Wednesday 3 December 2014

Ipswich Arrivals, Returns And More

As a follow up to yesterday's post on First Yorkshire Volvo B10B Renown 60622's last day in Yarmouth, I thought it would be a good idea to be at Ipswich to welcome it back today. I had also been informed that 69006 was finally transferring from Norwich, although right up to the last second there were reports that maybe it wouldn't turn up due to an MOT issue. As it turns out it will be MOT'd at Rotherham when it goes up later this week. This is the final vehicle to transfer to Ipswich for the refurbishment plan. So I went to see my mates at Ipswich depot -  I'm proud to call them mates - and had a chat with Barry about mundane things like MOT schedules and the problems of vinyl application! Suddenly a tap on the shoulder and there was Paulo announcing he was back with 69006 - and saying what a decent bus it was too. So out we trotted and thanks to Paulo reversing it out of the depot both myself and David Warren who was also there - pleasure to meet you David - got some really good pics. Well better light would have been nice but it is December after all!

69006 at Ipswich and the jigsaw is complete
There was no sign of 60622 yet so Barry and I wandered up to the Old Cattle Market as there was a rumour going aroung that a certain manager was in town. So for the first time I ascended the 873 steps (felt like it anyway) inside the operations building at OCM and not only was Chris Speed there grinning back at me but I got to meet the Depot Manager at Ipswich, Cliff Hussey, who is quite a legend. Cliff is a veteran of Yarmouth Transport and I have a feeling I might be bending his ear for anecdotes and memories of his time in the industry. Pleasure to meet you, Cliff.

Chris was showing off his new toy, a tracker system that can monitor every bus in real time,and also crucially in the past, so if comeone was to complain of a bus running early for example, it can be tracked retrospectively to see if the claim is valid or not. You'd be amazed how many people get to a stop late and then claim the bus left early. This system will make sure drivers are not unfairly accused.

It was that system which allowed Chris to inform me that 60622 had made it back to Ipswich and so it was back round the depot to get the welcome home pics. She was parked a bit near the wall so is a bit closer than I would have preferred but what the heck it's her! Over the next few weeks the four Yorkshire Renowns will go back to Rotherham before embarking on their next mission wherever that is.

60622 back at Ipswich
That was all I intended to do today but as luck would have it when I got to OCM this afternoon it was photo opportunity after photo opportunity for about half hour. First of all the E200 demonstrator on loan to Galloway was about to embark on it's trip to Framlingham. Leather seated, including the driver's seat,  even I have to say it looks quite good, or would if road conditions weren't so muddy right now!

E200 demonstrator YX14 RXB on loan to Galloway
There were also a couple of irregular workings today. Returning to the Yorkshire Renowns one of them was operating on the 66 today, which really is a rare event. 66112 was on the route most of the day from what I understand.

66112 on the 66 to Masrtlesham seen at OCM Ipswich
Now I have vague memories of Ipswich Buses' E300 83 being quite a regular on the Shotley run, but I haven't seen it on it for well over a year as first Solos then Tridents have been on the two Shotley routes for sometime now. However today the said E300 was operating on the 98's.

Ipswich Buses 83 E300 ready to load up for Shotley
Also present today at Ipswich were one of Beestons recent acquisitions in the form of Scania Omnidekka YN54 OAE. Still red from her Transdev London Sovereign days and with double doors this bus is covering while others are being refurbished.

Beestons ex Transdev Scania Omnidekka YN54 OAE at Old Cattle Market
A bit of vehicle news - long term casualty B7tl 32492 is almost ready to go back on the road. She has been off the road for a month now with driveshaft probs but today I saw her alive again and manouvering around the drpot.

And finally as I was travelling into Ipswich today I was using the on-board WiFi on 66986. Very good it is too, and has proved quite a success - Chris Speed was showing me the usage stats earlier and the one that stood out was the stat that reveals that the average log on time for the WiFi on the 38 buses currently fitted with it in the Ipswich fleet is 31 mins. That meant my assertion that longer distance passengers would benefit more than town passengers appears to have been vindicated. I was dead against it initially but now I make just as much use of it as anyone else. With one exception.

I saw a tweet from a fellow blogger announcing a new post and so eager to see one of my pics used elsewhere I clicked on the link only to be told the site was blocked. Since Roy could never upset anyone to that extent I tried other blogs and the same thing happened - all blocked, and even mine wouldn't load pics. So I took the opportunity to ask Chris what had happened and this is what it is - the system is obviously set up so adult material cannot be accessed or downloaded, and so certain keywords trigger the computerised censors. If you look at the address of this blog you will see it is part of the blogspot network. Unfortunately blogspot includes the letter formation GSPOT which is enough to trigger the alarms and so nothing from blogspot is accessible on the on board WiFi systems! The computer really does say no!

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