Metro / Glider Fleet News 2020

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01/12/20 - As part of a large order for 145 new vehicles placed with Wrightbus for delivery in the 2021/2 timeframe Metro will take delivery of 20 Streetdeck hydrogen fuel cell electric double deckers and a portion of a batch of for 80 battery electric Streetdecks. Unusually these new buses will revert to dual door configuration. Solos 1992/3/4/5/6/7 have moved to Falls after completion of their initial commissioning period. Also joining the contract fleet at Short Strand is Irizar i6 141, received from Ulsterbus. The 3 prototype Streetdeck FCEVs were delivered in mid December (5002-4, XUI 8002-4), with 5004 completing a number of public journeys starting on 17th December.

12/11/20 - Finally some action with the new widebody Solos, with the following entering use: 1996 (XUI 6596, 28th September), 1992/3 (30th September), 1994 (5th October), 1997 (8th October), 1995 ((th October), 1999 (16th October) and 0010 (XUI 6610, 16th October). All are B29F+26, featuring leather seating, and initially all are allocated to York Road for a commissioning period of fault free running. 1999 and 0010 moved on to Short Strand on 2nd November. Older Solos in Reserve from 31st October are 1880 and 1932 (both Short Strand). Also on the move are B7TLs 2902/4/20 (Newtownabbey - Short Strand). Scania/Irizar 132 has been sold to Spruhan Coach Hire, along with Solos 1914/23, whilst 1898 has gone to Hamill for scrap. The 3 Streetdeck fuel cell buses will take fleetnumbers 5001-3 and will be in a magenta and green version of the Urby livery.

06/10/20 - Volvo B9TL 2338 returned to use at Short strand at the end of September after completion of engine repairs. B7RLEs 911-3 have moved from Short Strand to Falls, with B5 2383 and ALXs 2906/68 going in the opposite direction. Scania L94 777 has been sold Spruhan Coach Hire, Corries County Carlow with Intercentury 1720 going to Hamill for scrap.

10/09/20 - Streetdeck 3242 (Newtownabbey) returned to use at the start of September following completion of accident damage repair, as did B7TL 2898 (Falls) following engine repairs. With the return of pupils to schools the following vehicles were returned to Service on 1st September 2020:

Short Strand 901, 902, 911, 360, 1716, 1725, 1730, 1874, 2953
Milewater S.C. 2973, 2974, 2975
Falls 925, 2412, 2900, 3125, 3126, 3127
Newtownabbey 2902, 2904, 2955, 2966, 2967, 2969

Solos 1985/9 have returned to MSC from Ulsterbus, with 1933 returning to Ulsterbus and 1898/1914/23 being placed in Reserve. B7TL 2955 has moved from Newtownabbey to Short Strand. Scania 804 and Solo 1820 were sold to Hamill for scrap during August.

07/08/20 - Volvo B12M 116 returned to use on 1st August with the resumption of some private hire work. Also now with the contract fleet is Irizar i6 140, received from Ulsterbus; this replaced 131 which has been sold to Gillingham Coaches, Stanley County Durham along with 132. Also returned to use at Short Strand are B9TL 2205 and B7TL 2954 which have replaced B9TLs 2201/2338, both now SORN'd with engine defects. Solo 1985 has been added to the Emergency Float fleet, and is now at Ulsterbus Lisburn, whilst 1921/2 (Falls) are now both in Reserve from the end of July.

07/07/20 - Volvo B9s 2201-3 have been reallocated to Short Strand, previously with the contract fleet. Streetdeck 3147 is one of a number of vehicles promoting the mandatory use of facemasks on public transport.

08/06/20 - Solo 1933 (MSC) was detaxed at the end of May due to the ongoing school closures, with Scania 804 (MSC) also going to Reserve on the same date. Scania and Volvos loaned to Ulsterbus all returned by mid May to their respective depots: 793/6/805/6/7 (Short Strand) and 909/10/22/3 (Falls).

01/05/20 - The following Vehicles have been added to the Emergency Float of Buses with Driver Protection Screens to be used across the entire Translink Network as and when required (from 10th April 2020):
1989 (Short Strand), 909, 910, 922, 923 (Falls). All 5 are now with Ulsterbus, as are Solo 1980 (Falls) and Scanias 793/5/6/805-8 (Short Strand), although 795/808 have since returned along with B9TL 2361 and Solo 1933 (both now at MSC).

01/04/20 - An emergency float fleet of vehicles was set up on 30/03/20 for use during the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis. Comprising nine Citybus vehicles, all have driver protection screens and are for use as and when required throughout the Citybus and Ulsterbus network, The vehicles concerned are as follows:-

Falls Park 1980
Milewater Service Centre 2361
Short Strand 793/5/6, 805-8.

2361 (KFZ 9361) was allocated to Ulsterbus Larne from 02/04.

Returned to service following repairs was 927 (KFZ 9927) at Falls Park on 19/03. Detaxed to Reserve on 31/03 was a second of the troublesome Scania K360/Irizar coaches, 130 (SFZ 3130). It was reported that this vehicle and possibly the other two had been sold to a mainland operator but the current crisis has put all this on hold. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the closure of all schools throughout Northern Ireland, a number of vehicles were detaxed on 31/03/20:-

Falls Park 925, 1921/2, 2412, 2898, 2900, 3125-7
Milewater Service Centre 1898, 1914/23, 2973-5
Newtownabbey 2902/4/55/66-9
Short Strand 901/2/11, 2205, 2910

Of these 2205, 2898 and 2910 also require engine repairs. Scania K94IB/Irizar 1706 (TCZ 1706) was received from Ulsterbus on 04/03 and was allocated to the contract fleet at Short Strand. It was returned to Ulsterbus on 31/03. Optare Solo 1933 (CGZ 6313, ex BXI 333) was transferred to Ulsterbus on 02/04.

03/03/20 - Volvo B7TL/Transbus 2969 returned to use at Newtownabbey at the start of March, after completion of engine repairs. Scanias 132 and 1720 (Contract Fleet) are now in Reserve, their replacements being B12M/Plaxton 116/8/9 which have been received from Ulsterbus. Scania/Wright 781 has gone to Hamill for scrap.

04/02/20 - Scania L94/Wright 792 (TCZ 1792) was transferred to Reserve on 31/01/20 and sister vehicle 804 (UCZ 8804) was detaxed on the same date for engine repairs. Also detaxed on 31/01/20 was Wright StreetDeck 3142 (LGZ 5142) following accident damage suffered on the Doagh Road, Newtownabbey on 24/01/20. Optare Solo minibus 1920 (CGZ 6308, ex VOI 205, VOI 201) which was detaxed on 31/12/19 with ongoing gearbox issues was transferred to Reserve on 31/01/20.

03/01/20 - Scania K94IB/Irizar Intercentury coaches 1689 (TCZ 1689) and 1747 (EEZ 6747) were detaxed to Reserve on 31/12 and returned to Ulsterbus on the same date. Optare Solo minibus 1920 (CGZ 6308, ex VOI 205, VOI 201) which was recently returned to service following repair was detaxed again on 31/12 with ongoing gearbox issues. One disposal during December was Optare Solo minibus 1915 (DEZ 8915) which passed to Hamill, Ahoghill for scrap.

01/01/20 - Seasons Greetings and a Merry New Year from Irish Transport Heritage.

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