Photo of the Week - Week 6:
Dusk is beginning to set in Donabate as former Harristown AV336 is seen operating a Route 33D departure along Main Street on the 6th April 2012. Don't be fooled by the display, the bus is headed for the Burrow, Portrane. (click on photo for larger version).
Route 33D has not appeared on these pages before. It is a route born of necessity rather than planning. On the 22nd August 2009, Malahide Rail Viaduct, used by all northern intercity and commuter services, collapsed shortly after the passing of a train. It was a narrowly avoided tragedy, but with the rail line out of action, it was left to Dublin Bus to find a way of transporting the thousands of stranded commuters. And Dublin Bus really stepped up to the mark. On the 31st August, in time for the returning of the schools traffic, Dublin Bus introduced a greatly expanded Route 33X, a Donabate/Malahide rail shuttle and also route 33D, from Donabate Rail Station to Tara Street Station, George's Quay (returning from Custom House Quay). 3 return services operated at peak times only.
Fromer Harristown AV220 is seen operating Route 33D on Nassau Street on the 19th June 2014. AV220 was long the marked in vehicle on the 33D, looping in the city centre to pick up as a Route 4 from O'Connell Bridge to Monkstown (click on photo for larger version).
When the viaduct reopened on the 16th November 2009, Dublin Bus noted that services would be scaled back but kept for a few months to honour pre-paid bus tickets. Buses at this stage began departing from Seaview Portrane, as the railway car park was once again needed for park and ride. However, such was the quality of service provided by the 33D, many passengers stuck with the bus service. I myself recalled an evening journey on a 33D, which left only slightly before a northern commuter service from Tara Street, and making the departure of said train from Donabate. And so from the 20th January 2010, the 33D became a permanent fixture of the Dublin Bus timetable, with one return departure, the morning service continuing to St. Stephen's Green, the return journey departing from Custom House Quay. And so it has pretty much stayed until now, with an extra bus in the morning being provided at times. And with Go Ahead being the main operator in Donabate and Portrane, with the 33B, the few departures on the 33D and 33E are the only Dublin Bus services on this peninsula.
Harristown's EV67 is seen loaded at the Custom House Quay terminus of Route 33D on the 27th August 2019. After all these years, the display is still wrong, with this bus continuing onto Portrane (click on photo for larger version).