Sunday 22 February 2015

Weekly News Round Up 22/2/15

Welcome to the original weekly news round up, which I am giving a little tweek to keep original and unique, and I hope the changes will meet with everyone's approval. There will be a concise bulllet pointed summary of what's been going on, followed by elaboration if needed, and a list of the week's posts in case anyone has missed anything, and of course the weekly quiz.

News Headlines (put a mental "bong" before each one as required!)

  • Lowestoft ALX400 30886 arrives back from DDA conversion with new destination displays, 30900 goes the other way
  • Yarmouth Gemini 37573 enters service in X1 livery
  • Yarmouth ALX400 32058 on loan to Lowestoft
  • 20515 to operate Woodbridge - Framlingham shuttle service
  • Versas to return to Anglian to replace Streetlites in July
  • Colchester B7rle's go Green 
  • Stagecoach take over a Stagecoach service
  • Great news for Class 47 thought scrapped

To elaborate on some of those headlines: Gemini 37573 has returned to service in the Excel livery after sustaining serious front damage in Gorleston back in 2014. Here she is in Norwich on Monday.

37573 gleams in Norwich Bus Station on Monday
Yarmouth ALX400 32058 has spent the week at Lowestoft as cover after the unfortunate incident involving Yorkshire Renown 62143 in Norwich last week. I understand that as of yesterday (Saturday) it was back at Yarmouth so it will be interesting to see if anything else turns up at Lowestoft this week. Ex Ipswich Scania 65588 is now at Yarmouth indefinitely, and there were reports that 65579 had been brought out of retirement at Ipswich as cover for long term patient 32486, and indeed Dave has spotted her on 60/61 yesterday and on Felixstowes Friday.

It was confirmed by Steve Royal at Konectbus on Monday that when Anglian say goodbye to their Streetlites in July they will be replaced by 4 of the Versas that left Anglian for Konect last year when Konect took over the Norwich City Centre services. This had seemed pretty obvious due to the lack of repainting out of Anglian colours, but good to have it officially confirmed. Of course Konect will have to replace them and this will be done as follows: Oops it appears I will be unpopular if I say how it will be done yet but would have been good if someone from Konect had actually asked me not to publish rather than someone outside the company warning me. My crystal ball is long term VOR. You just know that someone else will now claim an exclusive in the coming weeks.

Anglian Versa 308 AU11 EPF at Swaffham on Monday
On Wednesday I posted a pic of one of First Essex's Volvo B7rle's sporting a green stripe and wondered what it signified. I was then told it had something to do with CRT which meant nothing to me either! Well thanks to an anonymous commentor I can reveal that CRT stands for Continuously Regenerating Trap, which basically means the engines are upgraded from Euro 3 to Euro 5 emissions standard. I also understand this system costs £10,000 a time so not to be sniffed at, although should you sniff it won't be as damaging!

66828 with Green Stripe in Osbourne St, Colchester
Now there have been big things made of the news that Stagecoach are to take over Norfolk Green's Ely Town Service "Absolutely" as a basic service 15. Some people are speculating that this is just the start of an unstoppable advance by Stagecoach to swamp Norfolk Green. I would just point this out: Norfolk Green are part of Stagecoach, and I think far more importantly - Norfolk Green are based in NORFOLK, that is why they are called Norfolk Green. Ely is in Cambridgeshire and the entire route concerned stays there. Enough said.

Now to the railways. Greyter Anglia's refurbished coach 12013 is now in regular service but really it isn't worth the effort unless you are obsessed by shades of grey, which the whole world seems to be right now. Two of the less reliable Class 47's, 47810/3 have been sent back to Crewe for either repair or scrap, with Northern Belle liveried 47790 coming the other way together with a Class 37 which will be used for driver training before 37's finally at long last take over the Short Set late Spring.

Now some good news. A few months ago I published this pic of stricken 47501 at Dereham awaiting road transport to Crewe where it was rumoured the state of her wheels were so bad she would be scrapped,

47501 at Dereham last autumn

Well I am delighted to report that I was told this week that far from being scrapped she has been repaired and is now back in service based at Crewe. If she ever comes this way again remains to be seen but that is great news.

Not so good news is the fate of  the last Olympian to be built - 34110 - which currently languishes at the back of Yarmouth's Caister Rd depot. I thought I had been successful in finding a buyer for her down in Kent, who would have put her back into service and then after DDA preserved her. Unfortunately her condition is so declined that even for a soft hearted bus enthusiast the cost of getting her back on the road is just too much to make it a viable prospect. So I fear that is it, and the last Volvo Olympian ever built will not make it into preservation. A shame.

Weekly Quiz

Last week I asked you to find as many buses in Norfolk and Suffolk as you could that have had 4 or more liveries. I thought of Volvo B7rle 69005 (P&R, Barbie, Corporate and Ipswich). Sam (whose age increased yesterday by 7.692%) came up with 3 Norfolk Green Optare Spectras that have had 4 over the years, but the prize has to go to Joe Wilson, who made me look a right numpty by coming up with Ipswich Buses open top Atlantean IB9, which has had at least 6 liveries. Considering I had taken pics with that bus days previously I really should have thought of it! Well done, Joe, and there is a separate post there I feel! Here she is in Ipswich shortly after conversion in 1985. The pic is by Crewcastrian, who has kindly given me his blessing to use his pic, and whose Flickr page you can access here.

IB9 in 1985 at Tower Ramparts.   pic by Crewcastrian

Now for this weeks quiz - again answer by email only please to avoid spoiling it for others - I want you to tell me how many rail dead ends there are in Norfolk and Suffolk, ie stations or other termini with no through tracks. Bay platforms, sidings, private lines and freight yards don't count. There are a couple of curve balls so think carefully!


In case you missed any posts this week here they are with easy links.

The STEVE Awards  Anglian, Ipswich Buses and Frst get recognised for the good things they have done over the last year

When Dave Went To London  A great set of Borismaster pics by resident snapper Dave Warren

Essex Ecstacy Part One  I go to Hedingham's Olympian Heaven in Tollesbury

Essex Ecstacy Part Two  Obs from Colchester and I get on the wrong bus!

Woodbridge Shuttle Cock-Up and DDA Farce 20515 on Woodbridge/Rendlesham shuttle service and a right rant about DDA and minibuses.

Ipswich Loans History Part Two  Another selection of Bryan Dickson's photos of past loan vehicles in Ipswich

The Extras Items and pics that didn't make the main posts this week

Finally finally I am researching for a post  and need your help. If anyone has any pics of Grey-Green B-XYR Plaxton Paramount Volvo B10Ms they could send me I'll be eternally grateful. Even more grateful if it's B859 XYR as that was my one! Please note I need them as coaches and not any other creation they became!

Finally finally finally I am hoping to start an Essex section to the blog. However I am going to need contributors for both pictures and writing posts, so if anyone from Essex is interested then please email me and let me know. Essex has more buses yet virtually no blogs so the ride would be easier, if maybe not from the companies who would have to be trained, or rather bussed up to be friendly!

That's it! No idea what's happening this week so keep checking in for new posts. Have a great week everyone.


  1. Its really dissapointing that all your blog posts nowadays seem full of digs at other blogs, even if what you think is true it`s making your blog much less enjoyable to read - I still read it BTW.

    Besides, I have looked at all of the local blogs and there's nothing like your round up, the one I did come across is a developed long standing idea but logically moved - so it states.

    Anyway, all my point is the silly digs you're putting on here please don't - for all your readers sakes! Regards, Reg.

    1. Full of digs? Glad to see you're not exaggerating at all! There are no digs on this post at anyone in particular. The round ups on here ARE the original ones, and it is up to me if I want to tweek them to keep original or not. Having said that I an not going to just sit bavk and watch others copying me without letting them know I have noticed it. I, with some others follow the rules. others don't, and that makes life harder for those of us who do. I refute your suggestion that posts are full of digs.

      Perhaps you would like to comment on the post itself, have a go at the quiz, or recognise that I was working on it for 5 hours yesterday. Just to comment on something you perceive is a little disappointing, if I'm honest, just like being advised at the last minute not to publish something you were told 6 days previously, with no request not to publish then.

  2. Hi a galloway update this is probably the first 15 reg vehicple on this blog. galloway has a mercedes benzs tourismo three axle coach. fleet number 338 reg. bf15 xpJ this coach is in a special livery for 50 years of galloway pictures of this can be seen on galloways Facebook