Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
Welcome to the December 2018 edition of Busmopolitan.
Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year. This is Trustybus Scania Omnicity YN53 RXY at Harlow on 31/12/18.
As we leave 2018, it has been another year of interest on the Essex and District public transport scene. Highlights included the closure of the First Clacton depot, and expansion by Hedingham and Panther on the “Essex Sunshine Coast” as a result.
Then there was the acquisition on NIBS by Stephensons, and Stephensons movinng its Braintree base three times in 12 months.
On the railways; CrossRail’s full opening was delayed, but the new Class 345s are entering traffic, with the first ‘315s going to the scrap yard. The new Stadler ‘Flirt’ trains for Greater Anglia also started to arrive towards the end of 2018. There was also much engineering work at the London end of the Great Eastern Main Line, resulting in rail replacement buses and coaches over many weekends.
In the air, the collapse of Cobalt and Primera made the headlines, along with disruption at Stansted Airport caused by strikes on Ryanair.
And finally, on the water, it was farewell to the old Woolwich Free Ferries. But their successors will arrive early in 2019, to continue linking the opposite banks of the River Thames.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (COLCHESTER).
Above: Brand new StreetLite 4324 (SK68 TWV) at Osborne Street, Colchester on 14/12/18. (Simon Austin).
Below: And 4323 at Braintree on 22/12/18, a few days after entering service. (Simon Austin).
There are two new Wright StreetLite MAXs for route 133 (Braintree-Stansted Airport)- 4323/24 (SK68 TWU/V). They are to ‘Sapphire’ specification. The two displaced Volvo B7RLEs will now normally appear on route 8 (Highwoods-Monkwick). As a result, DAF SB120/Wright Cadets 3528/29 (LF02 PNE/J) are withdrawn.
Dart SLF/Pointer 3419 (SN54 HXF) lost its poppy branding in early December.
The old tram shed on Magdalen Street was demolished at the start of December. The only part to be retained was the frontage of the old electricity station on Military Road.
Odd sightings: 3/12/18: Short Dart SLF/Caetano 1562 (RX07 KPG) on 8. 4/12/18: DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3529 (LF02 PNJ) on 4. 26/12/18: ADL/E200 4016 on 133; P and R ADL/E200 4071 (SK15 GXR) on 900. 28/12/18: Short SLF/Caetano 1564 (HX04 HUH) on 8; StreetLite 4324 (SK68 TWV) on Staff Shuttle in Colchester.
Above and top: The tram shed being dismantled on 5/12/18. (John Podgorski).
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (HARLOW).
Above: Optare Solo 1456 at Loughton Station on 12/11/18, on an ex EOS service. (Daniel Acott).
Below: Mb Sprinter 1010 at Harlow Bus Station on 31/12/18. This is ex Hemel Hemsptead. (Simon Austin).
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH.
Above: Repainted and with the new Arriva logos, VDL DB300LF/Wright Gemini2 DW207 at Lakeside Bus Station on 1/12/18. (Simon Austin).
TfL104 (Manor Park-Stratford) was gained from Stagecoach East London from 8/12/18.
Transferred in for this were: ADL/Enviro 400s E127 (LX09 FCD) from London General at Morden Wharf; E130 (SN60 BZB) from London Central at Bexleyheath; E136 (SN60 BZH) from Metrobus at Orpington; E186 (LX61 BHZ) from London General at Morden Wharf; E187 (SN61 BJE) from London General at Sutton; E189-193 (SN61 BJJ/K/O/U/V) from London Central at Camberwell; E276 (SN13 CJE) from London General North at Northumberland Park; E277-280 (SN13 CJF/J/O/U) from London General at Stockwell; Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2s WVL332 (LX59 DDJ) from London General at Stockwell; WVL333 (LX59 DDK) from London General at Morden Wharf; WVL446 (LJ61 GWE) from London General at Merton. WVL446 was initially loaned to Docklands.
Ex First ADL/E400s EN18-24 (LK08 FLH/J/L/M/N/P/R) have moved from London General North – mainly for schools services. They have replaced some of the ex Metrobus Scania N230UD/Olympuses.
Ex London Central at BX Volvo B9TL/Gemini WVL376 (LX60 DXG) has been refurbished and is here from London General North.
ADL/Enviro 200 SE106 is delicensed due to accident damage. It was in collision with a car in Barking and there were several slight injuries. It has gone for repairs.
The last Scanias are withdrawn. They have been replaced on schools by cascaded Enviro 400s.
TfL300 (East Ham-Canning Town) and TfL376 (Beckton-East Ham) were transferred to Docklands Buses from 8/12/18. These had been worked by Docklands before. This was to make space for the new TfL104 allocation.
Above: The last Scanias at Blue Triangle were N230UD/Optare Olympuses. 880 was pictured at Brentwood on 16/5/15. They were transferred from Metrobus to replace early WVL Class Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis on TfL498 (Romford-Brentwood). When 498 was lost to Stagecoach in July 2015; some of the Scanias were retained for schools, but others returned to Metrobus or moved to London General at Sutton. (John Podgorski).
Ex National Express Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante FJ60 EGD at Colchester Town Hall on 20/12/18. (Simon Austin).
The legal entity has been changed to Konectbus. The legals and O discs have changed accordingly, but the Chambers identity and livery remains.
Above: Ex Carousel Buses ADL/Enviro 200/MCV Evolution 267 at North Station Road, Colchester on 1/12/18. 84 is a one time Norfolks of Nayland route. (John Podgorski).
Above: Hedingham Scania Omnidekka 813 on loan to Chambers, and seen at Colchester Bus Station on 1/12/18. There are a lot of exchanges between Chambers and Hedingham these days. Note that some of the ‘Seasiders’ branding has been removed. (Daniel Pretty).
4/12/18: 70811 on 6L44 Oxwellmains-West Thurrock cement.
5/12/18: 37175 tnt 37099 plus 9481, 72631, 975091 on 1Q18 NR test train “down” at Brentwood.
10/12/18: 70805 on Whitemoor-Hoo Junct engineers’.
13/12/18: 70807 on 6L37. 70811 on 6L44.
17/12/18: 66849 on Hoo Junct-Whitemoor engineers’.
24/12/18: 66847 on 6L37.
27/12/18: 66849 on 6L37.
Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2 WVL446 (LJ61 GWE) was borrowed from Blue Triangle (qv).
The last Scanias are withdrawn.
TfL300, TfL376 have been transferred from Blue Triangle (qv).
Above: The last Scanias at Docklands Buses were ex Metrobus Omncities. No 959 was recorded at Crossharbour on 6/5/17. They were made redundant by the loss of TfL D8 on retender to Tower Transit. (John Podgorski).
5/12/18: 66161 on 4O79 Marks Tey-Crawley RMC aggregates.
10/12/18: 66025 tnt 66053 on West Anglia RHTT. 66107 to new livery and on Wakefield-FLX.
11/12/18: 66107 on 4L45 Wakefield-FLX.
21/12/18: 57303 towed GA 90009 from Norwich to Bound Green depot.
27/12/18: 66206/009/177/155 on 0B08 Whitemoor-Acton Yard light engine at Cambridge @ 0940.
1/12/18; 57303 light engine through Shenfield.
3/12/18: 37405 + 37706 Norwich-Crewe light engine via GEML.
5/12/18: 37606 tnt 37605 on 3S60 RHTT at Wickford.
7/12/18: 57303 tnt 57002 on 3S60 at Wickford.
8/12/18: 37611 hauled newly relivered LOROL 378136 from Ilford to Silwood Sidings.
27/12/18: 57303 hauling GA DVT 82114 and loco 90001 (plus stock) through Cambridge on Norwich-Bounds Green 5Z25 move.
Above: BCI Excellence 146 at Southend Travel Centre on 26/12/18. (Daniel Disbury).
On Boxing Day, 26/12/18, two “one day only” commercial services were operated. One was the established X10 (Lakeside-Southend), while the other was a new venture – X1 (Upminster-Southend Airport).
Above: ADL/Enviro 200 601 at Tilbury Docks on the Tilbury Town Circular on 1/12/18. (Simon Austin).
ENSIGN RUNNING DAY 2018 – 1st DECEMBER.
Above: Ensign former BEA AEC Regal ‘RF’ MLL 738 on Brentwood High Street. (Simon Austin).
Above: Ensign’s former JMT 1929 Leyland Titan TD2 6332 J at Lakeside. This was its debut appearance following restoration. (Simon Austin).
Below: Preserved ex London Country/London Transport Country District Daimler Fleetline/Park Royal XF1. At Lakeside. It is presented in early London Country livery. (Simon Austin).
Above: Preserved ex Stagecoach West, former Bristol Omnibus Bristol VRTSL/ECW JOU 160P at Tilbury. This bus was originally dual door for use in Bristol city. (Simon Austin).
Volvo B7RLE/Wright Solar Eclipse 66804 (MX05 CCO) returned to service at Colchester (CR), following fitment of a new engine by Volvo at Bury St Edmunds. 66806 (MX05 CCV) is away at Volvo for mechanical works. 66812 (MX05 CDN) now has branding for ‘Be a Secret Santa’.
Scania L94UB/Wright Solar 65690 (YS03 ZKK) was loaned from Colchester to Basildon in late November/early December to cover for a temporary shortage of hybrid buses for route 100. It returned to Colchester in the first week of December. 65679 (YR52 VEH) returned from First Eastern Counties at the end of December. 65688/90/92 (YS03 ZHK/K/L/M) have lost their old Route 74/76 branding from their rear engine covers. 65672/75 (SN51 UYE/J) are withdrawn.
Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 30894 (X749 VUA) is transferred from First Manchester at Oldham. It’s now at Hadleigh (HH) and has replaced roof damaged Trident 33189.
33189 is withdrawn, having been deemed beyond economic repair; maybe a new life as an open topper beckons ?
The loan of various saloons to Basildon (BN), to cover for the Volvo 7900H hybrids, ended in early December.
Above: Branded for Brentwood local route 37, ADL/Enviro 200 44540 was pictured at Halstead (Butler Road) Bus Station on Sunday 25/11/18, on Essex CC contracted service 352. The 37 does not operate on Sundays or bank holidays. Note the ‘Poppy 100’ emblem on the front. (Simon Austin).
Above: Scania L94UB/Wright Solar 65690 on loan from Colchester to Basildon and pictured at Lakeside Bus Station on 1/12/18. (Simon Austin).
Odd sightings: 1/12/18: StreetLite 63333 (SK65 PXP) on 62. 3/12/18: Vo B9TL/Gemini2 37009 (WX55 VHU) on 67/C; Wright StreetLite 63329 (SK65 PXJ) on 67. 4/12/18: B9TL;/Gemini 37140 (SN57 CHZ) on 64A; Wright StreetLite 63334 (SK65 PXR) on 75; Scania Omnicity 65030 (YN06 TDV) on 67. 5/12/18: StreetLite 63339 (SM65 EEX) on 71.
6/12/18: StreetLite 63331 (SK65 PXN) on 67/C. 8/12/18: Route 62 B9TL 37138 (SN57 HCX) on 75. 9/12/18; Route 62 B9TL 37139 (SN57 HCY) on 2A. 12/12/18: Route 62 B9TL 37135 (SN57 HCP) on 1A; StreetLite 63330 (SK65 PXM) on 75; Omnicity 65031 (YN06 TDX) on 67. 14/12/18: Route 62 B9TL 37133 (SN57 HDH) on 70. 17-18/12/18: Omnicity 65029 (YN06 TDU) on 67. 19/12/18: Trident 33080 (LN51 GNP) on 174/175; Route 62 B9TL 37135 (SN57 HCP) on 75 but showing route 62. 23/12/18; Route 62 B9TL 37139 (SN57 CHY) on 75. 28/12/18: ADL/E300 67756 (SN62 ASU) on 62. 30/12/18: Scania L94UB/Wright 62409 (YS03 ZKD) on 62A. 31/12/18: Green Volvo B7RLE/Wright 66810 (MX05 CDF) on 62.
From 10/12/18, two Mersea-Thurstable school buses (Routes 7 and 9), were relocated from Tollesbury to Kelvedon depot. This reduces Tollesbury from 4 to 2 vehicles.
Above: “Low emission” 66951 at Kelvedon on 8/12/18; hauling a Felixstowe bound intermodal. (John Podgorski).
10/12/18: 66569 + 66539 dead in tow on Tees Dock-FLX.
12/12/18: 90042/43 on 4L97.
21/12/18: 90048/044 on Crewe-FLX.
23/12/18: 90044 at Ipswich for staff training.
23-31/12/18: Some Felixstowe ‘liners diverted “cross country”, due to south end of GEML being blocked for engineering.
28/12/18: 70008 on 4M81 Felixstowe-Basford Hall.
29/12/18: 90044 + 86608 + 86639 stabled in headshunt opposite Ipswich Goods Junction.
Above: ‘Powerhaul’ liveried 90042 at Ipswich on 15/12/18. (Simon Austin).
1/12/18: 66713 tnt 66732 on 3S60 RHTT “down” at Brentwood. 66727 on 6T60 Whitemoor-Felixstowe Beach engineers. 66759 4M23 on Felixstowe-Hams Hall. 66777 on 4L29 Birch Coppice-Felixstowe.
3/12/18: 66702 on 4Z81 Masboro-FLX. 66707 on 4Z26 FLX-Masboro. 66728/60 on 0L33 Peterborough-Ipswich-FLX light engine. 66739 ‘Bluebell Railway’ on 4L22 Hams Hall-FLX. 66757 on Harwich-North Walsham tanks. 66779 on 4R03 Parkeston-FLX.
4/12/18: 66722 on Chesterton Junct-Bardon aggregates.
7/12/18: Belmond Pullman 66743 on 6L36 Hoo Junct-Whitemoor. 66779 on 4L02 Hams Hall-FLX.
10/12/18: 66718 tnt 66725 on West Anglia RHTT. 66743 on 4M29 FLX-Birch Coppice. 66754 on 4M23 FLX-Hams Hall.
12/12/18: 66719 on Harwich-North Walsham tanks.
13/12/18: 66743 on 4M29. 66778 on 4Z33 FLX-Doncaster.
17/12/18: 66713 on 4Z81 Masboro-FLX. 66739 on Hams Hall-FLX. 66749/54 on 0L33. 66764 on FLX-Masboro.
18/12/18: 66709 on 4L18 Trafford Park-FLX.
19/12/18: 66725 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks.
24/12/18: 66739 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks.
28/12/18: 66736 on 4M23 FLX-Hams Hall. 66747 on 4M29 FLX-Birch Coppice.
29/12/18: 66747 on Birch Coppice-FLX.
GOLDEN BOY, HODDESDON.
New is XO68 BOY.
Offered for sale are Mb 0816D/Plaxton Cheetah 2 XO10 BOY; Mb 0818/Noone Turas WO13 BOY, XO63 BOY.
Above: 321342 ‘R Barnes’ leads ‘Renatus’ 321306 and ex LM/GN 321419 into Colchester, on the 0826 Ipswich to London Liverpool Street, on 23/11/18. (John Podgorski).
2/12/18: 90004 light Norwich to Ilford then back with 5P98 ECS.
3/12/18: 90015 towed DRS 37602 Crewe-Norwich light engine.
8-9/12/18: 156412 on Marks Tey-Sudbury, instead of usual ‘153.
13/12/18: 755408 delivered.
17/12/18: 90001 on 5V91 Ilford-Norwich ECS; 90001 back in use ex several moths “stopped”. 317341 + 321427 on 5F98 at Witham.
19/12/18: 755406 delivered; hauled to Norwich by DBS 66001.
29/12/18: Inter City services affected by major signal failure at Trowse Junction, Norwich.
The legal entity has been changed to Konectbus. The Legals and O discs have been changed in accordance, but the Hedingham name and livery remain.
A third ex Go South Coast (Damory Coaches) Dart SLF/Mini Pointer is 287 (HW54 BUE).
285 (SN03 UBV) has moved to Konect.
Ex trainer Volvo B7TL/EL PL51 LGD has entered pcv use at HD as fleet no 505. It has replaced Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini 517 (which has gone for single door conversion) and is confined to schools. Scania Omnilink trainer YN02 GHO has returned, off loan at Konect.
Volvo B7TL/Geminis 524/25 (LX05 EZG/H) have been converted to single door. They entered service in late December.
The only Tridents remaining at Clacton at December were 701/2/22/27 (T801/2 RFG, W822/27 NNJ).
Scania Omnidekka 803 (YN55 PZE) returned to Chambers at the start of December, with 813 (YN55 PZU) returning to Hedingham at Kelvedon, before being replaced by Chambers 809 (YN55 PZN). 809 was returned on 13/12/18. 801 (YN55 PZC) appeared at KN on 19/12/18, but was returned on the 20th.
Ford Transit BU14 YNT was again returned to Robertson Van Hire, off loan at the end of the Autumn school term.
Above: Providing a contrast to the picture in November 2018 Busmopolitan, this is Dart SLF/Mini Pointer 286 in a previous life as Southern Vectis 3317, pictured at Cowes, Isle of Wight in March 2013. (David Arnold).
Above: Seen after just having entered service following single door conversion; Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini 520 turns from Osborne Street into Stanwell Street, Colchester on 1/12/18. (Daniel Pretty).
Service 87C (Weeley-Colne School, Brightlingsea) ceased after 21/12/18, and was formally deregistered on 31/12/18. A registered school service, it’s loadings were not commercially viable.
KINGS TOURS, COLCHESTER.
On hire from Evobus was Mb Tourismo BF67 WLL.
Above: BF67 WLL at Stanway depot on 11/12/18. (John Podgorski).
Above: 378203 departs Stratford and heads onto the North London Line, on 10/11/18. (John Podgorski).
20/12/18: 172006 at Ilford depot.
22/12/18: 172006 as Ilford-Tyseley ECS.
M and M STAFFING, CHELMSFORD.
Above: New is Neoplan Tourliner tri-axle MM68 BUS. It was pictured at Cooksmill Green depot on 6/12/18. Note the new livery, which has also been applied to sister OU15 ZVX. (Mark Hough).
Above: ‘Aventra’ 345016 departs West Ealing on 1/12/18, on a London Paddington to Hayes and Harlington service. Until the cross London tunnel opens at the end of 2019, CrossRail will operate as two separate shuttles (east and west). (John Podgorski).
Below: 345006 contrasts with Greater Anglia 321439 at London Liverpool Street on 8/12/18. (John Podgorski).
On Christmas Day, 25/12/18 – special service 813 (Lowestoft-Gt Yarmouth-Norwich-Cambridge-London) replaced 010, 490, 491.
Odd sightings: 2/12/18: Galloway Setra S416 tri-axle 3379 PP on 250.
Service 177 (Colchester-West Mersea) ceased after 21/12/18, and was formally de-registered on 31/12/18. A registered scholars route, it had seen a sharp decline in patronage over the previous 12 months. First 67 provides an alternative.
Above; Ex Go South Coast/Morebus Volvo B7RLE/Wright HF54 HGY was the regular bus on the 177. It was pictured here at Southway, Colchester – on an afternoon working on 30/11/18. (John Podgorski).
Above: With its new Stephensons series fleet number 341, Wright StreetLite MX11 CZR was at Grays Bus Station on 1/12/18. 269 is a former Harris Bus route. (Simon Austin).
Above: D511 PPU at Parkeston depot, Harwich on 19/12/18. (Chris Sampson).
Leyland Olympian/ECW coach D511 PPU is back in use, ex stored. It is semi preserved. Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panther DB54 PAN is also returned to service – ex engine repairs.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer KV51 KZK has been sold to A2B Buses, Cambridge. Previously sold Mb Sprinter LF/Koch BX56 VTE was still awaiting collection from Parkeston by its purchaser in late December.
Offered for sale are ADL/Enviro 200 YX09 FLA (dealer stock); Dennis Dart SLF/Mini Pointer DC56 PAN; Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer DC02 PAN; Leyland Olympian BIG 9249. YX09 FLA has been repainted plain white, ex London red. Some more E200s have been acquired, including YX10 BFP/V and YX10 BGK.
Great Dunmow (Dons Coaches) outstation, is no longer in use.
Above: ADL/Enviro 200 YX10 BGK being collected from Ensign’s at Purfleet on 27/12/18. (Alex Hazell).
Above: Volvo Olympian/Alexander Royale BIG 9210 at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village, between Bury St Edmunds and Thetford, on 28/11/18. It was on a school trip. (Alex Hazell).
19, 24/12/18: Plaxton Primo SB07 PAN on 80/81 rather than usual Dart SLF or Enviro 200.
SEE LONDON BY NIGHT, BARKING.
Has some ex Abellio ADL/Enviro 400s via Ensign. They have been re-registered AA51, 52, 53, 54 SEE, but there previous identities are yet unknown.
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
TfL104 (Manor Park-Stratford) passed to Go-Ahead Blue Triangle from 8/12/18.
Above: New Routemaster LT385 on Oxford Street, approaching Oxford Circus on 8/12/18. It is on a short working; 55 goes to Leyton Green in its entirety. (John Podgorski).
Above: Scania N230UD/Olympus 502 at Manor Street, Braintree on 29/11/18. It is working the 30 town service. (Simon Austin).
Unusual sightings: 15/12/18: Scania N230UD/Olympus 501 (EU58 BHX) at Start Hill Scania.
Above: Volvo B9TL/Gemini2 VN36155 overtakes VN36118 on Ilford High Road on 8/9/18.
‘118 is on a short working of route 25, while ‘155 is bound for what was the ultimate western destination until the 1st December changes (see below). (John Podgorski).
From 1/12/18, TfL25 was shortened to run as City Thameslink-Ilford. Its western terminus had previously been at Tottenham Court Road. Some VN Class Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2s made surplus by this, moved from Lea Interchange (LI) to Westbourne Park (X) for TfL452 (Kensal Rise-Vauxhall), gained from Abellio. Meanwhile, five VH Class Volvo B5Hs went from X to LI, to begin hybrid conversion of TfL25. These were spare after frequency reductions on TfL328 (Chelsea-Golders Green).
The DN Class ADL/E400s sold to Go-Ahead London via Ensign, have been posted to Metrobus, for TfL51 (Orpington-Woolwich), gained from Stagecoach from 8/12/18. They are the EN Class with Go-Ahead. All bar Orpington fire losses EN33 and EN37 entered service from 8th December. Those have been replaced by ex Abellio London E400s.
Above: Ex Stagecoach Scotland West Optare Solo SF05 NXD, with seasonal message – at Harlow Bus Station on 31/12/18. (Simon Austin).
Above: Dart SLF/Pointers 120/KE04 UMC and 113/KC03 OSE stored at the Braintree depot of Stephensons of Essex on 15/12/18. They are now Stephensons dealer stock. (John Podgorski).
6/12/18: 47832 with stock 99304, 5032, 4984, 99311, 13320, 3136, 9935099712, 99351, 99122 on 5Z48 Norwich-Southall ECS.
With thanks to: D Acott, Anglia gen, D Arnold, S Austin, W Bell, D Disbury, D Edwards, A Hazell, M Hough, London Bus Routes Forum, LOTS, D Pretty, PSVC, M Toon.