Edited by John Podgorski, BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
Welcome to the August 2019 edition of Busmopolitan.
Several types of bus/coach have been retired this month. Following the withdrawal of its last Trident, Go East Anglia has removed all but two coaches from its Chambers fleet, and has eliminated coaches from Hedingham completely. The Volvo B7TL has gone from Chambers and been depleted at Hedingham.
At Ipswich Buses, the remaining Dart SLFs and surviving Trident bowed out at the end of August.
And the last Tridents have been withdrawn from Stagecoach East London.
On the trains, the first Class 170 DMUs from Greater Anglia have been returned to their lessor. The entire two batches are to be relocated to Wales, and will be the first GA stock to be replaced by the new Class 755 ‘Flirt’ bi-modes.
A and U TRANSPORTS, ILFORD.
New is Mercedes Sprinter Transfer BV19 YKM. A contract for Colchester High School has been gained from September.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (COLCHESTER).
Southend ADL/Enviro 400 MMCs 6505/6/12/13 were borrowed over the August Bank Holiday Weekend for the Esd Sheeran concert at Ipswich.
DAF SB120/Wright Cadet driver trainer 3524 (LJ51 DDX) was in use during August.
Odd sightings: 11/8/19: Park & Ride ADL/E200 4015 (SK15 GXV) on Freeport. 13/8/19: Dart SLF/Pointer 3413 (SN54 HWY) being recovered at Crouch Street by Hammonds @ 1630, after failing on an Ambrose Avenue bound 1. 14/8/19: StreetLite 4224 (GN62 HMY) on 1.
DP18 RZK is a hired Ford Kuga, for crew ferry use.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (HARLOW).
From Arriva Hemel Hempstead is slim Optare Solo 2482 (YJ07 VRF).
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (SOUTHEND).
Received from Arriva Hemel Hempstead is Optare Versa 4186 (KX62 JKE)
The remaining DAF SB120/Wright Cadets have been withdrawn, along with most of the VDL SB200/Wright Commanders. SB120 3514 (LJ03 MZE) is confirmed.
Above: Ex Hemel Hempstead ADL/Enviro 400 MMC 6529 at Southend Travel Centre on 31/8/19. (Simon Austin).
Above: Scania K340/Caetano Levante FJ57 KHM, new to National Express, on the seafront at Clacton on 10/8/19. (Simon Austin).
The Two Sisters Foods chicken factory at Witham, closed on 8/8/19.
Beestons was the staff bus provider; having taken over from Arriva Colchester in 2015. Fargo was the operator 1997 to 2008, and for the first three months (in 1997), Tony Glew was the contractor. Back then, Two Sisters was called Sovereign Chicken.
Services to the factory latterly ran in from Ipswich and Colchester. The original route started at Harwich. During the ensuing years, the works buses also served Braintree and Clacton. Panther Travel also briefly subcontracted during 2015.
Buses used on the the commercial 68 Southend Seafront service, have been ADL/Enviro 400s E14, 15 (SN06 BNZ, BOF); open top Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President PVL224 (Y824 TGH); open top Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis WVL83 (LF52 ZNR), WVL93 (LF52 ZNE).
Daimler CVD open topper FOP 429 is now in pseudo Town and Country two tone blue, ex Southend Corporation cream/blue.
Above: Scania Omnidekka 805 (YN55 PZG) with contactless branding. (John Podgorski).
Contactless ticketing started on 11/8/19.
Optare Solo 911 (SF04 HKE) was briefly borrowed from Hedingham in late August. This was to do with a road closure near Bures. Volvo B7TL/President 570 (W487 WGH) went to Hedingham Clacton in exchange and then permanently moved to Sible Hedingham.
Withdrawn are Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents 562, 564.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 562 (V303 LGC) was the last licensed example of this type here. The rest of the bus fleet is now all Scania.
B7TL/President 564 (W409 WGH) appeared at Konect, New Rackheath depot on 23/8/19. It had been at Hedingham Sible Hedingham, but not used, before briefly returning to Chambers.
Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere coaches 9, 10 (S290/91 TVW) are withdrawn, leaving the Mb Touros 1, 2 (BX55 HYT/U) as the last coaches.
9/8/19: 37219 tnt 37116 on NR test train at Colchester Yard.
70801 on 6L37 Oxwellmains-Thurrock cement.
20-21/8/19: 37099 tnt 37521 on 1Q95/1Q96 Ferme Park-Ripple Lane and return.
21/8/19: 37099 tnt 37521 on NR test train at Colchester Yard; 1Q97 Ferme Park-Cambridge via Stanford, Liverpool Street, Harwich Town, Clacton. 37219 on Whitemoor-Whitemoor via Ipswich and Stowmarket.
22/8/19: 70807 N+ 66849 on 0Z70 Whitemoor-Hoo Junct light loco.
27/8/19: 70801 on 6L44.
From 19/8/19, the CT Plus title was replaced by HCT Group. Legals and fleet names have/will be changed.
9/8/19: 66118 on Acton-Ipswich Griffin Wharf JNA empties – seen at Claydon.
13/8/19: 59002 on 6V12 Chelmsford-Acton yard.
15/8/19: ‘Maritime Four’ 66051 on 4L45 Wakefield-Felixstowe.
20/8/19: 66105 on 4E08 London Gatway-Wakefield.
23/8/19; 66092 on Bow-Heck Plasmor.
7/8/19: 37608 towed MTR TfL Rail 345008 OC-IL.
20/8/19: 37402 towinfg GA DVT on Norwich-Cardiff.
FIRST EASTERN COUNTIES (IPSWICH).
The Ipswich Reds identity is starting to appear more widely. As well as repaints, some buses have ‘Ipswich Reds’ fleet names on existing First livery.
Above: Ipswich Reds Volvo B7RLE/Wright Solar Eclipse 66429, with ‘Felixstowe Flyers’ branding, at Crown Street, Ipswich on 10/8/19. The ‘Flyers’ are services 75, 76. (Daniel Pretty).
Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 32490, in First “charcoal” livery, with Ipswich Reds branding. Crown Street, Ipswich on 10/8/19. (Daniel Pretty).
Above: First Eastern Counties Volvo B7RLE/Wright 66824, at Crown Street, Ipswich on 10/8/19. New to First Manchester, it then served with First Essex at Basildon. At FEC it was first posted to Norwich and then Ipswich. Service 89 is a descendant of the old ‘Superoute 88’ to Stowmarket. (Daniel Pretty).
Above: Dart SLF/Caetano 41521 is now publicity vehicle. Seen at Basildon on 31/8/19. (Simon Austin).
Above: Former First Eastern Counties Volvo B7RLE/Wright Solar Eclipse 69433 on High Street, Colchester on a Sunday route 70 working on 11/8/19. Note that Mason Road is served on the Sabbath and that this bus has not had its destination changed back to “Chelmsford”. It is passing the ATIK Nightclub, previously Liquid, before that The Hippodrome and originally The Grand Theatre. Interestingly, the name of ATIK’S owner is The Deltic Group. They are a sort of nightclub equivalent to First (or Arriva, or Stagecoach). (John Podgorski).
More Volvo B7RLE/Wright Solar Eclipses received are ex First Manchester 66846/48/60/61/63. All are at Basildon, except 66860 at Chelmsford.
Loaned Volvo B10BLE/Wright trainer 60651 (T833 MAK) has been returned to First Manchester at Bolton.
Futher Volvo B7RLE/Wrights repainted out of Park and Ride black into standard Interurban colours are 69516/17.
Trident/Presidents 33073, 33133/90 have returned to Hadleigh from Basildon.
Withdrawn due to engine failure and then cannibalised at Colchester was Scania L94UB/Wright Solar 65684. Withdrawn for the same reason were Trident/Presidents 33081, 33229 which have been cannibalsied at Hadleigh and Basildon respectively. 33134 has been repaired with parts from 33080
Odd sightings: 1/8/19: Route 62 Volvo B9TL/Gemini2 37135 (SN57 HCP) on 1A. 15/8/19: Route 62 37134 (SN57 HDJ) on 70; Route 62 37136 (SN57 HCU) on 75; ADL/E300 67805 (SN13 CPE) on 67. 18/8/19: Dart SLF/Pointer 42944 (WX56 OAU) on 71C (Sunday). 27/8/19: Scania L94UB/Solar 62408 (YS03 ZKE) on 62. 28/8/19: Route 62 B9TL 37138 on 174; Dart SLF/Pointer WX05 RVF on 71A. 29/8/19: Route 62 B9TL 37139 on 61.
Above: Dart SLF/Pointer 42483 at Leigh on Sea Rail Station on 31/8/19. (Simon Austin).
Mb Sprinter GK03 JUC is now in the full fleet livery, ex a blue/silver interim scheme.
Above: 66535 at Claydon, heading towards Ipswich, in June 2003. It is passing the site of the long closed railway station. (John Podgorski).
2/8/19: 86628/08 on 4L41 Basford Hall-Felixstowe.
3/8/19: 86604/13 in Colchester yard “down” loop.
9/8/19: 66621 on Hope-Dagenham.
10/8/19: 86604/13 on 4L89 Coatbridge-Felixstowe. 86610/22 on 4L91 Trafford Park-Ipswich – held at Colchester Yard loop for a while.
13/8/19: 86638/28 on 4L41.
15/8/19: 86604/13 on 4L91 Trafford Park-FLX. 86612/37 on 4L41.
16/8/19: 86604/13 on 4L91.
17/8/19: 86627/28 on 4L89 Coatbridge-FLX.
21/8/19: 86610/37 on 4L41.
23/8/19: 86612/32 on 4L41. 86638/04 on 4L91.
24/8/19: 86610/37 on 4L89 Coatbridge-FLX.86638/04 on 4L91.
31/8/19: 66556 on Whitemoor-Tilbury engineers.
Above: 86637 is the trailing loco on this “down” intermodal through Kelvedon in October 2011. (John Podgorski).
3/8/19: 66702 on 6T60 Whitemoor-Bethnal Green engineers. 66729 on 4M23 Felixstowe-Hams Hall.
5/8/19: 66772/61 on 0L33 Peterborough-Ipswich-FLX light engine.
7/8/19: 66761 on 4M23. 66771 on Harwich-North Walsham tanks.
10/8/19: 66786 on 4L41 Doncaster-Felixstowe.
11/8/19: 66769/55 on 0L33.
13/8/19: 66705 on 4M21 FLX-Trafford Park. 66720 on 6L37 Hoo-Whitemoor.
15/8/19: 66701/61 on 4L04 Hams Hall-FLX. 66720 on 6L37.
19/8/19: 66706 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks.
20/8/19: 66741 on 4E14 FLX-Doncaster.
21/8/19: 66706 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks.
22/8/19: 66708 on 4M29 FLX-Birch Coppice. 66768 on 6M76 Chesterton Junct-Bardon Hill empties.
24/8/19: 66733 on 4M05 FLX-Hams Hall. 66765 on 4M23 FLX-Hams Hall. 66780 on 5X92 Slade Green-Ilford EMU drag.
27/8/19: 66772/36 on 0L33.
28/8/19: 66726 on 4Z26 FLX-Masboro.
30/8/19: 66708 on 6L37.
31/8/19: 66747 on 6T62 Whitemoor-East Tilbury engineers. 66755 on 6T61 Whitemoor-East Tilbury. 66761 tnt 66764 on 6T63 Whitemoor-Tilbury.
It has been officially announced that a new station at Beaulieu Park, near Chelmsford is to be built, as a cost of £218m.
New are 755329/32/33, 755402/11/12.
The first 170 DMUs have been withdrawn; 170207/70.
Above: 153309 stabled in the siding by Platform 6 at Colchester, on 10/8/19. (John Podgorski).
Stormy weather on 10/8/19, caused trees to fall across the track on the Marks Tey-Sudbury branch line. 153309 was slightly damaged by fallen debris. Buses replaced trains for the weekend.
10/8/19: 755410 on Norwich-Yarmouths.
13/8/19: 755330/31, 755415 delivered.
14/8/19: 90005 on 0Z05 Norwich-Crewe light engine via GEML and NLL. 379008/9 at Norwich.
15/8/19: 321336/445 on 1P24 LST-Norwich. 745006 delivered.
17/8/19: EMT 158770 on hire to GA and on Norwich-Cambridges. 321344/64 on 1P24 LST-Norwich instead of usual DVT + ’90. 755410 on 1357 Norwich-Yarmouth. 755418 on 0938 Norwich-Cambridge.
19/8/19: 317881/505 on 1Y34 1812 LST-Ipswich.
21/8/19: 317338/881 on 1Y34 1812 LST-Ipswich. 755413 ON 5Q26 Colchester-Norwich test train.
22/8/19: 317664 stabled at Clacton. 755402/11/12 delivered.
24/8/19: 755414 on Norwich-Ipswich test.
29/8/19: 755329/32/33 delivered. 755410 on Cambridge-Norwich.
30/8/19: 755413 on Cambridge-Norwich. 755422 on 5Q53 test.
31/8/19: 61306 ‘Mayflower’ passed Cambridge North with 47245 as 1Z60, to do with KingsCross-Norwich special. 317502 on 5N98 Ilford-Clacton for maintenance. 321361/436 on Norwich-Liverpool St 1503 dep from Colchester. 755418 on Cambridge-Norwich.
Above: Stadtler Flirt 755410 at Norwich Rail Station on 16/8/19. (Simon Austin).
Above: Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini 521 (LX05 EZD) now has a super rear advert for Sarson Malt Vinegar. It was pictured at Clacton depot on 15/8/19. (Alex Law).
Above: Old Vix ticket machines at Kelvedon on 11/8/19. Vauxhall Combo van W761 TRE has fleet no 9004.(John Podgorski).
Contactless ticketing began from 11/8/19. Not all vehicles are fitted, namely some of the Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents. 565/68/74/75/77/79/81 are equipped for contactless. But 581 was later withdrawn (on 23/8/19).
Scania Omnicity ‘decker 851 has transferred in from Konect.
Scania Omnilinks 458/60 entered service at Clacton in late August.
ADL/Enviro 200s 261 (EY57 FZE), 262 (EU58 JCJ) have transferred internally from Sible Hedingham (HD) to Clacton (CN). Short ADL/E200 292 (EU59 AFF) went the other way in exchange. Short E200 296 (SN10 CCY) has gone to Konect at Dereham.
Above: Newly transferred 262 at Pier Avenue, Clacton on 22/8/19. (John Podgorski).
Optare Solo 911 (SF04 SKE) was briefly loaned to Chambers in late August.
Withdrawn are Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere 8 (R453 FWT) – the last coach; ex Plymouth/driver trainer Volvo B7TL/EL 505 (PL51 LGD) – following loss of the Samuel Ward School contract; Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 581 (W956 WGH) – 581 was last used on a Clacton Airshow Shuttle on 23/8/19.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents 578 (W519 WGH) 581 and Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 737 (T107 DBW) have been cannibalised. 737 was taken away for scrap by Alpha Recovery on 29/8/19. Trident/EL 701 (T801 RFG) has been sold to Southern Transit for preservation via Ensign.
A new ‘Not in Service’ destination display has appeared, showing alternating sub titles.
Scania Omnidekka movements: 1/8/19: 805 – Chambers-KN; 812 – KN-Chambers. 8/8/19: 810 – KN-Chambers; 813 – Chambers-KN. By 10/8/19: 812 – Chambers-KN. By 23/8/19: 808/10/11 – Chambers-KN; 805/12/14 – KN-Chambers.
Odd sightings: 1/8/19: Long Dart SLF/Pointer 259 (EU56 FLP) on D1/D2; Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini 510 (LB02 YWX) – HD-KN – returned on 7/8/19; Scania Omnidekka 805 (YN55 PZG) on 15 pm (an Omnidekka has since been regular on this over the summer school holidays). 13/8/19: Volvo B7TL/President 579 (W526 WGH) on 63 D3007. 15/8/19: Volvo B7TL/President 577 (W518 WGH) on 63 D3009. 16/8/19: ADL/E200 261 (EY57 FZE) – HD-KN; 577 on 15 pm.
Above: Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini 527 at Holland Haven on Clacton Airshow Shuttle B on 23/8/19. (John Podgorski).
On loan in late August was BYD E200EV Electric demonstrator LJ68 EYD. It entered service on 23/8/19 – exactly 56 years since trolleybus abandonment in Ipswich.
Normal operation of the Dart SLFs and the final Trident (no 25) was on 31/8/19.
KENZIES OF SHEPRETH.
This well known south Cambs coach operator ceased trading on 31/8/19. The owner decided to retire.
LONDON GENERAL NORTH.
Some TfL contracts were gained from Metroline in August. These were outside of the Busmopolitan area, but TfL214 (Moorgate-Highgate Village) is significant because it was once operated by Thamesway, prior to all of First’s London operations coming under First Capital. The other gain was TfL232 (Wood Green-Neasden St Raphaels). Buses from 232 (WS Class StreetLites WS131-148) may well appear on routes running into Metropolitan Essex in the future, while 214 is using dedicated electric SEe Class ADL/E20EVs numbers SEe77-98. TfL232 came on 3/8/19, while 214 was taken over from 17/8/19.
MTR TfL RAIL.
7/8/19: 345008 – OC-IL, towed by DRS 37608.
Scania Omnidekka 644 9YN55 NKG) has come from sister company Stephensons to provide extra capcity on route 269 (Brentwood-Grays).
Above: YX10 BGO in the paint shop at Weeley on 1/8/19. (Alex Hazell).
Above: YX10 BGO in its old colour scheme, at Clacton Common on 23/6/19. (Alex Hazell).
ADL/Enviro 200 YX10 BGO has received fleet livery, ex white with front in blue/white. It has been named ‘Charlie’.
Also now named are Scania K360EB4/Plaxton Panther2 AB 61 PAN – ‘Caitlin’ and Volvo B12M/Plaxton Paragon WV02 EUP – ‘Cadbury’ – after its purple and gold livery.
Above: Leyland Olympian BIG 9249, ready to depart from Colchester on 25/8/19, to take up a shuttle for the Ed Sheeran concert at Ipswich. (John Podgorski).
This picture was taken in the Mersea Museum on 28/8/19. The real railway never reached Mersea Island, although there were ideas to extend the Crab and Winkle Line from Tollesbury across the creek. If that had happened, the West Mersea Rail Station would have been at Fountain Square/Queens Corner, by the erstwhile Fountain Hotel (demolished 2000).
In August 2019, traces of the Kelvedon to Tollesbury railway still existed around Tolleshunt Darcy.
3/8/19: 466029/030 on 5X91 Slade Green-Ilford ECS hauled by GBRf.
ADL/Enviro MMC YY67 VDF is here.
Ex London Scania Omnicity ‘deckers 15078/83 have entered service.
ADL/Enviro 400 19586 was on loan to Bedford.
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
From 9/8/19, The LTs on TfL8 (Old Ford-Tottenham Court Road), N8 (Oxford Circus-Hainault) went over to boarding at the front door with exit at the centre and rear doors. Previously, boarding/alighting had been via any of the 3 doors, as fares are cashless and ticketing off-bus. Other LT worked routes will follow.
ADL/Enviro 200 36267 has transferred to Selkent at Bromley. ADL/Enviro 400s 10197, 19834 have transferred internally to Romford North Street as Trident replacements.
Trident operation has ceased. Leyton was the last garage – with routes TfL215 (Walthamstow-Lee Valley Camp Site), TfL275 (Walthamstow-Barkingside). 17811 (LX03 BXF) was the last in use – on 215, being withdrawn after use on 19/8/19, and ferried from Leyton to West Ham the following day. 17836 (LX03 BYM) was the penultimate one.
Operation of TfL499 (Romford-Harold Wood Circular) transferred from North Street to Rainham from 24/8/19.
Above: Trident 18242 from Leyton, at Hackney Central in October 2005. This was coincidentally, also the the last night of Routemaster operation on Arriva route 38. (John Podgorski).
Acquired is ex demonstrator Mb Sprinter/Mellor Strata Ultra KF19 LCV.
Routes 384/5 (Bury St Edmunds-Stowmarket/Stowupland) are being operated on behalf of Galloway from Bury outstation. Dart SLF/Mini Pointer 412 (SK02 XGP), Dart SLF/Pointer 455 (EG02 NZD) which had been on loan to Galloway, returned to Stephensons to initially operate these routes. The Bury outbase has increased from 4 to 6 buses.
The first internal transfer to NIBS is of Scania Omnidekka 644 (YN55 NKG).
Withdrawals are: Solo 325 (EU08 WND) – due to accident damage; Dart SLF/Caetano 454 (HV52 WTE); Dart SLF/Pointers 455 9EG02 NZD), 457/59 (GU52 HJY, HKD) – all for cannibalisation. The Dart SLF is now declining in this fleet.
Above; ADL/Enviro 200 427 at Chelmsford on ex Hedingham Essex CC 352 on 31/8/19. (Simon Austin).
Has ex Arriva London Volvo B7TL/ALX400s LJ05 BKY/Z.
Above: LJ05 BKY at the Suffolk Showground, Trinity Park, Ipswich on 25/8/19, on Park and Ride for the Ed Sheeran concert at Chantry Park. (John Podgorski).
TONY GLEW, COLCHESTER.
There is an additional base at the old Micraline premises on Osbourne Street, Colchester. Ford Transit YP10 PHV normally parks there. Space means only minibuses and minicabs can use this site.
WALDEN TRAVEL, SAFFRON WALDEN.
Above: Volvo B7R/Jonckherre Modulo BU53 WTL is now GDZ 571 with Freestones of Beetley in Norfolk. It was at Norwich Rail Station on Greater Anglia standby on 16/8/19. (Simon Austin).
The fleet looks to have been reduced to four. Scania K114/VH EX52 WSV, Scania K114/Irizar YN04 GGZ; Ford Transit 16 seaters AY59 XJE, MV59 YVT. Scania K114/Irizar YR02 ZYY has passed to Dans Coach Travel, Needham Market.
With thanks to: Anglia Gen, S Austin, R Clinnick, Essex Buses Yahoo, A Hazell, A Law, J Lidstone, LOTS, D Pretty, Rob2700, The Bus Forum.