Photo of the Week - Week 13:
Ringsend's Breannan's Wrapped AV247, is seen while on loan to Phibsborough Garage operating Route 120 on Parnell Street on the 29th March 2013.
AV247 has been on loan to Phibsborough Garage since the beginning of February. However, it has remained elusive for me, with Phibsborough only allowing it out the odd weekend. Route 120 seems the most reliable route to find it on, though it has been noted on a number of routes, including an Xpresso while operating in Phibsborough. So I thanked my lucky stars when I found it on Parnell Street on Good Friday, while making my way out to sample the Luas Replacement services. Rushing out to Ashtown, I was hoping for a nice publicity shot, however it arrived out of service, the duty finishing at Ashtown and pulling in about midday. I cursed my luck once again, but at least I had managed a shot on a Phibsborough route. Once again making my way out towards the Luas Replacement service I was shocked to find AV247, which was pulled out from Phibsborough what must have been instantaneously upon its arrival back. Well maybe my luck wasn't so bad, but I would have prefered the shot at Ashtown.
AV247 is seen on a Luas Replacement service between Red Cow and Tallaght at the Red Cow Interchange, again on the 29th March 2013.
Due to the construction of a canopy over the Belgard Luas stop, necessitated by the destruction of the previous canopy in high winds, the Luas line was closed. Hopefully the next canopy will provide more tolerance to Dublin's blustery climate. The construction took four days, from Good Friday 29th March to the Easter Monday 1st March inclusive. During this time the Luas red line service was curtailed between Docklands and the Red Cow, with a bus replacement service operating on two routes, one following the Saggart line, the other following the Tallaght line. Dublin Bus was hired in for the service, and as per Dublin Bus's usual standard with regards to rail replacement services, the bus provided an efficient and reliable solution to the passengers of the Luas service. Maybe these customers may once again see the bus as an alternative to what is a very meandering tram service, especially slow between James's Hospital and the Docklands.
A replacement map showing the two routes operated for the Luas Replacement service.
Both routes ran via Newland's Cross and Kingswood Heights, serving the Kingswood stop. It was a bit of a meander for both routes, though I'm guessing Veolia requesting that connections were maintained. One couldn't help thinking however, that continuing on past Kingswood Heights, stopping at the station and then joining the M50 would have been quicker that the speed ramped roads of Kingswood Heights and the long delays incurred at Newland's Cross. It should be noted however that such access of the M50 southbound from the Red Cow is not possible and thus maybe consistency of routing was the deciding factor. The Saggart Route (Red Route) continued on past the Belgard Luas stop following the new road parallel to the Luas tracks into CityWest. It then turned right heading past the 77A/65B terminus, turning left up Bianconi Avenue, Garter's Lane before terminating at the Saggart Luas Stop on Fortunestown Lane. The buses returned via Fortunestown Lane, serving the Fortunestown stop at the CityWest Shopping Centre, before returning along its outbound routing from CityWest. Thus the Fortunestown stop was only served in one direction, and Dublin Bus staff ensured passenger transfers, advising passengers if the bus ahead was due to depart first. The Tallaght (Yellow Route) turned left after the Belgard Stop following the line into Tallaght. The terminus, as shown in the image below was on Belgard Square West, however further up than the main SuperValu stop opposite the Square. The reason I've noted the routes as Red and Yellow comes from the fact that signs indicating the direction of the routes were indicating in the corresponding colours for the different routes, once again showing advance planning, facilitating a seamless transition for drivers who may not be so familiar with this side of the city.
Phibsborough's AV50 is seen at the Tallaght terminus of the Luas Replacement service on Belgard Square West on the 29th March 2013 with AV247 seen behind. The destination display was not exactly right, but given the direction of travel it was not ultimately important.
Harristown's AV153 is seen at the Saggart Luas Stop on Fortunestown Lane on a Luas Replacement service on the 29th March 2013.