Friday 29 May 2015

New Buses For Norwich And The Grey Line Is Here!

On April 1st I posted a spoof report claiming that some of Ipswich's B7rle's were comng to Norwich to form the Grey Line. Well look what Dan Whiting spotted in Norwich earlier today!! The Grey Line cometh!

Ipswich B7rle 66977 on Castle Meadow    pic Dan Whiting
I must emphasise that contrary to other reports Yarmouth Bus Page was the first to break ths news and it is thanks to Cameron that I have received the information. 66977 is a permanent transfer to Norwich after Ipswich had a spare vehicle going, and the front is to be repainted over the weekend so the bus can enter service early next week. Many thanks, Cameron for alerting me to this.

UPDATE: I am informed by Cameron that 66977 is to be Purple Line branded complete with purple front.Thanks buddy.

This ties in nicely with the other main news I have today, and news that you see here first. Today saw First Group announce their 2015 bus order, and quite impressive it is too. In total 385 new vehicles are on order, which comprises of 20 Volvo B5LH double deckers, 183 Wright Streetlites, 65 Wright Streetdecks, 63 AD E200 MMC's and 54 AD E400 MMC's.

Now what is coming to Eastern Counties I hear you ask. Well I can tell you that Norwich are to receive 8 Streetdecks for the Pink Line. They will come with pink fronts and replace the current Plaxton Presidents on the 11/11A. Other newer but not brand new deckers will be cascaded into Norwich to supplement the Streetdecks, in a national cascading programme. Numbers of newer vehicles heading our way and what type are yet to be confirmed, but I suggest it could be another interestng year ahead.

Also the Blue Line Gemini 2's are about to start their repaint programme, with 36180 being the first to go, with Chris Speed telling me that "most" will have a blue front. Many thanks for your help today, Chris with your prompt response to my queries.


  1. Is any of the new buses coming to Ipswich

    1. No mate nothing for Ipswich as far as I know. I'm a little disappointed with only 8 of 475 new buses coming to Eastern Counties but there again this area has always had to manage with second best.

    2. ^You read my mind Steve.

      Considering that around half of the 385 vehicles have been allocated to Scotland, Manchester, Bristol and Essex already, we were never going to see much of that new order in FEC. I wonder how many more years the Presidents will fight on for?

      That being said, on a more positive note (being mindful of certain members of your audience), the 8 vehicles that are coming are 8 more than I expected quite personally, and will be nice to see.

  2. First-time writer and long-time lurker on what's a very interesting blog with a different feel to most others around. Interesting that the Streetdecks are earmarked for the Pink Line instead of the more usual UEA corridor. I'm sure I read something earlier this year somewhere about this year's new intake being for the Blue Line but then the bus industry at large uses pencils for a very good reason!

    Suppose it won't be long before the moans about boring wall-to-wall Presidents will be replaced with misty-eyed reminsces about the type though I imagine they'll be a fixture for a good while yet on other routes. I felt the same way about Leyland Nationals in that respect (VRs were never boring!) and it's a certainty that we've seen it all before and it all happened before us as well.

    1. I can promise you there will be no misty eyed reminiscenses about Plaxton Presidents on this blog!!! I am looking forward to finaly learning the Norwich Network on buses that treat my delicate posterior with the respect it deserves!

      Like you I was under the impression any new vehicles would be for the Blue Line but I'm ratger pleased they aren't. It's about time a different route got new buses first, and as I discovered earlier i the week the Gemini 2's are still in great condition.

      Great to have you aboard, Nigel and thanks for commenting.

  3. I too was surprised that they are earmarked for the Pink Line, looking forward to seeing them in action as well as boarding them.