Tuesday 8 July 2014

Scottish Trip Part One

Except this part has virtually nothing Scottish in it! Last week I took a trip to Edinburgh, incorporating a daytrip to Skye along the glorious Inverness - Kyle of Lochalsh line. However, I had a hospital appointment down in West Sussex first, and so my journey began at Darsham, catching the 0949 to Ipswich.

170202 at Darsham about to start my long journey
On arrival at Liverpool St thanks to the pulling power of  90006 I decided against going to Victoria by tube and caught the 11 instead from the newly reopened Liverpool St Bus Station, which to be honest looks exactly the same as it did before the interminable closure. So on board LT46 for the very stop/start journey to Victoria.

LT 46  LTZ 1046 and an inferior bus at Liverpool St Bus Station
Just before I alighted at Victoria I saw a sight to warm the hearts of any transport enthusiast. Apologies that I didn't get close enough for a formal identification, but how appropriate that this pic was taken from one of  London's newest buses - an RT from an LT. UPDATE: Thanks to David Warren I can now indentify the RT as RT8 reg FXT183 which is owned by Ensignbus

Ensignbus owned RT8 at the building site that is Victoria these days, photographerd from LT46
So off to East Grinstead for my eye appointment, just to be told to go back in 3 months. On the way there I sampled one of Metrobus's 63 reg E200's on the 281 from Lingfield - East Grinstead and I think I accurately described it on Twitter as "rattling more than two skeletons copulating on a corrugated iron roof". If the rattling of all things Alexander Dennis is down to the roads they travel on then our roads must be worse than those in India or the African Congo! Funny how Wright don't seem to have the same problem so quickly.

Anyway back up to London and some serious spotting around Victoria Coach Station before boarding my overnight chariot to Edinburgh. First up is one of Green Line's Gemini's operating the 702 from Windsor. Pretty eye catching and must sample them one day!

First Green Line Volvo Gemini BF63 HDY in Buckingham Palace Rd
 A little further down the road was a quite impressive sight - 3 Oxford Tube deckers. I have absolutely no idea what they are but they are pretty huge and look good one behind the other

A long line of  Oxford Tubes, headed by OU09 FNH
And so to Victoria coach Station, which is really a Mecca for an enthusiast. I didn't realise just how big the Megabus network is, with coaches lined up going to Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and Cologne, as well as many domestic places. The 2100 to Glasgow left with a lugguage trailer behind it, and the place was packed. I already knew what vehicle to expect, thanks to Megabus Twitter so I was relaxed knowing I'd be able to keep my phone charged all night while using the free WiFi. And so in rolled Stagecoach 54202, a Plaxton bodied Volvo B11. A superb ride it was - the dawn over Northumbria was simply spectacular, and the only downside was a Chinese student thinking my shoulder was a pillow most of the night! I was so impressed by the quality of the coaches and the cost of travel that I'm using them again in a couple of weeks. We arrived in Edinburgh bang on time, although sadly the pic isn't great due to the layout of the Bus Station there.

Stagecoach 54202 SF62 CMV at St Andrews Bus Station, Edinburgh after the overnight journey from London
And so I had arrived in Scotland. In the next post trams, hybrids and rattly E400's.


  1. Think the Oxford Tubes are Van Hool Astromega's.

  2. Megabus are superb, and NatEX/Ox Tube can be good too. It's wonderful what you can achieve with full (as in London) and de minimus (long distance) regulation. It's the half-baked bit in the middle that's the problem! But here's hoping to hear how the Scots manage it better!

  3. Watch this space, buddy. I'm back on the M20 in a couple of weeks and have a feeling might just do a bit round the country to spread my spotting wings a bit firther.

  4. This is from Davud Warren, whose comment hasn't shown up for some reason - try another browser, David, but many thanks for the info on the RT.

    Hi Steve, the RT in your photo is RT8 reg FXT183 which is owned by Ensignbus. Taken from an excellent bus the LT