Sunday 28 September 2014

Weekly News Round Up 28/9/14

It has not been a good week for this blogger. First of all I missed out on getting to walk around the nation's biggest coach park last week due to my lift to Ipswich letting me down, only to find out today that the company based at the bottom of my garden took a vehicle, passed me while I was waiting for my lift not to turn up, and even waved without either of us knowing where the other was going. I will book early for next year.

Secondly there has been some ill feeling going on between certain bloggers. I was accused of putting up false information last week, which turned out to be correct information, and it all got rather personal, especially on Twitter.  Now we all make mistakes, no one's perfect, especially me but we need to remember we are all in the same hobby, and it IS a hobby as no one as yet is a professional. The constant jibes and competitiveness is starting to get to me a bit, and that is why there have been few posts this week. It certainly wasn't what I expected when I started this.

Anyway let's get on with the news as no one came here to hear me moan!


In Ipswich the second P&R B7rle to go up to Rotherham was 69422, returning this week was B7tl 32486 I assume looking slightly less tatty than when she left. No pics yet but I'm in Ipswich tomorrow so hopefully will get one then, Scania 65630 finally left for Essex where I assume she was greeted with the appropriate enthusiasm!

On Thursday the inevitible finally happened and a bus hit the building on the junction of Northgate St and Great Coleman St due to a badly parked van, The vehicle involved was 32488, thankfully no one was hurt and 32488 has not yet been repainted, and initial reports suggested repairs would take months. They appear to have been a little pesimistic as apparently it was no more than a couple of broken windows and 32488 is already back out in service. The pic below is taken from the Ipswich Star, whose full report, including a video can be seen here.

Oops! 32488 getting rather too close to the empty building.  Pic Evening Star
There has been much talk about the new livery for the Norwich Network, where buses will have their fronts painted according to the routes they work. Except that's not quite it. It has transpired that the new Streetlites will be devoid of any branding whatsoever, so they can work other routes on Sundays, as will many other members of the Norwich fleet. Doesn't that defeat the objective of branding? Branding is to make a bus on a particular route easily identifiable for those too lazy to read a destination screen. If you don't know if  the bus is going to be branded or not you have to rely on the destination screen anyway and just makes everything look a little half hearted.

Anyway since it seems Norwich won't get to see any purple fronted Streetlites here's one that has appeared at First Potteries, as published on Twitter this week. I'm undecided if Norwich should be grateful or not.

First Potteries Streetlite 63171 sporting purple front
As reported last week the two Presidents from Yarmouth, 32201/2 were transferred to Norwich and quickly saw service. I happened to be in Helllesdon on Thursday and got a pic of 32202 working a service 28 (I think) into Norwich.

Ex Yarmouth President 32202 opposite Hellesdon Hospital on Thursday
Finally as far as First is concerned I have noticed several X2 journeys operated by extremely full little Darts this week, and many 99 journeys operated by virtually empty double decker Geminis this week. My mind is trying to correlate the two but is failing miserably. Official explanation anyone?


An eventful week at the Beccles yard this week, most of which my lawyers have advised me not to publish. So the only piece of news I have which I can tell you is apparently withdrawn Trident 715 was seen over the pits looking like it was being prepared to re-enter service. That is only an unofficial report so don't shoot me if it's wrong, but Anglian are short of vehicles so it would make sense. I have also heard one of the Omnilinks which recently had a new engine promptly blew the new one up too so that could be a long term casualty. I'll try and find out which one!

Ex Konect Trident 722 at Halesworth Thursday morning


Off our patch, so to speak, but the most exciting news of the week for me came from Stagecoach East announcing a new fleet of vehicles for the X5 between Cambridge and Oxford. 18 Volvo B11R Plaxton Elite Interdeck coaches have been ordered, and should be in service by the end of the year. Now as the X5 is classed as a local service Concessionary passes are valid and so I think I might be quite a regular visitor to that route once the new vehicles are in service. I look forward to seeing the internal layout - they are going to be 57 seaters, not 75 like the Megabus versions as seen below

Megabus 54220 Volvo B11R Plaxton Interdeck seen in Norwich last week

To finish this round up with the money I saved from not going to the giant coach park I'm going back oop north in November, and that meant one of life's more pleasant tasks - shopping on the Megabus website. This is what I booked for early November:

1630  London - Newcastle arr 2305   £1.00
2245  Edinburgh - London Megabus Gold Sleeper Coach  arr 0645 £15.00
0930  London - Norwich arr 1230  £1.00

Add 50p booking fee and I got the lot for £17.50. I think that's one of the STEVE awards well and truly sewn up!!! Cannot wait to sample one of the magnificent Sleeper Coaches.

I have an eye check up in West Sussex on Tuesday so check in throughout week for reports and pics from far and wide!

Mmmmmm can't wait!


  1. Cheer up! It'd be a boring old world without the moaners. A much more pleasant one too. I always feel sorry for them, having to live with their problems. I don't. As for joining in with them. I'll pass on that one, thanks.

    Golly, what an exciting life we lead in Essex with timetable tinkerings and hand-me-downs! It even makes painting-by-numbers sound exciting. (Note to First: not really. It's a joke).

    I'm thinking the regional services might just be the moneyspinners that support the local services, rather than the other way around. Cambridge is one of my old haunts. But dear old maiden-aunt First never really turned up to the party, did she? Never mind, I'm sure someone will sit with her.

  2. Don't worry about the "know-it-all" moaners. Most in reality "know everything about nothing," as can be seen by their spelling and grammar. If I see "independent" spelled "independant" one more time, I'll scream.

    There, that's my moan over. It had to be said.

    Keep up the good work! The blog is informative and always a good read and I for one really appreciate your efforts.

    North Carolina

    1. Cheers, Mick - always a pleasure to hear from you buddy. As my best friend is Scottish I will NEVER spell the word independence wrong again believe me!, Now Network/Notwork/Nutwork/Nitwork might be a different thing. . . . .

  3. Hi Steve, JohnDBus here. Excellent read as per normal. I hope you get back to your normal blog output as I have missed them over the past few days. Hope all goes well in West Sussex and my glasses will be polished ready to read the blog again for when you post a blog

    1. Thanks, John - was a bit deflated last week but should be back to normal this week.