Citybus Fleet News 2004

Citybus News 2003
Citybus News 2002
Citybus News 2001

Citybus News 2000


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RELLS - gone but not forgotten !!

24/12/04 - Ultras 2749/50 are now in 'Metro' colours - 2749 now having carried 4 schemes (red/cream, prototype Citybus vehicle for Translink low floor swoops, low floor without swoops and now Metro), whilst 2750 missed out the Translink green scheme completely having been red/cream from new to the present day. Sisters 2725 (Metro base with magenta) and 2743 (red/cream) should also be early repaints to these colours. Seemingly the entire Metro fleet is to be painted in a two year period.

16/12/04 - RELLs 2521/7 (XOI 2521) are on their way to Wealden PSV this weekend. 12 vehicles are to be painted in to the new Metro livery for the proposed inauguration of the new network in early February 2005. One wonders how long it will be before all the low floors are painted in this livery, given that more than 5 years after the launch of the low floor livery, there are still a number of red/cream low floor vehicles around.

12/12/04 - More recent repaints in the Metro 'base' colours are Renowns 2787/9/90, Ultra 2717 and Mercedes O405 2101. Tigers 2641/60/3 have had super-rear adverts for EU Funding (Building Sustainable Prosperity) applied. Dart 631 returned to service on 15/11 at GVS.

06/12/04 - Ultra 2718 (LAZ 2718) was demonstrated to management today in 2 variations of the proposed new Metro livery. It is believed the offside variation has been approved for use. Judge it for yourself below:

Volvo B10L 2718 - Metro livery version 1 - Belfast Dect 2004

Volvo B10L 2718 - Metro livery version 2 - Belfast Dect 2004


03/12/04 - Ultra 2718 (LAZ 2718) is at Falls Park being used for livery experiments in connection with "Metro".

Volvo B10BLE 2764 - Metro base livery - Belfast Sept 2004

Volvo B10BLE 2764 - Metro base livery rear view - Belfast Sept 2004

Ultra 2749 - Metro base livery with magenta front - Belfast Sept 2004

03/12/04 - Ultra 2718 (LAZ 2718) is at Falls Park being used for livery experiments in connection with "Metro".

27/11/04 - Renown 2780/90 are now in the 'Metro base' style of livery. Mega-rear adverts appiled to Volvo B7's recently incluse 2930 (Investors in People) and 2937/51/4 (Dundonald Ice Bowl). The latter 2 are the first of the TCZ group of vehicles to gain rear end adverts.

25/11/04 - Dart/Wright 631 has been overhauled and returned to service. Renown 2783 is now in the 'Metro base' style of livery.

21/11/04 - The latest repaints to Metro base colours are Ultra 2732 and Renowns 2782/5. Renown 2773 carries the version which retains the mint rear.

16/11/04 - Ultra 2705 has been involved in a heavy smash, and it's future is now in some doubt (hopefully !!). Sister 2718 has also been given a red / cream repaint (why ?).

08/11/04 - More mega-rear adverts due shortly are 1 for Investors in People and 5 for Dundonald Ice Bowl (individual bus numbers to be confirmed). A further overall advert due this week is Tiger 2666 which will be for Investors in People, having previously carried one for Belfast City Council litter prevention. RELL 2517 has been sold to Challands, Selston for preservation.

07/11/04 - Tiger 2612 has returned to GVS from it's period of loan to Ulsterbus Newtownabbey. RELL 2542 has been sold to the Transport Museum of Ireland for preservation. Further repaints to the Metro base style livery are Ultra 2710 and Renowns 2778/88. B7TL 2933 how has a mega-rear advert for Belfast CityBeat. Seemingly an Ultra is to be fitted with Buspak advertising panels and, if successful, will be followed by others.

04/11/04 - Surprisingly Ultra 2750 has had a red / cream repaint.

24/10/04 - Renowns 2770/84 and Ultra 2709 are now in Metro base colours.

20/10/04 - Renown 2762 is now in Metro base colours, whilst B7TL 2924 has gained a mega-rear advert for Belfast Citybeat.

10/10/04 - Tigers 2610/6/29 were returned to service at Newtownabbey on 20th September; all 3 are now on loan to Ulsterbus at Derry (2610/29) and Downpatrick (2626). Ultras 2715/6/31 and Renown 2771 now carry the 'metro base' livery whilst 2772 has had the red at the rear of the bus painted green, but retains the mint green at the back; this style also applies to Scania 796. Tiger 2676 has had's its mega rear advert for Citybus travel cards replaced with one for Smartlink, whilst Volvo B7TL 2928 has had it's repairs completed and has also become the first of the double deckers to gain an allover advert, for Belfast Citybeat. The numbers for the forthcoming batch of 10 Volvos are 2966-2975.

15/09/04 - A number of the N-type Tigers are to be converted for Wayfarer/Smartlink training, with 2620 being the first.

12/09/04 - Tigers 2613/9/34 returned to service at Falls (13/9) and Short Strand (34) on 1st September, displacing 2621/5/31/5 to reserve, 2612/4 to Ulsterbus Newtownabbey and 2615 to Ulsterbus Lisburn. Similar 2623/4/7 have moved from Falls to GVS, Newtownabbey and Short Strand, whilst loaned minibus 895 returned to Lisburn on 1st September. All other vehicles detaxed for the summer returned to service on 1st September.

11/09/04 - Surprise news is an order for an additional 10 Volvo/ALX400 double deckers, to be delivered February 2005. Seemingly livery experiments are now to cease, pending a decision on a completely new Metro scheme. Renowns 2764/8/9 are now all in the 'Metro base' style livery.

03/09/04 - Livery experiments are the order of the day here, with Ultra 2749 and Renown 2763 having magenta fronts beneath the destination screen. Low floors 2705/6/46/7/8/81 are also now in swoopless colours; 2746 was previously in advertising livery for Citybus's use of low emission diesel. Tiger 1404 has been fitted with a set of bus seats, similar to sister 1405.

22/08/04 - Renown 2765 is the first of it's type in Metro base livery, having previously carried swoops.

19/08/04 - Ultra 2725 is now in Metro base livery, whilst Tiger 2679 has a super rear advert for First Trust.

17/08/04 - Loaned Iveco 21 returned to Ulsterbus on 2nd July and is now in service at Antrim. However another loaner is Mercedes/Alexander 895 (from Ulsterbus Lisburn) which arrived on 2nd August. Dart 626 and Ultra 2741 both returned to service on 10th August having been detaxed for the school holidays. Continuing the program to get all Ultras repainted to low floor colours, 2702/6/39 are now in the swoopless green livery, whilst 2722/3/4, previously with swoops, have now lost them. 2723 has a new variation with an all-green rear end, whilst 2724 is painted with magenta relief instead of red - these will be the base for a interim 'Metro' colour scheme which will be applied with vinyls; it is believed in the longer term a completely new 'Metro' livery will be adopted. Tiger 2639 is now in fleet livery, previously having been in 'Smartlink' advertising livery. Decapitated Volvo 2956 has had it's roof replaced and should be ready for use again in September.

12/08/04 - Continuing the recent glut of Ultra repaints to swoopless colours is 2741, which was previously red/cream. Subjectively, the standard of presentation of repainted vehicles seems to have improved markedly in recent weeks.

10/08/04 - Volvo B7TL 2929 has been repainted without swoops. The B7RLE demonstrator is now expected to go to Ulsterbus at GVS.

05/08/04 - A Volvo B7RLE demonstrator is due next week as fleetno 2029.

29/07/04 - Former RELLs 2570/1/5/7/80 are now with Lough Swilly as 452/4/5/1/3. Two others sold to Wealden are 2551/2 (AXI 2551/2).

25/07/04 - Ultra 2704 is a further one to be repainted from red/cream to swoopless low floor colours; it is the first repainted vehicle to carry the 'call or click' strapline above the rearmost side windows. B7TL 2931 has gained a mega-rear advert for the file 'Spiderman 2'. Iveco/Nu-track B16F 21 (UCZ 8321) entered service at Short Strand on 10th June. Tigers 2615/9/20/9 (all Reserve) were loaned briefly to Ulsterbus Newtowabbey for the last 2 weeks of June; all 4 are now back in Reserve. The following vehciles have been detaxed for the School Holidays: Dart 626; N-type Tigers 2603/21/3/4/5/7/30/1/5; Cityliners 1404/2638/40/1/2/3/4/5/7/61/2/3/4/5/6/8/70/1; Ultras 2700/1/2/24/41/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/50/61 and finally Mercedes bendi's 3100-3. Cityliners 2678/9 have moved from Short Strand to GVS.

24/06/04 - Ultra 2737 is now in swoopless low floor colours; to make up for other recent repaints it has no less than 2 fleetnumbers on the front!! Translink have announced plans for a 'Metro' style network in Belfast with 12 high frequency core corridors. The first stage of this should be implemented in late Autumn and will include current Ulsterbus destinations such as rathcoole, Monkstown, Belvoir Park and Ballybeen. The service on the core corridors will be on 5-10 minute frequencies from 07.00 to 18.00 and should run to the same routes on Sundays, replacing the current abysmal circular routes. The core corridors will be Shore Road, Holywood Road, Newtownards Road, Castlereagh Road, Cregagh Road, Ormeau Road, Malone Road, Lisburn Road, Falls Road, Shankill Road, Carr’s Glen and Antrim Road .Full details can be found at RELL 2556 (AXI 2556) is the latest to go to Wealden, whilst former 2573 (BXI 2573) is now with B & D, Atherton. A new route variation introduced recently is 92A City Centre - Ladybrook via Boucher Crescent.

18/06/04 - Ultra 2744 is another to be repainted from red/cream to the swoopless low floor scheme. Unfortunately it's repaint did not extend to the application of fleetnames, numbers or logos. B7TLs 2929/30 have mega rear adverts for the W5 Dinosaur exhibition.

09/06/04 - Citarto demonstrator 2028 moved to Newtownabbey on 10th May and was returned to Mercedes at the end of the month. RELL 2562 has been sold to Wealden. Ultra 2714 is the first for a long time to be repainted from red/cream to swoopless low floor livery, although it seems that fleetnames are still an optional extra on repaints. B7TL 2924 has gained an mega-rear for the new Harry Potter film 'The Prisoner of Azkaban'.

17/05/04 - B10M/Plaxtons 1651/2 are to return to Ulsterbus, where they may be joined by little used DAF/Van Hool coach 2000.

09/05/04 - RELL 2572 has gone to Beatties for scrap, where it will shortly be joined by Dart 628 which has been written off.

07/05/04 - Volvo B7TL 2940 has been repainted without swoops; continuing Citybus's random approach to fleet livery, a number of Ultras have recently received red/cream repaints again.

18/04/04 - Mercedes Citaro demonstrator 2028 entered service from Short Strand depot on 25/03; Volvo B7TL 2928, also at Short Strand was detaxed at the end of the month for accident damage repair.

11/04/04 - Leyland Tiger 2671 has been noted with a yellow dayglo destination blind, whilst similar 12metre 1405 has now been reseated with the type of bus seating as used in the refurbished Ulsterbus 14xx Wright bodied Leyland Tigers.

26/03/04 - Mercedes Citaro demonstrator BX 02 CWX has been in use from Short Strand; presumably it is numbered 2028. Ultra 2750 has received a replacemement electronic display; this time it is a BrightTech unit as fitted to the B7TLs, Renowns and Scanias rather than the orange LED type used with some others in thsi batch.

09/03/04 - Dart 651 has been received at Short Strand from Ulsterbus. Ivecos 24-7 entered service on 17th February, whilst Tigers 2624/7 returned to service at Falls on the February. 2624 was not detaxed again at the end of the month but remains in service; 2610/11/6 were however detaxed; the full list is 629/31-3/6/9/40 and 2610/1/3/5/6/8/9/26/8/9/34. The only step entrance Darts active here now are 624 (Short Strand) and 626/7 (Falls) and of the N-type Tigers only 2603 of the LXI batch remains at GVS and 2612/4 (NB), 2621/3/4/5/7 (Falls) and 2630/1/5 (Short Strand) remain of the NXI group - all in all a remarkably quick decline in numbers for both types. Cityliners on the move see 1476 go from GVS to Short Strand, 2648 from Falls to GVS and 2662/3/4/5/6 from Falls to Short Strand.

02/03/04 - Citybus vehicles detaxed as a result of the service cuts are Darts 629/31-3/6/9/40 (leaving only 624/6/7 of this batch in service) and Tigers 2613/5/8/9/21/3/4/6/8/9/34. Of these 2624 must have returned to service during February and then been detaxed again. 2627 is also back in service in fleet livery. 2610/6 and possibly 2611 are to be transferred to Ulsterbus.

29/02/04 - Further route changes from tomorrow see service 29 extended from Forestside back to the City Centre via Annadale and Botanic Avenue and will also serve Montgomery Road. Creditably this will reintroduce a service to the Annadale area of the City which has remained unserved since the withdrawal of old route 82. The historic Cregagh terminus will no longer appear as a destination, all service 33 workings being extended to/from Forestside. The reduction in vehicle requirement should see most if not all the remaining step entrance Darts being withdrawn, together with more Tigers.

21/02/04 - Iveco/Nu-Track B16F minibuses 24-27 (UCZ 8324-7) have been placed in service nominally based at Short Strand. They are for use by Disability Action and are painted allover white with a red flash. These will be driven by Disability Action staff and will be kept at their premises, and are allocated to Short Strand for maintenance purposes only.

10/02/04 - New dates for the final 4 Scanias are 7th Jan (805), 12th Jan (806), 15th Jan (807) and 16th Jan (808). Enviro demonstrator 2027 also entered service on the 7th and is B45D+25. Fire damaged Dart 628 was detaxed at the end of January along with de-roofed Volvo B7 2956 and of course the final 10 RE's. B10BLE 2782 moved from Falls to Newtownabbey on 9th jan and then back to Falls at the start of February whilst sister 2817 moved from Short Strand - Newtownabbey. RE 2534 (AXI 2534) has been sold to Harte, York for preservation. A number of the BXI batch of RELLs (including some which were transferred to Ulsterbus) are to be retained in Reserve and will not be sold immediately.

08/02/04 - Forthcoming timetable "revisions" (ie service cuts) should see the following changes at the start of March: Long established Route 85 (City Centre - Mount Merrion via Botanic) - withdrawn completely. Route 78 (City Centre - Mount Merrion via Ravenhill) - service renumbered to 79A and frequency reduced. Route 34 (City Centre - Mount Merrion via Cregagh) - service extended to Forestside. New route 29A (City Centre - Braniel via Botanic / Mount Merrion) - peak hours only. Route 93 (City Centre - Carr's Glen via Oldpark) - renumbered to 36 (why ?) and off peak frequency reduced to 3 buses per hour. Service 79 (City Centre - Four Winds via Ravenhill) - frequency reduced from 2 to 1 bus per hour. Certainly it seems that the success of the Quality Corridor on the Ormeau Road has been achieved at the expense of services peripheral to this corridor (ie Annadale, Ravenhill and Mount Merrion). One is certainly left wondering how long the Ravenhill routes can survive and what changes will occur in the rest of the City when, or if, the long promised Quality Corridors on other routes actually materialise.

01/02/04 - Sadly, the era of the RELL in Belfast has now ended. Of the 10 still taxed at the end of the month (2520/2/7/32/5/47/8/72/3/5) 2522/48 (XOI 2522 AXI 2548 Falls) and 2527/75 (XOI 2527 BXI 2575 Short Strand) were in use yesterday and provided much enjoyment to the many enthusiasts who had made the trip to Belfast to pay their respects to these faithful servants.

29/01/04 - Noted at the back of Agnews, Mallusk this afternoon was BX 02 CWX, a Mercedes Benz Citaro demonstrator which could be on its way to Translink.

27/01/04 - Unfortunately RELLs 2535 (AXI 2535) and 2572 (BXI 2572) are unlikely to see any further service as both are defective.

23/01/04 - Enviro 300 demonstrator 2027 has finally entered service from Short Strand. Volvo 2925 has gained a mega-rear advertisement for the NI Blood transfusion service.

19/01/04 - Delivery of the current batch of Scania/Wrightbus is now complete with the entry in to service of 807/8 (UCZ 8807) at Falls.

18/01/04 - Scania/Wrightbus 806 (UCZ 8806) is now in service at Falls.

16/01/04 - Dates of entry to service of Scania L94UB/Wrightbus Solar B43F+36 are: 15th December (793-5 UCZ 8793 etc), 16th December (796-9), 22nd December (801), 23rd December (800/6) and 6th January (803/4).

14/01/04 - B7TL 2924 now has a mega-rear advertisement for the Tom Cruise film "The Last Samurai". Enviro demonstrator 2027 has moved to Short Strand but has still not been used in public service. Provisional details for the last day of Bristol RE operation here are shown below. 4 vehicles will be in operation (shown here as A,B,C,D) which should operate the following journeys:

Ser No.


From Departure Point   To Bus



City Centre CS   Oldpark C



City Centre QS   Glencolin C



City Centre QS   Twinbrook D



City Centre WP   Carr’s Glen B



City Centre DSW   Mann's Corner A



City Centre CS   Turf Lodge/Kennedy Centre C



City Centre HS   Mount Merrion B



City Centre QS   Twinbrook D



City Centre CS   Turf Lodge/Kennedy Centre C



City Centre DSN   Ormeau/Forestside A



City Centre WP   Carr’s Glen B



City Centre CS   Turf Lodge/Kennedy Centre C



City Centre DSW   Braniel A



City Centre QS   Twinbrook D



City Centre CC   Four Winds B



City Centre CS   Turf Lodge/Kennedy Centre C



City Centre DSN   Braniel A



City Centre WP   Carr’s Glen B



City Centre QS   Lagmore D



City Centre CS   Turf Lodge/Kennedy Centre C



City Centre HS   Mount Merrion B



City Centre CS   Oldpark A



City Centre QS   Twinbrook D



City Centre WP   Carr’s Glen B



City Centre CS   Turf Lodge/Kennedy Centre C



City Centre DSN   Ormeau/Forestside A



City Centre CC   Four Winds B



City Centre QS   Twinbrook D*



City Centre CS   Turf Lodge/Kennedy Centre C*



City Centre DSW   Mann's Corner A*



City Centre WP   Carr’s Glen B*



City Centre QS   Glencolin C*

Departure stop info: CS = Castle Street; QS=Queen Street; WP = Wellington Place; CC = Chichester Street; DSN = Donegall Square North; HS = Howard Street; DSW = Donegall Square West.

All journeys will return from the terminus to the City Centre by the same route apart from those marked * which run out of service from terminal point.

09/01/04 - 3 month old B7TL 2956 (Newtownabbey) has become the third out of 45 of these vehicles to lose it's roof to a low bridge. The offending bridge this time was the railway overbridge in the Glenville Road. A photograph of the stricken vehicle can be seen in tonights Belfast Telegraph. 2703 is another with an LED screen; seemingly all these vehicles will be fitted with replacement displays.

08/01/04 - Ultra 2701 is the latest to benefit from a replacement LED destination display. Cityliner 2669 now sports a blue Heinz overall advertisement, replacing the one 2627 has carried for quite a number of years. 2669 previously carried a scheme of the Odyssey Arena.

07/01/04 - Scanias 803-5 should now be in service at Falls (UCZ 8803-5). No further RELLs were detaxed at the end of December so the 10 remaining examples should see out RELL operation for Citybus. Dart 639 has returned to service at Falls to replace 628 which is the latest to spontaneously combust. It is doubtful if 628 will be repaired. RE 2531 has been sold to the Kells Transport Museum and awaits collection.

01/01/04 - Have a Happy (& interesting) new year.

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