Photo of the Week - Week 49:
A few by-gones and one soon to be gone. DT3 is seen operating Route 4 on an ice-rink of Parnell Square West overtaking AX459 on now gone Route 5 on the 1st December 2010 (click on photo for a larger version). The DMDs on the buses are by-gone with the recent withdrawal of WV51 from active service, and the 11B behind, operated by AX529, is also another by-gone route. How times change from a 7 year old photograph, and with the DTs with possibly only two week's service left, this photo will be a snapshot into a different era of Dublin Bus.
With the country gripped in another winter chill it's hard not to remember back to December 2010, the last real cold snap on record. The snows began heavily on the 1st December, and the Christmas period was also very white. Dublin is not used to snow, even this time it seems to have escaped the worst of it, the sea air no doubt keeping it that few degrees warmer. But when it does snow Dublin comes to a standstill. That's why December 2010 is all the more memorable, because despite the conditions, bus services continued through it, a testament to the quality of driving within the company. Services were withdrawn soon after the photo above, the lack of the council gritters out on the road on the 1st December meaning that roads were basically impassible, but for the rest of the month buses continued in at times blizzard conditions. One wonders how Dublin would have faired without its bus service?
AX595 is seen on the now withdrawn Route 19 service to Bulfin Road on Parnell Square East on the 1st December 2010. It leads a line of buses that have pulled in, unable to operate due to the exceptional conditions (click on photo for a larger version).
For the bus photographer, snow brings with it an incredible opportunity to get those rare, great photos. Cameras love the snow, the white reflection off the footpaths and roads giving that extra light that sensors need to get crisp results. It can be tortuously cold; I recall an especially cold day trudging through melting snow in Dun Laoghaire, with another dedicated bus enthusiast. Though hypothermia was probably close by the end of the day, since I made the mistake of wearing non-waterproof runners, the quality of the photos can't be beaten. In the end worth it!