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.
ABELLIO GREATER ANGLIA.
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.
Above: Freshly repainted 90015 ‘Colchester Castle’, at Ipswich on 28/10/15; propelling a London to Norwich service.
ACME TRANSPORT, STANSTED.
From Elite of Carleton, Lancashire is Mercedes 0814D/plaxton Cheetah X378 GNR.
AIRPORT BUS EXPRESS.
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.
AMBER COACHES, RAYLEIGH.
Sold is Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano KM51 BFU.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (NETWORK COLCHESTER).
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.
Above: DAF SB120/Cadet no 3941 at Colchester High Street, in October 2015.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (NETWORK HARLOW).
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.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (SOUTHEND).
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).
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH.
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.
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.
BEESTONS OF HADLEIGH, SUFFOLK.
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’.
CARTERS OF CAPEL ST MARY.
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).
COACH STOP, RETTENDON.
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.
57004/9/11/2 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.
EAST THAMES BUSES.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
FLAVIN, STANFORD LE HOPE.
Volvo B10M/VH XIL 5980 has passed to Glone of Toomebridge, Ulster.
FOURWAYS COACHES, HIGHWOOD.
Former Arriva Mercedes 811D/Aleaxander midi bus N468 EHA, has been sold.
GALLEON TRAVEL, HARLOW.
New is VDL Futura2 DK65 GAL.
It is named ‘In memory of Hoggy’.
GB RAIL FREIGHT.
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.
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.
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.
LODGE, HIGH EASTER.
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.
NATIONAL EXPRESS CONTRACTORS.
From 12/10/15, on Selwyns worked 350 (Liverpool-Southend), through journeys ceased from Stocksbridge and Chesterfield.
NATIONAL EXPRESS OPERATIONS.
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.
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.
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.
Above: Panther’s SLF/MPD RX56 BWE, at Stansted depot on 24/10/15.
PHILIPS, SOUTH WOODHAM FERRERS.
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.
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.
SHELLEY PRIMARY SCHOOL, ONGAR.
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.
SOLITAIRE TRAVEL, ROCHFORD.
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).
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
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).
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.
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.
SULLIVAN BUSES, SOUTH MYMMS.
More ex Arriva London North Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis from Ensign, are VWL9, 10 (LF52 UOS/T).
TALISMAN COACHLINES, GREAT BROMLEY.
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.
TENDRING TRAVEL, THORPE LE SOKEN.
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.
VICEROY OF ESSEX, SAFFRON WALDEN.
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.