Photo of the Week - Week 35:
Donnybrook's WV51 is seen on Blackrock Main Street while operating a rare Saturday allocation to Route 17 on the 18th August 2012.
Well WV51 has been the image of the week a few times, most recently on an allocation to Route 18. Also a WV on Route 17 was also covered about 18 months ago in the form of withdrawn WV46. It should be noted that WV41-46 have remained in store at Donnybrook. So though this image of the week may be covering old ground, I don't think anything else could have matched it for an image of this week. An incredibly rare allocation of a WV to the 17, made even more rare due to it being the first Donnybrook WV in active service on a Saturday in about 2 months. The lovely weather on Saturday also helped no end in making the photos better, the riviera weather hitting Dublin for one of the rarest days.
WV51 is seen at the Blackrock Station terminus of Route 17 on the 18th August 2012.
With no single-deck vehicles on order for this year, it is guaranteed that at least a few will be retained in active service for at least another year. WV51 seemed in good condition, so it is likely it will be reatined, fitting in with the current process of withdrawing the WVs in numerical order. However, it is likely that these WVs will be limited to the Glencullen services, reducing the chances of seeing these stray onto other routes. Route 17, itself is set for a big change. Being primarily RV operated, the 17 will finally go low floor in the next few months. Interestingly, its counterpart orbital nortern service, Route 17A, is also one of the last RV operated routes. The reason for the numerical consistency is because these routes were to be joined as part of a large orbital service around the city. Though the full plans are not known, it is likely that Heuston Station was the planned destination for each. Route 17 was to be extended to Heuston in the Network Direct plans, however Dublin Bus have now shyed away from a lot of their orbital services, Routes 166, 175, 76A (was to be an all day service), so it may well be the case that the 17 will remain as is, or more likely same routing with a significant cut in service.
WV51 is seen having just served the old 11 terminus on Bird Avenue heading for the giant Rialto on the 18th August 2012.