Photo of the Week - Week 14:
Ringsend's Wedding Bus AX494 is seen on a rare allocation to Route 49 on Ballycullen Avenue on the 6th April 2013.
AX494 seldom strays. Since becoming a Wedding Bus it was permanently allocated to Routes 1, 2 and 3, the DMD being restricted in the routes it could show. This lasted right until the delivery of the new GT-class to Ringsend, which were placed onto new Route 1, displacing AX494. But in true Ringsend style it did not stray into general allocation. It has instead being marked in on Route 150. However, with more buses in Ringsend being restricted, i.e. the EV and the GT class, AX494 has appeared on a different route once or twice in the past few weeks, namely the 15B. This is due to the fact that it is now unlocked to show all Ringsend routes. Route 49 was the latest to get an unusual allocation of AX494, with the bus appearing last Saturday.
AX494 is seen on the last day of Route 3 on Sydney Parade Avenue on the 12th May 2012. AX494 had the honour of operating the last Route 3 service to Larkhill that evening.
AX494 has had an interesting existence in Dublin Bus. It was delivered in core livery in early summer of 2006, entering service in Summerhill, along with AX495-AX503. AX496-AX503 were put into storage upon delivery of Summerhill's AX batch (AX626-AX637), however AX494 was to hang on in Summerhill for another few years, moving to Phibsborough in the autumn of 2008. It remained there for a few months before being transferred to Ringsend in January 2009, where it has remained allocated since. It was in Ringsend that it obtained the White Wedding livery in August 2009, replacing AV383 and AV384. In this respect it was the first modern bus to be painted into Wedding Livery as opposed to being delivered as such. The other such examples were KD366, the last KD and the first Wedding Bus, which was repainted in early 1990, RH3 just after delivery in the Spring of 1990, whereas RH9, RH24 and RH65 became Wedding buses upon being repainted out of the Harp bus livery in mid-1992.
Ax494 is seen on its new home route, Route 150 on College Green on the 12th January 2013.