MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: New Olympian (Dublin, 1998)

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 1998 and a brand new Olympian . .

 

ass-RV427new

Dublin Bus built up a large fleet of Leyland and Volvo Olympians during the 1990s, eventually numbering 640 strong.  Disposals began in 2002, and the last was withdrawn from service in December 2012.

Here we see brand new RV427 in 1998, one of 60 Olympians delivered that year, and sporting the then brand new “core” livery of blue, cream and orange.

(Dublin) Donnybrook’s New GTs on 11 & 54A [25Aug2013]

Donnybrook Garage has taken delivery of the first twenty of the eighty Volvo B9TL / Wright Gemini buses on order for Dublin Bus this year.  Further deliveries are now in progress to Ringsend.

Here we see some of the Donnybrook batch in action on routes 11 and 54A.

 

GT88a

GT88b

Above: GT88 seen from the front and rear in Suffolk Street, Dublin, on Saturday 24 August 2013.

The buses are built to Wright’s Gemini II specification, however Dublin Bus has requested that they have the older style of Gemini I front panelling for commonality of spares with their earlier Wright deckers.

Route 11 switched over to GT operation from Friday 23rd August.

GT84

Above: GT84 is seen at Fortfield Drive, near Kimmage, heading outbound.

Originally the 54A was a cross-city route and came south just as far as this point, however over the years it has lost its northside section, while being continually extended to the south, the extensions allowing it to remain viable while the main 54 service was discontinued.

GT82

GT82 is seen at the same spot, heading inbound.

The buses are the first in the fleet to carry the new Irish style of registration with a three digit year prefix rather than two – so instead of being 13-D, these buses are 132-D to signify that they were delivered in the second half of the year.

As of 2009, the company no longer pays for registration numbers to coincide with fleet numbers.

(NEWS) McDermott Is First With Volvo B11R [14Aug2013]

 

Volvo Press Release

The first Volvo B11R that was ever ordered in the UK and Ireland is now in active service with Northern Irish operator McDermott Coach Hire.

 McD 1(1)

Following the vehicle’s introduction at Euro Bus Expo in 2012, McDermott Coach Hire showed an immediate interest in the new chassis and were quick to secure an order. The vehicle was delivered earlier this year and is now in full service.

 

“We have six large coaches in our fleet and all of them are Volvos,” explained McDermott Coach Hire’s Owner Adrian McDermott. “We know, like and trust the Volvo brand. The opportunity arose last year to order the new Volvo B11R, after viewing the specifications of the new vehicle, I ordered one straight away. They tell me it was the first B11R ever ordered in the UK and Ireland, which is obviously a great privilege.”

 

Already in service, the new B11R coach is being used on a variety of McDermott Coach Hire’s work, including private hire. With a busy schedule of work ahead, it was important to McDermott’s to have vehicle that they felt would be reliable, with strong back-up and support. “We have Dennison Commercials as our local Volvo dealership,” continued Adrian McDermott. “It is important that every eventuality is covered and with Volvo it is.”

 

“The promised fuel economy of the new B11R was one the major contributing factors in us specifying that particular vehicle and it hasn’t disappointed us so far. We look forward to monitoring its continued progress over the coming months and years.”

 

McDermott Coach Hire’s new B11R is specified with Alcoa Durabright alloy wheels, it has 53 passenger seats, two internal TVs, DVD player, sound system, centre toilet, air conditioning and a rear servery with fridge.

 

It is equipped with the fuel efficient Volvo D11C six cylinder diesel engine. First-class driveability and exceptional torque also ensure that the vehicle runs smoothly and effectively on the road.

 

“Safety and fuel economy are obviously key priorities for us as a business,” continued Adrian McDermott, “however, we also look for a vehicle that is comfortable for both passengers and the driver – you certainly get that with the Volvo B11R.

 

“I’d also particularly like to thank Volvo Bus Sales Manager, Duncan Crosby for his hard work during the purchasing and delivery process,” he concluded.

 

 

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 (Cork) Route 208. (29July2013)

Cork city route 208 is mainly operated by newer Wright Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TL double decks, but occasionally sees older buses.

DD17 is a 2004 Volvo B7TL with East Lancs bodywork, originally used on services in the North East corridor between Dublin, Drogheda and Dundalk. It was transferred south more recently as the company realised that it’s previous policy of single- decking all Cork routes had been a mistake.

DD17 is seen here in the west if the city, turning from Curraheen Road onto Hawkes Road. Bright sunlight is making the destination – 208 Lotabeg – difficult to read.

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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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(UK, News) New Volvo Coaches For Lochs and Glens [10July2013]

 

lag1

VOLVO PRESS RELEASE: New Volvos for Lochs and Glens

 

Scottish-based coach holiday specialists, Lochs and Glens have taken delivery of eight new Volvo B13R, 14 metre, tri-axle, Jonckheere bodied coaches as part of an ongoing upgrade to their all Volvo fleet.

 

The Gartocharn registered company operates 16 coaches in total, all of which are specified on the proven Volvo chassis. “Lochs and Glens has always been a traditional Volvo operator,” explained Transport Manager, Steve Nicols.

 

“Five of the new vehicles are being operated by us, the remaining three are in our livery and are working on our holiday programme, but are actually owned and operated by Leeming Bar based Procters Coaches,” he explained.

 

“Obviously we’ve had Volvo B13Rs before so we knew what we were getting. The key factors for us in determining vehicle selection were fuel economy, reliability and engine power,” he continued. “We need the extra torque up here in Scotland, because the vehicles are regularly travelling over steep terrain to reach any one of our seven idyllic hotel locations.

 

“The Jonckheere bodywork also played a part in our decision. The styling combined with the Volvo chassis really does give us the complete package.”

 LAG2

Lochs and Glens new 57 seater vehicles are specified with Volvo’s fuel efficient, 13-litre, diesel engine rated at 460hp, coupled to the Volvo I-Shift gearbox. Each of the eight new coaches feature an eye-catching light Ivory paintwork and includes the company’s logo on the livery.

 

An ergonomic driving position, with easy-reach controls, adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel means the B13R is a popular choice with drivers and makes it ideal for long journeys, such as those undertaken on the Lochs and Glens holiday tour programme.

 

The Volvo B13R is equally suited to the needs of its passengers with carpet throughout, three-point safety belts, leather headrests, two TV screens, CD & DVD capability, as well as an on-board toilet. Additional features on the vehicles include a fridge, hoover and CCTV system.

 

“We deal with the Volvo Bus dealership North and Scotland at Cardonald,” continued Steve Nicols, “they’ve been a good support to us and of course we’ve traditionally worked with Volvo Bus Regional Sales Manager, Duncan Crosby.

 

“I was sorry to hear Duncan would be changing position within the Volvo Group as I enjoyed working with him, however we’re now working with another top Volvo Coach Sales Manager in James Hyde and we’ve already put in another order ready for next year.”

NEWS: Record Year For Volvo Buses In 2011 (03/Feb/2012)

 

Volvo Bus has reported a record year for sales worldwide in 2011, despite difficult market conditions.

The manufacturer’s end of year sales report states::

Deliveries were up 29%, which means 4200 units delivered in the fourth quarter. Volvo Buses  delivered almost 1000 more units  than the same quarter of 2010, though hard market conditions. Net sales increased by 19% in Q4, mainly due to South America.

Weak markets in North America and Europe, growth in South America

During the fourth quarter, the European bus market was at the same low levels as in 2010. In North America, the total bus market remained weak. The city-bus market declined 17% in 2011, when cities’ investments in new buses were very restricted. The coach market in North America increased 25% from an exceptionally low volume in 2010.

In South America, demand remained strong, with approximately 30% higher volumes in heavy buses, compared with 2010. In Mexico, the total bus market increased from very low levels in 2010.

The market for heavy buses in China grew 13% in 2011, compared with the year-earlier period.

Record deliveries in fourth quarter

Deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2011 totaled 4,172 buses, up 29% compared with 3,230 in the year-earlier quarter. South America accounted for the largest increase. Order intake for the fourth quarter amounted to 3,941 buses, up 7% compared with 3,677 in the year-earlier period.

During the quarter, Volvo Buses signed its largest order ever in Columbia, 688 buses for Bogota. A new bus range, consisting of one city bus and two coaches, was launched in India.

Sales and earnings increased

Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 19% to SEK 6,680 M (5,602). Adjusted for currency fluctuations, net sales rose 22%.

Operating income improved to SEK 295 M (221). Compared with the year-earlier period, operating income was positively impacted by higher volumes, and improved market mix. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, operating income was negatively impacted by changes in currency exchange rates in an amount of SEK 22 M. The operating margin increased to 4.4% (3.9).

• Deliveries increased 29%

• Continued negative market trend in North America and Europe, but growth in South America

• New bus range launched in India

Net sales by market area Fourth quarter Year
2011 2010 Change in % 2011 2010 Change in %
Europe 2,225 1,581 41 7,009 6,242 12
North America 2,167 1,885 15 7,541 7,200 5
South America 1,001 582 72 2,721 1,737 57
Asia 833 947 (12) 3,027 3,299 (8)
Other markets 454 607 (25) 1,991 2,038 (2)
Total 6,680 5,602 19 22,289 20,516

9

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.

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.

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.”

ONE IN TWELVE – Morning Glory

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.

We’re kicking off with a double, featuring both Bus Eireann and Dublin bus, with a pair of early morning shots.

Bus Eireann VC39 heads into the sunrise on the first scheduled departure from Macroom.

Bus Eireann VC39 heads into the sunrise on the first scheduled departure from Macroom.

Above: Sometimes the best shots are the spur of the moment ones. Sometime around 2002, I was heading back from Kerry to Dublin very early in the morning, and passed through Macroom just as the first morning service to Cork was departing. A few miles out the road, I saw a passenger waiting at the roadside where there was a reasonable pull-in, and figured it would be a good opportunity to get an “action shot” of a Bus Eireann coach out in the countryside, mid route. Now that the VCs are gradually vanishing from service work, I’m glad I got this shot when I had the opportunity.

Dublin Bus AV92 working early morning 14 trips before Coastal Tour duties

Dublin Bus AV92 working early morning 14 trips before Coastal Tour duties

When the Coastal Tour was introduced, one of the two tours buses was scheduled to work a couple of round trips on the 14/A before taking up duty on the tour. The bus would work one of the early 14As from Ballinteer, and back, managing to get in another citybound journey at the end of the morning peak, before parking up in the Great Strand Street compound until needed for tours.

By 2001 AV92 was one of the regular buses on the service.

This link was broken when the routes were changed in 2005, and there is no longer a regular scheduled tourbus working.