Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
Welcome to the October blog.
There has been significant retrenchment by TGM Group. Locally the Stansted base has closed, while further afield, the Heathrow Airport operations have passed to OFJ Connections – once part of TGM but now management owned. The TfL bus contract in the area is retained, but managed by Arriva Southern Counties. North East based Classic Coaches has also been closed, but this will continue a a new company, under ex Classic management.
The history of TGM Stansted is quite complex. From 1995 to 2003 it was used by Eastern National/First Essex, to replace previous sites in Bishops Stortford. Then it passed to Excel, a company with the former manager of First subsidary Airport Coach Company as majority shareholder and Stephensons of Essex as the minority owner. In 2006, Excel was bought by TGM Group.
Its local bus work has moved to Harlow or been re-tendered, while the National Express coach activity has passed to Whippet of Swavesey.
Ensignbus has placed into revenue service its retro hybrid Dennis Trident. Converted by Vantage Power as its B320 hybrid drive project, the bus can usually be seen on local routes around Thurrock; particularly 22 – where is runs alongside Ensign’s “conventional” hybrid Volvo B5Hs.
The first brand new buses for First in the Southend area since 1998, are some Wright Streetlites for Hadleigh depot. Two were exhibited to the public in central Southend, before their progressive introduction into service, mainly on routes 22 and 28. They have displaced some of the 1998 Dart SLFs and all of the Volvo B7RLEs to other First Essex depots.
On the railway front, it is now the “leaf fall” season, with the resultant appearance of Rail Head Treatment Trains (RHTTs) on the network. Powered by classic diesel locomotives, two of the more interesting examples are illustrated in this blog.
Regrettably, a UNO double decker was involved in a serious accident in mid October, leaving the bus on its side, and many of its occupants injured, fortunately none seriously. The driver was subsequently arrested. We wish those hurt a speedy recovery.
ABELLIO GREATER ANGLIA.
Above: 321439 forms the rear of a London-Southend Victoria service on 18/10/14; seen at the bottom of Brentwood Bank. New Overhead Live Equipment (OLE), to replace the original 1949 installation is in evidence.
Electric loco 90011 has been named ‘East Anglian Daily Times Suffolk and Proud’.
Now in Abellio white with red doors are EMUs 315824/33/4/51; 317714/23; DVT 82121 and MkIII carriages 11092, 12012.
A few Class 360 EMUs still retained the old style ‘Greater Anglia’ branding, in October.
Above: 90011 hurries through Kelvedon on an 0800 Norwich-London Liverpool Street working.
ACME BUS, MOLEHILL GREEN.
Ex Weaver of Newbury is Former Stagecoach London Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 V153 MEV. From Galloway of Medlesham, for spares only is Mercedes 0814D/Plaxton Beaver T300 CBC.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (GRAYS).
ADL/Enviro 200 4009 (GN08 CHG) has moved to Arriva The Shires – as its no 3818.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (SOUTHEND).
Withdrawn is DAF SB220L/Plaxton Prestige 3911 (T911 KKM).
Reinstated is Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Super Pointer 3191 (P191 LKJ).
From Goldenstand, Park Royal is Scania K113/Irizar R971 CUG.
Scania Omnidekkas YN54 OAE/H are ex London Sovereign.
Aquired for ancillary use (tree lopper) is open top Volvo Olympian/NC Countybus R631 MNU. This came from Smee of Down Hatherley, Gloucestershire.
Ex London General is Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer LDP191 (SN51 UAD).
BLUELINE TRAVEL, SOUTHEND.
Ex First Devon and Cornwall is Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere 320 N608 APU – which worked in the Southend area when new on the CitySaver service to/from London.
Former Dublin Volvo Olympian/Alexander RH H705 PTW has been sold to Munden, Bristol (dealer).
CARTERS OF CAPEL ST MARY.
The one off Saffle bodied Volvo B10L, L456 JCK, has been purchased from Seaford and District.
This much travelled bus had previously been with Ensign, and before that Stagecoach Yorkshire and Yorkshire Traction.
Above: L456 JCK when with Ensign; and registered GVV 205. Picture dated October 2009.
Ford Transit 134 (EY55 DSY) is withdrawn.
Ford Transit/Stanford 11 seater 116 (EY03 NCE), has been sold privately.
COUNTY COACHES, BRENTWOOD.
Volvo B10M/Jonckherre 2786 RU has been re-registered back to its original N547 SJF.
Sold are Volvo B10M/Caetano 2328 RU; B10M/VH L712 PHE, and B10M/Premiere N906 AAS. All these were 67 seaters for school work.
Fire damaged SLF/Mini Pointer DPS2 (BU05 HFG), has gone for scrap.
DIRECT RAIL SERVICES.
Above: 57306 heads an “up” RHTT through Kelvedon on 21/10/14.
The leaf fall season has brought Rail Head Treatment Trains (RHTTs) to the Great Eastern Main Line. 37604, 57009/10, 57303/6 have all been running from Stowmarket on this work.
Above: And 37604 brings up the rear ……………….
Ex Blue Triangle are Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents PVL115 (W415 WGH), PVL232 (Y732 TGH); Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini WVL79 (LF52 ZPK).
From London Central is B7TL/President PVL169 (X569 EGK).
EDS MINIBUS HIRE, EAST TILBURY.
Iveco 59C/Mellor welfare bus LX03 GXZ, is ex AH Minibuses at Little Clacton.
Above: Ensign’s retro hybrid Trident no 599, at Purfleet depot in October 2014.
The Vanguard Power diesel to hybrid Trident, 599 entered passenger service during October.
The ex Hatts of Chippenham ADL/Enviro 200s have now received fleet livery, and are numbered 706/7/8/9/10/1/2/3 (SN11 FFJ/K/L/M/O/P/R/T).
Trident/ALX400s re-registered are 109 from T87 KLD to UJF 182; 192 from T192 CLO to 392 MBF; 194 from T194 CLO to 864 DYE.
B7R/Plaxton Prima YN54 DDJ is now in fleet livery, ex New Enterprise.
Withdrawn are Dart SLF/ALX200s 729/34/39/43/72 (Y329 FJN etc).
Above: Withdrawn SLF/ALX200s 743/39/4 respectively, at Purfleet depot on 12/10/14.
EXECUTIVE MINIBUSES, AVELEY.
Mercedes Sprinter 413CDi/UVM EM04 BUS, has passed to Brunswick Cars of North Cheam.
FELIX OF LONG MELFORD.
Mercedes 709D/Beaver F301 RMH has been offered for sale.
New are Wright Streetlite DFs 63161-9 (SN64 CHX/Y/Z, CJE/F/J/O/U/V/X) – all at Hadleigh (HH). 63170 and Micro Streetlite 47526 (SN64 CNC) were displayed at an official launch in Southend. The other Micro Streetlites were delivered in November.
Ex First Cymru is Scania K114/Irizar coach 23020 (YN54 APK).
From First Aberdeen is Volvo B10BLE/Wright 62139 (X618 ESS) – above, which is in green/cream heritage livery. It initially worked from Chelmsford (CF), then Braintree (BE).
Scania L94/Wright 65576 (T576 JNG) is back in use at CR, ex long term VOR at CN.
Displaced by the new Streetlites from HH to CR are Volvo B7RLE/Wrights 66800/3/4/7/9/10.
66816 has moved to CR from CF. 66801 has transferred from HH to CF.
66817/8 were on loan to CR from CF, but returned by the end of October.
Received from First Eastern Counties are Scania L94UB/Wright Solars 65672/3/4 and B7RLE/Wrights 69429/32. 65674 and 69429 retain ‘Ipswich’ fleet names. 69429 also has a super rear advert for CO OP Funeral Service.
B7RLE/Wrights 66977/8/79/82/3/4 have moved to First Eastern Counties at Ipswich.
Withdrawn are Dart SLF/Super Pointers 42448 (P448 NEX), 43474 (R474 CAH). Both are parked up at BE, and 43448 has been cannibalised – pictured below.
SLF/Super Pointer 43489 (R689 DPW) has gone to Alpha for scrap.
Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 30902 (W757 DWX) is now in Refreshed livery, and has moved from Braintree to Clacton; seen below. SLF/Caetano 41523, SLF/Super Pointer 42937, Solo 53121 and B7RLE 66801 are also now ‘Refreshed’.
Above: Ex Hadleigh Volvo B7RLE no 66803 at work in Colchester on 27/10/14.
FLAGFINDERS, BRAINTREE AND HALSTEAD.
Acquired from Thompsons of Framlingham is Bova Futura FHD KC55 ABC; new to Kings of Colchester.
GALLEON TRAVEL, HARLOW.
Volvo B12M/Plaxton Panther FJ56 YWB has been sold to Three Star of Luton, Bedfordshire.
The OC has moved from St Runwald Street, to Berechurch Hall Road in Colchester.
Volvo Olympians 69 (P608 CAY), 73 (R643 MNU) are now at TY ex HD. HD no longer has any Olympians.
Dart SLF/Super Pointer 251 (PJ02 RHE) has moved from Tollesbury (TY) to Sible Hedingham (HD).
SLF/MPD 291 (EU06 KCX) and ADL/E400s 615 (EU07 GVY), 616 (SN10 CCV) have transferred from Clacton (CN) to HD.
Trident/ALX400 737 (T107 DBW) is now at CN ex HD.
Volvo Olympians 66/7/9, 71-5, 92/5 and Trident 740 are now all OPO fitted.
New is S7 stock unit 21433/4.
MALCOLMS BUS SERVICE, CLACTON.
Acquired from Litchfield of Woburn, Bedfordshire is Mercedes 609D/Rebur E343 TYD.
Mercedes 709D/Plaxton Beaver L887 VHT has been sold to A1 Van and Truck (dealer), Clacton.
Toyota Optima M9 KFC is withdrawn.
Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini 6132 (LJ03 MHV) is from Arriva London North.
Dart SLF/Pointers 3312/5 (S310/3 JUA) and Trident/ALX400 5450 (KN52 NDX) are withdrawn. The SLFs have gone to storage at Stansted.
Volvo Oympian/NC 5944 (R614 MNU) is delicensed.
Above: 5944 at Colchester High Street on September 11th 2014; making a relatively unusual appearance of stage work.
Stansted depot closed at the end of October, with local bus work moving to Harlow.
At the end, stage services 301 (Bishops Stortford-Saffron Walden), 308/9 (Bishops Storford-Stansted Airport) and various school/shoppers contracts were operated, with a pvr of 6 and 1 bus spare.
The final allocation was SLF/MPDs BU51 REG, 1559 (EU56 GVG), 1560 (EU56 FTO) and SLF/Super Pointers 3221 (P221 MKL), S701 VKM, 3421 (AY54 FPZ).
The small National Express coach operation (010 London-Cambridge/KingsLynn) has passed to Whippet of Swavesey, but this did not include the vehicles.
The Stansted Airport Northside Shuttle passed to Panther Travel.
Stansted site is now only used for storage.
Above: Variety at TGM Stansted in December 2013.
Another ex Docklands Buses double deck Scania Omnicity is LX08 ECV.
Further ex Stagecoach Devon Dart “short” SLF/Alexander ALX200s, are S467/73 BWC.
P and M COACHLINES, WICKFORD.
From Bristol City Council, is Mercedes 814D/Mellor welfare bus L702 VHY.
Has now taken over most of the ex TGM site at Stansted, along with the Northside Shuttle.
From Network Harlow is Volvo B6BLE/Wright V259 HBH. It has been re-registered to BIG 9807.
Another ex Hedingham Mini Pointer Dart SLF is W799 VMV.
Ex Regal Volvo B10M/Plaxton Excalibur J426 HDS, has been scrapped on site at Matching Tye depot. This was acquired in an accident damaged condition – for spares only.
Above: BIG 9807 (right), at Stansted with Optare Excel BIG 9861 – ex Hedingham V203 ENU.
Sold is Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 608 (S104 EGK).
Deroofed Trident/ALX400 1303 (X387 NNO) has gone for scrap.
Short Bova Futura FHD EY06 CSU ex 403 NMM, has passed to Moseley, Taunton (dealer).
SOUTH EAST COACHES, SOUTH WOODHAM FERRERS.
Ex Peakes of Pontypool, Wales is Scania K114/Irizar YN55 PVX.
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
Above: Trident 17454 departs Westfield Stratford City, in August 2013.
Further Scania Omnicities to “cross the river” from Selkent, are 15082/5/93/4 (LX09 AFO/Y, AHC/D).
Also ex Selkent are Tridents 17946/54/7/64 (LX53 JYJ/U/Y, JZG), 17967, ADL/Enviro 400s 19743/4 (LX11 BBN/O).
Withdrawn are Tridents 17454/89/90/5, 17529/53. 17571 is withdrawn, off loan to Norfolk Green.
Trident 17552 (LY02 OBD) has gone for scrap.
Some 04 reg Tridents have passed to Ensign – 18230/1/4/5 (LX04 FXV/W, FYA/C).
STEPHENSONS OF ESSEX.
SLF/Super Pointer 457 (GU52 HJY) was replaced by 459 (GU52 HKD), as the Hadleigh outstation bus in early October.
SLF/Super Pointer 456 (XS 2210), has been re-registered GU52 HJX.
SUPREME COACHES, RETTENDON.
Iveco Eurorider/Beaulas YJ04 XJH has passed to Redwoods Travel of Hemyock, Derbyshire.
TALISMAN COACHLINES, GREAT BROMLEY.
On loan from Evobus at Coventry was Mercedes Tourismo demonstrator BX14 OMC.
Ex Stagecoach East London Tridents LX04 FXJ/L/P/V/W, FYB, are on hire from Ensign, and have fleet numbers TAL33200-5. They are allocated to Westbourne Park, to strengthen the allocation on TfL23 (Westbourne Park-Liverpool Street), while this route is disrupted by CrossRail works.
ADL/Enviro 400 DN326778 (SN12 AVU) now has an overall advert for Relish Broadband, while DN33782 (SN12 AVY) is now adorned for the Poppy Appeal.
Has registered a Harlow-Loughton/Debden service, numbered 16.
This vaguely competes against EOS route 66, but follows a sightly different path.
ADL/Enviro 200 EDS23 (BX58 BEY) is now named ‘Niamh-Brooke’.
Dennis Dart/Alexander ALX200 AD20 (FXZ 2162) and Dart SLF/Marshalls MDS13, 15 (LY02 ZDE/O) are sold.
SLF/Super Pointer SPD8 (SNZ 3869) has gone for scrap, via Ensign.
Mercedes 0814D/Plaxton Cheetah W358 GSE, is ex Cranberry Coachways of Blackburn.
On 20/10/14, Scania N230UD/Darwen Olympus SDM206 (PN08 SVZ) collided with a Vauxhall Corsa and overturned on the A1081 between Barnet and South Mymms, while on route 614 (Kingsbury-Hatfield). 45 people were injured. The bus is withdrawn.
Above: No 206 in better times; on LUL Rail Replacement at Barking in September 2010.
WICKFORD COACHES, BASILDON.
Former Essex County Council Ford Transit 16 seater EA03 XEH has returned “home”, having been acquired from RCS of St Clears, Cornwall.
John Podgorski has over 20 years professional experience in passenger transport, stemming from an interest nurtured in childhood. A graduate in passenger transport management from Aston University, John has worked in operational, management and training roles in the bus and coach industry; and in 2012 was elected to Chartered membership of the Institute of Logistics and Transport, with which he is also a regional committee member and local chairperson.
He has been active in transport publishing since 1993, and digital media since 2008.