AV130 at the Rolestown terminus of Route 41B on 6/1/2010. AV130 is interesting in that it was part of the batch of 15 dual-door ALX400s ordered for the Airlink routes 747 and 748. However it was spare, and could frequently be found on Route 20B. It was delivered in fleet standard livery, minus the orange stripe just below the roof.
Route 41B is an infrequent extension to the busy 41 corridor operating to the sleepy village of Rolestown, about half way between Swords and Ashbourne on the R125, approximately four and a quater miles from the Fingal County Council offices on Swords Main Street. Rolestown has a very small population ranking as one of the smallest villages on the Dublin Bus network.
The 41 service to Swords was intoduced by the DUTC in late 1926 operating from Eden Quay to Swords Main Street. In those days Swords was a sleepy country village many miles from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whereas Swords has expanded massively into a very large surburban town within Dublin's commuter belt, Rolestown has seen little expansion from the day that the very first 41B rolled into town. Being on the flight path of one of Dublin Airport's runways has restricted any development; Fingal County Council being quite strict about development within flight path zones.
This low population brought Rolestown into the news recently with the proposed construction of the Thornton Hall prison nearby. This prison was to replace the aging Mountjoy prison but last year proposals were deemed unaffordable and plans were dropped.
AV130 preparing for departure back to Lower Abbey Street on the 6/1/2010.
Route 41B was introduced in February 1948 operating from Eden Quay to Rolestown. The routing was as follows:Eden Quay, Beresford Place, Gardiner Street, Dorset Street, Drumcondra Road, Swords Road, Dublin Road, Main Street, Rathbeale Road (R125), Rolestown (with some services via Dublin Airport).
Its city terminus was interesting in that it terminated on the Quay side of Eden Quay facing eastwards, meaning that passengers were required to walk onto the road and around the bus to the nearside in order to board the bus. Inbound the buses went via Gardiner Street, Beresford Place, Lower Abbey Street, Marlborough Street, Eden Quay.
The people of Rolestown had previously campaigned for a bus service but due to World War II shortages of vehicles meant CIE were unable to provide such a service. Their public service obligation is no doubt the only reason that this service was ever introduced. With the delivery of further vehicles, CIE made the 41 a double-decker service introducing two new routes in the 41A and the 41B. The 41A was to the then new Dublin Airport at Collinstown supplemented by extra services in the 41 and 41B timetables. Previously Dublin's civic aerodrome was at Baldonnell which was Aer Lingus' hub until the outbrake of the war. From 1936 to 1939 the DUTC operated a service to Baldonnell aerodrome for Aer Lingus numbered Route 85.
From its first day of operation certain 41B services travelled via the airport. Interestingly in the first timetables the 41A noted its terminus as Dublin Airport (Collinstown) whereas the 41/B timetable noted its airport services as being via Collinstown Airport (see first 41B timetable).
A long shot of AV130 showing the terminal arrangements of Route 41B. In the distance one can see a line of trees. This signifies where the bus turns right off the R125. It continues for the short distance to the stop which the bus is shown parked at in this photo. The rest of the photo showns the loop used to turnaround, something a lot more modern than was used originally.
By the early 1960's Dublin's traffic congestion was reaching breaking point. As a measure to counteract this problem Dublin Corporation introduced one-way streets around the city. On the 18th March 1964, the 41B's city centre routing was changed to:
Inbound: Gardiner Street, Beresford Place, Memorial Road, Customs House Quay, Eden Quay.
Outbound: Eden Quay, Marlborough Street, Lower Abbey Street, Beresford Place, Gardiner Street.
Traffic regulations such as these were introduced on a regular basis throughout the 60's. Burgh Quay had been omitted when the quays had originally been made one-way. This was most probably due to the fact it was a major bus terminal for south-side bus routes. However on Tuesday the 16th August 1966 Burgh Quay was made one-way eastbound, causing the Eden Quay and Burgh Quay routes to switch temini. Hence the 41B was moved to Burgh Quay along with the 41/A. Though effective as of Tuesday 16th August 1966, the first official 41Bs did not operate until the 25th due to a lengthy bus strike that occurred during August 1966. City centre routing was:
Inbound: Gardiner Street, Beresford Place, Memorial Road, Customs House Quay, Eden Quay, O’Connell Bridge, Burgh Quay,
Outbound: Burgh Quay, Butt Bridge, Beresford Place, Gardiner Street.
This terminal change proved unsatisfactory lasting only one month. This was due to both north-city and south-city services having to use both Butt Bridge and O'Connell Bridge to access their respective termini. This caused large traffic congestion on these bridges. The south-city buses were therefore rerouted to use George's Quay and Moss Street on their outbound allowing them to revert back to thier previous Burgh Quay terminus. Hence, the 41B reverted back to its previous Eden Quay terminal arrangements, this change occuring on the 25th September 1966.
AV130 departing on its inbound journey to Lower Abbey Street on the 6/1/2010. The dilapidated farmhouse at the rear of the shot sets the rural scene of the 41B terminus in Rolestown.
Congestion in O'Connell Street lead to some of the city buses moving termini. The 41 group of routes vacated its Eden Quay terminus sometime between the 14th September 1970 Timetable and the 7th February 1971 timetable, moving to a new terminus on Lower Abbey Street. This was part of a number of termini changes that occured at this time, which saw the 7A and 8 group move from O'Connell Street to Eden Quay and the 40 group from Lower Abbey Street to Parnell Street. These changes had been proposed by Professor Schaechterle in his report to Dublin Corporation entitled "Dublin's General Traffic Plan". The 7A and 8 moved in September 1966, the Finglas changes were announced also at this point and are likely to have occured very shortly after, allowing the 41 group to move to Lower Abbey Street. City centre routing was:
Inbound: Gardiner Street, Talbot Street, Lower Abbey Street.
Outbound: Lower Abbey Street, Beresford Place, Gardiner Street.
The flow of traffic on the city quays was reversed to its current format on August 29th 1982. The project was aided by the opening of bridges on either end of the city. The Frank Sherwin Bridge outside Heuston Station on the west side of the city opened for traffic on the day of the quay reversals while the Talbot Memorial Bridge on the East Side of the city opened a few years earlier in 1978.
This allowed for further termini space for North-city services which caused the 41B terminus to change again. The terminus reverted back to Eden Quay though this time it was on the North side of the street. This allowed for the 30 and 44A to move from Marlborough Street to Lower Abbey Street further freeing up space for lay-overs on Marlborough Street.
AV130 in blizzard conditions departs Rolestown on the 6/1/2009.
On the 14th June 1998, the 41 was given a new timetable, which saw it basically removed from its terminus at Glasmore to a terminus at Swords Manor (3 years previously half of the 41s were extended to this then new terminus at Swords Manor). There was still six 41 inbound departures from Glasmore, three on a Saturday and two on a Sunday. Therefore in order to compensate some of the 41Bs on a Monday-Friday were diverted to serve Glasmore, 1 outbound and 3 inbound. At this point all via Glasmore Park 41Bs did not serve the airport while all non-Glasmore services did.
This was also saw the 41 group of services, including the 41B being designated CitySwift. The CitySwift brand had been designed for high-frequency services on Quality Bus Corridors and had been very successful. However the brand began to be diluted with Routes such as the 51B being designated as Cityswift with a 12min daytime frequency or the 25A with a 20min Sunday frequency. Allocations of buses also early began to drift from their intended CitySwift routes, a prime example of this being the AD-class (Alexander Setanta bodied SB220) buses delivered to Donnybrook in 1994 in Cityswift livery minus the logos and operating on non-cityswift routes such as the 3, 11 and 54A. However the final nail in the CitySwift brand was the conversion of Routes 41/B/C with a basic daytime frequency of 15mins and longer gaps possible.
Due to traffic on Gardiner Street the 41B’s inbound route to Eden Quay was modified from Sunday 1st September 2002 and became: Dorset Street, North Frederick Street, Parnell Square East, O’Connell Street, Lower Abbey Street, Marlborough Street, Eden Quay.
The introduction of Dublin's new light rail system caused a number of issues in terms of termini arrangements within the city centre. Due to road works on Lower Abbey Street for the Luas line to Connolly, the 41 group of services were moved to Beresford Place on April 25th 2004 in order to free up some space for the moved Lower Abbey Street buses.
This remained in place for a time before the 41s were amended to serve its current terminus on Lower Abbey Street outside the Irish Life Centre, sometime prior to October 2004. At some point around this the Glasmore services were removed from the 41B timetable, these buses retaining the not via the airport status.
AV130 departs for Lower Abbey Street on the 6/1/2010. The blizzard conditions forced a full withdrawal of services a few hours after this photo was taken as conditions quickly deteriorated. This shot again shows the ruralness of the Rolestown terminus. The stone wall seen behind the bus is a bridge over the Broadmeadow river.
At this point the majority of 41B departures were still via the Airport, especially at weekends when all buses served the airport. From its introduction only very few 41Bs went via the airport. However around the early 90’s the timetable changed, in that the majority of the 41Bs went via the airport and therefore the non-airport departures had a symbol after the time to signify such. However on the 19th March 2006, Route 41B was again designated to not operate via the airport and only one or two exceptions on the outbound trips were kept, which were either the first or last departures and in 2006 were:
Monday-Friday: 0630 & 2315
Saturday: 0630 & 2310
At present the only departure via the Airport is the first 0630AM bus from the city. This was effective as of Monday 10th August 2009.
The video below shows the full routing of Route 41B sped up in order to be under 10mins. The video clearly shows the ruralness of the journey beyond Swords to Rolestown. Also more timetables of Route 41B will appear over the next while, the current method of photographing timetables in order to save the spine not proving satisfactory for web use. The following timetables are available to view: 1948, 1951, 1961, 1975, 1987 and 1998.