Saturday 31 January 2015

65588 Wows Norwich

Twitter was buzzing this morning with rave reviews from Norwich concerning former Ipswich Scania 65588 which moved up the A140 yesterday and was pressed straight into service today. It is a really negative reflection on the current Norwich B7l's that an aging Scania, albeit an extremely well maintained Scania comes across as so much better. Maybe Norwich will want to keep it for longer than intended! No reason why not really (yes I know it will be the only Scania there), and with cover for repaints needed 65588 with its long MOT might just fit the bill and preservation will have to wait a bit.

Anyway I am grateful to Sam Larke for promising me some pics of her today, saving me the ordeal of hanging around Norwich in the freezing cold on Monday! All the pics in this post are copyright to him and you can view his Flickr page here.

65588 on the 29B to Taverham at its new home in Norwich    pic (c) Sam Larke
The Yellow Line being the strip on the step I presume!    pic (c) Sam Larke
A Scania Floline back in Norwich City Centre     pic (c) Sam Larke

Picking up a member of Sma's fan club!       pic (c) Sam Larke
A view from the rear.          pic (c) SamLarke

Friday 30 January 2015

65588 Cheats Death Again!

I am pleased to be the bearer of good news. As expected, due to the arrival last night of 69006 back from Rotherham today, after completing morning runs on the 67 to Martlesham, the final Ipswich Scania 65588 has been withdrawn from service. As I type it is being prepared to travel to Norwich, but NOT for storage.

Norwich have asked if it can be released for service work which has been agreed, so once again a Scania Floline will be seen on the streets of Norwich. More details and new pics of 69006 later but here is the final view of an Ipswich Scania in Ipswich. Truly the end of an era.

UPDATE: Having spoken to Chris Speed earlier he confirmed that he sanctioned the use of 65588 at Norwich as an emergency measure due to several vehicles at Norwich encountering problems with the new style grit the Council are using this year. It's hoped the problems will be rectified shortly.

65588 outside Ipswich depot for last time prior to moving to Norwich.
69006 didn't leave the depot today, in fact didn't even stray from over the pits, so getting a decent pic wasn't easy. What should be noted though is the white vinyls on the destination surround have been replaced by what looks like vinyls of a similar colour to the paintwork, thus making the destination screen area smaller than the others. As usual in the depot it was very difficult light but you can make it out just!

69006 showing off the reduced destination screen area
The last pic I'll take a of a repaint at Ipswich for sometime!

Thursday 29 January 2015

69006 back and Jigsaw Complete

A very quick post to say that the last Vovlo B7rle to return to Ipswich under the refurb programme has arrived. 69006 arrived a few minutes ago and Paulo has sent me a couple of quick pics of her. I'm in Ipswich tomorrow so hopefully I'll be able to add to them. Many thanks Paulo.

Proof of the identity!
Showing signs of the long journey down from Rotherham!

Special Post - Meeting With Matthew Arnold

Had you been walking through the old Pentagon Bus Station in Chatham 35 years ago at around 8am you would probably have seen a couple of schoolboys frantically finishing their homework, normally Maths or French, resting on the not yet open sweet stall. These two boys would also be keeping a very close eye on Bay 15 of said Bus Station, making sure that the opportunity of a ride on a favourite vehicle, or a chat with one of the numerous drivers they knew didn't go unnoticed.

Fast forward those 35 years and those same now fast approaching 50yo boys are chatting about buses over a hot drink in Maidstone as though the time had evaporated. However the two lives have gone in different directions before touching all too briefly again yesterday. One of them is awaiting yet another eye operation and passes the time by writing a few words about transport and winding up other enthusiasts. The other has come up through the ranks and is now Area Chairman of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, which is the industry's  social club, so to speak, where the great and the good in transport get together for a good chinwag, and at times come together to protest against a common enemy.

Matthew Arnold isn't a name that will mean too much to many of those reading this, but believe me there isn't much he hasn't done. He started in the transport industry with London Country in the scheduling department, and also did a bit of part time coaching with West Kingsdown Coaches, and other coach companies in Kent and Sussex. He has worked for Virgin Atlantic, spending 100% of his time there chatting up air hostesses, and run his own bus company before selling it and moving toTfL at their head office at 55 Broadway. It was one morning while on the commute that Matthew learned via a phonecall from his wife he was going to be a dad - in the guard's van of the train I was working up to London! I don't think either of us will forget that moment! After leaving TfL Matthew joined Arriva.  He is now Commercial Manager based at Arriva Southern Counties HQ in Maidstone covering an area from Ipswich to Camberley

Arriva Maidstone 7008 Volvo B5LH Gemini 2 KX13 AVO. Kings Hill is the site of the old West Malling airfield
It must be said the most of our chat was about the old days, characters we had known, and plenty of anecdotes. However we got onto the subject of Borismasters and there was a big difference of opinion. You will all know by now that I am a massive fan of the Borismaster. I know they are expensive but in my view they are beginning to prove themselves. That is my view as a passenger and rattle hater! But Matthew looks at them from a purely industry view as they have less capacity than conventional deckers, and are longer and heavier.

However, it seems the industry are united about one thing - the engine itself. Now I have to admit all this Euro 5 engine and Euro 6 engine talk leaves my eyes a bit glazed but basically it's down to emissions - Matthew told me that a Euro 6 engine has a little wizard in it that turns the air the engine pumps out cleaner than the air it sucks in. Very clever - wish my cooker was fitted with one. TfL think so too, which is why their new Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), which they are consuting on and which is planned to come into force in 2020, is going to demand that all PCVs entering the zone must be fitted with an Euro 6 engine. With one exception. The Borismasters have an Euro 5 engine, which is clean but not clean enough for other companies who won't be abe to enter the EEZ unless they want to pay a handsome fine for the privilege.. The Borismasters, however won't be affected and only TfL funded Borismasters will be allowed in the EEZ with anything less than a Euro 6 engine.

Now the CPT are a little nonplussed about this. Smaller coach companies who have been operating in London for decades now suddenly have to replace their coach fleets in under 5 years, which most companies do so on an 8 - 10 year programme. So why should their investments be any less respected than TfL's? What about foreign coaches? It's a good story this one, and I think one to watch over the next few months to see if the CPT can force TfL's hand into concessions. There has to be a compromise somewhere surely.

Matthew does redeem himself, however. Having gone to town over the Borismaster he then proclaimed that the best bus ever built ever was the Volvo Olympian. I cant argue with that, even if I personally prefer the old Leyland Ollies with the Cummins engine. The sound of one of those engines is like a Beethoven symphony to me which gives me the perfect opportunity to show you one I saw yesterday in the open sided Igloo that is the new Chatham Bus Station!

Nu-Venture's ex Lothian and Central Connect Leyland Olympian 3558 RU (formerly F359WSC)
We did talk about current policies such as the 50km rule. I was saddened to see one of my favourite routes as a boy has all but disappeared. I have happy memories of the 5 between Maidstone and Hastings - at one point it even extended to Gillingham - but now it runs to Sandhurst near Hawkhurst, where a change of service and bus is required to get to Hastings. Very sad. We also talked about branding, and Matthew reminded me that in Medway a few years ago they had colour branding for their routes, under the "Mainline" flag. It was dropped after not too long as buses were being put on the wrong routes and it looked daft, particularly on Sundays when they did multiple route workings. You can fill in the next sentence yourselves!

Matthew currently plays many roles within Arriva, and it was a real joy to meet up yesterday and relive the past a bit. I'm so happy to see my old detention partner doing so well for himself and in the next post I'll concentrate on some of the services and Vehciles Matthew has been instrumental in bringing to the part of Kent we spent hours talking about what we'd do to the bus services given the chance as boys, and now he's got to do it for real. 

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Agoraline Outing And Catch Up

Last year Norfolk Green sold off all their Irisbus Agoraline single deckers. Most went for scrap but 4 were sold to Nu-Venture in Kent. As I stayed in Kent last night prior to a meeting wiith an old friend (he's older than me) and Arriva Manager today I thought I'd see if I could catch up with the Agoralines, especially as I know there were some extremely sad to see them go. I rang Nu-Venture this morning and wasn't exactly encouraged by the response I got, either about the vehicles or my prospects of being allowed to see them. It turns out that only one of them is currently on the road. One is awaiting MOT, one a part that's proving difficult to find, and one has been an organ doner to the others already. However, undetered I drove over to Nu-Venture's yard in Aylesford to see if I could see anything, and very pleased I did too!

When I got there I could immedately see two of them with their back to me, one in Norfolk Green Colours, the other in a livery I didn't regognise. Now normally I freely let anyone use the pics I publish on here but for this post I must ask that anyone wishing to use the pics contacts me first for permission, Thanks.

Former Norfolk Green Agoralines 39895 and 39898 sandwich an ex Stagecoach Volvo B10M
I ventured (groan) into the office to introduce myself and met a very friendly chap who tuurned out to be a manager/driver there who was happy to tell me about the Agoralines and better than that told me he was taking 898 out on a local route soon, and I was welcome to come out on it. He also informed me of the whereabouts of the other two and how to get a pic of them. The name of this extremely friendly and helpful man? Yup it's another Chris! The other two are stored in an industrial estate down the road and even Nu-Venture staff have problems getting in there so I stood no chance! So it was camera through the fence in pouring rain mode and here we are.

Ex Norfolk Green Iris Agoraline 39891 OY53 RDZ awating parts.
39897 AU05 FKF. I think this is the one awaiting MOT
I then drove to the route which brought back a few memories, as it was one I used to drive myself 27 years ago, and met up with Chris for a very pleasant 45 mins riding on what was probably the only Agoraline in service in the country today assuming Norse didn't have their one out. It was my first ride on one and my word aren't they quirky - love the indicator stalk positioning, and Chris showed me the 7 different braking systems on it too! Predominantly Renault I agree at least one example should be preserved for the sheer quirkiness of them. However the rattles were as you would expect from something that old, the ride smooth and the heating was excellent. Chris very decently stopped a couple of times for me to get pics.

Ex Norfolk Greem 39898 GX07 BAU in Barming on the 78
And here is the nearside view. Still looking rather smart I think
The old Stagecoach plate stilll in place
Chris has promised to keep me informed of any news regarding the Agoralines, and I am really grateful for that. He is one of only two drivers to drive the Agoralines, and he clearly liked the vehicle. A pleasure to meet you, Chris, and I hope next time I'm down I can join you for another journey!

This was a real bonus for me, as I was hoping to get news and pics of all things Arriva today and didn't even think of the Agoralines till last night. Coming up over the next few days my meeting with Matthew Arnold, who apart from being a life long friend and Arriva Manager is now Area Chairman of the CPT (Confederation of Public Transport) and was rubbing noses with the high and mighty of our area in Stowmarket last week! A very interesting chat on Euro 5 and 6 engines and TfL's somewhat in my view biased approach to the proposed enhanced emissions zone. There will also be  features on Arriva in Medway and Maidstone but I'll leave you for now, from a freezing cold Kent of one last pic of the Agoraline, taken in King St in Maidstone, a stop I spent many hours wating at as boy and driver!

898 in Maidstone Town Centre

Monday 26 January 2015

The Launch Of Lynx And More

Today saw many cameraists heading for Kings Lynn to witness the debut of East Anglia's newest bus company. Lynx, the trading name of Coastal Red, the latest venture by Konectbus founder. Julian Patterson. As you would expect I made the 4 hour journey to get you pics of the first day in service.

Using a fleet of 3 Optare Tempos Lynx operate an hourly service from Kings Lynn to Hunstanton, in direct competition with Norfolk Green's 10 and 11.

Lynx Optare Tempo YJ05 JWZ arrives from Hunstanton
Has to be said the buses are smart inside and out, and it is certainly a colour that East Anglia is lacking in. The loads seemed really healthy and there was certainly a Lynx Effect in Kings Lynn Bus Station where Norfolk Green staff were thrusting timetables into as many hands as they could.

Sister Tempo YJ55 BJE loads up for Hunstanton
There were three vehicles out on the route today, whch could manage with two, but I think Lynx were determined to make sure everything left on time today so all three Tempos were out. It will be interesting to see how the service flourishes over the next few months.

The third of the Tempos YJ55 BKU
It was also the first day of the new X1 timetable, and the first chance to see some of the new destination screen arrangements for the now split up in a thousand pieces route. I'm intending to do a major post on the subject of Domestic v EU driving rules in the near future so I won't dwell too long on it just suffice it to say the new destination displays make a sheer mockery of the route and I will vote for any party who pledges to sort it out.

Totally pathetic and unnecessary, 33814 models the new short form destination screen
This is turning out into more of a round up than the round up was yesterday,but I'm down South for a couple of days getting a couple of special features so everything has to get squeezed in tonight.

I was sent a pic this afternoon by the gentleman who is Tim Miller of one of the refurbished ex Metrobus Scanina Omnidekkas heading for Anglian Bus in the next couple of weeks. They are meant to be replacing the three Tridents but I still hold out hope that the Tridents will be retained as spares.  Having had an extremely crowded Streetlite on the 88 from Bungay this morning it seems the spare deckers are needed rather urgently. No idea which of the Scanias this is but it certainly looks good before the vinyls go on. Many thanks to Tim for the pic.

One of the Scania Omnidekkas soon to arrive at Beccles
Now having said yesterday there were no bus changes whatsoever taking place in Suffolk in February I almost immediately discovered that First are making changes to some of their Norwiich services from 22nd Feb 2015. These changes were lodged with the Traffic Commisioner on 6th Jan but I don't recall anyone else mentioning them so forgive me if I just missed it. Anyway the changes are as follows.

12/12A          To amend Timetable
13/13B          To amend Route, Stopping Places and Tmetable
25/25A/X25  To amend Timetable
26/27             To amend Timetable
36/39             To amend Route, Stopping Places and Timetable

There is also a new route being created, presumably on the Purple Line between Norwich and Long Stratton via Flotman and Newton, given service no 35. It will operate from Castle Meadow, Norwich to Manor Rd, Long Stratton, and will operate half hourly Monday to Saturday.

Once again sorry if this is old news but none of it struck me as familiar.

33163 shortly after repaint at Anglia Square
 Wednesday I have a meeting arranged with an old friend who is a manager on Arriva Southern Counties. I have been looking forward to catching up with him for a long time, and I think it will be a very interesting interview. I will also be spending time on Arriva's services in Medway and Maidstone, sampling some of their new fleet and will form the basis of a two post special later this week.

Sunday 25 January 2015

Weekly News Round Up 25/1/15

It is a quiet period in the transport industry in these parts. Seriously quiet. For example there is not a single alteration to bus services coming up in Suffolk in February. Not one. Not so much as a timetable tweak. So right now news is hard to find and everyone is resorting to desperate posts about the past and mundane subject - myself included - just to get something to read out.

Nothing to report from Ipswich - 69006 is still to come down from Rotherham so Scania 65588 as reported on Friday is still soldiering on. No more repaints in Norwiich, although it s reported that Purple Line Trident 33003 has had the white "Norwich" vinyls applied. More little bus transfers are taking place this weekend.with ex Jersey Dart 43859 moving to Lowestoft. East Norfolk Bus Blog also reports that sister vehicle 43864 will move once engine probs are sorted, and this has meant that three more E200's have moved from Lowestoft to Norwich - 44516/7/928 have gone to the City, which has meant that three of the Norwich Solo's have been spotted laid up at Rowntree Way not doing much at all.

Further afield the three Yarmouth B10M Renowns withdrawn last week, 60813/4/66126 have made the journey down to Plymouth. Lucky Plymothians! It has emerged, again on ENBB that one of the Yorkshire Renowns reported to be at Lowestoft, 66112, is actually at Yarmouth, which would explain why no one has seen her in Lowestoft! B7tl 30888 remains officially on loan at Lowestoft but last I heard that would soon become a permanent transfer as it is earmarked for the Lowestoft heritage livery.

That's it for buses - simply no more news I can think of but this week's big event has been on the railways.

East Anglia's newest resident - the ex Virgin Trains Pretendolino made its long awaited debut on Thursday, if only a test run not in public use, but it won't be too ling before she's out in service. It is understoood she will run complete and not be split up as was first speculated. The set operated a test run from Norwich to Cochester and back on Thursday and Geoff Tibble managed to take the most wonderful pic, taken at Dagworth, north of Stowmarket,  which he has kindly allowed me to use. You can access Geoff's Flickr page which has some of the most stunning railway photography I've ever seen here.

The Pretendolino heads towards Stowmarket, with the DVT unusually at the London end.   pic (c) Geoff Tibble
In fact I hope Geoff doesn't mind but I simply have to share another of his pics with you. Over the last couple of weekends East Coast Mainline services have been diverted between Peterborough and London via Ely and Cambridge. As the Peterborough - Ely section is unelectrified that has meant only HST's can operate the service, and here is a pic that should be on display in a gallety somewhere of an HST captured at Eastree, which is between March and Whittlesea in the Cambridgehire Fens.

Just wow! An East Coast HST at Eastree.   pic (c) Geoff Tibble
Tomorrow (Monday) is quite a big day in the bus world with new services and indeed companies starting, and the fragmentation of the X1 gets its first weekday test. I'll be out there where it matters and look out for a post tomorrow evening with all the news and pics. Have a great week.

Friday 23 January 2015

Random Jottings 23.1.15

Showing my age now but years and years ago there was a radio programme called The Random Jottings of Hinge and Brackett. Compulsory listening in our house as we knew a couple of old dears who were dead ringers personality wise to H & B and the title has always stuck in my mind, and it's quite a good one when there is no real subject, just a few random pics over the last couple of days.

Yesterday started with me carrying out my social duties in Wickham Market. I got there on the perfectly adequate 66978, which I regard as the best ex Essex B7rle I have been on so far. All it needs now is the WiFi activated. Really the vinyls shouldn't have gone on until it had what they advertise.

66978 at a murky Wickham Market
After my social duties I carried on into Ipswich to meet up with a couple of  reprobates who are a little handy with a camera. Not before Sods Law had a chance to strike with picturesque 69428 stopping at Wickham to go the wrong way (for me)!

69428 at a still gloomy Wickham Market

I had to suffer 69423 to Ipswich which had a very annoying rattle coming from the front somewhere and on arrival I was met by ace snappers Bryan Dickson and David Warren. There was another enthusiast taking pics too but he declined to join our gathering which was a shame. However the nattering started and didn't really stop for three hours. One of the best afternoons I can remember for a long time and I hope it becomes a regular event. Lord knows there will be few other reasons to go to Ipswich over the next few months as nothing is going to be happening! Anyway before we adjourned to the comfort and relative warmth of The Plough a few pics were taken. I got my first pic of the most recent arrival from refurb - 32494 complete with another new roof!

32494, as yet 66 unbranded at OCM heading for Martlesham
Something I've been trying unsuccessfully to photo over the last few weeks is a regular on schoolday the Cattle Market. Ipswich Buses Optare Spectra 50, known as "delight" due to her Turkish history. She isn't on the road much these days so it was good to get the chance to get a decent pic of her at last.

Ipswich Buses 50 at OCM on the 163 to Levington
I travelled home on a very cold Galloways MCV Evolution and today returned to Wickham Market for a funeral. Only one bus today but it will probably be my last ride on Scania 65588. Have to say Plymouth would have been better off with her than certainly 62126 as she was quiet, smooth and remarkably non rattly. Faster than the rle's too. I'll actually be sorry to see her go and someone should grab her before the scrappers get her, although apparently Ipswich Transport Museum are thinking of preserving her. I hope one of them is preserved although 65589 would be my choice as I've always considered that to be the best of that batch.

65588 showing an impossible route at the wrong location
For those who don't know the 64A runs from Aldeburgh to Saxmundham via Leiston, then should change to a 64 to Ipswich. So to go from Aldeburgh to Saxmundham via Ipswich is impossible, and by time it got to Wickham it should have been showing 64 anyway! However it makes one of my last images of her more special to have that anomoly on the screen. Btw there is not a driver past, present or future who has never or will never forget to change the destination at some time, even managers, so there is no criticism of the driver whatsoever and I do not expect anyone else to!

Don't forget the Round Up on Sunday, which will include a very special pic of the newest train in the area, but I'll leave you with this bus, who has devoted her life to the people of the Ipswich area passing me for maybe the last time as she left Wickham. It is the end of an era and I was grateful for that last ride on her today.

Showing at least the right "via" 65588 roars off into the sunset!

Thursday 22 January 2015

The 379 Prius Hits The Tracks

How many times have you been stranded because a diesel unit has failed yet you can see an electric unit standing idle and wished it ran on batteries so, like diesels, it could run on any line regardless of traction? If you have then you are not alone because the first battery powered train is currently (no pun intended but it is rather good) running trials on the Manningtree - Harwich line. The bright sparks (I'm in the groove now) at Bombardier, together with Network Rail, Greater Anglia,  innovation body FutureRail and the Department of Transport have converted a Class 379 Electrostar to run on batteries with no need for a pantograph. Public testing is now taking place and regular contributor and all round star Robert Appleton was out there yesterday changing codes from buses and taking some pics of it, which he has kindly sent to me.

379013 sits at Manningtree before heading out to Harwich    pic (c) Robert Appleton
The brains behiind the operation all listed on the side of the train    pic (c) Robert Appleton
A word of warning - if you decide this is the vehicle you have been waiting for and you want to buy one for God's sake make sure it does exactly what it says on the tin, or alluminium whatever they build trains from these days, and it does indeed come with batteries included. If it doesn't you might find 80,000 of them a little trcky to get delivered and if my remote control is anything to go by fitting them will be a real bugger!

379013 sits at Harwich before its return journey to Manningtree    pic (c) Robert Appleton
379013 pulls out of Mistley Station en route to Harwich   pic (c) Robret Appleton
So of course the joke of the day has to be as follows - When is an electric train rude? When its pants are down, of course. Not bad for 1.15am but for those of you clapping your hand on your forehead I apologise! I fully intend to travel on this train before the trials end in February, as having worked on Electrostars I'm interested to experience the ride for myself to see if anything is different. I still think it's brave using a unit finishing in 13 though! I guess the next step will be to trial it on a non electrified line and that will be one to watch, although the talk is that any future electric train will be purpose built rather than converted. That being the case it may be some years before the good old DEMU becomes threatened. My thanks go to Robert for the pics, and I'll try to get on this remarkable train in the next couple of weeks.

Look no pants!! 379013 at Mistley with pantograph down proving use of alternative power.   pic (c) Robert Appleton

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Before It Was Local

A couple of days ago I saw a photo on Flickr of Ipswich Buses' 83 Enviro 300 SK07DYA when it was with the company as a demonstrator some years before it became a permanent resident at Constantine Rd. I was rather peeved that I couldn't remember it here. So it being far too cold to be hanging around bus stations trying to get pics I thought it might be an idea to delve into the past and see just how many different companies I could find 83 working for during its time as a demonstrator. Many thanks in advance to all those good people on Flickr who allow their pics to be downloaded on Creative Commons Licence - you will all get a link and credit.

Rather ironically the earliest pic I could find of 83 just happens to be in May 2007 at this strange town called Ipswich. Seen on the Park and Ride before the destination screen had been programmed. The pic is by parkandride2007 whose Flickr page you can access here.

Seen at Major's Corner, Ipswich on May 17th 2007.          pic by parkandride2007
 A few months later and the next port of call - literally - was Southampton. Apparently wokring for Go-South here she is in Southampton in August 2007. The pic was taken by Solenteer whose Flickr page you can access here.

Seen in Southampton on 24th August 2007        pic by Solenteer

By September 2007 83 had moved inland from the coast and was working for Preston Bus in December for Stagecoach Yorkshire, and in April the following year our 6 wheeled heroine was in Nottingham, on loan to Trent Nottingham. This pic was taken by John Law whose Flickr page can be accessed here.

Seen on 26th April 2008 on the 17 to Stapleford.    pic by John Law
A further 16 months have passed before we catch up with 83 again. There had been sightings of her in Lincoln in July 2008, which I can't bring you, but we see her in August 2009 working for Bodman's Coaches of Devizes in Wiltshire (yes it does exist not just in a limerick) seen in Salisbury. The pic was taken by Michael Wadman whose Flickr page can be accessed here.

Seen August 22nd 2009 on the 24 from Salisbury to Warminster.   pic by Michael Wadman
Jump another 10 months and 83 has gone north of the border and is working for McGill's Buses based in Greenock, Inverclyde. McGill's appear to be the only company she was on loan to who put their own vinyls on so I presume it was a different kind of lease/loan. Here we see her leaving Glasgow for Largs, taken by William Swain, whose Flickr page you can access here.

Working for McGill's leaving Glasgow on the 906 to Largs.     pic by William Swain
In September 2011 this now much travelled bus operated the site shuttle service for ShowBus, where I imagine many enthusiast backsides sat on her, and judging from Flickr many pics were taken. This pic is by Mark Kirk whose Flickr page you can access here.

Seen operating the Site Shuttle at ShowBus 2011     pic by Mark Kirk
Shortly after that, and I presume when it was announced Ipswich Buses were purchasing her, well known Ipswich enthusuast Colin Humphrey spotted what would become 83 at Plaxton's place in South Anston. Colin's Flickr page can be accessed here.

Next to a Trent Optare Excel in October 2011      pic by Colin Humphrey
And so after travelling around the country our E300 settled in Ipswich, where she got her new paint job. She has seen service just about everywhere, but the pic I choose is of a route I know absolutely nothing about which ends up in Colchester. So if anyone could shed some light on this route, and if it still operates I'll be grateful. The last pic, like the first is taken by parkandride2007

Ipswich Buses 83 seen at Colchester Terminus 15th October 2013        pic by parkandride2007

Tuesday 20 January 2015

New Decker Livery Extra

An extra post today featuring the raw talent that is David Warren. As usual he has been generous with his sharing of the pics he has taken and I am delighted to be the first to bring you pics of the last Ipswich decker to be repainted out in service, 32494 which returned last week.

32494 psses Tower Ramparts.
32494 will be one of the 5 B7tl's to be fully vinyled up for Superoute 66 along with 32493 (already done, and the three 05 reg B7tl's, 32653/5/6. I understand 32488 will have her partial branding removed. Yet again it is noticeable just how clean she is compared to others this week.

And the offside as she enters Old Cattle Market

David also sent me yesterday pictures of Beeston's new livery, as modelled by Scania Omnicity YN54OCJ. There have been pics on other blogs in the last 24 hours but I'd like to correct one inaccuracy published. The blue is a darker, greener blue than the previous livery, quite noticeably if you see them side by side. The silver panel is obvioously inspired by the Scania demonstrator livery, but I like the new look, especially the understated company name on the sides! At least no ads are guaranteed!

YN54OCJ showing off the new livery opposite Old Catlle Market
And the nearside turning in OCM
Here you can clearly see the deifference between the blues as shown on MX04 MXY
My thanks again to David for sending me the pics, and hope there are many more to come from him in the future - I might give him a wish list.........