Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Coaches in London

A selection of coaches seen last week in London

David Gambles

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

New Bus for London Pictures

We asked for pictures of the NBfL on its first day in service and we are pleased to show the following, taken by Mark Lyons and Colin Lloyd.
In picture 1 the NBfL is seen at Hyde Park Corner with a full loading and windows steamed up, despite it being a mild day. Obviously the air con not programmed for a bus load of cranks!

 These two pictures taken by Colin Lloyd, show the bus at Victoria
Tony Wilson

Stagecoach launches 'Panda Express'

Stagecoach has launched new bus links to help the thousands of visitors flocking to Edinburgh Zoo to see its latest stars.
From Monday 27 February the Panda Express will run on two routes:
• Ayr- Prestwick-Kilmarnock-East Kilbride-Hamilton-Motherwell-Edinburgh
• Aberdeen-Dundee-Glenrothes-Kirkcaldy-Edinburgh
There will be one return service a day from each location, allowing passengers to arrive at the zoo in the morning and enjoy a day out before returning home in the afternoon. Children under 16 travel free, with one free child per adult.
Passengers travelling with the Panda Express during the week have the added bonus of a pre-arranged panda slot and discounted zoo entry included with their bus ticket, saving £4.50 on the standard adult entry price. Visitors travelling at weekends or on school holidays must pre-book their panda viewing slot and are charged the standard zoo admission price.
The new Panda Express services were officially launched at an event at Edinburgh Zoo  attended by Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Sir Brian Souter, Stagecoach Group Non-Executive Director Ewan Brown and Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Zoo.

Steam Engine on London Underground

Last weekend a test was carried out to demonstrate the feasibility of running a steam locomotive on the London Underground for its 150th anniversary in 2013.
After end of traffic a special train using Beattie 30587 undertook some proving runs. This engine is owned by the National Railway Museum and was built in 1874. It was coupled to 1923 Metropolitan Electric loco 'Sarah Siddons' which provided a viewing platform, and between two battery locomotives and wagons carrying water and coal.
It left Lillie Bridge depot after 0100 and ran from Earl's Court at 0135 via the District line to Edgware Road. After a stop it then proceeded to Baker Street. At Baker Street the loco was run with protracted steam venting whilst heat and smoke levels in the station were tested. Later it shunted east to west and ran back to Edgware Road. Other trains - composed of S stock and C77 stock - ran around the steam loco train testing the effect on passing trains. With the tests complete the train ran back to Lillie Bridge via Earl's Court.

Monday, 27 February 2012

NBfL Finally in Service

London Transport's new bus finally took to the streets today on route 38.

The total cost of building the buses was £11.7million - so far  £1.46 million each. If more are built the project can be justified and costs will come down.
Eight buses will operate along route 38 which runs between Hackney, East London, and Victoria station – one of the city's busiest routes.
I travelled all the way from Northumberland the previous week to witness this significant occasion but due to the one week delay never got my chance to ride on this impressive looking vehicle.
Many people thought that the bus would never be designed and manufactured in such a short timescale. They were wrong, this is an excellent example of British "can do" attitude.
We hope to see more orders placed for future deliveries.

Have you travelled on the new bus today? If so please send  pictures to

Greater Anglia to Increase Security

 Greater Anglia Route map
click to enlarge

Greater Anglia is to have more on-board security staff on train services in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and lines to London.

Peter Meades, of Greater Anglia, who have just taken over the franchise, said security staff will target problem areas where trouble has been identified or people were travelling without tickets.
"We're increasing the numbers of making travel safe officers employed across the network," he said.
"They will work with on-train staff, revenue protection officers and British Transport Police to reassure passengers about safety.
"They will also make sure everyone travelling has paid for their ticket.
"Where a problem is identified we will be able to concentrate numbers of staff."

West Midlands Views

Ken Jones sent us these pictures of West Midlands buses looking in a somewhat sorry state.
 A Metrobus and Mercedes Benz 0405N R531 XOB (1531) can be seen amongst other ex West Midlands vehicles
 Two Volvo B6LE's with Wright bodywork and a Mercedes 0405N together with a collection
of engines that have been removed from vehicles.

 Metrobus D929 NDA and a Mercedes Unimog

 All pictures © Ken Jones

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Croydon Views

During my recent visit to the London area I took the opportunity to visit Croydon to see the tram system in operation, as well as taking in the general transport scene.

I departed from Croydon West Station using the London 'Overground' system which took me to Canada Water station where there is a link to the Jubilee tube line to central London.
The 'Overground' system uses class 378 trains manufactured by Bombardier in Derby. 
The trains have fully longitudinal seating and open interiors and are modelled on tube stock rather than conventional commuter trains. The interiors have a completely open view along the train.

All pictures © David Gambles

Winter Weather Delays Opening of Crich Tramway Museum

Crich Tramway is reflecting on the £30,000 income it lost due to a delay in opening two weeks ago. Although the museum is now open, it lost valuable income by not being able to welcome visitors during half term week.
The museum opened on the weekend of 18th / 19th February and will do so every weekend up until 31st March, from when daily openings will begin.
On Easter Sunday and Monday 8th and 9th the museum will host a 1940s Weekend. Historic wartime road vehicles will be on show and on the move, mingling with a range of vintage trams which visitors will be able to ride on as often as they like. Some trams will have blackout masks fitted along with anti-blast netting on the windows, blue coloured lamps and white steps. The indicator blinds will be blacked out too so as to confuse any enemy spies. Wartime songs will be belted out by an authentic concert party throughout the weekend.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

A different body on a Leyland PD2.

A "Forties" event in Chesterfield this weekend (25 & 26th February 2012.) brought a couple of vintage  vehicles to the Chesterfield Streets. Here PRR 1 (4416 RA) is posed in front of the Spire.

More Photos on Flickr here

Go-Ahead Group take over Carousel

"It has been announced that the Go-Ahead Group is in the process of taking over the Carousel Buses company. Based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire this company of around fifty vehicles has operated a variety of routes through the town and around the surrounding area for several years.
Secondhand buses such as Dennis Darts, Leyland Olympians, MCW Metrobuses and Volvo B7TLs have been sourced from some of the London bus companies, but in recent times new vehicles have been acquired, including three 12m long Irisbus AgoraLine, three MAN 14.220/MCV Stirling, three Mercedes-Benz Citaro, a single Plaxton Primo and in January 2012 a trio of Mercedes-Benz OC500U/MCV C124RLE Evolution. So, very much a mixed bag of vehicles.
The basic livery which began as London red has been adapted to red and maroon, although that said, a number of vehicles have been route branded for specific duties."

Tony Wilson

Friday, 24 February 2012

Guildford 2

We continue our look at the local transport scene in Guildford. Thanks to Stuart Jones for all pictures.

Stagecoach  39651 MAN 14.240 Enviro 200

Arriva step entrance Dart P192 LKJ

Safeguard  Optare Versa
Dennis Dart Driver Training vehicle MX56 YHE

 All pictures © Stuart Jones

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Stagecoach East Midlands featured in Bus & Coach Buyer Magazine.

This weeks B&CB  magazine (issue 1162) 24/02/2012 has a five page feature on SCEM

Gary Nolan
Managing Director
Stagecoach East Midlands
The current issue of Bus & Coach Buyer Magazine can be read online by registering online @

Leyland Panther Progress Report.

Leyland Panther, Chesterfield 93 pauses @ Duxford Village, Sept 2011. 
Panther 93 February 2012

 After attending the Lincoln rally in October, Lee started remedial work on Leyland Panther ENU 93H.
Body panels have been removed to access the framework for attention, giving the opportunity to check out some of the electrical wiring. Work is continuing on this major project. 

Lee, checking a new ash frame member for fit.

Thanks to Lee for access to this vehicle and allowing me to photograph.