Busmopolitan – Essex and District Bus and Rail Newspage. March 2019.


Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.

Welcome to the March 2019 edition of Busmopolitan.

Believe it or not, it is now 40 years since the RT Class AEC Regent III and RF Class AEC Regal IV buses left normal service in London. The RF’s last post was to the west – at Kingston, while the RTs were to the east – at Barking and in ‘Busmopolitan’ territory.
On 30/3/19, there was a special running/open day at Stagecoach East London Barking garage to commemorate this event. Some pictures can be found in this edition.

Above: It this 1979 ? No, 2019 – at Barking Stagecoach East London garage.
(Simon Austin).

New is Vauxhall Vivaro EU19 FPG.
Sold is Vauxhall Vivaro EJ14 AVU.

GN64DXS 4262 AR CR 8 (HIGHWOODS) 13-3-19 (D PRETTY)
Above: StreetLite 4262 at Derwent Road, Highwoods on 13/3/19. (Daniel Pretty).

From Southend are Wright StreetLites 4224 (GN62 HMY), 4261/62 (GN64 DXR/S).
Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urbans 3818/19/26 (GN07 AVE/F/P) have transferred to Southend. All of the B7RLEs will eventually move over.
As a result of the departure of most of the B7RLEs and the demise of the DAF SB120s, route 8 (Highwoods-Monkwick) is now normally worked by ADL/Enviro 200s and long Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointers. More short Dart SLFs are now appearing on route 1 (Greenstead-Ambrose Avenue), while the remaining two B7TRLEs – 3817/25 (GN07 AVD/O) seem to usually appear on 133 (Braintree-Stansted) alongside the new StreetLites.
The ex Southend StreetLites can be found on 1, 2, 8 and the Braintree Freeport Shuttle.
Odd sightings:
2/3/19: B7RLE 3826 (GN07 AVP) – on transfer to Southend ? Seen Maldon Road Roundabout, Southway @ approx 1930. 20/3/19: Short Dart SLF/Caetano 1565 (HX04 HUK) on 8.

GN64DXS 4262 AR CR 900 (BE BUS PARK) 23-3-19 (D PRETTY)
Above: 4262 on the Braintree Freeport Shuttle on 23/3/19. (Daniel Pretty).

Another ex Colchester DAF SB120/right Cadet is 3521 (LJ03 MYG).
Another Mb Sprinter is 1019 (BF67 WGV).

All of the StreetLites have transferred to Arriva Colchester.
A visit to Short Street depot on 2/3/19 found the following withdrawn vehicles visible: Ex Colchester DAF SB120/Wright Cadets 3529/34 (LF02 PNJ/U); Ex Kent and Surrey Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 3295 (Y295 TKJ); ex The Shires DAF DB250LF/ALX400 6001 (KL52 CWO), plus one other SLF/Pointer, 3 DB250LF/ALX400s and 2 DB250LF/Plaxton Presidents. Also there was ex The Shires VDL200/Wright Pulsar 3779 (KX09 KDU). TGM liveried Volvo Olympian/NC Palatine 5614 (R614 MNU) and Southend SOS Bus Dennis Dominator/EL G649 EKA additionally were still parked there.

Above: DAF SB120s 3529/34 at Short Street on 2/3/19. (John Podgorski).

TfL158 (Chingford Mount-Stratford) was gained from Stagecoach East London from 2/3/19. DWs and VLWs from Edmonton (EC) are used.
TfL393 (Clapton-Chalk Farm) was lost to Metroline from 23/3/19. Some of the buses were loaned to Metroline for the interim – retaining full Arriva branding.
The new style Arriva fleetnames and logos have appeared on a large numbers of buses, but there are still some with the old style fleetnames. Noted with the latter include Barking depot’s ADL/Enviro 40D T72 (LJ59 AEA); VDL DB300LF/Wright Geminis DW328/29 (LJ60 AXM/N). These have yet to be repainted/refurbished.

LJ07EEA 393 8-08
Above: ADL/Enviro 20D EN59 on TfL393, at Highbury Park, Canonbury in August 2008. This typifies the “back road” character of this route, which can only take smaller single deck buses. (John Podgorski).

TfL396 (Ilford-Goodmayes) was gained from Stagecoach, from 30/3/19. SE Class ADL/Enviro 200s are allocated, supplemented by E Class ADL/Enviro 400s from the low numbered ex London General/Central batch.
Dennis Dart SLF/Mrshall Capital LT52 WUM has gone to Shelton Motors, Ely for scrap – via Ensign.

Above: One of the Class 357s modified to sub class 357/3 with revised seating. 357324 at Grays on 30/3/19. (John Podgorski).

Ex Go-Ahead London Scania N230UD/Olympus 878 has been renumbered 877 (PN09 ENO). It was delivered to Sudbury on 12/3/19. The previous 877 (PN09 EMF) was retained by Ensign as sales stock. Thus the N230UD/Olympuses are now 870-877 (PN09 ELO/U, EMK/V, ENV/E/F/O). 870 appeared at Hedingham, Clacton in mid March.

The Network Rail Hoo Junct-Whitemoor ballast contract ceased after 29/3/19; hanving been lost to GBRf.
4/3/19: 37116 tnt 37219 on 1Q90 NR Test Train Ferme Park-Derby via liverpool Street.70817 on 6L37 Hoo Jct-Whitemoor.
12/3/19: 37521 on 3Q65 Derby RTC-Cambridge.
13/3/19: 37521 on 3Q72 Norwich-Colchester.
14/3/19: 37521 on 3Q71 Colchester-Norwich.
21/3/19: 66848 on 6L37.
25/3/19: 66850 with Freightliner 66524/616 in tow on 6L37. 70802 at Dagenham Dock.
29/3/19: 66849 on last 6L37 to be worked by Colas.

YX19ORU 2543 CT PLUS 20 (LOUGHTON STN) 23-3-19 (D ACOTT)
Above: 2543 at Loughton station on 23/3/19. (Daniel Acott).

New are ADL/Enviro 40H City 2539-47 (YX19 ORO/P/S-W/Y/Z). These were for TfL20 (Walthamstow-Debden), which was taken over from Go-Ahead from 23/3/19. Also on loan for this were Stagecoach London ADL/E40Ds 10113/14 (LX12 DCZ, DDA). This was for extra buses needed for this conversion; as the allocation for TfL388 (Stratford City-Elephant and Castle) needed to be maintained.

Above: A nostalgic view of Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbus DCT3 at Upper Street, Islington in September 2005. CT Plus still holds the contract for TfL394 (Islington-Homerton Hospital). (John Podgorski).

The latest addition is Volvo B10M/VH W283 JBN, ex Milken, Littleport.

08934 resident shunter at Dagenham Dock.
66005/47/142 are now in Maritime blue. This is to do with a new partnership between Maritime Transport and DBS.
4/3/19: 66015 on Mountsorrel-Chesterton.
6/3/19: 66126 + UID at Bow Midland.
13/3/19: 66044 on 6V12 Marks Tey-Acton.
22/3/19: 66019 on 4L45 Wakefield-Felixstowe.
25/3/19: 66168 and 92042 at Dagenham Dock.
27/3/19: 66164 at Bow Olympic on Burngollow train.
29/3/19: 66105 on 4L45.

6/3/19: 37716 on Brent-Stowmarket light loco.
22/3/19: 57303 on Willesden-Norwich light engine.
25/3/19: 37423 hauled 88003/7 on 0Z88 Willesden-Norwich.
26/3/19: 88003/7 visited Harwich and Clacton before returning to Willesden.

Latterly privately preserved Leyland Nationals 1849/50 (YEV 307/8 YEV) have both unfortunately now gone for scrap. Proof that nothing can be immune from the scrapman.

YEV307S TY 4-4-14
Above: 1849 was latterly in pseudo Westcliff on Sea livery. On 4/4/14, it was temporarily stored at the Tollesbury depot of Hedingham Omnibuses. (John Podgorski).

YEV308S 1850 CANVEY RALLY 10-05
Above: 1850 at the Canvey Museum Running Day of October 2005. (John Podgorski).

This operator ceased trading on 18/3/19. Its coaches were a familiar sight in Essex, espaecially on rail replacement. Eclise was part of Varsity Holdings, which also owned Chambers Coaches of Stevenage and the Varsity Travel Agency in Cambridge.

Above: BCI Excellence 140 (LX17 DZA)  in Grays on 30/3/19. (John Podgorski).

Some more BCIs are on order.
Into the operational fleet is ex Wheelers of North Baddersley ADL/Enviro 200 721 (YX11 HNT).
Into temporary stock for ‘Goblin’ rail replacement are ex RATP London Scania Omnidekkas 920/21 (YN55 NKJ/P); ex Go-Ahead London Scania Omnidekkers 922-24 (YN07 EXH/K/M).
Acquired via Malcolm Harrison (dealer) is ex Confidence of Leicester Volvo B9TL/Optare Olympus FJ58 CON. It is fire damaged and for spare parts only.
From 11/3/19, route Z4 (Laindon-Amazon Tilbury) was diverted around Corringham, and from 23/3/19, it was further (temporarily) diverted at Chadwell St Mary, to avoid road widening works on the A13 between Orsett and Stanford Le Hope.

Above: Sales stock ex RATP London United Scania Omnidekka 920 (YN55 NKJ) has been used by Ensignbus on rail replacement. Seen at Purfleet on 30/3/19. (John Podgorski).

Sold are Dart SLF/Caetanos HV02 PCY, LK53 FDE.

Above: In its final weeks of working at First Essex; Scania Omnicity 65031 at Yorick Road, West Mersea on 6/3/19. (John Podgorski).

Scania Omnicities 65031/32 (TN06 TDX/Z) have transferred to First Potteries at Stoke on Trent. They were moved on 11/3/19. 65028/30 (YN06 TDO/V) went on loan to First Eastern Counties but will eventually reach First Potteries also.
Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini 32672 (SN55 HEV) has a super rear advert for Hyde Hall RHS Gardens.
Essex CC routes 11 (Basildon-Aveley), 374 (Basildon-Grays) ceased after 30/3/19; having been lost to NIBS, Wickford.
More of the old Clacton depot yard has been occupied by Clacton Van and Truck Sales.
Odd sightings:
1/3/19: Trident 33088 (LN51 GMU) on 174; Route 62 B9TL 37136 (SN57 HCU) on 88A. 2/3/19: Volvo 7900H 69006 (BV13 ZBP) on 25. 3/3/19 – Sunday: Trident 33086 (LN51 GMG) on 65; B7TL/Gemini 37036 on 1A. 7/3/19: Route 62 B9TL 37136 (SN57 HCU) on 17.
8/3/19: Route 62 B9TL 37134 on 61; Route 62 B9TL 37139 on 104. 11/3/19: Omnicity 65031 on 62; 65032 on 75 – both last day with First Essex. 13/3/19: Route 62 B9TL 37136 on 65. 14/3/19: Route 62 B9TL 37133 (SN57 HDH) on 67/C; Route 62 B9TL 37134 (SN57 HDJ) on 65; X30 ADL/E200 MMC 67170 on 71. 17/3/19: Route 62 B9TL 37133 (SN57 HDH) on 75. 19/3/19: StreetLite 63340 (SM65 EEY) on 62. 22/3/19: Short ADL/E200 44900 (AY08 EKT) on 71; StreetLite 63342 (SM65 EFA) on 71. 26/3/19: Route 62 37133 on 61; SLF/MPD 43846 (SN55 CXF) on 71. 28/3/19: B9TL 37027 (YJ06 XKS) on 175 am.

SN62AHL 67735 FE 1A (THE COMMONS, CR) 24-3-19 (D PRETTY)
Above: Ex First Glasgow ADL/Enviro 300 67735 at The Commons, Prettygate, Colchester, on Sunday town service on 24/3/19. (Daniel Pretty).

Above: Scania Omniexpress YT09 FLF now has Flagfinders fleetnames on its existing metallic grey livery. it was seen at Newbury Park on Greater Anglia RRP to/from Ingatestone on 31/3/19. (Alex Hazell).

1/3/19: 70015 with 66552 dead in tow on 4L93 Lawley St-Felixstowe.
2/3/19: 66529/34 on 0L50 Ipswich-Whitemoor light engine.70010 on 4L97 Trafford Park-FLX.
4/3/19: 66606 on West Thurrock-Tunstead cement. 70005 on 4M81 FLX-Basford Hall.
6/3/19: 66615 at Bow Midland.
10/3/19: 66541 running light as Ely to Peterborough, en route from Ipswich to Leeds for repairs.
11/3/19: 66508 + 66562 dead in tow on FLX-Leeds ‘liner.
17/3/19: 66528 tnt 66536 on Shenfield-Whitemoor autoballasters.
22/3/19: 66602 on 6L44 Tunstead-West Thurrock. 66603 at Marks Tey yard on 6V80 to Acton.
25/3/19: 70005 on Trafford Park-FLX.

Mb 0816D/Plaxton Cheetah2 CX09 FJE is ex Timewels, Maghull, Liverpool.

2/3/19: 66722 on 4M23 FLX-Hams Hall. 66732 on 6T62 Whitemoor-Romford engineers. 66743 on 4L29 Birch Coppice-Felixstowe. 66756 on 6T63 Whitemoor-Romford engineers. 66759 on Masboro-FLX. 66787 on 6T65 Whitemoor-Romford engineers.
3/3/19: 66710/48 on 0L33 Peterborough-FLX light loco.
4/3/19: 66722 on 4L07 Birch Coppice-FLX. 66733/50/03 + UID on 4Z80 FLX-Masboro. 66751 on 6L06.
6/3/19: 66747 at Bow Midland. 66750 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks.
11/3/19: 66701 on 4L22 Hams Hall-FLX. 66703/20 on 4R26. 66703/77 on 4Z33 FLX-Doncaster. 66710/32/48/50 on 0L33 PBO-IPS light engine, with 66710/32 onwards to FLX. 66722 on 4L07 Birch Coppice-FLX. 66748 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks.
12/3/19: 66751 on Barrington-Wembley.
13/3/19: 66748 on N Walsham-Harich light loco.
14/3/19: 66748 on Ipswich-N Walsham ligt loco. 66789 on Hoo Junct-Whitemoor.
16/3/19: 66710/56 on 0E06 FLX-PBO light loco. 66716 on 4Z26 FLX-Masboro. 66727 on 6T64 Whitemoor-Romford. 66732 on 4M23 FLX-Hams Hall. 66740/60 on 4L20 Hams Hall-Parkeston. 66748 on 0E04 Parkeston-Petrborough light loco. 66758 on 6T61 ManorPark-Whitemoor. 66759 on 4Z81 Masboro-Parkeston. 66778 on 6T66 Whitemoor-Romford.
18/3/19: 66701/48 on 0L33. 66722 on N Walsham-Harwich tanks.
20/3/19: 66727 on 4L22.
22/3/19: 66711 on 4L07. 66747/27 on 4L22.
25/3/19: 66724 hauled SET 466026 on 5X81 Tonbridge-Ilford depot. 66754 at Dagenham Dock.
26/3/19: 66702 on Ipswich-N Walsham light loco. 66722 + 66720 dead in tow on 4Z81 Masboro-FLX. 66731 on 6L61 Rylstone Ticon-Chesterton Junct. 66786 on 6M03 Foxton-Cricklewood spoil.
28/3/19: 66765 tnt 66715 at Romford Electrification depot, with new track machine DR79601.
29/3/19: 66777 on 4Z33 FLX-Doncaster. 66715/65 still at Romford ETE Yard. 66771 on 5X81 Tonbridge-Ilford depot. 92020 with 66754 dead in tow on 6L48 Garston-Dagenham car carriers.
30/3/19: 66768 on 4L29 Birch Coppice-FLX.
31/3/19: 66715 tnt 66765 on 6X01 B Stortford-March with railgrinder.66728 tnt 66701 on 6T64 Romford-Whitemoor engineers. 66732/70 on 0L33. 66737/27/63 on 4L22.

66715 VALOUR GBRF IL 2-05
Above: 66715 at Ilford depot in February 2005. (John Podgorski).

317722 has gone to store at Ely.
4/3/19: 90013 towed DVT 82114 as 1445 Ilford-Norwich.
6/3/19: 153335 on Marks Tey-Sudbury, with duplicate road coach for peaks – (Klarners Setra S416 tri-axle T14 KCL). 317722 moved Ilford-Ely between 37884 and 57312.
7/3/19: 321331 on 1P04 Liverpool Street-Norwich and 1P23 return.
19-20/3/19: 755407 on Norwich to Stratford and return test run. With 37800 following.
21/3/19: 744405/8 on test down GEML from Norwich to Diss and back.
28/3/19: 745104 delivered by 37800.

321331 DOVERCOURT 10-10
Above: 321331 at Dovercourt in October 2010. The tracks are two parallel single lines at this point; the non electrified road on the left used to serve the Harwich train ferry (closed 1987). They run as two single lines from just east of Harwich International Port. The cranes in the distance are at the Port of Felixstowe, across the estuary of the Rivers Orwell and Stour. (John Podgorski).

387130 towed from Reading to Ilford for mods by 37601.

Above: March 1st saw the 7th anniversary of Hedingham being sold to Go-Ahead Group PLC. This nostalgic view shows Bristol VRT/ECW L251 (MRJ 8W) at Clacton depot, on an unknown date. One of a pair new to Mayne of Manchester, the VRs had been withdrawn before the change of ownership. (Laurence Kinsella Ilot collection).

EU56FLP 259 HO 352 (HD) 22-3-19 (S AUSTIN)
The Essex CC route 352 (Halstead-Braintree-Chelmsford) M-Sat evening contract ceased after 30/3/19, and passed to Stephensons from the following Monday. Dart SLF/Pointer 259 (EU56 FLP) was seen at High Street, Halstead on 22/3/19. (Simon Austin).


(All: Alex Law).

Some buses at Clacton have received rear advertising for local services. They are Scania Omnidekka 816 (YN55 PZX) and Optare Solos 910/11 (SF04 HKD/E).
Tollesbury depot has been sold – for housing. It had closed in July/August 2016.
The location of the old head office, Dugard House in Colchester – has now been fully vacated for conversion to residential flats. Hedingham moved out in September 2018.
Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis 520/23 appeared at Kelvedon in late March.
Scania Omnidekka swaps: 13/3/19: 803 from Chambers; 813 to Chambers. 14/3/19: 802 from Chambers; 812 to Chambers. 19/3/19: 809 to Chambers; 812 from Chambers. 20/3/19: 803 to Chambers; 813 from Chambers. 22/3/19: 820 – Clacton to Kelvedon. 28/3/19; 802 to Chambers; 810 from Chambers.
Volvo B7TL/President 573 (W491 WGH) went on loan to Chambers.
Odd sightings: 6/3/19: B7TL 576 on 19 + 63. 8/3/19; Dart SLF/MPDs 286 (HW54 BTY), 290 (EX02 RYR) on PL2 (am) following failure of B7TL/President 561 (V301 LGC). 11/3/19: 286 + 290 on PL2 am again. 13/3/19: B7TL 565 on 19 + 63; Omnidekka 809 on TLA A pm. 15/3/19: B7TL 573 on HN2 and ST4 pm. 22/3/19: 523 on PL3 pm; 576 on 19 + 63; 820 on TLA B pm. 25/3/19: 802 on TLA A pm. 27/3/19: 520 on TLA B (pm); 738 on ST3 pm; 812 on TLA A. 28/3/19: 520 on TLA B; 738 on ST3.

Above: Chambers Scania Omnidekka 809 working for Hedingham and seen on the afternoon 89X at High Street, Halstead on 15/3/19. (Simon Austin)

Ex Trent Barton Optare Tempos YJ12 GWP/U have fleet nos 98, 99.
Optare Excel 170 is withdrawn, but 173 is reinstated.
Also withdrwan are ex Carters Dennis Trident/ALX400s 7, 8.
Several vehicles have been offered for sale; including Leyland Atlantean/Roe open topper 9 (MRT 9P); all of the ex Lothian Super Pointer Dart SLFs 134-137 (SN53 AVG/K/M/P); all of the 56 plate Scania Omnicity saloons 70-75 (YN56 NVB-G) and a 53 plate Dart SLF/EL.
Odd sightings: 16/3/19: Dart SLF/Super Pointer 134 (SN53 AVG) on 93.

SN53AVG 134 IB 93 (CR B S) 16-3-19 (D PRETTY)
(Daniel Pretty).

Temporarily stopped operating between 8th and 27th March. The ZIP service then returned, with branded Ford Transit CX60 XCW.

TfL20 (Walthamstow-Debden) passed to CT Plus from 23/3/19.

LX05FBC WVL189 LGN 20 (NP) 25-10-18
Above; Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini WVL189, blinded for TfL20, at Northumberland Park depot on 25/10/19. This was one of a batch of WVLs transferred from Putney for TfL257 (Walthamstow-Stratford), which later returned to Stagecoach on retender. It still carried its old AF garage code in this view. (John Podgorski).

The last Class 172 DMUs in use on the GOBLIN line were 172001/7. The last ‘172 on LOROL metals was 172004. All joined their sisters at West Midlands Trains.

Withdrawn is Neoplan Tourliner MM10 BUS.

Further increased its presence in east London from 23/3/19, when it took over TfL393 (Clapton-Chalk Farm) from Arriva London North. The buses used are DEM Class 9.6m ADL/Enviro 200s latterly on TfL234 and ENS Class 9.3m ADL/E200s hired from Arriva. This was due to physical restrictions along route 393. Longer 10.1, 10.2m E200s had been approved, but in reality they were not suitable.

EYE336V RAYLEIGH 12-3-19
Above: This former London Transport EYE-V batch MCW Metrobus, was seen in a yard off Progress Road, Rayleigh on 12/3/19. It was lettered for Pirton Hill School, of which there is one in Bristol. (John Podgorski).

Some ex Abellio London ADL/Enviro 200s have been acquired; including YX10 FEU.

Scania K360EB4/Plaxton Panther2 OF61 OXF has been re-registered AB61 PAN and upseated from 44 to 49.
Currently offered for sale are ADL/Enviro 400 – Olympus VB08 PAN; Dart SLF/Pointer DC02 PAN and Dart SLF/Mini Pointer DC56 PAN.

A visit to the former Rochford outstation on 2/3/19 found the site being used to store cars and vans and also To Let by Ayers and Cruiks. The fencing had also been internally barriered to conceal the inside.

A number of Boeing 737-MAX8s are due later this year, but their arrival may be delayed following the fatal crash of the Ethiopian Airlines B737-MAX8 at Adis Abiba on 10/3/19. This has resulted in many countries grounding these aircraft, or banning them from their airspace.

From Peterborough are ex Norfolk Green ADL.Enviro 400s 10054/55 (AE13 EEA/B), and E400s 19693/64 (AE60 JPU/X), 19695/96 ()AE60 JPY, JRO).
There was a clearout of withdrawn vehicles from Cambridge depot during March.
These included open top Trident/ALX400 17274 (ACZ 7494); MAN18.220/ALX300s 22058/59 (KV53 FAF/J) and Reserve Dart SLF/Pointer 34422 (KV53 EYY). Only remaining was partly dismantled Mb Sprinter van Y92 AET.
Trident/ALX400 open toppers ACZ 7489/92-94, TSU 639/40 – passed to Ensign.
Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere 52440 (R539 GSF) was noted (on depot) minus various body panels on 23/3/19. (Pictured below).

(John Podgorski).

Ex Cambridge vehicles sold for scrap to Shelton Motors of Ely (via Ensign) were: MAN18.20/ALX200 AE51 RZL; Trident/ALX400s Y452 NHK, LX51 FMC, FNG; AE55 DKA; Volvo B10M/Premiere R539 GSF. These basically were collected directly by Shelton, with Ensign being the intermediary “on paper”.

Above: RM2050 at Tower Hill on 1/3/19. (Nigel Eadon Clarke)

Regular heritage Routemaster operation on route 15H ceased after 2/3/19. It will continue on Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays only from now on. RedRoutemaster.com of Brentford has applied to operate a partial replacement for the 15H.
TfL158 (Stratford-Chingford Mount) passed to Arriva London North from 2/3/19. This saw the end of more Tridents. This was the last regular Trident route with East London. 30 Tridents remain across Stagecoach London, and the last all Trident route is TfL472 (North Greenwich-Thamesmead), with Selkent.
Tridents LX03 OSJ, LX53 KBE/J have gone to Shelton Motors, Ely for scrap – via Ensign.

LX06AFZ 18489 EX ST EL (ENSIGN) 2-19 (D ACOTT)
Above: Trident 18489 went before the end of TfL158, and was seen at Ensign’s Purfleet premises in February 2019. (Daniel Acott).

TfL262 (Beckton-Stratford) and TfL473 (North Woolwich-Stratford) passed to Tower Transit, and TfL396 (Ilford-Goodmayes) to Blue Triangle; all from 30/3/19. This resulted in the withdrawal of the last Optare Versas and more Omnicities and Tridents. Barking no longer runs Tridents in service.
Withdrawn are ScaniaOmnicity’deckers 15074/75/78/81/83/85/87/89/90/92.

LX09AAK 25311 ST EL 396 (NEWBURY PARK) 27-8-17
Above: TfL396 was one of the last bastions for Optare Versas at Stagecoach East London. 25311 was pictured at Newbury Park on 27/8/17. (John Podgorski).

LX03BZB 17848 ST LON 262 1-11
Above: Trident/ALX400 18848 calls at Beckton Bus Station on a northbound 262 in January 2011. (John Podgorski).

T692KPU N WOOLWICH 473 5-09
Above: Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 17092 (T692 KPU) on the 473 at North Woolwich in June 2009. This was in the Maqurie ownership era. 17092 was one of the early spec Tridents which were withdrawn early, as they did not comply to later TfL standards, with regard to staircase and centre exit positioning. This bus later passed to Herberts of Shefford in Bedfordshire. In the background is the now lifted railway line between Silvertown and North Woolwich; which was replaced by a tunnel for CrossRail. (John Podgorski).

Dennis Javelin/Plaxton Paramount TIL 8271 has reverted to G877 VPK.

Several buses have moved from the Suffolk fleet (at Haverhill) to the Essex fleet (at Boreham). They are Optare Solos 320 (YJ56 AUE), 322 (EU07 FVM), 327 (MX06 BPZ); Dart SLF/Pointers 456 (GU52 HJX), 460 (EU05 CZA).
ADL/Enviro 400 446 (YX10 FFC) came to grief on 23/3/19, when it sunk, while attempting to cross the creek at Wallasey Island at high tide. It was on a Southend bound route 60A. The driver and one passenger had to be rescued.
Odd sightings: 4/3/19: Dart SLF/MPD 412 (SK02 XGO) on 38A.

Above; ADL/Enviro 200 467 at Stanwell Street, Colchester on 19/3/19. This was ex the now defunct Stephensons of Easingwold, North Yorkshire. (John Podgorski).

Dennis R410/Caetano FN02 RXS is now white, ex cream. Mb 0816D/Plaxton Panther2 KV09 GJK has received fleet livery/vinyls ex plain metallic grey. Temsa Safari YJ57 BSY is now in white based fleet livery.

Above: KV09 GJK at Southway, Colchester on 7/3/19. (John Podgorski).

BJ11DVU VN36139 TT 262 (BECKTON B S) 31-3-19 (D ACOTT)
Above: Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2 VN36139 at Beckton on 31/3/19. This was the 2nd day of route 262 operation by Transit. It uses VNs displaced from TfL25 by new WH Class Hybrid StreetDecks. (Daniel Acott).

Deliveries of new Wright StreetDecks for TfL25 (City Thameslink-Ilford) continued during March. They replaced DM Class ADL/Enviro 40Ds and VNW Class Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2s. The new StreetDecks are WH31105-14 (SK19 FDO/N/M/L/J/G/F/E/D/C), 31118-28 (SK19 FDA, FCZ/Y/X/V/U/O/N/M/L).
TfL262 (Beckton-Stratford) and TfL473 (North Woolwich-Stratford) were gained from Stagecoach from 30/3/19. VN Class Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2s spare from TfL25 were used.
TfL308 (Clapton Pond-Wanstead), now sees a mix of DN Class ADL/E40D, EH Class Volvo B5H/EvoSeti and VH Class Volvo B5H/Wright Gemini3, having previously been mostly EH.
Normal operation of the ex First VNW Class Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis has ceased.
The last were VNW32421/23/29 (LK04 JCX/Z, HYJ). VNW32429 was the final one, on 31/3/19.

Above: Airbus A321-211 TF-MOM. (Extra.IE).

This low cost airline, which served Stansted – ceased trading on 28/3/19. It was founded in November 2011 and based in Iceland.

Above: Airbus A320-232 TF-SIS. (Flugzeug.Bild.de)

To commemorate 40 years since the RT left normal passenger carrying service in London, a running day was held at Barking (BK) Garage of Stagecoach East London on Saturday 30th March 2019. The actual anniversary fell on April 7th, but in 2019, this coincides with the Spring Gathering at the London Bus Museum at Brooklands in Surrey.
This running day took RTs to various old haunts around Barking. BK garage was the very last to operate RTs on route 62 on 7th April 1979.

Above: RT2688 approaches Barking garage on a “62”.New in September 1951, she has been in preservation since 1980. RT2688 never actually worked from Barking, being delivered to Edgware. She entered service from Palmers Green in October 1951, and subsequently served at Holloway, Upton Park and then Edgware. RT2688 spent most of her LT career (9 years) at Upton Park – which was quite near to Barking. OPO conversion at Edgware in 1973, saw ‘1688 move Stonebridge Park, and then to south London – working at Catford and finally Bromley. She was withdrawn in 1976, and then sold to a school. (Simon Austin).

Above: RT786 on the forecourt of Barking garage. It is showing the commemorative blind, which appeared on the actual final day of RT revenue operations.  (Simon Austin).

Above: London’s Transport Museum RT4712 inside Barking Garage. (Simon Austin).

Above: RTL1256 was one of very few Leyland RTs to be in green livery. Route 23 in its original form, ran as far east as Becontree Heath, over what is now the TfL 5 service. (Simon Austin).

Above: Ensign’s heritage fleet RT3232 participated in the running day. (John Podgorski).

Above: And Ensign’s RT624 re-enacted the very last 62 journey of all. This was the actual bus to perform this honour in 1979. (John Podgorski).

The end of March did coincide with the 40th anniversary of the final London Transport RFs – on 31 st March 1979. This type did work all over London, but at the end were focused on Kingston upon Thames.

Above: RF518 is blinded for an east end route -291 (Barking Blakes Corner-South Park-Ilford Broadway). This ran from Barking garage; being introduced on 4th October 1965, and was withdrawn on 22nd April 1978. RFs were used on it from inception until 10th March 1973. From 19th July 1969, 291 was extended south to Gascoigne Estate – running as a clockwise loop. From 10/3/73, 291 became double deck and was cut back to Barking Broadway. The service number 291 was subsequently reused in south east London, as Woolwich Queen Elizabeth Hospital to Plumstead Common, and currently operated by Go Ahead London Central. (Simon Austin).

Above: The Green RFs lasted slightly longer than their red sisters – until 1980 (under London Country). RF600 shows a destination for one of the Green Line services that served Barking, the 723. There was a Green Line depot in Romford until 1977, and that building (on London Road), survives as a tyre depot. (Simon Austin).

NLE521 RF134 etc L.C.B.S. Grays Garage Scrap View 6-6-76 (DW RHODES)
Above: Flashback to the decline of the RFs and RTs. London County Grays depot on 6th June 1976. To the left are facelifted RFs for Green Line work, an original RF in the middle, with RTs behind. This was the old London Transport Grays Garage at Crown Road, upon which now stands a Morrisons supermarket. The bus facility moved to West Thurrock. (DW Rhodes).

Well known preserved former Westcliff on Sea Motor Services Bristol K AJN 825, celebrated its 80th Birthday in March 2019.

AJN825 31-3-19 (D PRETTY)
(Daniel Pretty).

With thanks to: D Acott, Anglia gen, S Austin, N Eadon Clarke, EBN, Ensign, Essex Buses Yahoo, Extra.Ie, Flugzeug.Bild.de, A Hazell, Hedingham, L Kinsella Ilot, A Law, LOTS, D Pretty, PSVC, DW Rhodes, RM.

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