Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
Welcome to the first ‘Busmopolitan Blog’ of 2015.
There have been several interesting developments on the local railway scene.
The first battery powered train to run on the British railway network in more than half a century appeared on trials in north east Essex from mid January, while the end of the month saw the linking up of the main running tunnels on CrossRail get closer – to a mere 800 yards.
Meanwhile, a refurbishment project has begun on the fleet of MkIII carriages working the Abellio Greater Anglia London-Norwich service, and it seems that an idea to rebuild ex London Underground D78 stock trains into diesel electric multiple units, when they are retired from use in the Capital is to become reality. Withdrawal of D78s from the District Line has now commenced.
On the bus front, Hedingham has revised its Colchester-Brightlingsea service, after New Horizon ceased competition, while the latter operator has enhanced its remaining 77 stage operation.
The Halstead town service has ended, after current operator Turners pulled out in mid January.
And the latest London route to go over to New Routemasters is TfL55, between Leyton Green and Oxford Circus.
Arriva/TGM has raised the profile of its fleet in Harlow, by importing some late model Optare Versas from Arriva Southern Counties, while at First Essex repaints into the new Refreshed livery seem to be gathering pace.
Meanwhile, Hedingham has introduced white led destinations to the area.
ABELLIO GREATER ANGLIA.
On 9/1/15, 317513 + 317657 were on Liverpool Street – Shenfield Metro services.
Now in the new Abellio white livery are DMU 153314, EMUs 315838/47/9/59, 317506 and MkIII carriages FO 11072, TSOs 12046/61/7/82, 12110/26, plus DVTS 82105/12. All of these had been on ONE colours.
Refreshment of the MkIII coach fleet has begun. Carried out by Vossloh-Kiepe, the work involves a complete strip down, with the fitting of new carpets, tables, LED lighting and at-seat power points.
The toilets are being replaced with the new controlled emission type.
Above: MkIII TSO no 12143 at Manningtree on 25/5/14.
Above: Interior of MkIII TSO no 12035, pictured in December 2011.
‘Electrostar’ EMU 379013 has been converted to battery power and was tested in this mode on the Manningtree-Harwich branch, commencing January 13th; for 5 weeks. The train is part of the Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit (IPEMU) project and was converted at Derby Litchurch Lane temporarily to battery power in the latter part of 2014. This is composed of two 768 volt lithium iron magnesium phosphate battery rafts, mounted below the solebar and wired in parallel. Continuous cycle is 30 kilometers under battery power and 50 kilometers from the “mains”.
It retains its 25kv overhead power equipment as well, and when trials are finished, will revert to its original condition.
Above: Running off the overhead; battery fitted 379013 heads through Kelvedon on 12/1/15; en route to Colchester, to take up duties on the Harwich line the following day.
It sports ‘Batteries Included’ branding, below its front saloon windows.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (SOUTHEND).
DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3504 (KE51 PUH) was on loan to Arriva Guildford and West Surrey and then replaced by SLF/Super Pointer 3324 (T824 NMJ).
ARRIVA THE SHIRES.
On the Hertford-Waltham Cross corridor, service 310A was merged into 310 from 4th January.
AVRO, STANFORD LE HOPE.
Sold to Keane of Linford, are Leyland Olympian/Alexander RL BIG 8751 (orig G705 TCD) and Volvo Olympian/NC R284 LGH.
6884 YG is a Setra S215, last with Bruce of Goole.
It has an Essex connection though, as it was new to Crusader Holidays of Clacton, a N117 FHK.
Ex London United ADL/Enviro 200 SEN38 (SK07 HLO) is here.
Scania N230UD/Optare Olympuses 870/1/4/90 (PN09 EKR/T/W, ENK) have come from Docklands Buses, ex loan. Sister 886 (PN09 ENC) and Dart SLF/MCV ED28 (LX07 BYU), have gone to Docklands. In from London Central are Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis WVL75 (LF52 ZPE) and WVL98 (LF52 ZNL). SLF/Pointer LDP195 (SN51 UAH) has moved to London General.
Acquired from Lloyd of Bagilt are MAN18.360/Plaxton coaches YN57 ADX/Z.
CARTERS, CAPEL ST MARY.
Volvo Olympian/Alexander Royale N589 BRH, is ex Dart Pleasure Craft of Totnes, Devon.
Sold is Ford Transit/Red Kite welfare bus 76 (L866 MJN).
COOKS, WESTCLIFF ON SEA.
The old garage on Tintern Avenue, Westcliff – behind the London Road office, still stands, but is no longer used to house coaches; the current fleet members being too tall. The present OC is at Purdeys Way, Rochford.
The main east-west cross London tunnel was getting closer to being joined up on 29/1/15, when there was a “breakthrough” at Liverpool Street.
Once 800 yards of new tunnel has been bored to Farringdon; all of the CrossRail tunnels will be linked together and installation of the infrastructure can commence.
Farringdon is due to be reached in Spring 2015.
CrossRail, will open for business in 2018; linking Reading and Maidenhead in the west, with Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.
Works are now starting at the Essex end of the route.
Sand trains serve Marks Tey yard to a flexible timetable, and often run at night. Here, 66070 heads an “up” working from Marks Tey through Kelvedon on a murky January, 2015 morning – likely destined for Brentford in London.
DE COURCEY, COVENTRY.
Operates National Express service 777 (Birmingham-Stansted) on contract. It has done so since Veolia ceased in June 2011.
NX standard Volvo B9R/Caetano Levantes are used. They carry MD prefixed fleet numbers.
Above: De Courcey Volvo B9R/Levante MD12 at Stansted on 18/1/15.
From Blue Triangle is Scania N230UD/Optare Olympus 886 (PN09 ENC) (qv).
Transferred to London Central are ADL/Enviro 200s SE151/2 (YX61 DTY/Z) and Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis WVL79, 81/2 (LF52 ZPK/M, ZNP).
EAST YORKSHIRE MOTOR SERVICES.
East Yorkshire runs a National Express diagram into Essex, on the 484 London to Walton service.
Here, Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante no 74, calls at Colchester on 22/12/14.
Out of this area, but of great significance; EYMS Group has sold its Whittle subsidary to Johnsons of Henley in Arden.
Ex TGM Volvo B12B/Caetano FN04 FSE has joined the fleet as no 604.
Trident/ALX400 LX04 FXU is fleet no 159. It has now received fleet livery. LX04 FXR/S/T are nos 156/7/8.
Ensign participated in a Jubilee Line rail replacement between Waterloo and Canada Water in early January, connected with the rebuilding of London Bridge station for Thameslink 2000. Some sales stock buses were allocated to this and numbered in the temporary fleet series. They were ex Arriva London North Wright Gemini integral hybrids 507/8 (LJ58 AVG/K); ex Wilts and Dorset Trident/EL 909 (T748 JPO); ex Brighton and Hove Trident/Presidents 910/1 (Y848/9 GCD), 912 (PK02 RDO); Ensign’s own plain white B7TL/President 913 (X653 LLX).
These have been retained for future rail work.
Heritage collection former BEA AEC Regal IV/Park Royal coaches MLL722/35 have passed to London Bus Company at Northfleet, for continued restoration/preservation.
Another ex ISS Ford Transit crew ferry minibus is HN10 THZ. Originally a 14 seater, it has been downseated to 8, like its sisters.
Ford Transit crew ferry van YG04 ARX is withdrawn due to accident damage.
Above: Ex Wilts and Dorset Trident no 909, “dressed” for the Waterloo-Canada Water RRP.
EOS LONDON, RAINHAM.
Former Metroline Trident/President LT02 ZZV is in use.
Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer W947 ETW, has been re-registered HSK 177.
From 26/1/15, route 66 ceased to serve Harlow and ran as Debden/Loughton-Waltham Cross instead.
From First Eastern Counties are Scania L94UB/Wright Solar 65670 (SN51 UYC) and Volvo B7RLE/Wright 69433 (AU58 FFW). They are at Clacton (CN) and Colchester (CR) respectively.
SLF/Super Pointer 43715 (R715 DJN) is withdrawn and has gone to store at Braintree. Parts from it are to be used to repair sister 43480 (R680 DPW).
Withdrawn Scania L94/Wrights 65569 (S569 TPW) and 65576 (T576 JNG) have been stripped of parts at Colchester.
SLF/Super Pointers 42930/6 (SN05 EAM, DZS) have moved from Chelmsford (CF) to Braintree (BE), with 42487/9 (SN03 WME, SN53 KJY) going in exchange. Scania L94UB/Wright Solar 65667 (SN51 UXY) is now at CN ex CR. SLF/Marshall 43679 (R679 MEW) has been on loan to CF from BE. Volvo B7RLE/Wright 66798 (MX05 CCA) has gone from CR to CF.
Repainted into Refreshed livery with ‘Essex’ fleet names are Volvo B7RLE/Wrights 66803/4/7/28 (MX05 CCN/O/Y, CFE).
Magdalen Street site has been offered for sale by it’s owner, Colchester Borough Council. The closed Harwich depot has been offered for sale through Newman Estate Agents.
Work on the new base at Haven Road in Colchester was well advanced at the end of January.
Ex Southern Vectis via Ensign is Leyland Olympian K741 ODL.
GALLEON TRAVEL, HARLOW.
Ex Stagecoach Wales Volvo B10M/Alexander PS M765 RAX is here, via Ensign.
New is Irizar i6 CC64 PGC.
Scania K360/Lahden YT60 OTC has passed to Irizar, Worksop (dealer).
From 5/1/15, there were revisions to the commercial 87 Brightlingsea to Colchester route. Daytime frequency on Mondays to Saturdays was increased from half hourly to every 20 minutes.
Dart SLF/Super Pointer 256 (EU55 BWC) and short ADL/Enviro 200 293 (EU59 AFJ) now have white led destination displays.
Mini Pointer Dennis Dart SLF 284 (W792 VMV) has transferred from Sible Hedingham (HD) to Clacton (CN), while sister 287 (X347 YGU) is withdrawn and has passed to Panther Travel.
Above: SLF/MPD 284, with its old fleet number of L405; at Great Yeldham in July 2013.
LCB TRAVEL, HARLOW.
Ford Transit minibuses RF02 KWB and CU03 CXR have passed to A1 Van and Truck (dealer), Clacton for resale.
LODGE, HIGH EASTER.
MAN11.190/Optare Vecta M73 WYG has returned to its native Yorkshire, having been secured by the Keighley Bus Museum.
New S7 Stock units are 21441/2; 21445/6.
Withdrawal of the D78 sub surface stock has commenced; with 7058 + 7510 departing Ealing Common depot, by road for Long Marston on 19/1/15; followed by 7065 on the 21st. A forth car has gone to a design consultant, for experiments on interior layouts. All of this is to do with a project detailed below. A summary of D78s withdrawn so far are single ended units 7025 + 17025 + 8025; 7056 + 17056 + 8056; 7058 + 17058 = 8058; 7065 + 17065 + 8065; 7082 + 17082 + 8082; 7114 + 17114 + 8114; 7129 + 17129 + 8129. The formations are DM + T + UNDM. Also withdrawn is double ended unit 7510 + 71510 + 7511 – formation DM + T + DM.
Uncoupling non driving motors (UNDMs) 8025/56/8/65/82/114/289 have gone to Booth Roe, Rotherham for scrap.
Driving motors (DMs) and trailers (Ts) 7025/17125, 7056/17056, 7058/17058; 7065/17056; 7082/17082, 7114/17114, 7129/17129 have passed to VIVArail at Long Marston – see below.
The proposal to convert D78 stock driving motor vehicles to Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMUs) for use on National Rail, when they are retired from the District Line, is to happen, and the cars which have passed to VIVArail are to launch this venture.
The project (called D-Train) will use the D78 bodyshells, bogies and traction motors, as the basis for DEMUs. These could be a solution to a current shortage of DMUs and to replace Class 142/3/4 ‘Pacers’ on branch lines in the north of England, and South Wales.
The rebuilt D78s will feature brand new cabs, control gear and engines – featuring hybrid technology (3.2 litre Ford 5 cylinder diesel engines powering two traction motors on each bogie). They are ideal for this role, as their aluminium bodies could be converted for forthcoming DDA requirements and they also have a Railway Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) Safety Case, as they have run on Network Rail (NR) metals between Gunnersbury and Richmond throughout their London Underground careers; and also Putney Bridge to Wimbledon, when that was under NR.
D78s are to be replaced by new S7 Stock in London by summer 2016.
Built by Metro Cammell and introduced between 1980 and 1983, they have been regarded as one of the most successful types of London Underground train.
D78s serve the ‘Busmopolitan’ area, east of Bromley By Bow.
Above: A D78 train in original condition, headed by car no 7027 – at Upminster in April 2005.
New for the TfL34 (Walthamstow-Barnet) contract are Volvo B5LH/Wright Gemini2 hybrids VWH2043-49/51/2/5/6 (LK64 EHM/N/O/P/R/S/T/V/W/Z, EJA).
They have replaced the TE class ADL/Enviro 400s intially used. In practice the VWHs will appear on all routes from Potters Bar (PB) for which they are allocated; eg TfL82 (North Finchley-Victoria).
Scania K340EB6/Caetano Levante SH39 (FJ57 KHG) has returned from contractor De Courcey of Coventry. Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante SR171 (FJ11 MLF) has been on loan to Travel West Midlands.
Transferred to NX contractor SGBC of Patchway are K340/Levantes SR23, 51 (FJ57 KHK, KJU).
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Super Pointer 3421 (AY54 FPZ) has come from Network Harlow (pictured above); with SxConnect liveried Volvo B7RLE/Wright 3817 (GN07 AVD) going the other way.
SLF/Caetano Nimbus 1565 (HX04 HUK) is now in TGM livery, ex Classic Coaches red and grey.
LDV Convoy mid roof 16 seaters AV53 KVO and FJ05 KWV are currently crew ferries here.
SLF/Pointer 3312 (S310 JUA) has gone to Ripley of Carlton for scrap.
Above: Having been on loan to New Enterprise at Tonbridge, Kent; Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbus no 1562 had reached Colchester by January 2015, and was pictured at Head Street.
Received from Arriva Medway Towns are Optare Versas 4230/1 (KX62 JVW, JWF) and 4237/9 (KX13 DHG/K). They are in full Arriva Interurban livery, and this will begin the phasing out of the Network Harlow brand.
Gone for scrap is Volvo B6BLE/Wright 3250 (V250 HBH).
Volvo B9R/Caetano Levantes 4101/2 (FJ60 HYH/K) are now with Arriva The Shires for Green Line 757 (Luton-London).
Volvo Olympian/NC 5944 (R614 MNU) has been donated to the Southend SOS Bus Project.
Above: One of New Horizon’s pair of ex Redbridge Transport Volvo Olympians, S264 YOO was seen on service 177, at Maldon Road, Colchester on 7/1/15.
The remaining local bus service; commercial 77 from Great Bentley to Colchester, underwent some adjustments from 5/1/15. The basic frequency is now every 90 minutes, with peak journeys extended from Head Street in Colchester to ASDA at Turner Rise and also to/from Norman Way on schooldays. The 77 continues to operate Monday to Friday only.
Above: Seen when just acquired in May 2012; New Horizon Volvo B6BLE/Wright X989 CNO, works an outbound 77 down Colchester High Street.
Ex Cedric’s Scania K113/Irizar FIG 6292, has been sold to a dealer at Barnsley.
Following the end of the “regular” 78/A, SLF/Super Pointers Y152 NLK, Y661/8 NLO, RX51 FNS/V are withdrawn and have been offered for sale.
They are parked up at Ardleigh depot, along with withdrawn ex Cedric’s Volvo B10M/Jonckherre K908 RGE and Toyota Optima/Caetano P960 DNR.
Frating yard has been further extended.
Above: SLFs RX51 FNS/V at Frating (Lufkin Farm) depot in April 2013.
The old Cedric’s, Wivenhoe depot is now a car wash.
From Purple Parking of Southall is Volvo B7R/Plaxton Prima T105 JBC, which is now BIG 6002.
Ex Hedingham Dart SLF/Mini Pointer X347 YGU has been acquired for spares only.
Above: Optare Solo BIG 7006 ex S627 JRU at Parkeston depot.
New to Wilts and Dorset and ex Damory Coaches, this is one of the oldest Solos in regular service.
Rover 200 crew ferry car T913 LRT has lost its Panther magnetic signs. Other staff cars include BMW 525 estate LB52 DXW; ex Essex Police Ford Focus estate EU06 EUY, Ford Fiesta FN08 OGV, Ford Focus estate AB59 PAN.
AB09 PAN is a Ford Fiesta engineers van; AB56 PAN is a Vauxhall Astra engineers van; AB57 PAN and AB60 PAN are VW Caddy service vans; AB63 PAN is a new Ford Transit SWB engineers van; KY08 NMX is a Mercedes Sprinter LWB fitters’ van, while Ford Transit SWB engineers van V967 DBJ is parked up at Stansted, and is VOR. DBJ was the second original A Barham/Panther Travel ancillary vehicle and may be preserved. Renault Clio engineers van AB51 PAN is delicensed. Fiat Doblo Cargo EN51 ABF is withdrawn at Parkeston. These vans may double as crew ferries.
Reg marks AD63 PAN, AB64 PAN are also owned, but are not on fleet vehicles.
(AB are the initials of founder/director Adam Barham).
A further Volvo B7TL is President bodied ex Metroline LK51 XGN, via Ensign.
Neoplan Starliner MX10 DFK, is ex City Circle of Hayes.
Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident 1402 (T122 KLD) is withdrawn following an engine fire.
A routine withdrawal is of Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 605 (W133 WGT).
Previously withdrawn SLF/pointer 604 (R510 SJM) has gone to S&D Commercials (dealer), Upwell, Cambs.
SJH TRAVEL, CANVEY.
Volvo B10M/Van Hool 70 seater coach N469 PYS, has been acquired from Brent Community Transport, London NW.
SOUTH EAST COACHES, SOUTH WOODHAM FERRERS.
Scania K114/Irizar YN55 PVX is now GXZ 4247.
SOUTHEND ON SEA BOROUGH COUNCIL.
There are some roads which have “ghost” bus stops, with the flags repainted plain white, following the withdrawal of bus services along these sections.
They can be found on Manners Way between Oakengrange Drive and Rochford Road near Southend Airport; in Leigh on Sea along Marine Parade; at Chalkwell on Kings Road; and Westcliff on Sea at Genesta Road and Canewdon Road.
Above: One of the phantom bus stops at Marine Parade, Leigh.
ADL/Enviro 400 19589 (AE10 BXA) is delicensed due to accident damage.
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
TfL55 (Leyton Green-Oxford Circus) has been converted to LT operation.
Due to long term rebuilding work at London Bridge railway station, peak extras are being run by West Ham (WH) on TfL47 (Shoreditch-Catford Garage) – normally the province of Selkent.
The Scania Omnicity double deckers at Rainham (RM) are now spreading their wings. Previously regular on 248 (Cranham-Romford) with appearances on 372 (Horncurch-Lakeside); they are now frequent on 365 (Romford-South Horncurch) and have been seen on 174 (Dagenham-Harold Hill).
Trident 17856 (LX03 NEY) has moved from Barking (BK) to West Ham (WH); 17857/9 (LX03 NFA/D) from BK to Romford North Street (NS).
Received from Selkent are Tridents 17950/2/5/6/62 (LX53 JYO/R/V/W, JZE).
Transferred to Selkent is Trident 17896 (LX03 ORJ).
Trident 17506 (LX51 FNJ) has temporarily joined the training fleet from Selkent.
Tridents 17427/66 (LX51 FKA, FLC), 17505/45/88/9 (LX51 FNH, LY02 OAU, LV52 HFX/Y) have been reinstated to Reserve; 17559/74 (LY02 OBL, LV52 HFF) have gone to Reserve.
Ex Selkent SLF/Pointer 34380 (LX03 BZM) has returned from Finland, and gone into store at West Ham (WH).
Trident 17566 (LV52 HDZ) has gone to Metal Waste Recycling, Edmonton for scrap.
Tridents resold by Ensign are 17460 (Y529 NHK) and 17576 (LV52 HFJ) – to Bryans Coaches of Enfield; 17547/55 (LY02 OAW, OBG) – to South East Bus Supplies of Bromley (Kent); 18224 (LX04 FXM) – to Brylaine, Boston, Lincolnshire.
It appears that the East London Bus operations at Rainham (RM), have been absorbed into the main East London Bus and Coach Company fleet.
This change only affects O licence discs and legal lettering.
Above: Trident 17856 spent its career at BK until transfer to NS (see text). This view shows it in original condition, at Green Lane, Ilford in June 2004.
YX14 RXB, the ADL/Enviro 200 demonstrator, continued on loan – covering for warranty work.
Used arrivals are ex Stagecoach South Caetano bodied Dennis Dart SLFs HV52 WTC/E. Leyland Olympian/NCs 949/51 (H549/51 VAT) have passsed to Xelabus of Eastleigh.
With the Hadleigh outstation buses; SLF/MPD 413 (EU03 CFX) was swapped for long ADL/Enviro 20D 464 (EU62 FDF) at the start of January, and this was subsequently replaced by SLF/Super Pointer 459 (GU52 HKD).
Above: ADL/Enviro 200 no 464, on the 247 at Colchester High Street in January 2015.
The site of the old depot at Leigh on Sea, at the junction of London Road and Elm Road, has disappeared under a new block of flats. It was replaced by a new facility at Chandlers Way, Temple Sutton in the early 1990s.
After the original Supreme went into liquidation in 2005; it’s successor initially used Stock Road – just around the corner from Chandlers Way as a depot, before moving to Rettendon in 2007.
TENDRING TRAVEL, THORPE LE SOKEN.
PIL 4683, an ACI bodied Mercedes 814D, has been acquired from Spratts of Wreningham.
Scania K410EB6/Irizar YN64 AMX is delicensed due to accident damage.
Resold by Ensign are SLF/Super Pointer SPD3 (SNZ 7293) – to Watts of Bonvilston, Wales; and SLF/MPD PDS17 (TNZ 1186) – to Manns Travel of Gravesend.
On a visit to Leicester on 3/1/15; short ADL/Enviro 200 PAZ 9346 was observed, as Centrebus no 549. This was once Trustybus LK07 ATF, which passed to Centrebus when it took over Trustline. No 549 subsequently migrated to Leicester and gained its new identity in September 2014. The PAZ reg mark was previously carried by an ex Kimes of Folkingham DAF DB250/NC Palatine double decker.
TURNERS OF ESSEX, WICKHAM ST PAUL.
The ‘Halstead Hopper’ circular town service, was de-registered from 15/1/15. This commercial venture had been operated by Florida Coaches, but following the acquisition of that firm by Flagfinders, the route changed hands, along with Florida’s former Bournemouth EL2000 bodied Dennis Dart; M462 LLJ.
Above: M462 LLJ with Florida in February 2011. It retained this livery with Turners; ableit with Florida names removed.
VICEROY OF ESSEX, SAFFRON WALDEN.
Ex Hedingham Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer X509 WRG has been acquired, via Panther Travel (as dealer).
Alpha numeric fleet numbers have been applied.