Citybus Fleet News 2003

Citybus News 2002
Citybus News 2001

Citybus News 2000


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RELLS Remaining - 10 - Enjoy them while you still can !!

Probable last day of RELL operation - Saturday 31st January 2004

Still in service: 2520 2522 2527 2532 2535 2547 2548 2572 2573 2575

28/12/03 - Detaxed to Reserve on Christmas Eve were more of the unloved Darts (630/7/9) and Tigers 2620/4/7. On the same date 1476 was transfered from Short Strand to GVS and 2788 from Falls to Newtownabbey. It appears that no further Citybus RELLs have been detaxed in December.

26/12/03 - Scania/Solar 799-802 (UCZ 8799 - 8802) are now in use at Falls. Cityliner 2667 has received an overall advert for Heinz Tomato Soup and will presumably replace 2635 which was first received a Heinz livery as long ago as September 1995.

21/12/03 - Scania 799 is the highest noted in service so far.

20/12/03 - Ultra 2718 is another to have it's unreliable BrightTech displays replaced by the orange LED type. A further Scania to enter service is 796 (UCZ 8796) at Short Strand.

Scania 795 - Donegall Sq West - Dec 2003

17/12/03 - 798 is another Scania in service at Short Strand.

14/12/03 - Scania / Wrightbus Solar 793-5 (UCZ 8793-5) should enter service at Short Strand on Monday 15th.

09/12/03 - Ultra 2722 has been fitted with orange LED displays at the front, side and rear to very good effect when compared to the previous ones fitted.

06/12/03 - The first of the Scanias to be delivered here are 793/5 (UCZ 8793/5).

02/12/03 - 2 further RELLs to go at the end of November are 2556/9. 2559 was one of the last 3 to enter service (on 01/09/86 together with 2553/7) having been delivered nearly 3 years earlier on 15/12/83.

21/11/03 - Good news is the remaining RELLs have had a stay of execution for a month - the final running day will be Saturday 31st January now. This is due to the late arrival of Scanias 793-808, which should commence delivery in the incoming week. Enviro demonstrator 2027 still languishes out of use here, apparently due to problems with it's paperwork.

19/11/03 - Volvo B7 2927 has gained a mega-rear advertisement for Invest NI, replacing it's previous one for BPM energy drinks.

06/11/03 - Ultra 2717 has been repainted in the 'swoopless' low floor livery.

04/11/03 - Cityliner 1455 has finally gone to Beattie's for scrap, having been damaged in an accident in January 2000.

31/10/03 - RELLs 2520/2 have had a stay of execution and remained in service; 2517/25/6/39/42/51 have gone to Reserve however. Due to a mix-up with the DOE Scanias 793-808 will be registered UCZ 8793 etc and not as previously shown.

22/10/03 - Volvo B7 2924 has lost it's mega rear advert for Matrix Reloaded and gained on for the sequel, Matrix Revolutions. Sisters 2934/8 have lost their mega-rears and have reverted to fleet livery. B10BLE 2790 makes a new all time low in vehicle presentation here - after repaint it carries neither fleetnames nor numbers externally at all.

19/10/03 - Despite reports to the contrary no Scania's are yet delivered here. B10BLE 2790 is the lastest to gain the swoopless livery. Citybus seem unable to decide which livery to use these days as recent low floor repaints have included all 3 styles (swoops, swoopless and red and cream on Ultras)! Enviro 300 demonstrator 2027 (SN03WKV) is now at Falls awaiting PSV. It is B45F+27 and should stay for about 9 months.

15/10/03 - The RELL fleet here is now diminishing rapidly, with a further 8 to be taken out of service by the end of the month at the latest. These should be 2517/20/2/5/6/39/42/51 (all from Falls) and have been replaced there by Cityliners 2660-6 transferred from Newtownabbey. It is expected that the RELL will be completely gone from the Citybus fleet by Christmas. Registrations UCZ 7793-7808 have been booked for the forthcoming batch of Scania L94's.

12/10/03 - Dates of entry in to service for the remaining B7TL/Transbus are 04/09 (2950/9), 05/09 (2958/60), 09/09 (2961/2), 10/09 (2956), 12/09 (2963/4) and 15/09 (2965). 2957 initially operated at Falls for a number of days before moving to Newtownabbey. RELLs 2525/6 have moved from Short Strand to Falls.

08/10/03 - Two more RELLs have been transfered to Reserve, these being 2543/52 (AXI 2543/52) both from Short Strand. B7TL 2931 has lost it's rear end advert for Harp and unusually for this batch is operating with it's rear end in fleet livery.

15/09/03 - Interestingly Ulsterbus Scania/Irizar 1664 (TCZ 1664) was in use here at the weekend. It was apparently deputising for B10M/Plaxton 1651 which is at Duncrue Street for the replacement of a damaged stress panel. 1651 should also be repainted in the same scheme as 1652 (ie no wavy line). The remaining B7TL's are now in service (2961-5 TCZ 9961 etc Short Strand). The Enviro 300 demonstrator should arrive with the company next week and is expected to work either from Short Strand or Newtownabbey. A double deck demonstrator is also due.

10/09/03 - B7TL/ALX 400 2950 did not enter service on 1st September as expected due to electrical problems; however RELL 2525 did return to service at Short Strand. 2520/2/42 moved to Falls on that date, with 2543/52/72/2670 going to Short Strand, 2642 to GVS and 2650/2818 to Newtownabbey.

06/09/03 - B7TL/ALX 400s 2958-60 are now in service at Newtownabbey. A Transbus Enviro 300 has been observed at the back of the Leyland DAF dealers in Mallusk in full Citybus low floor livery. It is not yet known if it is a demonstrator for Citybus.

04/09/03 - B7TL/ALX 400 2957 (TCZ 9957) is now in service at Newtownabbey.


New Volvo /  ALX 400 2944  - Sep 2003

31/08/03 - 15 new B7TL/ALX 400's are expected in to service tomorrow. 2941-5 (TCZ 9941 etc) at Short Strand, 2946-50 at Falls and 2951-5 at GVS (at least one to be de-roofed by Christmas!). The remaining 10 should go to Newtownabbey (2956-60) and Short Strand (2961-5). A total of 20 RE's will be returning to service, 2517/20/2/35/9/42/7/8/51/6/9/73 at Falls and 2525-7/32/43/52/72/5 at Short Strand. Both Newtownabbey and GVS will lose their allocations. Transfered to Reserve are 2514/6/28/30/1/3/4/7/8/45/50/4/62. 2528 has already been stripped for spares and sent to Beatties for scrapping.

15/08/03 - Tiger 2603 returned to service at the start of August after having been detaxed for the School Holidays.

14/08/03 - The West Midlands Trident/ALX400 will not be used as it is fitted with an aircraft style high pressure refuelling system which is incompatable with Citybus refuelling equipment. Cityliner 2670 has gained a dayglo orange super-rear advert for AIB Student Accounts. 2943 is the first of the new deckers to be delivered; 10 are expected by September and will displace a smilar number of RELLs.

12/08/03 - Timetable alterations at the start of September will see major changes in the Tillysburn area with services being re-routed to serve the new Holywood Exchange centre. Route number 24 makes a re-appearance as City Centre - Knocknagoney via Queens Bridge and Sydenham; route 28 is a new route from City Centre - Holywood Exchange via Albert Bridge and Holywood Road whilst service 29 is another new route running from Forestside - Holywood Exchange via Braniel and Gilnahirk. This also operates on Sunday as route 123!! The 29 should hopefully provide a useful link between East Belfast and Forestside. Route numbers 28 and 29 have been long dormant and should provide a number of new photographic opportunities.

11/08/03 - Interesting news is that a a Trident demonstrator with Transbus ALX400 bodywork has been received. It is reported to be in Travel West Midlands style livery and is registered BJ 03 EVN. Falls are currently kitting it out with ticket equipment, etc, so it looks like it'll be going into service. The red, white and blue livery may limit where they will send it though!

04/08/03 - At least 2941-4 of the new batch of B7TLs are complete. They are broadly similar to the earlier delivery and feature the now standard swoopless livery and also LED light clusters as fitted to this years Optares and Solars.

30/07/03 - The entire stock of RELLs has again been detaxed for the summer along with Darts 627-3/9/40, Tigers 2603/18/28-30/43 and Mercedes 3100-3. RELL 2512 has returned from Ulsterbus Coleraine and is now in Reserve. Not previously mentioned is that Atlantean 2901 has been converted in at an open-topper with the removal of most of it's previous 'glass top'. Tiger 2674 now carries a super-rear advert for Harp. B7TLs 2928/9 were temporarily loaned to Ulsterbus for the duration of the Special Olympics with TE's 515/7 received in their place.

11/07/03 - Ultra 2761 has been fitted with 4 opening windows, 2 on each side, and is the only one of these vehicles to be so treated.

27/06/03 - The first of the 25 B7TL / Transbus double deckers should be complete before the summer holiday break but will probably not be delivered until early August. Registrations for these vehicles will be TCZ 9941 - TCZ 9965.

23/06/03 - Now sent to Beatties for scrapping are RELL 2490 and, surprisingly, Dart 634 which managed a mere 8 years and 2 months service. Cityliners 2648/73 are two further ones with Harp super-rear advertisements. 2490 was recovered from Beatties some time ago and then sent to the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade for training purposes.

15/06/03 - Cityliners 2648/73 are two further ones with Harp super-rear advertisements.

13/06/03 - Tiger/N-Type 2616 has been repained to fleet colours, previously having carried an overall advert for the Environment and Heritage Service.

28/05/03 - Even more Harp adverts are Cityliners 2636/8 and B7TL 2939. Tiger/N-type 2616 which currently carries an overall advert for the Environment and Heritage Service has been noted in Duncrue Street and presumably is there for repaint to fleet livery.

27/05/03 - Atlantean/ECW open topper 2911 has joined this fleet for use on the Cityhopper Tour which is to be re-instated this year. Also in the Tours fleet B10M/Plaxton 1652 is at Duncrue Street to be painted red. This and sister 1651 should also gain rainbow stripes as part of their livery.

24/05/03 - Yet more rear-end adverts are for Harp on Cityliner 2650 and B7 2933 and ROX Energy Drinks on Cityliner 2678.

22/05/03 - Cityliner 2679 carries a super-rear advertisement for Harp.

19/05/03 - Volvo 2931 now has a mega-rear advertisement for Harp (again !!).

04/05/03 - The latest mega-rear advert noted is 2924, this time for the forthcoming film 'Matrix Reloaded'. The Citylink dedicated Renowns 2891-4 now have small LED displays internally which announce the next stop. Unfortunately the system doesn't appear to be perfect as in Royal Avenue the system shows the next stop as being High Street, completely ignoring the Noth Street one! LED displays have also appeared at Laganside (sited quite remotely from the Centrelink stop) and on the CityExpress stop at Donegall Square West.

02/05/03 - Ultra 2706 now has an orange LED destination screen (similar to the Flexibus Solos), replacing it's existing Bright-Tech unit. The side and rear units appear to have been removed. Sister 2719 is the latest to carry the fixed "14 Ladybrook" board whilst 1479 has lost it's front electronic number display in place of conventional white roller blinds. Cityliner 2675 is another with a rear end advert for Belfast City Council Leisure Services.

30/04/03 - Rumour suggests that up to 4 secondhand open top double deckers are to be purchased although no further details as to the type of vehicle are known.

28/04/03 - B7TL 2926 (HCZ 9926) now has a rear end advert for BPM whilst Cityliner 2663 (VXI 2663) now carries one for Belfast City Council Leisure Services.

14/04/03 - Unique Ayats Bravo double deck coach 2001 (BCZ 2001) has gone to Ulsterbus Derry on loan, whilst RELL numbers are further diminished here as 2525 (XOI 2525) is now in Reserve. 16 Scania L94s are due here, to be numbered 793-808. The B7TLs due will become 2941-2965.

28/03/03 - RELL 2512 has temporarily transferred to Ulsterbus Bangor.

21/03/03 - B7TLs 2927/32 now carry a mega-rear adverts for BPM Energy Drinks.

11/03/03 - During February 3 RELLs were sold on to P&O Ferries at Larne for further service. They are 2505/6 (XOI 2505/6) and 2540 (AXI 2540) and have been repainted in to a white livery with blue skirt for their new owners.

10/03/03 - RELL 2509 (XOI 2509) has gone to Beatties for scrap..

08/03/03 - Cityliner 2672 now carries a super-rear advert for DOE.

23/02/03 - Cityliner 1468 has a sash type advert for Harp, whilst 2662 has a super-rear for DOE. B10M 1651 is now painted red and white, but currently carries no fleetnames.

13/02/03 - Cityliner 2680 has gained a super-rear advert for Isaac Agnew Audi. The rear number plate is cleverly worked in to the advert, however it's doubtful if there are many VXI registered A4's on the road!!

11/02/03 - Ultra 2706 has received a novel new form of advertising. The advert (in this case for Harp) takes the form of a 8 foot broad 'sash' extending from skirt to roof level between the wheelarches on the offside of the vehicle, including contravision over the windows.

08/02/03 - RELLs 2505 (XOI 2505 - reserve), 2506 (Short Strand) and 2540 (Active Reserve) have been withdrawn for disposal. Ulsterbus B10BLE 2818 has come to Short Strand in exchange for the previous transfer of 2922 to Ulsterbus (GVS).

06/02/03 - Interesting news is that one of the former Citybus Leyland B21's has been secured for preservation. Ipswich 151 (TDX 120W, ex WOI 3002) passed to Wells, Blackheath in 10/02.

31/01/03 - B7TL 2932 is another to gain a Harp mega-rear advertisement.

30/01/03 - B7TL 2926 has gained a mega-rear advert for Harp. These vehicles are also now being fitted with near side advert frames. Tenders have been invited for a 1.6 million refurbishment of the running repair workshops in Falls Road depot, to commence summer 2003.

17/01/03 - RELL 2497 has gone to Beattie for scrap (again!!) - it's charmed life now seems to be over for good..

15/01/03 - RELL 2505 (Short Strand) is back in Reserve, displaced by former Ulsterbus B10BLE 2817. Cityliners 2678/80 now have rear-end adverts for LearnDirect.

13/01/03 - Volvo B7TL 2924 has gained 'T' shaped advertisement framing on it's offside; none have been installed on the nearside. As yet no advertising is carried. Delivery of the 25 new Volvo/Transbus deckers should be during August.

04/01/03 - B7TLs 2922/5/37/40 now have Magners super-rears in place of their previous ones for Big-W.

02/01/03 - Former open-top Fleetline 2863 (EOI 4863) has gone to Beatties for scrap.

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