Busmopolitan – Essex and District Bus and Rail Newspage – November 2015.

Busmopolitan Logo 02

Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.


Welcome to the November, 2015 edition of Busmopolitan.
The picture of the editor (above), with Hedingham Omnibuses Volvo Olympians nos 92 and 76, is significant, because the marque will be phased out in 2016; in advance of the DDA deadline for this type of bus from 1st January 2017. Tollesbury and Kelvedon depots are the last to operate Olympians, and they will be replaced by low floor Dennis Tridents. The view was taken at Kelvedon on 18th November.

At First, hot on the heels of the new depot at Colchester, are some brand new buses. These are Wright Streetlite MAXs, and are the first “out of the box” deliveries to Colchester since 2003.

Stephensons has completed its takeover of Braintree area routes from First, which followed the closure of the former’s local depot from 1st November. Stephensons has been using a selection of saloons drawn from around its fleet, pending the arrival of new vehicles.

The Arriva ‘MAX’ brand has come to Essex; with it being launched in Southend on 30th November.

Big changes have been announced to certain bus routes across Essex, following a county council review. These would take effect from early April 2016.

Townlink at Harlow, has been the subject of a Public Enquiry (PI). This was connected with non operation of services, and not having a nominated Transport Manager.
It’s predecessors have likewise tussled with the authorities, in the past.

And on the railway, it’s the leaf fall season – and a farce. For a large part of November, buses had to replace trains of the Sudbury and Felixstowe branch lines, due to a shortage of diesel multiple units (dmus). The reason ? A large number of the dmus had flat tyres, due to the railhead conditions. An alternative theory was that they were “too lightweight” (!).

156418 ESTA 1965-2015 IPSWICH 13-11-15
156418 has been named ‘ESTA 1965-2015’.
Buses/coaches replaced trains on the Marks Tey-Sudbury and Ipswich-Felixstowe routes on 11th to 22nd November, due to a shortage of Class 153 and 156 DMUs. This was due to several of these diesel units suffering flat tyres, due to poor track and adhesion conditions.
Operators noted on replacement road services, included Dons, Ensignbus, First, Flagfinders, New Horizon, Panther Travel, Regal and Simonds of Diss.

156402 AGA (BRENTWOOD)  21-11-15

153322 AGA (BRENTWOOD)  21-11-15
Top: 156402 heads “down” through Brentwood on 21/11/15; having been to the wheel lathe at Ilford, to attend to its flats.
Above: 153322 trails the same consist.

To the new livery are EMU 317503; DVT 82103 and FO 11098.

A second route is A21 (Stansted-Stratford-London Bridge-Victoria). Easybus tickets are valid on this service, following the latter’s exit from Stansted Airport.

Offered for sale are Bova Futura RIJ 4670; DAF MB/VH YNJ 214; Dennis Javelin/WS yellow school bus K662 PHW and Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President Y202 NLK.
Bova Futura Y8 AMS is withdrawn, but Dart SLF/Caetano KM51 BFY has been reinstated.
Sold is Leyland Olympian/ECW G723 XDL.

From 8/11/15, there were fare changes to the Colchester Park and Ride, coinciding with the introduction of new ticket machines at Cuckoo Farm terminus.
The introductory fee has ended. Charges are now £3 per adult, £1 per child and free for under-fives. Concessionary and Blue Badge holders travel free after 0900, subject to registration.
Ex Fastrack Volvo B7RLE/Wright 3815 (GN07 AVB), has gone to Southend, after temporary use at Colchester.
Withdrawn are Dart/SLF/Plaxton Pointer 3191 (P191 LKJ) and SLF/Caetano 3411 (HX51 LRO).
Sunday/bank holiday service 70 (Colchester-Braintree), has gone over to saloon operation, ex double deck.

P191LKJ 3191 AR CR 1  15-10-15
Above: SLF 3191 at St Johns Street, Colchester on 15/10/15.

Volvo B7RLE/Wright 3815 (GN07 AVB), has been received from Colchester, and repainted into Arriva livery, along with 3822 (GN07 AVK) from Northfleet.
From 30/11/15, the ‘MAX’ brand was introduced to service 5 (Southend-Basildon). Ex Fastrack/Northfleet B7RLE/Wrights 3816 (GN07 AVC), 3820/1 (GN07 AVG/J), 3823/4 (GN07 AVL/M) are in ‘MAX’ livery.
Ex Fastrack Volvo B7RLE/Wrights 3801-14 have moved from storage at Short Street depot, back to Kent – to store at Aylesford. They are Kent County Council, rather than Arriva owned and will be redeployed to KCC contractors.
Withdrawals are of DAF SB220L/Plaxton Prestiges 3912/3 (T912/3 KKM).

Received from Arriva London South are DAF DB250L/Alexander ALX400 DLA384(LJ03 MYU) and ADL/Enviro 400 T65 (LJ08 CXV). They are at Barking (DX).
ADL/Enviro 400s T171/2/4-9 are now at Barking (DX), ex Ash Grove.
Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis VLW128/9 (LF52 UPC, LG52 DAA) also went to DX; before moving on to Arriva The Shires.
Several late model DW class VDL SB300/Wright Gemini2S, displaced from TfL149 at Stamford Hill (SF) by LT class New Routemasters, have reappeared at Enfield (E) , and can appear on TfL313 (Chingford-Potters Bar), which partially serves the area covered by ‘Busmopolitan’.
LJ13CKD DW564 313 PB 21-11-15
Above: DW564 departs Potters Bar, on 21/11/15.

LDV Convoy MX53 UZG is ex Mitchell of South Croydon.
Acquired for spares only is Duple 425 D380 BMV; from Byley Garage, Cheshire.

Further ex Metrobus Scania Omnidekkas sourced through Ensign, are YN03 DFJ, PZW.
Arrived for spares only, are ex Go-North East Dennis Trident/ELs W862 PNL and W174 SCU.

Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer LDP205 (SN51 UAU), has passed to London Central at Camberwell.

Ex Stagecoach East London Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 LX03 BTF, has come via Ensign.
Volvo Olympian/Alexander Royale N589 BRH has passed to Dart Pleasure Craft, Totnews, Devon.

Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere N559 SJF, is from P and M Coachlines, Wickford.

Volvo Olympian/Plaxton President 577 (W518 WGH), has moved to Hedingham (qv).

Volvo B10M/Van Hool L56 REW is now K11 FCL.

Sold is Ford Transit 11 seater 134 (EJ55 DSY).

Scania K410EB6/Irizar YT15 AVB has come from City Circle of Hayes.

There was industrial action on 3rd and 4th of November, with replacement buses required. Contribution from local operators, included Beestons, Ensignbus, Panther Travel, Regal and Trustybus.
They boosted TfL routes at peak times; including 108 (Stratford-Lewisham) and 474 (Canning Town-Manor Park).

Service EB2 (London Old Street-Stansted Airport), was withdrawn from 14/11/15.
Thus Easybus no longer runs into Stansted, and instead tickets are valid on Airport Bus Express A21.

Van Hool Astromega JEV 245Y has been named ‘In memory of Paul Francis Dipper 1958-2015’. Paul was well known in the bus community of south Essex and East London; being both a professional busman and enthusiast. His memorial vehicle is pictured (above), at Witham on an Abellio Greater Anglia e-rail, on 25th November.

Former temporary fleet member 912 (PK02 RDO), a Dennis Trident/Plaxton President, is now with First Bus Stop of Gravesend, while ADL/Enviro 200 8.8m 902 (YX11 HPU) , went to Grant Palmer at Dunstable.

PK02RDO & LF02PSZ ENSIGN 31-10-15
Above: PK02 RDO in the “courtyard” at Ensign’s on 31/10/15; keeping company with ex Arriva London Volvo B7TL and DAF DB250L/Wright Geminis.

Ex Lothian Dart SLF/Super Pointer SK52 OKE, has passed to Centrebus.

Mercedes Sprinter 416/Tawe EM06 BUS passed to Drew Wilson, Glasgow (dealer, and then to Chapman of New Stevenson. Also sold is Mb Sprinter 413/Excel EM54 BUS.

Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 32490 (AU53 HKH), now has a super rear advert for Pop Up Cinema.

New Wright Streetlight Maxs for Colchester (CR), are 63328-34 (SK65 PXJ/L-P/R). They collected at Quayside depot for commissioning. 63328/31/2 entered traffic in mid November; observed on 61, 62, 63, 64/A, 65, 66/A, 83/A, 70, 88, 103/4.
However, 63334 soon moved to Basildon (BN), along with older Streetlites 47657/8 (SN15 AEX/Y)- the rest of the 47xxx batch are already at BN or Hadleigh (HH). Then 63338 (SM65 EEW), appeared at CR at the end of November. Others were being delivered at this time.
P448NEX 43448 & R474CAH 43474 BEw  22-11-14
Above; A view of Braintree garage yard on 22/11/14, featuring withdrawn SLF/Pointers 43448 and 43474.

Braintree depot closed from 1/11/15. It has been replaced by an outstation, initially on the same site. This garage, on Springfield Drive opened as recently as 2011. The yard next door was the previous depot, between 2005 and 2011, which in turn had taken over from the (now demolished) former Hicks site at Fairfield Road, in Braintree town centre. The “new” site has been offered To Let, by its landlord, Braintree District Council. The outstation allocation started with Volvo B7TL/ALX400s 32480/3/4/5, 32651/2 plus Solo 53137, as a crew ferry. Vauxhall Zafira FG14 WUV has since taken over on BE staff shuttles.
LN51GMU 33088 BRAINTREE 70  2-2-13
Above: Trident/Plaxton President no 33088 at Braintree, on a westbound 70, on 2/2/13.

Most of commercial service 70 (Colchester-Braintree-Chelmsford) has moved to Colchester or Chelmsford depots. Braintree outbase retains 6 vehicles and 17 staff for some 70 workings, plus 352 (Chelmsford-Halstead) on evenings, Sundays and holidays. The remaining Essex CC sponsored route 21 journeys have been transfered to CF. Services 131/2 (Witham-Braintree-Halstead), passed to Stephensons of Essex (qv).
Vehicle movements linked to the above, are of Tridents 32810/56 to Basildon (BN); 33044/78/80/6/7, 33184/6/90/5/6 to Colchester (CR), and Volvo B7TL/ALX400s 32480/2-5, 32651/2/4 from CR to CF and Braintree outstation. Tridents 33001/2 went from BN to CR. Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 42489 (SN53 KJY) has moved BE to HH; sisters 42930/6 (SN05 EAM, DZS) and 43731 (S731 TWC) have moved BE to CF. The Vauxhall Zafira staff car FE14 WUV, went to CF, but subsequently resurfaced at BE (qv). SLF/Pointer 42934 went from BN to CF, but this was connected with the receipt of new Streetlites at CR, (see above).
Withdrawn are SLF/Pointers 43483/5 (R683/5 DPW).
Scania L113/Wright Axcess Ultraflow 65573 (S573 TPW), has been collected by Alpha for scrap.
P429ORL 42429  132 (WITHAM)  20-3-13
Above: SLF/Pointer no 42429 works a Halstead bound 132 along Collingwood Road, Witham, in March 2013.

X618ESS 62139 131 (SILVER END)  3-9-15
Above: Aberdeen heritage liveried Volvo B10BLE no 62139, on a northbound 131, calls at The Broadway, Silver End, on 3/9/15.

With the end of First routes 131/2 and the commencement of Stephensons 38/A, there were also changes on the Chelmsford-Witham-Colchester corridor.
47 (Chelmsford-Broomfield) was replaced by 72 (Chelmsford-Witham (New Rickstones Academy)). However, 47 continues in truncated form, as an Essex CC funded Chelmsford-Springfield Sainsburys route, at reduced frequency. 71 (Chelmsford-Colchester) has also changed. The 71A variant has ceased, as 72 now covers the Boreham Village loop, and 70 the Tollgate Retail Park at Colchester. Aditionally, there is a new 71B from Chelmsford to Chelmer Village (M-F). This has partly replaced the old 72 service.
Also from 1st November, Colchester route 61/A (University-North Station) was extended to/from Wivenhoe in the east, and Highwoods in the west. There was a slight frequency reduction on 65 (Highwoods-Stanway) as a result. 106 (Colchester-Harwich direct) ceased. This was basically used for positioning journeys for first and last buses to/from Harwich, after Harwich depot closed in June 2014. Early morning workings on 66 (Colchester-Rowhedge), now start at Old Heath (Whitehall Road), rather than running light into town. This is achievable due to the location of the new Quayside depot. 67 (West Mersea-Colchester) ceased to run beyond the town centre (Head Street) to the General Hospital, as this is now covered by an increased 61 and 65.
Then from 16th November, First regained 73 (Maldon-Boreham-Chelmsford) on Essex CC contract, after Stephensons pulled the plug – having only run the 73 commercially since 1/9/15.

MX05CCY 66807 (REAR) GREEN CR  25-11-15
CR based Green Volvo B7RLE/Wrights 66798, 801/4/7/9/10/6/28, have received ‘Lower Emissions, for a Greener Colchester’ branding on sides and rear. However 66801 received none, and 66803 only on its nearside. 66807 was pictured (above), at Head St on 24/11/15.
Accident damaged Optare Solo 53128 (EO02 NFK) has been repaired, and treated to Refreshed colours.
Volvo B10BLE/Wright Axcess Ultraflows 66168/9 (W368/9 EOW) subsequently returned to First Eastern Counties. Similarly bodied Scania L94UB 65589 (V589 DVF), has passed into the custody of the Ipswich Transport Museum.
Withdrawn are the very last Volvo Olympian – NC bodied 34305 (L305 PWR); Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 43365 (V356 DVG); SLF’/Marshall 43679 (R679 MEW); SLF/Pointer 43734 (S734 TWC); Aberdeen liveried Volvo B10BLE/Wright Axcess Ultraflow 62139 (X618 NSS), “Barbie” liveried sisters 62195/7 (X689/92 ADK)- 62197 was briefly used in service at CR after BE; Scania L113/Wright Axcess Ultraflow 65565 (S565 TPW); similarly bodied Volvo B10BLEs 66177/9 (W377/9 EOW).
Olympian 34305 has joined the Yeldham Transport Collection for preservation. One of a batch transferred from First Calderline in 1998; not only had it spent considerable more time in Essex than its native Yorkshire, but had outlived its sisters by some three years.
It is pictured (below), at London Road, Stanway on 9/3/15, during a spell on loan from CF to BE.
L305PWR 34305 70 (CR)  9-3-15

Another Vauxhall Zafira staff car is FG14 XHY, at CF.

W377EOW 66177 63 CR  2-11-15
Above: Volvo B10BLE/Wright 66177, picks up at Crouch Street, Colchester on 2/11/15. It is unusually on route 63; normally the preserve of Wright Streetlites. Local bus personality David Edwards is driving.

Volvo Olympian P167 BTV has been sold.

Ex Heavy Haul 66518/32/47, have appeared on Intermodal work, on Great Eastern metals.

66518 FL IPSWICH (NIGHT) 13-11-15
Above: 66518 at Ipswich fuelling point, on 13/11/15.

Mercedes 0814D/Sitcar Beluga OO04 BOY, has been offered for sale.

Offered for sale are Iveco 45C minicoaches BU07 CPZ, MX07 UFB and MX57 FGD.

W518WGH 577 CHAMBERS (CR) 1-15
Another Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL from Chambers is 577 (W518 WGH); now at Sible Hedingham (HD). It was pictured (above), in Chambers days at Southway, Colchester in January 2015; on a school contract.
Scania Omnidekka 1520 (YN06 JYD), has entered service from Clacton (CN).
Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 737 (T107 DBW), returned to service at Tollesbury (TY) in late November.
Volvo Olympian/NC 66 (P602 CAY), is to be donated to a school, for static use – after parts recovery.
Ford C Max staff car GU09 MTF has transferred to Konect at Dereham.
Ford Focus estate car GP07 HTL has been sold.

DAF DB250L/EL Vyking 54 (PF04 VML), has donned an overall advert for Town FM radio.

SN51AXP 25 IB 15A  30-10-15
Above: Ipswich Buses no 25 is one of the Dennis Trident/Plaxton Presidents recently acquired from Lothian Buses. It is pictured departing Ipswich Railway Station on 30/10/15.

Mercedes 0814D/ACI E6 JJT is now T43 RJL; while Mercedes 614D/Crest BF52 KHX has become E6 JJT.

Has been sold to two members of its existing management team.

Sold is MAN 24.400/Noge Catalan tri-axle S605 VAY.

Sold is Volvo B10M/Plaxton Paramount F401 UAD.

All electric Optare Metrocity demonstrator OE1 (YJ65 EOV), is being trialled on TfL108 (Lewisham-Stratford). It is allocated to the NX175 M-F peak hour duty.
An interesting arrival from London General is Mercedes Citaro MEC1 (BG09 JJK). It too, was observed on the 108, on 8/11/15. It returned to London General later in the month, but other Citaros are due.
The appearance of the Mercedes could be an answer to the capacity problems, which have afflicted route 108 in recent months. Due to the Blackwall Tunnel, and physical restrictions at Bromley By Bow; the choice of larger buses is somewhat limited.
Also, the southern terminus of 108, has temporarily moved from Lewisham Station, Loampit Vale to Lewisham High Street, Lewis Grove.

EJ52WXF DP192 LC 108 BLACKHEATH  8-11-15
Above: Former Blue Triangle Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer no DP192, crosses Blackheath, on a Stratford bound 108 working, on 8/11/15.

Now in fleet livery are 315806 and 321414.
378223/4/5 have been strengthened to 5 cars, ex 4.

New S7 stock delivered is 21487/8; 21489/90; 21491/2.
The latest D78 stock withdrawals are of 7003 + 17003 + 8003; 7009 + 17009 + 8009; 7015 + 17015 + 8015; 7050 + 17050 + 8050; 7063 + 17063 + 8063; 7074 + 17074 + 8074; 7088 + 17088 + 8088; 7094 + 17094 + 8094; 7113 + 17113 + 8113; 7514 + 17514 + 7515.
VivaRail has taken 7003 + 17003; 7009; 7015 + 17015; 7050 + 17050; 7063 + 17063; 7074; 7088 + 17088; 7094; 7113 + 17113; 7514 + 7515.
To Booth Roe at Rotherham for scrap, went 8003/15/50/63/74/88/94/113, 17009/74/94, 17514.

Above: D78 7074 at Upminster in August 2007, when recently refurbished.

Below: In original condition, D78 7094 tails a Wimbledon to Tower Hill service, departing Monument in December 2000.
7094 D78 (MONUMENT) 12-00.jpg

Mercedes 609D/Reebur E343 TYD has passed to A1 Truck and Van (dealer), Clacton, while also sold is Toyota Optima/Caetano M9 KFC.

Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante 116 (FJ60 KVS) has come from City of Oxford. It is allocated to Sipson Road (SR).

Reinstated are Dart SLF/Pointer Y542 XAG, and SLF/Alexander ALX200s LX51 FGN/O.
Sold are Iveco Eurorider/Beaulas MKZ 6312, and Scania K114/Irizar PB YN04 GPF.

Ex Hedingham Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer W339 VGX, has joined the operational fleet as BIG 9248, and is named ‘Philip’. The Volvo B6/Plaxton Pointer which previously bore the BIG 9248 mark, has reverted to its original identity of M832 CVG, and passed to Turners of Wickham St Paul. This was also a one time Hedingham bus.
Acquired from a preservationist, is former Southdown ‘Queen Mary’ NC convertible open top bodied Leyland Titan PD3/4 BUF 426C.
Dennis Javelin/UVG BIG 8796 has been offered for sale.
Volvo B10M/VH VLT 177 has been re-registered back to P521 PRL, and sold to Eagle of Castle Acre, Norfolk.
Withdrawn Leyland Olympian/ECW CWR 512Y, is now a seat store at Matching Tye site.
The Mercedes Sprinter engineers’ van, KY08 NMX – is re-registered to AD08 PAN.
Dart/Dash BIG 8843, has been loaned, short term to Malcolm’s Bus Service, Clacton; on various occasions.

Volvo Olympian/Alexander RH S290 YOO, is now with Imperial of Southall.

Dart SLF/Mini Pointer EK51 XXC, has returned to Ensign, off loan.

Mercedes Sprinter 416/Stanford minicoach MP53 SDV has been re-registered EX53 ELM.

N100 SST is a Setra S415, ex Meadway of Yardley, Birmingham. It entered service in plain metallic grey.

MAN18.220/Alexander ALX300 22331 (AE51 RZO), has gone to Stagecoach Manchester South.

Ex Selkent Scania Omnicity 15040 has moved from West Ham (WH) to Bow (BW). Trident 17837 (LX03 BYN) is now at Barking (BK) ex Leyton (T).
Tridents 17838/40 (LX03 BYP/S), have been returned to Selkent.
New Routemasters LT264, 315/59/67 (LTZ 1264 etc), have lost their overall adverts for standard red livery. Meanwhile, LT272 (LTZ 1272) has donned an overall scheme for Nat West Bank.
Ex Selkent Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 34357 (LV52 HKJ), has been repainted plain white.

The new Mercedes Tourismos are BG65 VXA-F/H/J/K/L; replacing the older temporary coaches.

HV52WTE 454 ST 38A WITHAM 13-11-15

The replacements for First 131/2 Braintree to Witham routes, commenced on 2/11/15.
They are numbered 38/A and are effectively extensions of Witham town services. Dart SLF/Caetano no 453, was pictured (above), at Collingwood Road, Witham on 13/11/15.
38 runs as Halstead-Gosfield-Bocking-Braintree-Freeport-Silver End-Witham-Allectus Way.
38A operates as 38, but via Stubbs Lane in Braintree instead of Freeport.
The Bocking-Braintree section replaces that part of First 21/A, although First will still work that as an Evening/Sun/hol Essex CC contract.
The 38/A are commercial services, on a combined 30 minute Headway, day times Mon to Sat. The Eberneezer Close to Collingwood Road section of 38 in Witham, was renumbered 40, and subbed to Arrow Taxis of Maldon, from 2nd November.
Dart SLF/Mini Pointer 417 (EU07 FRN) and short ADL/Enviro 200 421 (EU09 NYO), have moved from Rochford to Haverhill.
Further movements to Braintree from Haverhill, are of Dart SLF/ALX200 435 (LX51 FGE) and SLF/Super Pointer 455 (EG02 NZD).
Dart SLF/Super Pointer 459 (GU52 NKD) is back in use, after collision repairs.
Various buses from Boreham depot have also appeared on the Braintree services, since the start of November. Noted have been Solo 322 (EU07 FVM); SLF/Caetanos 453/4 (HV52 WTC/E); SLF/Pointer 459; ADL/E200s 422 (EU60 CAV), 423 (EU64 CVT), 464/6 (EU62 FDF, FBO). One line is run from Boreham, so buses at Braintree site can be swapped for maintenance. From 30th November, a 38A am peak working, became double deck.
Operation of commercial service 73 (Maldon-Boreham-Chelmsford), ceased after 13/11/15. First Essex took it back, under Essex CC contract, from 16th November.
ADL/E200 465 was the regular route 247 bus for much of November.
3 (Colchester-Hythe) and 506 (Colchester Schools-Heybridge), are now double deck worked, ex saloon.
Short ADL/Enviro 200 YY15 NJO is now in stock, ex loan and has fleet no 427.

EU62FDF 464 ST 38 (SILVER END) 18-11-15
Above: ADL/Enviro 200 no 464 on 38, at Silver End Broadway, on 18/11/15.

From 21st November, TfL school services 692/9 (Winchmore Hill-Dame Alice School) were taken over from Go-Ahead London General North, on re-tender.

Sold is MCW Metrobus C439 BUV.

Mercedes 0815D minicoach Y1 CHT is now S29 NFT.

CAZ 2747 is a Leyland Royal Tiger Doyen, ex Washington Coaches of Philadelphia; that’s the one in Tyne and Wear, rather than the USA !

Volvo B10M/VH H181 DVM, is now with Pearson of Old Whittington, Derbyshire.

New are Enviro 400-VE virtual electric hybrids DH38501 (SN65 ZGO), 38502/3 (SN65 ZGP/R) and ADL/Enviro 20Ds DMV45112-4 (YX65 RLY/Z, RMO), DM45115-20 (YX65 RMU/V/Y/Z, RNA/E). All are at Lea Interchange (LI). DH38501 is being trialled on TfL69 (Canning Town-Walthamstow).
The remaining borrowed ex Stagecoach East London TAL class Trident/ALX400s, TAL33200-4/6-9 have been returned to Ensign. They were replaced by DN class ADL/Enviro 400s, made surplus by the loss of TfL295 (Clapham Junction-Ladbroke Grove), to Metroline.

New from 16/11/15, are commercial routes 419 (Harlow-Epping) and 420 (Harlow-Ongar). Both are half hourly daytimes, M-Sat. Additionally, 392 (Harlow-Rye Park) and 410 (Harlow-Waltham Cross), have gone over to double deck, ex saloon.
Vehicles acquired through Ensign are ex Metrobus Scania Omnicities YN53 RXF/G/H/M/P/R/T – these retain dual doors, but are now led destination fitted; former Ealing Community Transport Dart SLF/Caetano KX03 HZH; ex Stagecoach East London Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 LX04 FXV. The Omnicities have received fleet colours, but the other remain London red. The Trident additionally has led destinations as well as keeping 2 door layout.
On loan from Ensign, was Dart SLF/Caetano LK53 FDP.
Optare Solo V679 FEL is now UNZ 8067.
Withdrawn is Dart SLF/Marshall MDS14 (LT02 ZDO).

Now withdrawn is ex Florida Coaches Dennis Dart/EL 2000 M462 LLJ.
Mercedes 207D minibus Y148 ESG has been sold; along with Volvo B10B/Wrights M518 WHF, M547/8 WTJ. Accident damaged M548 WTJ went to Lloyd, the Hixon, Staffordshire dealer, for resale as repairable salvage.

BMC 850 AE05 MZL is now with Perrys of Woolpit, Suffolk.

With thanks to: ‘District Dave’, Ensignbus, Essex Buses Yahoo, A Hazell, Panther Travel, PSVC, RM, M Stokes, S Spencer.

Courtworth Banner cropped

Curtains Close on the “Clactons” – 1963 to 1994.

Busmopolitan Logo 02

309603622 (Bill@gensheet.co.uk) cc
309603 and 309622 at the buffer stops at Clacton. This was in the 1970s/early 1980s ‘Rail Blue’ era. When new, the ‘309s were finished in maroon. In the mid ’80s they went into orange/grey Network Southeast (NSE) ‘Jaffa Cake’ livery, before receiving NSE “standard” re/white/blue.
(Courtesy Bill@gensheet.co.uk).

The “Clacton” Class 309 electric multiple units (emus) ran between the Essex coastal resort and London, from 1963 to 1994. They were the first British emus capable of 100 mph, and were based on the Mk I carriage design. Busmopolitan presents a nostalgic account of their final days in Essex, although several had second lives in north west England, up to 2000. The text is by John Podgorski MSc, CMILT – (reproduced below).

I was keen to ride on the Class 309 EMUs before their demise, as I fondly remembered travelling on them when I was at college at Clacton in 1984 to 1986.

Arriving at Colchester North on the evening of 21st January, 1994; I found several other people there waiting to pay their last respects to the “Clactons”.

Camera flashes and videos recorded nos 606 + 607, packed with commuters, arrive at Platform 2, and ten more minutes elapsed before the final scheduled Class 309 working; the 1822 London Liverpool Street to Clacton, pulled into Platform one – formed of units 626 + 613 + 616. There was a small group of enthusiasts on this train and further “bashers” (alternative name for enthusiasts), got on at Wivenhoe and Thorpe Le Soken.

At Clacton, a TV crew was waiting to film the event; although they first had to overcome the annoyance of a British Rail official, who claimed the cameraman’s work light had dazzled the driver on his approach into the platform. After that little problem had been smoothed over, the initial attempt to record the motorman leaving the cab, needed a second take when the door window jammed !

Returning to Colchester on (appropriately) Class 321 no 309, another “Clacton” unit formation was waiting at North Station; this being nos 624 + 618 + 623, which had just arrived as the 2023 from Ipswich and was awaiting a clear road, as ecs (empty coaching stock) to its home depot. Once the green signal showed, the ‘309 accelerated away into the darkness, under the watchful eye of further spectators.

The final day ………..

Saturday 22nd January dawned overcast, although the sun broke through at times later in the day. Arriving at Colchester North Station, to join the 1200 from Clacton ‘309 special, enthusiasts easily outnumbered the travelling public on Platform 4. As the train hoved into view, it turned out to be the same rake of stock, which had performed the final regular 1822 run the previous evening, but this time sporting a headboard proclaiming ‘309 Farewell 22nd January 1994’!

I took a seat upfront in unit no 616, and enjoyed an effortless journey via Chelmsford to London; the old lady defying her 31 years of age, with plenty of high speed running. As we descended Brentwood Bank, I was engaged in conversation with Daniel, a Cheshire enthusiast; who told me that a lot of North Wales Class 37 (diesel locomotive) “bashers”, were seeing off the “Clactons” that day.

Arrival at Liverpool Street was bang on time at 1323; the same train leaving at 1400 – with many of the enthusiasts who had been on the outward trip, again on board. For the sortie back into Essex, 309626 led us up Bethnal Green Bank, as cameras and videos were aimed out of every available droplight; much to the bemusement of one “normal” passenger, who eventually conceded defeat and fell asleep !

There was a great deal of trackside interest, as the penultimate Class 309 traversed the suburban slow lines and the Ilford flyover. The signaller at Goodmayes took photos from his in-built vantage point and a man with a Land Rover, (at Brentwood) panned a shot of us as we sped by. Arriving at Chelmsford, there was much platform end activity, with amongst the throng – one Michael J Collins, (well known contemporary local rail photographer). And then came a perfect run to Colchester, again arriving on time.

The last run …………………

At 1845 on a chilly January night, there were but two hardy souls on the end of Colchester Platform one. Could this have been, because the announcer stated twice in succession, that it was the first four coaches only for the 1855 to Clacton ?

A horn sounded in the distance, and out of the gloom loomed the familiar shape of a Class 309. Climbing aboard unit no 626 again and settling in Driving Trailer car no 75974; I felt an air of anticipation as I was seeing the end of an era.

As it pulled away from Colchester, a small gathering waved the Class 309 farewell. After taking the underpass beneath the Great Eastern Main Line, 626 + 613 + 616 headed towards the coast through East Gates and Hythe, and on into the darkness of the marshes alongside the River Colne, with only shipping navigation lights showing the way. The familiar whirring noise of the reheostatic brakes brought us to a halt at Wivenhoe. Once on the move again, it was up the grade past the site of the long closed branch to Brightlingsea, which would still have (just) been open when the ‘309s were brand new. Back to 1994, the venerable electric stock was “opened up”, through Alresford and then on past the former station at Thorrington – by then a scrapyard, (and still so in 2015). Great Bentley came and went, before Weeley was reached.

There was a good turnout of enthusiasts on the final ‘309 working; many of whom were chatting away in the forward section of car no 75974, as we decelerated into Thorpe Le Soken. There, a class 312 emu awaited passengers for Walton on the Naze, but activity was very much focused on the ‘309, as the refreshments trolley did its rounds.

Two rings of the conductor’s starting signal, and it was time for the final leg of the journey. For the first quarter of a mile, the tracks to Clacton and Walton ran side by side, before the latter curved sharply to the right. At this stage, the lights of the seaside town could be seen on the horizon.

Over Burrsville level crossing and Valley Road bridge, and the end was now in sight as the last Class 309 in Great Eastern service slowed down, past the darkened outline of sister unit no 604. As the “Clacton” drew to a standstill in Platform 3, a cheer rose from the occupants of the front carriage, followed by a photo call. However, the sense of occasion felt 24 hours previously was sadly lacking, with no obvious tribute to the retirement of the Class 309s, except for a scrum of photographers. In fact it was not long, before the train was shunted away to the sidings, without ceremony.

And so that was it; one more British Rail traction class consigned to the history books. Riding out of Clacton on 321357, one last glimpse of the ‘309 Farewell’ was afforded; stabled will all lights on as the Class 321 glided silently past. A fellow passenger commented, “These new ones won’t last 31 years”. We shall see.

The “Clacton sunset” had receded into a deep winter’s night.

312711 FGE LST 11-99
Above: One of the Class 309’s successors was the Class 312.
312711 was pictured at London Liverpool Street, in November 1999.
(John Podgorski).

321329 KIRBY CROSS 5-09
Above: A Class 321 emu. 321329 at Kirby Cross, bound for Walton on the Naze, in May 2009. This, and the previously illustrated Class 312, are in post privatisation Great Eastern colours.
Class 309s used to run up this branch, as well as to Clacton.
(John Podgorski).

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Busmopolitan – Essex and District Bus and Rail Newspage – October 2015.

Busmopolitan Logo 02

Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.

Welcome to the October 2015 edition of Busmopolitan.
First has continued its retrenchment in Essex, by beginning a withdrawal from the Braintree area. Phased over a fortnight, from mid October – this saw the handing over of two local routes to Stephensons of Essex and Panther Travel. This will conclude at the start of November, with the closure of First’s Braintree depot, and the surrender of further commercial services to independant operators.
Meanwhile, a few miles to the west, Stansted Citylink opened for business in early October. Joining the fray on the hotly contested Stansted Airport to central London corridor, Citylink has the advantage of Comfort Del Gro corporate backing, and the fact it serves Kings Cross St Pancras, which it’s rivals, National Express and Terravision, do not. This was closely followed by Airport Bus Express; who provide a Stansted to Victoria via Baker Street link.

ONE liveried FO 11101, was running in the ‘Pretendalino’ set NC64 in early October, before joining the ONE painted consist.
By the end of October, NC64 was powered by 90012 + 82121, with ONE coloured FO 11073 and TSO 12098 in the consist. Original Refreshed set NC01, was being push pulled by 90034 and 82152, at this time.
The ONE liveried set had AGA coloured TSOB 10229 inserted in late October, with 90015 and 82118 providing the traction. The rest of the rake was formed of FOs 11070, 11101; TSOs 12032/84/90, 12115/37/51.
Still in ONE livery at the end of October were electric locos 90006/7; DVTs 82102/27, plus several MkIII carriages, and Turbostar DMUs 170201-8.
Turbostars 170270-3, retained Anglia Railways blue/white at this time.
Sprinter DMU 156402, has been seen in white – minus AGA fleet names.Repaints into the new livery, are of MkIII FO 11080, TSO 12120.
90015 AGA CR CASTLE (IP)  28-10-15
Above: Freshly repainted 90015 ‘Colchester Castle’, at Ipswich on 28/10/15; propelling a London to Norwich service.

From Elite of Carleton, Lancashire is Mercedes 0814D/plaxton Cheetah X378 GNR.

This new operator runs 24/7 express coach service A20, between Stansted Airport and London Victoria (via Baker Street). Part of the Italian Autostradale Group, the registered office is at Royston, Hertfordshire, and the operating centre is at Great Hallingbury, Essex.
New for this venture are Scania K440EB4/Caetano C650s BX65 WBE/F/G/J/K/L/M/N/O/P/T/U. They wear a white/red livery.

Sold is Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano KM51 BFU.

HX51LSN 3406 ARRIVA TGM CR  5-10-15
Dart SLF/Caetano no 3406 now sports a “hybrid” Arriva colour scheme, (pictured above) at Osborne Street, on 5/10/15.
Dart SLF/Plaxton Super Pointer 3416 (SN54 HXC), now sports Arriva fleet names on TGM livery.
Ex Fastrack Volvo B7RLE/Wright 3815 (GN07 AVB) – (loaned), and ex Arriva Kent and Surrey DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3941 (GK52 YVF), are now here. SLF/Pointer 3191 (P191 LKJ) has come from Southend, with 3322/4 (T822/4 NMJ) returning. 3277 (T277 JKM) briefly returned to Southend, before 3324 went back. DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3529 (LF02 PNJ) is also understood to have been at Southend, for a short time.
Short Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbus 1562 (RX07 KPG) is back in use, following repairs.
Withdrawn is Volvo B10BLE/Alexander ALX300 3830 (W901 UJM). This was the last of the batch. Also retired is Dart SLF/Caetano 3408 (HX51 LRK). They have gone to Southend for disposal.
GK52YVF 3941 AR CR 1  10-15
Above: DAF SB120/Cadet no 3941 at Colchester High Street, in October 2015.

SN54HXB 3415 AR TGM LIVERY HA  31-10-15
Former Colchester Dart SLF/Super Pointer 3413 (SN54 HWY) is now in Arriva livery, ex TGM. Sister 3415 (SN54 HXB) has received Arriva hues on its front end only, rest remaining white/blue/yellow. (Pictured above at Harlow, on 31st October).
Dart SLF/Mini Pointer 1560 (EU56 FTO) has had a yellow band added to its blue/white scheme, and also now sports led destination/route number displays, all round.
Dart SLF/Super Pointer 3701 (S701 VKM) is withdrawn.
From 11/10/15, services 308/9 (Bishops Park-Stansted Airport) and 509/10 (Harlow-Stansted Airport) had their Stansted termni focussed on stands 17 and 18 in the coach station.

Has DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3937 (GK52 YVB) from Arriva Kent and Surrey.
Ex Fastrack Volvo B7RLE/Wright Solar 3823 (GN07 AVL) is now here.
Withdrawn is Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 3280 (T280 JKM).
In store at Short Street depot are withdrawn Alexander ALX300 bodied Volvo B10BLEs 3830/27/28/31 (W901/4/6/7 UJM), and SLF/Caetano 3408 (HX51 LRK).

Now at Barking (DX) are ex Ash Grove (AE) ADL/Enviro 400s T70, 77-83.
From 17/10/15, TfL173 (Beckton-Goodmayes Hospital) became mostly double deck, using VLA class B7TL/ALX400s and Ts, with some of the previous single deck ENL class ADL/Enviro 200s still appearing.
LJ10CTE ENL59 173 6-10
Above: ADL/Enviro 200 ENL59 at Beckton in June 2010.

Bova Futura LUI 2244 is now named ‘Colonel Clint’. It is in white/blue with ‘Barkerbus’ vinyls.
MAN 24.350/Jonckherre double deck coach T46 BBW is now M155 BHE.
Ayatts Bravo M1 PCV is sold.

Ex Metrobus Scania Omnidekkas YV03 PZL/M/Y have been acquired via Ensign.

From London General, has come Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer LDP205 (SN51 UAU); while ADL/Enviro 200 SE90 (YX11 CPU) is ex London Central.
Vehicles out, are Dart SLF/Pointer LDP186 (Y986 TGH) – to London General; and “short” ADL/Enviro 200s SE255/60 (YY15 HKF, GDJ) – to London Central.

Electrostar EMU 357007, has been named ‘Sir Andrew Foster’.

Ex Stagecoach East London Trident/ALX400 406 (LX04 FYB), has joined this fleet. Acquired through Ensign, it replaces similar 451 (LX51 FJN), which was withdrawn due to fire damage.
From the same source, has come ex Damory Coaches Leyland Olympian/ECW K739 ODL.

Optare Solo 907 (YT51 EBF) has gone to Anglian; ending the use of Solos here.

Withdrawn is Ford Transit 25 (EU03 EPX).

This is the new title of the old Supreme Coaches.
Setra S315 T19 PVC has been re-registered BU03 LXZ, and sold to Marshalls of Leighton Buzzard.

57004+57012 DRS RHTT IPSWICH  27-10-15
57004/9/11/2 are allocated to RHTT duties along the GE Main Line.
They work from Stowmarket. 57004 + 57012 were pictured (above) at Ipswich, on 27/10/15.
Operational Class 47s are back up to 4 units, with the reinstatement of 47790.

Former Easybus Plaxton President – Volvo B7TLs resold via Ensign are VP8 (X159 FBB); to Shred and Butter Ltd of Oxshott, Surrey and cannibalised VP4 (X153 FBB), to MC Tractors of Ely, for scrap. Both had latterly been with London General.

No longer serves Stansted Coach Station. The new terminus is the mid stay car park.

Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano 784 (HV52 WTJ), has passed to Trustybus at Harlow.
Leyland Titan HVX 771T was acquired from Garnetts of Bishop Auckland in a dealer capacity, and resold to a local preservationist. This was new to West Midlands PTE as 4003 (WDA 3T) and later served with London Transport/East London Coaches as T1128.
Former Leyland Olympian/NC 132 (G132 YWC), latterly with Arriva The Shires, is being stripped for parts.
G132YWC & LJ53BFY ENSIGN 31-10-15

SN05DZO BE21 12-08
Above: SLF/Pointer 42933 on 21, at Braintree Bus Park in December, 2008. This was before the northern end of 21 was cut back to Deanery Gardens at Bocking, and replaced by an extension of 131/2. 42933 is now allocated to Basildon.

SN05EAG 42928 FE 21A CONIES RD HD 9-10
Above: SLF/Pointer no 42928, at the Conies Road, Halstead terminus of 21A, (latterly 131/2), in September, 2010. 42928 is currently based at Clacton.

EO02NFA BE 30 12-08
Above: Optare Solo 53120 departs Braintree Bus Park on a southbound 30 journey, in December, 2008.
This was when Braintree was an outbase of Chelmsford. 53120 subsequently went to First Eastern Counties, and more recently First Potteries.

In advance of the closure of Braintree (BE) depot from 1st November, the following commercial services were de-registered from 18/10/15:
21 (Black Notley-Braintree-Bocking).
30 (Marks Farm-Braintree Bus Park-Beckers Green).
Plus after 1st November:
131/2 (Witham-Braintree-Halstead).
In Braintree Essex CC journeys on 21 (Braintree-Bocking section) continue, but the commercial (Black Notley to Braintree) 21s have passed to Stephensons of Essex (see below), with the 131/2 to follow at the start of November.
North of Braintree, Stephensons has registered a replacement for the Gosfield and Halstead section of 131/2. At its southern end, the 131/2 between Witham railway station and Gershwin Boulevard will be replaced by the 72, which will be extended from Chelmsford/Chelmer Village.
Meanwhile, with the end of route 30, Panther Travel has registered a replacement (qv). Other service changes have seen the end of 23 (Southend-Garon Park) from 4/10/15.
Vehicle news is the arrival of Dart SLF/Mini Pointers 42555/6/61 (WX05 UAM/N, SN05 DZX) from First Bristol, and the appearance of Braintree (BE) Trident/President 33045 (LN51 DVK) at Colchester (CR) for type training and route trials. Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 32481 (AU53 HJY), has likewise gone from CR to CF for staff familiarisation; this is in advance of reallocations caused by the closure of BE.
A second Trident/President to apprear at CR, was 33002 (LK51 UZP) from BN, in ther last week of October. SLF/Pointer 43731 (S731 TWC) has moved temporarily from Chelmsford (CF) to BE. Aberdeen heritage liveried Volvo B10BLE/Wright 632139 (X618 NSS) and former Provincial B10BLE/Wrights 66168/9 (W368/9 EOW) are now at CR ex BE.
SLF/Pointer 42488 (SN53 KJX) has transferred from BE to Hadleigh (HH). Withdrawn from BE are Dart SLF/Marshall 43679 (R679 MEW) and Volvo B10BLE/Wright Axcess Ultraflow 66165 (W365 EOW). They have gone to store at Clacton (CN).
Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident 33133 (LT02 ZBZ), is back in use at HH, after fire repairs.
SLF/Pointer 42482 (SN03 WLD) now wears Refreshed livery.
B7TL/ALX400s 32480/3/4 (AU53 HJX, HKA/B) lost their 61-62 branding, in advance of transfer out of CR. 32481 was partially debranded upon its move to CF.
Volvo Olympian 34305 (L305 PWR), Dart SLF/Mini Pointer 43356 (V356 DVG), SLF/Pointer 43734 (S734 TWC) are all parked up, disused at CF depot, but are not withdrawn.
Sold to Alpha Recovery for scrap, are Dart SLF/Marshall 41762 (X762 HLR); SLF/Mini Pointer 43357 (V357 DVG) and Volvo B10B/Wright trainer 60304 (M509 PNA).

The old Colchester, Queen Street travel office, has been offered for short term “Christmas Retail” let (above), while the former workshop at Haven Road, is “For Sale or To Let”, through Nicholas Percival Estate Agents. Queen Street garage has been earmarked by Colchester Borough Council for further, non transport use.

Volvo B10M/VH XIL 5980 has passed to Glone of Toomebridge, Ulster.

Former Arriva Mercedes 811D/Aleaxander midi bus N468 EHA, has been sold.

New is VDL Futura2 DK65 GAL.
It is named ‘In memory of Hoggy’.

66725 is one of the last to remain in First livery.
66759 has been named ‘Chippy’. It was seen (below), at Ipswich, on 4M92 on 28/10/15.
66759 'CHIPPY' GBRf 4M92 (IPS)  28-10-15

The latest ex Metrobus/London General Scania Omnidekka to note, is no 1520 (YN06 JYE).
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 252 (EU03 BZK) has received the new livery, and been transferred to Chambers.
Withdrawn are Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointers 283/4 (W791/2 VMV) and Volvo B10BLE/Wrights 484/5/6 (R231/2/3 HCD), ending the use of former Brighton and Hove saloons here; (the Trident ‘deckers are still alive and well). Also retired, following engine failure, is SLF/Mini Pointer 281 (V250 BNV).
Another Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President from Chambers is 581 (W956 WGH).
Former Volvo B6/Alexander Dash L208 (L208 RNO), has passed to an Essex preservationist, via Nash, Woking (dealer), in part exchange for Leyland Olympian/Alexander RL 60 (H160 HJN).
Ex HO B6/Dash L243 (M262 KWK) and B6/Pointer L258 (M261 KWK), are still with Nash.
M262KWK L243 (SY)  HO 055 THURSTABLE 12-10
Above: B6 L243 at Thurstable School, Tiptree in December 2010. It is on the 055 route to Kelvedon.
Above: B6 L258, withdrawn at Kelvedon depot, in December 2012.

MAN 24.400/Noge Catalan tri-axle K15 DYS has reverted to its original S605 VAY mark.

Dennis Trident/ELs T270/4 BPR, are ex Bournemouth Yellow Buses.

Into the new livery are EMUs 315810/2/3.

New are Circle/District/Hammersmith and City route S7 units 21481/2, 21483/4.
S7 set 21473/4 is in an overall advert for “Live On” Poppy Appeal/Bombardier livery.
Withdrawn are District Line D78 Stock units 7019 + 17019 + 8019; 7035 + 17035 + 8035; 7064 + 17064 + 8064; 7068 + 17068 + 8068; 7085 + 17085 + 8085.
7019/64/68/85, 17019/64/68/85 have passed to Vivarail.
8019/64/68/85 have gone to Booth Roe for scrap.

Above: D78 7068 (left) with 7004 at Ealing Broadway on 30/7/14.

Acquired for spares only, is ex Coach Services of Thetford Optare Solo M850 MW52 PYU.

From 12/10/15, on Selwyns worked 350 (Liverpool-Southend), through journeys ceased from Stocksbridge and Chesterfield.

LK53KWE VC2 GAL (XC RRP CAM)  25-10-15
Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panther LK53 KWE is now with London General, Commercial Services, as fleet no VC2. It was seen (above), at Cambridge on 25/10/15; on GTR rail replacement.

VB08PAN PANTHER 30 BE  24-10-15
Has taken over Braintree town service 30 (Beckers Green-Marks Farm) from First.
It no longer serves Lakes Road, Chapel Hill or Stubbs Lane, as these are covered by other bus routes. Operation commenced on 19/10/15, initially with Optare Solo VB08 PAN, and is worked from Stansted depot. It is on Essex County Council contract, until April 2016 in the first instance. VB08 PAN was pictured (above), at Braintree Bus Park on 24/10/15.

D511PPU 4511 PANTHER  CY 11-10-15 (TERRY CLARK)
Leyland Olympian/ECW coach D511 PPU, has been acquired from Stephensons. It is pictured (above) at the Canvey Museum Open Day on 11/10/15. (Photo courtesy Terry Clark). It went for repaint into fleet colours, in late October.
From Stanley Travel, Durham is Dennis Dart/Plaxton Mini Pointer RX56 BWE. It is named ‘Stanley’, and has appeared on route 30.
Dennis Javelin/Plaxton Paramount BIG 8856 and SLF/Mini Pointer BIG 9856 have been internally refreshed.
Leyland Olympian/ECW BIG 9210 is withdrawn, and it has been re-registered back to CWR 512Y.

RX56BWE PANTHER (ST0  24-10-15
Above: Panther’s SLF/MPD RX56 BWE, at Stansted depot on 24/10/15.

Volvo B10M/VH A351 NPU has passed to Birchnall, Dundas and Hawkins of Besthorpe, Norfolk; while also sold is Dormobile bodied Mercedes 709D K203 FEH.

An express variant of the Canvey-Chelmsford service, numbered 1X, began from 5/10/15.
It runs am peaks only, service stops between Canvey Leigh Beck and Tarpots Corner, then direct to Chelmsford (Retail Market).
Optare Tempo PO3 (YJ56 WVY) is reinstated.
Dart SLF/Mini Pointers NA52 AWF/M are numbered 618/9.
Optare Solo 205 (YJ58 CDF), is now with Mc Gills of Barrhead, Scotland via Ensign.
NA52AWM REGAL (GREEN) 343 BE  24-10-15
Above: One of two ex Western Greyhound Mini Pointer Dart SLFs acquired by Regal through Ensign; no 619 loads at Braintree on 24/10/15, en route to Terling and Fuller Street. This council supported service runs on Saturdays only.

Withdrawn is DAF MB/VH F503 NJE. It has passed to Lloyd, Hixon (dealer), in Staffordshire.

Has Leyland Olympian/Roe CUB 69Y, via Ensign.
In its varied career, it was new to West Yorkshire PTE and then went “down south” to Metrobus at Orpington. It had latterly been “up north” again; at Garnetts of Bishop Auckland.

V749HBY GALLEON TR (CR)  23-10-15
V749 HBY is an ex Metroline Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident, supplied through Ensign.
It was pictured (above), on the A12 at Stanway, near Colchester, on 23/10/15.

Transferred to Stagecoach in Norfolk are Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400s 18346/7 (AE55 DKO/U).
Withdrawn is MAN18.220/Alexander ALX300 22331 (AE51 RZK).

Recent repaints are of ADL/Enviro 40Ds 10150/60; ADL/Enviro 40Hs 12132/6/42/3/6/7/8; Scania On=mnicity ‘deckers 15001/11; Dennis Tridents 17868, 19796; ADL/Enviro 200s 36318/49/65.
TfL147 (from Ilford) now runs from Prince Regent to/from Canning Town again, but the TfL541 Keir Hardy-Canning Town shuttle continues to be operated by Go-Ahead, but with reduced pvr.
Above: Trident 17561 on the 147 at Canning Town, in September 2010; back in ELBG days.

Operations by this Comfort Del Gro subsidiary, commenced on 12/10/15.
A non stop Stansted Airport to London Kings Cross/St Pancras route is run; 24/7. It is numbered 767.
Frequency is half hourly, reduced to hourly between 0000 and 0430.
Temporary coaches are being used, until new Mercedes Tourismos are delivered. The initial fleet was Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panthers HIG 5338/9/44/5, MIL 6683 – ex Hamilton of Bow, County Durham; Volvo B12T/Plaxton Panther SP07 CAA – from New Adventure, Cardiff; VH TDH921 YJ08 EAC – ex Horward of Great Sankey, and Irish registered VH TDX21 142-G-6 – from Callinan of Claregalway.
They are based at Kings Cross, maintained at Metroline’s Perivale depot.

Above: B12B/Panther HIG 5339 at St Pancras International on 18/10/15. (Tony Smethers).

GU52HKC 458 ST 21 BE  24-10-15
Has taken over a number of former First Essex commercial services around Braintree, and has established an outstation in the town, at Benfield Close. This was phased in, commencing 19th October.
It began with service 21 (Black Notley-Braintree) – Mon to Sat, hourly;
and for two weeks (19-31/10/15), 38A – an interim shuttle from Braintree Bus Park to Stubbs Lane, headway 60 minutes, Mon to Sat day times; in advance of the new replacements for 131/2 (Witham-Braintree-Halstead) starting from 2/11/15.
38A replaced part of the old First 30 route, most of which is now covered by Panther (qv). Newport Grammar School contracts 417/8 have also been transferred into Braintree, from Boreham depot. Full allocation for Braintree will be 5 saloons and 1 ‘decker, from 1st November.
Dart SLF/Plaxton Super Pointers 457/8 (GU52 HJY, HKC) moved from Haverhill to Braintree, while sister 456 (GU52 HJX) replaced SLF/Caetano 454 (HV52 WTE), as the route 247/Ipswich outbase bus in mid October, before long ADL/Enviro 200 464 (EU62 CDF) appeared. SLF/Caetano 453 (HV52 WTC) held sway at the end of the month. By this time, 456 had joined 457/8 at Braintree.
Ex Stagecoach Norfolk SLF/Pointer T593 CGT, entered traffic during October.
Meanwhile a vehicular acquisition is of ex Metroline, former First Centrewest Dart SLF/Caetano LK03 ULG, through Ensign. It has become a driver trainer, and retains red livery.
Long withdrawn Leyland Olympian/Alexander RL RUI 2590 (orig C379 CAS), latterly a storeshed, has gone to MC Tractors at Ramsey, Cambs for scrap.
GU52HJY 457 ST 38A SHUTTLE BE  24-10-15
GU52HJX 456 ST 247 CR  15-10-15
Top: Dart SLF no 458 on route 21 at Braintree Bus Park, on 24/10/15.
Centre: SLF no 457 on the 38A shuttle. Braintree, 24/10/15.
Above: SLF no 456 on service 247 at Colchester; 15/10/15.

More ex Arriva London North Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis from Ensign, are VWL9, 10 (LF52 UOS/T).

A Van Hool TD824 double deck coach has been imported from Cyprus. It came from Xidias Coaches of Larnaca, and has Cypriut registration TVF 229.

From Stevens of Bristol, is Iveco Turbo Daily 40C minicoach MX10 DJJ.

Has ceased terminating at Stansted Coach Station, and has moved to the mid stay car park for this purpose.

EMUs 315820/1/33/4/41 are now in the new colours.

Withdrawn are ex First Dart SLF/Caetanos DMC42515-8.
Volvo B9TL/Gemimi2 VN36133 (BJ11 DTN), now has an overall advert for Hungry House. ADL/Enviro E40H DNH39190 (SN12 DTZ) has an allover scheme for Campo Viejo.
Now back in plain red, ex overall adverts, are ADL/E40D DN33654 (SN11 BTO) and ADL/E40H DNH39127 (SN12 ATV).

Commercial service 255 (Debden-Waltham Cross) ceased after 30th October.

Arrivals are ex Metrobus Scania Omnicity YN53 RXJ, and former Ealing Community Transport Dart SLF/Caetano KX03 HZG. Both came via Ensign.

Sourced through Ensign is Volvo B10M/Plaxton Excalibur R154 SSN; ex Holloways of Scunthorpe.
Optare Solo CL52 CCL has joined the growing fleet of this type at Yeomans of Hereford. It is now used on ex First services, around its new home.

With thanks to: A Hazell, J Beanee, P Layzell, M Stokes, Connor, Ensignbus, Essex Buses Yahoo, Panther Travel, PSVC, RM, T Smethers, S Spencer.

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