CULTRA RALLY A RESOUNDING SUCCESS

April 16, 2011. The 2011 rally was held in great weather and as usual dominated by preserved and current Ulsterbus vehicles. It is so wonderful to see the management out there helping showing what a pride they have in their fleet.

The following photos were taken.

The Museum had four vehicles exhibited. N Tiger 1320 and Q Tiger 1400 which had been collected from Ulsterbus that morning. 1320 was exhibited by museum member Mark Byrne and was a credit to the way she was prepared. In addition Stephen Payne brought Mercedes 96 W 1642 and Aaron Donohue's Volvo Plaxton 92 OY 1883. These were also absolutely immaculate.

If you would like high-res copies of any of the photos or a free calendar featuring your vehicle please e-mail us at busmuseum@hotmail.com

THE CULTRA TRANSPORT MUSEUM

April 16, 2011. During the rally we paid a visit to the transport museum, which is arguably, amongst the finest transport museums in the world and we took the following photos.

FIRST OF THE SUMMER WINE - TIGERS ON THE PROWL.

April 14, 2011. We have started our Tiger annual overhaul program to see what any of them may need to remain 100% operational and to see what damage the winter may have wrought.

The first and most obvious is that the batteries took a terrible beating but we do not know how many will charge and how many are scrap.

The following is the days results:

1312. Running fine and out for a run.
1271. Running fine but leaking air to a small degree.
1003. Running just fine.
460. Running just fine.
468. Starting and running perfectly but having trouble building air so needs attention.
Gardner Tiger 2624. Started first turn - unlike Volvos - but we cannot build any air so we have to do some research. Anybody who has had similar problems with a Gardner Tiger which will not build air please let us know what they found.

In all we were pleasantly surprised and felt we had a good days work. Definitely the easiest is the Gardner which always starts on the first of second turn. After that the TL11 starts easy enough. The Volvos - which are the newest - are the nightmares and practically all need external power, which we now have at the depot.

DON'T FORGET CULTRA THIS SATURDAY

April 12, 2011. Don't forget to come to Cultra this Saturday. We will have Tiger 1400 there and everyone is invited to meet the Museum team at this vehicle and we look forward to meeting our friends. Don't miss the best rally in Ireland.

BABY LEOPARD 1961 ARRIVES

April 5, 2011. We are happy to announce the arrival of Baby Leopard 1961. Full details and photos will follow. She is in superb condition and is just out of service after some 35 years which is a tribute to Ulsterbus engineering. We do not know of any other original operator still running 35 year old Leopards.

On the other hand we expect her to be running in one hundred years so she is really only a third of the way through her life so is a mere youngster!

DENIS TWOMEY VISITS MUSEUM

April 2, 2011. We were delighted to be visited by Denis Twomey who had the unique distinction of working for 48 years with Bus Eireann and for whom there is very little he does not know about buses, particularly Leopards.

He took 1981 for a drive and here are the two together. We hope he comes back many times.

DON'T FORGET CULTRA RALLY

April 3, 2011. Don't forget Cultra Rally on April 16th. This is the biggest - and best - bus rally in Ireland and should not be missed by anyone with an interest in buses. This year we hope to exhibit our latest Tiger 1400. See you there and we would like to meet all our northern friends at 1400. Anyone who would like a free calander of themselves and 1400 will be welcome. We are also looking foreward to meeting Pat Moss driving the Ulsterbus AEC.

NEW ARRIVALS SHORTLY

April 3, 2011. We are expecting a number of new arrivals shortly. The first on Tuesday is another Leyland Leopard engineering bus which brings our fleet to eight of the type. we must have the largest collection of baby leopards in the world!

Next we are expecting an Ulsterbus Bristol RE down to Knockraha. This vehicle has been stored in Dublin. It will be followed by two or three N Tigers and a 2 "Q". We hope to start building our Q type fleet now that the N is effectively finished. Certainly our N fleet is unique in the annals of preservation and we do not know of any museum with such a large fleet of one model. We are delighted.

89WW4334 REPAINTED

March 12, 2011. Stephen has made a great start to the New Year with the repainting of 89 WW 4334, one of our Setras. In any museum it is always a problem as to what vehicles you keep immaculately and what you don't. You can either keep, say 25%, immaculate or 60% half clean. We are trying to keep the 25% of our normal vehicles plus the Ulsterbus fleet immaculate. Interestingly the winter has added a lot of dirt to the exterior of the Ulsterbus fleet and probably everyone needs a heavy wash. This may in part be due to the local trees around the musueum.

The first vehicle to receive a complete repaint is Setra 89 WW 4334 and she really looks good and is a credit to Stephen's painting.

Like new.

Likewise the back.

The interior.

Drivers Area.

Before repainting.

STEAM AT FIFTEEN BELOW

February 28, 2011.

On February 24, we had a fabulous day with SZD on Ceske Drahy. Go to Czech Railways for pictures. Here are three samples.

CULTRA RALLY ON APRIL 16

February 26, 2011. Don't forget to put in your calendar the big Irish event of the year, the Cultra Bus Rally. This year it should be bigger than ever and as always the museum will be attending with some "new" - to it - machines. Perhaps an "N" and "Q" type together which would be nice. See you there! PLEASE NOTE I POSTED APRIL 6 IN ERROR HERE. IT IS APRIL 16.

2011 YEAR OF TIGER AND LEOPARD.

February 5, 2011. One of the big problems of any museum is that equipment freezes up from lack of use. To counter this, in 2011, we plan to get every Leopard and Tiger out for a good run starting with the Ulsterbus fleet.

The reason I mention this now is that so me of our northern readers might like the opportunity to come and visit us on the day their particular bus is out for a run and - assuming they can drive in the first place - drive it. If you would like to do this then send us an e-mail to busmuseum@hotmail.com, telling us what bus you are interested in and we will then fix a day which suits you for her run. Please include your phone number so we can call you.

THE LEOPARD ENGINEERING FLEET.

February 4, 2011. Having a sub fleet of seven "baby" Leopards we have decided to keep 1981 in full operational condition as an engineering vehicle and to fit her out fully to provide on the road assistance. This work is now in progress and she will be equipped with tools, spare tyres, air compressor, extra batteries, tow bars, slings, everything. Once she is finished we will select another vehicle as backup and also equip her.

1981 OUT OF HIBERNATION

January 22, 2011. Very much later than other years, due to the appalling weather we have had we have not actually started a bus since the cold spell hit us in November for fear of damaging the engines. Since then we have had temperatures up to -15 degrees which by Irish standards is unbelievable.

However, today we had beautiful day and as 1981 is antifroze - we think - we went to her and she started on the button. We were delighted to have John Bedford and David Hunter visit us from the U.K. so we all went for a ride to Knockraha to charge up 1981's batteries. The following photos were taken and she really looks fine. It was wonderful to hear the sound of a 680 engine again.

Coming out of the depot.

At Knockraha terminus.

John Bedford and David Hunter with 1981 at Knockraha.

Webmaster driver with 1981 at Knockraha.

Passing the old school in Knockraha.

At the town entrance.

Passing the Old Mill.

At the road junction outside Knockraha.

On the road back to the depot.

The dash. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW WE CAN DO UP THE ALUMINIUM PANEL. e-mail reply to busmuseum@hotmail.com

WE DO NOT NORMALLY COMMENT ON NUTCASES BUT....

January 3, 2010.

We do not normally comment on what nutcases put on the board but since it has appeared on other boards and due to some of the phone calls we have received, it appears that some people believe the musuem has a problem, I would like to take the opportunity to set the record straight.

It is sad to see a perverted mind seems hell bent on causing as much problems as possible to the reputation of the museum. We have a free discussion board and I would be the first to defend the right to freedom of opinion and I also feel that the discussion board fulfils a useful function and certainly has provided us with valuable information over the years.

However, when it reaches the stage that comments are being posted which are grossly untrue and damage the reputation of the museum then, unfortunately, I think action has to be taken. It looks as if we will have to put a password system on tbe board. It is sad that already we had to remove the Guestbook and Guestmap and I simply do not understand why anyone would want to destroy the museum. We do out own thing, interfere with nobody and have built ourselves up to be the largest bus museum in the world - and that by a long shot. And we are very proud of it.

For the record there is not even the remotest chance of the museum even thinking of closing.

The museum is a trust which in the unfortunate event of my demise means it will survive as an entity. And I just hope it does better than I have done and I am sure it will.

To clear up another matter what is more hurtful is the idea we were selling anything. The museum has a policy of not selling anything, end of matter.

As for Stephen Payne, I simply cannot imagine where the nonsense about him comes from but someone must not like him. Again for the record Stephen Payne is Chief Engineer of the museum, does a super job and we are not suing him nor he suing us over anything. It is total and utter fiction that Stephen and the museum have any dispute whatsoever and the nasties should see what superb work he has and is doing and I hope will do for many years to come.

Anyhow, we intend being even better this year, we wish everyone a Happy New Year and invite anyone down anytime to see us and if you can drive, to drive one of our buses.

A HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR

December 19, 2010. We would like to take the opportunity of wishing everyone a Very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous 2011. 2010 has been kind to the museum and we hope 2011 will be just as good. Our position as the premier Tiger preservation museum has been enhanced and I think we have the largest collection of preserved Tigers in the world. Our thanks to Ulsterbus for this. Without their magnificent cooperation, it would not have been possible. Enjoy your Christmas.

The museum is closed until January 4, 2011. Normal opening hours will then resume which are: Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Weekends, Sundays and holidays, normally closed but we would open by prior arrangement, generally on saturday mornings.

2011 CALENDARS

November 27, 2010. Our 2011 calendars are now ready and if you want a free copy just send an e-mail to busmuseum@hotmail.com and we will gladly send you one. It is a single A3 sheet with the twelve months on it plus photos. They are available in English, Czech and Polish so please state what language you want.

2011 PLANS

November 26, 2010. Believe it or not but 2011 is arriving and we have looked at our plans. The economic slowdown has hit us hard like everyone else and nobody knows what 2011 will bring.

Our main aim is to have our 24 bus maintenance shed erected which is badly needed. We plan to extend the museum area by some two acres to allow for new arrivals. We are hopeful of catching up on the backlog of Bus Eireann buses.

As for Ulsterbus plans, the N Tiger is almost extinct although we just might get one more. We hope, subject to Ulsterbus approval, to start on the Q type next. To date we have 2648, 2650 and 2673. One more 26xx is likely to see the end of the 26xx fleet. The following is our current N type fleet. We would like to have 1400 to keep our tradition of the xx00 of each hundred. We are planning a special area in the New Yard for Ulsterbus Leopards, Tigers and Bedfords. We want to have all our Ulsterbus fleet maintained on the button, year round.

340
385
400
434
460
468
598
1000
1003
1122
1131
1143
1200
1267
1271
1274
1282
1288
1299
1300
1309
1310
1311
1312
1313
1320
1332
1400
2609
2610
2620
2624
2629
2648
2650
2673

We have to finish the drive. We are currently finishing our 30 constant recording camera CCTV installation which should give us some degree of security. We plan on washing every mobile vehicle we have. We also plan on eliminating - or to be more accurate, turning into a heap of spare parts - any vehicles that are obviously beyond restoration. We have a planned vehicle input of about 100 vehicles for 2011.

97 WH 3861 ARRIVES

November 1, 2010. We are happy to announce the arrival of our third Setra 97 WH 3861. One small problem, the engine sent a piston through the side. Stephen took the engine out of our wrecked Dubrava, rebuilt it and put it in and we are in the final stages of getting it ready for service. This a machine in fabulous condition as can be seen from the photos.

It is great that now we can do complete engine changes as well as complete engine rebuilds - all thanks to Stephen.

Looks super.

Immaculate Inside.

Drivers Area.

c