Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Private profiles - please note that profiles marked as private will soon be public. This will facilitate moderation so mods can view users' warning histories. All of your posts across the site will appear on your profile page (including PI, RI). Groups posts will remain private except to users who have access to the same Groups as you. Thread here
Some important site news, please read here. Thanks!

BE Services to Go-Ahead and Resulting Fleet Changes

  • 29-12-2018 10:35pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 134 ✭✭ belfast stephen


    I have heard the reason for GAI taking the routes over from BE is because the NAT didn't order the coaches in time


«134567

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    I have heard the reason for GAI taking the routes over from BE is because the NAT didn't order the coaches in time

    Funny that because I heard very different.

    But there's f*ck all point in me saying that because the last time I tried to provide information on the forum (10% to 5%) I was very quickly put back by the pro-privitisation contingent on this forum.


    Also FYI that's not the reason . Since GAI are getting the unreliable LDs from bus eireann and also a batch of SCs

    There are 50odd Volvo coaches on order with 40odd going to Bus Eireann and only about 10-12 going elsewhere.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    But there's f*ck all point in me saying that because the last time I tried to provide information on the forum (10% to 5%) I was very quickly put back by the pro-privitisation contingent on this forum.

    Well the problem is that unfortunately there's been so much stuff posted on here that's been proven to be wildly inaccurate over the past 12-18 months or so that unfortunately it's only natural that people are going to be skeptical and ask people to back up what they are posting before they believe it.

    I didn't think it was beyond the realms of possibility that it was true, because it was clear that BE were going to fight back against it, even though honestly they don't have much of a point based on how badly they run those services, but obviously until anything is officially confirmed, not everyone is going to take everything at face value.
    Also FYI that's not the reason . Since GAI are getting the unreliable LDs from bus eireann and also a batch of SCs

    Which years are these going to be, if indeed it is correct?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    devnull wrote: »
    Well the problem is that unfortunately there's been so much stuff posted on here that's been proven to be wildly inaccurate over the past 12-18 months or so that unfortunately it's only natural that people are going to be skeptical and ask people to back up what they are posting before they believe it.



    Which years are these going to be, if indeed it is correct?

    And all these inaccurate facts have been posted by me ?

    No they haven't. I don't post if I'm not sure/untrue or just rumour


    They are already in production and should be here around mid 2018 as in June/July.

    Approx 5 months before GAI take anything from BÉ


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,683 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    Are the vdl coaches really that bad.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    Are the vdl coaches really that bad.

    All I've heard about the LC/LD and even the newer versions are very poorly made, corrosion o the early models, not good at all.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 24,683 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    devnull wrote: »
    All I've heard about the LC/LD and even the newer versions are very poorly made, corrosion o the early models, not good at all.

    Yes seen on many 2008 with plenty of rust.

    The 2017 on look really well but SK&l did say they were sh1te.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    Are the vdl coaches really that bad.

    Well for both LCs and LDs and now including LFs (yes , 2018 vehicles and they're breaking down)

    I'm delighted / over the f*cking moon they are going to Go-ahead , I've banged on about them here before

    The biggest **** box I've ever had the misfortune of driving. The most unreliable bucket of sh"*t that has left me at the side of the road more times than I care to remember.

    I've never broken down so much in my life until I drove those things.

    The day they go out the gate and don't come back I'll be celebrating !


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,364 ✭✭✭ .G.


    Funny that because I heard very different.

    But there's f*ck all point in me saying that because the last time I tried to provide information on the forum (10% to 5%) I was very quickly put back by the pro-privitisation contingent on this forum.


    Also FYI that's not the reason . Since GAI are getting the unreliable LDs from bus eireann and also a batch of SCs

    There are 50odd Volvo coaches on order with 40odd going to Bus Eireann and only about 10-12 going elsewhere.

    This is where you're going wrong. Its not privatisation when the NTA owns the buses and owns the routes and takes the revenue and the only thing most of us here are "pro" is running a service that benefits the end user of said service.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    devnull wrote: »
    Which years are these going to be, if indeed it is correct?

    Please excuse, I answered this completely wrong

    They are getting LDs from BÉ which are 2015-2016 registered (the most unreliable)

    They are getting SCs that are 2012 registered.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,683 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    Woops KS&l I mixed your user name around....

    I sincerely apologize I do hope you forgive me......


    It's great to get feedback off someone on the ground like myself but I find it falls on deaf ears as we are usually the last to know and if anything could be changed or needs sorting we would be the last anyone would ever go to ask.

    I can't understand in this day and age they can't look into vehicle design and reliability before purchasing.

    Simple look at other countries mainly UK and follow suit with likes of vanhool or setra etc etc....


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    It's great to get feedback off someone on the ground like myself but I find it falls on deaf ears as we are usually the last to know and if anything could be changed or needs sorting we would be the last anyone would ever go to ask.

    I can't understand in this day and age they can't look into vehicle design and reliability before purchasing.

    Simple look at other countries mainly UK and follow suit with likes of vanhool or setra etc etc....

    Afaik VDL won a competitive tender process meaning they were the ones the NTA had to buy for BE under EU law. If BE or the NTA could actually choose which buses they were to buy they would likely go for a different company. Because it's a government contract and these things are tightly controlled they have to go for the most competitive tender.

    Unfortunately it appears that VDLs business model is set around winning government tenders rather than building quality buses. Unlike private operators who choose whichever bus off the shelf they fancy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,683 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    Stephen15 wrote: »
    Afaik VDL won a competitive tender process meaning they were the ones the NTA had to buy for BE under EU law. If BE or the NTA could actually choose which buses they were to buy they would likely go for a different company. Because it's a government contract and these things are tightly controlled they have to go for the most competitive tender.

    Unfortunately it appears that VDLs business model is set around winning government tenders rather than building quality buses. Unlike private operators who choose whichever bus off the shelf they fancy.

    I fully understand what you are saying but that is pure and absolutely the most ridiculous model to go by.

    The dB and gai fleet of sg are pure sh1te.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    Woops KS&l I mixed your user name around....

    I sincerely apologize I do hope you forgive me......


    It's great to get feedback off someone on the ground like myself but I find it falls on deaf ears as we are usually the last to know and if anything could be changed or needs sorting we would be the last anyone would ever go to ask.

    I can't understand in this day and age they can't look into vehicle design and reliability before purchasing.

    Simple look at other countries mainly UK and follow suit with likes of vanhool or setra etc etc....

    They are a terrible brand and vehicle

    But as someone else mentioned here, it was a tender they won and VDL seem to be good at that

    But because they have been a terrible vehicle, the NTA have had enough of them and moved away from them, which is why there are Volvo's in production for us, so hopefully that will improve reliability !

    See attached as proof !


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    They are a terrible brand and vehicle But as someone else mentioned here, it was a tender they won and VDL seem to be good at that

    But because they have been a terrible vehicle, the NTA have had enough of them and moved away from them, which is why there are Volvo's in production for us, so hopefully that will improve reliability !

    See attached as proof !

    Calling that vehicle a coach is rather generous I'd say. The Volvo B8RLE is a bus chassis and the low line of the vehicle looks like a bus as well. It's more of a bus with a body to make it look like a coach more than anything else and it certainly won't have the same ride quality as a proper high line coach like the SC models that Bus Eireann also use on commuter routes.

    No doubt the B8RLE chassis is better than that is being used on the VDL products but at the end of the day it's a bus in the clothing of a coach, which would be considerably cheaper to produce than a high line coach on a coach chassis which probably is how it won the tender. It's also a new product to the UK and Ireland market so it's unproven. They will have had to make some compromises to get a coach body on a coach chassis so it'll be interesting to see how they crossed that bridge.

    VDL still do build the Jonckheere JHV2/SHV2 body on the Volvo B11R/B13R Chassis which is still a quality vehicle and used extensively on touring week in the UK and Ireland, but the ex Berkhof line, which is what the LC/LD/LE/LF class is, is nowhere near the same standard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    devnull wrote: »
    Calling that vehicle a coach is rather generous I'd say. The Volvo B8RLE is a bus chassis and the low line of the vehicle looks like a bus as well. It's more of a bus with a body to make it look like a coach more than anything else and it certainly won't have the same ride quality as a proper high line coach like the SC models that Bus Eireann also use on commuter routes.

    No doubt the B8RLE chassis is better than that is being used on the VDL products but at the end of the day it's a bus in the clothing of a coach, which would be considerably cheaper to produce than a high line coach on a coach chassis which probably is how it won the tender. It's also a new product to the UK and Ireland market so it's unproven. They will have had to make some compromises to get a coach body on a coach chassis so it'll be interesting to see how they crossed that bridge.

    VDL still do build the Jonckheere JHV2/SHV2 body on the Volvo B9R/B11R/B13R Chassis which is still a quality vehicle and used extensively on touring week in the UK and Ireland, but the ex Berkhof line, which is what the LC/LD/LE/LF class is, is nowhere near the same standard.

    We already have Volvo SC7 in the fleet and they have been proven better than the VDL product by miles

    These new things are coming with very similar engines and running gear as the current VE with a different chassis of course.

    They are to be considered a coach for the reasons they will be able to do 100kmh , they won't be carrying standing passengers under any circumstances as that would be illegal, so hopefully our drivers realize this !

    They also won't have the second rear door as shown in the publication to help increase capacity.

    They are really being got to assist in carrying wheelchair users, but even they will still need to be belted down to the floor so will actually require driver intervention anyway.

    Comfort wise they might not be too bad depending on the suspension etc

    But we will have to see when they arrive but overall I'd be more positive about these than anything by VDL.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    We already have Volvo SC7 in the fleet and they have been proven better than the VDL product by miles

    These new things are coming with very similar engines and running gear as the current VE with a different chassis of course.

    If you believe that you will be in for a big disappointment - there are a fair few differences.

    The Bus Eireann Sunsundegui SC7 is a high line coach built on the high line Volvo B11R coach chassis that features an 11 Litre Volvo engine with 430BHP and a Volvo iShift gearbox and these are pretty standard features of the SC7 which is a proper coach.

    The B8RLE is a low line chassis that is primarily intended for low floor single decker buses like the Wright Eclipse and MCV vehicles operated by JJ Kavanagh. It features an 8 litre engine of up to 280bhp as standard with a 350bhp option and ZF Ecolife 6 speed automatic gearbox. Even the article you posted describes some of the vehicle as 'semi-coach'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    devnull wrote: »
    If you believe that you will be in for a big disappointment - there are a fair few differences.

    The Bus Eireann Sunsundegui SC7 is a high line coach built on the high line Volvo B11R coach chassis that features an 11 Litre Volvo engine with 430BHP and a Volvo iShift gearbox and these are pretty standard features of the SC7 which is a proper coach.

    The B8RLE is a low line chassis that is primarily intended for low floor single decker buses like the Wright Eclipse and MCV vehicles operated by JJ Kavanagh. It features an 8 litre engine of up to 280bhp as standard with a 350bh biofuel option and ZF Ecolife 6 speed automatic gearbox. Even the article you posted describes some of the vehicle as 'semi-coach'.

    If what you say is true, then I'd highly doubt they would be capable of anything near 100kmh ,

    I imagine we'd be a getting a slightly different version. But we'll have to wait and see what they come out with next year.

    Semi coach is for the front been low floor accessible for wheel chair then steps up to the seating area.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    If what you say is true, then I'd highly doubt they would be capable of anything near 100kmh ,

    I imagine we'd be a getting a slightly different version. But we'll have to wait and see what they come out with next year.

    Semi coach is for the front been low floor accessible for wheel chair then steps up to the seating area.

    These are just the specifications of the chassis without any body.
    - Volvo B8RLE
    - Volvo B11R

    The specifications of the SC7 on the Volvo B11R are here:
    https://www.volvobuses.co.uk/content/dam/volvo/volvo-buses/markets/uk/our-offering/coaches/volvo-B11R/documents/B11R-Sunsundegui-SC7-spec.pdf

    To give you an idea, the only vehicle built in Ireland on the B8RLE currently is this:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/markl_1990/30680769938/in/photolist-24okgca-NK9Y13-H1AFVn

    For sure they will have benefits when it comes to accessibility, but in the same way that we've seen going from heavyweight single decks to the likes of the light integral Streetlite, going from a proper coach body to a lighter weight bus body for a coach will also be a downgrade.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    It's not so much about these new things being a luxury coach anyway.

    Once they are more reliable than the current VDL muck then we might actually stand a chance of running a half decent service instead of having up 15/20 LDs / LFs off the road at any time


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,933 ✭✭✭ GM228


    Also FYI that's not the reason . Since GAI are getting the unreliable LDs from bus eireann and also a batch of SCs

    GAI are only getting 10 buses from BE, initially suggested to be LDs from my contact in the NTA, however he recently indicated this may change to 10 LFs transferring instead. No SCs are to transfer are all services by GAI are to be low floor wheelchair accessible hence either the LDs or LFs.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    GM228 wrote: »
    GAI are only getting 10 buses from BE, initially suggested to be LDs from my contact in the NTA, however he recently indicated this may change to 10 LFs transferring instead. No SCs are to transfer are all services by GAI are to be low floor wheelchair accessible hence either the LDs or LFs.

    It's been a while since I saw the publication but the publication did say most definitely they would be getting 2012 SCs from us (this sticks because we like these buses and we were slightly giving out about giving them to Go-Ahead)

    And they would be getting some LDs and LFs from us also

    I most definitely saw this in an official document, just trying to recall where I saw this. I could've been online but I think for some reason it was in one of the documents issued by the company to staff, a bit like the one above.


  • Registered Users Posts: 286 ✭✭ Here we go


    Would anyone know what date Go ahead are taking over the 120 BE route ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    Here we go wrote: »
    Would anyone know what date Go ahead are taking over the 120 BE route ?

    Was supposed to be early 2019 but we heard it's delayed until November at the earliest


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,933 ✭✭✭ GM228


    It's been a while since I saw the publication but the publication did say most definitely they would be getting 2012 SCs from us (this sticks because we like these buses and we were slightly giving out about giving them to Go-Ahead)

    And they would be getting some LDs and LFs from us also

    I most definitely saw this in an official document, just trying to recall where I saw this. I could've been online but I think for some reason it was in one of the documents issued by the company to staff, a bit like the one above.

    I'm pretty certain that the NTA confirmed that the services would be entirely low floor vehicles at an Oireachtas Transport Committee meeting, I'm also pretty certain it was in the tender document also. I say pretty certain because I can't find the minutes online now and the tender seems to have vanished online.

    All I can find from a quick search is that 10 buses will transfer as per the NTA.

    In any case I guess we shall have to wait and see, as we have seen things change regularly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    GM228 wrote: »
    I'm pretty certain that the NTA confirmed that the services would be entirely low floor vehicles at an Oireachtas Transport Committee meeting, I'm also pretty certain it was in the tender document also. I say pretty certain because I can't find the minutes online now and the tender seems to have vanished online.

    All I can find from a quick search is that 10 buses will transfer as per the NTA.

    In any case I guess we shall have to wait and see, as we have seen things change regularly.

    I was surprised when the LFs got mentioned due to their unique procurement.

    Having driven the routes myself, including the 123 via kilmeague and roberstown, I can tell you now for fact it's never an LD or LF on that route because they do not fit.

    It has always been an SC or LC on that route because of the terrible roads and low trees etc. So if Go-Ahead aren't going to have any single decker to put on that then they are going to be in trouble with it

    Even the 126 via the Japanese gardens is very difficult for an LD which is why most times it is an SC on it.


    Unfortunately here now it's not just about being low floor accessible but weather or not the type of vehicle can actually cope with the route.


    Even reading the document I posted earlier of the new Volvo's , they are going to be about 13.5 M in length but only twin axle, they'll be quite large around corners too, only 0.6 shorter than an LD !

    I did find an article on the NTA website which back up your claim but also confirms the 52 new Volvo's that 12 will go to go-ahead for these routes. But giving the length they may be problematic !

    It does say 10 vehicles will stay with route but doesn't say which ones. But this goes against what they said previously as on a different website or document as saw that it mentioned LD and SC fleet transferring over.

    Like you say though we'll have to wait and see because they do seem to change their minds frequently


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,933 ✭✭✭ GM228


    Having driven the routes myself, including the 123 via kilmeague and roberstown, I can tell you now for fact it's never an LD or LF on that route because they do not fit.

    I have seen LDs on that run more than once and even an SE once!

    And here's LD230 on the 123 to Kilmeague in 2015. (It has Roberstown on the display but was on the 10.00 to Kilmeague).

    23380582975_73da22eb6e_b.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    That's because there's no destination code for Kilmeague for the display !

    That's an odd one , I've never seen an LD or SE on that route since I've been around. Even when I did do that route the odd time I've been specifically told by the supervisor not to take a large vehicle !

    What I have seen on it though in my time is the AM bus !


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,933 ✭✭✭ GM228


    That's because there's no destination code for Kilmeague for the display !

    That's an odd one , I've never seen an LD or SE on that route since I've been around. Even when I did do that route the odd time I've been specifically told by the supervisor not to take a large vehicle !

    What I have seen on it though in my time is the AM bus !

    Only earlier this year an SE appeared on the run also. Have seen the 2008 and 2015 LDs on it, but never an LF.

    Very slow run for an AM, it pops up the odd time on runs it is not suitable for such as the 115 and 120. VMDs are also appearing on routes they are not suited for such as the 101 and 109.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,966 ✭✭✭ Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime


    GM228 wrote: »
    Only earlier this year an SE appeared on the run also. Have seen the 2008 and 2015 LDs on it, but never an LF.

    Very slow run for an AM, it pops up the odd time on runs it is not suitable for such as the 115 and 120. VMDs are also appearing on routes they are not suited for such as the 101 and 109.

    It's down to a shortage of vehicles

    At the moment there are bearly enough buses for the services since at any time there's a hape off the road

    So like you say, VWDs going to kells, Cavan, Wicklow, Kildare , athboy !

    The AM going on the 123, 126 and others

    It's gotten a bit of a joke at the moment. Especially with approx 6 services off every morning because of this reason.

    The drivers will be there ready to go to work no issue, but because no buses available their runs are cancelled and they just spend the morning standing in the garage waiting for a bus to appear.

    Could be down to reasons like taking on the extra 115/c / 109/X etc and getting much extra fleet.

    The LFs came in because older fleet are getting retired too don't forget and also the LD200s falling off the road

    The 20/20x route expanded too aswell as the 30/30x expanding putting a lot more pressure on fleet

    They really need fleet to be honest


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 8,933 ✭✭✭ GM228


    It does make you wonder why the 17 LDs in storage long term have not had their corrosion issues addressed. They were sent to Inchicore for remedial work which to date has not happened, they have not even been assessed yet despite some arriving 2 years ago.

    And why a perfectly good 2008 LD (one of the few "good" ones) is now allocated permanently to the driving school when a 2004 SP for example could have been allocated instead of being scrapped when it's time on PSO was up.


Advertisement