Metro / Glider Fleet News 2018
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11/10/18 - Volvo B7 2899 (Falls) was SORN'd at the end of September, following accident damage sustained in North Street on 17th September, whilst 2929 (Short Strand) is now in Reserve. Scania 785 has moved to Ulsterbus (Bangor), whilst 2941/2 have returned from Ulsterbus, with 2941 going to Reserve and 2942 to Short Strand. Scania 744 has been sold to Halpenny Travel, Blackrock. Versa 1808 is the first of the 3 green former P&R vehicles to receive magenta colours; also in magenta is 2361, previously the Metro Heros AoA.
10/09/18 - A glut of new vehicles at the start of September saw the following entering service : Van Hool 318/HB AB42F+63 Gliders 3200/28 (HGZ 8200, Milewater Service Centre, 9th August); Optare Solo B28F+9 1974-85 (IGZ 7974, Falls, 3rd September), 1986-91 (Short Strand, 3rd September); Wrightbus Streetdeck H45/29F 3125-7 (JGZ 3215, Falls, 3rd September normal length and in Translink Urby livery). Due to ongoing road closure and diversions associated with the Primark Bank Buildings fire the following vehicles have been allocated as Active Reserve on a temporary basis from 3rd September 2018 to cover for associated delays: Short Strand 741, 2929, 2943; Milewater SC 766/77; Falls 742/3/92; Newtownabbey 790. Against this buses detaxed/SORN'd at the end of August were: Scanias 725 (Short Strand), 744/5/85/6 (Newtownabbey), 785/6/97/8/9 (GVS) and Volvo B7TLs 2922/36/9 (Short Strand). Scania/Irizar 1716 remains out of use pending overhaul and repaint. A large reshuffle of vehicles has also taken place to allow for the Glider changes, with GVS no longer hosting Metro buses: 2950/1/2 (Falls - Ulsterbus), 1913 (GVS - Ulsterbus), 904/15/6 (GVS - Short Strand), 741/911/2953/4 (Falls - Short Strand), 766/81 (Falls - Milewater SC), 777 (Duncrue Street - Milewater SC), 788 (Newtownabbey - Milewater SC), 800-2/905-8/17-21/1901-10/98/1914/5/2119-23/82-4/2214/5/2343-6/54/5/62/74/5/91-6/2955-9/73-5 (GVS - Milewater SC), 1933/2187/98 (Short Strand - Milewater SC), 928-30 (Falls - Newtownabbey), 1920-2 (GVS - Falls), 2380-2/2904 (Short Strand - Newtownabbey), 2905/6 (Short Strand - Falls), 2929 (Duncrue Street - Short Strand), 2941/2 (Short Strand - Ulsterbus) and 2961 (Newtownabbey - Ulsterbus). Burnt out Scania/Irizar 1729 has gone to Hamill for scrap, with B10BLE 2797 being sold to Shannon, Newtownards for preservation. Route changes at the start of September sees the introduction of Glider routes G1 (Dundonald P&R - City Centre - McKinstry Road) and G2 (City Centre - Ttanic Quarter), with the previous 4A becoming Ballybeen to Dundonald Park and Ride and 4B becoming Coopers Mill to Dundonald Park and Ride. Previous routes 18/9/19A are now renumbered to 4E/4D/4C respectively. On the west side of the city 10C becomes Colin Town Centre - Poleglass, 10D Colin Town Centre - Lagmore, 10E Colin Town Centre - Twinbrook.
01/08/18 - More Van Hool 318/HB AB42F+63 Gliders taxed for Engineering & Driver Training are 3224/5/6/7 (HGZ 8224, Milewater Service Centre, 5th July) and 3217-23/9 (Milewater Service Centre, 31st July). Solo 1923 was loaned to Ulsterbus Coleraine between 4th and 23rd July. B10BLEs 2798/900/18 have gone to Hamill for scrap, with 2806 being sold to Shannon, Newtownards.
01/07/18 - Further Gliders on the road for commissioning are 3212-5 (HGZ 3212, 14th June), 3211 (HGZ 3211, 15th June) and 3216 (21st June). All are allocated to the Milewater Service Centre. B7RLE 903 has been returned to use at Short Strand after completion of accident damage repairs) whilst buses put to reserve are the 3 remaining B10BLEs 2797/8 (Short Strand) and 2806 (Duncrue Street) along with Scanias 701/3 (Short Strand), 714/5/39 (Falls), 724/76 (GVS) and 740 (Newtownabbey). A solitary bus detaxed for the school holidays is Irizar 1716 (Short Strand). Solo 1922 has moved from Short Strand to GVS with 1959 returning the other direction, whilst Scania 776 has moved from GVS to Duncrue Street as an engineering float.
01/06/18 - More Van Hool 318HB Gliders taxed to enable training/commissioning are 3208/10 (HGZ 3208, 3rd May), 3209 (IGZ 3209, 3rd May), 3202-5 (HGZ 3202, 14th May) and 3207 (HGZ 3207, 22nd May). All are allocated to the Milewater Service Centre. 2 additional Van Hools have been ordered bringing the total to 32. The Volvo B10BLE fleet has diminished again with 2800 (Duncrue Street) being withdrawn for disposal on 2nd May. Scania 725 has moved from GVS to Short Strand whilst similar 722 and B10BLE 2764 have both gone to Hamill for scrap.
01/05/18 - Solo 12914 (GVS) and B10BLE 2798 (Duncrue Street) have returned to use after completion fo repairs, whilst Irizar coach 1729 is now withdrawn after suffering an engin fire at Newry Station whilst on rail replacement work. 1729 has been replaced by 1716 transferred from Ulsterbus Armagh. Scania L94 713 has been sold to Transport Training Services, Crumlin, whilst B10BLEs 2785/94 have gone to Hamill for scrap.22/04/18 - The first of the Gliders (Van Hool 318 HB / Van Hool Exquicity AB42+63) to be taxed are 3201/6 (HGZ 8201), and are the first buses to be allocated to the new Milewater Service Centre in Duncrue Street. These pair are to be used for Engineering & Driver Training in preparation for the forthcoming Glider Service. B7TL 2975 has been returned to use after completion of repairs, whilst B7RLE 903 (Short Strand, Accident damage) and Solo 1914 (GVS, Engine defects) are SORNed from the end of March. B10BLE 2798 (Duncrue Street float) was withdrawn on 16th March, although this seems to have made yet another comeback during April. Sister 2809 was less lucky, going to Hamill for scrap. B9TL 2334 has lost it's Coors AOA, and is back in fleet livery. Repainting of ALXs continues at a slow pace, with 2902/6/7/71 now all magenta.
05/03/18 - Scania L94 725 has returned to use at the start of March, allocated to GVS as an engineering float. Also back with Metro is Irizar 1713, after it sojourn at the Training Academy. Against this Volvo B7TL 2975 (GVS) was SORN'd at the end of February for engine repairs. Repainting of ALXs continues at a slow pace, with 2905/17 now all magenta.
08/02/18 - Irizar 1713 has spent a number of periods on loan Training Academy during January. ALXs 2904/19 are now painted in the all-over magenta colours. A number of Optare Solo SRs are currently in build and are to be used on feeder services for the Glider network to be introduced later in the year. B10BLE 2795 has gone to Hamill for scrap.
09/01/18 - Irizar 1713 was loaned to the Training Academy for 11 days at the start of December. ALXs 2920/66 are now painted in the all-over magenta colours.
01/01/18 - Seasons Greetings and a Merry New Year from Irish Transport Heritage.
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