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Welcome to the KELLS TRANSPORT MUSEUM

IRELANDS OPERATING BUS MUSEUM

PERU RAILWAYS - PERURAIL - FCCA - YAURICOCHA - CERRO DE PASCO - ENAFER
CUSCO AND SANTA ANA RAILWAY - HUANCAYO AND HUANCAVELICA RAILWAY
FERROCARRILL ECUATORIANA - E.N.F.E. - GUAYAQUIL & QUITO - ECUADOR RAILWAYS MOROCCAN RAILWAYS - HARZER-SCHMALSPUR-BAHNEN
CZECH RAILWAYS - SLOVAK RAILWAYS - ROMANIAN RAILWAYS

IRISH RAILWAYS - FFESTINIOG RAILWAY - GREAT ORME TRAMWAY

CHALKS OCEAN AIRWAYS - ISLAND HELICOPTERS - CZECH AIRLINES
SWANSEA CORK FERRIES - DEELIS TURF POWER STATION

RAILWAYS OF AUSTRALIA - ECUADOR - NEW ZEALAND - PERU - TASMANIA - SOUTH AMERICA
CLICK HERE

CORK AIRPORT LIVE FLIGHT ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
CLICK HERE
Also details of the Cork Airport Scandal

TO ROUND OUT 2009 WE HAVE A FURTHER EIGHT VEHICLES.

Much happens at a museum with over 400 vehicles. When this page becomes unwieldy we transfer the earliest news. December 29, 2009. To finish 2009 there are a further eight vehicles which either have been or are being delivered and should be recorded. They include some strange vehicles a long way from buses, yet in keeping with the broadening of the museums approach to a "transport" museum rather than purely a "bus" museum. Details of each follow:

FORD 334 YELLOW TRACTOR

November 20, 2009.

Runs OK and just needs a lick of paint and cleanup.

Engine Department.

FORD BLUE TRACTOR

December 10, 2009. This one needs a little work but runs. Anyone any idea what model it might be? Please reply to discussion board.

View from front.

View from rear.

Driving Compartment

FODEN TRUCK 80 D 1310

November 10, 2009.

Not bad at all.

GREY FODEN TRUCK

November 9, 2009.

Could definitely do with some paint.

GREY FODEN TRUCK COMPLETE WITH RUST

November 8, 2009.

And a lot of rust damage repair!

BEDFORD FIRE ENGINE 729 DNI

December 11, 2009. This machine just arrived in the dep[ot. It gives an idea of the amount of work in restoring this vehicle. Stephen did the initial work at Dublin depot and the body is now ready for painting. The doors have also been redone and will be fitted shortly. The machine runs fine. It is a Bedford HVB Angus with a 500 engine.

Front view on arrival.

Rear view.

DENNIS FIRE ENGINE H153 CBC

December 3, 2009. This is one of a pair of twins. It runs fine and is complete.

Ready to go

Dennis FIRE ENGINE H155 CBC

December 2, 2009. This is the second of the twins and in equally good condition.

Likewise.

ULSTERBUS LEOPARD 117 ARRIVES

December 18, 2009. 117 arrived at the depot today driven by Stephen Payne who carefully nursed her from Belfast. She made the long inter depot journey safely carefully nursed by Stephen Payne and it was probably the longest journey of her life.

This leaves 107, 108 and 111 older. This batch started life in 1978 so they have almost 32 years service with their first operator which is nothing short of amazing.

117 is an Alexander 680 engined Leyland Leopard.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: ROI 117
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Leopard
Chassis No.: TR00
Body Make : Alexander Belfast
Body Model:
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland 680
HP: 150
Seating: B47F
Date service entry: 1978

Front View prior to departure for Cork.
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Rear View.
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ULSTERBUS 1271 ARRIVES

December 16, 2009. 1271 arrived at the depot today driven as always by Barney Yourell. It is probably the last TL11 N Tiger we will get for some years and is intended as backup to keep the other fleet operational. From here out it will be 13xx machines of which 1311 is expected shortly to make the fourth of the "Ballymena Five" with 1312 to follow shortly after. We are hoping to have a photo of all five before Christmas to do a special Ulsterbus calendar especially for our Ballymena friends.

1271 is an Alexander N type TL 11 engined Leyland Tiger.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: OXI 1271
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger TRBTL11/2RP
Chassis No.: TR00
Body Make : Alexander Belfast
Body Model: N
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland TL 11
HP:
Seating: B53F
Date service entry: July 1989

Front View all frozen up.br> border=

One side.
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The other side.
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Inside looking back.
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Inside, Looking forward.
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Drivers Area.
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THE MUSEUM PLANS FOR 2010

December 27, 2009. This is the time of the year to do planning for the future. Our basic plans for 2010 include fifty or so more Tigers, ten or so Leopards and probably another six or seven fire engines.

We plan to start seriously acquiring Titans, Olympians and Lynxes and will probably start on Darts. We expect to add between 100 and 200 vehicles to our fleet during 2010. In 2010 we concentrated on TL 11 Tigers and there are probably only one or two left to come. Our next batch of Tigers will be Volvo and again here there are not many N Volvos left. We will probably end up with seven. After that will come up to 50 Volvo Q Tigers to match our fifty N Tigers. In the unknown department we would expect about fifty vehicles which are being retired by operators and who are kind enough to donate them to the museum.

The increase in the number of fire engines has been a surprise to us and I would expect after this year we could have twenty. We have also started getting tractors, having three now, so this will probably increase to about ten. Our combined fleet is unlikely to increase as these are a real headache to preserve as they are not used to outdoors.

As for the depot we have almost finished the major job of tarring a mile of road into it. With this out of the way, the maintenance shed is next and should be up by about April. A new security system is also going in during the next month. This is something which is unseen but is vitally necessary and wíll leave no change out of twenty thousand euro. All the fencing in the lower yard will have to be replaced by a concrete wall and the upper yard will receive new fencing. The problem with all this is that it diverts valuable money from the primary puropose of the museum - acquiring and preserving vehicles. During the year we increased our office and storage space to some 2,000 square feet which is more than adequate for some years to come.

All in all it is a question of steady progress and when you consider the museum was an empty field six years ago and had three vehicles, we have come a long way. if we can achieve as much in the next six years then it will not alone be the largest museum in the world - which it is now - but also the finest. At the moment we have over four hundred vehicles. We appreciate the help- from everyone and without that we could do nothing. Happy New Year everyone!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE

Everyone here at the museum would like to wish everyone a very prosperous 2010. 2009 was a great year for the museum and we look forward to 2010.

The major event of 2009 was that the museum became the pre-eminent preserver of the Leyland Tiger, thanks in no small way, to Ulsterbus Frank Clegg and Pat Moss, to whom Irish Transport History will be eternally grateful. We also wish all our friends at Ulsterbus, particularly at Ballymena, who have, without exception, cooperated in every way possible, a Very Happy Christmas and a very prosperous New Year.

NEW YEARS ADVICE TO THOSE IN BUSINESS

December 18, 2009. For those of you involved in business we thought we would pass on some ideas which you may find useful.

ULSTERBUS 1313 IN THE SUN

December 8, 2009. Today that rare visitor, the sun arrived at the depot. So 1313 went shopping and here she basks in the sun prior to a run to the Supermarket.

Looking like new.
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CURRENT AND FUTURE ACQUISITIONS

December 7, 2009.

As can be seen at the top of the page the museum looks more and more like an Ulsterbus depot everyday. However we are not devoted alone to Tigers and this week have acquired two tractors, two fire engines, three trucks and a few buses. We have had the tractors delivered and the fire engines collected. We will post photos as soon as possible.

As regard the Tiger fleet, we have one more TL 11 N type to come, 1271. With her arrival our program for this model will terminate and we will start on the 20 Volvo N types we hope to get. So far 1309, 1310 and 1313 hasve been delivered. 1311 and 1312 are to come and the remainder have not been chosen yet. Suggestions are welcome. Please post on the discussion board and also what depot they are currently at.

OTHER WORK AT THE DEPOT

December 6, 2009.

Work progresses on our vehicles and we hope to unveil our two top double deckers, including a KD. We hope to have her make the journey to the depot from fitting a new engine shortly. It will be nice to hear the roar of a KD again. As for KD 184 while she is running her body really needs work and this may start in the Spring. We are hoping to use the interior from one of our next batch of KR's to fit her out. Our other ex-CIE decker is also undergoing major work.

MAJOR WORK ON AT THE DEPOT.

December 5, 2009.

As anyone who has visited us knows, the road into the depot was a dirt road and suffered horribly in bad weather. We are now in the final stages of tarmacadaming the entire one and a quarter miles which cost a pretty penny as one and a quarter miles of all weather road does not come cheap. We have also laid new stone in the office area. Security has also been enhanced with new camers, automatic detectors and if you wander in at night you will have all the lights suddenly turn on and have your face on camera. Finally we will be installing new protective walls to the areas where we do not currently have adequate protection.

ULSTERBUS 1313 ARRIVES

November 18, 2009. This is our third 13xx machine and was delivered by our Barney Yourell as always.

This the third vehicle of the "Ballymena Five", 1309, 1310, 1311, 1312 and 1313. We think it will be an unique first for preservation to have five vehicles in numerical order and from the same depot all together.

1313 is an Alexander N type Volvo engined Leyland Tiger.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: PXI 1313
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger TR2R56V16Z4
Chassis No.: TR00
Body Make : Alexander Belfast
Body Model: N
Body Number:
Engine: Volvo B58
HP:
Seating: DP53F
Date service entry: February 1990

At the handover in Milewater Road. Barney Yourell, Dr. Michael Grimes and Pat Moss..
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En route to the depot in Belfast.
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Rear View.
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Barney at the wheel and Dash Area.
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Inside Looking Back.
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Inside Looking Forward.
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On the streets of Belfast en route to Kells.
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ULSTERBUS 1309 ARRIVES

November 5, 2009. This is our second 13xx machine and was delivered by our Barney Yourell.

This the second vehicle of the "Ballymena Five", 1309, 1310, 1311, 1312 and 1313. We think it will be an unique first for preservation to have five vehicles in numerical order and from the same depot all together.

1309 is an Alexander N type Volvo engined Leyland Tiger.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: PXI 1309
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger TR2R56V16Z4
Chassis No.: TR00
Body Make : Alexander Belfast
Body Model: N
Body Number:
Engine: Volvo B58
HP:
Seating: DP53F
Date service entry: February 1990

Front View.
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Rear View.
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Drivers Area
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Inside Looking Back.
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Inside Looking Forward.
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CHRISTMAS VISITS TO THE MUSEUM

November 4, 2009. This year the museum will close at 2 p.m. on Thursday December 17 and will reopen on January 5, 2010. During that time if anyone wants to visit, please send an e-mail to busmuseum@hotmail.com letting us know when you want to come and we will try and accommodate your proposed visit if at all possible.

MANY MANY TIGERS OUT RUNNING

October 31, 2009. As the above photo shows we did quite a bit of rearranging today. We gave as many Tigers as possible a run and for the record those taken for a run - other than as noted - were (Left to Right):

1274 (out of picture left)
400 (out of picture left)
460
468
1267
1299
2610
1288
434(Just showing between 1288 and 2624) (started but not run due to sticky air valve)
2624
1200
1000
1131
1143
340 not started or run due air valve problem.
385
2620
598
1003
2629 (out of picture right)
1122 (out of picture right)
1310 (out of picture right)

That was twenty Tigers we took for a run as well as collecting 87 C 14637. Not bad for a days work! Interestingly they all are on the button. 434 started no problem but the handbrake valve needs work so we did not run it. The rest we gave a good run to. 2609 was in the lower yard.

We also took the fire engines shown for a run. It is kind of getting hard to get them all in one picture which we want to do for our Calendar. Put in any light it is a fabulous collection snd bear in mind it is less than half our ultimate fleet. Throw in the 25 other Tigers and it really is some herd.

UNITED AUTOMOBILE SERVICES PLAXTON LEYLAND TIGER 6267 ARRIVES

October 31, 2009. We received a very nice machine today which was delivered by Stephen Payne.

It was Leyland TL11 engined Plaxton Paramount 3200 Leyland Tiger. Mechanically it was superb and came up from Glenflesk at a steady 60 m.p.h. We are very grateful to Joe Donovan of Donovans Coaches of Headford for making it possible for us to have this fine vehicle.

She was delivered new to United Automobile Services as E267 KEF in November 1987. She then went to Teamdeck of Honley in October 2000 followed after a very short while by a trip to Kearneys Coaches in Cork - officially Glenferry coaches of Passage West - in November 2000 where she was re-registered as 87 C 14637. She then proceeded to Donovan Coaches, Headford, Co. Kerry, in April 2005 from whence she came to us. She was C47F new and is now C53F. Her body number is Plaxton 8811LTP3C002 ans her chassis number TR00108 and she is a Tiger TRCTL11/3RP.

This is our 48th. Tiger and we think we now have the largest collection of Tigers anywhere in the world. There are some fifty five more to come which should be somne record for one musuem to have preserved over 100 vehicles of one type. Most museums are happy to have a new machine every six months or even longer. We now have them coming in at an average of three per week.

Front View

Rear View

Drivers Area

Inside Looking back.

Inside Looking Forward.

Body Plate

Arriving a6t the Depot.

2755 ZF ARRIVES AT DEPOT!

October 27, 2009. We really are becoming the Kells Fire Engine Museum.
This latest arrival is a real gem being from our own local brigade and was sourced by Christy
to whom we are grateful. This brings our delivered fire engine fleet to 5

We really are becoming the Kells Fire Engine Museum.
This latest arrival is a real gem being from our own local brigade
and was sourced by Christy to whom we are grateful.
This brings our delivered fire engine fleet to 5.

October 27, 2009, 2755 ZF is a Dennis Fire Engine dating from 1978.

Looks really super!

The other side!

Rear View!

Dash!

Interior!

Another view!

Rear Cab!

ULSTERBUS 1310 ARRIVES

October 21, 2009. This is our first 13xx machine and was delivered by our Barney Yourell. Our N TL11 program is almost complete with probably only one or two more to come and now we are starting the N Volvo program.

The first vehicles in this program are intended to be the "Ballymena Five", 1309, 1310, 1311, 1312 and 1313. We think it will be an unique first for preservation to have five vehicles in numerical order and from the same depot all together. Ballymena can be proud of the condition these are in which is why they were chosen.

1310 is an Alexander N type Volvo engined Leyland Tiger.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: PXI 1310
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger TR2R56V16Z4
Chassis No.: TR00
Body Make : Alexander Belfast
Body Model: N
Body Number:
Engine: Volvo B58
HP:
Seating: DP53F
Date service entry: January 1990

En route to the depot.
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Coming up the drive to the depot.
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Entering the depot.
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The other side.
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Barney Yourell with 1310 on arrival.
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Drivers Area.
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Inside looking back.
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Inside Looking Forward.
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ULSTERBUS 1288 ARRIVES

October 14, 2009. This is one of our best machines and was delivered by our Barney Yourell.

1288 is an Alexander N type TL 11 engined Leyland Tiger.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: OXI 1288
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger TRBTL11/2RP
Chassis No.: TR00
Body Make : Alexander Belfast
Body Model: N
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland TL 11
HP:
Seating: B53F
Date service entry: July 1989

Barney Yourell on arrival at the depot.
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One side.
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The other side.
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Inside looking back.
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Inside, Looking forward.
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Drivers Area.
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ANNOUNCING ARRIVAL CLARE DENNIS FIRE ENGINE 79 CE 77

October 15, 2009. Clare Dennis 79 CE 77 fire engine which has a Perkins 6.540 V8 has arrived driven by Stephen Payne. This machine is in superb condition .

79 CE 77 front view.
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Dashboard
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FIRE ENGINES - FIRE ENGINES - FIRE ENGINES

October 16, 2009. The third of four fire engines arrived today. Already delivered are Timoney 89 C 15278, Wicklow County Council 87 WW 1503 with its fire tender and Clare Dennis 79 CE 77 which has a Perking 6.540 V8. A full set of photos of all four will follow as soon as time permits. Following are some:

87 WW 1503.
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Timoney 89 C 15278 with Perkins Engine and Renault chassis. border=

COLIN SMITH BUS CREMATOR

October 17, 2009. Colin Smith in Newtownabbey bus garage sometimes suddenly gets an urge to cremate buses and set to work on our beloved Leopard 117 during preparation for its run to Cork. The results can be clearly seen. Even worse he proudly posed beside his work!

To be fair, Colin Smith of Newtownabbey and Ballymena Garage Manager Ray Holmes are some of the people who have managed to provide buses in such superb condition for the museum and only for people like them we would not have the machines we have. Thanks to everyone in Ballymena and Newtownabbey.

The history of 117 is interesting in that she has celebrated her thirtieth birthday in service which follows - and we are indebted to Howard Cunningham for the information: 117 was originally ROI 117 and is now YAZ 6412. She is a Leyland PSU3E/4R with Alexander ‘X’ (Belfast) body and originally had seating DP49F. She was new to Omagh on 06.06.78. Her chassis number is 7800811. Body number is not known.

Transferred OM to AM 01.09.85, AM to AT 16.11.87, AT to AM 01.01.89, AM to R 31.10.92, R to DG 07.12.92, DG to NC 01.09.94, NC to R 31.12.94, R to DP 19.01.95, DP to NC 01.09.95, NC to R 30.04.97. Body and chassis shortened at rear and allocated for towing to NB 01.04.98. Renumbered 4117 01.04.03. A fascinating career for the first thirty years of her life and we wonder if the next 70 will be as interesting! Photos will follow.

Colin Smith ready with his weapons!

The end result and - even worse - proud of it!

TIGER MECHANICALS

October 16, 2009. For those interested we were working on a Tiger this week and had all the panels in the floor removed.The following is a photographic record of what lies underneath from the top.







VISITORS TO THE MUSEUM

October 16, 2009. One of the things we like is the way people come long distances to visit the museum. We are delighted at this and anyone is always welcome. We are the only museum that allows you to drive the buses - provided, of course, that you can drive in the first place! So do come and visit us. Here are some recent visitors.

Alan Campbell

Ken Connell from Belfast.

Finbarr Coughlan from Cork.

Arguably our youngest visitors this year the Watsons.

NOTES ON OUR ULSTERBUS TIGER FLEET

October 15, 2009.

Some people have asked for our thinking on our Tiger fleet. The following may be of interest which was in response to a question by Mark on the Northern Ireland Message Board. We strongly recommend this board which can be googled as "Northern Ireland Bus Message Board" as it is one of the best boards anywhere.

1267 is not the best machine we have and in fact is a candidate for providing spares for the rest of the fleet. Up to this everything has a plan in the overall scheme of things and 1267 is the first that would not be missed. On the other hand we understand she did the Tiger farewell as 1270 was not available so she may have a historic value.

We particularly need her seats - if we do not keep her - for our Leopard 1982. We will await the final deliveries fo the TL11 N type before making any decisions. 1267 is a particularly slow machine and took 0ver 7 hours from Belfast to Cork instead of the usual just under six.

1288 has arrived since and she is a superb machine so she will definitely stay in one piece.

Just for the record the following is the current operational Tiger fleet with notes why they are being kept operational. We try and have twins of everything in a batch of 100 in case of an accident fifty years hence.

340 First Tiger
385 Second 3xx and a good one. Twin to 340.
400 First 4xx.
434 An excellent 4xx twin to 400.
460 An Express Tiger.
468 An Express Tiger twin to 460.
598 The only Van Hool TL 11 Coach Tiger.
1000 The first 10xx.
1003 An excellent 10xx Tiger twin to 1003.
1034 An excellent 10xx.
1122 A excellent Portglenone machine.
1131 A later express Tiger.
1143 Twin to 1122 and another superb Ballymena.
1200 First 12xx.
1267 No particualr reason.
1274 Superb Portglenone machine.
1288 A really first class bus.
1299 Last N TL 11 Tiger.
1310 One of five Ballymena 13xx. 13XX. 2609 An excellent Gardner.
2610 Maybe a spares provider for Gardners.
2620 An excellent Gardner and twin to 2609.
2624 An excellent Gardner.
2629 Twin to 2624.

We hope to start with 13xx N Volvo shortly and will probably acquire one or two more 12xx to provide backup for the other 23 machines. We plan to have the machines operational for at least one hundred years and in 2104 spares will be hard to get so we are planning now.

Finally we and Ulsterbus are very proud of our achievement in keeping so many of a fleet operational well beyond their normal life span. These machines have less than 25% of their lifes done so far which is more than can be said for me, alas! Unless I am greatly mistaken, no other operators fleet of one model has been saved to such an extent.

I think that is something we can all be proud of and out of our entire fleet our only mechanical problems are one sticky airvalve on 434 and an injector on 1267 which is some tribute to the way Ulsterbus maintain their vehicles.

The following is a history of the Leyland Tiger:

Leyland Tiger

Leyland Tiger with Plaxton Paramount bodyThe Leyland Tiger was a mid-engined bus and coach chassis which was built between 1981 and 1993. It replaced the Leyland Leopard, which had been in production for over 20 years. The Leopard had been designed for the new 'motorway era' at the end of the 1950s, and although it continued to sell well, the design was showing its age by the 1980s. Volvo, having already won over many independent customers from Leyland with its successful B58, was at that time developing the B10M which was set to further strengthen its position in the coach industry. The Tiger formed part of a complete renewal of Leyland's product range over a short space of time.

Engine Options

Initially only one engine was offered, the turbocharged Leyland TL11, which could be rated up to 245hp. The Leopard had enjoyed huge success as a bus in Scotland, usually with the Alexander Y-type body, but had lost some Scottish Bus Group orders to Seddon's Pennine VII, owing to Leyland's unwillingness to offer a Gardner engine in the Leopard. When Leyland launched the Tiger, it continued this same unwillingness, just as Dennis was developing the Gardner-engined Dennis Dorchester, which similarly had the potential to win SBG orders away from the Tiger. Faced with this possibility, Leyland offered Gardner 6HLX-series engines in the Tiger from 1984. To facilitate this, the Tiger chassis had to be modified, as the Gardner engine was significantly larger than the TL11. Although the threat from the Dorchester was successfully warded off, there proved to be a limited market for the Gardner-engined Tiger outside of SBG.

A North American engine, the Cummins L10, was also made an option by 1987. (Cummins' previous attempt to put its engines in a British bus had not been a success; they were used in the notoriously unreliable Daimler Roadliner.) Engine design and development was very expensive, and Leyland was no longer a world leader in this field, so outsourcing was the only option if Leyland wanted modern engines in its coaches. The Cummins engine was being specified more often from around 1988, and with this engine, the gearbox would usually be a ZF as opposed to the Leyland Hydracyclic.

Volvo took over Leyland in 1988, and from 1989 the Tiger was offered with the Volvo THD100-series engine (as fitted in the best-selling B10M). The large majority of Volvo-engined Tigers went to Northern Ireland. At around this time, the TL11 and Gardner options were dropped, leaving only the Cummins and Volvo options available.

Bus Version
The last Leyland Tiger. Ulsterbus Alexander (Belfast) Q-Type 1500 (YXI 5500)Like the Leopard, the Tiger was also sold as a bus. Usually it would have a downrated engine, and leaf springs in place of the standard air suspension. The Scottish Bus Group bought batches of these usually with Alexander TS-type bodywork and Gardner 6HLXCT engines. Small independent operators also took an interest in the Tiger as a bus. Bodywork for the Tiger bus was built by Alexander (the T-type and P-type), Plaxton (Bustler and Derwent), East Lancs (some of which were rebodies), Wadham Stringer and Reeve Burgess (who built an unusual batch of short Tigers for Tayside).

The Tiger also proved to be very popular in Northern Ireland, with Ulsterbus and Citybus (known as Metro since February 2005) purchasing 747 between 1983 and 1993. Approximately 291 are still in service as of December 2008, compared to 576 last year. 97 are N-Types (with three being used as towbuses), 194 are Q-Types including 23 bodied Wright Endeavour. The number of N-Type Leyland Engined Tigers left with Ulsterbus have decreased significantly in the past few years with more withdrawals to continue, as fleet numbers 340-499, 1000-1299, and Gardner-engined 2601-2635 are to be withdrawn. All in an attempt to 'modernise' the Ulsterbus and Citybus (Metro) fleet. As of November 2008, all Gardner engined Tigers have been withdrawn, leaving only 66 Leyland engined Tigers remaining in active service. The first Tiger bus to arrive in Northern Ireland was registered DXI 3340 (fleet number 340), new in January 1984 with Ulsterbus (six Tiger coaches were already in the fleet). A body for this type of bus was built in Mallusk, Northern Ireland by Alexander (Belfast), known as the N-Type. Initially, Ulsterbus used the TL11 engine, whilst Citybus used the TRB6LXB Gardner engine on its 1988-89 batches of Tigers with LXI and NXI registrations. The N-Type body ceased production in September 1990, with the last one arriving in Northern Ireland registered RXI 3339 (fleet number 1339. This historical bus was subsequently withdrawn and sold for scrap in April 2007.) It was then replaced by the Q-Type body, which was built on Tigers 1321, 1340-1500 and 2636-2680 up until August 1993 (and thereafter on its successor the Volvo B10M for a further two years). These later Ulsterbus Tigers (fleet numbered 1300-1500) and Citybus Tigers (2636-2680) were fully automatic and were equipped with a Volvo engine. The first of the Q-Types, which was a prototype, also came to Northern Ireland, registered RXI 3321 (fleet number 1321) in December 1990. The very last Tiger to enter service did so in Northern Ireland, this being registered YXI 5500 (fleet number 1500) in August 1993.

The Tiger was very popular in Australia as well, with many units entering NSW fleets. The biggest customer for the Tiger in Australia was arguably Ventura in Melbourne who purchased around 70 Tigers over a four year period. All but one of these units carry a Pressed Metal Corporation body built in Sydney, but there is one with a PMC Adelaide body built in South Australia which was purchased second hand. These Tigers began to arrive at Ventura in April 1984 and the last batch was delivered in October/November 1987 but did not get registered or enter service until early 1988. These buses are now withdrawn from service from Ventura, with a small number living on for school bus duties only.

Volvo Ownership

Leyland Bus was bought by manager Ian McKinnon in January 1987, and it looked like the Tiger would continue as before. Just over 12 months later Volvo purchased the business, bringing Britain's two best-selling coaches, the Volvo B10M and Leyland Tiger, under common ownership. Volvo was aware that Leyland had a loyal following, and that the Tiger had a good reputation, and so the Tiger continued. In 1989, despite slow sales, it reassured Tiger loyalists that the chassis was there to stay, positioning it to compete with the Dennis Javelin. But sales remained slow, and in 1990, in an attempt to shift stock, Volvo had Plaxton body forty chassis. Twenty-five of these bodies were the only Plaxton 321 bodies built, this being the Plaxton derivative of the Duple 320 body acquired when Duple closed.

Volvo acknowledged that the Tiger and B10M were broadly similar, and whereas Leyland had sold 3,500 Tigers since the model's launch, Volvo had sold 20,000 B10Ms during the same period. The penultimate major buyer of the Tiger, Shearings, switched to the B10M for 1991, and Volvo finally decided to cease production on the same date as the factory that built it, in Workington, closed.

Classic Tiger 1299 and the last TL 11 engined Alexander N type Tiger built.
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1267 GOES TO KNOCKRAHA

OCTOBER 10, 2009. The Bus Eireann 221 service from Cork to Knockraha is extremely busy so 1267 was there on Saturday October 10 to provide duplicate for the 2 p.m. to Cork. Following photos were taken:

At Knockraha awaiting the main service bus.
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VP 338 alongside for a photo.
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Leaving Knockraha
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En route.
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At the Leamlara Cross stop.
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En route.
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Lukasz drove the return trip to the depot.
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Rear and side view showing how perfect her body is.
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Another shot of the other side.

ULSTERBUS 1267 ARRIVES

October 8, 2009. This is another beautiful machine and was delivered by our Barney Yourell. It is in superb condition.

1267 is an Alexander N type TL 11 engined Leyland Tiger.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: OXI 1267
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger TRBTL11/2RP
Chassis No.: TR00
Body Make : Alexander Belfast
Body Model: N
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland TL 11
HP:
Seating: B53F
Date service entry: July 1989

Photographs:

At Milewater Road awaiting collection.
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The handing over ceremony. Barney Yourell accepting on behalf of the museum from Pat Moss!
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Inside, perfect as always.
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Drivers Area.
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Barney ready to go.
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Coming down Milewater Road.
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At the depot.
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Along with her many sisters who thought they would never see each other again.
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THE KELLS FIRE ENGINE MUSEUM

September 24, 2009. You may have noticed the title change at the top of the page as this week that is what we seem to be. You will remember that last year Stephen Payne went combine mad. This year it is fire engines and he delivered two fire engines on two successive days this week for which the museum is extremely grateful.

The first is the Wicklow County Council engine accompanied by its Ford Transit Fire tender and the second is a Perkins engined Renault Timoney. These are extremely valuable additions to the museum and Stephen found them, organised them and delivered then delivered them all by himself. Photographs will follow when I get back from Eastern Europe. Thanks Stephen.

475.101 LOOKS MAGNIFICENT

September 26, 2009. Today one of the most beautiful machines in the CSD preserved steam collection made a trip from Brno to Zastavka and looked absolutely magnificent. The following photos give a flavour of the day. She pulled a nine piece set. For the full article and complete set of photos go to the railway website by clicking on the menu.

A sight that makes life worth living as 475.101 races across the horizon.
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For the full set of photos of the day click on menu on left under 475.101.

TIGER DAY

September 18, 2009. As part of our programme to keep our Tigers active we took eight of them for a run today and they all started on the button.

The vehicles out were:

434
468
1003
1274
1299
2610
2624
2629

These are the first to go into our new programme to run them every two weeks and the others will gradually join it as time permits. In this way we hope to keep them in tip top condition.

460 AND 1122 AWAIT NEXT DUTY

September 12, 2009. Here is a nice photo of 460 and 1122 awaiting their next duty.

Classic Tigers.

ULSTERBUS 1299 GOES TO CORK AIRPORT

September 11, 2009. Our UK Vice-President, Ross Aitken, was over for the week helping in the collection of buses. He flew back today so we took him to the airport in 1299.

We also took the opportunity to get some photos which follow:

At the terminal.
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Alongside the Bus Eireann service bus VP 342.
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A "simultaneous departure for the city".
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Near the terminal building.
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At the old terminal.
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A Beautiful shot leaving the old terminal.
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Approaching the depot.
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THREE BUSES ARIVE WITHIN HOURS OF EACH OTHER

September 3, 2009. The museum was delighted to have three buses wander in the door within an hour or so of each other. Barney Yourell delivered Leyland N type TL11 engined Tiger 1299 from Belfast and Stephen Payne and Ross Aitken brought Cummins engined Leyland Lynxes Badgerline 3616 and Midland Red W 141 from Hospital.

ULSTERBUS 1299 ARRIVES

September 3, 2009. This is another beautiful machine and was delivered by our Barney Yourell. It was the last Leyland TL11 N Tiger. The museum also has the first 340. It is in superb condition.

1299 is an Alexander N type TL 11 engined Leyland Tiger.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: OXI 1299
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger TRBTL11/2RP
Chassis No.: TR00
Body Make : Alexander Belfast
Body Model: N
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland Tl 11
HP:
Seating: B53F
Date service entry: July 1989

Photographs:

Approaching Sallybrook
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In Hazelbrook facing the Bus Eireann service bus and with Kearneys bus on the left and a right jam!
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En route from Sallybrook to the depot.
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Coming up the hill.
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Approaching the entrance.
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A tight turn in.
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Barney and 1299
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Inside Looking Back.
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Inside looking Forward

Drivers Area
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MIDLAND RED WEST 141 CUMMINS LEYLAND LYNX ARRIVES

September 3, 2009. Midland Red West 141 arrived at the depot today delivered by Ross Aitken.

141 is an Cummins engined Leyland Lynx.

The following are her basic details:

Registration Number: 90 LK 5381
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Lynx
Chassis No.:
Body Make : Leyland
Body Model:
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland Cummins L10
HP:
Seating: B53F
Date service entry:

Photographs:

Arriving Depot
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Ross Aitken and Stephen Payne on arrival.
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Ross at the wheel.
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Inside Looking Back.
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Drivers Area.
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Rear View.
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BADGERLINE LEYLAND LYNX 3616 ARRIVES

September 3, 2009. Badgerline 3616 arrived today delivered by Stephen Payne.

3616 is an Cummins engined Leyland Lynx.

The following are her basic details:

Registration Number: 90 LK 5382
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Lynx
Chassis No.:
Body Make : Leyland
Body Model:
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland Cummins L10
HP:
Seating: B53F
Date service entry:

Photographs:

Ready to leave Hospital
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Inside Looking back!
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Inside Looking Forward
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Jindrichohradecké místní dráhy (Jindrichùv Hradec Local Railways) (JHMD)

August 20, 2009. On the subject of railways this is one of the two remaining Czech 2 foot six narrow gauge railways and offers twice daily steam service in summer. It is well worth a visit and the following are some photos taken on my visit on August 20, 2009. To see the full article on the railway as a complete set of over 200 photographs go to the Railways Website on the menu on the left or:

CLICK HERE.

In Jindrichuv Hradec. Webmaster and Railway owner awaiting departure.

A beautiful sight.

At Blazejov

Leaving Blazejov

Running around its train at Nova Bystrice.

Leaving Nova Bystrice on the return and working hard.

The afternoon departure from Jindrichuv Hradec

The dual gauge track used in conjunction with the Ceske Drahy main line.

N TYPE TL11 ENGINE ULSTERBUS LEYLAND TIGER 468 ARRIVES

25 August 2009. Tiger 468 has arrived safely at the depot driven by our own Barney Yourell. Barney says she is even better than 1003 she came from Belfast in just six hours. We are as always grateful to Pat Moss and Frank Clegg who have made this possible. As usual she is absolutely immaculate and drives like new. Our grateful thanks also to Michelin.

Leyland Tiger 468 is an Alexander N type TL 11 engined Leyland Tiger. She was delivered as an Express Tiger. She was delivered as EC53F and reseated as B62F in April 1994. Our thanks to Howard Cunningham for helping us get her history correct.

She was the last remaining Tiger of her era and all 3xx, 4xx, 10xx and 11xx Tigers are gone from Ulsterbus now.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: HXI 468
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis No.:
Body Make : Alexander
Body Model: N Type
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland TL 11
HP: 170
Seating: B62F
Date service entry: 1986

Photographs:

At Hazelbrook

Approaching Depot
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Barney and 468 on arrival

Rear View

Entering the Depot

Barney Yourell at the wheel

Inside Looking Back. Note 3+3.

Inside Looking Forward

Drivers Area

N TYPE TL11 ENGINE ULSTERBUS LEYLAND TIGER 1003 ARRIVES

18 August 2008. Tiger 1003 has arrived safely at the depot driven by our own Barney Yourell. Barney says she is arguably the best he has delivered and she came from Belfast in just over six hours. We are as always grateful to Pat Moss and Frank Clegg who have made this possible. As usual she is absolutely immaculate and drives like new. Our grateful thanks also to Michelin for providing the tyres.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: IXI 1003
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger Chassis No.:
Body Make : Alexander
Body Model: N type
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland TL 11
HP:170
Seating: B53F
Date service entry: 26th. September 1986.

Barney Yourell on arrival with 1003

Rear View

Inside Looking Forward.

Inside Looking Back.

Drivers Area.

ULSTERUS TL11 N TYPE TIGER FINALLY OUT OF SERVICE.

August 18, 2009. The Ulsterbus TL11 N type Tiger has been finally withdrawn and is unlikely to see further service. This is of course a sad event, but the sadness is tempered with the knowledge that thanks to the magnificent cooperation of Ulsterbus the type has arguably the greatest proportion of preserved examples of any operator, any type and any manufacturer. Even more to the point thanks to a careully planned programme almost every type of Tiger configuration operated by Ulsterbus is represented at the museum.

For the record the following is the final list of the museums preserved machines:
340
385
400
434
460
468
1000
1003
1122
1131
1143
1200
1238
1274
1299

In addition the following Van Hool TL 11 Tiger is preserved:
598

and the following Gardner N Tigers.
2609
2610
2620
2624
2629

At the moment all the machines are on the button and there is no machine with potential fatal defects and it is intended to keep this museum sub-fleet at all times in 100% condition. Current operating procedure is to start every machine at least every two weeks and possibly every week and to give them a run every month. Time will tell whether this is sufficent. We estimate these machines to have a potential life in excess of 100 years so they are only a quarter way through their life expectancy and it is doubtful if any other operator has ever planned for a one hundred year lifetime so the maintenance programme will have to be developed and will no doubt evolve over the years.

What I, personally, find amazing is that every single one of our fleet is 100% perfect and the bodies absolutely superb.This is some tribute to the maintenance of Ulsterbus. It is very rare that vehicles come in which are in such superb condition.

I should add that of course the museum plans to have a similar number of Volvo N Tigers and Volvo Q Tigers in the fleet in due course, to complete the Tiger roundup. We also have yet to receive any Wright Tigers.

BALLINCOLLIG RALLY 2009

August 16, 2009. The Museum was represented by Ulsterbus Tiger 1274 which was prepared and driven by Stephen Lynch and looked superb. For a complete set of photos click on menu on left.

Stephen with 1274







VISIT TO ULSTERBUS, BALLYMENA AND PORTGLENONE

August 12, 2009. I visited Ulsterbus in Milewater Road and NewtownAbbey and then went to Ballymena and Portglenone to visit our fatherland where our best buses came from.

It is thanks to Robert Reid that we got such a superb machine in 1274 as he looked after her for the last ten years. Likewise Colin had 1122 and she also is a fine machine and still like new. The way they looked after these buses was unbelievable and it is nice to know they will survive for ever. Both - and all the other Portglenone men, George Weir, John Margan and Brian Surtenor are welcome at the mussuem anytime to drive their old friends.

Robert Reid with 1485

Robert and 1485 leaving Portglenone for Inniscrush

Portglenone Main Street looking to Ballymena

Colin Spence arriving from Magherafelt with 1469.

Colin Spence with 1469.

NEW PHOTOS OF TIGER AGM

August 10, 2009. All our Tigers got together for their AGM and the attendance was enhanced by 598. Following photo was taken and we are very proud of such a lineup.

What a lineup!

598 REPAINTED AND HAS NEW ENGINE AND GEARBOX

August 11, 2009. Ulsterbus Tiger 598 has been repainted and looks absolutely superb and now only awaits vinyls. We are hoping to finish her off as she was first liveried as outlined in the photo of Michael Bell in in Volume 6 of Irvines Millars Ulsterbus book.

The seats have been taken out inside to enable us to refurbish the inside and they will be reinserted shortly. We have also changed the TL 11 engine and gearbox in this machine. Looking well in front.

Rear View.

OUR DEUTZ FAHR COMBINE AT WORK

August 10, 2009. Amongst other museum expeditions we have been putting our Deutz Fahr combine to work. Stephen has done some mechanical work and she is now in super condition. She has actually been combining to keep her hand in.

Coming back to depot - front view

Rear view with trailer.

ACQUISITION OF TIMONEY FIRE ENGINE

August 9, 2009. We are happy to announce our first Timoney Fire Engine ex Cork. She has a Timoney body with a Perkins V8 engine on a Renault chassis. When we get delivery we will have a full series of photos.

Front View

AND OUR NEW ATLANTEAN IS WWM 922W!

August 7, 2009. We have discovered the identity of our new Atlantean and it is Merseyside PTE 1845 registration WWM 922W. She is an AN68B/1R with chassis number 7904297 and Willowbrook body number Wk 792182 She is H45/33F and was delivered 11/1980 as Merseyside PTE 1845. Anyone have pictures of her when she was in service with original owner?

AMENDMENT - 2 BRISTOL VR's NOT ONE!

Aug 6, 2009. We are happy to announce that we have acquired two Bristol VR's, not one, and the first will be delivered shortly. The first is Ribble 2026 with registration DBV 26W. She is a Bristol VRT/SL3/ with a Gardner 6LXB engine. Her chassis is VRT/SL3/6LXB VRT/SL3/2616 and her body is ECW 24409. Her seating is H43/31F and she was delivered 10/1980 as Ribble 2026 We are delighted to have a Ribble machine which we will restore to its red glory. The second VR is unknown at this time!

Our First VR

GARDNER TIGERS 2624 and 2629 GO FOR A RUN.

August 5, 2009. As part of our programme of making sure all our Ulsterbus Tigers are in good nick going into the winter 2624 was out for a run to Knockraha. Here is a picture of her leaving the depot. For the record 2629 was also out. One nice thing about these Gardners is that no matter how long they sit, they start on the first turn whereas sometimes TL 11 machines need a bit of turning.

On her way for a breath of air!

ROBERTS COVE RALLY - ANOTHER BALLYMENA BUS GOES

August 4, 2009. Roberts Cove Rally was held on Sunday August 2, this year. Stephen Lynch organised our representation this year and took 1274 which is one of Ballymenas finest. She is a beautiful machine.

It is amazing how Ulsterbus are now being represented at most of the major rallies in Ireland and long may it last. It is more interesting that it is mostly Ballymenas buses and this is a tribute to Ray Holmes, the Manager there, who has managed to keep his buses in such superb condition before they came to us. Thanks to Stephen Lynch for the following photos.

On the Road Rally followed by a string of vehicles.

Two Combines,a Volvo from Ballincollig Coaches a fire engine and our own 1274.

Lineup of Tractors

Another Row

A row of cars

Between Roberts Cove and Minane Bridge

Going through Carrigaline

Parked at our headquarters Grianan House.

EVEN MORE ABOUT OUR NEW ARRIVALS - FIRST PICTURES

Aug 4, 2009. Thanks to our Aaron Donohue we have the first photos of the Ailsa and the Atlantean. Our first Ailsa is a valuable addition. WE know nwo that she was delivered as Derby 114 and as SRC114X and was subsequently registered in Ireland as 82 LS 323. She is Northern Counties bodied with chassis: B55-10 80053 H38/35F. New on 2/1982 as Derby CT 114. The headlamps were removed but are with the bus along with the grill.

Our First Ailsa

The second vehicle is a St. Helens Atlantean and again we do not know her identity other than that she is St. Helens and is also dark green. And finally we hope to get our first - again unknown - Bristol VR next week. We will keep you informed.

Ex-Merseyside Leyland Atlantean (unknown reg) – she is a Willowbrook body, although she it isn’t the prettiest of vehicles. She is complete with the exception of a front window, she has branded formica in the upper saloon for St. Helens Transport Museum which looks to be quite rare! New Engine in 2005, and new Lift-pump fitted by current owner recently. She is similar to the ones delivered to MPTE in 1980. We are waiting to find out her chassis number.

Our St. Helens Atlantean.

It was thanks to Aaron Donohue we obtained the machines.

We are also hoping to acquire shortly our first Bristol VR. More details as they emerge.

WE WANT YOUR VIEWS ON OUR FUTURE ACQUISITION POLICY

July 31, 2009. At this time of the year we sit back and look at our future acquisition policy. To do this effectively we welcome input from readers and we seek your views on the discussion board.

Our current thinking is to build our VR fleet, Ailsa fleet and Olympian Fleet. We would expect to end up with about 20 Olympians and maybe 5 Ailsas. The supply of Atlanteans, we expect, will continue to diminish but as we already have some 20 good examples this is not a major problem.

On the single deck front we plan continued input of Leylands and would about 50 Lynxes, 80 to 100 Tigers and any Leopards that remain to be mopped up. Service Leylands are continuing to disappear and will be more or less extinct in a years time so we feel we should acquire what we can while the going is good. As a matter of interest our Leopard fleet stands at 58 currently of which probably 50 are in good condition and we plan ten more this year.

Our Tiger fleet stands at only 46 at the moment and we will certainly try and run to 100 and if possible even more.

What we now need is some opinions on what else we should set our sights on and particularly Wright bodied machines of which we seem to have nil. Even if they do not arrive for some years we can have them in our masterplan. Our total fleet stands at over 400 currently and we woudll estimate to have about 600 by the end of 2010 and 1000 by 2014.

So do send your suggestions please and be assured they will all be carefully considered.

NEW PICTURES OF SLEZSKE ZEMSKE DRAHY.

July 25, 2009 was a vile day weatherwise on Slezske Zemske Drahy, the Czech Narrow Gauge Railway but it gave rise to some stunning photos. To see the full set go to our www.railwayinternational.com or click on menu on left for World Railways. This line from Tremesna ve Slezsku to Osoblaha is well worth a visit on Saturdays and Sundays when steam is on the scheduled services.

A bit like Ireland. The rain is coming!

KR 9 BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED

July 22, 2009. KR 9 is back on the road, totally overhauled, with a new gearbox and differentyial and repainted. It travelled all the way to Dublin where it appeared in the film Sensations and was a hit. This is the only officially preserved KR in Ireland. The following photos were taken of it. It shows what the engineering department of the museum can do

Really stunning in appearance.

A superb restoration.

Drivers Area.

Dash.

Inside Looking forward.

Inside looking back.

ARRIVAL KASSBOHRER SETRA LIL 3184 ex EL 7042

July 21, 2009. One of the finest machines we have ever seen has arrived at the depot in the form of a HD 215 Kassbohrer Setra LIL 3184.

A super machine

Rear

Seats

Drivers Area

Complete with Toilet

And wash area

Engine Dept.

ULSTERBUS LEOPARD 1902 OUT FOR A RUN

July 20, 2009.The following two photos were taken when Leopard 1902 went for a run.

Our baby Leopard Front

Rear

MOGEELY RALLY ONCE AGAIN A RESOUNDING SUCCESS

July 19, 2009. Mogeely Rally was held in beautiful weather on July 19th. and


For the full article on the Mogeely Rally. CLICK HERE.

En route to the rally with 1274 leading.

2610

1274.

Steam Engine.

Michael, Stephen and John.

Stephen, John and Aaron.

James O'Donovan with his magnificent SS 737.

Definitely the most valuable vehicle!

A magnificent Austin 10.

Austin Chummy.

Beaufort.

Threshing.

Motor Bicycle and Sidecar.

Tractors galore!

1929 John Deere.

Oil Engines.

Fire Engine.

Trucks.

VISIT BY THE KENTS

July 15, 2009. We had visitors today, Chris Kent and his son Ian. Ian works in Luxembourg and it is nice that people come so far to see the museum.

Pictured with 2610 which was being cleaned and polished for Mogeely.

MOGEELY RALLY - JULY 19, 2009 - LATEST.

July 10, 2009. Mogeely Rally will be held this year on July 19th. 2009. This is our local rally and once again the museum expects to be there in force. It is the classic Irish rural rally of vintage vehicle and always offers a wonderful day out. For those of you coming from the UK we will be glad to collect you at the airport and drop you back.

Mogeely is a small town about 20 miles from Cork and as is becoming traditional the museum will have an Ulsterbus contingent. Right now N Tigers 1274, 2610 will definitely attend and probably Bristol RE 2531 and possibly an SS. We will give more details nearer the date.

Following are some photos from last years rally to give a favour. Our contingent

Cars.

Trucks

Tractors

Steam

THREE GRUBBY BUSES OUT FOR A RUN

Three buses were selected for a wash and a mechanical checkover resulting in taking them for a run. The following photos were taken of each and they ran well. But they do look a mess! However, they will now get a wash to restore them to pristine condition.

First SNG 353

This was followed by SNG 375 smoking well like a typical Gardner.

Finally Albatross 3

A SALUTARY LESSON

June 3, 2009. Once upon a time, an Irish National Airline and their upstart counterparts from the O’Leary’s decided to have a competitive boat race on the River Liffey. Both teams practised long and hard to reach their peak performance. On the big day they were as ready as ready could be.

O’Learys won by a mile.

Afterwards the Airline Directors became very discouraged by the loss and morale sagged. One of them wanted to sue O’Learys for damages due to making an apparent fool of them. They had found an obscure act which would enable a prosecution to be brought against the O’Learys team leader who had been alleged to keep passing derogatory comments on the performance of the National Airline Directors which information was likely to cause the Airline Team Directors anxiety and distress.

Senior Directors decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found and a special project team, headed by a Barrington Chairman was set up to investigate the problem and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion: The problem was that the O’Leary Team had eight people rowing and one person steering. The National team had one person rowing and eight people steering.

The report was sent to the Minister for e-voting machines, who specialises in keeping his head in the sand, ostrich like, and naturally as a consequence his ass in the air. O wa ta na c is or is it has? The Minister was so upset he hired expensive consultants to do a study of the teams structure. To ensure the maximum benefit the team included mostly cronies – in this case otherwise known as directors - as is normal under the Irish system. Millions of pounds and several months later they concluded there were too many people steering and not enough rowing.

As a result to prevent losing to the O’Learys the next year the team structure was changed to One “Executive Chairman”, four “Senior Directors”, two “Steering Worker Directors” and one "Steering Financial Manager". A performance and appraisal system was setup to give the person rowing the boat more incentive to work harder and become a key performer. He would hence forth be called the “Titanic Chairman” . “We must give him empowerment and enrichment. That ought to do it”. Everybody praised the new system so that they could keep their jobs.

Next year the O’Learys won by two miles.

The Chairman sent the rower to Portmagee for poor performance, sold off any aircraft which earned revenue, cancelled all capital investment for new equipment and halted development of a new business model. He awarded high performance awards to the consultants and distributed the money saved to senior management.

Subsequently the airline shares tanked from €3 per share to 60 cent, the Minister kept his ass in the air and the airline went broke.

THE SUBSEQUENT ADVENTURES OF CVH 1.

June 2, 2009. Stephen did a very quick gearbox change on CVH 1 and she was so good he took her to Arklow and back for a run and she performed perfectly, a tribute to those who built these fabulous machines. We intend getting her a MOT and she should have no trouble passing.

CVH 1 JOINS THE FLEET

June 1, 2009. For the record she was officially withdrawn from the Swilly fleet today. She has reached Dublin en route to Cork. She is a milestone in Irish transport history being the first coach for Bus Eireann and according to many drivers the best to drive towering above the PD, VC and VP. The only problem we know she had and why she was withdrawn was a gearbox problem and she will shortly be fitted with a new one.

We regard her as a very valuable addition as one of the great buses of Ireland. We are very grateful to Bus Eireann for their cooperation in enabling us to have her as it was only due to their action that we got her.

Can anyone give us the Swilly Fleet number for CVH 1 and confirm that she wore Bus Eireann livery while in service with them? Can anyone provide a list of what she exactly did when at Swilly? Photos will follow when she arrives in Cork.

Stephen Payne and Christy collected her with the ERF and it was quite difficult as Van Hools have a front axle very far back and the resultant lift meant there was only a few inches clearance at the back of the bus and she had to be towed very carefully. The following picture of her on arrival in Dublin shows she looks absolutely superb. Christy Power and Stephen Payne deserve great credit for getting her home safely.

She really looks super!

NEW STEAM LOCO U57.001 ARRIVES ON SLEZSKE ZEMSKE DRAHY

May 22, 2009. For those interested Steam Locomotive U57.001 has taken up residence on the line and today did its inaugural photo run. This is a magnificent locomotive. Full article is on www.railwayinternational.com

Both this locomotive and sister U46.002 will be on the line this summer. U57.001 is fresh out of a total overhaul and is like new.

Slezske Zemske Drahy is one of the few surviving narrow gauge Railways in the Czech republic. The public service is operated by Ceske Drahy year round and the steam service on Saturdays and Sundays in June, July and August by Olpas Moravia s.r.o.

For 2009 service starts on June 1 and the line is well worth a visit. This line is well worth a visit and is easy to get to. Following the photographs is a history of the line which is followed by details of how to get to the departure station at Tremesna ve Slezsku and the timetable on the line.

On shed at Osoblaha ready to go.

At Tremesna ne Slesku awaiting its train.

The crew.

WESTERN SCOTTISH SMT 2606 ACQUIRED

May 22, 2009. We are happy to announce the collection of Western Scottish SMT 2606 (Ulster Bus 1891) (Ulsterbus 4891) from Enniskillen. It has commenced the long trip to Cork and we will post photos in due course. It was originally delivered in 1976 so has now seen 32+ years of service, which is some record and a tribute to the durablility of the Leyland Leopard.

ULSTERBUS 1274 ON 221 TO KNOCKRAHA

May 12, 2009. More history as evidenced by these photographs. Who would have believed it ten years ago?.

At Knockraha.

Webmaster driving.

At stop en route to Cork with current election sign.

En route.

Another shot.

Later in the day we did some driver training.

TIGERS GALORE!

May 12, 2009. The picture at the top of the page was taken at the depot today. On the left are 1274, 2610, 434 and 2609. On the right from farthest to nearest are: 1200, 1000, 1131, 1143, 340, 385, 2620, 400, 2629, 2624, 1122 and 1200. The only one missing from the picture is 598.

ULSTERBUS 1274 ARRIVES

May 11, 2009. This is another beautiful machine and was delivered by our Barney Yourell. It was lately a Ballymena vehicle. Our Tiger Fleet grows and grows and shortly should exceed in number those left in service. This is our seventeenth Ulsterbus Tiger delivered. Our current delivered number of all Tigers is 37. We expect to end up with about 60.

1274 is an Alexander N type TL 11 engined Leyland Tiger.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: OXI 1274
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger TRBTL11/2RP
Chassis No.: TR00729
Body Make : Alexander Belfast
Body Model: N
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland Tl 11
HP:
Seating: B53F
Date service entry: July 1989

Photographs:

On the motorway

On the Glanmire Approach Roundabout

Approaching Sallybrook

On Hazelbrook Roundabout

Approaching Depot

Turning in the entrance.

Barney and Michael.

Joined once again with her mates.

Inside Looking back.

Inside Looking Forward.

Front.
Barney Yourell at the wheel during the delivery.
Drivers Area.

CULTRA RALLY 2009 - PHOTOGRAPHS NOW IN

April 25, 2009 was a day to remember for many reasons. Cultra had absolutely fabulous weather but more to the point the museum was able to exhibit four buses. This was a first and quite a feat and took some organising.

Following the now established tradition we collected from Ulsterbus that morning Tigers 434 and 2610 and also Baby Leopard 1902. All three went to Cork that day.

All the pictures are now on site and to view them clock on "Cultra 2009" under "Rallies" on the menu.

These were our four entrants.

LEYLAND NATIONAL LS 112 ARRIVES

May 2, 2009. We are happy to announce the arrival of London Transport LS 112, THX 112S. This is a dual door 510 engined National ex London Transport. This brings our National Fleet to 21 of which two have been lost to vandalism. It brings our London Transport collection of Nationals to 7, the others being LS 2, LS 6, LS 57, LS 91, LS 118 and LS 129 which is a pretty representative collection. Photos will follow.

Ross Aitken has provided us with her full history. She had original registration THX 112S and was a 10351A/2R. Her chassis number is 4812 and she was originally B36D. She was delivered in 02/78 as London Transport LS 112. She was delivered to the depot by Christy and Stephen Payne with our new ERF towtruck. This machine is proving invaluable.

Here is her history: LS112 THX 112S built 1977.
New2/78.
SE change store (Stonebridge Park)
2/78 W into service (Cricklewood)
7/83 W to overhaul10/83 MH from o/h (Muswell Hill)
1/85 EM transfer, mechanical trainer (Edmonton)
2/85 MH return6/86 HD transfer (Harrow Weald)
9/86 PB transfer, trainer (Potters Bar)1986 PB painted with white cove panels for competitive routes:
10/86 PB used on 310A (Enfield - Hertford)2/87 PB to Gatwick Engineering Ltd ..and back5/87 PB repaint, black skirt, white band
12/88 PB repainted4/89 CF transfer (Chalk Farm)
9/89 FW transfer into store: repainted
11/89 WK transfer (Westlink)
1/94 privatised to Westlinkconverted to single door, B36F
overall ad livery: white/blue: John Asley, Volkswagen used on 21612/97 Westlinkc
9/98 sold to Nash (Weybridge)
10/98 bought by Dublin Fire Brigade, Eire and converted to mobile incident room
02/03 sold to Hi-Precision Engineering, Carlow
05/09 to Kells Transport Museum for preservation

CZECH RAILWAYS 433.002 ON JESENIK BRANCH ON MAY 1, 2009.

May 1, 2009. As part of the series on Czech Steam a new article is currently being prepared on 433.002 which on May 1, 2009 did a long trip from Mikulovice to Ostruzna on the Zabreh na Morave to Jesenik branch and back.

The article will be on our sister website www.railwayinternational.com and while the article is being prepared the following may whet your appetite to come back and look at the full article.

433.002 entering Jesenik.

433.002 storming up the hill.

433.002 Leaving Horni Lipova for Ostruzna.

433.002 Leaving Ramzova.

433.002 entering Horni Lipova on the return.

433.002 on the turntable at Horni Lipova.

433.002 Another View.

Webmaster and crew.

Driver Vaclav Jasny, main driver of 433.002 and who looks after her superbly.

Cab View with cinders everywhere.

ULSTERBUS N TIGER 434 ARRIVES

April 26th. 2009. Leyland Alexander N type TL11 Tiger 434 arrived safely today and is a fine machine.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: GXI 434
Other Registrations: KEZ 5806
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model : Tiger TRCTL11-2RP
Chassis No.: 8500029
Body Make : Alexander
Body Model: N
Body Number: 540/18
Engine: Leyland TL 11
Engine Number:
HP:170
Seating: DP53F
Date service entry: 10/85
Originally Delivered to: Ulsterbus.
As Fleet No. 434

Prior to delivery at Milewater Road

Leaving Cultra Rally. 2610 is behind her.

Inside Looking back

Inside Looking forward

Drivers Area

ULSTERBUS GARDNER N TIGER 2610 ARRIVES IN DEPOT

April 25th. 2009. Ulsterbus Tiger 2610 arrived today at the depot. It was the last Gardner Tiger on the Ulsterbus fleet.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: LXI 6610
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger TRBLXB/2RP
Chassis No.: TR 00268
Body Make : Alexander
Body Model: N
Body Number: B03.02
Engine: Gardner
Engine Number:
HP:180
Seating: B43F
Date service entry: 6/88
Originally Delivered to: Citybus.
As Fleet No. 2610

At the handover at Milewater Road, Pat Moss formally handing over the vehicle.

Leaving Cultra

On the road to Cork with Leopard 1902 behind.

Inside Looking Back

Drivers Area

Delivery Group at Cultra. Left to right. Christy, Stephen, Michael and Ross.

ULSTERBUS 680 ALEXANDER LEYLAND LEOPARD 1902 ARRIVES IN DEPOT

April 25th. 2009. Leyland Leopard 1902 arrived safely today.

It was a very early Leopard of the Ulsterbus fleet who are now phasing out their remaining Leopards with only ten or so left. It ended its days as towbus at Derry.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: HOI 1902
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model : Leopard PSU3B/4R
Chassis No.: 7401486 Body Make : Alexander
Body Model: B
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland 680
Engine Number:
HP:160
Seating: C49F
Date service entry: 1975
Originally Delivered to: Ulsterbus.
As Fleet No. 1902

At Milewater Road prior collection.

Leaving Cultra.

On the Dublin Quays en route to Cork.

Arriving at depot in Cork.

Inside

Original Logo inside still exists.

Drivers Area.

NEW SERIES OF ARTICLES ON CZECH BRANCH RAILWAYS.

Czech Railways have many interesting branches, some of which may only see a few trains a year. I have started a series to cover as many as possible before I snuff it - it may well take that long - and hopefully in time this will be a major record of czech railways because there is little logic to keeping many of these branches.

These articles can be viewed on our sister website www.railwayinternational.com or, click on menu on left.

So far the following branches have been covered:

Tremesna ve Slezsku to Osoblaha. Steam and Diesel. August 2008.
Nemotice to Koricany. Steam. September 2008.
Valasske Mezerici to Rosnov. Railcar. October 2008.
Breclav to Lednice. Diesel. April 2009.

FORD EXCELSIOR 23 ARRIVES

March 22, 2009. Stephen Payne delivered today a very welcome addition to our fleet. This is Excelsior Holidays 23, a Ford R 1114 HFX 423V which has a Plaxton Supreme body. Even though she has not run since August 2004 she made the trip uneventfully. This is our ninth Ford and we are delighted to have her.

Can anyone tell us if Excelsior 23 was her fleet number with Excelsior and did she have any other operators before she went to Bartons?

The following are her details:

Registration Number: 80 MO 151
Original Registration Number: HFX 423V
Other Registrations Carried:
Chassis Make: Ford
Chassis Model: R 1114 Chassis No.: BCRSWU260130
Body Make : Plaxton
Body Model: Supreme IV
Body Number: 9011FC047
Engine: Ford
Engine Number:
HP:180
Seating: C49F
Date service entry: 4/1980.
Originally Delivered to: Excelsior Holidays, Bournemouth
As Fleet No. : 23
Other Operators: Barton Maynooth.

We are most grateful to Pat Barton of Barton's in Maynooth who so kindly donated the vehicle.

On arrival at the depot

Rear View

Drivers Area

1200 DOES KNOCKRAHA

1200 went to Knockraha today as duplicate to the regular service, VWL 108. Following photos were taken of her

Travelling towards Knockraha.

At Knockraha with VWL 108. It was the 1015 service to Cork. Heaven knows why two buses were needed at Knockraha. 1200 left first. Note Kells main blind and Knockraha on window. That must have puzzled a few people!

Shortly after leaving the terminus at Knockraha en route to Cork. The Tiger really looks at home.

John Bedford visited us today so we made him honorary driver - in other words he did not get paid! He is here with 1200 at Knockraha awaiting VWL 108 duplicate to arrive.

John Bedford in the cab. John is a regular visitor and we always like to see him!

Rear View on returning to depot.

And of course the webmaster doing duty!

John is the proud owner of PNM 757M a magnificently preserved Bedford YRT with a Plaxton Supreme IV body, seen here!

HAPPY EASTER AND GUESS WHAT THE EASTER BUNNY BROUGHT?

First of all, a Happy Easter to everyone.

We are delighted to announce that the Easter Bunny has delivered another three acres which has just been hardcored and has space for about 200 buses. As we expect about fourteen Leopards and about 40 Tigers in the next few months we were fast running out of space. We will show some pictures shortly.

Next on our list is up to 3,500 square feet parts storage which will be followed by the 10,500 square feet maintenance shed. The first two storage units of 500 square feet each will be arriving within the next few days. We also hope to have the Lothian tow truck up and running this week. We had a major clutch problem but we have now got the parts. This with the ERF, the Mercedes light transporter and the Foden gives us a very satisfactory recovery fleet. We may decide to have a second Leopard towtruck as backup and this might arrive shortly.

LATEST ON CULTRA RALLY

As is well known by now, Ireland's premier bus rally takes place at Cultra, Co. Down from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday April 25th.

We now definitely plan three vehicles and Ross Aitken will drive the Leopard and Stephen Payne one Tiger and Barney Yourell the other. In answer to Mark we do not bring vehicles from the South to the North generally. People forget that these are historic vehicles and therefore any long distances can be fatal. Accordingly we have a policy that vehicles should not go more than about 30 miles from the museum. Looked at another way a round trip from Cork to Belfast is about 500 miles. This would allow fifty trips of ten miles for the same total mileage thus bringing the vehicle to a greater number of people and venues. We have learnt this lesson the hard way and in fact have just completed a forced Tiger engine replacement, due to oil pump failure, which, by the way, was the first time we have ever done an engine change in house, for which Stephen Payne, assisted by Karl and Christie must be given the credit as I could not do it. We used her as a forced first change for our engineering department and it turned out as a super job. London Country donated the engine.

However, we may relax the rule as regards our Tigers, since they are in such super condition and we would like to come to one or two of the North of Ireland rallies and will cautiously attend one first and see what happens. If successful then we may relax the ban on going anywhere over fifty miles. It would, of course, as the premier Southern museum and arguably the largest in the world, be nice, if we could be represented at all major rallies. With such reliable Tigers we will now also start looking at exhibiting at some of the U.K. rallies, starting with those nearer home such as Wales. With the return of the Cork to Swansea ferry in June, this now becomes a practical proposition. We had a great deal with the last operators of the route and they sponsored the museum but it remains to be seen whether the new operators will even want to see a bus! We will keep you informed.

We will therefore not be driving any buses from Cork to Culta and 400 will not be going. As to what we drive back from Cultra to Cork, now that is an interesting question!

ANNOUNCING RETURN ERF TOW TRUCK AND ARRIVAL PLAXTON PARAMOUNT 3500 LEYLAND TIGER 85 WW 1047.

April 8, 2009. We are happy to announce the return to the road of our motorway towtruck in superb condition thanks to Stephen organising the clutch replacement and an overhaul.

It arrived at the depot with yet another Tiger 85 WW 1047 which is to be used for parts probably. We will have a complete set of photos shortly, if the sun ever comes out! ERF with bus behind.

Side view.

Bus behind.

WHAT ARE WE TAKING TO CULTRA RALLY? COMPETITION - GUESS WHAT WE ARE TAKING?

We have decided to have a competition to enable you to guess what machines we will be taking to Cultra. Right now we plan two Tigers and a Leopard. Please put your guess on the discussion board. A special prize if anyone guesses correctly, which we strongly doubt. E-mail address must be submitted.

HINT : The Tigers are expected to be one 4XX, one 26XX and the Leopard a Bus Eireann LA series original prior to delivery to Bus Eireann to which it will never get delivered, equivalent series, in other words a 19XX. OK, start figuring!

CULTRA (BANGOR) RALLY 2009.

We would like to welcome everyone to the Bangor Rally this year held on Saturday April 25th. at the Cultra Transport Museum. We look forward to meeting our friends.

It is still undecided what we will have at the rally but the current plans are to follow what has now become traditional i.e. have a new Tiger and perhaps this year a Leopard as well. Whatever we bring it will probably be all Ulsterbus as this is really an Ulsterbus rally as they go out of their way to do everything possible for it so we in turn like to exhibit Ulsterbus vehicles. I would say that Stephen, myself and Barney Yourell will certainly be there and possible a few more of us. We will keep you informed but we will be there.

FORD EXCELSIOR 23 ARRIVES

March 22, 2009. Stephen Payne delivered today a very welcome addition to our fleet. This is Excelsior Holidays 23, a Ford R 1114 HFX 423V which has a Plaxton Supreme body. Even though she has not run since August 2004 she made the trip uneventfully. This is our ninth Ford and we are delighted to have her.

Can anyone tell us if Excelsior 23 was her fleet number with Excelsior and did she have any other operators before she went to Bartons?

The following are her details:

Registration Number: 80 MO 151
Original Registration Number: HFX 423V
Other Registrations Carried:
Chassis Make: Ford
Chassis Model: R 1114 Chassis No.: BCRSWU260130
Body Make : Plaxton
Body Model: Supreme IV
Body Number: 9011FC047
Engine: Ford
Engine Number:
HP:180
Seating: C49F
Date service entry: 4/1980.
Originally Delivered to: Excelsior Holidays, Bournemouth
As Fleet No. : 23
Other Operators: Barton Maynooth.

We are most grateful to Pat Barton of Barton's in Maynooth who so kindly donated the vehicle.

On arrival at the depot

Rear View

Drivers Area

1200 DOES KNOCKRAHA

1200 went to Knockraha today as duplicate to the regular service, VWL 108. Following photos were taken of her

Travelling towards Knockraha.

At Knockraha with VWL 108. It was the 1015 service to Cork. Heaven knows why two buses were needed at Knockraha. 1200 left first. Note Kells main blind and Knockraha on window. That must have puzzled a few people!

Shortly after leaving the terminus at Knockraha en route to Cork. The Tiger really looks at home.

John Bedford visited us today so we made him honorary driver - in other words he did not get paid! He is here with 1200 at Knockraha awaiting VWL 108 duplicate to arrive.

John Bedford in the cab. John is a regular visitor and we always like to see him!

Rear View on returning to depot.

And of course the webmaster doing duty!

John is the proud owner of PNM 757M a magnificently preserved Bedford YRT with a Plaxton Supreme IV body, seen here!

LATE NEWS : CORK AIRPORT CHAIRMAN GARY MC GANN RESIGNS.

February 25, 2009. Following our demand that he resign, Cork Airport Chairman Gary Mc Gann was left with little option but to resign as his position had become untenable. Accordingly on February 24th. he resigned. Let's hope - but don't get your hopes too high - that Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey appoints someone honest and competent as Chairman of Cork Airport. We will keep you posted but chances are that it will be another Fianna Fail crony.

FOR THE FULL STORY ON GARY MC GANN AND THE LATEST SCANDAL AT CORK AIRPORT

CULTRA 2009 - APRIL 25

Don't forget to put Cultra into your calendar this year. It will be April 25 and is THE Irish Rally and should not be missed by anyone interested in preservation. It gets together the finest collection of buses on this island.

We do not know yet what we will be exhibiting but we hope to have two machines there this year. We will keep you informed. Very often we do not know until the last minute.


2009 ACQUISITIONS AND DEPOT PLANS - CURRENT STRATEGY

March 12, 2009. We have been looking at our acquisition strategy for the next six months particularly in regard to Leopards and Tigers and the following are our intentions. We have earmarked about one dozen Leopards which we would like to have and this should finish, more or less, our Leopard collection as we would have some 56 then. The only other Leopard which we want and cannot find is an ECW bodied Leopard so if you know of one please tell us where it is.

With regard to Tigers we currently have 37 and will continue to take them in, albeit at a slower rate, until we have about 60. We are in no hurry with Lynxes and Olympians but would expect to end up with about 50 of each in a few years. We would like to acquire the Bus Eireann fleet of Lynxes. We have storage for another four hundred buses and we expect to have acquired all of these in three to five years giving us a total fleet somewhere near the 800 mark say by 2012. By 2015 it should be about 1,000 which is probably as large as the collection will get.

With regard to the depot over half the maintenance shed has now arrived with the remainder due shortly. This is a 24 bus garage and should satisfy our needs for the immediate future. With the arrival of the last two offices we now have ample office space there though we may acquire another 2,000 square feet or so for parts storage.

Finally we have started on putting hard core on our new extension area of three acres. People reading this site do not realise the amount of work - and money - that goes into putting hard core on three acres. It will take some 30,000 tons minimum. We need a washing area and fuelling area as well. Just to give you an idea of other problems we face. We need a "swimming pool" of the order of 300 feet long by 50 feet wide to provide water storage and this does not come cheap no more than lifts and ramps.

When you think that everything started only four years or so ago on a green field site you will realise what has been involved to date and for the future. It kind of amuses us when we see someone on the discussion board complaining that our hard core is too muddy! I think our hardcore has actually been excellent and it was wise to do it right in the first place. Someone else had snide comments about putting plastic on the roof of the offices. Of course you put plastic on the roof as unless you put a plastic membrane under the final roof you end up with severe condensation and this destroys the interior. If anything like this cabin comes into us then the first thing we do is try and bring it up to as near new standard as is possible to give us longer life.

I suppose our policy of putting everything on the website does lead to criticism but we are very proud of what we have achieved and believe that a proper museum shares with is members everything, flaws and all. Bear in mind that most of our members are in the U.K. or the North and do take an interest in what goes on as is evidenced by the high readership of the site. Our only means of communicating with them is via the internet so we do try and keep readers up to date on everything we do. I don't know of any other museum that does this. The funny thing is that the only criticism seems to come from Irish armchair generals who do not have the courage to put their names to the criticism. The right to criticise is a fundamental of democracy but at the same time one should have the courage to put your name to your beliefs. At least I can never be accused of failing to put my name behind what I say!

LATE NEWS : CORK AIRPORT CLOCKS ON TIME AGAIN. FIRE DOORS NO LONGER BARRED. GARRY MC GANN RESIGNED.

March 10, 2009. We are happy to announce that the clocks at Cork Airport are finally running to time following our campaign. Equally, the fire doors are no longer barred. And of course, following our demand that he resign, Cork Airport Chairman Gary Mc Gann was left with little option but to resign as Chairman of Cork Airport. Who says we do not get results?

FOR THE FULL STORY ON GARY MC GANN AND THE LATEST SCANDAL AT CORK AIRPORT --> CLICK HERE

EVEN MORE LUNACY BY CORK AIRPORT MANAGEMENT

March 8, 2009. You're not going to believe this but it shows the depths of thought and initiative that exists amongs the management of Dublin Airport Authority at Cork Airport. On February 26, 2009 we ran the piece following about how clocks at Cork airport were eight minutes behind. Well, what happened since then is absolutely hilarious. Because they are terrified of making a decision without Dublin's approval the management at Cork applied to Dublin for permission to make the clocks on time. This was refused, believe it or not and the clocks are still wrong by eight minutes eleven days later!

Now any other manager would simply adjust the clocks to the right time, even if he had to do it himself. Not our bunch! I suppose to be fair that if their theories of management come from the dark ages, being behind in time comes naturally. As for our new Chairman of Cork Airport Gerry Walsh, he was also notifed but he is a superior executive and does not get involved in anything as mundane as having his airport clocks on time. About the only thing he takes an active part in is suing his employer for money as he goes out the door, a thing which he is pretty good at! God help us all, but where do we get them from? I might add that to date he has made no effort to get to know the staff of which he is Chairman. Typical!

Here was the original piece and the only other addition is that Michael O'Leary has confirmed, what I suspected, in that he says definitely he will collect from the passengers on the way out of the toilet! You know, you could not make these stories up and if you wrote them in a book people would think you were mad!

CORK AIRPORT SAVE TIME - BRILLIANT NEW IDEA OF MANAGEMENT

February 26, 2009. As their contribution to the current crisis the management at Cork Airport have decided to save eight minutes of torture for people by running all the car park clocks eight minutes behind.

This has unbelievable possibilities and I am not for one moment suggesting Ryanair asked for it. You plan to arrive at checkin two minutes before it closes to discover it actually closed three minutes earlier. Result : Instead of your ticket to London for 99 cent you now need to buy one for €220.

Or you plan a toilet stop at the free airport toilet to discover there is not time as you need 4.68 minutes. Now, under proposals from Ryanair today you will have to go on the aircraft thereby contributing an extra €3 to the revenue from the flight under their new proposal to charge for going to the toilet! There is of course a legal case that if they supply you with drink on the aircraft thereby necessitating the said event then they would have to let you go for free. Of course, knowing Ryanair, they more than likely would put in a measuring system to measure what they supplied you versus what you supplied them, and work out a reduced charge on that basis! The mind boggles!

But seriously, what sort of looney management would run its business with its clocks eight minutes behind. To be fair I am informed that they have to apply to Dublin - in writing - for permission to change the clocks. What really entertains me is trying to figure out the logic of a management which allows this to happen and does nothing. The country is going bonkers which is more than can be said for the management of the Dublin Airport Authority as they are bonkers already!

AND HERE IS A LOONEY ONE ABOUT SHANNON AIRPORT!

March 9, 2009. This next story takes some beating. On Thursday March 6,2009 I wanted to talk to the duty manager at Shannon airport, so I call the airport. I am informed that the duty manager is an extremely busy person and does not talk to peasants like me. I insist. NO they cannot contact him. I ask incredulously if they cannot contact him how then does anyone of the airport staff get him. I am informed that only in cases of emergency can he be found. I insist. The line goes dead.

I call again Friday morning. This time I am put through to operations who at least tell me who the poor unfortunate is - Marie Ryan - and they will see if they can put me through. The line goes dead. I call again and this time ask directly for Marie Ryan. I am informed I must tell them what I wish to discuss with such a superior being before they will even consider whether I should be allowed to talk to him or her or not. I tell them it is a relatively minor matter in that I had just had the Chairman of the Dublin Airport Authority, Gary Mc Gann's head on a plate and now I am hungry again and may be seeking to have Pat Shanahan, the Chairman of the Shannon Airport Authority Board fired.

What I did not say was that I wished to discuss the fact that it appears Pat and his merry board have spent €1.7 million of the taxpayers money on junkets and other frivolous items and would like an explanation as no accounts for Shannon have been published and he has buried such items. Naturally, before having him fired, I would like to hear their side of the story and form a fair judgement on his suitabilty for wasting taxpayers money. To describe the response as a stunned silence is an understatement not to mention telephone line trouble.

Finally, I got in again and they said they would pass my message to the Duty Manager who would consider whether it was proper for such a lofty personage as herself should deign to speak to me a humble peasant. She would call me back if she thought it suitable. I am still waiting for the call!

Now what Shannon told me was total and utter crap and if that is the way that Shannon is run maybe it is no wonder Pat Shanahan and his gang appear to be wasting the taxpayers money and nobody objects. Duty Managers are there to deal with the public and the above is no way to carry on. I certainly now feel honoured that our own duty managers in Cork and always talked to me and have been always extremely courteous and helpful when I never knew they were such superior beings. I am not sure they did either but the crowd in Shannon certainly does! I will keep you posted if I ever get a duty manager in Shannon, but don't hold your breath!

CORK AIRPORT DUTY FREE SALES ALLOWED DROP BY OWN MANAGEMENT!

March 7, 2009. This is serious in that Ryanair have instituted a €30 charge on anyone buying duty free at Cork airport and attemtping to take it on board the aircraft in the airport duty free bag. Pat Keohane and his Board have agreed to this with the inevitable result that it will destroy duty free sales at Cork airport. Even worse, there is no means of collecting the fee at the gate so the passengers are being thrown off the flights by Sevisair who could nto care less. This is how we treat our tourists at Cork airport all due to the inept mangement of Pat Keohane and his team who have done nothing about this. It's a bloody disgace and makes you wonder who is running the airport!

YANKEE GO HOME! WE DONT WANT YOU IN CORK!

March 7, 2009. Ryanair have instituted a charge at Cork airport from U.S. passport holders of €18 extra to travel from Cork airport. Not alone that but they make the passengers go back down to the ticket desk, pay it and then go through security all over again. I saw this happen to one elderly couple and it would make you cry as they were simply barely able to do it. It is scandalous treating U.S. citizens like this and again Pat Keohane and his team do nothing about it. What sort of society are we when we treat the elderly like this at Cork Airport? The problem of course, is that this happens only when boarding the flight and of course the passengers miss their flight - and connections - and then have to buy an instant ticket for the next flight at €242 oneway to London. It certainly suits Ryanair but is Pat Keohane doing about it. I will tell you, sweet damn all!

CORK AIRPORT HEADED FOR DISASTER ON MARCH 30.

March 7, 2009. On March 30, 2009 the new €10 extortion tax - courtesy Brian Lenehan - per passenger comes in to effect yet no arrangements have been put into place at Cork airport to collect it. This means that passengers - and tourists - will be bumped unless something is done. Another brilliant initiative by our brilliant management!

CORK AIRPORT HEADED FOR DISASTER ON MARCH 30.

March 7, 2009. On March 30, 2009 the new €10 extortion tax - courtesy Brian Lenehan - per passenger comes in to effect yet no arrangements have been put into place at Cork airport to collect it. This means that passengers - and tourists - will be bumped unless something is done. Another brilliant initiative by our brilliant management!

CITYBUS 2525 ARRIVES IN DEPOT

March 6th. 2008. Citybus 2525 arrived safely today and is a fine machine.

2525 is an Alexander Gardner engined Bristol RE.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: XOI 2525
Other Registrations Carried: 84 DL 2354
Chassis Make: Bristol Chassis Model: RELL6G Chassis No.: TR00410 Body Make : Alexander
Body Model: B
Body Number: 716/25
Engine: Gardner
Engine Number:
HP:180
Seating: B39F
Date service entry: 2/84

Originally Delivered to: Citybus 1982.
As Fleet No. 2525
Other Operators: Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railway Company
As Fleet No. 463

Before collection.

Inside before loading with spares.

Rear and side view.

Inside looking back like new.

At depot.

Inside.

Drivers Area.

Rear View.

Comparison with Leopard 338 Front.

Comparison with Leopard 338 Rear.

ARE WE IN POLAND?

March 4, 2009. By way of diversion we reached the conclusion this morning that the depot had moved to Poland and we would like to share some of the pictures we took with you. Absolutely amazing for March.

Depot Approach on Main Road

The drive in.



Our Leopard TowTruck

3 of Gods buses!

Local Scenes at the depot

Boy, was it snowing!

We had to have a mascot. Lukasz builds our snowman.

Some snowed in Tigers.

Left to right EVH 8, M 35 and United 137.

E 106

1200.

1000, 1131 and 1143

400

Putting the roof on our new office.

PROBLEMS KEEPING OUR ULSTERBUS FLEET ACTIVE – CAN YOU HELP?

March 1, 2009. As our Ulsterbus Fleet grows we are having serious problems in keeping them active, mainly due to the sheer number and the impossibility of running them all every week. Most vehicles, and particularly Tigers object strongly to being left idle and it shows in the simplest of things, like sticking accelerators, stuck relays, rundown batteries etc.

The numbers involved are quite staggering being six to eight Leopards, nineteen Tiger “N” types, nine Bristol RE, one Bedford and one Ford. We also want to see them going to rallies and it is impossible for me, Stephen and our own small band to achieve this on any sort of regular basis. In particular we shy away from rallies in the North as we simply do not have the time to exhibit there.

Accordingly we have come up with a scheme where one or two people will “adopt” a vehicle and will look after it themselves. They will hopefully come to the museum at least every two months and take it for a run. They will also take it to rallies depending on whether they are qualified drivers and eligible to go on our insurance. Nobody else will touch their vehicle – other than me and Stephen of course who will provide the backup to keep it roadworthy.

Our entire Ulsterbus fleet is operational – except 2187 which is having an engine change - so every vehicle is eligible. We particularly encourage our friends in the North with RE, Leopard or Tiger experience to come and adopt a vehicle. We are prepared to consider allowing a vehicle to remain north for a month or two during the rally period so we can have a representative at all rallies in that area so anyone interested in this aspect please let us know, but if this is the case then safe storage up north will be required.

Down here we want this year to take Ulsterbus vehicles to the following rallies: Mogeely, Charleville, Stradbally, Innishannon, Roberts Cove, Castletownroche. If we have enough interest we will be happy to have vehicles at any other rallies. Because Ulsterbus have been good enough to enable us to acquire vehicles for preservation, we in return, feel we should exhibit them at as many rallies as possible.

We know nothing of Northern Rallies, other than Cultra, of course at which we show off our latest acquired vehicle. Can someone fill us in?

Please let us have your comments on the above idea and let us know if you would be willing to participate.

ROSS AITKEN TRIES TO BURN DOWN MUSEUM

February 24, 2009. Ross Aitken was over last week and he was caught in the act of trying to burn down the museum by setting fire to BG 45. The following photos show the results. He said he was only starting the Gardner but nobody believes that! Anyhow we have plenty fire engines in the museum!

Is she on fire? Call the fire brigade! Is it fire Ross or Ross fire?

It must have been a lot of fun in the morning where you had a depot full of Gardners all starting at the same time. For the benefit of our foreign friends not familiar with the peculiarities of a Gardner engine, when the engine shuts down at night the designers thought it would be a good idea - and it was - to allow oil to drop into the cylinders so that when it started the following morning, it had extra lubrication. However, this always resulted in so much smoke that you would think the engine had blown but it always cleared in three to four minutes after nearly gassing everyone around - including the driver as well! Just look at the inside.

CLICK HERE

NEW FIRE DOOR SYSTEM AT CORK AIRPORT - UNBELIEVABLE!

February 28, 2009. We are happy to show you the latest in fire door systems with automatic access as put into service recently at Cork Airport.

This system, was devised solely by the Cork Airport Manager Pat Keohane and his staff and in all my years I have never seen anything like it. The concept is absolutely brilliant. You protect your doors as shown especially in stair well so that in the case of fire people will be directed to the next door and the next. The rush of air they generate trying to get the hell out will then quench the fire and everyone will be safe! So far they have installed the system on up to twelve doors.

Absolutely brilliant!

CORK AIRPORT CONCRETE - IS IT SAFE?

February 27, 2009. When Cork Airport was being built I reported to all the directors in writing that the concrete was being fiddled and nobody did anything. Maybe the chickens are now coming home to roost! I attach some photos.

Perfect concrete.

This just might be not so perfect concrete.

CORK AIRPORT SAVE TIME - BRILLIANT NEW IDEA OF MANAGEMENT

February 26, 2009. As their contribution to the current crisis the management at Cork Airport have decided to save eight minutes of torture for people by running all the car park clocks eight minutes behind.

This has unbelievable possibilities and I am not for one moment suggesting Ryanair asked for it. You plan to arrive at checkin two minutes before it closes to discover it actually closed three minutes earlier. Result : Instead of your ticket to London for 99 cent you now need to buy one for €220.

Or you plan a toilet stop at the free airport toilet to discover there is not time as you need 4.68 minutes. Now, under proposals from Ryanair today you will have to go on the aircraft thereby contributing an extra €3 to the revenue from the flight under their new proposal to charge for going to the toilet! There is of course a legal case that if they supply you with drink on the aircraft thereby necessitating the said event then they would have to let you go for free. Of course, knowing Ryanair, they more than likely would put in a measuring system to measure what they supplied you versus what you supplied them, and work out a reduced charge on that basis! The mind boggles!

But seriously, what sort of looney management would run its business with its clocks eight minutes behind. To be fair I am informed that they have to apply to Dublin - in writing - for permission to change the clocks. What really entertains me is trying to figure out the logic of a management which allows this to happen adn does nothing. The country is going bonkers which is more than can be said for the management of the Dublin Airport Authority as they are bonkers already!

--> SPRING IS COMING

February 24, 2009. The depot has suddenly started to become springlike. Following photo was taken in the latest round of Spring sunshine and is in fact, the first of her in the sun!

1200 immaculately clean, awaiting its next turn of duty at the depot probably a run to Cork Airport. A dozen or so sister Tigers stand close by.

CITYBUS BRISTOL RE 2525 COLLECTED

February 22, 2009. This is another beautiful machine and was collected by Stephen Payne. It was originally delivered to Citybus in Belfast where it spent its working life until sold to Swilly. Our thanks to Mark Phipps who made this possible and for looking after her so well that she is arguably the best RE we have. We now have three in Citybus livery, 2525, 2531 and 2538, two in Ulsterbus 2187 and 2187 and four in Bus Eireann livery, 2156, 2180, 2192 and 2569 in a bastard livery of yellow. We still have two more vehicles to come which will complete our program of eleven.

The roar of an Ulsterbus Gardner engined Bristol RE will be heard for the next one hundred years and more now in Ireland as this sound is unique and history. Many people up north grew up alongside these beautiful machines and it would have been a terrible tragedy if some were not to be saved. These are true Irish buses.

2525 is an Alexander bodied Gardner engined Bristol RELL6G.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: XOI 2525
Other Registrations : 84 DL 2354
Chassis Make: Bristol
Chassis Model: RE
Chassis No.: TR00410
Body Make : Alexander Belfast
Body Model:
Body Number:
Engine: Gardner
HP:
Seating: B48F
Date service entry:

In immaculate condition.

Rear and side view.

Inside looking back like new.

Drivers Area.

52 BUSES TAKEN FOR A RUN.

February 21, 2009. Stephen Payne aided by Ross Aitken and two friends during the last week woke up some 52 buses and took them for a run. This is part of our program to keep vehicles in running order. Photos from the week will follow.

ULSTERBUS 1200 ARRIVES

February 13, 2009. This is another beautiful machine and was delivered by our UK V.P. Ross Aitken. It was originally delivered to Derry and subsequently went to Citybus in 12/08.

1200 is an Alexander N type TL 11 engined Leyland Tiger.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: NXI 1200
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger TRBTL11/2RP
Chassis No.: TR00410
Body Make : Alexander Belfast
Body Model: N
Body Number:
Engine: Leyland Tl 11
HP:
Seating: B48F
Date service entry: November 1988

In immaculate condition.

Rear and side view.

The other side.

Inside looking back like new.

Looking front.

Closer to front.

Drivers Area.

COUNTY BUS AND COACH AND CLEVELAND 118 OUT FOR A RUN.

February 1, 2009. We took County Bus and Coach 252 and Daimler Fleetline Cleveland 118 for a run. 252 is perfect condition and is now undergoing an internal cleanup to be followed by a repaint to County colours as originally delivered. If anyone has a photo of her in service we would very much appreciate them.

As for Cleveland 118 she still looks unbelievably terrible but we have worked on her mechanically and she is driving fine apart from a handbrake problem which we are curing. Next stage is a major cleanup and repaint. Again anyone got photos of her in service?

Front view leaving upper yard.

Rear and side view.

An immaculate inside after cleaning.

Daimler Fleetline Cleveland 118 with the three make her movers! Left to right: Stephen, Christy and Colum

Rear View as she passed a row of Ulsterbus Tigers.

Upstairs

Downstairs

Stephen in a very cobwebby cab after almost ten years sitting. Spiders are very cross at being disturbed!

MIDLAND RED SOUTH TIGER 77 ARRIVES

31 January 2009. Thanks to the generosity of Malahide Coaches - once again - we were the proud receivers of Leyland Tiger 86 D 8229. Barney Yourell delivered her as usual and she runs like a clock. We plan to reseat her using her seats for Bus Eireann buses.

MIDLAND RED SOUTH 77 is a Plaxton Paramount 3500 TL 11 engined Leyland Tiger.

The following are her details:

Registration Number: 86 D 8229
Original Registration Number: C77 XWK
Chassis Make: Leyland
Chassis Model: Tiger Chassis No.: 8500871
Body Make : Plaxton
Body Model: Paramount 3500
Body Number: 8612LTP2C005
Engine: Leyland TL 11
Engine Number:
HP:260
Seating: B49DF
Date service entry: June 1986.

Originally Delivered to: Midland Red South
As Fleet No. 77
Other Operators: Fitzcharles, Grangemouth.
Malahide Coaches from 4/99.

On arrival at the depot

Barney Yourell delivered her as usual.

Front View.

Rear View.

Passenger Side View.

Plenty of spare seats.

Drivers Area.

TWO NEW OFFICES ARRIVE AT DEPOT

January 26, 2009. This week we managed to transport to the depot two new offices, one 40 by 12 feet and the other 30 by 12 feet. It was a major move as they had to travel some seven miles and were totally overwidth requiring the closing of the roads they travelled on. This is a major step forward at the administration end and it was quite a job to get them to the depot but we managed thanks to Alan Loftus Haulage.

The larger of the two will be used for administration and the smaller is being converted into a cold, secure, store for valuable parts. It now gives us 1900 square feet of secure closed office space which should do us for a few years.

The first office in its location in the centre of Cork City prior to moving.

Michael on the roof attaching the slings.

A small problem! It was too wide for the gate so we had to lift it over the wall.

Just cleared it.

Twelve feet wide is a tight fit in a twelve foot three inch lane.

The second office arriving.

FANTASTIC - STEPHEN LYNCH INVENTS ONE MAN BUS

January 25, 2009. The first results of our new research department under Stephen Lynch have emerged in the form of a totally new design of a one man bus which gives a whole new meaning to the title.

Here Stephen is taking his new creation for a run around the marina in Cork. Unfortunately the design of his one man bus seems, unusually, to mean the driver is the one man so we are expecting some further developments to include passengers shortly! Features include a standing driving position giving unrivalled visibility for the driver and a rotatable weather shield to protect the driver from driving rain! This shield is almost twelve feet tall so as to ensure the bus is seen by all other road users but has given a problem in that when it is directly in front of the driver he has difficulty seeing where he is going! A transparent shield is under development. The target market is for use on Bus Eireanns under utilised routes to assist them in their frantic effort to cut costs. A further cost cutting advantage is that it runs on thin air!

WINTER ARRIVES

January 19, 2009. A snowy lineup of Tigers at the depot! The weather for the last few weeks has made it impossible to do any work.

January 10, 2009. J438 MUT is a Mercedes recovery vehicle and is the first arrival of 2009. It was refurbished by our own crew and looks pretty super. We intend using it for light bus recovery.

On arrival at the depot

Rear View

Updated October 18, 2009.