Photo of the Week - Week 24:
Wright Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5TL, DM1, is seen at the Charlestown terminus of Route 9 on the 15th June 2014.
Dublin has not seen many demonstrators recently. A number of buses have come down for viewing and inspection but have not entered passenger service. The last demonstrator I can recall would be A1, the silver bendy bus that saw limited service on the 46A. Recalling right, it operated a short 46A from Dun Laoghaire to St. Stephen's Green only. Before this, there were the low-floor double-deck demonstrators in 1999. DM1 was delivered to Dublin Bus at the end of March 2014. It remained in store and for driver training duties for a number of months, finally entering service on Route 9 on Thursday 12th June 2014. DM2, a diesel electric hybrid, delivered only a few days after DM1 has still to enter service. It did undergo driver training duties in Conyngham Road, where it will be allocated to Route 151, however it returned to Broadstone and has been parked up for a few weeks.
DM1 is seen operating Route 9 on Harrington Street on the 15th June 2014.
A rear shot of DM1 in O'Connell Street. The Gemini 3 body is quite distinctive with the staircase visible through a glass panel, similar to the Boris-Master in London.
DM1's arrival in Dublin is a precursor to 65 SG (or is it GS!) to be delivered to Dublin Bus in the coming months. These buses will be similar to DM1, in terms of engine and bodywork, though it is understood they will not have the glass panelled staircase and will have dual doors as per the NTA specification. Dublin Bus's switch to the Gemini 3 from the Gemini 2 is no doubt due to the new Euro 6 standard that new buses must comply with. These standards were introduced on 31st December 2013, and enforce a large reduction in the Nitogen Oxide and hydrocarbon emissions, amoung others, to diesel bus engines. Achieving this has resulted in a significant reduction in engine size, from a Volvo B9TL (in the GT class) to a Volvo B5TL in DM1. With a smaller engine, there has been a corresponding significant reduction in the weight of the vehicle. The Gemini 3 Volvo B5TL saves a full tonne (1000kg) over the former B9TL Gemini 2 combination. 70% of the weight reduction comes from the bodywork. A notable feature of this weight reduction is the slim-line nature of the upper deck windows. Glass is a heavy material, though one wonders if weight savings are key, did DM1 really need less glass upstairs where people might want it, and more on the staircase where seeing the moving ground while going down the staircase can be a bit disconcerting. Either way, Volvo are quoting a 10% improvement in efficiency which will be welcome for Dublin Bus. Travelling on this bus (15th June 2014), it did not seem to be slow. GTs can be a bit sluggish pulling away but this wasn't notable about DM1. It should be noted that it was running behind schedule for most of its Sunday morning outing, though the running time of the 9 on a Sunday didn't help. That said the AV behind was just making its time. Sometimes new buses do take time to bed in though.
DM1 arrives at the Limekiln Avenue terminus of Route 9 on the 15th June 2014.