Midland Deltic Bus Review of the Year 2018 - MidlandDeltic

January

The start of the year, and office hours somewhat reduce my ability to roam!  However, a New Year trip to Nottingham to see family and friends allowed some different stuff to pass the camera.

Bright and Breezy!

Wexford Bus 131-D-3248, Dublin Airport, 05-01-2018

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Even brighter than the normal livery is this coach in overall ad for the services to the Airport. I'm not generally a fan of advertising liveries, but at least this one is not selling the competition.

Loud and Proud

NCT 904, Carlton Hill Top Nottingham, 06-01-2018

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A surprise that this was still operating in these colours, as when it was seen in the Summer it was understood to be for a three month period after the city's event in August - see https://midlanddeltic.smugmug.com/UK-Trips-Bus/Nottingham-Bus-29072017/i-Pqcjj58/A

"Pride" liveried 904 works a Pathfinder service 100 through the suburbs on the way to Nottingham.

Gas Newcomer

NCT 424, Carlton Hill Top Nottingham, 06-01-2018

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The 25 was re-equipped with gas buses not long after our last visit. Here one of the newcomers is seen on a short 24 working to Westdale Lane.

The Enviro City bodywork does evoke memories of the one-time Nottingham standard, in particular the curved upper screen. The glazed staircase is also something that the Standard inspired - from 1970 to the end of production of the type, the lower deck glazing continued across the staircase in order to allow light into an otherwise dark area.

Mainline MMC

TrentBarton 112, Friar Lane Nottingham, 09-01-2018

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One of the targets for the visit, the new mainline vehicles were introduced just after our last visit. Not looking it's best after spending several hours running along the A52 on a wet dull day, Enviro 200MMC 112 is seen between trips at the terminus on Friar Lane.

While the buses look new, with the current fashion for a lot of applied styling "features", at their basis they are still Dennis Darts equipped for modern emissions requirements. Darts lasted quite well on some routes, but less well on others, and it remains to be seen how well this breed cope with heavy duty services.

February

A quiet month, with no visits out and short days.

Van Hool Shopper

M&A Coaches 08-WW-4000, James Fintan Lawlor Ave Portlaoise, 02-02-2018

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It was a Van Hool session this lunchtime! M&A operate this Alizee bodied Volvo, seen arriving with what I believe to be a shoppers service. The operator is a regular in the town, as they work the NTA sponsored 828 from Cashel using various midibuses, but their full sized coaches are slightly less common.

Taking a Break

JJ Kavanagh 11-TS-1, James Fintan Lawlor Ave Portlaoise, 20-02-2018

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Having seen 11-TN-1, we now have the South Tipp version! This is on a long layover, arriving from the Airport at 1140 with a short working, before working the 1410 back. These were introduced using resources freed when the service ceased to operate through to Shannon Airport.

JJs had standardised on Setras for some years, but the decision not to continue to produce right hand drive versions has led to a change to the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo range.

March

Rail replacement work at Newbridge forms the big trip of March - buses not running when the snow came at the beginning of the month so no wintry scenes.

Saturday Hire-In

Slieve Bloom 08-OY-1700, Newbridge, 30-03-2018

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Seen working on behalf of Bus Éireann with the 0800 X12 from Dublin Airport to Limerick, this Plaxton bodied Volvo is seen departing Portlaoise. Slieve Bloom were doing well out of CIÉ Group companies today, as they were heavily involved in the rail replacement work I was on the way to see at Newbridge.

Covering for Rail

Slieve Bloom Coaches 99-KK-2902, Newbridge, 30-03-2018

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Still looking smart even at 19 years old, this Scania is waiting to unload with passengers for stations to Cork. The inbound service had just arrived, and was still unloading so passengers were encouraged to wait in the coaches in the dry rather than rely on Newbridge station's limited shelter!

The operation was contracted to Bernard Kavanagh by Iarnród Éireann, who in turn hired in from other operators to cover the large commitment required. This coach was actually new to Bernard Kavanagh.

Not Really International!

Matthews 181-MN-662, Newbridge, 30-03-2018

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A welcome splash of colour is provided by the presence of CIÉ Tours International liveried Volvo 9700 181-MN-662. Not quite sure that Newbridge - Dublin counts as international, but still!

High Class Hire-In

Wallace 181-T-1375, James Fintan Lawlor Ave Portlaoise, 31-03-2018

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Picking up a few passengers, this hired-in coach is seen at Portlaoise working an X12 service - something of an upgrade from the normal provision!

In the past, BÉ would have carried the majorty of customers, but the strikes last year have had the long-term effect of passengers using alternatives. Many would have stuck to BÉ through habit in the past, but being forced to use the alternatives have come to prefer them. Certainly JJs and Dublin Coach are cheaper, and have a longer operating day; JJ's also generally have newer vehicles, to a rather more refined specification than the LC class in particular which are regulars on the X12. Certainly, the X12 has thinned further since the action, while JJs have expanded.

April

The main highlight this month was a visit to Dublin, allowing me to get some shots of various vehicles in the sun in the capital city.

New Delivery

JJ Kavanagh 181-W-11, James Fintan Lawlor Ave Portlaoise, 17-04-2018

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Passenger bsuiness complete, the new coach departs for Limerick. A decade newer than the competing Bus Éireann vehciles usually used on the corridor.

English Cousin Visits

Mullanys PO112YLT, Heuston Station Dublin, 21-01-2018

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Mullanys is a Watford based company, but as the livery shows is owned by JJ Kavanaghs. I saw this coach as I came out of the station, and it took me a couple of glances to realiase it wasn't one of the Neoplans seen often through Portlaoise! Thankfully, the long red phase for traffic leaving the station allowed me to grab this shot.

Soldiering On

Dublin Bus AX600, O'Connell St Dublin, 21-04-2018

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Working a southbound 122 from Ashington to Drimnagh Road, AX600 looks to have received recent attention in the paintshop. Several of the AX class I saw were in similar condition - surprising given the influx of SGs must be putting a limit on their lifespan.

EV On Tour

Dublin Bus EV50, O'Connell St Dublin, 21-04-2018

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Most of the Dublin Bus tour fleet are ALX400s, but a couple of Enviro 400s are also used. Here EV50 is seen approaching the end of a circuit on O'Connell St.

Giant Departed

Dublin Bus VT19, O'Connell St Dublin, 21-04-2018

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Donnybrook's VTs are generally used on the 46A, but not at weekends unless there is an event on at the RDS or elsewhere on the route. I was quite pleased to see that they were out on this day.

VT19 is seen on the iconic Dublin route with a southbound service to Dun Laoghaire.

By the end of the year, the whole 2005 batch of VTs had been withdrawn, with 19 making their way to Ensignbus for onward sale - the 20th (VT18) ending up with Donnelley, Granard. The 2007 batch should remain a little longer, but as the NTA funded SG class continue to be delivered, the preference for reduced dwell times with dual door vehicles is clear. Add to that the cost of operating these vehcles, especially in tyres given the lack of rear steer, and they may jump the queue for withdrawal.

Generations

Bus Éireann VWD82, Bruen 03-D-121448, Beresford Place Dublin, 21-04-2018

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It rather beggars belief that Bus Éireann can get away with hiring in 15 year old London cast-offs to operate what is billed as a prestige service. No disrespect to Bruen, but that vehicle is not suitable for a medium length interurban service, and bears no resemblence to the marketing hype of branded, double deck coaches being the offer to the customer. I hold the NTA equally culpable - when I had responsibilty for tendering at a UK local authority, I was required to ensure that the operators who won contracts had the resources (vehicles and staff) to operate them, or they weren't awarded the work. It seems the NTA have failed in that regard - possibly due to a lack of experience of their tendering teams.

Two different generations of decker stand at Beresford Place.

Let's Have a Race!

Dublin Bus SG140, GT137, SG331, O'Connell Bridge Dubin, 21-04-2018

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A trio of Geminis wait for the lights to cross the Quays onto D'Olier St.

May

Another trip to Dublin was the highlight of this month.

HIgh Capacity Commuter

Bus Éireann LF311, Store Street Dublin, 13-05-2018

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My first shot of one of the latest double deck coaches in the fleet, and I have to say I'm not a fan! The front dome is ugly, and I have oft mentioned my dislike of the sort of plastic "applied decoration" around the headlight clusters. I think they will date quickly.

The purchase was perhaps a surprise, given the corrosion problems leading to the premature ithdrawal of the LD200 class - however it could be assumed that assurances have been given in that regard.

LF311 is seen having arrived on the 0945 Athboy - Dublin 111 service.

View From Above

Bus Éireann LC322, Amiens St Dublin, 13-05-2018

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Seen head in from the Port Tunnel to Busáras with a 101 service is this LC300. As with their LF Class double deck counterparts, I am not a fan of the styling of these vehicles.

Euroline to Limerick

Bus Éireann SP87, Store St Dublin, 14-05-2018

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Illustrating that the X12 is low down the list of priorities for vehicles, this ageing SP is seen on this Expressway service. The route has seen regular cuts in service, the latest removing the 1000 Dublin Airport - Limerick at weekends - the one that connects with the morning wave of flights from the UK and near Europe, as well as the Trans-Atlantics.

Team of Us - But Soon to Enfield!

Bus Éireann SE37, Eden Quay Dublin, 13-05-2018

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Not the normal allocation on the 126! Expressway SE37 pulls away from its terminus on Eden Quay with the 1200 from Kildare. Not that the passengers will have seen much of the journey, thanks to the so-called contravision blocking the windows!

By the year end the contract for the IRFU team bus had been transferred to Enfield Coaches, so whether SE37 retains this livery remains to be seen.

Bus to the Boat

Morton 04-D-24468, Westmoreland St Dublin, 13-05-2018

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East Lancs bodies are fairly unusual in Ireland - the Lolyne even more so! I was however familiar with the body - albeit on Dennis chassis - in my home town of Nottingham. It is a body style I've always liked. The service is the 1400 to the Stena terminal.

June

Portlaoise this month, plus some from a visit to Newbridge and Naas.

Passenger Rest Break

Whittle YN60FLR, Midway Services Portlaoise, 04-06-2018

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Seen on a rest break before continuing east to wards Dublin is this Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B9R. It's a long time since I've seen a Whittles vehicle.

On the M7

City Circle YN18SVR, M7 Portlaoise, 04-06-2018

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Another coach in Globus livery, this time a GB one which appears quite new as at the time there were no photos on the net, and it wasn't on Bus Lists in the Web! It is an Irizar bodied Scania KE410EB6, new in May to the operator.

Home from the Commute

Martleys 09-LS-6789, James Fintan Lawlor Ave Portlaoise, 05-06-2018

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The only opportunity to regularly ride on one of Martleys' coaches in public service is this daily commuter service to and from Dublin. The evening working seen here commences from Belfield outside the UCD campus, and operates via Dublin City Centre, Red Cow and Newlands Cross before running non stop to Kilminchy. It extends beyond Portlaoise to Mountmellick.

It replaced a PSO service, previously operated by Bus Éireann using an MH class vehicle, which to my regret I never got round to photographing.

Local Link Promoted

Jacobus 08-KE-17359, Newbridge, 26-06-2018

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Local Link services are employing a lot of small bus operators around the country, and the new brand is raising the profile of the services out there. This imported Iveco is seen in Newbridge.

State Sponsored

JJ Kavanagh 181-KK-1443, Naas, 26-06-2018

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This was the surprise of the day. JJ Kavanagh have three of these to operate the NTA sponsored 138 from Naas to Blanchardstown. All were delivered in fleet livery as far as I know, so the appearance of this in NTA route branded livery was unexpected.

These three were the first eVoRa vehicles delivered for use in either Ireland or the UK.

Kildare Omnicity

Martley 142-LS-504, Ballymany Newbridge, 26-06-2018

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The recent acquisition of the ex Nottingham Omnicitys is not the first time Martley's have purchased the type. This example arrived from Wales to work service SK02 on behalf of Kildare South Dublin Local Link. Fully branded for this service, it seldom appears in Portlaoise so I was pleased to catch it on this occasion.

July

Another trip to Dublin, unplanned but fortunate in that shuttle operations for the Longitude Festival in Marley Park were operating, adding to the variety of vehicles seen.  Finsihing off with the sad sight of a Dart from my former home arriving at Portlaoise to meet its maker.

Portlaoise PSO

Bus Éireann LC309, James Fintan Lawlor Ave Portlaoise, 07-07-2018

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I was expecting an SC on this, so was quite pleased to see LC309 arrive - a type I've not seen too often, and definitely not in County Laois! The 171 reg vehicle spins round to start it's journey to Dublin.

The 124 is a now weekend only extension of the 126 service between Dublin and Kildare, with a very limited timetable of one round trip on a Saturday and an Eastbound trip on a Sunday, this is a remnant which provides the only through services at any time from points between Portlaoise and Kildare to Dublin City Centre.

There was previously a daily commuter service on this route whioch started back from Mountmellick, but this was dropped and replaced by a Martley's service, although that runs via the motorway from Portlaoise to Red Cow, not serving Ballybrittas or Monasterevin. The latter has had a significantly improved rail service however - a side effect of the ICR maintenance facility being in Portlaoise!

Irish Ferries Connection

Morton 00-D-93652, Amiens St Dublin, 14-07-2018

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A former Bus Éireann Citaro, now used by Morton on links to the ferries from Dublin Port - in this case the irish Ferries terminal.

As the low-cost airlines have taken the foot traffic from the ferries, the services have moved from Dún Laoghaire to the much more accessible (by road) port complex in Dublin. The remaining foot passengers no longer have the option of a rail connection, so both Irish Ferries and Stena Line have arranged bus links, in addition to the Dublin Bus 53.

Marathon Olympian

Kerrigan 99-D-607, Talbot Memorial Bridge Dublin, 14-07-2018

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Another vehicle working Latitude shuttles, former Dublin Bus AX607 is seen crossing Butt Bridge on this very warm day.

Former Dublin Bus vehicles find ready buyers in both Ireland and particularly the UK, where older double deckers are still seeen as suitable for school runs and the like.

South of the Border

Finegan 00-MN-6074, Moss St Dublin, 14-07-2018

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I was quite pleased to see this one! Ex Ulsterbus 2840, this Volvo stil carries basic Ulsterbus livery. It is seen in Dublin on Longitude shuttle duties.

Exiled Olympian

Hennesey 98-KE-16051, Custom House Quay Dublin, 14-07-2018

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A shot of the Northern Counties bodied Olympian as it picks up the next load. The stewards seemed to be having some issues with contraband - several times I heard "You must not bring your own alcohol" shouted to the waiting queue! Offically of course it is to control drinking - unofficially, it is to ensure bar profits at the venue!

Customers at Custom House

Martley 03-LS-6145, Custom House Quay Dublin, 14-07-2018

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An "arty" shot showng the classic Custom House, the 80s brutalist Liberty Hall, and a Martleys Irizar on Longitude shuttles.

Super Sized Mini Coach

Millar 07-D-12913, Custom House Quay Dublin, 14-07-2018

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Operating a shuttle for the MS Magellan, the last bus for this ship being at 2015 from Merrion Square. This Volvo / Wrightbus combination was new as FJ57CZB, with Flights Hallmark. It also spent time with Premiere Travel, one of the Dunn family incarnations in Nottingham before ending up here. The fleetname used by this operator is a little out of place when applied to a vehicle like this!

Dressed for Longitude

Corduff Travel 07-MO-177, George's Quay Dublin, 14-07-2018

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Wrapped for the Longitude Festival, this Corduff DAF is cetainly a bright sight as it waits between journeys on the shuttle service.

That's a Wrap!

Bus Éireann SE39, Store St Dublin, 14-07-2018

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Another of the IDA wraps from 2015, this one is for Brown Bag Studios, and shows the similar contempt for paying customers in terms of the view out of the window.

Reminder of Home

Universal PSV 97-RN-6012, Clonminam Industrial Estate Portlaoise, 18-07-2018

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A sight that pulled me up short! I recognised the livery immediately, and knew which vehicle it was. Former TrentBarton 927 (R927RAU) has been in Ireland for several years, latterly operated by O'Neill, Walkinstown, and briefly subsequently owned, but not operated, by Kerrigan, Blessington. However, it is now at the end of it's life, and is at Universal PSV for spares recovery prior to scrapping.

Despite having had at least four owners, the livery has not changed, and the remains of the branding are also visible. No sheep on the outside though!

August

A second visit to the UK, with interesting rail replacments due to the Derby station rebuilding works and a wide variety of old and new vehicles.  Back in Portlaoise, a Nottingham exile on public work instead of schools!

Aged Stand-In

Skills KJZ8508, Station St Nottingham, 11-08-2018

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A snatched shot in bright conditions, this elderly coach is actually labelled up for National Express 450 to London. Not I suspect the sort of vehicle expected by customers of Britains major express coach service! It is a Volvo B12B with Caetano Engima body , and was acquired with the Silverdale business who had it as FJ04SNX.

Scania Sixes

TrentBarton 687, Milford Rd Duffield, 11-08-2018

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At least I got a front shot of this one, although it was tight as it was in a queue of traffic following a tractor! 687 heads north out of Duffield with a 6.3 service to Ripley via Belper.

These vehicles have been on the route since new, replacing Dart / Plaxton Pointer vehicles, and are now in a lighter livery with electronic displays having received a fairly heavy mid life refurbishment. On current form, the next vehicles on here will be Enviro 200MMCs - almost back to the Darts of old!

A Few Weeks Left

DW Coaches TCZ6124, Roundhouse Rd Derby, 11-08-2018

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One of the more interesting vehicles seen on rail replacement duties was this Plaxton Paramount, one of the ones which received a makeover in Blackpool several years ago. It is a Leyland Tiger, originally G68DFS with Lothian.

In researching the history of this coach, I discovered that it was damaged in an accident a couple of weeks after this shot was taken, and the vehicle was sent for scrap with the reg being transferred to a newer Volvo.

Blue Sky Thinking

NCT 439, Queen St Nottingham, 13-08-2018

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Gas bus 439 awaits departure with a 45 to Gedling via Mapperley. The conversion of this route means all buses operated into that congestion hotspot of Gedling are operated by these environmentally friendly vehicles, via Colwick, Carlton Hill and Mapperley. However, other routes on teh congested parts of two of thewe corridors - 46/47 and 27 - remain in the hands of much older vehicles.

A Touch of Class

NCT 676, Milton St Nottingham, 13-08-2018

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Success! I was hoping to get this with the revised lettering, but our trip to town was at short notice. I put a message in the NCT Fleet News Facebook page anyway in the hope they could tell me what it was on, and they responded very quickly - and I was in almost the right place. Carrying 1950s livery, many of the batch have already left the fleet, so this is on borrowed time.

It appeared at both Showbus and at the 140 celebrations on 22nd September, but was withdrawn on 27th December 2018. Nottingham Heritage Vehicles are trying to raise money to purchase it for preservation - as a low floor bus it will be more accesible, and able to visit more locations than their articulated saloon.

Update - the charity were indeed successful in raising the money, and 676 was transferred to their ownership in January 2019.

Preparing the Way

TrentBarton 207, Maid Marian Way Nottingham, 13-08-2018

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Having done a few circuits via Friar Lane and Mount St, the brand new Enviro 200MMC heads south along Maid Marian Way.

The introduction process for modern vehicles is a far cry from the old days, where it was very much "It's like the others, just watch out for..." and off they went, figuring out the foibles of various gearboxes and the like along the way. The complications of computer control, interlocks, and a myriad of warning lights mean drivers have to be formally type trained on buses prior to their introduction - a cost perhaps the operating industry can ill afford in these budget restrained times. Now if the manufacturers could be encouraged to standardise things.... :)

Pretty in Pink

Stagecoach 10975, Victoria Bus Station Nottingham, 13-08-2018

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10975 departs with a short Pronto working to Mansfield.

For once TrentBarton seem to be lagging behind, as their contribution to this service is aging Scania / Wrightbus Solars in a matching livery. Whether Volvos cascaded of the Indigo make it here reamains to be seen at year end - although they themselves are not in the first flush of youth!

Sky Premiere

Nottingham Coaches M136SKY, Derby Station Car Park, 18-08-2018

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Nottingham Coaches seem to have adopted the Premiere Travel branding used by an operator of that name which went into Administration in 2013. This B10M / Van Hool Alizeé is a classic of its time, new to Simmonds, Letchworth in 1995 and not looking too bad for its 23 years.

Viking Elder

Viking Travel L647AYS, Tutbury Station, 18-08-2018

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A bit of heritage fun travel, we caught this from Derby to Tutbury to catch the train to Crewe. It's a while since I've been on a B10M!

Unknown to me at the time, this operator was already operating on a curtailed licence due to maintenance issues, and had attended a further Public Inquiry on 25th June, along with associated companies Coach and Bus Leicester and Abbey Travel (although the latter ceased operation on June 8th). While the Viking licence survived with a final formal warning on maintenance, the Coach and Bus Leicester licence was revoked from 24th September on financial standing grounds, with the Traffic Commisioner being concerned that money was being switched between the companies to maintain the appeareance of adequate financial standing.

While the operation of older vehicles is of interest to those of us in the enthusiast community, their maintenance is more intensive than for newer vehicles (although they have their own difficulties), while potential hire rates for them are lower, and a careful balance is required to ensure that legal requirements are met.

Nottingham Export

Martley's 03-LS-6163, Railway St Portlaoise, 31-08-2018

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I was pleased to get a a decent shot of this Scania, as it was new to my home town operator Nottingham City Transport, as their 513. Later it was with AOT of Hucknall, whose basic livery it still carries.

It is seen after arriving empty from Stradbally ready to work another shuttle service.

Sevens Arrival

Sevens 03-D-20322, Electric Picnic Bus Park Stradbally, 31-08-2018

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One of the highlights was the former Dublin Bus AV322, now with Sevens Coaches of Dundalk. While interesting to look at, I'm not sure a steady 45mph down the M7 would have been much fun!

The Electric Picni os a major event, and attarcts buses and coaches from around the country. This was my first visit to the site itself, but I am told the morning is busier. Hopefully in 2019 I'll get down then!

September

Electric Picnic shuttles, rail replacement work and the Ploughing Championships in Tullamore brought increased interest to the vehicles operating in Portlaoise.

Coming From a Picnic

Martley's 09-LS-6812, Railway St Portlaoise, 03-09-2018

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Passengers off, the Scania prepares to depart for Stradbally. The site is supposed to be clear by 1500hrs, but from speaking to colleagues this is not always achieved!

Railtour Rail Replacement

Barry's 09-C-1681, Coote St Portlaoise, 15-09-2018

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Railtours Ireland operate a couple of tours using the 0700 from Heuston, to Limerick and Cork. I suspect this coach is for the Limerick tour, to avoid changing modes three times in an hour or so. A freindly wave from Jonathan Beaumont as the specially liveried coach heads for the motorway.

Covering for Rail

Kelly Travel 03-KK-8096, Portlaoise Station, 15-09-2018

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The driver checks for lost property before heading round to the other side of the station. The use of this sode for dropping allows lvel access for pasengers, however that is not possible from the southbound side thanks to a steep staircase as the line is well above ground level.

Home Disappointed

O'Connor 151-C-12441, Harpurs Lane Portlaoise, 19-09-2018

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The National Ploughing Championships was held again near Tullamore. One of the biggest events in Ireland, on this day the passage of the remains of a hurricane over the counrty during the morning led to very high winds, and as a result of damage to the stalls the exhibition areas were not opened. The weather arrived later than expected, and after coaches had set out, leading to a lot of issues on site. As a result, many coaches headed home during the early afternoon.

Heading for Co Cork, this O'Connor Volvo B8R is seen passing through Portlaoise from the abandoned Ploughing Championships. It has been owned since new.

Going to the Ploughing

Hogan 95-CW-1798, Portlaoise Ring Road, 20-09-2018

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A major effort by all the previous afternoon and overnight allowed the exhibition area at the Ploughing to be reopened for today - and the event extended to Friday.

A Plaxton bodied B10M is the archetypical 80s and 90s coach for me. This example was new as M104UWY to Wallace Arnold, it has also carried 4030WA, M858FUH (twice) and A20MCW before arriving in Ireland. It's previous owner was M&A Coaches of Ballyragget.

October

Finally catching up with a Martley's delivery, and a new Gormans vehicle, while a Kerry coach is an unusual visitor.

Schools Solo

Martley's 10-LS-6954, Mountrath Rd Portlaoise, 02-10-2018

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A welcome catch. Martley's operate this Solo on schools work. I was hoping to get it on Electric Picnic shuttles, but it did not appear on them when I was around. Having seen it on this working on the previous day, I took a chance that it would run again and was rewarded with this shot. Now to track down the Dennis Dart MPD!

Mercedes in the Sun

Gorman 00-LK-6516, James Fintan Lawlor Ave Portlaoise, 18-10-2018

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The Mercedes-Benz 1120L passes through Portlaoise. Despite being a local operator, it is not one I've seen before. New to Pierce Kavanagh, it was with Clifford, Meeling before arriving in Co Laois.

High Class Visitor

Kerry Coaches 141-KY-1683, Portlaoise Station, 25-10-2018

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This high spec coach was provided for passengers off a charter working of the Belmond Grand Hibernian tour train. It is seen here getting into position for its guests to arrive off the train.

November

Another new arrival in Co Laois, but poor weather limiting photographic opportunities.

New to the County

Dempsey 99-WD-111, James Fintan Lawlor Ave Portlaoise, 06-11-2018

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This was parked in the car park in the town centre, but departed as I walked down to get a shot. However, it did a u-turn round the New Road island, and headed back up through the town.

In poor weather, this elderly B10M / Caetano is seen now operated by Michael Demspey of nearby Mountrath. It was new to JJ Kavanagh as the registration suggests - possibly for the Kennealleys operation in Waterford - and has since operated with Watt, Dublin, and Derek Duggan of Ballinasloe; whom it went to in March 2013. It is a very recent arrival in County Laois.

December

A sunny December, and a Bus Éireann oldie!

Expressway Veteran

Bus Éireann SP15, James Fintan Lawlor Ave Portlaoise, 18-12-2018

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A snatched shot thanks to ong traffic light cycles and heavy traffic preventing a clear shot while loading! Probably one of the oldest coaches on Expressway work, and not even seen fit to gain the red livery, it is apparently deemed good enough for for the X12. When it is four years older than the Dublin Coach which immediately preceeded it, you do have to wonder how long the X12 will survive.

New Year's Resolution?

Bus Éireann VE2, James Fintan Lawlor Ave Portlaoise, 31-12-2018

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The VG departs Portlaoise heading for Nenagh. Is the appearance of two newer vehicles in three days a New Years Resolution to improve the stock on the route - or just a symptom of this journey being a late "kick out what's left" turn from Broadstone? Time will tell!

Final Surprise!

Bus Éireann SC247, James Fintan Lawlor Ave Portlaoise, 31-12-2018

SC247-2018_12310038

I decided not to wait for the 73, assuming it would be SC339. However, it arrived as I cycled home - fortunately with my camera out - as it was a rather older SC247 in charge. A snatched shot therefore of this welcome vsitior - a nice surprise at the end of the year!

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