Dublin Bus launched their brand new Volvo B9 with Alexander Dennis Enviro 500 bodywork on Sunday 18th December 2005.
These new "VT " class begun arriving at Donnybrook Garage on the 6th December 2005 from the Alexander Dennis plant at Falkrik in Scotland.
Various route familiarisation ( 1 hour per driver ) & ticket machine installation had commenced soon after the arrival of the first buses ( VT 3 & 4 ). A traffic island at the Leeson Street/ Stephens Green intersection had to be hastily removed but there was little other delays.
The VT class are the first tri axle buses for Dublin Bus & while Bernard Kavanagh have been operating coach versions, these Enviro's are the first in its class for city services in Ireland.
The very first bus, VT 1 ( 05 D 70001 ) is seen above at Dun Laoghaire Station, also terminus for the 46A on the first day of operation. VT 1 arrived special from Donnybrook Garage to operate the 10.10 am 46A departure from Dun Laoghaire to Mountjoy Square as the 4th 46A board. This was the first ever VT operated service for Dublin Bus & aptly VT 1.
The Enviro 500 seats 91 & further standing capacity of 27, all down to the additional axle & even with the extra intrusion into the lower saloon, clever seating positioning means capacity is maximised towards the rear of the vehicle.
As well as VT 1 operating on the first day, VT 7 was also launched into service, taking up service from Mountjoy Square as the 2nd extra 46A, departing from there at 12.10.
VT 7 is seen above at Dun Laoghaire Station having worked its first ever 46A service arriving at 13.22, again with no traffic problems.
VT 1 arrives at Mountjoy Square on its inaugural journey at 11.21, without any impediments & being full from Foxrock Church inbound.
The historic first trip was undertaken by driver Keith Byrne of Donnybrook Garage, who was also skillful at handling the paparazzi. VT 1 did not enter Summerhill Garage where 46A's layover, instead parking on Mountjoy Square East while a minor adjustment was made to the wayfarer ticket machine by the mobile squad, before heading back out as the 11.26...a few minutes behind schedule.
Rear view of VT 7 at Dun Laoighaire.
It has a similar look to the current Dublin Bus AV class, apart from the very high mounted rear digital display. Access to the box is located about the rear upper seats.
Its expected that more VT's will enter service over the coming days, building up to the full compliment of 20 buses being delivered. VT 1- 20.
TECHNICAL DETAILS :
Alexander Dennis Enviro 500 body
Volvo D9A300 turbocharged, 300 horsepower, Euro 3 engine