Friday 29 December 2023

Twixmas Surprise

Twixmas is that period between Christmas and New Year when not much happens, but today Jamie Skinner gave me a heads up that an unusual vehicle was parked up at the Beccles Road bus stop this morning opposite the Wheelwrights Arms Public House in Great Yarmouth.

It was none other than Completely Coach Travel's X28 CCT. The Van Hool TDX27 Astromega. was new as Bluebird Buses SV12 DVW and is still wearing Oxford Tube livery from its time there in 2019.

It is one of two ex Oxford Tube 87 seaters owned by the Norwich-based company and will shortly be transforming into white complete with new vinyl's. The other has already been so treated.

Thanks for the tip off Jamie as it's one I have being trying to get a photo of for some time.


BorderBus Evora on 580

I noticed today that buried in our Spam inbox was an email from Andy Watts. Like me, he has looking for an opportunity to get a photo of BorderBus BB73 BUS in local surroundings since its recent arrival.

That opportunity presented itself on Saturday just past (23/12). He checked the Bustimes website and noticed that it hadn't worked its usual early morning 146 journey from Southwold. After a while he checked again and was pleased to see it tracking on the 580 (as far as he knows for the first time ever) so of course ventured out to take some snaps.

Andy's picture shows the Volvo B8RLE /MCV Evora on Beaufort Way at Beacon Business Park at about 10:10 whilst working the 9:26 Bungay to Great Yarmouth service.

My thanks to Andy for the report and photo - it look as though I will have to keep a closer check on this vehicle!


Thursday 28 December 2023

Last City Trip Of The Year

It was the visit to Norwich for me this year, not as many as normal this year due to family and work commitments, hopefully more coming in 2024! So a selection of photos for you from today (28/12)

Sanders have these impressive Volvo/Evoseti deckers now in service, ED23SAN was noted on X44 duties, seen here about to head out to Sheringham. PC23SAN was also seen working the route today.

One that had escaped me was Pride liveried Gemini 36202 BN12WOC, it was working the 13 out to Attleborough.

Former Bournemouth Enviro 400MMC 34441 SN17MTO was seen on the Purple Line 37 route and not its normal Park & Ride duties.

My first Electroliner shot was 36541 BK73AFO which was seen in Castle Meadow working the 11A Pink Line service out to the N&N Hospital. I did not half a dozen of these out in service today. Expect these becoming the norm in 2024!

Next it is the latest repaint into the generic Lilac fronted scheme 37068 YK57EZX, seen here on the 38 service heading to Ives Road.

Finally another of the impressive new fleet members for Sanders, Volvo/Evora BV72KKC pictured outside Castle Mall picking up passengers for the X55 trip to North Walsham.

I hope to contribute a lot more next year, Roy does a wonderful job and i hope i can continue to assist in the increasing success of the blog in 2024.

Have a wonderful New Year, Stay Safe and Enjoy!

All The Best Grahame.

Colourful Variety on the X29

I took my annual visit to Norwich in between Christmas and New Year to catch up on some photos as i had not visited the city for quite a while, i will post another blog about it shortly. To my surprise today the normally Yellow line branded routes 28/29/X29 had a few more additional colours in use!

First up was Red Line liveried 36189 BN12JYO pictured in Castle Meadow abaout to head for Fakenham.

Blue Line 36179 BD11CDY was noted arriving in the other direction also in Castle Meadow.

Finally former York Gemini 37069 YK57EZZ was noted in St Stephens also on X29 duties.

Yellow Line liveried vehicles were out and about but weirdly on other routes, the following were noted,

36265 on 21 (Orange) & 26 (Blue)

36267 on 21 (Orange)

36268 on 24 (Red)

66976  on 15 (Green)


Wednesday 27 December 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 27th December 2023

There are no entries of 'local' interest in the last of the East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report of the year. However, the full Report is available to view here now.


Friday 22 December 2023

Rail Replacement

With bad weather expecting to impact rail services this morning Anglia Railways had introduced rail replacement services.

Tim Miller reports that Angies Tour's Scania OmniCity YN56 FAM was on standby at Lowestoft Station today. Thanks Tim.

Meanwhile Sanders Coaches and Completely Coaches vehicles were in use at Great Yarmouth. Three of the latter fleet were observed earlier by Cameron Robinson at the station. They were, from front to rear, Volvo B11RT BX 16CKO, Van Hool W28 CCT and Irizar i6 M 28CCT. Thanks Cameron

Following track inspections trains began running again from around 13:00.


Thursday 21 December 2023

Seasons Greetings

Well the festive season is almost here with Christmas Day just around the corner.

At this time of year we all look back on 2023 with comings and goings for many of our local operators. You can view all the posts for the year (and previous year's posts too) in the blog archive located at the bottom left hand side of our web site. There’s also a search facility at the very top left of the web page if you are looking for a particular item.

Ex Caroline Seagull and Swift Taxis Dennis Javelin G470 LVG appearing in festive mood
in December 2010
East Norfolk Bus Blog (ENBB) is approaching four million page views and in September we reached our highest number of daily page views at over 9,500 with a significant number from Singapore! This success is not solely down to our efforts but also due to the increasing number of contributions from our readers - some being newcomers. I have been looking back at the number of contributors and I shall not provide a list for fear of missing out anyone - but thanks to each and every one of you as your contributions are very much valued.

Thanks to all of our readers for supporting the blog over the past year and a special mention goes to Grahame Bessey for his many contributions and support. A busy man but still has time to prepare his reports

Last, but not least, ENBB would like to wish all readers, supporters and contributors a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and, as always, we will attempt to continue to provide our high standard of reporting into our fourteenth year! Where has all the time gone?


Wednesday 20 December 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 20th December 2023

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

Konectbus is to amend the route and timetable of its 503 Postwick Park & Ride service to Norwich Bus Station from 8th January 2024.

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon.


Wednesday Tour

Today's weekly Wednesday Tour was achieved in early sunshine and in comparatively milder weather. However, there were no sightings of any coaches in the holiday area or at Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth this morning. I suspect the operators are gearing up for Christmas short break holidays. This is the final Wednesday tour of the year and it will return during the Easter period in 2024.


Thursday 14 December 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 13th December 2023

First Eastern Counties has three entries in yesterday's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report

The operator has registered a new (?) 7 Monday to Friday service between Market Gates, Great Yarmouth and Norwich Bus Station. Commencing on 14th January 2024, it runs via Caister, Acle, Norwich Railway Station and Castle Meadow.

First is also amending the timetable and stopping places of its X1/X11 and 901 services between Norwich Bus Station and Market Gates, Great Yarmouth from the same date. The timetable of the 11/11A, 12 services from Norfolk & Norwich Hospital to Sprowston/ Wroxham is being altered from 7th January 2024.

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here.


Wednesday 13 December 2023

Rare Electroliner Working

Dan High reports the unusual sighting of a Wright StreetDeck Electroliner on a First Norwich Purple Line service

36542 BK73 AFU was noted on the 38 Ives Road Community Centre to University Technical College of Norfolk (Hall Road) at Castle Meadow earlier today

My thanks to Dan for the report and photo


Wednesday Tour Eleven

With Tinsel & Turkey Tours in full swing, I observed a total of eleven coaches in the holiday area of Great Yarmouth with none being parked at Beach Coach Station

Five coaches were bunched together near or opposite the SeaLife Centre on Marine Parade with the first being Delta Coaches' Neoplan Tourliner BU12 BUS.

Next to the southbound carriageway was Kassbohrer Setra WA54 BUS from 2K's Travel's Dudley based fleet

On the opposite side of the road was Caledonian Travel's Temsa YJ17 CXW with Hughes Brothers AP68 ALP, paying its second visit in three weeks, immediately in front of it. (See Wednesday Tour Dozen - 22nd November 2023)

Outside the Royal Hotel was a second Caledonian coach in the shape of Mercedes Benz Tourismo NH15 RDH, another former National Holiday's vehicle

Outside the New Beach Hotel was Blakes Coaches Irizar i6s BC19 HJB with Alfa Travel's Tourismo 106 BU17 JDF immediately behind.

On North Drive, next to The Arc Cinema, was a third Caledonian Travel vehicle - Temsa YJ16 EKF.

At the rear of the same rank was Crosskey's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo GN17 AZU

Also on North Drive, but unusually parked north of the St Nicholas Road junction, was Alfa Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo 126 BV20 HNK - a regular visitor.

In the Palm Beach Hotel car park on North Drive was Dovers Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo AD19 DOV loading passengers


Thursday 7 December 2023

J&M Preservations Visit

A comparatively early start this morning with a visit to J&M Preservations across the border in Suffolk where I was met by a friendly Mason Lee outside the unit.

Inside the less draughty unit were the three buses I had come to see with former Abellio London Alexander Dennis Dart KP02 PVU at the front of the trio. Behind were the two Halton Transport Darts No. 77 PX06 DWD and Myllennium bodied No.40 DK03 TNL.

The first thing to report is that No 77 is to be returned to Stagecoach livery as Halton acquired it from Ensignbus in September 2019. It retains its Stagecoach moquette seating with its previous fleet number of 34818 still displayed inside above the front windscreen. (Photo: J&M Preservations)

No 40 is a long term project with recent work involving the removal of the oil cooler and its hydraulic pipe replaced. An estimate has been sought for the replacement windscreen plus the front corner panel is off for repair.

I experienced runs with both KP02 PVU and DK03 TNL with the latter going 'like the clappers' - certainly very powerful. However, the highlight of my visit was the invitation to drive the former which I quickly accepted! Whilst I didn't drive at breakneck speed I enjoyed it all the same. All journeys were on private roads.

I expected my visit to last around an hour but I spent more than two hours there as their enthusiasm was so infectious! My thanks to Mason Lee for sparing the time to see me and for the driving tuition! I wish them well in getting KP02 PVU to The Big Bus Show at Stonham Barns in August next year.

Wednesday 6 December 2023

First Ipswich Activity

Toby Cullum reports on a couple of arrivals at First Eastern Counties Ipswich garage earlier today

The first is the transfer of Wright StreetLite 47682 SL15 RWX from First Essex's Colchester depot.

The second bus is Volvo B7TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini 32530 YJ54 XUX, also a native of Colchester, which was present for its MOT.

Our thanks to Toby for the information and photos which were originally sent to Grahame. However, he was unable publish them as he is in the process of moving house.


Wednesday Tour Seven

A sunny day greeted this morning's Wednesday Tour, but the low position of the sun did the camera no favours!

Our first photo is of Caledonian Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BV22 WUM which is now becoming a regular visitor to the town.

Next on Marine Parade was Ridley’s of Leamington Spa's Volvo B11RT LJ69 YXR, new in September 2019.

In front of the Volvo was liveried Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BJ16 KXR from the Buckinghamshire-based Readybus fleet.

Outside the New Beach Hotel was Alfa Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo A143 BF23 CFL with KM Travels' VDL Futura2 YG23 UUK closely behind.

Another Alfa Travel Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, 94 BU16 HBB, was on North Drive next to The Arc Cinema.

Beach Coach Station was playing host to a second KM Travel VDL in the form of M400 KMT


Service Alterations Registered ~ 6th December 2023

There are no 'local' entries of interest in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report. However, the full Report is available to view now


Tuesday 5 December 2023

Mildenhall Bus Station

David Slater reports on this morning's activity at Mildenhall Bus Station when 'Coach Services Limited YX14 RXK, an Alexander Dennis (ADL) Enviro200D new in April 2014, parked between trips on service 201. It had worked from Brandon arriving at 1100 and would return there at 1140.

In the background are First Eastern Counties Buses 36173 (BD11 CFX) and 36171 (BD11 CFU) seen during a short stopover when working a staff contract for Traditional Norfolk Poultry. They had made a call to enable passengers to get some shopping.

The two Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TLs, new in July and June 2011 respectively, carry lettering and branding for Norwich city service 13. During October 2023 FEC received the first of its new electric buses for Norwich city services which has possibly resulted in these older buses now being available for contract work.

This was the first time in about two years that I had seen buses on the contract myself although my wife’s friend has seen them parked in the bus station in recent weeks. At the time I saw them they were passing straight through Mildenhall heading, I believe, towards Ely'

My thanks to David for the report and photos.


Monday 4 December 2023

Breckland Beeline

Today Coaches Services started its new Breckland Beeline 90 service linking Thetford and Attleborough with Norwich City Centre. It comprises five journeys in each direction with a specially designated double decker for the route.

Dan High observed new ADL Enviro400 MMC CS73 BUS entering Norwich Bus Station complete with Breckland Beeline branding.

Thanks Dan for the photos.