Friday 28 February 2020

Seeing Red

Newly repainted into Ipswich reds livery, Transbus ALX400 bodied Volvo 32475 AU53HJJ arrived at First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot on tow late this afternoon.

AU53HJJ arrives at a wet Caister Road depot late this afternoon
It is to receive the engine from similar 32494 AU53HKM which suffered severe front end damage in Ipswich recently. 32494 was towed to Great Yarmouth earlier this month

My thanks to First for the information and photo


Local Depot Updates

There has been changes to the status of some of First Great Yarmouth and First Lowestoft vehicles
32204 in use at Norwich earlier today.  Photo: LiamS
There has been activity among Great Yarmouth's five Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TLs with 32204 LT52WTK now in service at Norwich as LiamS has captured in the photo. Also 32212 LT52WTV has been taken out of service due to gearbox failure. It is rumoured that the remainder are destined for Norwich. An ALX400 version, 32058 W218XBD has also suffered the same fate.

The rear yard at Caister Road now has 36188 BN12JYL awaiting spare parts and it is keeping company with withdrawn Darts 42484/5 SN03WLW/WME

Now withdrawn First Lowestoft heritage liveried W743DWX at the bus station in August last year
Meanwhile, withdrawn at First Lowestoft are ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs 30888 W743DWX, 30913 W768DWX and 30947 YJ51RRU. As most of you will know, 30888 carries the Lowestoft heritage livery.

There has also been some 'musical chairs' with local buses following the recent cascade and we hope to bring you more news about that soon once things settle down.

My thanks to Liam for the photo and to First for the information


Stranger in the Camp

WX06OMM at Colchester on Wednesday night
Wayne Bell reported a stranger in the camp at First Essex Colchester depot on Wednesday night.

The ADL Pointer Dart, 42955 WX06OMM, had only earlier that day been employed on First Lowestoft's 101 service between Gunton and Carlton Colville.

After moving east with 42956 from First Cymru in November 2018, WX06OMM had only recently transferred from First Great Yarmouth to First Lowestoft on 23rd January this year.

My thanks to Wayne for the use of his photo who says it is 'great to have Darts back at my depot again'.


Thursday 27 February 2020

Blue B9s on X2 Route

Excel blue liveried Wright Gemini bodied Volvo B9Ls have been appearing on the X2 service between Lowestoft and Norwich.

Apparently both former Greenline liveried 37274/5 LK58EDF/J have now transferred from First Great Yarmouth to First Lowestoft and hence their appearances on the route. They moved to Great Yarmouth from First Berkshire in October and November 2015 respectively (See Greenline arrives at Caister Road)

Fortunately Dan High managed to capture both of them on the X2 at Norwich Bus Station yesterday.
My thanks to Dan for the photos.


Wednesday 26 February 2020

Service Alterations Registered ~ 26th February 2020

Just one change to local bus services contained in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

It concerns the amendment of the route, stopping places and timetable of National Express service 481 between Felixstowe and London Victoria Coach Station from 30th March 2020

The full report will be available to view here soon.


Ensign Visit

Fellow blogger SteveW recently visited the Purfleet premises of Ensign and found four former First Eastern Counties ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL double deckers on site.

The first photo shows 30948 YJ51RRV which was new to Yorkshire Rider in September 2001 and moved to First Great Yarmouth from First Manchester's Oldham garage in November 2018

Also present were two former First Leicester examples, 32061/64 W221/4XBD, which joined First Great Yarmouth in March 2014 and June 2014 respectively

The final member of the quartet was former First Lowestoft 30901 W756DWX which arrived from First Essex in February 2013. All vehicles are at Ensign for component recovery after which they will be sent for scrapping

My thanks to Steve for the photos


Tuesday 25 February 2020

More Movements

Wright Eclipse Gemini 37562 FJ08FYN returns to Norwich from Fakenham on the X29
Following on from Saturday's post about the cascade of vehicles, I have receive some reports from our Norwich correspondents regarding some east coast buses appearing in Norwich

Dan High sent this photo of First Great Yarmouth Wright Eclipse Gemini 36186 BN12JYJ which joined the Norwich fleet last night.

LiamS has also recorded the use of another ex Great Yarmouth's Gemini, 37562 FJ08FYN, on the X29 from Fakenham

My thanks to both Liam and Dan for their contributions


Saturday 22 February 2020

Gorleston Enviro400s ~ Updated

An afternoon stroll to Gorleston High Street netted photos of three former Kings Lynn based Enviro400s on local services

The first shows 33813 YX63LKA on the Church Lane bridge with the 14:00 Lowestoft to Norwich X1

In Gorleston High Street was the 14:25 Belton to Norwich X11 service employing 33809 YX63LJU.

Later at the same location was 33807 YX63LJN which was negotiating its way around a StreetLite with the 14:30 X1 from Lowestoft

Since the original version of this post I have now been made aware of the expected allocations as regards to the Enviro400s.  33803/5-13 will be for Great Yarmouth, whilst 33814 upwards are planned for Lowestoft.


Red Flash

I received an unusual message from my daughter yesterday morning showing an Eastern Counties heritage liveried Dart passing through Gorleston High Street.

She was quick enough to get a photo and she said the sighting brought back memories! It was First Lowestoft 42926 SN05EAE which is thought to have been working the delayed northbound 10:45 service 1 from Lowestoft Bus Station

Apologies for the poor photo quality


Friday 21 February 2020

Results Of Bus Cascade

Following the upgrade of the Excel service between Norwich and Peterborough earlier this week, some of the cascaded Enviro400s have begun to appear on local services with the X1/X11 routes having priority.

However, Zak Nelson reports that some were also appearing on the Lowestoft to Norwich corridor this morning. The photo shows 33814 YX63LKC on the X2 near the Stockton roundabout. It is now a Lowestoft bus but still retains some of its Excel branding

Another example was unbranded 33821 YX63LKL employed on the X2 on its way Lowestoft.

On loan at Lowestoft is Great Yarmouth Gemini 37043 YJ06XLT which was employed on the X22 service. Zak took six photos of it with the destination screen failing to come out on any of them!

The transfer of the Enviro400s to the east coast means that some of the Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TLs will be heading for Norwich with 37574 AU58ECY being the first to do so. It is seen here in the 'fine city' this morning in a photo provided by LiamS

My thanks to Zak and LiamS for the photos


Norwich Station Dart

SN05EAJ prior to receiving First Olympia livery 
Our Acle correspondent Richard Woods informs me that there was another First Great Yarmouth Dart SLF at Norwich Station this morning at around 09:45

It was none other than 42929 SN05EAJ and Richard says its the seventh different Great Yarmouth town bus that he has seen on Wherry Lines Rail Replacement duties this month!

My thanks to Richard for the updates


Thursday 20 February 2020

Great Yarmouth Dart On Rail Replacement

Another First Great Yarmouth Dart SLF was seen on standby for rail replacement during yesterday.

42920 EU05AUM was unusually noted In Norwich by LiamS around lunchtime. My thanks to him for the photo.


Wednesday 19 February 2020

Rail Replacement ~ Great Yarmouth Today

Will Drake was on a 'taxi run' to Great Yarmouth Station early this morning when he observed three coaches on the Asda service road on standby for rail replacement use.

He noted regulars Marett's Chariots' BMC M31AAM and Angies Tours' Neoplan T777GSM with Completely Coach Travel providing another surprise in the form of Jonchere Monaco bodied Volvo B12B GRZ5753. The double deck coach was often to be seen in the Great Yarmouth area as it was once owned by Swift Taxis and registered as SE51 DZV

My thanks to Will for the photo


Service Alterations Registered ~ 19th February 2020

Just a couple of changes to local bus services to report from today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

They both concern amendments to routes and stopping places of National Express services 490/491, between Lowestoft Bus Station and London Victoria via Great Yarmouth and Norwich, plus the 375 between Great Yarmouth Market Gates and Birmingham Coach Station. Changes are effective from 9th March 2020

The application made by Ross Private Hire to use premises in Rumburgh near Halesworth as an operating centre has been withdrawn prior to determination

The full report will be available to view here soon.


Tuesday 18 February 2020

Caister Road Activity

Former First Essex Dart SLF's 42483/6 SN03WLK/WMX were collected from First's Caister Road premises by Ensign for scrapping yesterday. They were transferred to First Great Yarmouth in November and October last year to help with the increase in Bernard Matthews contract work on the lead up to Christmas.

A Dart SLF begins its final journey to Essex yesterday - believed to be SN03WMX
Inbound from First Ipswich was accident victim Transbus ALX400 32494 AU53HKM. Towed from the Suffolk town, it is to donate its engine to similar 32475 AU53HJJ following its repaint. The latter had recently transferred to Ipswich from First Essex.

My thanks to First for the information and photos.


StreetLite Rail Replacement

Following yesterday's post regarding the use of First Great Yarmouth StreetLite 47501 SN64CPU on rail replacement, it was observed in Norwich this lunchtime awaiting similar duties. 47503 SN64CPX was also seen in Acle likewise engaged.

First's 47501 on Norwich Riverside earlier today with a Simonds' MCV behind
Involved with the Acle - Cantley - Reedham circuit today was Dart SLF 42921 EU05AUN with Richard Woods observing it on a couple of runs.

My thanks to LiamS for the photo and to Richard for the Acle updates.


Monday 17 February 2020

Acle Rail Replacement

First's SN64CPU in Gorleston High Street in April 2017
With train services expected to operate as normal today on the Great Yarmouth to Norwich via Acle line, it is anticipated that no rail replacement buses are required on that route. However, the 12:17 ex Norwich has been reported with a train fault so perhaps they will be required as cover after all!

In the meantime buses continue to operate the Acle - Cantley - Reedham circuit with Richard Woods observing First StreetLite 47501 SN64CPU on what was thought to be the 09:55 ex Reedham arriving at Acle at 10:20. It is believed to have continued to Great Yarmouth as the next Acle outing is not due until 12:05

Richard suggests this is 47501's first appearance on the route although Great Yarmouth's 47502 and 47503 have also been seen along with some Norwich examples.

Subsequent workings by Sanders Coaches and the Completely Coach bendy bus seems to indicate all is not well on the Norwich to Great Yarmouth rail service.

My thanks to Richard for his reports


Sunday 16 February 2020

From West To East

First's new upgraded Excel service between Norwich and Peterborough begins tomorrow with the fleet of Brand new Scania Double Decks hitting the roads. This means the fleet of Enviro 400's will be moving to pastures new after their time in West Norfolk.

The Brand New Fleet awaits its first day in service tomorrow at Kings Lynn Depot this afternoon.
New arrivals at Caister Road this evening. (First)

33803/5-33819 were allocated to Kings Lynn Depot with the rest split between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Today saw some of the Kings Lynn based fleet begin to transfer over to Great Yarmouth. Noted arrivals this evening were 33803/807/808/809/810/813/814/815.

Some Volvo Geminis are expected to move from Great Yarmouth to Norwich in due course as a result of the Enviro influx.

Thanks to Chris and First for the info and Photos.


Saturday 15 February 2020

Saturday Photo

First Wright Eclipse Gemini 37161 YJ06XMO passes BorderBus Scania 212 BB61BUS

Friday 14 February 2020

Friday Round Up

The normal Great Yarmouth 'Friday Round Up' today with one coach in the seafront area and no less than five involved in rail replacement activity at, or close to, the station.

As expected Marine Parade was the location for Shearings' Mercedes Benz Tourismo 148 BU18YTC early this morning.

Outside the station were two Marett's Chariots vehicles in the form of Van Hool bodied Volvo B12M 503 AA52MCC at the entrance and Iveco 602 FE52HFJ on standby at the rear. The Volvo was originally a Shearings vehicle being originally registered MX03ACY

On the Asda service road were Ambassador Travels' Volvo B12B 252 KIG7738, Marett's Chariots' BMC 509 M31AAM and Sanders Coaches' Caetano Levante 921 FJ11GKV.


Wednesday 12 February 2020

Service Alterations Registered ~ 12th February 2020

There are no changes to local bus services included in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

However, there is some activity to report concerning operator licencing. Felixstowe Travel has received approval  to use its Beach Station Depot on Walton Avenue for eleven vehicles. Ross Private Hire has applied to use premises at Old Forge Cottage in Rumburgh near Halesworth as an operating centre for one vehicle

The full report is available to view here.


Lowestoft Collection

So far unreported here is the withdrawal of First Lowestoft's ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 30901 W756DWX following engine failure.

W756DWX heading for Lowestoft Bus Station on 15th April 2019
It was noted dumped at the rear of Gasworks Road depot earlier this month with fleet names and numbers obliterated plus it had also received some graffiti from vandals. It was observed this morning on tow presumably heading for Ensign for component recovery.

My thanks to Simon Bartram for news of the sighting.


Tuesday 11 February 2020

Another Last Trip

Yet another First double decker made its last journey today from Great Yarmouth’s Caister Road depot to dealer Ensign of Purfleet in Essex.

32061 W221XBD is the third of the former Leicester Citybus ALX400s to make the one way trip. It moved to Great Yarmouth in March 2014.

My thanks to First for the information and photo


More Caister Road Departures

Two more Volvo B7TL/ALX 400's have made their way to Ensignbus in Purfleet after withdrawl from service in Great Yarmouth.

32064 W224XBD & 30948 YJ51RRV were collected from Caister Road late yesterday. 32064 is pictured above back in July 2015 working the 8 service on Beatty Road in the town.


Monday 10 February 2020

Last Ride from Caister Road

Great Yarmouth based Volvo B7TL/ALX 400 32062 W422SRP has been taken to Ensignbus this morning from Caister Road Depot. It will be used as a source of spares before being scrapped.

It was new to First Leicester in September 2000 as its 222, it also served a spell with First Northampton before moving to Norfolk in February 2014. The batch of 32058/9/61-65 came to Eastern Counties in the old Barbie livery and were all repainted in the new livery by July 2014 with 32059 gaining the Heritage Great Yarmouth Transport Livery.

32062 is pictured above in a damp Beatty Road in July 2014 shortly after gaining the new livery.

Thanks to First for the photograph this morning.


Another Newbie Out

An anonymous contributor has sent in two photos of one of the latest Excel deckers on driver familiarisation in Norwich this morning.

Alexander Dennis E400 Cities/Scania 36917 YN69XZX is pictured at Castle Meadow at around 9:15

My thanks for the photos 


Sunday 9 February 2020

First Excel Goes Green

With most of the UK encountering Storm Ciara today, transport was suffering with delays, cancellations and other numerous problems. The high winds meant that use of Double Deckers around the county was also questionable.

First took the decision to use some single deck buses on the Excel service between Norwich and Peterborough today. Norwich based Greenline Streetlites 63321 SK65PXB & 63323 SK65PXD were noted in use on the route this afternoon at Kings Lynn.

Another example was also seen in standard First livery, 47510 SN64CRV seen below heading out to Peterborough.

Many Thanks to Sam Larke for braving the windy conditions to take the photographs.


Rail Replacement ~ Saturday

Rail replacement continued yesterday morning with Ambassador Travel's Caetano Levante 208 FJ09DXC outside Great Yarmouth station awaiting its next duty.

At Norwich was First Great Yarmouth's Gemini 36187 BN12JYK also on rail replacement yesterday morning. The evening saw 36187, Belle Coaches Kassbohrer Setra MIL3503 and two unidentified Sanders Coaches available for duty.

My thanks to Reg Vardy for the information and photos


Thursday 6 February 2020

Groundhog Day ~ Replacements

It was a case of Groundhog day this morning at Great Yarmouth station with a repeat of Tuesday's sightings.

Groundhog day with the same coaches in the same position - photo taken this morning! 
Awaiting passengers outside the station was Marett's Chariots 602 FE52HFJ and on the Asda service road was Marett's Chariots' 509 M31AAM and Ambassador Travel's 253 KIG7739. Had either of them moved since Tuesday?


Chilly Lowestoft Replacements

A fresh chilly start this morning en route to work and a chance to see what was operating on behalf of Greater Anglia today.

First up was the much talked about former Arriva Articulated Mercedes Benz BX04MXK now with Completely Coach Travel, this was then heading to Norwich with nearly a full load of commuters.

Next up was a plain white Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante FJ61EYG which is now with Galloway of Mendlesham. It was new to Premiere of Nottingham and also spent time with Silverdale Tours, Skills and Edinburgh Coach Lines.


Wednesday 5 February 2020

Service Alterations Registered ~ 5th February 2020

There are no changes to local bus services included in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner. The full report will be available to view here soon.


Decker Revival

And now for something completely different - some news other than rail replacement work!

32062 on diversion in Church Road, Gorleston in September 2019 
A couple of recently withdrawn First Great Yarmouth ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs are set to be returned to active service for a short period in the form of 32062 W422SRP and 32063 W223XBD (The former’s decision was subsequently reversed!)

Another returnee was active in Great Yarmouth on Monday afternoon and that was Dennis Dart SLF 42484 SN03WLW. Ben Marsh took a photo of it leaving Market Gates for Bradwell on the 6

My thanks to Ben for the photo