Ulsterbus Fleet News 2005
Ulsterbus News 2004
Ulsterbus News 2003
Ulsterbus News 2002
Ulsterbus News 2001
Ulsterbus News 2000
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15/12/05 - Further Tigers to arrive from Metro are 2665 to Newry on 8/12, 1457 to Newcastle on 13/12 and 2671 to Dungannon on 13/12. More Scanias to enter service are 1740/3 at Enniskillen on 7/12, 1741/2 at Enniskillen on 12/12 and 1744 at Armagh on 12/12. Some of the allocations to Enniskillen are only temporary to cover maintenance problems and indeed 1743 has already moved on to its allocated depot of Downpatrick. Leopard 239 was returned to service at Downpatrick on 5/12 and 2607 was tranfered from Ballymena to Enniskillen on the same date. Leopard 280 (AXI 280) has been reregistered FEZ 7746 whilst Dart 609 has gone to Lough Swilly.
05/12/05 - October's batch of new vehicles entered service as follows: Optare Solo/Optare B27F+15 1926 ( ROI 126, Larne 03/11), 1928/9 (BXI 328/ROI 129, Coleraine 15/11 and 08/11); Scania K94IB/Irizar C53F 1726 (EEZ 6726, Dungannon 03/11), 1727/8 (Coleraine, Dungannon, both 08/11), 1729/30 (Derry, Craigavon, both 11/11), 1731/2 (Newry, GVS, both 15/11), 1733 (Ballymena, 16/11), 1735 (Omagh, 17/11), 1734/6 (Newcastle, Coleraine, both 25/11) and 1737/8 (Craigavon, Derry, both 30/11). Good news is that Leopard 338 returned to service at Bangor on 28/11, whilst accident damaged Tiger 1333 returned to service at Newry the following day. More Metro vehicles received include Ultras 2737/41 (Craigavon) and 2748 (Derry) along with Tigers 2660 (Newcastle), 2664 (Newry), 2667 (Newtownabbey) and 2668 (Ballymena). Leopards 186/324 (OCZ 4209, BXI 324) have gone to reserve from the Driving School, whilst 204/37 (VOI 204, WOI 2237) are in active reserve at their former depots of Cragavon and Newry. The last 3 of the batch of 40 Dart/Handybus (601 - 40) only purchased in 1994 are also now in Reserve: 604 (Craigavon) and 616/7 (Bangor), along with DAF 677 (Enniskillen) and the final 2 of the Wrights busybuses 827 (Larne) and 888 (Coleraine). Moves see Solos 1882/94 leave Larne for Derry City and GVS, and 1872 from Dungannon to Newcastle; Cityliner 2650 go from Newtownabbey to Bangor; B10M 510 from Glengall Street to Derry; Tiger/TE 518 from Derry to Coleraine and 523 from Omagh to the Driving School; Leopard 275 from Bangor to Magherafelt and Mercedes/Alexander 904/8 go from GVS and Derry to Flexibus. Darts 610/2 have been sold to Dunfries and Galloway Council. One further Leopard to be re-registered is 194 (VOI 194 to FEZ 7736).
04/12/05 - Further Leopard re-registratrions are : 129 (FEZ 8627, formerly ROI 129), 328/37 (FEZ 8628/9, formerly BXI 328/37). Others taken out of use recently include 167 (UOI 9167 Craigavon), 170 (UOI 9170 Craigavon), 184 (VOI 184 Londonderry), 188 (EEZ 6839 Coleraine), 189 (VOI 189 Magherafelt), 200 (EEZ 6782 Newry), 204 (VOI 204 Craigavon), 206 (VOI 206 Coleraine), 221 (WOI 2221 Newcastle), 229 (WOI 2229 Londonderry), 237 (WOI 2237 Newry),
238 (WOI 2238 Londonderry), 239 (WOI 2239 Newcastle), 282 (AXI 282 Ballymena), 296 (AXI 296 Londonderry), 304 (XOI 2304 Craigavon), 306 (XOI 2306, Newry), 321 (BXI 321 Ballymena), 326 (BXI 326 Craigavon), 328 (BXI 328 Newry), 336 (BXI 336 Bangor) and 337 (BXI 337 Newcastle). The active Leopard fleet is now down to 76 vehicles (for full details see Leopard page here ).
27/11/05 - More Leopard to be taken out of use are 132 (ROI 132, Ards) , 230 (WOI 2230, Coleraine), 276 (YOI 2276,Newry).
24/11/05 - More former Metro Tiger/Q-type received are 1462/4 (YXI 1462/4) and 2670/3-5 (VXI 2670/3-5). Coleraine has got 1464/2673/5, Newcastle 1462, Bangor 2670 and Newry 2674. Leopards 131/4/45/320/4126 are now re-registered FEZ 5575/8165/4/5641/8166 and not as previously advised. Former Wright bodied minibus 851 (NXI 6851) passed from Perry, Bromyard to an unknown owner in Shropshire in 8/05 for conversion to a mobile caravan.
08/11/05 - The final 20 Scania/Irizar will be allocated as follows: 1746/52/3/6/66 Enniskillen, 1747/8 Newcastle, 1749/50 Downpatrick, 1751 Magherafelt, 1754/5/64/5 Omagh, 1757/7 Larne, 1759 Antrim, 1760/1 Derry, 1762/3 Coleraine. Up to and including 1735 are now in service with the exception of 1734. Noted in Laganside yard this lunchtime was "fast front" Mercedes/Wright 888 (AAZ 8888) which was the last of its type in service. Also noted at Antrim last weekend was "piano front" Mercedes/Wright 827 (NXI 6827) which was also the last of its type. It is thought that both are now withdrawn. A few re-registrations to filter through are as follows:- 131 ROI 131 - EEZ 5575 134 ROI 134 - EEZ 8165 145 ROI 145 - EEZ 8164 320 BXI 320 - EEZ 5461 4126 ROI 126 - EEZ 8166. Interesting disposals are Dennis Dart/Wrights 610/2 (CAZ 6610/2) to Dunfries & Galloway Regional Council. Transfers from Citybus to Ulsterbus are 2668 to Ballymena on 3/11, 2737/41 to Craigavon on 4/11, 2660 to Newcastle on 14/11 and 2667 to Newtownabbey on 17/11. 2741 is also reported as being in Derry and 2761 which was earmarked for Derry is now reported to be going to Craigavon.
16/11/05 - Ultra 2751 has received an overall advertisement for Investors in People. The first of the next order for 110 Scania/Wright should arrive in February next year, with delivery continuing until December, meaning Leopards could disappear sometime around Easter 2006 - enjoy them while you can !
11/11/05 - A further 35 Leopards are to go to Asia Bus Response with most being shipped out late this month/early next month. Those earmarked to go are 131/67/86, 200/3/5/9/21/4/5/9/72/89/94/6-8, 302/4/6/9/11-3/5/7-26.
07/11/05 - Two further Leopards to go to Reserve are Driving School 186 and 324. Only 98 Leopards are now active in the main fleet (see Leopard page here )
06/11/05 - Another bumper crop of new vehicles arrived in October: Volvo B7TL/Alexander H76F+12 2999 (EEZ 2999 GVS, 5th October); Scania K94IB/Irizar C53F 1713/4 (EEZ 6713 Omagh/Larne, 5th October), 1715 (Magherafelt, 13th October), 1718 (Derry, 19th October), 1724 (GVS, 21st October), 1717/9/20 (Dungannon/Newry x2, 26th October), 1716/21/2 (Derry/Newry/Derry, 27th October) 1725 (Enniskillen, 1st November); Optare Solo SL920/B31F+12 1908 (DEZ 8908 Newtownabbey , 11th October), 1909/10 (Craigavon/Newry, 12th October), 1911 (Lisburn 17th, October), 1912/3 (Coleraine/Craigavon 20th October), 1914 (Craigavon 26th October); Optare Solo SL850/B29F+15 1924 (ROI 134, Bangor 21st October), 1925 (ROI 145, Bangor, 26th October) and finally 1927 (BXI 337, Larne 27th October). Surprisingly Mercedes/Alexander 899 was reinstated at Coleraine, and DAF 677 at Enniskillen (having been withdrawn from Larne earlier in the month). Numerous vehicles have been received from Metro: Tiger/Q-type B51F 2639 (SXI 2639, Coleraine), 2640 (Newtownabbey, then to Coleraine), 2641 (Newtownabbey, then Ards), 2642 (Lisburn), 2643 (Newtownabbey, then Dungannon), 2644 (Newtownabbey, then Downpatrick), 2645/6 (Downpatrick), 2647 (Newry), 2648 (Ballymena), 2649 (Bangor), 2661 (VXI 2662, Downpatrick), 1459 (YXI 1459, Newcastle); Volvo B10Ls 2700/42/4 (HAZ 4809, LAZ 2742/4 at Carigavon) and 2746/7 (Derry); Volvo B10BLE 2809/10/1 (CCZ 8808, Lisburn). Sadly the Leopard fleet has taken a major hit because of this with 131 (Dungannon), 203/25/319 (Craigavon), 205 (Active Reserve), 209 (Driving School), 272/312/5 (Downpatrick), 280 (Bangor), 281/322/3 (Coleraine), 289/318/20 (Ballymena), 297 (Omagh), 298 (Derry), 302 (Newry), 317/38 (Lisburn) all going to Reserve along with Darts 601/13/9 (Lisburn), 602/3 (Coleraine), 609 (Craigavon); Mercedes/Alexander 901/3 (Bangor), 907 (Newtownabbey) and Mercedes/Wright 1813 (Coleraine). Vehciles withdrawn completely are Leopards 195/295 (Derry - both accident damage) and 314 (newry - seized engine) and Darts 605 (Newry) and 618 (Ards), both of which have gone to Lough Swilly. Mercedes/Alexander 909 has gone to Flexibus, and Mercedes bendi's 3102/3 and Volvos 2954/5 have returned to Metro afer being used on rail replacement services. Other moves see former Metro Tigers 1404/5 go from Newtownabbey to Ballymena, 1401/2/3 (Newtownabbey - Coleraine, Dungannon and Craigavon), 2607 (Larne - Ballymena). Other vehicles on the move are Tigers 1094/9/1155/6/1320 (GVS - Coleraine, Derry, Newry, Craigavon, Bangor) whist Tiger/TE's 514/6/26/8 have all joined the Driving School from Larne (516) and Newry (514/26/8). Tigers 533 and Leopard 232 have been sold to McDaid, Derry for scrap, whilst one re-registration this month sees 289 lose AXI 289 in favour of FEZ 5635.
05/11/05 - Allocations for the first 40 Scania/Irizar Goldliners are as follows: Armagh 1709/44 (EEZ 6709 etc), Craigavon 1725/30, Coleraine 1707/8/27/36, Dungannon 1717/26/8/40, Downpatrick 1710/23, Enniskillen 1737/46, Derry 1712/6/8/22/9/38, Larne 1714, Magherfaelt 1715/39, Newtownabbey 1711, Newtownards 1745, Newcastle 1734, Newry 1719/20/1/31/3/43, Omagh 1713/35/41/2, GVS 1724/32. Dart 618 is on its way to Lough Swilly; only three of these Darts now remain in service with Ulsterbus, two at Bangor and one at Craigavon and the Bangor ones may well be finished by now.
28/10/05 - Former Metro Q-type 2641 is now at Ards where it has replaced Dart 618.
26/10/05 - Quite a number of vehicles have been transferred from Citybus, which spells bad news for some of the remaining Leopards. Tiger 2639 is at CL, 2640/1/3/4 at Newtownabbey, 2647 Dwonpatrick, 2648 Ballymena, 2649 Bangor; Craigavon is the lucky recipient of Ultras 2742/4 and Derry of 2646/7 and finally B10BLEs 2809-11 are at Lisburn. Former Ulsterbus minis on the move are 823 (NXI 6823) to Autocar, Five Oak Green ex Grampian, Five Ash Down and sister 843 (NXI 6843) to Tankard, Kidsgrove ex Wealden, Tonbridge. DAF/Plaxton 677 (SXI 1677) has returned from Lough Swilly with Dennis Dart/Wright 605 (CAZ 6605) going up there.
18/10/05 - Volvo B10M/Plaxton 1569 has been rebuilt as a 69-seater and painted blue and cream.
11/10/05 - Volvos 2990-2 are now at Larne for continuing use on the Carrickfergus - Larne rail replacement. Optare Solo 1913 was recently displayed at Coach and Bus Live and is the 2000th Solo built - for a picture click here
09/10/05 - A glut of new vehicles entered service in September, as follows: 5th September : Optare Solo B31F+12 1892/3 (DEZ 8892 Lisburn & Bangor) and Volvo B7/Alexander ALX 400 2984/5/6 (EEZ 2984 at Newtownabbey on loan from Metro); 6th September : Solos 1890/6 (Dungannon and Derry); 7th September Solos 1894/7/8 (Larne, Lisburn and Bangor); 9th Sptember : Solo 1895 (Coleraine); 12th September Volvo B7/Alexander 2991 (EEZ 2991 Newtownabbey); 14th September : Solos 1899/1900/1 (Derry, Bangor & Newry note 1899 is DEZ 7899); 19th September : Solos 1902/3 (Lisburn and Derry City), Volvo B7s 2990/2/6 (Newtownabbey); 21st September : Volvo B7 2993 (Newtownabbey); 27th September : Scania K94IB/Irizar C53F 1712 (Derry), Solos 1904/5/6 (Newry, GVS, Lisburn) ; and 29th September Volvo B7s 2994/5/7/8 (94 - Newtownabbey, the rest GVS). Volvos 2991-6 are H49/24F rather than the usual H49/27F, for eventual use on the Airbus 300 service. Tiger 2613 (NXI 4613) was received at Derry on loan from Metro, whilst Leopards 275/305 (YOI 2275, XOI 2305) have returned to service at Bangor (replacing maliciosly destroyed Tiger 1350) and Newcastle. Darts 610/2/5 (all Lisburn) are now in reserve along with Mercedes/Wright 889 (GVS) and Mercedes/Alexander 895/8/9 (Bangor) and 906 (Newtownabbey). Mercedes/Alexander 894/900/14/7/9/21 have gone to Flexibus, along with Dart/Wright 648 from Bangor. Notably the Mercedes 'busybuses' are now down to penny numbers with only 827 (Larne) and 888 (Coleraine) active out of the 3 Wrights bodied batches and 901/3 (Bangor), 904(GVS), 907 (Newtownabbey), 908 (Derry City) and 909 (Derry) active out of the Alexander batch. Vehicles on the move are Solo 1878 (Coleraine - Derry), 2921/2/35/6 (Newtownabbey - GVS) with 2984/5/6 returned to Metro from Newtownabbey. Leopards 159/277 have gone to Beattie for scrap, whilst Tiger/Van Hool 596 has been sold to Lough Swilly.
01/10/05 - Double decker operation should return to Comber and Ballygowan from Monday, with the allocation of one of the new batch of B7TL/ALX400 to each of these depots.
23/09/05 - Scania/Irizar 1666 (GVS) has been damaged by fire near Dundalk.
21/09/05 - Several of the batch of 10 Volvo B7/ALX400 are now in use on Rail Replacement services for the Larne line.
12/09/05 - Q-type 1350 (Bangor) was hijacked and destroyed in Conlig last yesterday. Leopard 243 (Ards) is in reserve, not 242 as previously advised.
09/09/05 - As with Metro a large group of new vehicles entered service in August and early September: 5th August Solos 1917-9 (AXI 287, VOI 188, ROI 139 at Derry and Bangor x2); 8th August 1878 (DEZ 8878, Coleraine), 10th August Solos 1880/1 (DEZ 8880, Derry City x2), 16th August Solos 1883/4 (DEZ 8882, Newcastle, Bangor), 19th August Solos 1886/7 (DEZ 8886, Newry x2) and Scania 1707 (EEZ 6707, Coleraine), 26th August Solo 1889 (DEZ 8889, Dungannon), 29th August Solo 1888 (DEZ 7888, Ards), 23th August Solo 1885 (DEZ 8885, Newry), 1st September Solo 1891,1916 (DEZ 8891, KXI 600, Newtownabbey & Enniskillen) and Scanias 1708-11 (EEZ 6708 etc at Coleraine, Armagh, Downpatrick and Newtownabbey , not GVS as previously advised). The next 4 Scanias should go to Derry, Omagh, Larne and Magherafelt releasing the final TE-types on to service work. 525 has already displaced Leopard 305 at Newcastle, 518 will displace 232, 523 releases 297 and 524 Leopard 249, with 561/9 joining the Driving School. Leopard 322 has returned to service at Coleraine, 227 at Ballymena and B10M 1509 at Enniskillen. Leopards 232 (Coleraine), 242 (Ards), 305 (Newcastle), Tiger 596 (Driving School) and Mercedes 854/85 (Derry City & Dungannon) are now in Reserve, whilst Dart 642 has left Bangor to go to Short Strand and Mercedes/Alexander 902/12/15/20/2 have gone to Flexibus from Newry, Derry City, Dungannon and Newry x2. Other moves see Volvo B10Ms 507/8 leave Glengall Street for Lisburn and Newry, 1561 from Lisburn to GVS and 1563 from Coleraine to Ballymena, Solo 1872 from Newcastle to Dungannon, B10M-46 512 from Derry to the Driving School, Leopard 275 from Newry to Active Reserve (Downpatrick). Mercedes/Wright 852 and one of the few remaining RELLs 2437 have been sold to Beattie for scrap as well as Leopards 177/233 to McDaid. vehicles detaxed for the school holidays returnned to service on 1st September for the new school term. Several buses have been renumbered to make numbers available for new double deckers: Gentrack Rodtrain 2900 is now 4900, Atlanteans 2901/8 are 4901/8 and most surprisingly long withdrawn Leyland/DAB articulated driver trainer 2999 (RNL 234W) to 4999. The first of the 10 Ulsterbus B7TLs is now delivered; unfortunately it is in the wrong shade of blue and has gone to a contractor to be resprayed; 6 of these should be used for the Aribus service 300.
06/09/05 - Its confusing being an Ulsterbus passenger these days. In Lisburn the vehicle with one of the newest registrations in the fleet is actually one of the oldest (a mere 29 years !!), whilst in Derry one needs to look carefully at the bus you are getting on. Ulsterbus are using Citybus 2629 (NXI 4629), still in Citybus colours, while Lough Swilly are using 2628 still in Citybus colours, still carrying the NXI 4628 plate, with the exception of a swilly sticker on the destination board glass!!
04/09/05 - Dart 618 has returned to service at Ards covering for fire damaged Plaxton 1567.
01/09/05 - Dart 618 has now in fact NOT gone to the Swilly (this is turning in to something of a saga !!). New Scania/Irizar Goldliners 1708-11 (EEZ 6708 etc) entered service today at Coleraine, Armagh, Downpatrick and GVS respectively. A further reregistration is 203 (VOI 203) to EEZ 7853.
31/08/05 - Dart 618 has now in fact gone to the Swilly.
30/08/05 - Former Ulsterbus Leyland Tiger/Van Hool 591 is now registered 84-DL-2357 with McGonagle, Buncrana and Flexibus Mercedes/Wright 1805 (SXI 2805) is now 90-DL-6399 with the same operator. Leyland Tiger/Duple 554 (BXI 5554) moved to Williams, Cranwell in 2/05 from Henderson, Penygraig.
25/08/05 - Dart 608 (CAZ 6608) is a further one to head off to Co Donegal. Former Metro Q-types have started migrating to Ulsterbus; Coleraine has got 1461 (YXI 1461) and 2662 (VXI 2662), Derry 2636 (SXI 2636), Magherafelt 2638 (SXI 2638) and Newry has got 2663 (VXI 2663). Scania coaches 1707/8/9 have been delivered, whilst Solo deliveries have reached 1892.
22/08/05 - Dart 606 (CAZ 6606) is on it's way on loan to Lough Swilly, although it may only be for spares.
19/08/05 - Scania/Irizar Goldliners 1707-1766 will be registered EEZ 6707 - 6766, with 1707 going to Coleraine shortly. Volvo B7s 2990-9 are the 10 for Ulsterbus and will be EEZ 2990-9. Other vehicles to gain EEZ numbers are Leopards 139/41/88/200/5/87 which are now EEZ 6838/74/39/82/5/40. Dart/Wright Handybus 618 is not to go to the Swilly; as with 627 the others are only on loan. Mercedes 711D/Alexander 912 and Dennis Dart/Wright 641 have both been transfered to Flexibus. Volvo B10M/Plaxton 1567 is yet another to set itself on fire and will doubtless be an early conversion to a schoolbus; delays in the delivery of seats means this programme will be delayed until later on in the year.
16/08/05 - The first of the next batch of Goldliners has arrived in the provence (1707-1766). Darts 614/8/20/2 (CAZ 6614) have gone to Lough Swilly.
15/08/05 - Solos 1916-19 will be registered KXI 600, AXI 287, VOI 188 and ROI 139. This batch of vehicles will replace the step entrance Darts, the low floor Dart Easibuses and the remaining Wright and Alexander bodied step entrance Mercedes minibuses. Mercedes 894/900/2/8/9/12/4/5/7-22 and Dart 641 should transfer to Flexibus to replace older minis. Dates of entry to service for Solos so far are 14th July for 1873/4/5/6 (Lisburn 1873/4, Craigavon and Omagh), 22nd July for 1877/8 at Craigavon and 1st August for 1882 at Larne. Ex Citybus Atlantean 2901 returned to service on 1st July at Coleraine whilst Tigers 1121/200-9/77/8/2601/4/5/10/29 and Ultras 2751/2 were reactivated on 7th July having been stored for the start of the school holidays. Darts 618/22 (Bangor) and Mercedes 711 893 (Lisburn) are now in Reserve, with similar 918 going from Craigavon to Flexibus. Newry has received unique Wright Commuter 2201 from Ards and sent Tiger 474 to Ards in it's place. Towbuses 1878/82/90/1/902/4 were renumbered 4878 etc on 20th July to accomodate the new Solos. Former RELL 2457, previously with BRA has gone to the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade as a training vehicle.
26/07/05 - Solos 1873 - 1915 will be registered DEZ 8873 - 8915 with the exception of 1877/88/99 which will be DEZ 7877 etc. These will all be 9.2 metre 31 seaters, with 1916/24 - 33 being 8.5 metre slimlines. These will take Leopard numbers ROI 134/45/26, BXI 337/28, ROI 129, BXI 330/1, ROI 132 and BXI 333. Allocations will be Lisburn 1873/4/92/7/902/11 Bangor 1875/84/93/8/900/7/15/18/9/24/5, Omagh 1876, Craigavon 1877/9/1909/13/4, Derry 1878/96/9, Derry City 1880/1/1903/17/26, Larne 1882/94, Newcastle 1883, Newry 1885/6/7/1901/4, Ards 1888, Dungannon 1889/90, GVS 1905/27, Newtownabbey 1891/908, Coleraine 1895/1907/28/9 with 1915/30-3 being currently unallocated.
26/07/05 - Volvo coaches 113-5 entered service on 8th June, with 115 following on 15th June. As usual a large number of vehicles have been detaxed for the school holidays:
GVS None Lisburn Leopard 139/247/317/38; Tiger 520/1051/1236/1400/98/9/1500; DAF 671;Dart 619/20; B10M 1501/2; Scania 756/7/8 Newtownards None Bangor Leopard 218/44/74/80/336 Craigavon Leopard 141/5/67/70/9/203/4/225/6/53/4/304/19/26/31; Dart 621 Downpatrick Leopard 214/72/307/11/3/4/5 Armagh Leopard 134/66/258/73/91; Tiger 352/87/98/9/414/2653/4/5/7 Newcastle Leopard 198; Tiger 476 Newry Leopard 200/17/37/45/56/62/78/302/6/14/28/34/; B10MA 3003 Dungannon Leopard 129/31/47/8/251/294/4109; Tiger 1285/6; Mercedes 885; B10M 1515/6 Derry Leopard 184/94/229/38/50/96/8/9; Tiger 345/68/410/3/8/9/42/3/61/1046/7/69/1196;
Tiger 1204/5/6/7/8/9/75/6/7/8/1417/8/2601/4/5/10/29/58/9; B10L 2753
Omagh Leopard 297; Tiger 426/8/9/1355/91 Eniskillen Tiger 344/63/451/1281/2 Coleraine Leopard 133/206/8/11/30/2/68/71/81/5/6/333 Ballymena Leopard 282/3/7/9/318/20/1/5; Tiger 1022/3/1121/80/1274/2609 Larne Tiger 1082/1158/83/1398; B10M 1523/6/36 Magherafelt Leopard 189/219/20/36/49/88/90/309; Tiger 349/1431; B10M 1527 Antrim Tiger 369/1081/1160/1258/9/68/9/2606/8 Derry City Tiger 1200/1/2/3; Mercedes 908/12; B10L 2751/2/4/5/6/7 Newtownabbey None Active Reserve Leopard 205/27; Tiger 593
Leopards 130/72, previously sold to Asia Bus Response, have been nominally re-registered DEZ 7475 and DEZ 7907. Solo 1872 has gone to Newcastle having previously been on loan to Flexibus. Leopard 159 (Downpatrick), Darts 614/20 (Lisburn) and Mercedes 891 (Craigavon) are all now in Reserve, whilst Tiger 1333 (Newry) and B10M 1509 (Enniskillen) have been detaxed for accident damage repair. N-type Tigers 2613/4 have returned to Metro Reserve from Derry.
21/07/05 - Metro Cityliner 2636 has been painted blue and should go to Ulsterbus Derry shortly joining sisters 2658/9.
19/07/05 - Solos 1873/4 are now in use at Lisburn and 1875 at Bangor where it has replaced Dart 614. These vehicles are to 9.2 metre length rather than the older vehicles 8.5 and also feature a more comfortable style of seating than earlier deliveries.
17/07/05 - Tiger 349 (DXI 3349 - Magherafelt ) has gone to Short Strand for painting in BRA colours. Also to be done is Derry's 345 and these two vehicles will then replace former Citybus 2625/30 which are on loan to BRA.
11/07/05 - Smart new arrivals are Optare Solos 1873/4 (DEZ 8873/4) which are the first vehicles in the new light blue and stone livery, applied in Metro style.
05/07/05 - Dart 607 was removed from Beatties on Saturday and taken to Craigavon for stripping for spare parts. Leopard 192 was brought to Beatties on the return trip.
04/07/05 - Scanias 702-4 are to receive 'Airbus' branding for use on route 300. The final servicable RELL 2454 (WOI 2454) has gone to Lough Swilly, with 2431 being cannibalised to repair Citybus 2543.
24/06/05 - Interesting news is that the Belfast - International Airport service (300) is to be increased in frequency from 30 to 20 minutes, commencing 3rd July.
08/06/05 - The end of the University term has seen Leopard 186 (OCZ 4209) go from Coleraine to the Driving school, joining former Coleraine sisters 209/324; Volvo B7TL's 2921/2/35/6 have also gone from GVS to Newtownabbey to assist with the ongoing rail replacement services on the Larne line. 2935 has just returned to service following accident damage repair. Volvo B10M 1582 (Armagh) has been detaxed after having suffered an engine fire and is currently stored in the old Laganside yard in Duncrue Street, while Tiger/Alexander 1139 has returned to service at GVS following accident damage repair. Other moves see Tiger 2607 go from Derry to Larne and DAF 677 from Enniskillen to Larne. A large batch of vehicles has been sold to Beatties for scrap: Leopards 140 (VCZ 9398, ROI 140), 161/2 (UOI 9161) 176/85/93 (VOI 176), 195 (UCZ 5421, VOI 195), 261 (YOI 2261), Mercedes 709D/Wright 824/39 (NXI 6824) 882 (AAZ 8882) and finally RELL 2399 (UOI 2399).
06/06/05 - Minibuses 826/31 (NXI 6826/31) and RE 2399 (UOI 2399) have been removed from Newtownabbey to Beatties for scrapping. A team of volunteer drivers left this morning to deliver Leopards 130 (ROI 130) 168 (UOI 9168) 172/81 (VOI 172) and 212 (WOI 2212) to Southampton. Included in their number are our own Trevor Dixon and Jonathan Miller. They are due to arrive in Southampton sometime tomorrow and the vehicles are due to be shipped out to Sri Lanka next week as part of the Tsunami relief effort. Both 130 and 172 were to be re-registered before departure but their new numbers are not yet known. Leopards 209 and 324 are now with the Driving School. The outstanding Volvo B12B, 112, has now arrived in Belfast. Former Tiger/Duple 546 (EXI 5546) is now registered 84-LH-1322 with Rice School of Motoring, Dundalk and DAF/Plaxtons 672/3 (UXI 1672/3) have passed to K & J Logistics, Rufforth in 3/05 ex Wealden, Tonbridge.
03/06/05 - The 4 new Volvo/Plaxton coaches are numbered 112-5 (DEZ 4112 etc), at least for this week ! Thanks to Will Hughes for the following photo.
29/05/05 - The final servicable RE in the Ulsterbus fleet, 2454 (WOI 2454), has been moved from Newry to Newtownabbey for continued storage, whilst Mercedes/Wright minibuses on the move are 881 to Beattie, Hillsborough for scrap and 890 to McGonagle, Buncrana for further use. The new Volvo/Plaxton touring coaches have arrived at Dennisons in Ballyclare and should be delivered to Ulsterbus shortly.
20/05/05 - Tiger/N-type 2615 has returned to Metro, having been on loan at Lisburn depot, along with Q-type sisters 2636/8, previously at Newtownabbey. Received from Citybus is partial open top Atlantean/ECW 2901 which has been overhauled but currently remains in Reserve. Mercedes/Wright 856 has been withdrawn from Derry due to engine failure, whilst Tiger/Van Hool 591 (JCZ 5995, OXI 591) has been withdrawn from the Driving School and sold to McGonagle, Buncrana. Due for delivery soon are the first of the batch of 60 Optare Solo slimlines. These will be the first vehicles to carry the Ulsterbus version of the Metro magenta livery.
06/05/05 - A clearout of scrap vehicles has seen all the Leopards and minbuses lying at the Harbour Airport going:- 140 (VCZ 9398, ex ROI 140), 161/2 (UOI 9161/2), 176/85/93 (VOI 176/85/93), 195 (UCZ 5421, ex VOI 195) and 824/39 (NXI 6824/39).
11/04/05 - Leopard 261 (YOI 2261) has been withdrawn from Ballymena deport as a result of body defects. As a result of extra vehciles requirement for services to replace the Larne railway line whilst it is closed for engineering work a number of vehices have been returned to service from reserve: Tigers 1401/2/3 (all Newtownabbey) and 1481 (Larne). A further number of buses have been received from Metro for the same purpose: Tigers 1404/5, 2636/8/50 (all Newtownabbey); 1406/7 at Larne; unusual Mercedes 0.405GN artics 3102/3 at Newtownabbey and finally Volvo B7TLs 2954/5 (Newtownabbey). Volvo B10M 1568 and Tiger 1415 have swapped depots with 1415 going to NB and 1568 to GVS, whilst another unusual vehicle on the move is Volvo/Caetano coach 512 which has returned to service at Derry having previously been with the Driving School. Not previously noted is thet Tiger/Duple 531 was sold to Wealden PSV.
08/04/05 - RELL 2440 (WOI 2440) has been sold to Nash, Cobham, possibly for resale. News of 2 former vehicles now 'across the water' and coincidentally both with the former fleetnumber 540 is Tiger/Wright RXI 5540 (ex B272 AMG) now with Excel, Stanstead Airport ex 24 x 7, Elsenham and Tiger/Wadham Stringer HAZ 3540 now with Eurotaxis, Siston Common 8/04 (as DP70FA) ex Wealden, Tonbridge (dealer).
05/04/05 - Thanks to Kieran O'Neill for this link regarding 177's accident yesterday.
04/04/05 - RELL 2595 (BXI 2595) went to Lough Swilly at the weekend. Leopard 177 (VCZ 8661, ex VOI 177) was involved in an accident this morning and is almost certainly a writeoff.
27/03/05 - RELL's 2592/3 (BXI 2592/3) are on their way to Lough Swilly this weekend; there will definitely be no more going to Wealden.
20/03/05 - New vehicles on order are a further 50 Optare Solos (these being of the 'slim' variety and commencing delivery in June); 60 further Scania / Irizar Goldliner coaches to be delivered from September onwards and most interestingly 25 MAN powered Ayats low floor coaches to a new design. Also expected are at least some of the 70 Volvo/ALX 400 double deckers on order. Orders for low floor single deckers have yet to be placed.
16/03/05 - Mercedes/Wright 876 has gone to Wealden. Sister 874 was also sold to this dealer in February, not 876 as reported in error. Also gone to the same dealer is former Flexibus Mercedes 38, most recently in use with the Driving School. Atlantean open topper 2911 (OXI 528) has been sold to Beattie, for scrap. On order for the Tours fleet are 4 * Volvo B12M / Plaxton coaches, thus introducing yet another chassis / body combination to the fleet.
13/03/05 - B10M/Plaxton 1579 returned to service at Ennsikillen on 16/02 after completion of repairs. Also returned to service are Tigers 1042 (GVS 21/02), 1022/3, 1406 (all Ballymena 28/02 to cover for vehicles maliciously damaged), and 2607/13/4 (all Derry 28/02). 1406/2613/4 are all on loan from Metro. Leopard 198 has moved from Newry to Newcastle.
01/03/05 - Leopard 322 (Ballymena) has been withdrawn after a vandalism incident at the depot. 5 other vehicles were damaged in the same attack but are repairable.
28/02/05 - DAF/Plaxton 670 (uniquely in Goldliner livery) has been sold to Lough Swilly as it's fleetnumber 012.
15/02/05 - Tiger 1044 moved from Laganside - Newry on 7th February, not to GVS as previously advised. 1042 was also detaxed from Newtownabbey on the same date. 1042 and Cityliners 1401/2/3/81 are to be used on forthcoming rail replacement duties in connection with engineering work on the Larne line. RELLs 2591/6 (BXI 2591/6) and minibuses 870/6 (TXI 7870/6) were due to go to Wealdon last weekend. 2 more REs are now in preservation; 2583 (BXI 2583) now with the Trust and 2280 (TOI 2280) with Harkin, Derry. The latter had previously been sold to Mcdaid for scrap.
10/02/05 - Mercedes/Wright 879 (Newry) is now in Reserve, whilst Tiger 2626 has returned from Downpatick to Citybus Reserve. Tiger 1139 (GVS) has also been detaxed after suffering extensive accident damage. On the service front, the Comber minibus service (311) was withdrawn as part of the Metro changes on 7th February.
04/02/05 - The Metro changes of 7th Feb will also have a major impact on Ulsterbus operations in Belfast, most notably the disappearance of the Laganside allocation. Ulsterbus Scanias 701/41-4/85, Solo 1872 and B10M's 1534/5 will go to Metro depots; Carrickfergus will become an outstation of Newtownabbey, Comber and Ballygowan of GVS. The remaining Laganside vehicles should be distributed as follows: 459/702/3/4/1044/94/8/9/1155/6/1212/63/80/2/1537 all to GVS, 484/5/740/906/7/1010/11/40/1/1453/1838-42/2651 to Carrick, 739/86/1117/1213/54/65/1322/1538 to Comber, 787/1115/77/1320/79/1448/1451/2 to Ballygowan, 897 to Newry, and 1401/2/3/81/2607/14 all to Reserve along with 1022/3 from GVS. Volvo 1603 should also go from GVS to Downpatrick.
30/01/05 - Volvo/ Wright 2808/19 now carry yet another livery variation, this time with only sea green and mint. The areas which would previously have been 'company colour' are painted sea green.
28/01/05 - Scania/Wright 701 (Laganside) is the first Ulsterbus vehicle to be painted in to Metro colours.
24/01/05 - Mercedes/Wright 877 (TXI 7877) went to Wealden PSV for resale last weekend.
18/01/05 - Over 300 vehicles have been offered for sale over the period October 2005 - June 2007. These will comprise 145 * Leopard / Alexander , 1 * Leopard / Wright, 33 * Dart / Wright, 135 Tiger / Alexander (both Leyland & Gardner engined types), 2 * Tiger / Van Hool, 1 * Volvo B9M / Plaxton, 3 * DAF / Plaxton, 29 Mercedes / Wright and finally 1 * Mercedes / Plaxton.
03/01/05 - Have a happy (&interesting) New Year.
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