Wednesday 16 April 2014

A Pleasant Surprise

I have been using Ipswich depot services a bit this week and I think it's time for a bit of honesty. First Ipswich don't have a bad fleet these days. Yes the 51 reg Scanias and remaining Scania saloons could go and no one would miss them, and from what we are hearing that won't be long in happening. But the ex P&R B7rle's are quiet and a joy to ride on, the older B7rle's are meaty and comfortable, and the B7 ALX 400 deckers are in good nick for their age. Today I had a really pleasant surprise when I got on 65692 Scania L94 YS03 ZKM for the first time.  In fact it's the first time I have been on any of the three of that batch they have, and I have to say it had the most comfortable seats I have sat on for a very long time. Sumptious and extremely well padded. I can say in all honestly the nicest First Scania I've ever been on. If only all buses had seats like that!

In the past I have commented about the worst vehicles going on the longer routes in the Ipswich area. Well I can only say what I see and this week has been the opposite with just about every vehicle I've seen on the 64/5 being a newer vehicle. Nice to see and long may it last.

First 65692 sits in the sun at Saxmundham

Ex P&R 69426 at Wickham Market


  1. Steve,that batch were off the peg so to speak,that is 65678 to 65692 so their seating & interiors are different,the buses you consider to have hard seats 65665 to 65677 were all originally being used in Scotland,probably town work.

  2. Hope the kilts were padded then, Jim! Where did 65678 - 92 originate?

  3. Not totally sure,i think most started life with Essex,i know 2 of them went to Counties at Bury for a while to cover shartages i think they were 65678 65679

  4. The YS03xxx Scanias were new, to First spec interior, in a batch intended as First Essex 676-687, following on from:
    1. ex-Edinburgh SN51xxx batch (Essex 655-667) which were bought off-the-peg for Rail Replacement up there and moved to Basildon for service 100 (Chelmsford-Lakeside);
    2. ex-demonstrator 668 YP02ABN, which did the rounds with various operators and was new with Essex at Colchester;
    3. off-the-peg 669-675 YR52xxx batch acquired by Essex from Scania who had previously loaned them to Brighton & Hove; 669 was new to Colchester, the rest to Chelmsford for service 31/31X (Chelmsford-Maldon/Burnham).

    The YS03 batch was numbered:

    YS03ZKA (676) 62406
    YS03ZKB (677) 62407
    YS03ZKC 678 65686
    YS03ZKD (679) 62409
    YS03ZKE (680) 62408
    YS03ZKF (681) 62410
    YS03ZKG 682 65687
    YS03ZKH 683 65688
    YS03ZKJ 684 65689
    YS03ZKK 685 65690
    YS03ZKL 686 65691
    YS03ZKM 687 65692

    676/677/679/680/681 were diverted to First Hampshire & Dorset (Southern National) to operate the X53 Exeter-Poole route. They were numbered 62406/62407/62409/62408/62410 by FHD and never carried their Essex numbers. The others did carry their three digit numbers, delivered to Colchester. Eventually Omnidekkas were delivered to FHD and the five saloons joined their brethren at Colchester, carrying their 5-digit numbers. The others were later re numbered as 65686-65692.

    From memory, 669 and 62408 were never branded at Colchester; 62406/62407 were branded for service 64/64A and the rest were branded for service 65.

  5. Cheers, mate, very informative.