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|
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|
|66828 with Green Stripe in Osbourne St, Colchester|
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.
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.