After another decent journey to Bluewater on one of Arriva's Volvo B7tl's I had a few mins to snap a few buses in what is quite a busy bus station.
|Arriva Thameside 3822 Fastrack liveried Vo;vo B7rle GN07 AYK. I believe some of this batch can be found on the 133 between Colchester and Stanstead|
|Ensignbus 105 Demmod Trident ALX400 V115 MEV. Ipswich Buses have two of this batch painted blue|
|One of Ensignbus's Olympus bodied Volvos. No fleet number visible|
The 7900 is truly hideous, Not from the outside mind you as they look great, but once it starts moving it's a reincarnation of the B6. It is loud and vibrates, and rattles as much as an E200. Most of the seats are hard, and here is a note to all operators with the current obsession with leather - it doesn't matter if it is covered in leather or fabric - a hard seat is a hard seat is a hard seat. The electric motor is a gimmick and nothing more. It gets you to around 8 mph then you lose most of the momentum you gained waiting for the diesel engine to judder into life. Someone once told me it's more economical to keep something running than it is to keep switching it on and off. I don't know how true that is or if it applies to today's engines but if it does then it's all one giant misleading con. It was a very long two hours but at least we arrived in Chelmsford on time.
|First Essex 69011 Volvo 7900 Hybrid at Lakeside|
|First Essex 33424 E400 VT59 JPT at Basildon Bus Station on the 25A to Southend|
|First Essex Scania Omnicity 65029 on the 71A at Chelmsford Bus Station|
At this point I thought I was going to have to train it between Colcheser and Ipswich due to a big gap in the 93's from Colchester. But I then wondered if I could go via Maningtree instead, and thanks to advice from Geoff Toon on Essex Buses Yahoo group.I did indeed make the connection to Maningtree. My reward for such brain power? First Essex Scania 65666 of the same batch as Ipswich 65675 etc. Just what my backside didn't need at that point, but a picturesque journey on a new route for me out to Maningtree, where after a 20 min wait one of Carters' Tridents turned up to take me to Ipswich to connect with my last bus - the 1715 118 to Framlingham where I was met by Suffolk Links. -Trust me I have never been so happy to see an Optare Solo!
|Galloway Optare Solo MX08 DHC - yes the one that doesn't like hills - at OCM|