Thursday 19 March 2015

Cambridge Awayday Part Two

On Tuesday Bryan and myself went to Cambridge for some extensive photgraphy and to ride the Busway. I concentated in Tuesday's post on our Busway experience (click here if you missed it), and today I'll look at some of the other things we saw.

Cambridge is totally dominated by Stagecoach. Go-Whippet have a couple of services but that appears to be it. Stagecoach have all the Park & Rides and E400's rule the roost, apart from a few E200/300's and some older Trident ALX400's. One thing I was hoping to see was one of the new  Volvo B11R Plaxton Elite coaches that operate on the X5 between Cambridge and Oxford. We did see one but as we moved into a position to take a pic it pulled away. So we were left hoping we'd see another X5 when we got back in the afternoon. We did.....

Not what we wanted to see! Stagecoach 53616 Volvo B9R Plaxton Panther KX58 NCO on the X5 from Oxford.
Stagecoach also run the "Gold" service 13 to Haverhill from Cambridge using a fleet of Gold liveried E400's. It was notable that the seating on these "Gold" vehicles was not up to the same standard as the Busway seating as those hard seats on the lower deck of an E400 were hard on the Gold but completely different on the Busway examples

Stagecoach Gold 15953 Scania E400 YN14 OXJ running out of service
Stagecoach use Scania chassis E400's on their longer routes and bog standard Dennis chassis on local and Town routes. This is a system that seems to work as the Scania chassis seems to provide much increased longevity over demanding routes. I'm willing to bet First are kicking themselves for not getting Scania chassis on the X1 Enviros, for example. It would have saved a lot of hassle, and ultimately expense. However, here is one of the local Dennis chassied E400's in Cambridge.

Stagecoach 19591 ADE400 Citi branded AE10 BXC
Here is one of the older ALX400 Tridents still working out of the City. Although annoyingly the destination display isn't showing I assure you this Trident was heading for Bury St Edmunds.

Stagecoach 18347 ALX Trident AE55 DKU en route to Bury St Edmunds
I mentioned Stagecoach had all the Park & Rides in Cambridge. Here is one of their P&R E400's

Stagecoach 19306 AD E400 AE07 KZH on Newmarket Rd P&R
And finally it is an important part of Driver Training to accept that there will always be a couple of anoraks or bobble hats on street corners pointing a camera at you. Bryan and I decided it was our duty to lend a bit of free assistance with this part of the training.

Stagecoach 37210 AD E200 SN64 OKH being used as a Driver Training vehicle.
There will be a couple more posts from the day in Cambridge, one featuring non Stagecoach vehicles we saw (mainly Go-Whippet) and one using some pics I took at the station featuring a history of a certain class of EMU. These will go up next week when due to other commitments I won't be able to go out and about as much as usual.

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