Sunday 27 July 2014

Weekly News Round Up 27/7/14

Not much to report this week fleet wise so I will lump it all under one heading.


A quiet week. Only one arrival back at Ipswich with E200 44519 back in the new livery - I think it suits them more than the Solars if I'm honest. Ex Norwich B7rle 69011 has gone up to Rotherham for its makeover. As far as I know that's it for Ipswich.

At Yarmouth a surprise move is today's transfer of President 32200 to Norwich. No idea why that is, but if my calculations are correct in the last month Yarmouth have lost 32200 and 37562 to Norwich, and 37572 to Lowestoft with only 32629 being an addition. This can only be good news for the longevity of the Olympians. On that subject withdrawn 34112 has apparently been yielding more parts to keep 34109 on the road so hope to see her back on the road shortly.

The X1 Blog reports that the 7 E400's transferring to Yarmouth will be 33818-24 although that is still to be confirmed, although I have a feeling a few other bloggers will be camped at Caister Rd today to find out!

As previously reported Borderbus have increased their fleet with 3 long E200's starting service this week on the new 146, and an additional short version has been acquired as cover for both the 146 and 521 so regular maintainence work can be carried out on the rest of the fleet.


Today sees the X1 split come into operation. A 20 min service will operate between Lowestoft and Norwich with the present 30 min frequency continued between Norwich and Peterborough. Through fares are available but it should be noted by anyone planning to travel that CONNECTIONS ARE NOT GUARANTEED. With delays possible on both sections of the route careful planning is needed.

Borderbus have launched their 146 in a fanfare of blog bugles and it seems to have been received favourably, not least by this blog. I still think, though, if the route is to be a success a better PM schoolday timetable is needed as a route that basically operates during school hours only isn't going to win many regular travellers.

Ipswich Buses have started their Sunday Route 33 to Felixstowe today. It was rumoured that first would retaliate by using Routemasters on the 75, but since those vehicles were deemed not fit enough to operate to Hemsby this year I can't believe hammering up and down between Ipswich and Felixstowe will do them much good either. The regular open top bus tours operated by IB also start today - in Felixstowe!!!

All eyes are now on the usual multitude of timetable and route adjustments that herald the start of every school year. Worth keeping an eye on the Suffolk On Board website. Is there a Norfolk equivalent btw?

That's it for this week. I'll be around tomorrow in various places so if you're around tweet me and I'll try to meet up.


  1. Are Yarmouth not she some street lites soon? But I do find it odd they're ridding of the b7 presidents although they are crap, as they are low on buses and recently singles have adsorbed the 8. Which is not good! Single deckers really do not have the capacity for the 8 often being overcrowded?

  2. I agree totally. I can't stand the Presidents and I was under the impression the ALX400's and 2 Leicester Geminis were to replace the single deck Volvos. As yet only one has gone - 60807 to be converted to driver trainer - and as you say the others are always on the 1 or 8 and overcrowded. I also forgot 30888 is at Ipswich so that's another decker gone. The Streetlites are due in next few weeks but they are to replace the Jersey Darts as far as I know.

    1. Have been told it's because yarmouth has too many spare buses, They currently have 7 when only 5 are needed.

  3. If that is the case then seriously no excuse to put the singles on decker routes. I don't have any contacts at Yarmouth but I'm sure those who do can clarify that situation for me.

    1. Agreed. What possesses them to stick singles on the 1 and 8, doubles on the 6 and 7 (it happens, more than you'd think), before proclaiming 'surprise' that the 1 and 8 are overloaded is just, well, it's beyond me. Some of it is interworking, as sometimes a decker will do a run out to Belton and back before shooting off on a Bernie run, but the rest of it... I don't know. Maybe I'm missing something, maybe busier routes don't need bigger buses, maybe First are doing it the right way round. Maybe.

      Singles on the 8 has been happening for months and months though, and I don't see it changing any time soon, especially with more singles (the StreetLites) coming. To be fair to First, there has (as far as I know) been one improvement over the year though - no Jersey Darts on the 8 this year (so far!). When that was happening it was just embarrassing to see, especially when they had deckers on the 6/7 on the same day.

    2. YOu are right about the interworking with the 6/7 and Bernies as quite often I've gone to belton and back on an Olympian then to see it half hour later on the Bernie contract - same driver too! However we were told the ALX400's would replace the Volvo single deckers and so far only one has gone. The Streetlites are meant to replace the Jersey Darts so you shoulnd'tg see them on the 8 or 1 but shoulod and won't are two different things.

      Yesterday was interesting on the 1's - I saw 2 geminis, 2 presidents, one ALX400, one Olympian and one Volvo single decker. Quite a mixture. .I did also follow 37577 on the 7 yesterday afternoon and wondered how many on board were taking advantage of the free wifi!!

    3. "should and won't are two different things."

      *snort* you read my mind :D

      Considering the due StreetLites are expected to be the Max flavour, which have 45 seats I believe (which is a few more than the Renowns have) I'd go so far as to say that it's much more likely they'll pop up on the 1/8 than any of us expect.

      The 1s are usually a hotch potch of vehicles, though the ALX400s tend to be a favoured allocation I find.

    4. Wasn't aware the Streetlites were 45 seaters - that might prove difficult on the 2's, although I presume the bigger Darts are remaining. I guess time will tell - they've got to get here first!

    5. Well, they can be up to 45 seaters - the StreetLite Max is a 45 seater for sure (and I read somewhere that all the 'micro hybrid' StreetLites in First's order are the Max, with the non micro hybrids being other (smaller) sizes, so it's likely that the Max ones are what we'll get) - but they do come in various sizes so they can be smaller. The Anglian ones are, having about 30-odd seats each.

      Size wise - shouldn't make much difference to be honest, StreetLites are roundabout the same size as Darts, give or take 20cm. Although as you say, the Darts are (presumably) staying, and the StreetLites have to arrive first!

    6. I think Anglian's are 37 seaters but maybe wrong - Sam will tell me if I am!! If the ex Essex Darts can go on all the routes then the Streetlites shouldn't have a problem either.

  4. On a subject other than First (makes a change for me!):

    Am I the only one who's noticed, in N&P 2184, about Anglian's 53? Maybe I'm not reading it right, but it seems pretty definitive - another route (and consequently more vehicles) for Konect.

    1. I haven't seen that, buddy, but I'm holding fire on Anglian for a few weeks. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed there has been next to no news out of there for weeks now, and I was told yesterday there is still going to be a fleet change in September. The thing is no one knows what it is as management are keeping their mouths firmly shut.

      Now that may well be to stop nosey bloggers putting the news out (and I can't blame them there) but I can't believe if they were getting anyone's cast offs there would be so much secrecy. and we would have heard something by now. It may well be the 53's and the Versas will go over to Konect to make room for something else. I'm just going to bide my time and wait to see what happens, as I hope all bloggers and enthusiasts will, as I'm convinced too much badgering of management has caused this information blockage, and it's not just Anglian doing it.

    2. Now that you mention it - I agree. Practically the only news about Anglian for months on end has been the new lettering going on various parts of the fleet and the vinyls coming off the gas buses. Anything else is rarer than hen's teeth.

      Thought wise for the news blackout - we're on the same page I think. Would there be this much secrecy if it was just about the 53s and the Versas - probably not. Although, having said that, to me it's very sad to see Anglian losing route after route, and vehicle after vehicle (invariably being replaced with something older, if replaced at all), in the dribs and drabs that they have. As you say though, it's probably best to just bide our time and wait to see what happens.