Wednesday, 16 October 2019

£1.8 Million Investment for Go North East Green Arrow Services

Go North East, has invested £1.8 million in 11 brand-new, state of the art, environmentally friendly buses for its popular Green Arrow services.

The buses build on the operator’s existing investment, which has already seen 170 low-emission buses join the fleet in recent years, and a total of £12 million set to be invested in further better buses over the next 12 months.

The new ADL Green Arrow Enviro buses, which were built in the north at the Scarborough factory of Alexander Dennis, will be rolled out over the next fortnight onto the company’s 97 route which serves Newcastle, Gateshead, Bensham, Lobley Hill, Whickham, Swalwell and intu Metrocentre with buses running up to every 15 minutes.

With a striking green livery, the buses are packed full of creature comforts and the latest technology including comfortable luxury seating with mobile phone holders, free Wi-Fi, media tables featuring wireless charging pads and at-seat USB charging points. There is also no need to worry about missing your stop, as the buses are fitted with next stop audio and visual passenger information systems.

Go North East will be holding some launch events over the coming weeks so people can come and see one of the buses and talk about the services, with full details to be published soon.

Travel on the route is available from just £4.50 a day and £17 a week within the Gateshead Go Local Saver ticket zone, or for those travelling into Newcastle the purple Go Zone ticket is available for £5.30 a day or £20 a week when bought in advance on the Go North East app (£23 on the bus).

Additionally, anyone aged between 5 and 25 can get unlimited travel on Go North East buses for £4.50 a day and £17 a week, with those aged under 19 also having the option of travelling for just £1.20 per journey. ID is required for anyone aged or looking 16 or over.

Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director at Go North East, said: “These buses represent the next round of major investments here at Go North East and we are delighted to be bringing these state of the art, environmentally friendly buses into service for the people of Newcastle and Gateshead.

“They will replace some of the oldest buses in our fleet to allow for cleaner, greener travel, offering the best possible service to customers. This, combined with recent changes to our fares to offer even greater value, is part of our commitment to making bus travel more attractive and encouraging more people on board, helping to keep our towns and cities moving by tackling rising congestion and improving air quality.”

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Porterbrook to donate HST Power Cars to 125 Group

This week we reported the surprising news here that the National Railway Museum are ending the loan of Class 41 Prototype HST power car to the 125 Group when the loan period runs out in November.

Now, the 125 Group has announced that 'it is absolutely delighted to confirm that two mainline power cars will be joining the group on a permanent basis, thanks to a fantastic donation by leasing company Porterbrook'

43048 will be one of the power cars to be donated to the 125 Group 

Production Inter-City 125 power cars 43048 and 43089 owned by Porterbrook and currently operated by East Midlands Railway will be handed over at the end of their front line service careers.
125 Group was founded in 1994 with the aim of preserving a working Inter-City 125 for future generations. The volunteers and trustees have given their valuable time, sweat and passionate commitment over the past 25 years, fundraising and building a sound reputation in preservation and with the railway industry, working towards their goal. The group say that they 'are extremely grateful to Porterbrook for their wonderful, generous donation!'

Monday, 14 October 2019

Kingsbridge Running Day Part 2

We continue or look at some of the vehicles that attended the Kingsbridge Running Day. All pictures kindly submitted by Ken Jones.


Sunday, 13 October 2019

NRM Re-calls Class 41 Prototype HST

The National Railway Museum has released a statement regarding the news that 41001 will be returning to themselves.

It was announced yesterday that Class 41 Prototype HST power car will be returning to the care of the NRM when the loan with the 125 Group runs out.

November is the end of its current operating agreement. Despite best efforts, the 125 Group and The Science Museum Group have been unable to reach a new agreement.

41001 was a regular sight at the Great Central Railway – Nottingham, and made appearances at other railways including the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and the Severn Valley Railway.

Mk3 carriage 44000 was recently donated to the group by Porterbrook. It joined the existing Mk3 fleet of 10202, 10206, 12087, 12092 and 12134 which have all been restored to fully working condition by team members.

The NRM’s statement:

It is with regret that the National Railway Museum will not renew the 125 Group’s operational loan agreement for HST prototype No.41001 and Valenta power unit.

The decision has not been taken lightly and follows repeated and serious breaches of conditions in the loan agreement.

These include a failure to ensure the security and safety of the power car, refusal to give museum representatives access to the vehicle when requested and unprofessional conduct.

The power car will now return to the custodianship of the National Railway Museum.

We would like to thank members of the 125 Group for their efforts over several years

The 125 Groups response to this statement:

125 Group has worked with the National Railway Museum for the past 8 years to restore 41001 to operational condition and to allow this unique vehicle to be experienced and enjoyed by many people during that time.

We regret that we have been unable to reach an agreement with the Science Museum Group to continue to look after 41001.

The relationship to date has had a positive outcome and has allowed 41001 to be displayed and operated in a variety of locations and to a wide audience, in line with the objectives 125 Group agreed with the NRM at the outset of the loan.

The Trustees of 125 Group are shocked by the recent SMG/NRM statement and do not recognise the accusations made that it has been negligent in it’s custodianship of 41001.

Nor had they been made aware prior to being advised that the agreement would not be extended, of any material breach to the terms of the existing agreement.

The Trustees were expecting to enter into a period of negotiation over a new agreement and therefore this recall to York has been something of a surprise to us all.

We have always cared for 41001 as if it was our own power car. Whilst it is regretful that this decision has been reached, 125 Group will work to redeliver the vehicle back to the NRM at York and to the SMG in accordance with the existing and soon to expire loan agreement.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

LNER Invests Over £100,000 on Defibrillators

York-based train operator LNER has invested more than £100,000 on 135 automated external defibrillators to go on its trains and in its stations in a bid to save passengers’ lives.

Over the last 12 months, LNER have overseen the installation of 135 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) on-board their trains and at stations along their route. This includes both their new Azuma trains as well as the legacy fleet.

Every year around 60,000 people have a cardiac arrest outside of the confines of a hospital and fewer than two per cent of victims have an AED deployed before the ambulance arrives. Defibrillation within three to five minutes of collapse can produce survival rates as high as 50–70%. This can be achieved through giving the public better access to defibrillators, when a bystander uses a nearby AED to deliver the first shock. 

The commitment by LNER, alongside the investment in new equipment, has led to a nomination in the Workplace category at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes awards which took place on the 7th October 2019 in London.

Spokesman Warrick Dent said every second counted when it came to saving a life. “When a cardiac arrest occurs on a train, it can take a while to get back to a station for the ambulance service to assist,” he said. “Investing in the installation of AEDs on our trains will give casualties the best chances of survival.”

St John Ambulance gave training in using them to 50 LNER managers, who shared it with 2,000 colleagues.

Friday, 11 October 2019

First York Services Upgraded

First York passengers on bus services 11 & 12 are set to benefit this month with a bus upgrade providing improved travelling comfort together with lower engine emissions.

The service upgrade will be complete by mid-October with the introduction of eight 5-year old ‘StreetLite’ single-deck vehicles that will replace older buses operating on service 11 (Ashley Park - York - Bishopthorpe) and service 12 (Monks Cross - York - Foxwood Lane).

 The re-furbished Wright StreetLites will offer passengers superior interior 
including leather seating and more pushchair space

The upgrade represents an investment of £800,000 and will provide customers with a superior interior including leather seating and lighter environment with more space for customers with pushchairs.

The newer buses are fitted with Euro V engine technology and will be upgraded to Euro VI to meet the Clean Air Zone requirements in partnership with City of York Council & the Government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund.

 A non re-furbished vehicle in service on route 11

This investment follows the positive change for customers last month on service 10 (Stamford Bridge - York - Poppleon) with new journeys added and the evening service taken on by First York commercially.

This latest announcement comes in advance of a significant investment in York which will see 21 new electric double decker buses introduced later this year.

Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director of First York, said,

“We are committed to providing safe, punctual and reliable bus travel for the people of York, so it’s important that we continue to invest in our bus services. With the support of our partners including City of York Council, this investment will also reduce bus emissions on the corridor and support the Clean Air Zone requirements. I’m sure our customers and the local community will welcome these improvements and encourage more people to switch to using bus services.”

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Transport, said: “We welcome this announcement from First York. Together with the introduction of 21 new electric double decker buses in York later this year, it’s another important step towards achieving our goal of creating a Clean Air Zone in the centre of York by reducing emissions and improving air quality.”

Thursday, 10 October 2019

BYD ADL Enviro200EV's for Glasgow Airport Service

Glasgow Airport introduced a fleet of zero-emission electric buses to its car park operation on October 8. The three-strong fleet of all-electric battery buses, which were built in Scotland by Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), will replace the current diesel fleet used to shuttle passengers between the terminal and the airport’s Long-Stay Car Park.

This is the first time the BYD ADL Enviro200EV model has been operated anywhere in Scotland and its introduction at Glasgow Airport was made possible thanks to a £450,000 Green Bus Fund support grant from Transport Scotland.
Mark Johnston, Glasgow Airport’s Managing Director, said: “We are proud to be the first airport in the UK to incorporate a full-electric bus fleet into our car park operation. These state-of-the-art vehicles will play an important role in supporting our continued efforts to create a more sustainable business and will contribute significantly to help further reduce carbon emissions locally at Glasgow Airport.
 Mark Johnston, Airport Managing Director (left), with Charlie Miller,
ADL’s Regional Sales Manager.(Images via Glasgow Airport)
“The environmental benefits and considerable cost reductions associated with the introduction of these electric vehicles was very attractive.
“Moving to a full-electric bus operation cuts the carbon emissions associated with passenger travel to and from our car park from 143 tonnes per year to zero, and this significant reduction is further supported by the fact that the airport’s electricity is also supplied via renewable energy.”
The launch of the airport’s new electric fleet coincides with Scotland’s Climate Week 2019. Events are being organised in schools, colleges and workplaces across the country to encourage people to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to help fund these new electric buses at Glasgow Airport which will eliminate 143 tonnes of carbon emissions from passenger travel operations.
“The uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles is central to meeting our climate change commitments and our goal of making Scotland’s air quality the best in Europe.
“At the same time, decarbonisation and the global transition towards electric mobility provides real opportunities for sustainable economic growth. We will continue to work to position Scotland at the forefront of this movement and to maximise the economic opportunities afforded through innovation – as demonstrated in this exciting joint project between ADL and BYD Europe.”
The introduction of the new full-electric bus fleet is one of a number of projects introduced to help reduce Glasgow Airport’s carbon footprint. Earlier this year, the airport invested £200,000 to deploy eight of petrol/electric plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4×4 vehicles across its airfield operations.
Charging infrastructure for the three buses has also been installed at the airport’s Long-Stay Car Park and the fleet will be operated by NCP. At 10.8m long, each bus has both front and rear access points, 23 seats, three-tier luggage compartments and includes wheelchair provision.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Borders Line Extension News

MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk, John Lamont, has commented on a Freedom of Information document released by the Scottish Government showing memos about the possible extension of the Borders Railway. 

The FOI shows that the project will need to be jointly undertaken by the UK and Scottish Governments.

The memos, dated as more than a year old, predate the £10 million feasibility study announced by the Borderlands Growth Deal, which showed the UK Government support for the extension.

John Lamont MP said: “The UK Government is getting behind the campaign to extend the Borders Railway and has already pledged £5m to look at the business case for bringing the line through Hawick, Newcastleton and on to Carlisle.”

The 30-mile Edinburgh-Tweedbank route opened in 2015 but calls for it to be extended a further 18 miles to Hawick have grown in recent years, alongside the eventual aim of extending the line to Carlisle.
Since the re-opening the line has been a fantastic success - boosting the economy, leading to new house building and supporting tourism in the region.

Complaints have been made about the fact that the new line is single line for large distances, leading to capacity restraints and overcrowding on the services. Basically it has become a victim of its own success.

Campaigners claim that Hawick drastically lost out when the original 98-mile Waverley line from Edinburgh to Carlisle was closed in 1969.

The Scottish Government have given a commitment to extending the route, having recently published the Borders Transport Corridor Study, giving two potential routes for extending the line.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Southampton Anniversaries Weekend

The Southampton & District Transport Heritage Trust recently held a weekend of events to celebrate a number of Transport related anniversaries pertaining to the City. 
The Saturday event was based in Southampton City Centre as part of the Heritage Open Days, where free buses ran to SS Shieldhall, the Tram Workshop and the Bitterne Local History Society. 
The Sunday event was based at the Bursledon Brickworks Museum, home of S&DTHT where the four remaining Southampton Guy Arabs were on display plus visiting buses of the same type. There were also a number of free bus links to local landmarks.

Kath Lomas-King visited this event and sent the following pictures.


Monday, 7 October 2019

Kingsbridge Running Day Part 1

Ken Jones recently attended the Kingsbridge Running Day, which is centred at Kingsbridge Bus Station on the Quay.

Now in its 12th year, free bus services recreated routes down narrow country lanes and out to the South Hams’ coastal villages on buses from the 1930s to the 1990s.

It was a wonderful chance to see the area with a day of nostalgia for the way things were….

Ken's pictures were taken in and around Loddiswell, Kingsbridge and Slapton Sands.

We will show pictures over two postings and here are the first eleven.


Sunday, 6 October 2019


Alexander Dennis Limited (“ADL”), have announced that Hong Kong’s largest bus operator The Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited (“KMB”) has placed a firm order for 180 Enviro500 three-axle double deckers. 
All of the new buses are scheduled to be delivered in the first half of 2020.

KMB’s order includes 76 short-wheelbase Enviro500 with a length of 11.3 metres as well as 104 longer vehicles that will be 12.8 metres long. 
Offering 80 and 98 seats respectively, they will be among the first buses for Hong Kong to be fitted with three-point belts at all seats.

The new Enviro500 for KMB will be powered by low emission Euro 6 engines. Solar panels on the roof will support the energy requirements of the powerful air conditioning system as well as other auxiliary loads.

This new order continues a long-standing relationship between Alexander Dennis and KMB, who have now ordered over 2,200 Enviro500 buses from Alexander Dennis since the current generation model was launched in 2012.

Paul Davies, Managing Director Asia Pacific for Alexander Dennis, comments: “We are delighted that to deliver its world class passenger service, KMB continues to place its confidence in Alexander Dennis vehicles and support with this latest order for 180 double deck buses. Designed and built with our unrivalled expertise in double deck buses, our Enviro500 will excel in challenging topography and climate on some of the most arduous duty cycles in the world.”

The Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited (“KMB”) is the largest franchised bus operator in Hong Kong, serving around 2.8 million passenger trips each day with a fleet of around 4,000 buses operating on over 400 routes. With more than eight decades’ experience, KMB leads the industry in providing safe, efficient, and quality services. Further news and information are available at

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Coach & Bus UK - More from The Show - Volvo & Moseley


Pride of place on the Volvo stand was this 12.6m Volvo B11R with MCV bodywork.
It has a D11K 430hp 10.8l engine coupled to a Volvo i Shift 12 speed gearbox

Above & below, Visitors to this year’s Coach & Bus Exhibition were able to catch a first glimpse of the new Volvo 9700 coach ahead of plans for its full introduction to the UK market later in 2020.


Moseley (PCV) Ltd along with its associated companies, Moseley Distributors &
Moseley in the South is the UK’s largest independently owned coach distributor.

The company is the UK importer for VDL, Beulas and Indcar coaches

This 13.5m VDL Futura has been ordered by Eastons Coaches. It is powered by a DAF MX11-2100 410hp engine coupled to a ZF gearbox. It seats 53 passengers.

This 12.2m VDL Beulas Cygnus has a DAF MX270 370hp engine with ZF transmission. It is destined for Yelloway Coaches who have specified 53 seats.

A 71 seat VDL Beulas Aura with 450hp DAF MX11-330 engine linked to a ZF gearbox, ordered by Naughtons Coaches.

This VDL Futura is one of three new Futuras, destined for Kent based Bayliss Coaches who have a smart, modern fleet and who took delivery of two new Scanias earlier this year.
The three Futuras are the first to join the Bayliss fleet.

Moseley also showed another VDL Beulas Cygnus in stock white livery in the separate covered display area.