Ulsterbus Fleet News 2017 - fifty years of service.
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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 Also withdrawn as defective are 1886 (Newry), 1882 (Omagh), 735 (Newry), 721 (Ards) and 1904 (Newry).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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