Photo of the Week - Week 28:
Harristown's RV631 is seen on the Old Airport Road on a rare allocation to Route 27B on Saturday he 30th June 2012.
Surprise allocations can make an enthusiasts day. I just so happened to stumble upon one on Saturday, when RV631 ventured out on Route 27B for 2 laps. This is only the 3rd time I've seen an RV on this route, since the 07 EVs were delivered to Harristown. It is incredibly rare, though as recent OBOs have shown, Harristown's RVs are showing up on a wide variety of routes nowadays, and its no accident. In the last while, Routes 4, 13, 43, 83, 102, 140, and of course Route 27B had rare appearances of RVs. With the dwindling fleet of RVs in Dublin, in general confined to the depot at weekends, except for the odd appearance on the 17s or Summerhill's 16 or 41.
RV631 is seen at the Ardlea Road, Kilmore Road junction operating Route 27B on the 30th June 2012.
RV631 is numerically the newest RV left in Dublin Bus's fleet. When the first RH class was delivered in March 1990, it was probably never envisaged that 10 years later the Olympian type would still be entering service, with 640 eventually ending up in service. The Olympian was a great servant to Dublin Bus. These high-floor vehicles have only survived in Dublin until now due to the fact that in 1999, with low floor buses becoming common place, Dublin Bus were unable to get a large enough order of low floor buses due to issues with the Volvo B7TL chassis being late to market and a backlog of big UK operator orders. This left Dublin acquiring 195 examples of these high floored vehicles, to be honest quite outdated at the time, the last of which will finally be withdrawn in the Autumn of 2012, giving them less than 13 years of service. The Celtic Tiger, which brought about the need for such a large order in the late 90s, also allowed for a fleet replacement programme that lead to a young fleet profile. Though this fleet replacement programme has slowed down over the past 2 years, operational cutbacks have seen more and more of the RV class being withdrawn. The new GT class, the deliery of the first of the type expected soon, will see the end of the RV class, once and for all. It will be a sad passing.
RV631 is seen on the Malahide Road operating ROute 27B on the 30th June 2012.