Wednesday 12 November 2014

Guest Post: Electric Versa's

I have another long trip today to West Sussex for an eye appointment which meant getting a post out was going to be difficult. So I was delighted to receive an email from legendary contributor Robert Appleton yesterday giving a report on the Electric Optare Versa's operating in York. I'll intersperse the email with the pictures Robert provided. Many thanks, Robert, and it is now on my "to do" list.

Dear Steve,
Earlier this year you had posts about the electric buses in Milton Keynes, and the Chinese built electric buses in London.
We were on holiday in north Yorkshire last week, and visiting family in York. I had the chance to sample all electric Optare Versas operated by First York on a park and ride service in York.
Park and Ride service 59 operates from a site off the A59 Harrogate - York road at Poppleton Bar. It started on 8 June 2014, the basic frequency is every 10 min, seven days a week.
49001 Versa EV at Poppleton Bar     pic (c) Robert Appleton
 It is worked by six all electric Optare Versa EV fleetnumbers 49901 to 49906. As far as I could work out, they are based on the Optare Versa V1110 ie 11.1m long. Their batteries are charged overnight in the First York depot, then during the offpeak when five of the six Versas are required to work the service, they can be topped up using two charging points at Poppleton Bar. Photo attached of 49902 shows it recharging.
49002 re-charging at Poppleton Bar       pic (c) Robert Appleton
 In the peak hours all six Optare Versa EV are required for service. If one of the Versas is undergoing maintenance then a First York diesel engined Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse in silver York park and ride livery is used.
49005 at Poppleton Bar    pic (C) Robert Appleton
 I had a ride on 49906 in to York and back again, Very smooth, good acceleration, comfortable seats. Very quiet, just a faint whine from the electric motor, and you will be pleased to know no rattles at all!
Rear view of 49006 at Poppleton Bar     pic (C) Robert Appleton
 The attached scanned leaflet shows the route ie it serves York railway station. So if you ever go to York by train, it would be easy to use this service.
The Route 59 P&R route in York.
 Hope this may be of interest.
With best wishes,
It certainly was, Robert. Thanks again.

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