Dart Shuttle - Custom's House to Grand Canal Station:
Ringsend's Wright Crusader bodied Volvo B6BLE, WV49 is seen operating a Dart replacement service on the 31st January 2010. The backdrop is Gandon's most impressive Custom House built between 1781 and 1791. The stop outside the Custom's House has become a hive of activity over the years, though it has changed position slightly. From a stop for the peak hour 90A, the stop has gone on to be served by a plethora of routes such as the 33D, 33X, 53A, 74, 74A, 90, 151, and Bus Eireann's 100X service to Dundalk.
On Saturday the 7th and 8th of November 2009 engineering works near Pearse Street Station closed the loop line between Connolly and Pearse. Northside Dart and Commuter services operated to Connolly, while southside Dart services terminated at Grand Canal Dock. The Rosslare services had connecting buses between the city and Greystones.
Dublin Bus was drafted in the provide a shuttle bus service between Grand Canal Station and the Custom's House. Interestingly enough the service did not continue to Connolly Station, a walk being necessary for any cross-city journeys. Two Ringsend WVs operated the service on the Sunday: WV50 and 52 being noted.
Ringsend's WV52 getting ready to depart on a shuttle service to Grand Canal Dock on the 8th November 2009. Both the Bus Éireann stop and the Dublin Bus stop are visible, the yellow sign indicating the use of this stop by the peak hour 33X services. These services were necessitated by the collapse of the Malahide Viaduct on the 21st August 2009 with the loss of the northern commuter services to Dublin. The 33X services have continued on after the viaduct's reopening.
The shuttle routing was as follows:
Custom's House Quay, Memorial Bridge, George's Quay, Burgh Quay, D'olier Street, Townsend Street, Lombard Street East, Westland Row, Fenian Street, Hogan Place, Grand Canal Street, Barrow Street, Pearse Street, Tara Street, Custom House Quay.
On Sunday the 31st January 2010 the shuttle service was repeated again. This time four WVs were in service on the Sunday: WVs 49, 50, 51 and 52.
WV52 is seen turning onto Memorial Bridge on a Dart Shuttle service on the 8th November 2009, the Dart Shuttle destination display and the notice in the window making the service very clear and distinct.
WV50 followed by WV49 load passengers on Barrow Street at the entrance to Grand Canal Dock Station on the 31st January 2010.
Ringsend had always been a stronghold of the double-decker bus with no single-deckers being allocated. With the delivery of WV1-10 in late 1999 for the 150 service, Ringsend finally operated single-deck buses. Another delivery in 2001, saw WV47-52 arrive which are still operating in the depot to this day on Route 150. It was some of these buses that operated the shuttle service, an allocation necessitated by the low bridge on Barrow Street which only the WVs could negotiate.
Interestingly, Ringsend had previously had a brief allocation of single deckers due to this bridge in 1961. On and from Monday 11th September 1961 Victoria Bridge was closed which required the 1, 2 and 3 to be rerouted until it was reopened. The 1 and 2 were rerouted as per the Dart Shuttle via Fenian Street, Grand Canal Street and Barrow Street to Pearse Street while the 3 avoided the Pearse Street area altogether (see Route 3 article for more details). Because of the low bridge single-deckers were drafted in to Ringsend in order to operate the service until Victoria Bridge was reopened on the 1st February 1963.
WV50 negotiates the bridge in question on Barrow Street on the 8th November 2009. Though since replaced there are still only 12 feet of clearance.
A rare sight - a bus on Grand Canal Street, a thoroughfare in inner city Dublin devoid of a service, though it should be noted that its not that far from Mount Street. WV52 crosses the bridge over the Grand Canal on the 8th November 2009. An inspector can be seen through the windscreen, being required to organise the services and loadings on the day.