Ulsterbus Fleet News 2020

Previous years news 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000

01/05/20 - Scania 2428 has returned to use at Newry, after completion of electrical repairs, whilst Stranraer based B12B 1769 is SORN'd for PSV. The bulk of this month's news covers moves of vehicles fitted with Driver Protection screens to ensure adequate coverage at depots:

410/2326/2879 (Craigavon - Newry), 414/9/2318/9 (Craigavon - Armagh), 1980 (Metro - Larne), 2361 (Larne - Ballymena), 2980/2/6/2329 (Coleraine - Magherafelt), 793/5/6/805-8 (Metro - Ballymena), 1970 (Bangor - Newtownards), 1980 (Larne - Newtownards), 2262/3 (Antrim - Magherafelt), 909/10/22/3 (Metro - Dungannon), 1989 (Metro - Newtownabbey), 491/3 (Newtownabbey - Enniskillen), 1105/8/13/4 (Newry - Pennyburn), 2319 (Armagh - Craigavon), 757 (Lisburn - Newry), 770/1 (Larne - Ballymena), 795/808 (Ballymena - Metro), 809/10 (Lisburn - Newry), 2361 (Ballymen - Metro), 439/40 (Bangor - Newry), 513 (Coleraine - Ballymena), 401 (Great Victoria Street - Armagh), 1966 (Newtownabbey - Newtownards), 1970 (Newtownards - Bangor), 1933 (Newtownards - Metro), 401 (Armagh - Great Victoria Street), 1966 (Newtownards - Newtownabbey) and 1980 (Newtownards - Craigavon). The SC5 Goldliners and 1933 have been fitted with protection screens.

01/04/20 - Returned to service following repairs were 224 (MEZ 7224) at Armagh on 06/03, 457 (GXI 457) at Craiagvon on 06/03, 1002 (JFZ 7002) at Newry on 02/03, 1747 (EEZ 6747) at Enniskillen on 03/03, 1758 (EEZ 6758) at Milewater Service Centre on 18/3, 1957 (TFZ 9957) at Omagh on 05/03 and 2038 (IXZ 1838) at Londonderry on 16/3. 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:-

Antrim 206/7/43/54-6/60/1/79-81, 369/89/90, 556, 773, 1667, 1707, 2956
Armagh 224-6/76-8/92, 367/8/91, 565/6
Bangor 198-200, 2962/4
Ballymena 188, 227-9/87-9/97/9, 313/7/22/37/8/70/1/6/84, 1665/91/3/7, 1734
Coleraine 204/5/21/45/6/72/3/85/6, 316/20/1/4/5/61-3/74/5, 400, 605, 823, 1669/90, 1708/32/66/74, 1785, 2951
Craigavon 251-3/74/5, 305/6/33-6/55-7, 1679/80
Downpatrick 195/6, 211/37/8/93/4, 341, 1675, 1779
Dungannon 216/22/3/83, 314/5/26/58/9/72/3/7/8/86/97/8, 1717, 2963
Enniskillen 212/3/48/50, 307/8, 1663, 2884, 2946/76
Glengall Street 117/24/6-9/33/4, 1791-3
Great Victoria Street 342/3/93/4, 1702/10/1, 2224
Larne 185-7, 230/1, 312/23/39, 1688/95/9, 1705/9
Lisburn 197, 203/17/8/39/40/62-4, 329-31, 1724, 2279, 2941
Londonderry 114/25/92, 208/9/44/7/98, 300/9/48/9/64-6, 1661/77, 1780, 2876/7/91/2, 2958/9
Magherafelt 182-4, 219/20/41/2/70/1/82, 350-2, 1662/94, 1703/12/9/21, 2952
Newcastle 193, 210/34-6/95/6, 340/53/4/92, 1673
Newry 180/9-91, 232/3/57-9/67-9/90/1, 318/9/27/8/32/45-7/79-83, 1671/86/7, 1700, 2428
Newtownards 181, 201/2/65/6, 310/95/6, 2947, 3100
Newtownabbey 1668/76/8/84, 2960/1
Omagh 214/5/49, 301-4/85/99, 1666, 1715, 2957
Training Academy 704/11/23/50/4/9

Of the above 308 (PEZ 9308), 773 (TCZ 1773), 823 (GEZ 7823), 1766 (TCZ 1766), 1774 (REZ 9774), 2884 (EEZ 2884), 2946 (TCZ 9946) and 2976 (EEZ 2976) have been detaxed with engine problems, 605 (NFZ 9605) with gearbox problems, 2224 (OEZ 7224), 2279 (PEZ 7279) and 2428 (GXI 428) with electrical problems, 3100 (JGZ 3100) with fuel problems and 556 (EFZ 9556) with accident damage. 2279 (PEZ 7279) has been detaxed for PSV preparation and 1779 (REZ 9779), 1780 (REZ 9780) and 1785 (REZ 9785) have been detaxed following the suspension of the refurbishment programme for this batch of vehicles. All are currently at the Falls Park workshops. Detaxed to Reserve on 31/03/20 were 784 (TCZ 1784), 1752 (EEZ 6752) and 2950 (TCZ 9950). 1664 (TCZ 1664) which was detaxed at the end of January has now been transferred to Reserve without repair. Scania K94IB/Irizar 1706 (TCZ 1706) was transferred to Citybus on 04/03 but was returned to Ulsterbus on 31/03, detaxed and placed in Reserve. Optare Solo 1933 (CGZ 6313, ex BXI 333) was received from Citybus and placed in services at Newtownards 27/03. Volvo B9TL/Wright 2361 (KFZ 9361) was received on loan from Citybus on 02/04 as part of the COVID-19 emergency bus fleet and allocated to Larne. Withdrawn on 31/03 were Optare Solos 1895 (DEZ 8895) with retarder problems and 1919 (CGZ 6306, ex ROI 139) with gearbox defects. Disposals during March were Optare Solos 1839 (SCZ 3839) and 1848 (SCZ 3848) to Spruhan, Bagenalstown. These two had latterly been part of the Training Academy fleet. Mercedes Benz 405GN bendi-buses 3101 (DCZ 3101) and 3102 (DCZ 3102) which were sold some years ago to SOS, Belfast some years ago for conversion to mobile assistance units passed to Fleming Metal Recycling, Newry for scrap in 1/18. Neither were ever converted or used by SOS.

15/03/20 - Volvo B12B/Sunsun 1769 has been smartly repainted in Scottish Citylink livery.

03/03/20 - Quite a number of vehicles returned to use during February after completion of repairs: 2446 (Bangor, accident damage), 1069 (Newcastle, transferred from larne, engine), 1686 (Newry, gearbox), 1781 (Armagh, engine), 2977 (Enniskillen, engine), 1007 (Derry, accident damage), 2409 (Armagh, engine), 2402 (Ards, axle overhaul), 1019 (Dungannon, engine0 and 3107 (Ards, accident damage). Agains this the following are now SORN'd: 344 (Newry, accident damage), 1749 (Newcastle, Reserve), 1758 (Milewater float, PSV preparation) and 1760 (Newry, Reserve). Additionall the folloing are withdrawn completely: 1689 (Ards, chassis defects), 1747 (Enniskillen, electrical) and 1718 (Milewater float, engine). Volvo B12M/Plaxton 116/8/9 have moved to Metro, whilst 2948 has gone from Bangor to Ards and 1757 from Derry to Milewater. Scania 707 has gone to Hamill for scrap, along with B7TL 2930, whilst Solos 1876/99 are sold to Spruhan Coach Hire, Corries, County Carlow and Scania/Irizar 1756 has got to Holmes Coaches, Moville. A low height Arriva Yorkshire Wrightbus Streetdeck was demonstrated to the company last week.

04/02/20 - Returned to service following repairs were 201 (MEZ 7201) at Newtownards on 06/01, 1017 (JFZ 7017) at Dungannon on 08/01 and 1773 (REZ 8773) at Londonderry on 13/01. Returned to service from the Reserve fleet were 1689 (TCZ 1689) at Bangor on 03/01, 1747 (EEZ 6747) at Enniskillen on 09/01, 1760 (EEZ 6760) at Newry on 08/01, 2053 (LFZ 8053) at Downpatrick and 2056 (LFZ 8056) at Larne on 06/01. Following modifications to meet Scottish PSV Accessibility Regulations 1769 (REZ 9769) and 1771 (REZ 9771) were returned to service at Stranraer on 07/01 and 17/01 respectively. These along with 1770 (REZ 9770) are only short term allocations as they are due to be replaced by new vehicles later this year. Detaxed on 31/12/19 were 2038 (IXZ 1838) with engine defects and 2446 (GXI 446) with accident damage. Detaxed on 31/01/20 were 224 (MEZ 7224) with fuel system problems, 406 (UEZ 2406), 1019 (JFZ 7019) and 1781 (REZ 9781) with engine defects, 1674 (TCZ 1674) with chassis defects, 1686 (TCZ 1686) with gearbox defects and 2402 (FXI 402) with axle defects. Detaxed on 31/01/20 was 2057 (LFZ 8057) after suffering fire damage and 1957 (TFZ 9957) and 3107 (JGZ 3107) after suffering accident damage. Detaxed and transferred to Reserve on 31/01/20 were Scania K94/Irizar 1723 (EEZ 6723), 1750 (EEZ 6750), 1755 (EEZ 6755) and 1756 (EEZ 6756). Scania K94/Irizar 1732 (EEZ 6732) was re-seated to B69F, ex C49F for use as a school bus based at Coleraine. Transfers saw 551 move from Great Victoria Street to Downpatrick on 25/01, 1043 from Newry to Londonderry on 15/01, 1689 from Bangor to Newtownards on 21/01, 1884 from Newtownards to Bangor on 23/01 and 2948 from Newtownards to Bangor on 13/01. Disposals during January were Scania L94/Wright 737 (TCZ 1737), Scania K94/Irizar 1670 (TCZ 1670) and Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 2928 (HCZ 9928) which passed to Hamill, Ahoghill for scrap and Optare Solo minibus 1931 (FGZ 2237, ex BXI 331) which passed to Eden Coach & Bus Sales, Edenderry for resale. A number of the former Ayats “Goldline” express coaches have now been traced to new owners. 2014 (FGZ 2243, ex AXI 314) passed to Flagline, Athlone in 12/18 where it is now registered 06-WH-8384, 2017 (FGZ 2243, ex AXI 317) passed to Big White Coach, Craigavon in 10/19 where it has been converted to a sensory playbus and 2018 (FDZ 2244, ex AXI 318) passed to Boyne, Slane in 5/19 where it is now registered 06-MH-15846. Former Vo B10M Van Hool artic “Goldline” coach 3113 (JAZ 3003), which had been with Westway, West Molesey where it was re-registered to 60 VV, reverted to its original registration in 11/19 and was promptly withdrawn. Alexander (Belfast) TE bodied Leyland Tiger 523 (PXI 5523), which had initially been sold to Dodds, Ayr was subsequently sold to Shuttle Buses, Kilwinning. In December 2017 it was sold for scrap before passing to the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service at Kilmarnock in March 2019 for use in training new recruits to the service in heavy rescue cutting.

03/01/20 - Returned to service following repairs were 299 (OEZ 7299) at Ballymena on 03/12 and 1008 (JFZ 7008) at Londonderry on 17/12. Detaxed on 31/12 with engine problems was 1069 (LFZ 9069). Also detaxed on the same date was Leyland Tiger towbus 1238 (NXI 4238) based at Downpatrick and its use will now be confined to the yard only. Detaxed to Reserve on 31/12 were Optare Solo minibuses 1839-41 (SCZ 3839-41) and 1848 (SCZ 3848), all of which had latterly been used by the Training Academy as mobile classrooms. Transferred to Reserve were Volvo B12B/Sunsundegui “Goldline” coaches 1770 (REZ 9770) on 13/12, 1769 (REZ 9769) on 16/12 and 1771 (REZ 9771) on 18/12, all of which are to receive modifications to make them compliant with the Scottish PSV Accessibility Regulations before being returned to service at Stranraer. The first to return to traffic was 1770 (REZ 9770) on 21/12 with the other two to follow. Scania K94IB/Irizar Intercentury coaches 1689 (TCZ 1689) and 1747 (EEZ 6747) were received from Citybus on 31/12 and placed in Reserve. Disposals during December were Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 2933 (HCZ 9933) and 2940 (HCZ 9940), both of which passed to Hamill, Ahoghill for scrap..

01/01/20 - Happy New Year from Irish Transport Heritage.

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