Last Day of the 10 and Network Direct Blanchardstown:
Harristown's Wright Eclipse Fusion bodied Volvo B7LA, AW10, is seen operating a special duty on Phibsborough's Route 10 on the very last day of the route, 30th October 2010.
Yesterday saw the end of one of the most historic of all Dublin Bus routes (see a full history here). The 10 passed into the confines of history, however the day was marked by a great turn out of enthusiasts and vehicles to give the route a last hurrah. Of special note was the operation of AW10 on a route that it had been long associated with. It operated one lap, in service, driven of course by a bus enthusiast. Thanks to those that organised its operation, a great send off to a memorable route.
The Wright Connection, Wright Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL, VG3, and Wright Eclipse Fusion bodied Volvo B7LA, line up in together at the Belfield terminus on the final day of the 10, 31st October 2010.
Two preserved Atlanteans also made it out for the last day of the 10. MetSec bodied Leyland Atlantean PDR1A/1 D464 and DAF re-engined Van Hool bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68 DF839. Both were in immaculate condition and are a credit to their owners. The 10 will always be remembered for its PDR1A/1 operation, hence the appearance of D464 on the route in the old tan livery was a fantastic sight. DF839 actually operated Route 10, being allocated to Phibsborough for a time in the early 90s. Its reappearance on its former route brought back some great memories.
As these buses travelled through the city streets, stopping along the way, us enthusiasts were confronted with many a passer-by for whom these buses brought back long forgotten memories. People stopped and joined us taking photos, others called up friends and family in sheer disbelief that these vehicles were running once more. D464 even managed to be in today's (31/10/10) Sunday Independent, a historic bus on the last day of a historic route.
I take this moment to thank the owners of these vehicles for bringing them out on this memorable day. The Irish Bus Enthusiasts are fortunate that among us there are individuals who invest their money and spare time in restoring and maintaining those vehicles that have such fantastic memories for all of us. To them we are most greatful.
Preserved DF839 heads D464 on Kildare Street on the last day of Route 10, the 30th October 2010.
The last 10 from Belfield, the 2300 service northbound to Phoenix Park was dropped at the last moment due to driver illness. Though there are 3 more 10C departures to O'Connell Street, no doubt the reason for its lack of replacement, it was set to be a sad and ignominious end for this great route. Thankfully, with a bit of organisation from one enthusiast among us, the driver and the controller, AX572 assigned to the 2316 departure became the 2300 departure to the Phoenix Park. Thanks must go to the driver who agreed to drive this last duty at the final moment, and to the enthusiast who made it happen. It was a most fitting end to a great day that the 10 had its final swansong along its route to the Phoenix Park.
Phibsborough's AX572, prior to its last departure on Route 10, is seen at its Belfield terminus alongside D464, on the 30th October 2010, operating the very last northbound departure of Route 10.
It was a somber journey for those of us who travelled on AX572 on the final journey of Route 10. Little was spoken as the bus went about its journey, though boisterous UCD students filled this silence with loud and obnoxious drunken revelry, a final reminder of the anti-social behaviour of those students that affected the 10 in its final years. The northbound journey was quiet, operating behind EV100 on the 46A, the route that took over the northside section.
But today was a new day and new routes were to be sampled. The 39A replaced the southside section of Route 10 to Belfield. Unfortunately, not one of the buses that I seen today were capable of showing UCD Belfield. Though a number of buses seen out today had been updated, not one of these was observed operating Route 39A, the very route that required them the most. The same lack of updating occurred with the 46A on its first day, however with the 10 still running it was not so important that the correct destination was shown. However, with no other service down the full length of Waterloo Road or into the Belfield grounds from Donnybrook, it was dissapointing that the effort had not been made to either update the destination displays of all buses, or to assign the ones that had been updated to the 39A.
Phibsborough's Wright Gemini Volvo B9TL, VG7, is seen operating Route 39A to Belfield on Waterloo Road on the 31st October 2010. The display has not been updated thus it is showing a very uninformative Westmoreland Street. Most other 39As were showing Hawkins Street, neither correct, neither near where the bus was destined.
Phibsborough's AX594 was one of the buses that had been updated. It is shown here operating Route 37 on Lower Baggot Street on the 31st October 2010. The display is like those updated for the Stillorgan changes, on the top line is the destination in English, the bottom line alternating between the Irish of the destination and the via point. However for those terminating on Baggot Street, a further alternate was included on the final line showing "Grand Canal".
Burlington Mews in the name of the brand new terminus for the 37, 38/A, 39 and 70. These buses follow Route 10 from D'olier Street to Baggot Street Upper, they then turn right onto Waterloo Road terminating at the first stop. They then take the second right off Waterloo Road and layover on the stretch of road between there and Burlington Road. Further layover space is located towards Mespil Road on the Burlington Road but should only be needed on the odd occasion. Buses leaving Burlington Mews turn right onto Burlington Road and right again onto Mespil Road. Then left over Baggot Street Bridge having their first pick up stop on Baggot Street at the corner of Pembroke Row.
Unfortunately these buses do not serve the two busiest stops inbound, the last stop on Waterloo Road and the first stop on Baggot Street after turning from Waterloo Road. In fact their first bus stop is quite a distance away over the bridge. The junction of Burlington Mews and Burlington Road is very wide, only recently road markings were put there to manage traffic. The junction is easily wide enough for a roundabout, a roundabout that could even accommodate an AW turning never mind a VT. This would have then allowed these routes to serve those stops. No doubt the City Council have their part to play in all this, and all blame cannot be put at Dublinbus' door, however its an opportunity lost, especially when the 39A runs into problems.
AX550 on Route 38A and AX557 on Route 37 await their times at the new Burlington Mews set down terminus on the 31st October 2010.
A non-updated AV376 operating Route 39 about to turn right off Waterloo Road to its Burlington Mews terminus on the 31st October 2010.
Updated VG3 is seen turning right from Burlington Road onto Mespil Road heading to IBM Damastown on Route 38 on the 31st October 2010.
With these Blanchardstown services vacating their Hawkins Street termini, these were left open for Routes 51B, 51C, 68 and 69 to move to. Conyngham Road seem to have been quite good at updating the destination displays with only one noted showing Aston Quay.
Conyngham Road's Alexander bodied Volvo B7LDD, AX525, is seen operating a 51C departure to Grange Castle on Hawkins Street on the 31st October 2010. Note the position of the fleet number. This is like this a number of AXs.
Littlepace has been one of the big winners in the Network Review with the operation of Route 70 via Littlepace on a full time basis.
Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL, AV430, is seen on Littepace Road operating a Route 70 departure to Dunboyne on the 31st October 2010.
However its the Pelletstown Road and the Hazelbury Park, Manorfields and Latchford Estates that have made the biggest gain. This road has gone from a 1 departure each way peak only Route 70B service, to an all day high frequency service from both Route 39A and Route 39. Both the 39 and 39A both terminate on the Ongar Road adjacent to Annally Grove. They then operate around the Ongar Loop past Ongar Village and Linnetfields continuing past its former terminus. They then turn right at Hazelbury Park onto the Pelletstown Road past Castlegrange, Latchford and Ravenwood back to the roundabout they initially started from. The 39A then takes a left onto the New Ongar Road while the 39 continues straight ahead to serve Clonsilla Road and St. Joseph's Hospital.
VG7, seen again, this time on the Pelletstown Road operating a Route 39A service to Belfield on the 31st October 2010.
The routes rejoin on the Shelerin Road before serving the Hartstown/Huntstown loop into the Shopping Centre. New Stops are placed in the old set down area for the 237, 238, 239 and 270, opposite the set of shelters formerly used by the 39 in both directions. The 39 and 39A to the city serve the new stops, whereas from the city they continue to use the shelters across the road. The 39s double-back on themselves and operate their former route into the city contininuing onto Bachelors Walk before operating like a 10 to Waterloo Road, whereas the 39A continues around the centre to shortcut onto the N3 By-Pass.
An updated VG4 operating Route 39 at its new citybound stop at Blanchardstown Centre on the 31st October 2010.
The composition of Routes 39 and 39A seems to be very wasteful as they are much the same route without any interlacing. From observation the 39A had terrible reliability issues today. The 39 was more reliable, as was the 37, 38 and 70. The 39A and 39 operate much the same route, yet can operate at roughly the same time and bunching can be quite common. Personally I felt that the 39 and 39A should have operated very different routings. The 39 could have operated an old 39A to Clonsilla, serving Blanchardstown Main Street before operating down the Clonsilla Road past St. Joseph's Hospital and follow the loop it currently does at a frequency of every 20mins. The 39A on the other hand could operate as present to Blanchardstown Centre, dwell there until its departure time, then operate anti-clockwise around the Hartstown/Huntstown Loop back to the Centre and across to Belfield.
This would significantly cut the journey time of the 39A with significant saving of buses, especially when its operating at 10 and 5min frequencies. In the event of a bus arriving at Blanchardstown more than 10mins prior to its departure time, passengers could be transferred onto the bus in front. This could easily be regulated. An infrequent service could then be provided between Ongar, Hartstown, Huntstown and Blanchardstown Village.
Harristown's Enviro 400 bodied Volvo B9TL, EV50, is seen at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre having operated a Route 17A departure from Kilbarrack via Beaumont Hopsital on the 31st October 2010. This bus has set down opposite the stop from which it departs.
One of the positives from this day was the 17A's extension to Blanchardstown Centre. This route is much more frequent than the 220, and opens up a wealth of journey options for those on the north side of the city. The route from Blanchardstown Centre is as follows:
Blanchardstown Centre (Northwest side), right turn onto Blanchardstown Centre (North East side), left turn onto Navan Road, left turn to N3 slip road, Blanchardstown By-Pass, left turn to new access road to Blanchardstown Connolly Hospital, on entry turn left at Roundabout, then right turn onto previous routing of 220 and 38C through the hospital serving the former stops along this road, left onto Waterville Terrace, Snugborough Road, Ballycoolin Road, Cappagh Road, Mellow's Road, Seamus Ennis Road, Ballygal Road West, Glasnevin Avenue, Ballymun Road, Santry Avenue, Swords Road, Coolock Lane, Oscar Traynor Road, Dundaniel Road, Kilbarron Road, loop into Beaumont Hospital, Kilbarron Road, Kilmore Road, Oscar Traynor Road, Tonlegee Road, Kilbarrack Road, Kilbarrack Parade.
The loop at Beaumont Hospital does add a significant amount of time to the journey, its position relative to Northside Shopping Centre always a good customer base for the 17A is unfortunate. The current infrastructure of stops is unchanged, none seemingly providing quick access to the centre.
Harristown's VG15, is seen at its Blanchardstown Centre terminus on the 31st October 2010 about to operate a service to Kilbarrack.
AV338 is seen operating a Route 17A service to Blanchardstown Centre in Beaumont Hospital on the 31st October 2010. The time is 16:45, darkness has already set in, the clocks going back not helping the avid bus enthusiast.
A number of services other than the 10 have ended because of these Blanchardstown Changes. These routes are the 37X, 38, 38B, 38C, 39B, 39C, 39X, 70A, 70B, 70X and 237. A number of these services will appear as images of the week over the next few months. The final change of note concerns to the 236 and 238. The 236 has returned to its former Factory Link status operating to and from the Ballycoolin Industrial parks in the morning and evening peaks. The Tyrellstown Estate is now served by the 238, which operates from Ladyswell via Blanchardstown Centre to Tyrellstown.
VG31 is seen operating Route 238 in Blanchardstown Centre on the 31st October 2010.