New Routes 27 and 27A and 77A:

Clontarf's Alexander ALX400 Volvo B7TL, AV284, is seen at the old Route 28 terminus on Glenwood Road having just operated the first ever Route 27 to Edenmore from Eden Quay on the 11th September 2011.

Network Direct implementations are almost weekly at this stage, the never ending amendments to the once relatively static city bus service. This week saw the 27 and 77, two formerly CitySwift services merged, with buses running a 36mile round trip. Edenmore replaces Clare Hall as the Northside terminus of the 27, with buses running via Blunden Drive, the former 42B terminus, a route itself replaced today.

AV284 had the honour of operating the first ever Edenmore 27, operating the 0820 Eden Quay to Edenmore service. It is seen at the former 28 Edenmore terminus on Glenwood Road, which is the last stop on the route. The buses then continue along Glenwood Road turning right after the green, right again onto Tonlegee Drive before taking a left onto Tonlegee Aveneue where the first pick up stop is located.

AV284 on a formerly unserved section of road on Edenmore about to make the right turn onto Tonlegee Drive bound for Jobstown on the 11th September 2011.

Having departed the stop on Tonlegee Avenue, buses turn right onto Tonlegee Road, left onto Millbrook Road, left onto Blunden Drive, straight through the Darndale Roundabout where it rejoins the former Route 27 operating it all the way to Amiens Street with one notable exception. The route doesn't serve the former Route 42C terminus at Clonshaugh Avenue. Since the amalgamated CitySwift route 27 was introduced this former 42C stop was kept. Buses served it inbound only, turning right at the junction of Priorswood Road and Glin Road. A purpose built turning circle was located on Clonshaugh Avenue, buses performing a u-turn there before serving the stop, continuing then onto Glin Road and into the city.

Ringsend's AX474 is seen turning onto Tonlegee Avenue on Route 27 on the 11th September 2011. The first pick up stop is seen in the foreground, if one looks hard enough you can see the set down stop on Glenwood Road in the left hand background.

From Amiens Street Route 27 buses continue across Memorial Bridge serving Tara Street Station, Hawkins Street and College Green stops, before operating the 77 routing, including all its former stops, the whole way to Jobstown where it terminates. A notable issue with the new route is that the last bus from Jobstown is 2230, which will therefore not provide a 2330 service to Coolock leaving a vast area of North Dublin without what would be referred colloquially as a "last bus". Gramatically, of course, every route has a last bus lest I should be berated by a grammar Nazi.

AV284 operating the first Clontarf service from Jobstown on Route 27 on the 11th September 2011.

With AV284 being the first Clontarf 27 from Edenmore it naturally had the distinction of being the first Clontarf bus to depart Jobstown. It was strange to see a Clontarf bus in Tallaght. Its 17 years since Summerhill last graced Tallaght with its presence in the form of the 54 and for a few months the 54A. These routes themselves have a long association with Clontarf operating there up to the early 1970s, though Tallaght at this stage was still a rural village, the 54s stopping well short in Templeogue/Walkinstown.

Ringsend's AX474 which had the distinction of operating the first ever 27 from Jobstown is seen later in the day turning onto the Blessington Road heading for Edenmore on the 11th September 2011, on a very picture-esque Tallaght by-pass.

It should be noted at this point, that this was the best Network Direct implementation yet. for which Dublin Bus should be commended. The garages had clearly put the effort in with all buses having updated scrolls. Directional signs had been placed at every junction to ensure buses operated on route, making sure the first day was a smooth operation. The vast majority of stops had updated information, the number 27 looking so weird beside the 77A or 65s. Inspectors were on hand to provide assistance, and courteous staff ensured that no passenger was unsure that "Yes, this is just a 77".

Ringsend's AX477, way out of its previous comfort zone, is seen on the Malahide Road corridor loading passengers at Donnycarney Church on the 11th September 2011.

As part of the changes Routes 42A and Routes 42B were withdrawn, the 27A replacing Route 42B in all but name operating from Eden Quay to Blunden Drive on exactly the same route. Importantly, given its number, it is now interworked with the 27. Even the early 42Bs from Kilbarrack survive, AV39 having the privilege of operating the first 27A from Kilbarrack at 0810. AV39 is a new LED'd AV and unfortunately the closer shot of it didn't come out with the LED on, so the further away shot will have to do.

AV39 on the first ever 27A on Gracefield Road on the 11th September 2011, in miserably dull and miserably drizzly weather.

The last 27A graced the city streets over 15years ago being amalgamated into the CitySwift 27. Its hard to believe its been that long. It strange seeing that number again, to be honest its also strange to see it on anything other than KC scroll. Its amazing how a route number can evoke such fond memories of a route and vehicle type long since departed. However this 27A shares only the number and the route to Artane Roundabout with the former route.

AV229 operating a 27A service is seen on Edenmore Green heading for the City Centre on the 11th September 2011. In case you're unsure the bus is on the 27!!A!!. The 76A was the first to go giant, no it seems all routes with an A are suffering the same fate, while those with fewer digits seem to be getting smaller.

The original proposals promised an hourly service on the 27A, it being assumed that only 1 bus would operate this service. Thankfully, three buses are provided Monday to Saturday, with two buses being provided on a Sunday. This gives a 30min frequency Monday-Saturday with a 45min frequency on Sundays. It should be noted that when the 42B and 28 were merged buses ran up to every 7mins, making the 42B more frequent than the 27 at times. However scheduling was poor. The route has suffered from poor schedules ever since, with unreasonable journey times being introduced at certain times. This coupled with a number of operational quirks, that I will fail to mention at this point, completely destroyed the route's former customer base. For example at one stage yesterday 2 of the 4 42Bs were off. This 45min running time, strangely 60mins at night, will be easily enough to ensure this route remains reliable. If operated correctly the 27A has a vast area to tap and could be a success story.

Clontarf's AV106 is seen waiting its time at its Blunden Drive terminus on the 11th September 2011.

The withdrawal of Route 42A brings about a significant change in Route 104, which basically becomes an old 101 extended to Clontarf Garage. Strangely the 104 has come full circle, originally being a variant of the 101 on a Sunday, then becoming an interworked service with the relaunched 103, then becoming its own route back in 2009 before finally replacing the 42A operating the vast majority of the old 101.

Clontarf's Enviro 400 bodied Volvo B9TL, EV83, is seen on Tonlegee Avenue on the new Route 104 on the 11th September 2011. This bus operated the first 0900 104 departure, though is seen here on its last gallop to Ardlea Road on the 1300 104 after which it pulled in.

The new 104 brings in Donaghmede, something which the 101 also tried to do in an unsuccessful routing in 1996, something that was quickly returned back to Millbrook/Blunden Drive. Interestingly the 104 operates the old 101 routing through Edenmore instead of looping in and out to the Springdale Road as the former 42B / new 27A does. The full routing is as follows:

Clontarf Bus Garage, Clontarf Road, Mount Prospect Avenue, Seapark Road/Seafield Avenue, Seafield Road East, Vernon Avenue, Blackheath Park, Castle Avenue, Vernon Avenue, Sybill Hill Road, Brookwood Avenue, Harmonstown Road, Springdale Road, Edenmore Green, Edenmore Grove, Edenmore Park, Edenmore Avenue, Tonlegee Avenue, Tonglegee Road, Grange Road, Clare Hall Road, Malahide Road, Priorswood Road, Glin Road, Greencastle Road, Bunratty Road, Oscar Traynor Road, Kilmore Road, Kilbarron Road, Trim Road, Beaumont Hospital, Skelly's Lane, Kilmore Road, Ardlea Road, Maryfield Drive.

Clontarf's EV77 at the new 104 terminus on Maryfield Drive with a Route 14 service behind on the 11th September 2011.

On the southside Route 77A has also been subject to change in this round of the Network Review being extended to CityWest. Operating its former route from Ringsend Garage to Tallaght, it continues to CityWest along the former Route 50 routing, which was withdrawn on the 10th September 2011.

Ringsend's AX480, which operated the very first Route 77A from Citywest, is seen later in the day at the CityWest Shopping Centre on the 11th September 2011.

The route is more frequenct than the 50 and offers a much better connection between CityWest and Tallaght via Killinarden. As for city bound travellers, the diversion via Seksin View and Tymon North I'm sure are not appreciated, though the new 65B if introduced is possibly what's intended for city bound passengers. As for this service, it is a good addition, given its almost a Tallaght local before heading back into the city.

Ringsend's AX484 shows the rural nature of some of its routing on the Blessington Road heading for CityWest on the 11th September 2011.

The final change of note is that to the 56A. It now becomes a much more frequent and regular service. This route was expected to be withdrawn, instead a 56 service from Drimnagh to Tallaght was proposed. However the 56 was the one to get the chop, the 56A living on. Though given current travel patterns, this and the 104 are surprising survivors of what can be a somewhat ruthless reorganisation of the city's services. I wonder if a last 27 at 2330 was provided whether it could carry more passengers than the 104 and 56A will in the whole day.

Ringsend's AV105 is seen on a 56A service to The Square Shopping Centre on the 11th September 2011.

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