Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
Welcome to the March 2015 edition.
This is the time of the year when the vehicle registration date number changes; it moving from 64 to 15 on this occasion.
There are several 15 reg buses to note around Essex and District; naturally the London area has seen some – Volvo B5H hybrids for new TfL contracts at Tower Transit; while in the provincial area, Ensignbus has put some brand new Volvo B9TL/Gemini2s on the road and Stephensons has an Enviro 200. While on E200s, ones for the forthcoming Colchester Park and Ride have also been delivered during March.
A major change happened at TGM early in the month, when all routes at Colchester and Harlow were transferred to Arriva Kent Thameside. This marks the end of TGM in Essex, with operations now concentrated only at London Heathrow.
New Horizon meanwhile, has vacated its Ardleigh site. Acquired with the Cedric’s business in 2013, its location meant access was difficult and it apparently also attracted a high rent. Operations are now concentrated at Frating.
UNO ceased to run into Essex from 29th March, when the 700 service serving Stansted passed to Centrebus on retender.
Shock news is that the Colne Valley preserved Railway has been given notice to quit the site it has occupied for more than 40 years. It is seeking an alternative home.
Also on the rails, DBS appears to be retrenching some of its freight operations, while Freightliner is filling the void; with the Ipswich tank train being one of its latest gains.
Finally, Busmopolitan would like to extend its sympathy to all those affected by the loss of the Germanwings flight in the French Alps on 24th March. A dreadful incident, made all the more chilling by the actions of the co-pilot; a professional who should have been trusted with the lives of the 149 passengers and crew, plus himself.
ABELLIO GREATER ANGLIA.
379013 has returned to its usual duties on West Anglia/Stansted Express, after being converted back to standard EMU from IPEMU (battery powered).
360116 has regained the latest style Abellio Greater Anglia fleet names.
Now in the new AGA livery are loco 90002; MkIII carriages FO11077, TSOs 12062, 12105/9; DVT82143.
The ‘Pretendalino’ set has been reformed, with DVT 82139 replacing 82105. 90006 + 82127 currently form a MkIII set which is still completely in the old ONE livery – pictured below at Kelvedon.
Above: A multi coloured Abellio Greater Anglia consist; headed by DVT 82152, on the 0830 London-Norwich, speeds through Kelvedon.
ADVANCE MINIBUSES, SOUTHEND.
Mercedes 0816D/UNVI YN58 AFA is ex Allenby of Caterham, Surrey.
Former Burnley and Pendle Optare Versas YJ57 XWD/F/G, have been acquired via Ensign.
Ex Banstead Coaches Dennis Javelin/Berkhof N946 JBX is now A12 APT.
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH.
TfL444 (Chingford-Turnpike Lane) was lost to Tower Transit on re-tender, from 7/3/15.
From Arriva London South is Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 VLA103 (LJ54 BCV) – now at Edmonton (EC).
Scania K113/Irizar R971 CUG has been sold.
New are B25D bodied ADL/Enviro 20Ds SE232/3/4 (YX15 XMK/L/M) for TfL W19 (Ilford-Walthamstow).
Ex London United “short” B26F bodied ADL/Enviro 200s SEN38 (SK07 HLO), SEN39 (YX09 FLP) have been swapped.
SEN38 has gone to London General, with SEN39 coming in exchange.
Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini WVL72 (LF52 ZPB) has transferred to London Central.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President PVL97 (W497 WGH) has been resold by Ensign to BAM Nuttall (contractor).
Optare Solo 962 (MX58 XDB) is withdrawn due to accident damage.
Hedingham ADL/Enviro 200 261 (EY57 FZE) is on loan as a replacement.
CHARIOTS, STANFORD LE HOPE.
This company has gone into administration, but operations continue under the associated Flavin undertaking. Chariots also uses the title of Bobbys Minibuses, while Flavin trades as Priory of Essex.
COGGESHALL COMMUNITY BUS.
A minibus from Stanway Travel, Colchester – is occasionally hired in, complete with driver. It is usually Renault Master EU58 FVC.
COLNE VALLEY RAILWAY.
It is reported that this heritage line will have to vacate the site at Castle Hedingham by the end of 2016.
Built on part of the trackbed of the former Chappel to Haverhill South railway line; the Colne Valley was established in 1973.
The site owner is based in Australia and has owned the location since 2006.
Above: A view of the depot area. Top: The rebuilt former Castle Hedingham station.
Both pictures taken on 25/10/15.
COOKS OF WESTCLIFF ON SEA.
Acquired from Kent of Uxbridge is WA10 KNL; a Bova Futura FHD.
Bova Futura S901 GUB is now NHJ 714.
Withdrawn is Bova Futura P932 KYC.
TfL212 (Chingford-Walthamstow) was lost to Tower Transit on re-tender, from 7/3/15.
As a result, a number of buses have been withdrawn; Trident/EL HTL13 (LR52 LYJ); Trident/Presidents HTP3-6 (PN03 UMB/K, LR52 KWG, PN03 ULY), and Scania Omnicity double deckers SD6-10 (YR59 NPJ/N/E/K/O respectively). The remaining Omnicities now appear on TfL388 (Stratford City-Embankment).
Trident/Plaxton President HTP5 (LR52 KWG) has gone to Dawsonrentals, off lease.
The Wednesdays only Ipswich to Fawley tank train finally ran on 25/3/15; with the contract passing to Freightliner from 1/4/15.
DBS ran this as part of their Wagonload network; with the consist usually being 3 TTA tank wagons.
Freightliner had previously just been involved in tripping the tankers from Ipswich Fuelling Point to the Upper Yard. Under the new contract, Freightliner will run to/from Lindsay Oil Refinery “up north”, rather than the “southern” Fawley.
Above: DBS EWS liveried 66140 approaches Kelvedon with the Ipswich to Fawley tanks on 11/3/15; running early at 0904.
DIRECT RAIL SERVICES.
47810 is withdrawn. It has been “stopped” at Crewe.
Above: 47810 stabled at Norwich in July 2011.
From London Central are Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents PVL151/70 (X551 EGK, X707 EGK).
EAST THAMES BUSES.
DAF SB120 DW5 (LF52 TJX), latterly with London General, is being stripped by Ensign.
New are Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2s 127-31 (LX15 GOK/P/U, GPY/Z).
After successful trials, the MkI Vantage Power Diesel Hybrid converted Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 599 (T199 CLO) is withdrawn.
It has been returned to Vantage at Greenford. A Mk II conversion is under way; based on a Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President.
Volvo B10A/Plaxton Expressliner bendi coaches 401/2 (P671 LWB, P563 MSX) have been sold to Reliant Coaches of Coalville and Seaford and District, respectively.
Volvo B10M/Jonckherre 602 (S662 JSE) has passed to Dews of Somersham.
Versas 266/8/9 (YJ57 XWD/F/G) are now with Amber of Rayleigh (qv).
Trident 192 (T192 CLO ex 392 MBF) is now with Renown of Bexhill, while Volvo Olympian’Alexander Royale 828 (P428 UUG ex WLT 428) has been sold to AC Williams, Lincolnshire.
Olympian/Royale 827 (WLT 307) is delicensed, while 829 (WJY 759) is back off loan from A to B at Luton; meaning this is the last Olympian active at Ensignbus. Sister 826 (WLT 916) – which was sold to A to B, retains its cherished WLT 916 registration with its new owner.
Temporary ex Brighton and Hove Trident/Presidents 910/1 (Y848/61 GCD) have been resold to Clyde of Barton Le Clay, Bedfordshire.
Above: Ensign’s new Volvo B9TLs were all delivered in “dealer white”, and then repainted into fleet colours.
Acquired are white Plaxton Primo KX58 LGA and yellow ADL/Enviro 200 KX58 GVC.
Trident/President 33080 (LN51 GNP) now has ‘Essex’ fleet names. It is back in service at Braintree (BE), after mechanical repairs at Hadleigh (HH). SLF/Pointer 43480 (R680 DPW) is now in use at Chelmsford (CF), after having received the engine and gearbox from donor 43715 (R715 DJN); the transplant having been done at BE. 43480 also now has a led destination.
Internal transfers are of SLF/Pointer 42936 (SN05 DZS); SLF/MPD 43356 (V356 DVG) from BE to CF and Volvo B10BLE/Wright 66169 (W369 EOW) from Colchester (CR) to BE.
Dart SLF/Plaxton Super Pointers 42447 (R447 CCV) and 43474 (R474 CAH); Scania L113/Wright 65554 (R554 CNG); Scania L94/Wrights 65569/70 (S569/70 TPW) have gone to Alpha Recovery for scrap.
By early March, work on the new Colchester, Haven Road depot has reached the stage where the yard was complete, and the building was being refurbished.
FLAGFINDERS, BRAINTREE AND HALSTEAD.
Neoplan Skyliner GIG 3239 has passed to Collins of Flint Cross, Cambridgeshire.
This operator has ceased trading, and its work has passed to other companies, including Stephensons of Essex.
GALLEON TRAVEL, HARLOW.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President G11 GTL (orig X649 LLX) was deroofed under the low railway bridge at Chertsey Lane, Thorpe Park on 27/3/15. 11 passengers were slightly injured. The bus was on a school trip from Epping to Thorpe Park. The picture (below) shows it on AGA RRP at Cheshunt, in November 2013.
GALWA TRAVEL, ABRIDGE.
Scania L94/Irizar X498 AHE is ex Specht of Abridge.
GODWARD, SOUTH WOODHAM FERRERS.
From Solus of Tamworth is Scania K340EB4/Irizar YN08 OCE. It entered traffic in overall yellow.
An exotic arrival is MAN24.480/Beaulas Glory PO60 HZH. Ex Coach Choice of Bilston; it was new to Florida of Halstead, Essex.
National Express specification Scania K340/Caetano Levante FJ08 KMX and Scania K340/Irizar YN08 MOA have passed to South Gloucestershire Bus and Coach, Patchway. Scania K340/Levante MX56 HZA is now with Holmeswood of Rufford.
HAILSTONE TRAVEL, WICKFORD.
Mercedes 0813D/Excel 24 seater YX08 EHF ‘Breeze’, has been sold to Coach Travel of Farningham, Kent.
The first of the ex Metrobus Scania Omnidekkas are 1517/8/9 (YN06 JYB/C/D); allocated to Clacton (CN). 1519 is illustrated.
They are in the new Chambers inspired livery with white led destinations, and have been converted to single door, by Hants and Dorset Trim. The new colours will eventually become standard across all Hedingham vehicles.
ADL/Enviro 200 261 (EY57 FZE) has gone to Chambers (qv).
From 8/3/15, all service under TGM were de-registered and re-registered under Arriva Kent Thameside.
All buses displayed paper “On hire to Arriva Kent Thameside” (AKT) notices, and paper TGM legals for one week. All bodyside legals are now AKT.
SLF/Pointer 3701 (S701 VKM) is on loan from Network Harlow (below).
New Park and Ride ADL/Enviro 200s are SK15 GXR/S.
Blue fleet numbers are now replacing the hard to read yellow ones.
JACKSONS OF BICKNACRE.
EV06 BUS is a Mercedes 1836l integral coach, ex Bennetts of Gloucester.
From 8/3/15, all services under TGM were de-registered and re-registered under Arriva Kent Thameside.
All buses temporarily displayed “On hire to Arriva Kent Thameside” notices, as per Network Colchester vehicles.
Some buses have lost their ‘Network Harlow’ fleet names.
Green Line 725 (Harlow-St Albans) ceased from 15/3/15.
Ardleigh depot has closed operationally. Vehicles now run from Frating, Lufkins Farm, or an outstation at Harwich International Port (railway station car park).
Dart SLF/Plaxton Super Pointers Y152 NLK and RX51 FNV have been reinstated, for use on a Stena Line contract at Harwich International Port. They are outbased at this location, and are working a ferry passenger shuttle, as the walkway to the ships is out of commission.
Meanwhile, sister RX51 FNS has been cannibalised, and remains at Ardleigh site (pictured below).
Withdrawn ex Cedrics Toyota Optima/Caetano P960 DNR, has passed to Venture Coachways of Clopton, Suffolk for spares only. It had been stored for some time at Ardleigh.
Withdrawn is Scania N113/Alexander RH H226 LOM.
LODGE, HIGH EASTER.
New is Mercedes Tourismo BX15 XOV.
Offered for sale is Scania L94/VH V40 DGE.
Extra trailer cars for Class 378 EMUs are now being delivered.
38402-6/54 arrived during March.
New S7 Stock deliveries are 21449/50, 21455/6. S7 unit 21443/4 is the second to recive the SSR Upgrade overall advert.
Previously withdrawn D78 DM and T cars 7081/17081 have passed to Vivarail at Long Marston for the ‘D-Train’ DEMU project, while UNDM car 8081 was despatched to Booth Roe at Rotherham for scrap.
MULLEYS OF IXWORTH.
Optare Solo YJ57 YDB is from Enterpise at Peterborough.
P and M COACHLINES, WICKFORD.
Volvo B10M/Jonckherre TIL 8148 is now with Graham of Orpington.
Acquired from Crawley Luxury is Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panther YU04 XFC. It has been named ‘Karen’.
Delicensed is Leyland Olympian/ECW coach BIG 4005.
Renault Clio service van AB51 PAN has been sold for repair. Its cherished registration mark has been retained.
A new outstation has opened at Witham, which is managed from Stansted.
Part of the trackbed of the former line from Audley End has been breached by new housing at Saffron Walden; just east of the former overbridge at Thaxted Road.
Another high specification coach to join this fleet is MX10 DFK; a Neoplan Starliner N216SHD, from Ellisons of St Helens.
RICHARDS COACHES, GREAT BADDOW.
Temsa Safari YJ14 CEV has passed to Roseberry Travel of Marton.
RICHMOND OF BARLEY.
Optare Solo YJ05 XMY is now white/green for the Waitrose Shuttle in Saffron Walden.
Van Hool TX11 YJ14 CDN has been re-registered 275 FUM.
SALWA TRAVEL, ABRIDGE.
Bova Futura FHD A19 KFC orig G994 UKL, has gone for scrap to MC Tractors of Ramsey.
Scania L94IB/Irizar LEZ 3342 has passed to Cocklin of Rainham (Essex).
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
New Routemasters for TfL15 (Blackwall-Oxford Circus) appeared from 2/3/15. LT392/3/7, 404/5/6 (LTZ 1392 etc) were the first noted.
Omnicities 15075/7 have moved from Selkent.
ADL/Enviro 40Hs 12131/7/9/44/50 and ‘Green Bus’ overall advert 12142 have moved from Bow (BW) to Leyton (T) for TfL56 (Whipps Cross-Smithfield); replacing Scania Omnicities, of which 15148-53/5/7/8/9/61-9 are withdrawn.
ADL/E40D 10182 has lost its Megabus overall advert.
ADL/E200s 36340/4/69-75 displaced by the loss of TfL488 (Bromley by Bow-Clapton) to Tower Transit, have gone to Selkent at Catford (TL), where they have replaced SLF/Pointers – some of which will become driver trainers. ADL/E200 36276 has moved from WH to BK.
Tridents moved within East London are: 17466, 17873/5/6/7, 17905/6 – T to WH; 17756 – NS to WH; 17858 – NS to BK; 17801, 18208 – T to BK; 18207 – T to NS.
ADL/E400 19000 ‘Spirit of London’ has moved from T to RM, while 10155 has gone from NS to RM.
Trident 17427 is now a trainer.
17478, 17503/88/9 have gone to Stagecoach East Midland; 17580 to Lister, Bolton (dealer). 17570 has gone for scrap.
Withdrawn are Tridents 17545/51.
Tridents resold by Ensign are LX51 FKR to Golden Coast Sporting Villas, Woolacombe; LX03 BUA/E to Brylaine of Boston; LX04 FXK to London Borough of Havering, while LX03 BTF/U/V/Y have been hired by Ensign to Tower Transit.
New is “short” ADL/Enviro 20D 424 (EU15 AZT). Leyland Olympian/NC 952 (H552 VAT) has passed to Blowfield of Forest Hill, Oxfordshire.
“Long” ADL/Enviro 200 464 (EU62 FDF) deputised on the 247 for regular SLF/Super Pointer 459 (GU52 HKD) during March.
There is a new outstation at Ipswich Buses Constantine Road depot, which has replaced Hadleigh.
SUPREME COACHES, RETTENDON.
From Chariots of Stansford Le Hope are Van Hool bodied Volvo B10Ms L19/20 PCC.
Sold are Mercedes 1836RL BU53 AXH and Iveco Eurorider/Beaulas YU04 XJH.
THORNS OF RAYLEIGH.
Volvo B10M/VH A4 APT has reverted to its original mark of H181 DVM.
The A4 APT mark has been returned to APT of Rayleigh, from whom this coach was acquired.
Sold is Bluebird yellow school bus R513 SCH.
New TfL Contracts gained from 7/3/15 were 212 (Chingford-Walthamstow St James Street) from CT Plus, and 444 (Chingford-Turnpike Lane) from Arriva London North. A new base at Ponders End has opened for these.
TfL25 (Ilford-Tottenham Court Road) has been temporarily diverted over the Bow Flyover. This is due to Cycle Superhighway works on the roundabout below.
Acquired via Ensign is ex Stagecoach South Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200 Y243 FJN. Also arived are ex Stagecoach South sisters Y239/43 FJN. Y239 FJN initially operated in full Fleet Buzz yellow and black.
Herts CC route 242 (Waltham Cross-Potters Bar/Welwyn Garden City) – Suns and hols only, was gained from UNO from 29th March.
Metroline continues to run the 242 commercially at other times.
SLF/Pointer KU02 YDJ has been acquired through Ensign.
Operation of Green line 797 comenced from 2/3/15, after Arriva The Shires abandoned it. 797 is no longer Hitchin/Stevenage-London though; it has now been shortened to run between Hatfield and London, and Monday to Friday only. It is operated by Green Line liveried Mb Citaros.
From 29/3/15, service 700 (Baldock/Stevenage-Stansted Airport) passed to Centrebus on Hertfordshire CC re-tender. On the same date, Sunday/holidays 242 (Waltham Cross-Potters Bar/Welwyn Garden City) went to Trustybus, and St Albans city routes S8, S9 and 652 (renumbered to 361) were taken over by Metroline – also all on HCC contract. The St Albans locals are only until August 2015 in the first instance.
695 is a new service linking Hatfield Rail Station with UH Forum. It started on 9th March and runs in university terms only. 657 (Flamstead-Hatfield Business Park) ceased to run to Redbourn, bar one journey, after 30th March.
Optare Solo M880 OS403 (MX57 BZY) is now with Z and S, Aylesbury.