Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
Welcome to the November blog.
County Coaches of Brentwood has closed, after more than 50 years of trading. It shared a depot with Brentwood Coaches at Wash Road, Hutton and the sight of its smart white green and red fleet will be missed.
Following Network Harlow’s exit from Stansted, Whippet Coaches took over the National Express contract which TGM had operated from this location. Then on 17th November, Whippet was sold to Tower Transit, the Australian group who already has a presence on the fringe of the ‘Busmopolitan area’ with its Transport for London routes in the north east of the capital.
As well as National Express service 010, Whippet also has some college contracts serving the western fringes of Essex. Full details can be found in the main text.
The Great Eastern Main Line had problems in early November, when part of the overhead power supply was damaged at Kelvedon and the resultant disruption lasted many hours. Once again, this is examined in greater depth below.
ABELLIO GREATER ANGLIA.
The WB64 ‘Pretendelino’ MkIII carriage set, with DVT 82126 has been received from Virgin Trains. It is to be used to cover MkIII stock undergoing refresh.
Above: Network Rail staff inspect the damage to the Overhead Live Equipment (OLE) Kelvedon on 12/11/14.
Above: 360118 runs wrong line through Kelvedon on 12/11/14, immediately before all services were suspended.
On 12/11/14, there was severe delays on East Anglia to London train services, caused by OLE coming down at Kelvedon.
All workings between Colchester and Witham were suspended at 0915, and did not resume for some 6 hours. Reduced speed was put in place at the location for a further 48 hours.
Above: Taken on 13/11/14, the OLE fault was on the “up” (left hand) line,immediately before the arched bridge. The proximity of the double crossover made the situation more difficult, meaning extended bi-directional working on the “down” line, and resultant stopping of all traffic.
Above: Also on 13/11/14, 321310 forms the rear of the 0923 Colchester to London service at Kelvedon; passing through the temporary 20 mph speed restriction in the wake of the OLE failure.
ACME BUS, MOLEHILL GREEN.
Acquired from Galloway of Mendlesham are Dart SLF/UVG R558 UOT and former Trent Barton SLF/Super Pointer R925 RAU.
APT COACHES, RAYLEIGH.
Volvo B7R/Plaxton Prima W218 UMV is now 827 APT.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (SOUTHEND).
ADL200/Wrights 3759/60 (YJ08 DZK/L) have arrived, from Northfleet depot.
Withdrawn is accident damaged DAF SB220L/Plaxton Prestige 3919 (T919 KKM).
Above: Arriva KT ex Arriva Southend Dart SLF/Super Pointer no 3324, at Eastwood on 5/11/14.
This type is now being withdrawn.
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH.
From 8/11/14, TfL34 (Barnet Church-Walthamstow) passed to Metroline, on re-tender.
Above: DAF DB250LF/Alexander ALX400 on the 34 at Barnet in May 2003.
Ford Transit 16 seater EX03 WKM is ex Drury of Morden.
Duple 425 integral XAZ 2718 is now with Reliance of Whitwick, Leicestershire.
From Oakley of Plymouth is Setra S228 double deck coach LIG 7717.
Supplied though Ensign are ex Yellow Buses Bournemouth Dart SLF/EL Spryte R482 NPR and ex Stagecoach Bluebird Neoplan Skyliner YN05 WEF.
Above: Neoplan Skyliner YN05 WEF awaits collection from Ensign, on 30/10/14.
In from London General is Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer LDP198 (SN51 UAL).
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President PVL68 (W468 WGH) has been resold by Ensign to Travel and Transport Limited of Newry, Northern Ireland.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President PVL70 (W578 DGH) has ended up in the “scrap line” at Ensign.
BLUELINE TRAVEL, SOUTHEND.
Acquired from South East Coaches of South Woodham Ferrers is Bova Futura T322 KNN.
Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere 320 N608 APU has been sold to Worthen Motors of Shrewsbury.
Scania K340/Lahden YT09 FLX has been re-registered to 2786 RU.
VW LT/Mellor welfare bus 79 (FN52 XTR), is now with Hartley Travel of Aintree.
Volvo B10M/Plaxton Paramount KUI 2243 is now with Crosville, Weston Super Mare.
COACH STOP, RETTENDON.
Bought from Ace Travel of Beeding, Worcestershire is Mercedes 1836RL integral coach BU53 AXH.
COGGESHALL COMMUNITY BUS.
Ford Transit 16 seater AV09 HXD has been on hire from J D Robertson.
COUNTY COACHES, BRENTWOOD.
Has ceased operations upon retirement of its proprietors.
Volvo B10M/Berkhof R943 SJM has passed to Jefferson of Stillington, while B10M/Caetano 67 seater 1899 RU and B10M/Jonckherre N547 SJF have also been sold.
Above: A view of County Coaches’ Hutton depot in 2005, with Mercedes 0814 2189 RU in the foreground.
On 19/11/14, two Stansted-Birmingham services, travelling in opposite directions, collided with a herd of horses at Milton, near Cambridge. 12 of the animals were killed and one train passenger was slightly injured. Fortunately, the Class 170 DMUs involved did not derail.
Above: Cross Country 170101, on a Stansted to Birmingham working, at Audley End on 22/11/14.
Received from London Central are Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis WVL249-51 (LX06 EAO/P, EAW).
ED’S MINIBUS HIRE, EAST TILBURY.
Iveco 40C welfare bus X464 URL has come from a non pcv operator in Cornwall.
From 8/11/14, there were minor revisions to services 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 73A, 83.
Vehicles sold are SLF/ALX200s 739 (Y339 FJN) – to Manor Trading of Benfleet; 734/42 (Y334/42 FJN) to Henshaws Coaches of Moreton in the Marsh, Gloucestershire; 781/2 (LX51 FGD/A respectively) to Avondale Coaches of Glasgow. Volvo B10M/Jonckherre coach 601 (S808 BTT) is now with Aintree coaches.
Ex New Enterprise Volvo B7R/Plaxton Prima YN54 DCY is fleet no 603.
Open top Volvo Olympian 395 (P495 SWC) has been repainted cream, ex red/silver.
Additions to the heritage fleet are “St Helens RT” AEC Regent III/Park Royal BDJ 807 and former St Helens Corporation AEC Swift/Marshall EDJ 248J. Both came from within the preservation movement.
Above: Ensign no 601 at Upminster on 26/1/14; on C2C RRP.
In use are ex Ensign Dart SLF/Marshall R876 MCE, and ex Filer of Ilfracombe Optare Excels JFZ 8261 orig P446 SWX ex P429 AHR; JFZ 8262 orig P507 OUG, and R300 PAR.
FIRST EASTERN COUNTIES (IPSWICH).
Above: First Eastern Counties Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400s 32493 and 32490 at Foundation Street depot, Ipswich on 12/11/14, in the latest ‘Refreshed’ livery.
Further buses to receive the new ‘Bottle Green’ Refreshed livery are B7TL/ALX400s 32487/90/2/3 (AU53 HKE/H/K/L), 32655 (AU05 MUY) and B7RLE/Wrights 69007/8 (AU05 DMO/V), 66979/86 (KX05 MHF/U). All have leather seating and wi fi.
Ex First Essex Volvo B7RLE/Wrights 66976/8/80/2 (KX05 MGZ, MHE/J/L) have all gone for refurbishment at Rotherham.
Above: First Eastern Counties Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 32655, promotes its leather seats and WiFi, at Ipswich depot on 12/11/14.
Above: First Essex ex First Capital Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbus no 42519, at the North Benfleet terminus of route 21 on 29/11/14.
Received from First Eastern Counties is Scania L94UB/Wright 65675 (SN51 UYJ).
Scania L94/Wright 65589 (V589 DVF) has arrived at CR, on loan from First Eastern Counties.
Volvo B7RLE/Wrights 66976/80 (KX05 MGZ, MHJ) have gone to First Eastern Counties at Ipswich.
SLF/Pointers displaced from Hadleigh (HH) by new Streetlites are 43715 (R715 DJN) – to Basildon (BN), 43717/31 (R717 DJN, S731 TWC) – to Chelmsford (CF) and 43734 (S734 TWC) to Braintree (BE). B7RLE/Wrights 66798, 66828 (MX05 CCA, CFE) are further HH to Colchester (CR) moves – completing the relocation of this type from HH. 66828 has a pink front Wright “w”, like Scania L94UB/Wright 65689 (YS03 ZKJ). These give the impression of the buses “wearing lipstick” !
Ex Connex Jersey SLF/Caetano Nimbus 43856 (EG52 FGD) has gone from CN to BE in exchange for B7TL/ALX400 30887 (W742 DWX). Dennis Trident/Plaxton President 32856 (V856 HBY) is now at BE ex CN. SLF/Pointer 42486 (SN03 WMX) is now at CF ex BE.
Withdrawn are Scania L94UB/Wrights 65569 (S569 TPW) and 65576 (T576 JNG). Both are parked up at Colchester.
Essex CC route 347 (Harlow-Hatfield Broad Oak), passed to Epping Forest Community Transport from 3/11/14.
Above: Scania/Wright 65689 displays its pink “w” at Headgate, Colchester on 5/9/14.
FLAGFINDERS, BRAINTREE and HALSTEAD.
Bova Futura KC55 ABC is now in white based fleet livery, ex plain white.
FORDS OF ALTHORNE.
Dennis Javelin/Berkhof A16 AWF has lost its fleet names and is now plain white.
66416 is now in the new ‘Powerhaul’ livery, ex DRS blue.
It is pictured on a 4M94 Felixstowe to Lawley Street, Birmingham working, at Kelvedon.
GALLEON TRAVEL, HARLOW.
Sold is MAN 18.310/Marcopolo 70 seat coach DIG 3781.
Now with Dewcker Bus of Whittlesey are MAN 18.310/Marcopolo V327 EAL and Volvo B10M/Marcopolo X995 JJH. JJH was new to a Dutch operator as BJ-VV-45.
Acquired from Belle of Lowestoft are Volvo B10M/Van Hool coaches 339/40 (NJI 9241/4).
GODWARD OF WICKFORD.
Scania K114EB6/Irizar YN07 LKD has come from Princess of West End.
GRAHAM’S OF KELVEDON.
Scania Omniexpress YT09 FLF has been signwritten, with gold fleet names on dark metallic grey livery.
HAILSTONE TRAVEL, WICKFORD.
Iveco 45C minibus MX57 FGD is now with Jacs of Greenham, Berkshire.
Above: SLF/MPD no 288 seen at Tollesbury in February 2013, when still carrying its old fleet no of L407.It is blinded for the South Woodham Ferrers town service – since taken over by Ambus.
Volvo Olympian/NC 65 (L109 LHL), Volvo Olympian/Alexander RH 88 (P494 MBY) and Dart SLF/MPD 288 (X509 WRG) are withdrawn. 288 has passed to Panther Travel.
Cannibalised Volvo Olympian/NC 68 (P606 CAY) and SLF/Super Pointer 250 (W312 CJN) have gone to Sacker, Ipswich for scrap.
Olympians 65, 88 have passed to non pcv users.
Trident/ALX400 737 (T107 DBW) has moved from Clacton (CN) to Tollesbury (TY).
Above: Hedingham Omnibuses Volvo Olympian no 68, seen at Kelvedon depot in October 2012, when still numbered L377. It was awaiting departure for the Honywood School to Easthorpe service.
Above: Ipswich Buses Dennis Dart SLF/EL no 84, promotes its WiFi availability at Tower Ramparts Bus Station on 12/11/14.
Above: Ipswich Buses ex Stagecoach East London Dart SLF/ALX200 no 139, on the X5 at Tower Ramparts.
From 2/11/14, service X5 (Town Centre-Ipswich Hospital) commenced Sunday operation. From the same date, the associated route 5 was extended around Broke Hall, evenings and Sundays.
Dart SLF/MCV 83 (SK07 DYA) is branded for ‘Getting you to your studies’.
Dart SLF/EL 84 (PJ53 OLC) is branded for ‘Getting you to the Waterfront’.
LCB TRAVEL, HARLOW.
Now has Ford Transit minibus EJ57 VMY, ex Flying Scot of Paisley.
LODGE, HIGH EASTER.
Sourced through Ensign are ex Stagecoach Lincolnshire MAN14/ELs FY52 PMU/V.
M and E COACHES, ROCHFORD.
Bova Futura LIL 3055 has been exported to Zimbabwe.
Is a newcomer to the ‘Busmopolitan’ area, having gained TfL34 from Arriva.
NATIONAL EXPRESS OPERATIONS.
Above: New Scania/Levante SH201 at London Victoria in 29/11/14.
New are Scania K410EB6/Caetano Levantes SH199 (BN64 FKL) SH201 (BN64 FKO).
Acquired from Edwards, Llantwit Farder are Scania K340/EB6/Levantes SH06, 14/6 (FJ07 DVM, FN07 BYZ, BZB).
Some of the older Scania K340/Levante tri-axles have been re-registered with dateless marks. SH04,7, 9, 10, 35/7 (FJ07 DVK/N/P/R, FJ57 KHC/E) are now MIG 9442/1/0/39/8/7 respectively.
Transferred to contractor De Courcey of Coventry are K340/Levantes SH13/6, 20 (FN07 BYX, BZB, FJ57 KHZ), CY63 (FN06 FMC), SR65 (FN06 FLH), CY72 (FJ07 DWN).
Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 1559 (EU56 GVG) is back from Network Harlow, and SLF/Super Pointer 1555 (V231 HBH) has gone back to Harlow, off extended loan.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 3311 (S303 JUA), now has an aquamarine front panel.
Above: Withdrawn Network Colchester Dart SLF/Pointers 3315/12 stored at Stansted on 22/11/14.
Following the closure of Stansted base; National Express contract 010 (London-Cambridge) has passed to Whippet of Swavesey.
SLF/Pointer 3317 (S304 JUA) has lost its ‘Network Harlow’ branding.
NEW HORIZON TRAVEL, FRATING.
Acquired from Redbridge Transport are Alexander RH bodied Volvo Olympians S246/64 YOO.
Volvo B12T/Jonckherre double deck coach SE51 DZA has been sold to Tourmaster of Crowland.
Ex Arriva The Shires is Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer S309 JUA.
ORIGINAL LONDON SIGHTSEEING TOUR.
RATP branding was appearing on vehicles, by the end of November.
A new office has opened at Stansted. The operational structure sees Stansted also responsible for the Site at Great Dunmow; while Parkeston has its own Operations Supervisor and oversees Clacton.
Engineering continues to be based at Matching Tye.
Another SLF/MPD acquired from Hedingham is X509 WRG.
Optare Solo S627 JRU has been re-registered BIG 7006; sister MX08 DHM is now VB08 PAN.
DAF SB120/Wright Cadet YX54 HBB came from K-Line, Huddersfield, but was found to be in poor condition; so was not put into service. It has been broken up for parts.
Has ex Carousel Buses Volvo V7TL/EL Vykings PN02 XCA/K/S/T, via Ensign.
Above: PN02 XCS ready for collection from Ensign on 29/11/14.
Above: PN02 XCS in its Carousel days; seen on London Underground RRP at Swiss Cottage in August 2009.
Acquired via Ensign are ADL/Enviro 200s YX09 HZA – ex Wiltshire Bus, 652 (MX10 DXO), 651 (SN10 CAU) – ex Henderson, Glasgow. All have received fleet livery.
Mini Optare Solos 201/2/3 (YJ06 YSK, YJ56 AOT/U) have been sold to Ensign.
SEE LONDON BY NIGHT, BARKING.
Has ex Brighton and Hove Trident/EL W832 NNJ, through Ensign.
SOUTH EAST COACHES, SOUTH WOODHAM FERRERS.
Bova Futura FHD MJI 3084 has been re-registered back to its original T322 KNN and sold.
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
The mothballed Upton Park (U) garage, has been sold to Telford Homes, for redevelopment as housing.
Further redundant Tridents sold to Ensign are 17460 (Y529 NHK), 17451/98, 17508 (LX51 FKR, FMZ, FNL); 17536/47/50/4/5/60 (LY02 OAB/W, OBB/F/G/M); 17565/76/7 (LV52 HDY, HFJ/K); 18221/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 (LX04 FXJ/K/L/M/P/R/S/T/U).
Trident 17571 (LV52 HFC) is being cannibalised by Ensign.
Ensign has resold Trident 18234 (LX04 FYA) to Brylaine of Boston, Lincolnshire.
Former Trident 17083 (T683 KPU) is now with Bear Buses of Feltham – via Ensign. It had previously been with Travelmasters of Sheerness.
One time SLF/ALX200 34031 (R931 FOO), latterly with Stagecoach Wales, is being broken for parts by Ensign.
Above: The Redcliffe Road elevation of Upton Park garage, seen in September 2011.
Above: One time Stagecoach East London SLF/ALX200 34031 at Ensign on 30/10/14.
From Stagecoach South are “long” Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Compasses HV52 WTC/E.
Withdrawn are Leyland Olympian/NCs 947/9/51/52 (H547 VAT etc).
Volvo B10B/Alexander PS 235 (M453 VCW) has been sold.
Leyland Olympian/Alexander RH 990 (K890 CSF) is now The Chase Playbus at Rugeley, Staffordshire, via The Playbus Company, Shrewsbury (as dealer).
From 3/11/14, operation commenced of ex Hedingham commercial service 3 (Colchester Head Street-Hythe Tesco). This interworks with school service 506 (Maldon-Colchester) in term time, and the 506 has been converted from Volvo Olympian to Scania Omnidekka operation as a result.
Above: Stephensons Omnidekka no 638 on route 3, at St Johns Street, Colchester, in November 2014.
TALISMAN COACHLINES, GREAT BROMLEY.
The first low floor bus here is ex Lothian Dennis Trident/Plaxton President W567 RSG. It is now single door.
Scania K114/Irizars now sold are YN06 CFY – to Carver of Little Sutton, Cheshire; YN06 NYM, NZD – to Pats Coaches of Southsea.
Above: New Scania K400EB6/Irizar YN64 AMO, departs London Victoria on 29/11/14.
THORNS OF RAYLEIGH.
Bluebird yellow schoolbus N730 EOT has passed to Wheel 2 Reel of Broxbourne.
Two new commercial services were launched in November.
16 (Harlow-Waltham Abbey) began on 3/11/14; 19/A (Harlow-Loughton) from 26/11/14.
Ex Stagecoach Midlands is long Dart SLF/ALX200 S461 CVV.
Acquired via Ensign are unusual ex Epsom Buses/Quality Line ADL/Enviro 200/EL Esteems PE56 UFH/J/K and ex DawsonRentals one time Premiere of Nottingham SLF/Super Pointer KP54 BYL.
Withdrawn is SLF/Super Pointer SPD7 (SNZ 9055).
Sold to Ensign are SLFs PDS32 (SHZ 2046) and PDS17 (TNZ 1186).
SHZ 2046 was quickly resold to Velvet of Eastleigh.
Route 21 branded Dart SLF/Super Pointer DP120 (KE04 UMC) is back at St Albans from Northampton.
VICEROY OF ESSEX, SAFFRON WALDEN.
Opatre Solo M920 KX53 SDO is now with Teejay of Arbroath, Scotland – via DawsonRentals.
SB13 (Clavering-Saffron Walden) and SB443 (Chrishall-Saffron Walden) have been almalgamated from 4/11/14, to form one route numbered SB443.
WARD, ALRESFORD. Volvo Olympian/Alexander RL N703 LTN has passed to Stagecarriage of Grangetown, Teeside.
WHIPPET COACHES, SWAVESEY.
This old established Cambridgeshire independant (founded 1919 by the Lee family), was acquired by Tower Transit on 17/11/14.
Whippet runs into the ‘Busmopolitan’ area on Cambridge Regional College contracts, National Express service 010 (London-Cambridge/Kings Lynn), and a summer only route to Clacton on Sea.
For the NX contract, Whippet has hired from South Gloucestershire Bus and Coach (SGBC), Scania K340/Caetano Levantes L555 SGB, NX06 AAA, NX56 AAA, FJ57 KHO, KJK/U/O.
Above: Whippet Volvo B12B/Jonckherre SF05 XYZ; in 90th anniversary livery – at Cambridge in August 2009.