Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
Welcome to the September, 2018 edition of Busmopolitan.
A one familiar bus type in Greater London has now virtually disappeared. The Marshall Capital Bodied Dennis Dart SLF, had TfL193 around Romford as one of its last bastions, but that passed from Go-Ahead to Stagecoach at the end of September.
Staying in the Go-Ahead group, another end of an era was the relocation of the Hedingham Omnibuses head office from Colchester to Clacton, also at the close of September.
Route 87 from Colchester to Brightlingsea ceased after 1st September, having latterly been run commercially by Hedingham. First still serves this coastal town, but there is no longer a late evening service. Another era ended on 28th September, when Hedingham vacated its Colchester office, after more than a decade. Administration has moved to Clacton depot.
Flagfinders has phased out the Graham’s name, and the Kelvedon site now has a mix of Flagfinders and ex Graham’s vehicles.
Transit Systems (owners of Tower Transit), have sold Whippet Coaches.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (COLCHESTER).
3/9/18: Park and Ride ADL/E200 4072 on 900. 17/9/18: Volvo B7RLE/Wright 3826 (GN07 AVO) on 2. 20/9/18: ADL/E200 4018 (GN58 BUE) on 4.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (HARLOW).
Operation of ex EOS route 66 has moved to Ware. ADL/Enviro 400 MMCs are being used.
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH.
Above: ADL/Enviro 200 ENX5 at Mutton Lane, Potters Bar on 15/9/18, at the start of its journey back to Chingford. (John Podgorski).
ARROW TAXIS, MALDON.
Dart SLF/Mini Pointer SK02 XGP is on loan from Galloway.
BGB (BIG GREEN BUS), HORSEHEATH.
Ex Metroline is Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President LR52 BNN, joining other buses of this type.
TfL193 (Romford-County Park Estate) passed to Stagecoach from 29/9/18.
Above: Ex London General Dart SLF/Pointer LDP191 at Mercury Gardens, Romford on 1/9/18. (John Podgorski).
Above: Dart SLF/Marshall DMN6 at Western Road, Romford on 1/9/18. These were inherited from First Capital, when First decided to exit London in September 2013. They are amongst the last of this type on TfL work. (John Podgorski).
The application for the new O licence was ongoing in September.
The school contracts have been subbed to Coach Stop of Rettendon and Marc1 Travel at Billericay.
At Ilford on 8/9/18 are resident shunters 08700 (nearest the camera) and 08871. Also note the match wagon. (John Podgorski).
Above: GWR liveried Class 365 motor car at Ilford on 8/9/18. (John Podgorski).
Below: MkIII buffet car at Ilford on 8/9/18. (John Podgorski).
9/9/18: Virgin 221101 at Ilford for repaint. Arrived from Euston as 5Z75.
Scania Omnidekka 810 (YN55 PZO) went on loan to Hedingham at Kelvedon on 4/9/18.
805 (YN55 PZG) went on hire to Hedingham KN on 14/9/18. Hedingham 812 (YN55 PZR) was briefly here in late September.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 572 (W489 WGH) is also on hire to Hedingham, and returned on 17/9/18.
2/9/18: 67023 “up” through Ingatestone, light loco @ 1745.
3/9/18: 70801, 92011 at Dagenham Dock.
5/9/18: 70804 on 6L37 Hoo Junct-Whitemoor.
7/9/18: 37254 on 3Z66 Colchester-Derby RTC.
10/9/18: 37610/12 on 1Q90 Derby RTC-Ferme Park via WAML. 70803 on 6L44 Oxwellmains-West Thurrock. 70815 at Dagenham Dock.
12/9/18: 37610 tnt 37612 on 1Q97 Ferme Park-Cambridge via Liverpool Street. 70812 on 6L37.
16/9/18: 37219 on 6L39 Bridgend-Dagenham instead of usual ’70.
17/9/18: 37219 on 6V30 Dagenham-Bridgend.
25/9/18: 70807 on 6L37.
TfL D6 was gained from Go-Ahead Docklands, from 15/9/18 – using new ADL/Enviro 20Ds 1283-1295 (YX68 UJA-H/J-N).
Above: CT Plus “classic” ADL/Enviro 20D no 1225 at Ley Street, Ilford on 8/9/18. (John Podgorski).
DANS LUXURY TRAVEL, WALTHAM ABBEY.
Above: Irisbus Eurorider/Plaxton Panther YN07 KGZ on Greater Anglia rail replacement at Marks Tey on 9/9/18. (John Podgorski).
Below: Dans Mercedes Tourismo BK11 CNX, meanwhile, required some assistance, (John Podgorski).
3/9/18: 66061 at Dagenham Dock. 66101 on Mountsorrel-Harlow.
6/9/18: 66030 on Chesterton-Mountsorrel.
10/9/18: 66061 at Dagenham Dock.
13/9/18: 66030 on Mountsorrel-Harlow Mill.
27/9/18: 66002 at Bow Plasmor.
11/9/18: 56103 on 0Z29 Wembley-Foxton and returned on route learning.
From 15/9/18, TfL D6 was lost to CT Plus; TfL D8 passed to Tower Transit. From the same date, south bound 276 (Stoke Newington-Newham Hospital) was re-routed in Stratford via Tramway Ave instead of West Ham Lane.
Above: ADL/Enviro 200 SE128 (YX61 BXD) at Chrisp Street, Poplar on 2/1/16. (John Podgorski).
3/9/18: 57007 towed GA DVT 82107 Cardiff-Norwich via GEML.
4/9/18: 37409 on Norwich-Ilford ECS with 1 MkIII.
5/9/18: 37419 on Willesden Brent-Norwich 1 coach ECS. 57007 Norwich-Willesden Brent light loco.
6/9/18: 37409 on Norwich-Ilford light loco.
14/9/18: 37419 on 5P98 Ilford-Norwich ECS.
18/9/18: 37038/259/423, 57007 on 0L21 Willesden Brent-Norwich light loco via GEML.
24/9/18: 37259/57007 on RHTT at Stowmarket.
25,26,27/9/18: 37259 tnt 57007 on 3S60 Stowmarket RHTT.
26/9/18: 37419 hauling GA DVT 82143 on Norwich-Cardiff ECS.
27/9/18: 37602/5/6/57003 + GA 90011 on 0Z37 Crewe-Norwich light engine via GEML. 37419 with GA DVT 82105 on Cardiff-Norwich ECS.
28/9/18: 37611 on 5Q74 Ilford-Old Oak 345 ECS.
8.9m ADL/Enviro 200s 602 (LK07 BEJ), 603 (MX59 AVN), 604 (CN11 FBE) have joined the fleet for new Brentwood local route 31, which starts on 1/10/18.
Above: 32631 at Colchester on 14/8/18. This was the last of its batch to run from CR before transfer to CF – see below. (John Podgorski).
Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis 32628/31/40-42 (KP54 KAU, KBF, AZB/C/D) have moved from Colchester (CR) to Chelmsford (CF) chiefly for schools; replacing some of the yellow BMCs. School routes 509, 525 are now double deck. However, the Geminis are also regular on route 70 (Chelmsford-Braintree-Colchester). They work alongside existing ALX400s on both, although seem to be used in preference to the ALX400s on the 70.
Scania L94UB/Wright Solar 65748 (SN55 JVK) was repaired and returned to service at CR, but then returned to Scotland. 65688/92 (YS03 ZKH/K) have lost their 74/76 cove branding, but retain rear Clacton-Colchester branding.
Above: Volvo B7RLE/Wright Solar Eclipse 66794 at Mountnessing on 8/9/18. (John Podgorski).
Odd sightings: 14/9/18: X30 ADL/E200 MMC 67167 on 70. 15/9/18: Route 100 69912 on X10. 17/9/18: B7L/ALX400s 32068/78, Trident 33087; Route 70 B9TL SN57 HDJ on 70; X30 ADL/E200MMC 67168 on 70. 18/9/18: X30 67165 on 70. 19/7/18: Route 62 B9TL 37138 (SN57 HCX) on 67/C; Streetlite 63330 (SK65 PXM) on 67; X30 67166 on 70. 24/9/18: 37136 being recovered on A133 east at Frating @ 1630. 30/9/18: Trident 33088 (LN51 GMU) on 1A (Sunday). (NB: 62 branded B9TLs are being increasingly seen “off route”. Since the 29th July changes, their 62 branding has no longer been correct. On 62, they should normally by supported by the ex First Bristol B9TL/Geminis, but Tridents can appear, along with the odd B7TL/ALX400. Saloons on the 62 are rare, though).
Ex Nottingham City Transport, via Ensign are Scania Omnidekkas YN07 EYP/T.
The first Flagfinders vehicles to appear at the old Graham’s, Kelvedon depot were Volvo B7TL/EL Vyking PG04 WHF and Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini LF52 ZSD, plus Mini Pointer Dart SLF YN04 PZY. They are all for Thurstable School contracts.
Ex Graham’s vehicles retained are Mb 0814D/Euros AE54 FMG, AE07 KZB; Mb Sprinter VU53 FYR and Scania Omniexpress YT09 FLF. These are used on ex Graham’s private school contracts. They will receive blue/white fleet livery in due course.
Ex Graham’s Autosan A1012T BX56 XAD has been offered for sale, while other acquired Graham’s vehicles have been sold.
Above: LF52 ZSD at Kelvedon on 3/9/18. It subsequently had its destination blacked out. (John Podgorski).
Below: Tollesbury based Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President LK03 NHG at The Strood, West Mersea, on 14/9/18. It is on the contract to Thurstable School at Tiptree. (John Podgorski).
Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini LF52 USV was an addition at Tollesbury in late September.
1/9/18: 66516 on 4L52 Garston-London Gateway.
3/9/18: 66520 on Tees Dock-FLX.
5/9/18: 70005 on 4M81 FLX-Basford.
7/9/18: 86628/10 on FLX-Trafford Park.70007 on 4L89 Coatbridge-Felixstowe.
17/9/18: 66604 on Chesterton Junct-York aggregates empties.
21/9/18: 66520 + 86612/13 on FLX bound ‘liner.86610/607 on Trafford Park-FLX.
23/9/18: 66561 tnt 66604 on rail sleeper/autoballaster train, “down” through Colchester @ 2230.
24/9/18: 66513 with 86613/12 dead in tow at Shenfield on FLX-Trafford Park.
30/9/18: 66596 tnt 66953 on ballast “down” through Marks Tey @ 2235.
Above: “Dead” (hence the handlamp in the windscreen) 66953 brings up the rear on a “down” ballast train at Marks Tey on 30/9/18. 66596 was powering at the front. (John Podgorski).
Above: 66775 and 66708 at Bishop’s Stortford yard on 3/9/18. (John Podgorski).
1/9/18: 66705/6 on 4L07 Hams Hall- FLX. 66719 on 4L02 Hams Hall-Felixstowe.
3/9/18: 66702 on 6P41 Parkeston Quay-North Walsham. 66708 tnt 66775 on HSM train at Bishop’s Stortford. 66703 on 4L18 Trafford Park-FLX. 66725/65 on on 0L33 Peterbough-Felixstowe light loco. 66725 on 4L29 FLX-Birch Coppice.
5/9/18: 66750 on 6M76 Chesterton Junct-Bardon empties.
6/9/18: 66702 on North Walsham-Harwich tanks.
9/9/18: 66726 on ballast “down” through Marks Tey @ 1530. 66759/708 on 6T61 Derby Road-Whitemoor engineers.
10/9/18: 66703/767 on 0L33 PBO-FLX light engine. Maritime blue 66727 on 4L22 Hams Hall-FLX. 66783 on 4Z81 Masboro-FLX.
11/9/18: 66783 ‘Biffa’ on 4Z81.
12/9/18: 66730 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks. 66783 on 4Z81.
13/9/18: 66730 on Ipswich-N Walsham light loco.
14/9/18: 66783 on 4Z81.
15/9/18: 66783 on 4Z81.
18/9/18: 66759 on Ipswich-N Walsham light loco.
21/9/18: 66737 on 4L02.
23/9/18: 66704 on 6T64 Marks Tey-Whitemoor engineers. 66750 on 6T60 Colchester-Whitemoor engineers.
24/9/18: 66711 on 4Z26 FLX-Masboro. 66716 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks. 66759 on 4R03 Parkeston-Felixstowe. 66767 on 4M23 Hams Hall-FLX.
25/9/18: 66716 on N Walsham-Harwich tanks.
27/9/18: 66721/26 on Broxbourne RHTT.
28/9/18: 66702/32 on Broxbourne RHTT.
29/9/18: 66765/13 on 4L07 Hams Hall-FLX.
Above: 66726 at Marks Tey on 9/9/18. (John Podgorski).
Above: 153309 stabled in the Sudbury branch platform at Marks Tey, after close of service on 9/9/18. (John Podgorski).
6/9/18: 321448 on Norwich-Liverpool Street.
13/9/18: 321324 on Doncaster-Ilford ECS, then back to Doncaster with 321322 as 5E23.
15/9/18: 317501/660/883 on 2100 LST-Chelmsford.
18/9/18: 321324 on Doncaster-Ilford ECS.
Above: Scania Omnicity 850 on route 87 at Brightlingsea, Victoria Place on 4/8/18. (Simon Austin).
Below: Scania Omnidekka 814 at Colchester, on the final 87 working. (John Podgorski).
Route 87 (Colchester-Brightlingsea) ceased after 1/9/18. But the 87C schools variant continues. Special fares were offered in the final weeks. Scania Omnidekka 814 (YN 55 PZV) worked the final journey – the 2301 Colchester North Station- Brightlingsea.
This commercial service was started in August 2012, to compete against the then incumbent New Horizon Travel (originally Cedric’s) 78X. This was achieved, with NHT ending the 78X (except school journeys) within 2 years. However, in 2017, First returned to Brightlingsea (after a ten year gap), by extending its 62 from Wivenhoe, taking significant custom from the 87. The final “nail in the coffin”, was the extension of First’s 62A from Wivenhoe to Brightlingsea in July 2018; giving First a core frequency of 15 minutes on this corridor. There is now currently no late evening service to Brightlingsea, as First only runs to Wivenhoe after 1930.
The Thomas Lord Audley (TLA)-Mersea Island school runs have been gained from New Horizon.
There are two routes; A (West Mersea-TLA); B (East Mersea-West Mersea-Peldon-TLA).
Above: Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 575 at the Strood, West Mersea on 7/9/18. It is about to start the morning journey on TLA route A. (John Podgorski).
Ford Transit 16 seater BU14 YNT is on hire from Robertsons Van Hire. It is at Clacton (CN) for a Manningtree School run.
ADL/Enviro 200 265 (EU10 AOX) has returned from Konect, ex loan.
On 2/9/18, Omnidekka 817 (YN06 JYB) returned to CN from KN, while 812/13 (YN55 PZR/U) went from CN to KN. On 4/9/18, 810 (YN55 PZO) came from Chambers. 5/9/18 saw Chambers 806 come to KN from CN, but it returned the following day. 819 (YN06 JYD) was also at KN during the first week of September and then went back to CN. On 10/9/18, 814 (YN55 PZV) arrived at KN from CN. On 14/9/18, Chambers 805 (YN55 PZG) arrived at KN.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 572 (W489 WGH) was on loan from Chambers and was returned on 17/9/18. 576 (W517 WGH) was repaired and back in use at CN in late September. Volvo B7TL/Geminis 520/21/23 (LX05 EZC/D/F) have been converted to single door, while 527 (LX06 EAK) was under conversion in late September; with 528 (LX06 EAM) still waiting – all at CN. Withdrawn Dennis Trident/EL 723 (W823 NNJ) has gone from HD to Alpha Recovery for scrap. Sister 729 (W829 NNJ) passed to Ensign, and then onwards to Shelton Motors, Ely – for scrap.
Above: Single door converted Volvo B7TL/Gemini 521 at Clacton depot on 24/9/18. (John Podgorski).
On 28/9/18, the head office at Dugard House, Peartree Road, Colchester was closed.
It moved to Clacton depot, where the former traffic office has become the new office space. Remodelling of the Clacton depot building in general, has seen the staff room modernised, with the traffic office moved to the corner of the new set up. Next door to this is a cashing up area, with a training/meeting room beyond, converted from a cold store.
Above: Building works at Clacton depot on 23/8/18. (John Podgorski).
Below: The new Clacton training/meeting room; also on 23/8/18. This was converted from a former cold store. (Clacton depot had once been a dairy). (John Podgorski).
Above: Dugard House, seen from the Moss Road side on 19/9/18. (John Podgorski).
Below: Inside Dugard House, looking from the meeting room into the Hedingham office; 19/9/18. (John Podgorski).
HIRE YOUR TRANSPORT.
Has ceased trading. Based at Kingswood in Surrey, it had an Essex outstation at Rochford. However, operations continue under the umbrella of International Coachlines, Thornton Heath.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer SN03 WMP is now with A2B, Cambridge.
Above: Hire Your Transport ex RATP London United Trident/ALX400 NMC 795 orig SN03 DZR, at Bishopsgate, London on 4/8/18. (John Podgorski).
Below: Dart SLF/Pointer with A2B Bus and Coach, at Drummer Street Bus Station, Cambridge on 22/9/18. It is on ex Whippet Cambs CC route 75. (John Podgorski).
Withdrawn is Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 12 (LG02 FDC). Its last day was 28/9/18.
The Feering-Ipswich Schools contract has been gained from Suffolk Norse.
LODGE, HIGH EASTER.
Has AEC PRV Routemaster RML2722 (SMK 722F) – via Ensign.
LONDON GENERAL NORTH.
Southend seafront route 68 ended on 1/9/18. London Central open top AEC PRV Routemaster RML2318 (CUV 318C), appeared on the final day for this season.
Above: 315815 at Emerson Park on 1/9/18, on a Romford to Upminster service. These are due for replacement shortly with new Class 710 stock. Use of these new trains on West Anglia began from the end of September. (John Podgorski).
M&M STAFFING, COOKSMILL GREEN.
Ancillary vehicles are Ford Transit Connect vans OU67 MDF, OU18 LRF.
Above: OU18 LRF at Ingatestone on 15/9/18. (John Podgorski).
MARC1 TRAVEL, BILLERICAY.
A Grays-Shenfield School contract is being run for 2018/19.
MTR TfL RAIL.
Above: ‘Aventra’ 345010 departs Romford for Shenfield on 1/9/18. (John Podgorski).
Above: 345012 at Ilford depot on 8/9/18. (John Podgorski).
w/e 8/9/18; 345002/15 – OC-IL. 345007 – IL-OC.
9/9/18: 345008 IL-WB as 5Q72.
12/9/18: 345002 on 5V51 Southend-Ilford.
19/9/18: 345002 – WB-IL.
20/9/18: 345001 – Ashfordby Old Dalby Test Track; 345002/3 – Ilford IL; 345004 -Derby DY;345005/6 – IL; 345007 – Old Oak OC; 345008-12 – IL; 345013 – OC; 345014/15 – IL; 345016/17 – OC; 34018 – Ashfordby; 345019-21 – OC; 345022 – IL; 345023 – Crewe CE; 345024 – Abbey Wood – AW; 345025 – OC; 345026 – Ashfordby;345027-31 – OC; 345022/33 – AW; 345034-44 – OC; 345045-48 – OC; 345049 – Ashfordby; 345050 – DY; 345051 – Ashfordby; 345052 – DY-Ashfordby behind 37611; 345053-56 – DY.
Above; Scania K410EB6/Caetano Levante SH216 (BX65 WCU), with the modified England Football super rear advert, at Scania Start Hill on 22/9/18. (John Podgorski).
Above: Track tampers DR73114 and DR77904 await entry to Marks Tey pw depot on 9/9/18. (John Podgorski).
Below: Track maintenance at Marks Tey on 9/9/18. (John Podgorski).
NEW HORIZON TRAVEL, FRATING.
Acquired is ex Go South Coast – Morebus Volvo B7RLE/Wright HF54 HGY. It is often used on schooldays route 177 (West Mersea-Colchester).
Further ex Metroline (via Ensign) ADL/Enviro 200s are YX09 AEZ, YX09 FLE – plus YX09 FLA for spares only.
Above: The sun sets behind ADL/Enviro 200 AB62 PAN at Marks Tey on 9/9/18. (John Podgorski).
Above: ADL/Enviro 200 AB09 PAN is named ‘Donald’. It entered service in early September and was pictured at Harwich, on a cruise ship staff shuttle from Parkeston. (Alex Hazell).
Above: Dart SLF/Mini Pointer KV51 KZK and Plaxton Primo SB07 PAN at Northumberland Park (Meridian Way) outstation on 16/8/18. (John Podgorski).
The Northumberland Park station remodelling project was due to be completed in November. In late September, the extra track was being installed. Dart SLF/Mini Pointer BIG 9856 covered from Primo SB07 PAN here in late September.
13/9/18: 47812 on Leicester-Foxton light engine.
14/9/18: 47812 on Foxton-Eastleigh spoil train.
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
Above: In the final weeks of Leyton operation of TfL179; ADL/Enviro 40D 10157 10157 was seen in Central Ilford on 8/9/18. (John Podgorski).
New ADL/Enviro 40D MMC Smart Hybrids at West Ham (WH), are 11017-11032 (YX68 UKA/B/D-H/K-S).
From 29/9/18, TfL193 (Romford Market-County Park Estate) was gained from Go-Ahead Blue Triangle. its frequency was reduced slightly to improve reliability. New for this were ADL/Enviro 20D MMCs 37513-37525 (YY18 TKA/C-F/J/K/N/O/T-V). Some entered traffic earlier on other routes from Romford North Street garage. TfL165 (Romford-Rainham) was retained by Stageocoach on retender from the same date, and also received new E200 MMCs – 37526-539 (YX68 UMA-H/J-M/O/R). TfL179 (Chingford-Ilford) was likewise retained on retender, but was moved operationally from Leyton (T) to Barking (BK); (existing buses were retained – new E40HMMCs had been planned, but these were diverted to Selkent for TfL136). TfL252 (Collier Row-Hornchurch) was likewise retained, and its timings also slightly revised on Saturday daytimes.
Route changes from 15/9/18; TfL86 (Romford-Stratford) re-routed westbound in Ilford via The Broadway (south) instead of The Grove (north). 104 (Manor Park-Stratford) and 238 (Barking-Stratford), plus 473 (N Woolwich-Stratford) re-routed in Stratford (eastbound) via Tramway Ave instead of West Ham Lane.
Above: ADL/Enviro 40D 19807 departs Ilford, on a westbound 86 on 8/9/18. (John Podgorski).
TONY GLEW, COLCHESTER.
YJ12 GXS is a Mb 0816D.
Large coaches continue to be kept at Great Tey, but smaller vehicles can be found parked at Old Heath.
TfL D8 was gained from Go-Ahead Docklands, from 15/9/18. It uses VNs made spare by reductions on TfL25, and was also diverted in Stratford via Gt Eastern Street southbound, direct to High Street avoiding The Broadway. From the same date, TfL425 (Clapton-Stratford) was extended from Stratford to Ilford.
Above: Volvo B9TL/Gemini2 VN36162 at Ley Street, Ilford on 8/9/18. (John Podgorski).
Above: On loan from Wrightbus was StreetLite DF demonstrator SK68 TNF. It was seen at Marks Tey on 30/9/18, on a Colchester-Chelmsford Greater Anglia rail replacement. (John Podgorski).
Above: Scania Omnicity YN56 NNG in Braintree, on Greater Anglia rail replacement to/from Witham on 1/9/18. (Simon Austin).
Boeing 737-8K5 G-FDZJ departs Stansted on BY5644 to Rhodes on 8/9/18. (John Podgorski).
9/9/18: 47580 on 5Z28 Norwich-Acton ECS via Cambridge.
Has been sold by Tower Transit to Ascendal Group. Ascendal is a new company, founded by a Transit Systems director.
(Transit also recently sold Impact Coaches of Perivale to HCT Group).
With thanks to: M Allen, Anglia-Gen, T Barthrop, S Austin, Ensignbus, Flightradar24, A Hazell, Hedingham, P Layzell, London’s Transport Yahoo, LOTS, RM.