Monday, 24 June 2019

First Dart Latest

Two Alexander Pointer bodied Dennis Dart SLFs have recently received attention at First Great Yarmouth’s Caister Road depot.

First Lowestoft’s 42911 WX05RVV has had a new fuel tank fitted whilst Great Yarmouth’s 42919 EU05AUL is receiving a new engine.

My thanks to First for the information and photos.

Roy

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Latest from First

A few movements to report over the past week or so.  Firstly ALX400 30947 YJ51RRU has moved to Great Yarmouth from Norwich along with recent arrival from Leeds 37044 YJ06XLU which has joined sister Gemini 37043 YJ06XLT at Caister Road. These moves to assist with summer service updates.

37043 now wearing Great Yarmouth Fleetnames, seen here at Caister Road
37044 working the 1 service to Lowestoft pictured at Ormesby Royal Oak.

Repainting of the Ipswich fleet is now taking place with the introduction of the new "Ipswich Reds" livery, Enviros 44517 & 44519 Have been treated already. Norwich Volvo B7RLE 66824 MX05CEV has been loaned to the Suffolk Fleet to act as cover for the repaint programme.

66824 at Foundation Street Depot shortly after arrival. (Joe Thorpe)


Many Thanks to First for the info and to Joe Thorpe for use of his Photo at Ipswich.

Grahame.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 19th June 2019

Paul Simon Whincop has registered a couple of cancellations in this week’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Transport Commissioner.

He will cease to operate TM01 between Aldeburgh and Framingham plus the TM2 from Halesworth Road, Rayden to Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham from 1st September 2019.

The full report will shortly be available to view on the government website

Roy

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Tuesday in Montreal

We arrived in Montreal earlier today with very a french influence being felt with street names in french. However, a piece of England was present in the shape of two former London Transport AEC Routemasters converted to open toppers. NML642E and NML639E are both operated by Gray Line.


Whilst heading to the river front I crossed a railway line and thought it would be great to get a photo of a train travelling along the line. On our return we heard a train horn followed by the sighting of bright headlights and, yes, I did get a photo of two Canadian National Railways GP40-2LW 9515 and GO9RM 7229 diesels hauling a short freight train.


Roy

Monday, 17 June 2019

Rockport ~ Thousand Islands

On our way from Toronto to Ottawa we stopped off at Rockport where we had a short cruise around The Thousand Islands - apparently where the salad dressing of the same name was created. They comprise a group of almost 1,900 islands on the Canada - US border in the St Lawrence River as it emerges from Lake Ontario. Further information HERE

With it being a Sunday the place was quite busy with coaches, though it was not quite the same as Great Yarmouth’s Beach Coach Station!!

One of the later arrivals was this example from the Coach Canada fleet - a Provost H3-45 built in 2013

Roy

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Toronto Transport

Our second day in Toronto allowed some spare time for exploration after a visit to the CN Tower which was conveniently located next to the railway museum. Some locomotives were exhibited outside including Canadian National Railways steam loco No 6213

The leisure time also provided the opportunity for some photos and of particular interest was the impressive Toronto streetcar system. A network of ten routes are operated and further details of the history of the system can be seen HERE

There is also the Go Transit system which provides commuter services linking towns across the greater Toronto network. Plus the inevitable Greyhound which in this case is no. 6281 an MCI 102-DL3 coach built and delivered in 1999





Roy

Friday, 14 June 2019

Toronto Sightings

Arrived in Toronto at lunchtime on Thursday following VIA Rail trip from London Ontario - an interesting experience with comfy seats

After hotel arrival we looked for our tour bus which had yet to arrive being delayed by typical British weather including a thunderstorm. However, an opportunity for two photos including this Megabus Van Hool TD925 double deck coach built in 2012 owned and operated by Coach Canada

Prior to that a Greyhound Canada bus passed us. It was number 1180, a Motor Coach Industries D4500 built in 2001.

Roy

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Optare Solo Giving Advice

Noted in the Asda car park at Lowestoft yesterday was Optare Solo X248VWR now working as a Mobile Advice Unit for Suffolk Family Carers.


It was originally an Optare Demonstrator back in 2000 and also had spells with Travelsure, Berwick Upon Tweed and Tyrer Bus in Burnley.

Thanks to Simon Bartram for the Photograph.

Grahame.

Service Alterations Registered ~ 12th June 2019

A couple of changes of local interest in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Sanders Coaches is to vary the route and timetable of its 5A service between Norwich and Cromer from 28th July 2019.

Konectbus is amending the route and timetable of its Harleston to Norwich 84 service from 8th July 2019.

The full report will shortly be available to view on the government website

Roy

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

‘Summer’ In The City,

With apologies to The Lovin’ Spoonful - most of you are probably too young to remember them! I believe weather recently has not been too good in our part of old Blighty - we had rain here too in London Ontario.

Courtesy of Dan High I am able to bring you a photo of 37044 YJ06XLU in service in Norwich earlier today. It is pictured on Castle Meadow working the 21 to the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital. I understand that after a short stint in the fine city it will join its sister in Great Yarmouth.

First Norwich Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B9TL 36172 BD11CFV was also seen later on the XL service Peterborough

My thanks to a Dan for the photos on a rather wet day in the city

Roy

Monday, 10 June 2019

New Ambassador Arrival

Dan High reports a new arrival for Great Yarmouth based Ambassador Travel after rumours during the past year that the operator would receive new vehicles soon!

As expected the newbie is a Caetano Levante bodied Scania and is registered BV19XRA and is pictured at Norwich Bus Station on a 491 service to London.

My thanks to Dan for the report and photo.

Roy

Latest from First

The weekend saw the arrival of two more First Leeds exiles in the shape of Geminis 37043 & 37044 YJ06XLT/XLU. Both were collected on Saturday from First Leeds Bramley Depot and returned to Norwich. 37043 should have found its way to Yarmouth this morning with 37044 spending an extra week in Norwich before heading to the coast.




Another vehicle on the move was loaned coach YX59FUO which has now returned to Ensign after its spell on Bernard Matthews duties here.

Finally Lowestoft Dart 42911 has been noted working the 8's in Yarmouth this morning.

Thanks to Alex Key for use the Photos.

Grahame.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Greetings From Canada

This is the first of (hopefully!) many reports from Canada and today we concentrate on London, Ontario where I am spending a week with my cousin,

The London Transit Commission (LTC) is responsible for the operation of the public transit in the area and has 39 regular bus routes, 3 express routes and 3 community bus routes.

The LTC has almost 200 transit buses in its fleet and they are all low floor accessible. During weekday peak periods there are more than 150 buses on the road which reduces to fewer than 50 on Sunday’s.

The fleet is very much standardised with all buses manufactured by NFI (New Flyer Industries) a North American bus manufacturer headquartered in Winnipeg.

All photos are taken on Sunday 9th June 

Friday, 7 June 2019

Belle Coaches 95th Birthday

This week saw Lowestoft based Coach Company celebrate its 95th Birthday. Shreeve and Co was founded in 1924 by Benjamin Shreeve which carried out Summer outings and even its first School contracts, The current limited Company BR Shreeve & Sons Ltd was formed in 1943.

By the 1950's, Mr Shreeve's three sons were working in the business, In 1959 Wightman's Coaches of Saxmundham were purchased and, soon after, a new operating base was established at Leiston.

The company then formed it touring holiday company, Lazy Days Holidays. The company is currently being run by the daughter of Ken Shreeve (one of Benjamin's grandsons) Amy Churchyard.


 The most recent addition to the fleet is Iveco Indcar Minicoach BC19BEL.


MIL3503 is a Setra Kassbohrer 315FT-HD (ex W254UGX)


More Information can be found here www.bellecoaches.co.uk

Many Thanks to Simon Bartram for the Photographs.

Grahame.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly

Later today I will be heading for London's Heathrow Airport for my flight to Canada for a three week vacation. So there will be a comparatively quiet period for blog news reporting!

I will be taking photos on the trip but they will mainly be 'touristy' in nature. However, be rest assured I will be on the look out for transportation related pics which will hopefully appear on the blog too, subject to WiFi and time availability.

In the meantime, Grahame will be holding the fort - but don't expect him to post daily as he has a full time job, radio duties and family to attend to.

So, my bags are packed with the house sitter and cat feeder organised. However, I will be back before you (and I) know it on 28th June

TTFN

Roy

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Brand New Arrival For Eastons

We are proud to announce the arrival of a brand new coach to our fleet.
BV19YHX is a 14 metre Mercedes Benz Tourismo that provides the ultimate in passenger comfort.

Featuring
* 52 airline style reclining seats
* Adjustable height headrests
* USB charging points in every seat
* Climate control
* Complimentary WiFi
* Washroom/toilet
* Armrests
* TV monitors and passenger camera so those towards the back can see what the driver see’s!
* Euro VI Mercedes engine
* Hot/cold drinks facilities & fridge
To name just a few of the many onboard features. 





Many Thanks to Eastons for the Information and Photographs supplied.

Grahame.

Service Alterations Registered ~ 5th June 2019

A few of entries are of local interest in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Konectbus is to introduce a new X11 Monday to Friday limited stop service between Norwich Bus Station and Sutton from the 7th July 2019. It is also to amend the route and timetables of the 5A Blofield Heath - Eaton and the 5B between Norwich and Stalham services from the same date.

Buckland Omnibuses is to alter the timetble of its 250 route between Rendlesham and Thorpeness from 24th July 2019

The full report will shortly be available to view on the government website

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

New Jubilee Arrival

The last vehicle to leave the Spratts' depot at Wreningham is Van Hool bodied Scania SK03HWJ. It had joined the Norfolk operator in March 2013 having been acquired from Edinburgh Coach Lines.

New to Irish operator B Kavanagh of Urlingford in May 2003, it is now with Jubilee Coaches of Rollesby. It is likely that it will receive a revised livery and possible re registration.

My thanks to Kevan Portas for information on the new owner and the photo

Roy

Monday, 3 June 2019

X22 Unusual Relief



An unusual working this afternoon on First's X22 Norwich to Beccles relief in the form of a First Norwich Yellow Line Volvo B9TL 36268 BG12YKA!

Normally used on the 28/29/X29 routes to Fakenham, Dan High managed to get a photo of it leaving Norwich Bus Station earlier.

Unfortunately no information on the destination screen but the other photo from Kieran Smith definitely confirms it.

My contact at First Norwich tells me it was the sinkhole in Lowestoft causing severe disruption to services, resulting in no X2/X22 buses for more than an hour out of Norwich. Hence the additional working which was fully loaded. As a goodwill gesture First didn't collect any fares due to the long wait suffered

My thanks to Dan for the original photo, Kieran for the confirmation and First Norwich

Roy

First Lowestoft Activity Updated

W425SRP on Bernard Matthews duty in October 2018
Our regular Lowestoft correspondent, Simon Bartram, tells me that Great Yarmouth's Volvo 32065 W425SRP has seen use in the Suffolk town since Friday. Early this morning it was on the 881 to Gorleston's Sixth Form College and subsequently the 9:30 99 service to Kessingland.

Two of Lowestoft's deckers are at Great Yamouth receiving attention - Gemini 37563 AU58ECA (new rear axle) and ALX400 30913 W768DWX for its MOT

Concerning the Darts, 44513 DK57SXG was back in use on Saturday whilst 42938 WX05SVD was towed to Caister Road depot on Friday for a replacement gearbox to be fitted. 42911 WX05RVV is also at the Great Yarmouth depot for attention

My thanks to Simon and First for the information

Roy

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Angies Four

Four of Lowestoft based Angies Tours fleet were employed on rail replacement work at Norwich Rail Station earlier today.

'Reg Vardy' was on hand to record the situation with the first photo showing their two King Longs, WJI5242 and TIG3393, awaiting their next duty

The other two involved were MAN T777GSM, with its former owners branding now removed, and recent newcomer Neoplan Y137HWE. The latter was new to Stolzenburg (Llynfi Coaches) in July 2001, passing to Williams Coaches of Brecon in May 2008.

My thanks to 'Reg' for the photos

Roy

Friday, 31 May 2019

Bedford Updates

John Wakefield has been in contact to tell me that Eastons have recently sold their Bedford SB3 coach 399ETB to A D Rain's Coaches of Brinkworth in Wiltshire. The 41 seater was new to Robinson of Great Harwood in April 1958.

Meanwhile, Bedford SBG SPW999 is back on the market at a much increased price. Its new eBay listing can be viewed HERE. Our original report on the SBG was posted some three years ago now - see Long Lost Bedford SBG Now on eBay - 21st May 2016

My thanks to John for the information and to David Beardmore for the photo of 399ETB

Roy

Thursday, 30 May 2019

FirstGroup Plans Sale Of UK Bus Division

The FirstGroup, one of the largest British transport companies, is set to turn its back on the UK by separating its bus division and possibly withdrawing from UK rail operations, following pressure from major shareholders.

The Aberdeen-based group has announced it will concentrate on activities in the United States even though it plans to sell off the famous Greyhound coach line which made a £98 million pretax loss.

The company says that its main market would be North America, where its school bus operations (First Student and First Transit) provided 60% of operating profits.

The activist investor Coast Capital, the largest single shareholder with a 10% holding, has been pushing for a separation of the US and UK businesses and to replace the board, having declared First’s strategy as “extraordinarily destructive of capital”.

First Bus says on its website
'Please be assured that as this process unfolds, we will continue to operate our services as usual, working closely with our local authority partners and demonstrating our commitment to our customers through the service we offer them.'

Roy

SLG Places Order For 29 Coaches

The Specialist Leisure Group (SLG) has placed an order for 29 Mercedes-Benz Tourismos as part of its continuous vehicle renewal programme.

Due for delivery in October and November this year, nineteen coaches will join the Shearings Holidays fleet and ten will be for National Holidays. They will be similar to those ordered last year and feature USB charging points and free WiFi allowing customers to take advantage of SLG's new free onboard entertainment system.

Further details can be found on the Coach & Bus Week website

Roy

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 29th May 2019

A couple of items of local interest appear in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner. Whilst not directly affecting current services they concern operator licencing.

Firstly the licence held by Reynolds Coaches Limited at Ormesby Road in Caister-on-Sea has been surrendered with effect from 21st May 2019. Emma Reynolds and Jeffrey Buckle are named as the directors with the latter currently holding a licence for the current Reynolds of Caister operation.

The second entry concerns the revocation of a licence for Tilly's Bus Company Limited of High Street in Southwold with services running under this licence revoked with immediate effect.

The full report will shortly be available to view on the government website

Roy

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

First Enviro400 Visits ADL

Upon joining First, former Alexander Dennis Enviro400 demonstrator SN60CAA was the pride of the fleet.

A certain young man in the cab of 33423!
It was acquired from the Ensign dealership in June 2013 but was originally in the Connex fleet on Jersey where it was registered J57156.

Following the return after a repaint at Full Circle in July, it gained fleet number 33423 and was based at Caister Road for use on the whole X1 route between Lowestoft and Peterborough.

Lately it has been used on local duties and has been looking a bit tired, both inside and out. So today its on its way to ADL for an internal refurbishment. Let's hope the damaged offside panels are also subsequently replaced.

My thanks to First for the information and looking forward to seeing it back in use (as I am sure a certain Eastbourne based fan will be !!)  

Roy

Monday, 27 May 2019

Beach Coach Station Quintet

There was just the five coaches at Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth during yesterday lunchtime.

Two of them were on charter work for National Holidays. The two were Johnson Brothers Tours Mercedes Benz Tourismo 5JBT and Ross Travel Group's Volvo B11R /Jonckheere SHV BF63HDZ

Another operator that regularly visits the town on short breaks is Gee-Vee Travel and its Bova Futura GT03GVT was present.

The remaining coaches were Coopers Tours Scania /Irizar YN15EHZ and RB Travel's TH68RBT a Mobipeople Explorer bodied Scania which was exhibited at EuroBus Expo 2018 at Birmingham in November last year

Roy

Saturday, 25 May 2019

First 30886 Returns

Former First Lowestoft Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 30886 W741DWX has returned to active duties following the fitting of a reconditioned replacement engine.

W741DWX was back on the road yesterday and was employed on the 8 in Gorleston High Street
Now based at Great Yarmouth, it was taken out of service at Lowestoft in February following engine failure. It was subsequently towed to Caister Road in late April prior to entering the workshops for repair.

W741DWX was new to First West Yorkshire in July 2000 and joined the First Eastern Counties fleet in April 2008.

My thanks to First for the update

Roy