Sunday 1 December 2019

The Sun Sets on Greater Anglia's Scuds

Part of my focus on the transition from the old fleet at Greater Anglia to the new, is reporting the final days of the old fleet. Yesterday was a significant day, in that it was the final day of the single coach Class 153 units, nicknamed Scuds. I have had the kind of affection for these units as you would a guide dog puppy, or that kitten in a litter with the extra spirit. Although not particularly nice if they are packed, from the outside they look like real life dinky toys, and any driver you care to talk to will tell you how reliable they have been over the years. And many years it has been.

Converted from Class 155's in 1991-2 the five units (originally seven until 2004) have been operating on all of Anglia's diesel lines, particularly the Ipswich - Felixstowe/Cambridge and Norwich to Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft/Sheringham routes. I doubt regulars on those will especially mourn their departure, but I'll certainly miss seeing them moving around the network.

They were all named - 155306 Edith Cavell, 309 Gerard Fiennes, 314 Delia Smith, 322 Benjamin Britten and 335 Michael Palin. As yet it is unknown if those names will be transferred to new units.
In the last couple of full days' operations I managed to photo all 5 units, and yesterday, for 4 of them their final day (306 didn't go out), I saw the very last one to operate a service in East Anglia leave Darsham and disappear into the gloom.

153306 at Ely, 28/11/19, on an Ipswich to Peterborough service
153309 at Ipswich, 29/11/19, having just arrived from Cambridge
153314 in the setting sun at Felixstowe, 29/11/19

153322 on the final Scud service, 1907 Lowestoft - Ipswich, 30/11/19 at Darsham

153335 at Lowestoft, 29/11/19 about to head to Norwich
All 5 units are going to be refurbished and have accessible toilets fitted prior to entering service in Wales. It will seem strange not seeing them around here anymore. Anyway time moves on, and another route, this time the Lowestoft to Ipswich line is about to see its first Stadlers. A report on that, and a belated report on the introduction on the Ipswich - Cambridge route last week, where I saw arguably the happiest passenger ever.

I'll leave you with the video I took at Darsham last night, of 153322, the final scud on the final service in East Anglia. I then dashed to Diss to watch it go ECS to Norwich, but that didn't quite go to plan, and it's a very short fly pass!


  1. Scudtastic to the last! Very mixed emotions from all quarters but as they did what it said on the tin.

  2. Latest Bus Cuts. Nothing significant but it the ongoing constant nibbling away at service

    The cuts below look as Belle Coaches are now out of bus work

    558C Hopton - Gunton - Beccles - Norwich Belle Coaches
    558B Lound - Oulton - Beccles - Norwich Belle Coaches
    558A Norwich - Beccles - Lowestoft Belle Coaches

    Coach Services are pulling out of the 25 & 26

    25 Methwold - Norwich Coach Services
    26 Methwold - Norwich Coach Services