Photo of the Week - Week 7:
Former Ringsend AV1 is seen on Ballymount Road turning onto Sylvan Drive operating Route 56A on the 3rd September 2011.
Much has been said on these pages about the RVs and their drawn-out withdrawal at the end of last year. But the end of 2012 also saw the first withdrawals of the AV (Volvo B7TL Alexander ALX400 double-deckers) class. The first AV to be withdrawn was Harristown's AV54 back in November 2012, however this feature looks back at Ringsend's early batch of AVs. Of Ringsend's AV1-21 batch, AVs 1, 3, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19 were tendered for purchase indicating their withdrawal, with AVs 1, 3, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19 already withdrawn and sold onwards, with AV11 and AV17 still lingering on. AV11 and AV17 were thought to be waiting for GT79 and GT80 to enter service. With GT80's recent entry into service, it was assumed that one of these AVs would be withdrawn against it, but as of yet there are no reports confirming same.
Former Ringsend AV3 is shown at the Rossmore terminus of Route 150 on the 25th April 2011.
AV6 was technically the first AV, in that it was the first AV into service on the 1st September 2000, and this bus is being retained for the immediate future. However, AV1 will always be the first in most people's eyes, a fleet number being so important. It must be recalled that the initial allocation saw AV1-5 go to Broadstone in CitySwift livery, with AV6-21 heading to Ringsend in Core livery (cream/blue). However, the AV1-5 batch were initially based in Ringsend for a very short period, mostly for driver training, though one or two observations of them in service were made. By late-2001, Broadstone had a number of AVs for 'Euro' duties, and so began a process of swapping RVs for AVs. This saw AV2-5 head for Ringsend, however AV1 moved to Clontarf. AV1 then moved to Harristown from Clontarf, upon the opening of Harristown in late October 2004. It lasted just over one month before being transferred to Ringsend when 'Euro' duties on the 38 were transferred there in December 2004. And so the batch of AV1-21 was complete in Ringsend, only for withdrawals in late 2012 to once again break it up.
Still hanging on as of February 2013, Ringsend's AV11 is seen on Bride Street operating the cross-city Route 27 to Jobstown on the 30th October 2011. AV11 had the honour of operating the last 77 from Jobstown, prior to the new Super-Route 27 taking over the route.