|Anglian 229 in the glorious Kessingland sun. pic (c) Cameron Robinson|
|First Yarmouth 42921 back home seen at Belton pic (c) Cameron Robinson|
|Anglian 907, Optare Solo YT51 EBF at Lowestoft|
|Stagecoach Norfolk Solo SR 48022 at Norwich Bus Station|
I contacted Dave Marshall at BorderBus for some clarification. He told me that "It does have that (semi automatic) capability but not ideal to use as its actually a manual gearbox without having to use clutch ,therefore you basically drive it like a manual ie come off throttle as changing gear". Of course it would normally be driven in fully automatic mode anyway. However it transpires that the gearbox wasn't working properly anyway, so some men in white coats have come down, fixed it, and BorderBus have got it for a further week so full and accurate evaluation can be made. Btw although advisable you don't have to come off the throttle when changing gear on a purpose built semi automatic box.
For the real technophobes amongst you I have found this video on You Tube made by ZF, which explains and demonstrates the gearbox. Interesting that ZF and Alexander Dennis have different estimations for fuel savngs though.
Ipswich Bus Blog has revealed that Ipswich Buses have withdrawn 3 of their East Lancs Darts. 91, 97 and 99, X91/9/199 XBJ have been taken out of service because of in 91's case serious mechanical failure, 97 is being cannibalised and 199's MOT has run out. All these vehicles are non DDA so would have had to be withdrawn at the end of the year anyway. I'm sure I have pics of these somewhere but I can't access my archives at present due to memory stick failure so you'll have to imagine them!
Regular correspondent David Green from Galloway has informed me that Galloway have taken on long term loan an Olympian - yes Olympian from Stephenson's of Essex. N827 FKK is an ex Dublin Bus example. This pic was taken by Matthew Evans, whcse rather good Flickr page you can access here. I have yet to discover what route the Ollie is going to be used on - David if you can let me know I'll be grateful as it's a day out waiting to happen!
|Stephenson's 827 now on loan to Galloway. pic (c) Matthew Evans|
However if you join Railcam you will notice that the East of England is grossly under
-represented and it would be nice if this could change. Basically the requirements are you have a good view of the line from your property, you have an unlimited broadband package, and you don't mind hosting a camera. The railcam team will do the rest including advising on privacy laws etc. It would be wonderful if there could be a camera on the GEML, and right now a camera to get those majestic 37's between Norwich and Yarmouth I'm sure would prove very popular. So if you, or if anyone you know is in a position to help then either let me or the railcam team know. I do warn you they are addictive though! But when you see a steamer going over the Ribblehead Viaduct on the Settle - Carlisle line live from the comfort of your own sofa it's truly worth it!
Now a picture that is going to becoe a rarity. In September First Ipswich finally launch their express service to Felixstowe. The X7 will go direct along the A14 and the two Volvo B7rle's painted up for the job last year, 69426/8 will be used. Therefore when I was lucky enough to catch 69426 to Saxmundham the other day I realised it might be a long time before I had that opportunity again. Even more of a collectors aspect to the pic is the 64A is being scrapped in September and the 64 will revert to running Ipswich - Aldeburgh, although not as frequently. A special post on that coming soon. So here is the picture, taken outside Tesco in Saxmundham.
|69426 on the 64A to Aldeburgh at Saxmundham|