Saturday, 20 April 2019

Beach Coach Station ~ Saturday

Late this afternoon I was passing Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station and observed nine vehicles on site.

A third of them, all Neoplan Tourliners, were from the Happy Als fleet of Birkenhead. They were HA12ALS (ex MV12OEC), AA13ALS (ex PK13GDU) and AA12ALS (ex MV12OEB)

Two National Holidays Kassbohrer Setras made an appearance in the form of NH1PBH and NH13WWH

Probably the furthermost travelled coach was Irizar i6 integral YN13BXA from Northumberland based James Cooper and Son. It was on hire to Alfa Travel

Also in attendance was YJ18AYD, a Temsa Safari HD owned by Storbrook of Crawley, Meredith Coaches Mercedes Benz Tourismo BU16GXZ and Peakes Coaches Scania/Irizar DA13PLU


Thursday, 18 April 2019

Happy Harold Arrives

The latest arrival at the East Anglia Transport Museum's Carlton Colville site is a Hastings trolleybus.

Arriving yesterday, Hastings No 3 is a purpose built open top double deck trolleybus, a type which was unique to Hastings. It is the only survivor of the eight that were built.

Affectionately known as Happy Harold, it was built by Guy Motors in 1928 and is fitted with Dodson bodywork. It was restored in 1953 as No 3A and later fitted with a Commer TS3 diesel engine.

The trolleybus is on loan for the forthcoming 1950's event at the Museum on 11th and 12th May. The event will see the return to service of Hastings 34 after 52 years of inactivity following its withdrawal by Maidstone Corporation.

My thanks to Tim Major for the information and photos


First Update

Further to Monday's post (Languishing at Caister Road) there is a third saloon stored in the rear yard at Caister Road and that is Volvo B7L 61148 MV02VBU complete with Norwich Network branding.

Recent activity in the workshops at Caister Road has already seen the installation of a new engine in Excel liveried ADL Enviro400 33813 YX63LKA. It was only yesterday we reported its arrival!

Meanwhile, the two recently reactivated saloons Volvo MV02VBZ and Scania SN51UYG were both seen in Gorleston High Street yesterday on the 8s between the James Paget Hospital and Caister's Second Avenue.

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information


Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Surprise Arrival

First's Caister Road depot received a surprising visitor yesterday

Usually resident at Kings Lynn, Excel liveried ADL Enviro400 33813 YX63LKA has arrived for repairs.

Normally found on the XL route between Peterborough and Norwich, the decker is believed to be here to receive a replacement engine.

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information and photo


Service Alterations Registered ~ 17th April 2019

The East of England Traffic Commissioner published his latest Notices and Proceedings Report earlier this morning

Whilst there was nothing of note locally the full report can be viewed on the government website


Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Lowestoft Highlights

With the car in for servicing I had a few hours to spare in Lowestoft yesterday. I wonder what I should do to keep myself occupied?!

After an initial half hour at the bus station I ventured to the railway station to look at activity there. Mindful that signalling systems would change very soon, I decided my first shot should be that of a train arriving with the current signalling still active.

I then returned to the Bus Station to observe workings there in the hope of seeing either of the two ex Great Yarmouth ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs. I was immediately rewarded with a photo of YJ51RRV returning on the 99 service.

One of the former Great Yarmouth pair Volvo B7TL 30948 YJ51RRV arriving on the 99 service

Immediately afterwards I managed to get a photo of two of First's heritage liveried buses arriving together. Great Yarmouth liveried Volvo B7TL 32059 W219XBD was being followed by Eastern Counties Dart 42926 SN05EAE

The final photo is of the other Great Yarmouth exile, 30961 YJ51RDV, about to stretch its legs on the X22 service to Norwich.


Monday, 15 April 2019

Languishing at Caister Road

Over the past week or so we have reported the return of two former withdrawn First Great Yarmouth saloons to active duties.

However, two other stored single deckers still reside in the rear yard of Caister Road depot, as seen from my photos taken on Sunday afternoon.

The pair are former Scania demonstrator 65678 YP02ABN, previously with First Essex, and Volvo B7L 66341 MV02VCT, originally with First Northampton.

I wonder what the future holds for them?

(Apparently there is also a third saloon stored on site in the form of Volvo B7 61148 MV02VBU, but I couldn't view it from a public area)


Sunday, 14 April 2019

Beach Coach Station Today

Four coaches were observed at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station at around lunchtime today

The first twosome included National Holidays branded Mercedes Benz Tourismo 5JBT. This was new as BN17JJF in the Solus of Tamworth fleet but is now working for Johnson Bros Tours of Hodthorpe on National Holidays tour work. The other coach featured in the photo is Carter's Coaches of Litcham's Volvo B10M-62 AIG9733. New in July 2001 to a Northern Ireland operator, Carter's acquired it in February 2004

The second photo shows a pair of Mercedes Benz Tourismos - Kettering-based Lawmans Coaches  RL16RSL, on a Shearings Holidays tour, and National Holidays NH17BFH.


Friday, 12 April 2019

Taking The Strain

Following a points failure at Brundall earlier today, the 12:57 Lowestoft to Norwich train was cancelled. Angies Tours' Neoplan bodied MAN T777GSM was summoned at short notice to provide a replacement bus service which called at Oulton Broad North and Norwich

My thanks to Tim Miller for the information and photo


Thursday, 11 April 2019

Another Saloon Back In Service

Hot on the heels of last week's resurrection of Volvo B7 66334 MV02VBZ at First Great Yarmouth is news that another saloon has returned to service

Volvo MV02VBZ and Scania SN51UYG withdrawn in the rear yard at Caister Road earlier this year
This time it's Wright Solar bodied Scania L94UB 65673 SN51UYG which is now back on the road.

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the update.


Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 10th April 2019

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

Konectbus is to extend the route and amend the timetable of its service 5B between Stalham and St Stephens Street in Norwich City Centre from 23rd April 2019.

D R Fosdike of Halesworth has been given approval to increase the number of vehicles operating at its Fairfield Road premises to two.

The full details of today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's report will be available soon on the website


Tuesday, 9 April 2019

PSV Circle ~ Norfolk G List

The current Norfolk issue is still available from the PSV Circle website
Most of you will know that the PSV Circle publishes G Lists which contain details of Current Fleets of Bus and Coach Operators. The publications are usually provided in an A5 booklet for each county.

The current edition for Norfolk, G654, was last published in July 2014 so its due for another update.

I am pleased to tell you that the next one is scheduled for June this year, almost five years since the last update was published

So, as you can imagine, PSV Circle news sheet compilers are currently busy preparing the next edition, so keep an eye on their website for further details on availability


Saturday, 6 April 2019

Resurrected Again

As already reported, First Great Yarmouth Volvo B7 66334 MV02VBZ has been resurrected to active duty once more following its second withdrawal during late February.

It was seen in Gorleston High Street this afternoon operating the on the 9 route between Market Gates and the James Paget Hospital.


Query Corner

An unusual sighting of a former Scottish double decker was made by Jamie Skinner on early Thursday morning as he was driving eastbound along the A47 near Thickthorn on the outskirts of Norwich

It was Alexander (Belfast) bodied Volvo Olympian S916ANH which was running on trade plates. It was last with Bennetts of Kilwinning in Scotland and was still there in January of this year. The Olympian was  purchased new by Midland Red (South) in December 1998 and subsequently became Stagecoach Warwickshire 16616.

Jamie headed back to Great Yarmouth via Haddiscoe on the A143 and caught up with it again on Beccles Road in the town. This implied that it had done a circular route to Great Yarmouth and was returning to its place of origin, perhaps via  the A146 to the Norwich area.

My thanks to Jamie for the photo which was taken by one of his passengers. A photo of it in Scotland can be found  on the Ayrshire and UK Bus Images Facebook site

I would be grateful if anyone can provide any information as to why it was in the area and details of its current whereabouts


Friday, 5 April 2019

Friday Round Up

A quick run around the usual haunts earlier this morning to see what was about, passing Shearings Mercedes Benz Tourismo 134 BU18YSL on its homeward journey.

Outside the Carlton Hotel on the seafront was similar 131 BU18YSH ready to load passengers and baggage.

Further north, in front of the Nelson Hotel, was Olympia Travel's Plaxton Elite bodied Volvo B9R G15GOL. It was new to the operator as YN12BNO in April 2012.

At the coach station were two Alfa Travel Mercedes Benz Tourismos 83 BX14LCM and 92 BX15OED


First Great Yarmouth Update

The latest news from First Great Yarmouth is that Excel liveried 37275 LK58EDJ is back on the road after receiving a new differential and was noted in use at Market Gates earlier this morning on the X1 service to Lowestoft.

Also in the workshops is open topper 32905 W905VLN, being prepared for the summer season, together with 30954 YJ51RDO with gearbox work underway. ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs 32210 LT52WTR and 32061 W221XBD were undergoing MOTs.

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Ipswich Buses Increasing The Tempo

It has been some time since we have looked at developments at Ipswich Buses and the following has been provided by Jordan Watson.

As most of you will know Ipswich Buses has recently acquired thirteen Optare Tempo SR single deckers which were new to Trent Barton in 2012. The new additions are as follows:-

The new arrivals will mean the disposal of the now elderly Dennis Darts with the exception of 85 PJ53OLE which which will be converted to a driver trainer.

Former Lothian Super Pointer Darts SN53AVK and SN53AVM at Tower Ramparts
This means the end of the road for Myllenium Darts 84, 87 and 88 (PJ03OLC/H/K) along with ex Lothian Super Pointer Darts 134-136 (SN53AVG/K/M) and Scania CN94UB OmniCity's 70-5 (YN56NVB-G). They have been advertised online as being available for sale along with Leyland Atlantean Open Topper 9 MRT9P, which is locally rumoured to have a buyer already!

Trident LX04FYB looking forlorn in the corner of Constantine depot on 21st March
Carters liveried ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 8 LX04FYB has been taken out of service to keep similar 7 LX03BTF and President bodied 26 LR52KWH on the road

My thanks to Jordan for the information and photos


Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 3rd April 2019

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

Sanders Coaches has registered a new 23 service between Church Crossroads, Honingcroft and Riverside Retail Park in Norwich from 7th April 2019. It will run via Litcham, Mileham, Brisley, East Bilney, North Elmham and Billingford on Wednesdays only.
The operator will also amend the route and timetable of two routes from the same date. They are the 25 between Fakenham and Dereham Cherry Tree plus the 24 between Fakenham and St Stephens Street in Norwich.

Jeffrey John Buckle has been granted approval to use premises at 23A Ormesby Road, Caister as an operating centre for five vehicles. The property was previously used by Reynolds Coaches.

The full details of today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's report can be viewed on the website


Tuesday, 2 April 2019

The Only Way is Essex

At least one of the two former First Essex Scania OmniCity single deckers was out in service this afternoon.

I got a photo of 65028 YN06TDO which had just arrived at the James Pages Hospital on the 8 from Caister Second Avenue. It was awaiting time for the 14:30 return journey.


Monday, 1 April 2019

Last Day of Rail Replacements

Yesterday saw the ninth and last day of local rail replacements with the expectation of rail services returning today as normal; although an early points failure at Brundall put paid to that!

Returning to Sunday, local operators provided the bulk of the replacements. Smiths Coaches Volvo FJ53KZK was on standby at Great Yarmouth whilst Freestones Coaches Scania YN07LFY arrived from Norwich in livery.

At Lowestoft Simon Bartram reports the use of Wrights Coaches Kassbohrer Setra K400PTS whilst Angies Coaches Volvo B10M H182DVM was on standby.

My thanks to Simon for the information


First Great Yarmouth News

The latest from First is the transfer of Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs 30948 YJ51RRV and 30961 YJ51RDV from Caister Road to First Lowestoft. The deckers were moved yesterday with the former only having arrived in Great Yarmouth in late January.

YJ51RRV in Gorleston High Street heading for the James Paget Hospital on 20th February
This could mean that the recently moved Scanias could be on the road soon. Talking of saloons Volvo B7 66334 MV02VBZ has been resurrected for service once more.

In the workshops B7TL 30954 YJ51 RDO is still awaiting a gearbox whilst Excel liveried 37275 LK58EDJ requires a new differential.

My thanks to first for the information


Sunday, 31 March 2019

Sunday Spots

Captured some Sunday Coaches whilst out and about today in the Sunshine.

First up is OU65RLO a Neoplan Tourliner belonging to Carsville Coaches of Stockport.

Next up is Shearings MB Tourismo 841 BJ16KXR, which according to the entrance door is called 'Wendy'.

Finally noted at the Coach Park was former Spratts Van Hool W27GES now under the ownership of Jubilee Coaches of Rollesby.


Saturday, 30 March 2019

Caister Road Arrivals

Friday saw the appearance of two Scania Omnicity Single Decks at Caister Road from First Essex. 65028 YN06TDO & 65030 YN06TDV. It appears they are just passing!

Both are destined for further use with First Potteries after being withdrawn from the Essex fleet recently. They were allocated to Clacton Depot prior to its closure, they moved briefly to Colchester before they were marked for transfer. We are told they may see use at Yarmouth for a week or two as more vehicles are required for Bernard Matthews Contract work due to changes in the factory shift patterns.

Both were new to First Essex for use on Chelmsford Park & Ride services in 2006 as you can see in the photo above.

Thanks to First for the info and to Tom Green and Colin Humphrey for the photos.


Rail Replacement Day 8

Whilst I had a lazy day and just couldn't be bothered to get out and see what was happening at Great Yarmouth Station today, Simon Bartram was on the ball again at Oulton Broad North Station with photos of some of the rail replacement workings.

His first sighting was of BMC 220 type YK55AUA, which was originally delivered new to First West Yorkshire in December 2005. It has recently been acquired by Aylmerton based AFSC t/a Marett’s Chariots and carries fleet number 509. The bus is seen passing Oulton Broad North signal box whilst employed on the 08:56 Lowestoft to Norwich service.

Seen travelling in the opposite direction, and thought to be on the 08:55 from Norwich, was M&M Staffing's Neoplan Tourliner tri-axle MM68BUS. It was new to the Essex operator in December 2018 and was also exhibited at the November Bus & Coach Show.

Ambassador Travel's Sunsundegui Sideral bodied Volvo B12M 251 KIG8458 was also being used on rail replacement and departed on the 09:57 Lowestoft service to Norwich.

My thanks to Simon for the photos and information


Friday, 29 March 2019

Rail Replacement Day 7

The seventh consecutive day of rail replacement brought the usual operators out to play, although a couple of different coaches made an appearance.

Looking in at Lowestoft Railway Station I found Maretts Chariots Volvo M24AAM in the car park on standby with a couple of Angies Coaches available for company. Also in use was Belle Coaches  Kassbohrer Setra S315FT-HD 25 LIL9456.

I was about to leave and saw Ambassador Travel’s Sunsundegui Sideral bodied Volvo B12M 250 KIG8457 heading back from Beccles along Denmark Road. It later returned to Beccles on the 11:50 departure.

Meanwhile at Great Yarmouth Wrights Coaches was employing Kassbohrer Setra S250 K400PTS


Thursday, 28 March 2019

Rail Replacement Chariots

Today is the sixth day of rail replacements and the regular suspects were hanging around the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Stations as usual.

However, this morning Maretts Chariots vehicles were engaged in rail replacement duties at both locations. Mercedes Benz Tourismo BG65VXU was waiting time at Great Yarmouth to work the 11:17 to Norwich. It was new in January 2016.

Whilst earlier at Lowestoft, another member of the fleet, Volvo B12BT GDZ435, was getting ready to leave on the 08:57 to Norwich. The coach still retains its previous owner's livery having been purchased from Richards Coaches of Guist. It was new to Whitelaws of Stonehouse in June 2008.

My thanks to Simon Bartram for the Lowestoft photo and information on GDZ435


Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Another Day of Rail Replacements

Yet another day of rail replacements and at Great Yarmouth Station the same four coaches as yesterday were available for use. They were Peter Godward's CC17PGC and CC18PGC, PTS Group's V25PTS and Tendring Travel's AM52MXW.

It looked as though the usual suspects were in use at Lowestoft again when I received Tim Miller's contribution of earlier today which revealed the use of Galleon of Roydon's DK65GAL

However, Simon Bartram was on the spot when Belle Coaches supplied their 'Just go! Holidays' liveried Lahden OmniExpress bodied Scania K400EB4 YR61RVO for Rail Replacement use.

My thanks to Tim and Simon for the photos