I very nearly cancelled today. Less than two hours sleep thanks to the high winds, and then the thought of standing at a bus stop in Pakefield getting blown around just to take pictures of buses? However, as I was still annoyed at double-booking myself yesterday I made my way up to Pakefield and subsequently had a wonderful few hours.
Yesterday saw BorderBus launch the new route and timetable for the 146, which now takes in Kessingland (why don't they just give each resident their own bus), Pakefield and Carlton Colville. Due to the timings Carlton Colville was an impossibility on a day like this, but 15 mins after I arrived Malcolm turned up on 107, the latest addition to the fleet, looking great in not only new paint but new vinyls. However, this bus will feature prominently in the second half of the post, as I made arrangements with Malcolm to meet him on his return from Norwich and organised a photoshoot with him along the route.
10 mins later and due to BB62 being away for a new front the E300 was on the route, and I have never been on it before.
|BorderBus 106 E300 KX54 NKH at Morrisons in Pakefield|
Well I've been on it now and to be perfectly honest I can't wait to go on it again. In my opinion the best bus in the fleet and I would happily go anywhere on it. I liked it so much I stayed on it longer than intended and went to Wangford, where I waited for the next one going back the other way.
That turned out to be 102, BB59 BUS. A little noisier this one, with an alarmingy loud whine coming from somewhere when cruising around the 40mph mark. However today is not for vehicle analysis but publicity for the new route and at this point I need to thank all the drivers on the route today, who without exception cheerfully agreed to my requests to stop for photos. I was anxious to get as many pics on the new section of route as possible, and thanks to the BorderBus drivers I succeeded in photographing all 4 vehicles out on the route today on that new section. A couple of destination screens failed to show up on camera and the sun was doing it's best to chip in but here is BB59 in Kessingland.
|BorderBus 102 basking in the sun in Kessingland, with soon to be removed old route vinyls|
Next up was 103, BB09 BUS, which I think is just about the quietest of the E200's. I only went to Kessingland on her, but once again the driver made sure I got the pictures I wanted.
|BorderBus 103, in the shade this time in Kessingland heading for Southwold|
After suffering a truly hideous journey on a First Lowestoft Dart (42358) back to Pakefield, and a lunch that never turned up it was time to meet Malcolm again. I had thought this would make a good picture, even for publicity purposes, and Malcolm, true to his word positioned the bus perfectly for this picture. I have to say I'm quite proud of it. If you go full screen the new route vinyls are beautifully clear.
|BorderBus 107 MX12 DYU with Male Model Malcolm behind the wheel, posing at Pontins in Pakefield|
I stayed with Malcolm to Southwold, where another surprise was waiting for us. BorderBus had sent out their Bus Stop Inspection Team to check that stops were displaying the new timetables. I have to say that all the ones I checked were correct so well done SCC on that one. The Inspection Team comprised of Nicky and Jamie Pursey, and for half hour by Southwold Pier the 4 of us had a really good chat, including Nicky telling me off for allowing others to upset me too much! Point taken, Nicky. Good to meet Jamie for the first time, who claims to be my number one fan, and also reacted far more diplomatically than his Dad when I gave him my business card with an Anglian gas bus on it!. Not sure if I'm deserving of fans, mate, but thank you. I have a feeling you are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the industry in a few years time.
|The 146 to Southwold at Southwold Pier|
A really good stress free if windswept day. I hope BorderBus have some real success on the route this Summer, because they show invention and initiative, and don't just carbon copy other operator's routes, abandoning passengers in one area just to make life a bit nore awkward for a competitor in an already over milked area.
|Just in case you didn't know the new route!|
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