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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Weekly News Round Up 18/1/14

Unless you're one of the regular readers I have had from Kenya this week you may be feeling a little chilly right now, so here is a round up with a difference, with a few items to hopefully make you smile.

However to official business first and with the arrival of B7tl 32494 at Ipswich on Thursday only B7rle 69006 is left to return and then the refurb project will be complete. Congrats to all concerned as it has been a great success, a smooth operation and the fleet is looking great despite having an average age of 10 years, so hardly brand new! However I have had a niggle at the back of my mind this week that something was more than it first seemed. Without doubt the best looking vehicles at Ipswich are the two Excel fronted B7rle's for the new Felixstowe service starting in April. Despite having my own pics now I have pleasure in publishing again one of David Warren's superb pics he took when 69426 first arrived back.

Just jealous of that camera!! 69426 looking superb.   pic (c) David Warren
Now that livery has been catching eyes all over the place, even winning awards from other blogs for best livery in Ipswich, yet I couldn't help thinking it looked a bit familiar despite never having been put on a bus before. And then the connection clicked. I invite you good people to click here, to a previous post, and see if you can see the connection too. 

So I guess now Ipswich is almost complete the spotlight is going to fall on Norwich and their repainting programme which is well underway. However, I'm not totally convinced that Norwiich is ready for the spotlight yet as it seems, as highlighted in these pages already, the colour blindness hasn't been cured yet within the Norwich allocations. This was confirmed on Monday when the latest bus to be repainted in turquoise, 33167 made its debut on the Red Line. It should be said that I did actually see a turquoise bus on the Turquoise Line on Thursday, so it proves it can be done. With the repainting programme about to accelerate the allocations need to be sorted out and quick, or Norwich is going to be full of enthusiasts and photographers falling about laughing and, more importantly, passengers not knowing what on earth is going on!

Anyway I have lost track of what has been painted into what so I asked the extremely useful Mr Sam Larke to provide me with a list of what is now what and being the gent he is I can now give you the followng information. He may have a regular job there!





Purple Livery: Plaxton President Tridents 33003, 33163, 33166 B7tl 32203 (still at Rotherham)
Purple Branding: E200's 45118, 45119
Turquoise Livery: Plaxton President B7tl 32100, Trident 33167
Olympia Generic Livery: Plaxton President Tridents 33060, 33126 (loan from Sheffield), 33237, Volvo B7l's 66332, 66348
Alternative Generic Livery: Plaxton President Trident 33154

I have not included anything already in new colours, for example the Streetlights or Gemini 37562. However that much travelled Gemini does make the round up for a different reason. She has had new Norwich vinyls applied. Well I say applied. Apart from them being the wrong size and in the wrong place it is an excellent job! Don't know what was wrong with the old ones. Thanks to Sam for letting me use Dan Whiting's pic. I think that's rght anyway!

Oooooookay! I'm not sure what else to say!    pic (c) Dan Whitiing
Now most of you know my opinions on all things Alexander Dennis, so it was with interest I saw that Route One magazine had managed to get a test drive for a review on one of Reading Buses' new E400's, the MMC, which stands for Major Model Change, and in my opinion did it need it. I was pleased to see the reviewer mentioned rattles and I can't wait to sample one of the new ones somewhere. The review is a really good read and you can see it by clicking here. My thanks also to Home Counties Buses blog for alerting me to the review - the link to their blog is in the right hand column of this page.

I am always pleased to get little titbits from readers, and from the frozen North, Grace, my Scottish correspondent sent me a pic which I simply have to publish. We all know some buses are more thirsty than others, but this is taking it to a whole new level.


Sometimes when browsing through Flickr you come across a pic that stands out from the others. You click on it hopng against hope that the owner of the pic is one of those splendid chaps who allows his pics to be downloaded on Creative Commons Licence as many don't. However on this occasion I was in luck. During Christmas week The Mid Norfolk Railway in Dereham had a rather special guest in the form of virtually brand new DRS loco 68007. Geoff Toon took the following pic at Wicklewood (sounds like something out of Enid Blyton doesn't it) and I think it is one of those pics that has that little bit extra to it. You can access Geoff's excellent Flickr page by clicking here.

68007 with a rake of Mark II's at Wicklewood on the MNR Xmas week.     pic (c) Geoff Toon
A bit of self indulgance now, and I'm quite proud to announce that the most popular post on this blog, the Multi Coloured First Post, has now sailed through the 1,000 page views barrier. Considering it was a post I did almost in desperation as I couldn't think of anything to post I'm rather chuffed about that, so many thanks to everyone who has read it, and indeed those new readers who continue to read it. Incidentally the next most popular post currently stands at 554 page views so it shows just how almost bizarre it is that the Multi Coloured post has proved so popular.

And Finally

I know there are drivers who read this blog, and I wonder just how many of you would allow an unaccompanied dog to travel regularly on your bus. In Seattle, however, a dog has become a regular passenger, taking herself to the park to meet up with her owner. Her name is Eclipse - just wish her owner's name was Wright! I'm sure Health and bloody Safety would find a reason to call in the dog wardens here, but enjoy this video - really heart warming and a nice way to finish this round up. Have a good week everyone.


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