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More than two weeks in Ireland

 
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 557
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: More than two weeks in Ireland Reply with quote

My wife selected a coach tour of Ireland, west to east, from Grand Circle Travel, "Ireland in Depth." Sean, the Program Director and Tom, the driver, made it a much richer escorted tour than I ever expected. I hope to present Bus Talk with a thread, first of the over-the-road tour, and secondly of my travels on Dublin Bus, necessitated when my wife landed in the hospital for six days. Thank God, we are home now, safe and sound.
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Joe McMahon

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We first used this coach, a Dutch VDL BOVA. Here we are crossing the Shannon River from Co. Clare to Co. Kerry.
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Irish registration plates begin with the year of registration, followed by the county. The final digits are sequential in order of registration.
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When the 07 coach failed in Cork, it was winched onto a flatbed and brought back to the garage on Tralee Road, Killarney. The replacement bus, "a delight to drive," is shown below in Cahir.





Last edited by N4 Jamaica on Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 557
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Waiting at Shannon Airport is a Route 343 bus to Limerick, 28 km east. The fleet number is SR 35. The letters may be the garage assignment.
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This ticket machine stands in the arrivals hall at Shannon Airport. However, I would first look around for posted timetables inside or at the bus stops, as some services appeared to me as infrequent.


This view of a local bus in Galway shows the cashier-style protection given the driver. He's in a glass booth. State your destination, as if boarding NJ Transit. Pay the driver, and his fare register prints a ticket for the trip. Galway's Route 405 operates on a 40-minute headway, and there is one fare zone. I am quite certain that VWL 163 is the fleet number.


Bus Eireann serves Cork with routes radiating from a central bus station. This double-decker VWD 5 travels into the evening sun on Western Road on Route 208, the sign caught between flashing Irish and English destination names. Note that WiFi is aboard.
Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 557
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


In Dublin, a route 140 bus, signed for IKEA via City Centre, is about to cross the Liffey River and head north on O'Connell Street. The registration plate states it was registered in 2006.
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In this view at College Green, note the sign for Route 747 Airport service, using green buses with a spacious luggage rack. Sorry that I do not have a photo of the bus stop at Dublin Airport Terminal 1, where 747 and other routes start. The 747 boasts a six euro fare to the city centre, but right there at the Terminal 1 bus stop are machines that sell 1-day and 3-day Rambler tickets, quite a bargain as they are valid on the airport service.
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Television monitors in upper and lower salons display the luggage rack, presumably so you can watch anyone who grabs the wrong bag.
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Below is a photo of an airport bus being used on local route.

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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 557
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here I am, trying to show off a few photos of buses in Ireland. I just discovered that a search for dublin bus photos on Flickr brings thousands of great shots! I recommend this set by a skilled photographer.
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A word on fare collection. In Dublin, boarding passengers wait for alighting travelers to leave before entering the wide front door. About half the people pay cash fares, stating their destination, and dropping their coins into a fare box. The driver prints a ticket. If the rider has overpaid, he gets a receipt redeemable only at the Dublin Bus office on O'Connell Street, an office that resembles the NYCTA office on Stone Street. The driver sits behind a cashier's window, the kind of protection NY bus drivers have not yet received.
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I used a three-day pass, so I did not have to declare my destination. Pass holders simply join a quicker queue to the right and have the chip on the pass scanned. A repeated bell and a red light indicates an invalid pass. Valid passes are acknowledged with a longer single tone and a yellow or green light.
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I saw only double-deckers, rather new Volvos, with low-floor, curb-level loading, and a flip ramp for wheelchairs. Many buses have bins for parcels behind the driver. On newer vehicles, CCTV watches the bin, and the image is displayed on each deck or "saloon." Seats have upholstery! The days I traveled had temperatures in the 70's, and the bus became sweltering. They are 14'4" high. The lower deck rises over the rear axle. Drivers willingly helped me and others with directions, for example, on where to catch another route.
Joe McMahon
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