Sunday 1 February 2015

Weekly News Round Up 1/2/15

Welcome to February which has brought a taste of true winter with it, yet everyone is still surprised when it causes chaos! All is still pretty quiet on the bus front and as you will know I've been away this week - still got an Arriva post up my sleeve for this week time permitting - but let's round up what I do know has been happening.

I'm delighted to report that Paulo van Krieken, the brains behind the First Ipswich "Fresh Start" cleaning programme has been given the what was temporary position on a permanent basis. The programme has proved so successful it is being rolled out across Eastern Counties (well Norwich certainly but I assume elsewhere too). Congratulations Paulo - you really deserve this chance to get your teeth into another part of the industry.

As has been widely reported (mainly here it must be said) the last Ipswich Scania has departed for pastures new. 65588 left Ipswich for Norwich on Friday afternoon having spent the morning on the 67 to Martlesham. For pics of its first day in Norwich click here. It's place on that day's diagram was taken by B7tl 32491, which  made for a good pic later on as it is very rare for a decker to appear on the X66

69009 and a Galloway MCV Evolution sandwich 32491 about to go light to Martlesham to work the X66 back
Up in Yarmouth the Olympians have had a good week being seen on many service runs. One of the Jersey Darts has returned to Yarmouth from Lowestoft - I believe 45859 but don't quote me on that one! (See comments below). Gemini 37573 has returned to Kings Lynn in Excel livery to match 37578. Should be out in service soon once the vinyls are put on. I understand, however, that E400 33423 will not go for repaint until April at the earliest due to DDA conversions taking priority.

Nothing to report on Notices and Proceedings this week with one huge, ugly, glaring exception. Stowmarket Minibus & Van Hire have appplied to amend route, stopping places and timetable to the 196/521 operating between Leiston and Saxmundham via Westleton, Dunwich, Yoxford and most importantly my village! I only have one bus a day so I hope it is not at risk. Surely the service won't be enhanced!. This gives me the opportunity to post the one pic I have of the 196 - taken the first day I caught it exactly a year ago. I have to say you can time your watch by the service and the few who use it are very loyal - refusing to get the more easily accessible BorderBus operated 521.

The 196 in Saxmundham - less rattly than an E200!
I am truly grateful to my new drinking partner David Warren for the next couple of pics. Firstly on Thursday, as well as seeeing 32491 unusually on the X66, David  told me that Leon Wells had been taking Ipswich Buses Olympian 40 out on the X3 every night this week. He was hoping to get some good pics. I finally got a very brief hello with Leon - must have a longer chat soon, Leon - but had to dash off to catch the 118 to Framlingham. David, however got one of his typically brilliant pics and sent it to me to use today. It is understood that 40 is going out to free up another bus for traffic coping use. Yet more roadworks are making Ipswich a difficult place to keep to schedule again.

Ipswich Buses 40 Volvo Olympian M640EPV on the X3 at John Lewis   pic (c) David Warren
The second pic from David shows the true difference in the new Beestons blue from the old blue. David was in the right place to get this pic a few days ago and has waited to put it up on Flickr until I posted it! Cheers buddy!

The two Beestons Omnidekkas side by side clearly showing the different shades of blue.    pic (c) David Warren
David Green has been in touch from Galloway to tell me that the second hand Levante, which is temporaily replacing the fire damaged one, has arrived. Probably gaining fleet number 341 it is currently in Citylink livery from Oop North and is registered YJ61 EYG. It maybe a few weeks before it is seen in service due to needing the paintwork sorting out. As usual my thanks to David for the updates.

And Finally

The Pretendolino set has been out in service this week, but where the coaches are a breath of fresh air on the London to Norwich route unfortuuantely they are still pulled by GA Class 90's and on Thursday evening, while operating the 2000 Norwich to London service 90001 gave up the ghost at Manningtree, causing absolute chaos and multiple cancellations. Freightliner 90045 had to attach to the rear and push the whole set into Colchester sidings. Which proves that a train is only as good as its loco! Have a good and non-slippery week!


  1. The Jersey Dart that's back in service with FirstGreat Yarmouth is 43863 EG52FFK.

  2. Thanks Cameron - it was 1.30am and brain was dead! No one else had reported it so couldn't find it anywhere! Only got 3 of the 5 numbers wrong anyway :))

  3. Hi stevegalloway update just to let you know that fj61 eyg is in thefleet long term and the fitters where working on it today it will release galloways normal coaches as the tour's are starting up (school tours)

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