Tuesday 30 April 2019

First Moves

I understand that First Lowestoft Alexander Dennis Enviro200 44517 YX09ACY is to return to Ipswich. It still retains the First Ipswich colour scheme so should fit in well.

YX09ACY in use at Lowestoft Bus Station on 3rd May last year
First Great Yarmouth Dennis Dart 42920 EU05AUM continues on loan to Lowestoft and was noted on the 101 Hollow Grove to Gunton service again yesterday by Simon Bartram.

An update on Volvo B7TL/ Alexander ALX400 30886 W741DWX is that it is to be fitted with a reconditioned engine and could remain in Great Yarmouth for use during the summer season.

My thanks to First and Simon Bartram for the information


Alfa Coaches New Tourismos

Alfa Coaches, whose vehicles are regular visitors to Great Yarmouth, have recently unveiled a new colour scheme for its delivery of ten new coaches.

Photo of the last delivered Tourismo BU17JDF at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station in August 2018
The operator's traditional buttermilk and blue livery is to be replaced on the new coaches with new white paintwork. The 49 seaters are again Mercedes Benz Tourismos and are part of a fleet replacement programme. The company policy to purchase Mercedes Benz vehicles began in 2011 and I am sure it wont be too long before we see some of them on visits to the Great Yarmouth area.


Monday 29 April 2019

Smith's Shearings

Andy Swan was up and about early on this morning and surprised to see what was believed to be an unusual working at Lowestoft Railway Station. Smith's Coaches Jonckheere Bodied Volvo B12M FP51EUN was noted on hire to Shearings Holidays

Kevan Portas tells me ‘it’s nothing out of the ordinary as it has been a long standing job for Smith’s. Apparently it’s a feeder service probably bound for the interchange at Corley Services on the M6 near Birmingham. Smiths have done this for years, as and when required’

My thanks to Andy for the information and photo plus the additional content from Kevan Portas.

Volvo Visitor For Repair

A First Lowestoft based ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL arrived at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot for attention on Friday.

Flushed with the success of returning two of its saloons to active duties, the First Great Yarmouth team are taking on the task of repairing 30886 W741DWX which is in need of an engine overhaul.

The decker was new to First West Yorkshire in July 2000, joining the First Eastern Counties fleet in April 2008

My thanks to First for the information


Saturday 27 April 2019

Jubilee Re-Registrations

A couple of the recent arrivals at Rollesby based Jubilee Coaches have recently been re-registered

The first relates to the former Peelings Caetano Enigma bodied Dennis Javelin S100DJD which has now become L333JCR. This plate was formerly held by a Plaxton bodied Dennis Javelin which reverted to N43AHH prior to being sold to Semmence Coaches.

The other change is that of ex Spratts Coaches Van Hool HY04HXK which now bears the plate W27JCR

My thanks to Kevan Portas for the regular updates and accompanying photos. The latest fleet list can be viewed HERE


Friday 26 April 2019

Local First Activity

Although the title says activity, the first item relates to inactivity in that I am able to post a better photo of the only Scania saloon remaining at Caister Road for storage in the rear yard of Great Yarmouth depot.

Former Scania demonstrator 65678 YP02ABN, previously with First Essex, arrived at Caister Road from Norwich in early January and there it has stayed ever since! Apart from the odd bit of shunting around to allow other vehicles to be parked more easily.

So far unreported is the reallocation of Great Yarmouth's 36186 BN12JYJ to nearby Lowestoft earlier this month. The former First Leeds Volvo B9TL Wright Gemini arrived locally as part of a batch transfer during July 2016.

The latest news is that open top 32905 W905VLN is again in use on the 2 between Market Gates and the Barrack Estate this morning. Meanwhile First Great Yarmouth Dart 42920 EU05AUM was employed on the 101 Lowestoft town service between Carlton Colville and Gunton Estate for most of the morning

Great Yarmouth Dart 42920 EU05AUM on Lowestoft's 101 service this morning
My thanks to First for the information and to Simon Bartram for the Lowestoft report and accompanying photo


Thursday 25 April 2019

Fair Squeeze!

When I looked in at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station late yesterday afternoon it was completely full of vehicles. However, they were primarily showmen's vehicles parked up in connection with the traditional late Easter fair. Not only that, other roads in the area were being used too.

So that meant that all seven coaches present were pushed together at the southern end of the site. Two of them were from the National Holidays fleet in the form of Mercedes Benz Tourismos NH16KEH and regular visitor NH15LDH. Alongside the former was Clairs of Derbyshire Volvo B10M-66 MIG1784 new to Davies of Pencader in August 1996 as P270RBX.

The second photo captures three of the others including NH15LDH. They are Coopers Tours' Irizar bodied Scania K360IB4 YN15EHZ and Buckley Coach Tours' Neoplan OU17OTP.


Open Top Easter

With Easter falling a little later this year, and coinciding with the glorious weather, First Great Yarmouth took the opportunity to give its open topper a run out in service over weekend.

First Great Yarmouth open top 32905 W905VLN in service on the 2 over the Easter weekend 
Whilst it normally appears on the Seasider 3 service that doesn't start operating until around the late May Bank Holiday. It was instead used on the 2 from Market Gates to the Barrack Estate which terminates on South Beach Parade close to the Pleasure Beach.

First Great Yarmouth 30954 YJ51RDO on contract duty. It was new to First York in December 2001 
Whilst I was unable to get a photo of it in use, Paul Copley did! York resident Paul was on a weekend break in the town with his grandchildren. However, in the short time he was able to view activity, he also saw a former First York bus on what is assumed to be a Bernard Matthews contract working.

My thanks to Paul for the information and the photos and I hope you enjoyed your short stay.


Wednesday 24 April 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 24th April 2019

Just the one entry of interest in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Sanders Coaches has amended the timetable of its 34 service between North Walsham Post Office and Stalham former rail station site. The change took effect from 21st April 2019.

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


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 megabus.com 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