Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Another Citaro & Day Out West

 Today I set off early to catch the train to Stowmarket, with the intention of catching the Mercedes Citaro Demonstrator currently at Galloway's. Thanks to the very helpful people at Galloway I discovered that I would connect perfectly for it, despite a long and protracted argument with a Revenue Protection Inspector at Ipswich, of which more in a future post.

Anyway I got to Stowmarket, and immediately found Galloways rather good looking Optare Spectra at the Station about to leave on a Stowmarket town service. I've been after a pic of this bus for ages so it was a good start in glorious sunshine.

Galloway's Optare Spectra at Stowmarket Station

 Pretty soon after that the object of the day's travels arrived, and my word she looks good in the flesh!
Mercedes Citaro Demonstrator at Stowmarket Station
Gleaming in the sun almost to mirror standard I was interested to see how this Demonstrator compared to the one Ipswich Buses had back in February. The drivers were under the impression it was the same one Ipswich had. Erm not quite boys - just to remind you this was the one Ipswich had...

Not quite the same! The Demonstrator IB had in Feb.
So off we went through the glorious West Suffolk countryside to Bury. My impressions of this Citaro weren't quite as dramatic as that of the Ipswich one. It is still head and shoulders above any other single decker on the market, and to use a railway term, at "full clag" the feeling of power was great. Few rattles, and such a sense of solidity. Even the windows have been designed so they don't rattle in the frames. However, this one didn't have such a spacious feel as the Ipswich one. That one I decribed as a TARDIS, whereas the Galloway one, although not cramped by any means, just didn't have the "wow" factor. Having said that I wouldn't complain one bit if it turned up any day of the week to pick me up for any journey.

Really like the colour. A quality bus
The original intention was to ride to Bury and back on the Merc, but it was such a nice day I thought I'd hang around in Bury for a bit, then catch the 754 to Sudbury, passing through some of the best scenery this country has to offer. No chance to hang around though, as the 753 was just about to depart as we pulled into Bury Bus Station. So as seems to be the habit now I jumped off one bus onto the other, and got the biggest surprise of the year so far.

Brace yourself for this as these words will not appear often in this publication - I travelled on a Plaxton President that not only had comfortable seats, but didn't rattle either. Chambers, you have astounded me and I almost forgive you for getting rid of all your Olympians. If all Presidents were like this I'd have nothing to complain about. I encourage all residents of Norwich and Yarmouth (and First engineering managers) to try one of these and see how they really should be like. Excellent, and I can't wait to try another one.

Chambers 564 Dennis Trident President W409 WGH at Sudbury Bus Station

While at Sudbury I took the opportunity to snap another couple of vehicles, the first being an Optare Solo belonging to Felix Coaches of Long Melford, who operate a couple of Sudbury Town services. YJ59 GHX appears to have spent all her working life with the company

Felix Coaches Optare Solo YJ59 GHX at Sudbury Bus Station
I returned to Ipswich on the 91, hoping that Beestons might have one of their new liveried vehicles out. sadly that was not the case as I could see them all in the depot as we passed it. Here is what was operating the Sudbury town service 5 to Great Cornard today.

Beestons Scania Omnidekka MX04 MYY at Sudbury Bus Station
And that was it. Home earlier than expected and a good day completed with many boxes tiicked and a pleasant surprise to boot. Now tomorrow something pretty special is going on - a ground breaking day for any blog, so look out for Part Two of the Luxembourg Special tomorrow morning, and then a post featuring something no blog anywhere has done before later in the day.


Malcolm Robson has just confirmed to me the signing of the contract for Ipswich Buses to purchase three Euro 6 Mercedes Citaros for delivery September/October. the email reads as follows.

Just back in UK after Mercedes visit. All systems go for 3 euro 6 citaros due for delivery sept, October.

My plan would be to use them on x5 but that's up to new Md and the team

No problem with you going live with it

I have some electronic versions of interior and exterior I will try get to you sometime tomorrow

I have been witholding this information at Malcolm's request, despite the efforts of (immature) others to break the news and damage my relationship with IB. I'm pleased I can finally reveal it and check in tomorrow or Friday for the graphics Malcolm mentioned.


  1. Agree entirely with your citaro bit the president part I may have to do a follow up I know when the tourismo came out you couldn't fault the driveline but the body...hmmm seems there's light and shade on the citaro's too

    1. Thought it might have been! I'm looking forward to tomorrow and finding out what the interiors are going to be. But don't get me wrong - I'd still pick todays above anything else - EXCEPT a gas bus and the one Ipswich had!