Saturday 30 March 2024

Terror Tram Returns

Blackpool Railcoach 634 returned to public passenger service at the East Anglia Transport Museum (EATM) at Carlton Colville yesterday. Known as the Terror Tram, it is pictured alongside Blackpool's Vambac No11.

Previous owner Andy Ashton, and his daughters Bekki and Jess, were responsible the restoration of 634 with the blind acknowledging the fact. It will regularly appear at the EATM during its five year loan period from the Fylde Transport Trust. Each passenger on the day was given Terror Tram commemorative ticket.

Also on view was as another Blackpool Transport tram, Balloon car 726, in a poor state of repair. Carrying a faded HM Coastguard livery, the English Electric tram is currently undergoing restoration.

Hiding in the back of the depot was Lowestoft tram No 14. Purchased in 1961, minus trucks, platforms, staircases and upper deck, this was essentially the vehicle around which the museum was formed. Much work still needs to be done.

After riding all the trams and trolleybuses in service it was time for a well earned cuppa before our departure on the park and ride. This was worked by Lowestoft Corporation AEC Swift No 4 YRT 898H looking very smart.


Friday 29 March 2024

Lowestoft Visit

Contributor Jon was held up in traffic in Lowestoft for some time yesterday afternoon so he decided to park up and take a few photos for use on the blog which he sent via X (formerly Twitter).

He first looked in at the bus station on Gordon Road and found it full - presumably due to the traffic chaos!

Jon observed Ipswich Reds liveried Volvo B7TL/Alexander Dennis ALX400 32651 AU05 MUO still earning its keep. Also noted were two recent transfers Norwich Red Line branded Volvo B9s 36191 BN12 JYR and 36194 BN12 JYU in use.

Another recent transfer in is Alexander Dennis Enviro200 44599 YX08 HJF seen departing the bus station on the 105 service.

Visiting the Gasworks Road depot, all six SPS StreetLites were viewed and it was noticeable that they have been fitted front and back with orange lights on the roof.

My thanks to Jon for his report and photos.


Wednesday 27 March 2024

Sanders' Departures

Five vehicles recently left North Norfolk operator Sanders Coaches for scrapping and they are:-

107 PM03 EHR   DAF DB250 ELC Lowlander
112 YN53 CFD   Scania N94 OmniDekka
403 YJ10 DJU    VDL SB200
503 HF54 HFO   Volvo B7RLE
510 HF54 HGE   Volvo B7RLE

The fourth mentioned vehicle, 503 HF54 HFO, is seen in Great Yarmouth awaiting time to work its service 6 back to Cromer in July 2019

My thanks to Sanders Coaches for the information..


Service Alterations Registered ~ 27th March 2024

More 'local' entries appear in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

Sanders Coaches has registered two new services. The 15, 16,17, 19 and 20 from Cadogan Road bus stop in Cromer to Holt Market Place (via Felbrigg Hall and Aylmerton) plus schools service 44A  from New Road bus stop in Catfield to the Old Rail Station site in Stalham (via: Hickling and Stalham Academy and High School). The Monday to Friday services commence from 31st March 2024.

First Eastern Counties is amending the timetable of its 73 route between Turban Centre in Woodbridge and Felixstowe from 14th April 2024

The latest Notices and Proceedings Report will be available to view here soon.


Tuesday Tour

A day late is yesterday's tour of the Great Yarmouth seafront holiday area and Beach Coach Station, which I've had to delay for 24 hours due to other commitments and a deluge of information by email etc. (I'm not complaining!)

Some eight coaches were observed and I have not included photos of coaches featuring in previous posts. However, the one of Gee-Vee Travel's Yutong GT17 GVT, with the wheel as a backdrop, was difficult to exclude!

Outside the New Beach Hotel was Alfa Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BV22 WTR and Fussell's Travel Service Irizar i6 bodied Scania YT19 DXP. As I was taking the photos I was passed by a Caledonian Travel vehicle which I caught up with later.

On North Drive, next to The Arc Cinema, were Blakes Coaches' Irizar i6 bodied Scania K410EB6 BC16 HJB and Gibbons Coach Holidays' Irizar i6 C23 GCH.

At Beach Coach Station were Roselyn Coaches' VDL 2804 RC and Chandler Coach Travel's Irizar i6s CH73 CCT.

Returning along the same route I caught up with the errant Caledonian Coaches' Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BV22 WUW on Marine Parade.


Tuesday 26 March 2024

Ex First Eastern Counties Bus In York

Paul Copley tells me that another former First Eastern Counties bus has turned up in York. It is former 37403 MX58 DXP and has been converted to open top for use on the Golden Tours open top tour of York. It is being operated by York Pullman which has just been taken over by First Group but kept as a stand alone company.

The photo shows MX58 DXP passing Cliffords Tower in York. My thanks to Paul for the report and photo.


Simonds In France

Today I received a message from regular contributor jdraves1 saying that he is a passenger on a Battlefields Tour in France being operated by Simonds' Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BU16 GZB .

Thanks for the photo.


GB Kite Electroliners In Service

Today saw the introduction of the recently delivered First Eastern Counties Wrightbus GB Kite Electroliners on services 15 and 16 in Norwich

Mark Connett got shots of two of them arriving in Norwich late last week and again I found the information in my spam email box and hence the delay in publishing them.

My thanks to Mark for providing the photos for inclusion on the blog.


Monday 25 March 2024

Heritage Bus Engine Replacement

First Eastern Counties Great Yarmouth Transport heritage liveried 37562 FJ08 FYN has been out of service for almost a week now. The Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B99TL is to have its engine replaced at its Caister Road depot.

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information.


First Great Yarmouth Latest

The latest news from First Eastern Counties Caister Road depot concerns another arrival and another withdrawal. The arrival is in the form of Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL 36201 BN12WOB from Norwich.

The withdrawal is Volvo B7 37060 YJ06 XMM which is pictured in the rear yard at Caister Road by Will Drake in March last year. It appears that similar 37043 YJ06XLT is the next to visited by the grim reaper!

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the update.


Saturday 23 March 2024

Lowestoft StreetLites

One of the many emails found in my spam box over the last couple of days was one from Steve Blackburn concerning his recent visit to the First Lowestoft depot.

The main point of interest is that the two StreetLites arriving at Great Yarmouth a fortnight ago (SK17 HGY and SK17 HGZ - pictured) have now joined the other two already present. Subsequently a further two have been added in the form of SK17 HHA and SK17 HHB. Almost all have now received First fleet numbers as follows:-

47801 SK17 HGU
47802 SK17 HGX
47803 SK17 HGY (not affixed to the vehicle at present)
47804 SK17 HGZ
47805 SK17 HHA
47806 SK17 HHB

They are to be used by Specialist Passenger Solutions Limited to provide transport for the Sizewell C project.

Also noted in service there by Steve was Volvo B9TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini 37532 MXZ 3342. This is now confirmed by Daniel as being reallocated to Lowestoft and is pictured by him waiting at the stand at Lowestoft Bus Station.

My thanks to Steve and Daniel for their contributions.


Friday 22 March 2024

First 37150 Withdrawn

Another First Eastern Counties withdrawal to report at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot is Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL 37150 YN06 URD. It was taken out of service earlier today.

The decker arrived in Great Yarmouth from First South Yorkshire's Doncaster September 2019 and is pictured here on Church Lane in Gorleston during August 2021. It had received a repaint into the Coastal Red livery during June of that year and an engine rebuild followed in late 2022.

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information.


Belle Coaches' Minibus Arrival

Another arrival to report for a local operator is Ford Transit 460 registered FG16 LLC. News of the sixteen seater was announced on Belle Coaches' X feed (formerly Twitter). It coincides with Belle Coaches celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year.

My thanks to Belle Coaches for providing the information and photo.


Thursday 21 March 2024

Sanders' Arrival

A recent arrival at Sanders Coaches is this Mercedes Benz Sprinter 516 CDi EVM Grand Tourer. The nineteen seater is registered as MB71 LUX and was recently advertised for sale by Odyssey Coach Sales.

My thanks to LiamS for the photo.


Wednesday 20 March 2024

First Great Yarmouth Latest

The invasion of Red Line liveried Volvo B9TL's continues with both 36194 BN12JYU and 36198 BN12WNY both noted in use in the town today. 

 36198 pictured in Norwich Bus Station back in November 2021 whilst working Excel Route B.   

Another Coastal Red Gemini withdrawl to report is 37174 SF07FDE, i noted it now parked in the rear yard at Caister Road minus ticket machine in a line of other withdrawn vehicles today.

37174 pictured in Ormesby St Margaret back in February 2022 working the Coastal Clipper 1.

Thanks to First for the continued updates.


Market Gates Miscellany

Following my earlier search around the Great Yarmouth holiday area for visiting coaches, I spent a few minutes observing activity in the vicinity of the Market Gates Bus Station this morning

My first sighting was that of National Express (Ambassador Travel 301) Caetano Levantee BV22 VSX awaiting time before the 9:20 727 departure to London's Heathrow Airport

I then thought I would try a few shots inside the bus station and got a couple of reasonable photos - this is of First Eastern Counties Coastal Clipper on the 09:20 service 1 to Lowestoft Bus Station. In charge of the service was Volvo B9 37566 AU58 ECE.

Appearing on the X1 was another B9, in Coastal Red livery, on the 9:30 to Lowestoft in the form of 37564 AU58 ECC

Arriving on the 08:06 580 service from Bungay was BorderBus Scania 208 BB58 BUS which works back as the 09:30 from Great Yarmouth.

Later in the day, Dan High got a photo of the recent transfer Volvo B9 36196 BN12 JYW complete with its First Norwich Red Line 23/24 branding. Thanks for the photo Dan.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 20th March 2024

More 'local' entries appear in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

Sanders Coaches is to amend the route, stopping places and timetable of its service 34 between North Walsham Post Office and Stalham Old Rail Station Road from 31st March 2024 The operator is also to amend the route, start and finish point and timetable of its 834 route from Bacton Priory to Gorleston's East Norfolk Sixth Form College from the same date

First Eastern Counties
is to amend the timetable of its 975 Great Eastern Square, Felixstowe to Kesgrave High School service from 14th April 2024. First is also cancelling two of its services - namely the 71 Orford to Woodbridge service and the 79 Ipswich to Woodbridge services also from the 14th April 2024.

The latest Notices and Proceedings Report will be available to view here soon.


Wednesday Octet

It appears that the short break holiday has returned to Great Yarmouth once more and I saw eight coaches involved in such activity earlier this morning.

I started my trip from the south end of the seafront, via the recently reopened Herring Bridge, and the first vehicle observed was M & D Travel's Irizar i6s MD24 BUS on a National Holidays charter.

Next in line along Marine Parade was Bakers Dolphin Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BV19 YMC.

On the opposite side of the road, outside the SeaLife Centre, was Leons Holidays' Mercedes-Benz Tourismo LE20 EON.

Continuing northwards, Vision Coach Services' VS10 ONS VDL had travelled all the way up from Taunton and was parked outside the New Beach Hotel.

Found next to the Arc Cinema were two members of the KM Travel fleet - Yutung YD19 HHM and VDL M100 KMT - an unusual sighting of both of them together in the town.

Tucked away on Princes Road was J & B Travel's Scania JT70 JBT branded for National Holidays' work.

The final coach of the octet was Albert Wilde & Son Coaches' Van Hool TU07 SOU resting at Beach Coach Station.


Tuesday 19 March 2024

First Norwich GB Kite Registrations Confirmed

Registrations for the incoming fleet of Single Deck Wrightbus GB Kite Electroliners have been kindly supplied to us by First today and they are as follows,

63635    BK24AAE

63636    BK24AAF

63637    BK24AAJ

63638    BK24AAO

63639    BK24AAU

63640    BK24AAV

63641    BK24AAX

63642    BK24AAY

63643    BK24AAZ

63644    BK24ABF

63645    BK24ABN

Delivery is due to commence shortly.

Many Thanks to First for the info as always.


More Electroliner Photos

With the official launch of  First Norwich electric vehicles into service last week, all 59 Electroliners have now arrived in the 'fine city'.

Toby Cullum has sent in images of some of them in service on Saturday in Norwich for use on the blog.

My thanks to Toby for the photos.


Monday 18 March 2024

Feline Executive Travel To Cease Trading

Over the weekend Feline Executive Travel of Catfield in Norfolk has announced that it will cease trading from 29th March 2024.

Iveco ET07 FET at Feline Travel's Catfield premises
Richard Hipkiss and his wife Mary have owned and operated the business since January 2014 and are to retire to Tenerife. Most of the staff have already found continuous employment and Sunbeam Luxury Coaches is taking over its rural services. School contracts have already been awarded to other operators.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter  FY03 WZR formed part of the fleet in an October 2017 visit 
Information sourced from the company's Facebook site.


Friday 15 March 2024

Another Withdrawal

Another Volvo B7/ Wright Eclipse Gemini has been withdrawn at First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot. 37022 YJ06XKL joins similar 37023 YJ06 XKM removed from service earlier in the month.

37022 in use in Gorleston High Street in March last year
My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information