The End of the 78A, 40A, 78 and 51:
Conyngham Road's AV195 and AV401 are seen at the Liffey Valley Centre terminus of Route 78A on the 5th November 2011. The two versions of the destination are shown, the dark evening beginning to shroud the buses as they entered the last week of the route's operation.
And Network Direct rolls on and finally the planned 40 changes take place on the 13th November 2011. Its nearly a year ago now when the Finglas/Ballyfermot changes were noted as to be introduced in "early January 2010". However industrial issues have delayed their implementation until now. As part of the changes Route 40 takes over the entire 78A route, with the city centre routing finally consistent with buses inbound and outbound both serving Lord Edward Street. In Finglas the 40 merges with Route 40A. Turning left off the Finglas Road it serves Tolka Valley Road, St. Helena's Road, Cardiffsbridge Road, Barry Road, Plunkett Avenue, Lidl (St. Margaret's Road), before turning right down McKee Avenue (unserved since the 83 changes) to a terminus in Finglas Place (the original CitySwift 40 terminus - which has somehow benefited from infrastructural improvements).
Harristown's VG24 is seen on the Finglas Road (junction Prospect Way) operating soon to be withdrawn Route 40A to Charlestown on the 13th August 2011.
The withdrawal of Route 40 and 40A will leave Route 9 as the only route terminating at Charlestown. Technically, it is only South Finglas that will be unconnected to Charlestown, as the 40B on its way to Toburburr will turn left at Finglas Village before serving Barry Road and then onto the St. Margaret's Road to Toberburr. In other words, the new Route 40B services will operate as per the current Route 40 services to Toberburr. The Route number 40B makes a welcome return, though it should be noted that its routing differs slightly from its predecessor in its final form which used Jamestown Road. Route 40D will now operate from the city direct to Finglas Village, turning left onto Mellows Road, before turning right at the Church at Cardiffsbridge Road and onto its previous routing to Tyrellstown. Notable the loop of Tyrellstown estate remains, which had originally been an expected casualty of these changes. The 40D and 40B will now depart from the 120 stops on the opposite side of Parnell Street to the current arrangement, making the present stops used by Finglas services for the past 40 years redundant.
VG14 is seen loading for its journey to Toberburr in North County Dublin on soon to be used stops on Parnell Street on the 14th October 2010.
As noted above the 78A part of the new Route 40 is more easily explained, it being the entire Route 78A with a city centre route change which sees it removed from the South Quays and instead serves Dame Street and Christchurch to Thomas Street. As part of the cutbacks, the direct Route 78 to Liffey Valley will be dropped. Also withdrawn will be Route 51, which had been all but replaced by Route 78A 14 years ago. These morning only inbound serves had hung on for some time, but they have finally bitten the dust.
Conyngham Road's, former Railink-livered, RV520 is seen on Aston Quay awaiting its evening departure on Route 78 on the 26th April 2010.
Route 78A, and before it Route 78, will always be synonymous with Ballyfermot. Route 78 began in 1953 operating to the present 79 terminus at Spiddal Park. Buses turned left from the Ballyfermot Road onto Blackditch Drive and Claddagh Green to serve Spiddal Park. It was joined in 1957 by Route 78A which continued on to Cherry Orchard Hospital (Shown on timetable and destination as Hospial Gates) and Route 78B which operated into Drumfin Estate. The 78A would be extended to the Fonthill Road in the early 1980's, initially terminating at the junction of the Lucan Newlands Road before being extended to Ronanstown. It should be noted that the 78A did not serve the Neilstown Road, this was left for ROute 51. Instead from Cherry Orchard Hospital the 78A served the entire length of the Coldcut Road turning left onto the Fonthill Road thus serving it in the opposite direction to the current arrangement.
Conyngham Road's AV102 is seen passing the Gala bingo club on the Ballyfermot Road on the 5th November 2011.
The 78A became the 3rd CitySwift route in February 1994 with the withdrawal of Routes 78 and 78B. In 1997, the reorganisation of services in Clondalkin lead to Route 78A serving Neilstown Road, returning to Quarryvale via the Fonthill Road terminating where the entrance to Liffey Valley stands today. The route would be extended into the shopping centre upon its opening. The 78A now becomes the latest victim of the Network Direct cutbacks. A fairly reliable service along with the 40s, it is unlikely given previous implementations that the service will remain as reliable in the future.
Conyngham Road's RV469 is seen operating Route 78A under the Sarsfield Road rail bridge on the 5th November 2011.
RV469, numerically the oldest RV in the fleet, is seen above operating Route 78A. The 78A is the last route in Conyngham Road that is allocated RVs, with very rare exceptions to this rule. However, with the new jointly operated Route 40 being fully lowfloor, it seems that Conyngham Road may become the next fully low floor garage in the city fleet. What will happen its remaining RVs in unclear for the moment.
Conyngham Road's RV520 is seen on the Sarsfield Road operating Route 78A on the 5th November 2011.
With the 78 removed, a more direct link to Ballyfermot village will be lost. However, it must be noted that the section of the route on James Street and Thomas Street is very busy. Its strange to think that the services in Mount Brown are now the 13 and 40, as opposed the 78s and 21s and more recently the 51s. There is no time for nostalgia as Network Direct changes the landscape of Dublin's Bus routes.
Conyngham Road's AV405 is seen on Thomas Street operating Route 78A with a heavy load on the 5th September 2010.
The ex-Railink buses have been a feature on the 78A for some time now. Nowadays its common to have both the ex-Railink RVs and AVs, as can be seen with photos of RV517 and RV520 included here. AV359-362 are also regulars, with a photo of AV362 below. Whereas the RVs were delivered in a new Railink Livery, then getting some attractive Guinness overall ads, the AVs were delivered in core. However indications as to their allocation on route 90, then route 92, was their luggage racks and a green sticker in the windscreen saying Railink. AV362 had the distinction of being the last bus delivered in the old core livery of blue, cream and orange.
AV362 is seen on Grattan Crescent operating Route 78A on Grattan Crescent on the 5th November 2011.
RV517 is seen on Ballyfermot Road on Route 78A on the 5th November 2011. The final days of autumn, the orange leaves on the trees, as the final days of Route 78A draw in.
There will be no last days photos of Route 78A for Dublinbusstuff as he heads stateside. However, though the 78A will be soon gone, its infamy will live on, no doubt Route 40 will be thought of in exactly the same light.
RV591 is seen on Route 78A turning from Grattan Crescent onto Emmet Road on the 8th January 2011.
Lets not forget however the loss of the 40A. It is a much older route than the 78A, having started in 1932 to Cappagh Road some 79 years ago. It operated direct to Finglas Road turning left onto Church Street and onto Cappagh Road. Later on as south Finglas developed Route 40A was the one to be rerouted. By the early 60s the route was serving Wellmount Avenue, Dunsink Avenue, and Wellmount Drive onto Cardiffsbridge Road. Two termini were used, one at the cottages at the corner of Cappagh Road and Ratoath Road, and further on past Cappagh Hospital.
Harristown's EV74 is seen on Casement Road heading to Charlestown Shopping Centre operating Route 40A on the 6th November 2011.
It was the late 1970s before Route 40C began operating the length of St. Helena's Road from Tolka Valley Road to Cardiffsbridge Road terminating in Deanstown. By this stage the road network in Finglas was much as it is now, and hence the 40A was ammended slightly to join Cardiffsbridge Road from the Wellmount Road. And so it was to remain until 1993 when the 40 group was reorganised into a new CitySwift Route very similar to what we are now returning to under Network Direct. With the 40C's cancellation, the 40A was rerouted to serve Tolka Valley Road, St. Helena's Road, Farnham Drive, served with Route 40, Wellmount Road, Dunskink Avenue, Cappagh Road, with some services via Cappagh Hospital, returning along Cappagh Road, Patrickswell Place and Wellmount Road to its Finglas Place terminus which it served with Route 40.
Harristown's VG20 is seen on Barry Road on Route 40 about to turn left onto Mellows Road heading to Parnell Street on the 6th November 2011.
It stayed like this until the launch of the Finglas QBC in the early naughties when the Finglas routes basically returned to their pre-CitySwift days, and much as it is now. For Route 40A it saw buses heading direct to Finglas Village, then Wellmount Road Farnham Drive, St. Helena's Road (joining Route 40C there), Cardiffsbridge Road and on to Barry Road/Plunket Avenue. With the new suburb of Tyrellstown came Route 40D, which saw off the 40C.
Harristown's VG16 is seen on St. Helena's Road on the 40D to Parnell Street on the 6th November 2011.
The 40 crept northwards, first to McKeveley Avenue and then onto Charlestown Shopping Centre. This new shopping centre has now been cut off from South Finglas with the witdrawal of the 40 and 40A from their terminus there. One would have thought that maybe Route 220 could have been routed via Charlestown Shopping Centre instead of McKee Avenue on its way to/from Ballymun offering a direct link between Ballymun and South Finglas to this new Shopping Centre.
Harristown's VG18 is seen turning onto St. Margaret's Road with Charlestown Shopping Centre seen behind on soon to be withdrawn Route 40A on the 30th January 2011.
The last point of note is that Farnham Drive is now without a service. Farnham Drive is interesting in that it never had a service until 1993. However at one stage it had all the 40 group, with the CitySwift 40 operating out of town southwards from Wellmount Road to St. Helena's Road and the 40A operating the opposite way out of town. The 40B, though officially operating via Finglas Road had most of its journeys via Route 40A and hence also served the road. The 40A has served this road for the past 11 years, however it will soon be withdrawn of a service. It should be noted however that it is a short walk to either the Finglas Road or the St. Helena's Road.
Harristown's EV69 is seen on soon to be service-less Farnham Drive on Route 40A on the 6th November 2011.