Why Do Dublin Buses Always Have Different Fronts?

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by MK Tom, 25 Apr 2015.

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  1. MK Tom

    MK Tom Established Member

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    I'm just curious as to why buses ordered for Dublin Bus, including their Alexander RL Olympians, ALX400 Volvos, Enviro 400 Volvos and Wright Eclipse Geminis all have customised front end designs. The Olympians have a restructured bumper area that protrudes out more, the ALX400s have a drivers window that's more rounded and not flush with the rest of the body, the Enviros have a front that juts out more and the Geminis have a backwards leaning driver's window. Is there any practical reason for this, or is it just being different for its own sake? I'm not aware of these custom designs being ordered by any other operator!

    Many thanks.
     
  2. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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    I know that one of the customisations carried out on Vehicles for Dublin Bus is to do with the windscreen, and that Dublin Bus's versions have a more flatter design to reduce night time glare caused by streetlights or oncoming vehicles etc. for the driver. Indeed Wright's have taken this into account with the StreetDeck / Gemini 3 and have designed it with a Dublin suitable windscreen.

    The rest, I'll have to check on.
     
  3. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Also, the ADL machines are manufactured at Mallusk rather than Falkirk, IIRC
     
  4. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    The bumpers may be because of Irish regs?
     
  5. mbonwick

    mbonwick Established Member

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    The difference in the Olympian fronts is due to them being Alexander (Belfast) D-type bodies which are based on the RL but not quite the same.

    Not sure on the ALX400s but I'd hazard a guess that the different chassis dimensions of Volvo vs Dennis may be a factor; the ALX400 body was designed to suit the Trident chassis and was adapted to fit the Volvo.

    Similar story with the E400s - it's ADL making the body fit the longer front overhand while still using as many standardised parts as possible.
     
  6. richw

    richw Established Member

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    On the ALX400 Dublin bus specified front fog lights which make quite a difference.

    This one is ex Dublin and the fog lights can be seen in the bumper.

    [​IMG]MIG5629 by Rich.W., on Flickr
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2015
  7. Flying Snail

    Flying Snail Member

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    That is partly correct, the windscreen modifications applied from ALX400 builds onwards are to reduce reflections from internal lights.

    I have never driven any of the Dublin Bus deckers so can't say how effective the mods are but it is certainly an issue that is a problem on dark roads in standard buses. While Dublin Bus order these modifications sister company Bus Eireann (who I work for) do not.

    It is not the case that the standard Gemini 3 has been changed to suit DB orders, they still produce a custom batch. The windscreen arrangement is still very different as in these pics.

    [​IMG]

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/be216cd1/17190704136/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/be216cd1/16141227104/

    Wrights have been quite flexible with Dublin Bus, as well as those mods they continued to produce pre-facelift Gemini 2 bodies as DB requested the old style panels. Much of this is down to their eagerness to get the orders from a company that had only bought Alexander/Transbus/ADL deckers for nearly 20 years.

    As a publicly owned company the orders go out to tender so manufacturers have to meet the spec to qualify, once they met that it was probably more the poor quality of the initial E400s in comparison to the Geminis that swung the later orders to Wrights.

    Sadly the Mallusk plant closed 11 years ago with the demise of Transbus, it was never part of ADL.

    That is from the initial batch of ALX400s for Dublin Bus which did not have modified windscreens, AFAIR they did have curtains on the cab door which could be closed over the attack screen to block out the light. Later batches did have the modified windscreens.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/be216cd1/16731971856/

    BTW, they are not my photos, check out that guy's flickr page for lots of Irish transport pics, road and rail.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  8. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    You're quite correct. I was being lazy in saying ADL - it was Alexander with the Olyms and ALXs (which is what I was alluding to). That'll teach me for rushing ;)
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
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