Ulsterbus Fleet News 2017 - fifty years of service.

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12/11/17 - B7R 248 and B7TL 2976 have returned to use at Dungannon after completion of repairs, as has Ayats 2011 at Dungannon. Also back in use is Irizar 1727 at Ards, having been converted to a 69-seater. 704 is also reactivated with the Training Academy, and is now B45F+25, as is sister 711. Foyle based B9 2240 is detaxed for a re-trim; also detaxed are Ayats 2004/15 (Dungannon) and 2018 (Omagh), all with engine defects, whilst Scania 737 (Enniskillen) is back in the reserve fleet. 725/76/7 have gone to Metro, 726/53/1900 to Walsh’s Coaches, Edenderry, 738/2774/2843 to Hamill and Solo 1892 to Hectares Plant Sales, Jonesborough. Preferred suppliers for vehicles during the period 2017-22 have been revealed and has shown some (pleasant) surprises:

Volvo Group Lot 1 Interurban Express Single Deck 2 and 3 axle
Van Hool NV Lot 2 Interurban Express Double Deck 3 axle
Wrights Group Ltd Lot 3 Urban/Rural Services Single Deck
Wrights Group Ltd Lot 4 Urban/Rural Services Double Deck 2 axle
Optare Group Ltd Lot 5 Midibus 8.5 to 10.5 mtr

01/10/17 - Back in use are 1731 (Training Academy after engine repairs), 1951 Newry (after accident damage repair) and 737 (temporarily replacing 477 at Lisburn during accident repairs, and then moving to Enniskillen). Buses detaxed at the end of September ware CPC Classrooms 700/2227/2848, 754 (Ards - to Reserve), 2011/25 (Dungannon - for Duncrue Street overhaul) and 248/2976 (Enniskillen - both with engine defects). On the move are 115 (Glengall Street - Stranraer), 711 (Coleraine - Training Academy), 747/8 (Reserve - Metro), 1907 (Newry - Craigavon), 2006 (Foyle - Omagh); Scanias 749/84 are now in Active Reserve status at Ards and Armagh, as is Solo 1930 at Newry. Solar 723 is now with the Training Academy, upseated to B29F+0, as is used for Driver Training when not required on GO Bus duties. Sales see Solars 721 go to Walsh's Coaches, Edenderry and 730 to Donnelly’s Pioneer Bus Services, Granard; Solos 1877/93/1902 to Hectares Plant Sales, Jonesborough and 1887/1901/4 to Hamill for scrap and Ayats 2003 to Decker Bus Ltd, Yaxley, Peterborough. 2039, the first of the next batch of 12 Scania/Caetano for Translink was exhibited at the NEC this week. These are both longer and taller then the original 12 and are 86 seaters.



01/09/17 -
New Optare Versas, in Foyle Metro livery, started entering service at Foyle from the middle of August: 1823/5/31 (14/08), 1826 (15/08), 1828/9 (17/08), 1832 (18/08), 1824 (23/08), 1827 (24/08), 1833 (26/08), 1830/5 (28/08), 1834 (29/08), 1822/37 (01/09). All are B43F+14. Also returned to use for the commencement of Foyle Metro on 1st September were Scanias 841-7 and B9TLs 2256-8/83-9. Scanis 822 returned to use at Coleraine on 1st September after accident damage repair. With the commencement of the 2017-18 school year vehicles detaxed for the summer were returned to Service on 1st September. Buses put to Reserve at the and of August were Scanias 725 (Newtownabbey), 737 (Antrim), 747/8 (Bangor), 750 (Ards), 765/79(Foyle), 775 (Newry), Irizar 1727 (Larne - to be converted to a 69 seater), Solos 1900 (Downpatrick), 1908 (Craigavon), 1910 (Newry) and Olympian 2000 (Coleraine - seasonal). On the move are 2412 (Newcastle - Metro as School Safety Bus), 1819/20/1 (Foyle - Newtownabbey), 1764 (Training Academy - Craigavon), 1695/9 (Training Academy - Larne), 1754 (Training Academy - Bangor), 2889/90 (GVS - Ards), 2891 (GVS - Foyle), 2401/2 (Foyle - Ards), 2403/4 (Foyle - Bangor), 2406 (Foyle - Downpatrick), 2407 (Foyle - Antrim), 2408 (Foyle - Newcastle), 2409 (Foyle - Newcastle), 2442/3 (Foyle - Coleraine), 612 (Glengall St - Newcastle), 620/1 (Glengall St - Magherafelt), 349 (Omagh - Foyle), 192 (Enniskillen - Foyle), 557 (GVS - Lisburn), 558 (GVS - Armagh), 1740 (Magherafelt - Training Academy), 1956 (Larne - Omagh). Metro Solos 1920/2 were loaned to Coleraine and Larne respectively for a short period in August.

01/08/17 - Tigers 1448/9 have been re-acquired from BRA - in part-exchange for Scania/Irizar 1738/42. 1448 is going for scrap to Hamill and 1449 going to Thompson, Newtownards for preservation. Scania 2468 has returned to use at Armagh as a replacement for 567, now withdrawn after being destroyed by fire on 3rd July. Also back in use are 1766 (Ballymena - after fire repairs), 437/87 (Foyle - replacing 776/7 - now in Reserve), 754 (Ards - replacing 752 which is now in Reserve) and 824 (Coleraine - replacing 822 which is now detaxed with accident damage). Irizar 1731 (Training Academy) is now detaxed with engine defects, as is Solar 716 (Newtownabbey - now in Reserve). Similar 714 has returned to Metro from Ballymena, with 1695/9 moving from Larne to the Training Academy for the remainder of the summer, along with 1764 (Craigavon). Sister 1681 has gone to Hamill for scrap. 4 tours i6s and 4 i4 Goldliners are getting contravision on their windows for the U9 Ladies football tournament - 139 (Spain), 140 (NI), 141 (Netherlands), 142 (France), 1046 (England), 1055 (Scotland), 1060 Germany, 1074 (Italy).



01/07/17 -
New vehicles during June were red-liveried Optare Solos 1971-3 (FGZ 3971-3), all based at Derry, and entering service on 5th June (1971) and 7th June (1972/3). At the end of June a number of buses were detaxed: Scania L94s 726/53 (Ards), 730 (Newtownabbey), 756 (Lisburn); Irizars 1738/42 (Foyle), 1766 (Ballymena, with fire damage); Solos 1887/1901 (Newry). Also detaxed from Foyle were a Scania and a number of B9s which will be repainted red in preparation for Foyle Metro - 847/2256/7/8/83/4/5/6/7/8/9. With the end of the 2016-17 school year the following vehicles were de-taxed on for the duration of the school holidays:

Great Victoria Street 342, 343, 393, 394, 402, 552, 553, 554, 1672, 1702, 1710, 1711, 2223, 2224, 2225, 2884, 2889, 2890, 2891, 2947, 2948, 2994, 2995, 2996, 2997, 2999
Lisburn 203, 217, 218, 239, 240, 262, 263, 264, 329, 425, 426, 427, 757, 811, 1724, 1734, 2226, 2237, 2238, 2279
Newtownards 201, 202, 265, 266, 310, 754, 1661, 1677, 2878, 2932, 2946
Bangor 198, 199, 200, 400, 747, 748, 1662, 2893, 2894, 2988, 2989
Craigavon 251, 252, 253, 274, 275, 305, 306, 333, 334, 335, 336, 355, 356, 357, 2318, 2879, 2924
Downpatrick 211, 237, 238, 293, 294, 341
Armagh 224, 225, 226, 276, 277, 278, 292, 317, 368, 391, 1716, 2417, 2468
Newcastle 210, 234, 235, 236, 295, 296, 353, 354, 1701, 2412
Newry 232, 233, 257, 258, 259, 267, 268, 269, 290, 291, 344, 345, 346, 347, 774, 775, 780, 1671, 1686, 1700, 2277, 2296, 2297, 2416, 2431
Dungannon 216, 222, 223, 283, 358, 359, 519, 2004, 2011, 2015, 2025, 2320, 2321, 2930
Foyle 208, 209, 244, 247, 298, 300, 309, 348, 408, 437, 438, 487, 496, 2928, 2937, 2938
Omagh 214, 215, 301, 302, 303, 304, 349, 2019, 2322, 2885, 2886, 2888, 2933, 2940, 2987
Enniskillen 212, 213, 248, 249, 250, 307, 308, 1687, 1698, 2921, 2977, 2978
Coleraine 204, 205, 221, 245, 246, 272, 273, 284, 285, 286, 316, 320, 321, 324, 325, 361, 362, 363, 374, 375, 761, 763, 778, 820, 821, 824, 1669, 1670, 1683, 1690, 1708
Ballymena 188, 227, 228, 229, 287, 288, 289, 297, 299, 313, 322, 337, 370, 371, 376, 384, 1762
Larne 186, 187, 230, 231, 312, 323, 339, 770, 771, 1948
Magherafelt 219, 220, 241, 242, 270, 271, 282, 350, 351, 352, 2313, 2314, 2315, 2880
Antrim 206, 207, 243, 254, 255, 256, 260, 261, 279, 280, 281, 369, 389, 390, 769, 1667, 2232
Newtownabbey 1668, 1675, 1676, 1678, 1684, 2882, 2883, 2887, 2923
Training Academy 1839, 1840, 1841, 1848

Scania 1681 (Ballymena) was withdrawn on 2nd June after an engine fire; it's replacement at Ballymena was 714 transferred in from Metro. Another fire incident yesterday saw an Armagh based Scania destroyed, believed to be 567. On the move are 700 (CPC Classroom @ Ballymena - CPC Classroom @ Coleraine), 1952/3/4 (Foyle - Newry), 612 (Newcastle - Glengall Street), 1755 (Great Victoria Street - Foyle) , 620/1 (Magherafelt - Glengall Street) and 1754 (Bangor - Training Academy). Former Airbus Scanias 553/5/6 have bee nreseated from B43F+19 to B49F+13. Volvo/Plaxton 120/1 have been sold to Marbill Coach Service Ltd, Beith; Scanias 717/20 to hamill for scrap and Solos 1882 to Donnelly’s Pioneer Bus Services, Granard.

06/06/17 - The 4 remaining Airbus B5TLs/Wrightbus have entered service at GVS - 2101/7 (FGZ 3101 - 17th June), 2108 (29th June) and 2109 (31st June). The 3 outstanding Solos 1971-3 should enter service (in red livery) at Derry from Monday 5th June. Returning to use are 1907 (Newry), 1908 (Craigavon) and Volvo Olympian 2000 seasonally at Coleraine. Against this the following were detaxed at the end of May: Solos 1892/1902 (Downpatrick), 1893 (Ards) and 1951 (Newry - with accident damage). On the move are 776 (Craigavon - Foyle), 777 (Craigavon - Newtownabbey and onweard to Foyle), 1894/1900 (Bangor - Downpatrick) and 782 (Lisburn - Coleraine). Solars 551/2/4 have had their luggage racks removed and are now B49F+19 - 54 should also have received a coat of blue paint by now, as should have ALXs 2994/7. Anothe recent repaint is Solo 1929 which has gone green for use at the Giant's Causeway. B9TL 2240 is to receive a red based promotional scheme for Foyle Legends. Solars 710/8/28 have gone to Hamill for scrap, along with B10BLE 2945, with Solos 1886/91 going to Koyle, Ardara.

04/05/17 - A glut of new buses sees the following entering service: Optare Versa B43F+14 1819/21 (UFZ 1819, Foyle, 06/04), 1811-2/4/6-8 (Craigavon 07/04), 1815 (Craigavon, 08/04), 1813 (Craigavon, 11/04), 1820 (Foyle 12/04). Optare Solo SR B28F+9 1962 (FGZ 3962, Ards, 12/04), 1961 (Foyle, 13/04), 1963/4 (Ards 13/04), 1965/6/7 (Newtownabbey, 20/04), 1960/70 (Bangor, 21/04), 1968 (Bangor, 03/05). Volvo B5TL/Wrightbus H73F+8 2100 (FGZ 3100, Special Events Fleet, 19/04) 2102/3 (Special Events Fleet, 20/04), 2104/5/6 (Special Events Fleet, 24/04). The Volovs all moved to GVS on 2nd May. Solo 1908 has returned to use at Omagh, replacing 1882, and Scania 726 at Ards, replacing 721. Agains this the following are in Reserve from the end of April: 759 (Dungannon), 841/2/3/4/5/6 (Foyle - to be repainted red in preparation for the Foyle Metro introduction later in the year), 1877 (Downpatrick), 1891 (Newtownabbey), 1908 (Omagh) and 2016 (GVS). Also withdrawn as defective are 1886 (Newry), 1882 (Omagh), 735 (Newry), 721 (Ards) and 1904 (Newry). Buses moving between depots are 2011 (Omagh - Dungannon, Active Reserve), 1713 (Training Academy - Metro), 481 (Ards - Bangor), 2932 (Bangor - Ards), 2416 (Craigavon - Newry), 782 (Craigavon - Lisburn), 2421 (Craigavon - Ards), 1741 (Ards - Dungannon, Active Reserve), 1930 (Ards - Newry), 1951 (Foyle - Newry), 1957/8 (Newtownabbey - Omagh), 767/8 (Craigavon - Foyle) and 1899 (Bangor - Downpatrick). Finally, B10BLEs 2803/24/7/8/31/41/2/6 have all gone to Hamill for scrap.

05/04/17 - Scania L94's 700/7 have returned to use with the Training Academy. 700 is a CPC classroom at Ballymena, whilst 707 has been reseated to B45F+25. Also back in use after repairs are Ayats 2022 (Foyle) and B7TL 2880 (Magherafelt). L94 726 and Solo 1907 (both Craigavon) are now in Reserve. On the move are 481 (Bangor - Ards), 2932 (Ards - Bangor), 120/1 (Glengall Street - GVS, 120 Active Reserve) and 2011 (Foyle - Omagh). Former Airbus 551, now in heritage Ulsterbus colours, has been placed in the Special events fleet and should do a stint at every depot over the next year. B12M/Plaxton 113 (Glengall Street) hasd been withdrwan and sold to Ashbourne Connect, whilst B10BLEs 2822/47 have been sold to Hamill for scrap.

03/03/17 - B12B/Plaxtons 120/1 returned to use at Glengall Street on 24th February. Also back in use is Solo 1892 at Downpatrick, after engine repairs, and this has displaced 1908 to the Reserve fleet. B7R 360 has returned from the Training Academy to Metro, with 1713 making a brief return to Metro before re-joining the Training Academy once again. On the move are 481 (Ards - Bangor), 2932 (Bangor - Ards), 1732 (Larne - Coleraine) and 755 (Craigavon, Active Reserve - Newcastle, Active Reserve). Sales see Solar 727 go to Henderson Wholesale, Newtownabbey and 1704/2002/2457 to Hamill for scrap. The 10 B5's for the Airbus service have been delayed a few weeks and are now expected mid-April.

06/02/17 - Returning to use are Rural 452 (Enniskillen, after engine repairs), Solo 1887 (Newry, after accident repair), Irizar 1718 (Dungannon, after overhaul) and Ayats 2016 (GVS Active Reserve, previously in Reserve). Against this Solo 1892 (Downpatrick) and B7TL 2880 (Magherafelt) were detaxed at the end of January, both for engine repairs. Also out of use are Ayats 2016 (Enniskillen) and 2015 (Dungannon), both now in Reserve. Irizar 1713 and B7R have been temporarily received from Metro, both for use with the Training Academy. Vehicles On the move are Irizar 1732 (Coleraine - Larne) and Solo 1877 (Craigavon - Downpatrick).Finally, Solar 712 has gone to Hamill for scrap.

09/01/17 - Irizar i4 607 has returned to use at Ards after accident damage repair. Also back in use with the Training Academy is B10BLE 2843, replacing 2791 which has gone back to Metro and been sold for scrap. Also withdrawn for disposal is one of the few remaining Tiger towbuses, Omagh based 1295, this being sold to Wylie, Enniskillen. Ayats 2003 (Dungannon) is now in Reserve, with sisters 2016/26 being loaned to Metro during December. B7R 210 has moved from Downpatrik to Newcastle, with Irizar 1664 going the other direction. Vehicles Sold During December 2016 are Solos 1860 to McLaughlin, Clonmany and 1866 to Coyle, Ardara, along with B10BLEs 2787/2820/38 to Hamill for scrap. New vehicles in the offing are 18 Optare Versas and 22 Solos. The Versas will be used to relaunch the City serice in Derry later in the year, and will be in a new deep red based livery.

01/01/17 - Seasons Greetings and a Merry New Year from Irish Transport Heritage.

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