Saturday 24 March 2018

A Bit of Miscellany

Before I settle down to do the second Reading post over the weekend a few things to round up.

Firstly my laptop crisis has been sorted. Thank you, you know who you are. I'm eternally grateful. Sadly though, it won't mean too many extra posts just yet as an elderly friend, without whom I wouldn't be here, needs me more than the transport industry right now. When she is on her feet and back to her indomitable self hopefully output will increase. I'm missing it but friends come first.

Ok onto what's been going on. As you may have read locally Stagecoach are pulling out of Kings Lynn from the end of April. Thankfully most of the routes have been saved but as usual it will be fare payers who suffer, having to pay 2 or 3 different operators to complete a journey that a single Stagecoach ticket would have covered. The only exception to this is the Coasthopper service which will be operated by Lynx between Kings Lynn and Wells, with Sanders then carrying on to Holt, Sheringham and Cromer. Through tickets, issued and accepted by both operators will be accepted. Stagecoach will continue to operate some services, including the popular 505 to Spalding, however the frequency will be reduced from 3 to 2 buses an hour. You can click here to see the full list of changes.

Part of the changes sees First Norwich taking over the X29 between Norwich and Fakenham, which is becoming part of the Yellow Line. As a result 4 ex Leeds Volvo B9tl Gemini2's are being absorbed into the Yellow Line fleet and are currently being repainted at Simon Morris in Ipswich. I'm grateful to Paul Bennett for sending me pictures taken by Rob Freeman at Simon Morris of the first bus to receive the yellow treatment, 36265.

36265 at Simon Morris               pic (p) Rob Freeman
Now, as you will have seen from my various features, bus seats are improving. Well, in some parts of te country anyway. The likes of Transdev in Yorkshire, Reading Buses, Nottingham City Transport and others are putting seats in buses that put some airlines to shame. The opposite, however, is happening to our trains, and it's starting to be noticed. I reported a couple of years ago that the seats on the new Gatwick Express were hard, and the new Thameslink Class 700's and South Western Trains 707's have been labelled "ironing boards". The seats on the new GWR Class 800's have attracted the same criticism, and half hour on one last week when I went to Reading was more than enough.
The Std seats on the new Class 800's
Later this year passengers on Virgin East Coast will find out all the anticipation leaves a hard feeling in the posterior and then it will be our turn on Greater Anglia. No matter how they spin it the seats on the new trains will not be an improvement on what we have. So I have managed to start an official Government Petition on the subject, which is receiving support from some big names in the industry. Early days yet but I am hoping to achieve the impossible - to get better seats retro fitted to existing stock and changes made to the specifications for future stock. A lot of my original wording was changed by the people who approve the petition, for example I certainly did not use the phrase "within the confines of current EU standards"! I urge you to read, sign and publicise this petition. These seats could take away all the fun of train travel, and that would be a terrible legacy to leave. You can see and sign the petition here.

Finally a couple of videos featuring Class 37's. First up is the first ever trip down the East Suffolk Line of te loco hauled Short Set. The line had been closed for 6 days due to the snow in late Feb/early March and the set was sent down to check the line A gleaming 37407 takes it carefully pulling out of Darsham with 37419 on the rear.

Secondly is a Network Rail test train passing through Diss with Colas Rail all blue 37607 on the rear, the first tie 607 has been noted in the area.

That's all I can think of right now. Back with Reading part two soon. In the meantime thanks for your patience with the lack of posts, and I hope normal service will resume asap.


  1. Stop posting class 37 videos, nobody cares.

    1. No. I have around 18,000 hits a month on this blog so I won't miss yours, so kindly go forth and multiply and never read this blog again. Thank you. Who are you btw - obviously as yellow as those B9's above to courageously hide behind anonymity. Thank God I know 99.9% of my readers are some of the most decent people in the land. Assholes like you mean nothing.

    2. I'm your dead dad.

    3. I doubt it - he always got mum to do all his correspondence, and he'd have loved the 37's! Do they know you have escaped from the asylum?

    4. Keep posting any pics and videos of the Class 37.
      People still love the Class 37, you've only got to see how many are window hanging when the short set is on service in the area.

    5. Hi Des - long time no see! Don't worry mate - I was very close to changing the name of the blog to Steve's Bus & Class 37 Page! It's my blog, I adore the 37's so will post about them. The end!

      However, I'm prepared to make a full refund of the subscription price of the blog to anyone who doesn't like them. Can't be fairer than that now!

  2. Glad your laptop problem has been solved.

    I hope your friend gets better soon.
    I always say family and friends first everything else can wait, so take as much time as you need.

    1. Thanks, Stephen. Hopefully won't be too long but I drop everything for this lady who literally saved my life. I'll do what I can when I can but she is top priority right now.


    Megabus have been banned from advertising seats from £1. The ASA found hardly any seats are £1 and that the advert was therefore misleading

  4. Ipswich bus are changing several timetables in May. I assume they are only minor tweaks

    Galloway are giving up the 456,457,459. The 456 is an SCC contract the 459 is commercial. I can fin no trace of a 457

    Whether SSC will seek another operator I don't know. It could of course have been cancelled by SCC but the expiry date of the Contract is shown as 2020

    1. I suspect it is the usual issue of lack of patronage. Never like to see a route pulled all the same. Will free up a bus or two for other routes which are suffering with frequent breakdowns, late running or non appearance.