refused by Limerick City Council.
According to the Limerick Leader article, the plans will see a new bus station built at the current car parking area to the side of the existing station building. New car parking facilities will be developed where the bus bays are currently.

A landscape garden is planned for the carpark at the front of the station. An internal walkway will also connect the rail and bus station, providing greater ease of access for passengers.

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.

Dublin Bus battles on through snow

A Dublin Bus at Cherrywood, in South County Dublin, on Tue 3rd Feb 2009

A Dublin Bus at Cherrywood, in South County Dublin, on Tue 3rd Feb 2009

DUBLIN BUS is continuing to run most services despite sub-zero tempratures and blizzard conditions in south and west Dublin this evening, although traffic and weather conditions are playing havoc with journey times and schedules.

Some services to outlying areas have had to be curtailed, including the 44 to Enniskerry (stopping at Kilternan) the 44B (not running to Glencullen), the 15B (curtailed at Anne Devlin Park) 16 (not serving Grange Road or Ballinteer), the 65 (curtailed at Tallaght) and buses along the N4 which are not calling in to Lucan Village.

ONE IN TWELVE – Mixed Doubles

A selection of some of the double-deck shots that I dug out this month, but just didn’t get room for.

Click on any picture to see it fullsize

The short-lived Rail-Link livery was soon lost under overall adverts.

The short-lived Rail-Link livery was soon lost under overall adverts.

September 2000 and Donnybrook's K-types are enjoying their final weeks

September 2000 and Donnybrook's KDs and KCs are enjoying their last days on the Rock Road routes.

Hello Billy! The bus which gave its name to a prolific Garaiste poster waits at the Enniskerry terminus of route 44. RV563 is now a Harristown bus.

Hello Billy! The bus which gave its name to a prolific Garaiste poster waits at the Enniskerry terminus of route 44. RV563 is now a Harristown bus.

Kennealeys ECW bodied Atlantean on Waterford City Services in 1996

Kennealeys ECW bodied Atlantean on Waterford City Services in 1996

RV482, one of a batch of buses which have worked the 48A (and now also 14/A) for 8 of the last 9 years, missing only a short few months when they were moved to the Bray Road for the launch of the 145.

RV482, one of a batch of buses which have worked the 48A (and now also 14/A) for 8 of the last 9 years, missing only a short few months when they were moved to the Bray Road for the launch of the 145.

ONE IN TWELVE – Mixed Single Decks

The time is near.

There are only 3 days left of our special November feature looking back at the first 12 years of this site.

There are too many great photos left.

It’s time for our end of line clearout – today it is single-deck shots.

Everything Must Go! You can click on any photo to see the fullsize version.

The launch of the AW-class artics in 2001 was on route 90/90A - an unidentified AW is seen at Aston Quay in the first week

The launch of the AW-class artics in 2001 was on route 90/90A - an unidentified AW is seen at Aston Quay in the first week

AD19 was one of a very few of the class to go into the green livery.

AD19 was one of a very few of the class to go into the green livery.

Before the Setras, Aircoach had some very plain Volvos

Before the Setras, Aircoach had some very plain Volvos

One of the original batch of dual-door darts, DP2 in Cork on a foggy morning in January 2002

One of the original batch of dual-door Darts, DP3 in Cork on a foggy morning in January 2002

KC138 at the Alexandra Road 53A terminus in July 2000

KC138 at the Alexandra Road 53A terminus in July 2000

TE15 on a local commuter service at Cork

TE15 on a local commuter service at Cork

ONE IN TWELVE – Instant Mods

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

Click on the picture for the full-size version.

Brand new RVs at Donnybrook in 1999

Brand new RVs at Donnybrook in 1999

The delivery of the final order for 195 RVs in 1999 included the first “euro” additional buses, and a lot of the later 500s were stored for periods of time before entering service. At the same time, a change in specification came into effect – following successful trials of a DMD display on RV460 earlier in the year, it was decided that all future buses would be so equipped.

No specific instruction was given to Alexander about how the destination window should look, so they produced these vehicles with a smaller destination glass, correctly sized for the DMD display, as used for many UK operators who specified DMDs.

However, on delivery, it was felt by Dublin Bus that these smaller destination boxes looked “ugly” and an immediate instructions were issued to Alexander to revert to the original sized window, with the DMD centred within it. After a very short period, those vehicles already delivered with the small destination glass were dispatched to Louth Commercials for modifications to make them look like the others.

The top photo shows some of the RV580s stored new in Donnybrook.

RV565 was one of a number of buses which ran in service with the smaller window for a short period in 1999.

RV565 was one of a number of buses which ran in service with the smaller window for a short period in 1999.

RV585 when new.

RV585 when new.