The bus Gods were smiling on me today as I had calculated when VA479 would be at Ipswich Station. It wasn't, and even more worryingly the driver of the 66 that was there looked completely puzzled when I asked him if he was in front or behind the red one. "What red bus?", he asked and he genuinely did not know about VA479's existence. Anyway I decided to wait and was rewarded 10 mins later when VA479 arrived at the station out of service and sat there in glorious sunshine for 5 mins enabling me to not only get exterior shots but also pics of the inside. I then rode on her to town and the seats are good, the interior looks great and like all Ipswich B7tl's she gives a smooth comfortable ride. Enjoy.
|Looking pretty darn good VA479 at Ipswich Station|
|Even with the bush in the way still looks good|
|I think she actually looks longer in those colours|
|I think she will need to be kept extremely clean to maintain that look|
|Lower deck interior of VA479|
|A very smart upper deck - ling may it stay that way|
I am indebted to Barry at Ipswich depot for imparting the following information, and before anyone gets all indignant on me I cleared everything you are about to see for publication before leaving the depot.
First of all ex Norwich (ty, Sam) Volvo B7rle 66950 is due back from Rotherham roughly as I type and I guess the usual welcoming committee will be there to greet her. E200's 44517/8 and B7tl 32490 are still up there and were joined today by B7tl 32487.
Vehicles still due to arrive at Ipswich are from Norwich 69006 and 66957. From Colchester 66985/6 and in the future 5 as yet unidentified further vehicles. The final E200, 44516 is still to arrive due to a rather long chain of movements being broken by a Lowestoft Dart at the weekend! However it is not all good news. Ex Transdev B7rle's 69532/3, originally going to Clacton are now going to Chelmsford, and towards the end of the refurbishment project 3 further ex P&R B7rle's will be going to Colchester. Early plans are for those 3 to be 69431/2/3 but that obviously is subject to change. The refurbishment project is now expected to be completed by the end of November, not September as originally hoped, due to hand painting taking longer than first thought. Incidentally we think we have identified where that opinion dividing dark green front colour has come from. If you look at the First Platinum buses elsewhere in the country that dark green appears to be used for the skirting on those vehicles. Not a stab in the dark after all!
Ex Lowestoft B7tl 32656 AU05 MVA is undergoing an £8,000 engine rebuild so I look forward to riding her on her return. 30888 is scheduled to return to Yarmouth at the end of the month when the 66's pull out of Halifax.
There has been much speculation about one of the Routemasters coming to Ipswich. I can reveal it will operate ONE journey on the 75 to Felixstowe on Sunday 17th August. As there is a high demand expected the back up vehicle will be VA479 so those not Sunday prisoners that's a heads up for you to get a decent pic or three.
OK long but informative post finished, and Beestons special up tomorrow.