Photo of the Week - Week 41:

Broadstone's Alexander Enviro500 bodied Volvo B9TL, VT33, operating an evening Route 67A departure to Maynooth, seen having arrived at the Maynooth terminus on the Straffan Road on the 13th October 2010.

VTs have been on the move recently in Dublin Bus, with VT21-VT32 joining VT1-VT20 in Donnybrook in recent weeks. These former Broadstone Enviro 500s were no doubt chosen for reallocation due to their numerical consistency with the original Donnybrook batch. A number of Phibsborough VTs have moved over to Broadstone, among which has been VT33. Dublinbusstuff took the opportunity to travel on VT33 on Route 67 on Wednesday. This evening departure was as they say in Dublin Bus "three bells". Not only that but it was three bells all the way to Celbridge.

A three bell load refers to the case where a bus is completely full, including standing room. It goes back to the days of open platform buses, were the driver would not be necessarily aware what was going on within the bus itself. Therefore to indicate that the bus was full, the bell was rung three times to indicate the bus was full and that the driver should not stop to pick anyone else up. For the record, two bells signified that the driver should move away from a stop, while a single bell indicated to the driver to stop as someone wished to get off.

The VTs are monstrous buses, but its on journeys such as that 67A that you appreciate their usefulness. The bendy's weren't so successful on the city streets, but the VTs are crowd movers, if a tad slow. On peak hour journeys they are a godsend, but on a route that doesn't really require them, they can be quite cumbersome. However seeing these vehicles around some of the narrower of city streets is always interesting. The photo below in Shaw Street really indicates the size of these vehicles. VT33 is displaying Route 20B, or more specifically the variant of the standard destination, used by the 0615 and 0645 departures to Ardlea Road via Beaumont Hospital. Route 20B has a particular significance to the author, hence the reason for the display, there'll be no VTs on the 20B for the foreseeable future at least.

VT33, prior to its evening departure on Route 67A, showing Route 20B on Shaw Street on the 13th October 2010.

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