The End of the 128, 15E and 15F:
Harristown's AV217 is seen at the Clongriffin terminus of Route 128 on its second last day of service, the 16th December 2011.
Route 128 started on Monday 19th November 2011. It was long overdue, given the buses purchased nfor use on it, and other fleet expansion projects, were bought and delivered the previous year. Its strange, given all the Network Direct features I've done to talk about expansion, but yet its only 4 years ago that Dublin Bus put an extra 100 buses onto the road. The 128 was the first cross city route on the Malahide Road since the demise of the non-peak hour cross-city 20B in the late 80's. It was the first non-peak hour cross city service ever north of Donnycarney on the Malahide Road.
Harristown's AV213 is seen at the Palmerston Park terminus of Route 128 on the 16th December 2011.
Of all the routes introduced in this expansion phase (128, 140, 74/A, 47, 4/A), the 128 has probably survived the cutbacks best, though in the form of the new 15 which basically mirrors the old 128 10min schedule, at least on paper. The 128 heralded Clongriffin onto the bus network, in some form with the new estate receiving one of the most frequent services on the network. However, like all the big plans at the end of the boom, Clongriffin never became want it was lauded to be, the bustling metropolis, where people would sit and drink coffee while watching the buses go by. The architects images still adorn the hoardings around unfinighed plots on "Main Street", an unfitting reminder of a unfulfilled promise.
Harristown's AX621 is seen on Clongriffin Main Street passing the wind turbines on Route 128 on the 16th December 2011.
Harristown's AV175 is seen operating Route 128 on Portobello Bridge on the last day of ROute 128's existence on the 17th December 2011.
Palmerston Park provided a suitable terminus southside for this route, being just beyond the actual bustling district of Rathmines, which the 128 always displayed proudly, ignorant of any brackets or other information that might actually state that it terminated in Darty at Palmerston Park. And it was this terminus at Dartry that probably surprisingly brought a reasonable passenger base, being located next to the large off-campus accomodation for Trinity College. It was not uncommon to see double figures waiting at this stop for a given departure. The 140 is a lesser replacement given its reduced frequency and issues with running time.
Harristown's VG26 is seen on Clongriffin Main Street on the 16th December 2011 operating Route 128.
A picture can paint a thousand words, however the pictures here paint a different picture of Route 128 than was actually the case in reality. The 128 was the trusted home of the Harristown AXs, with a few dotted VGs and the rarer EV. Early AVs were also rare, with maybe only one in a large PVR. However on the last few days of Route 128's service, Harristown allocated a number of early AVs. Given this feature is based soley on these last few days, it may give the wrong impression. My last ever image of Route 128 is of another early AV. Dusk has begun to settle, not just in the picture but on the route as a whole as AV180 loads ready to depart on the last day of Route 128, the 17th December 2011.
Harristown's AV180 is seen at the Palmerstown Park terminus on the last evening of Route 128's service, the 17th December 2011.
Ringsend's AV320 is seen on Eden Quay operating the very last 15F to Ellensborough on the 16th December 2011.
Other routes to go on the 16th December 2011 were the peak hour only 15E and 15F. These were introduced amidst much fanfare in April 2001 with the launch of the Tallaght QBC. The 15D did exist, though only for a short period of time operating via Templeogue and Rossmore to the 15A terminus at Limekiln Avenue. These routes operated down George's Street avoiding St. Stephen's Green. The 15E was similar to the 15, operating past the Scholarstown terminus to Brookwood, whereas the 15F, also similar to the 15 turned up the Killininy Road as per the current 15 continuing on past Parklands to the Old Bawn Road before turning left into Ellensborough. The Parkland's area is now unserved, as the proposed 65B change did not occur on the same date. Why the 15F could not be kept until the 65B change is implemented is beyond me, however this hasn't gone unnoticed on the Dublin Bus Twitter page.
Ringsend's AX487 is seen on Eden Quay operating the last ever Route 15E to Brookwood on the 16th December 2011.
The Scholarstown terminus of Route 15 was dropped in the recent changes. In fact for a short time there was technically two routes terminating on Scholarstown Road. Scholarstown Road was first served in 1990, when Dublin Bus tentatively reintroduced Route 15, albeit extended way beyond its former Terenure terminus. A handful of departures was all that was offered to Knocklyon, but slowly but surely the number of departures increased until the point in the late 00s where the 15 was the most frequent of all the 15 group. There are only two stops on Scholarstown Road unserved, the terminus which is very close to the new 15B service and the stop at the school which is very close to the new 15. A short walk is all that seperates these routes at this point. This section of Scholarstown Road may not remain unserved for too long as the much muted 175 may be introduced.
Ringsend's RV539 is seen loading at the Scholarstown Road terminus of Route 15 on the 16th December 2011, the second last day of serving this terminus.
Ringsend's RV535 is seen expertly scrolled heading to the Scholarstown Road terminus of Route 15 on the 16th December 2011. This section of Scholarstown Road is still served by Route 15.
The final change of note concerns the rerouting of the 15B (given the cancellation of the 74/A as of the same date was convered earlier in their own feature). Ballyboden Way was the terminus of Route 15B now only for a few months. It was diverted there after the 61 was introduced serving Whitechurch, albeit at a much much lower frequency. Interestingly in the new route 15B, there are one or two peak hour services to Whitechurch. However of more significant note was the removal of the 15 group from the contra-flow bus lane terminus. The 15 were the stallwarts of this particular terminus for a number of years, sharing with some of the less frequent Tallaght routes. The terminus itself bowed out, at least in the shortterm, on the 7th January 2012. The current plan, post completion of the new bridge linking Marlborough Street and Hawkins Street, will see the current two lane contra-flow kept from Liberty Hall till the Marlborough Street junction.
Ringsend's RV609 is seen at the 15 group terminus on Eden Quay on the 16th December 2011. The tiles on the stop have already been blanked pending their exit from this stop on the night of the 17th.
Ringsend's AX470 is seen on the Scholarstown Road having operated a 15B to Ballyboden Way on the 16th December 2011. The lack of a pull-in on the Ballyboden Way meant that the 15B, if running early, terminated at one of the multitude of pull-ins on the Scholarstown Road.