However I haven't been to Peterborough on the X1 since the E400's came into service and I have no intention to either, so instead I drove to Bury St Edmunds at a time I had forgotten existed on a Saturday, fell into the arms of Stagecoach and let them carry me for the day. I knew I'd just be avoiding one fleet of E400's to travel on another and sure enough in pulled Stagecoach 19601, AE10 BXO. I fully expected a very rattly ride to Cambridge but no. Not at all. The thing was silent, in fact I can say it was the least rattly E400 on a Dennis chassis I've ever been on. Ever! It was an absolute joy to travel on and I swear on all I hold dear that if all E4oo's were like this one I would be shouting their praises from the rooftops. I'll even publish the shocking pic I took of it at Bury because it deserves the limelight! Lopsided, out of focus, but a ruddy good bus.
|Well it was bloody early for me!|
|That's horsepower for you!|
|Stagecoach 15212 at Cambridge Bus Station|
|No congestion here!|
|Bristol LWL GJB 254|
|91110 Battle of Britain|
|91101 flying Scotsman|
Then it was time for the main event. Just after 1400 the football charter came in. Led by 47815 we were expecting it to stop but instead it slowed right down then accelerated away, giving us cameramen, and there were a few quite a sight and sound. The impressive 37884 brought up the rear. Here are the stills and the full video.
|A smoking 47815|
|37884 at the rear|
An extremely worthwhile trip. The return journey was uneventful and punctual, even if the two E400's weren't quite as immaculate as the earlier examples. However both were still better than most others I've been on so being churlish. Stagecoach deserve huge praise for their maintenance regime and giving me something nice to say for once!
A project for the future is to return to Cambridge and spend the day on the new P&R buses. Stagecoach have some new E400 MMC's and they look amazing. Here are just three of the colours, well four if you include the Orange in the background, but there were at least two more I didn't manage to get. I shall return!
And this is my favourite - I think this colour looks brilliant on the MMC
Hopefully when I go back it will be a bit brighter which should show up the colours even more.
At this point I was going to comment on fares and compare them to others but that can wait for the next post. A good day, mission accomplished and some very pleasant surprises. Still can't get over that first E400........