Saturday, 31 October 2015

BYD Bendi- bus

Recently we posted pictures and details of the BYD battery powered double decker for London.
Below are pictures of the BYD articulated single deck vehicle that was also on display at Kortrijk.

The same eBus concept has been applied to this vehicle as the double decker giving a battery powered vehicle capable of carrying large numbers with the ability to load and off-load quickly. The bendi-bus concept is unpopular in the UK but many other countries in Europe continue to embrace the idea without hangups about road safety.

This vehicle can receive a quick charge via a pantagraph located in the rear section

Other bendi-buses on display included the Volvo 7900 Hybrid (below)

The Sileo (below) is manufactured in Germany and is 100% electrically powered

The Kent C below

Friday, 30 October 2015


Duck ditched from statue of steam train designer

A row over a duck that threatened to derail the unveiling of a statue of a famous locomotive designer has been settled.

The statue to rail engineer Sir Nigel Gresley, who designed the Mallard locomotive as well as the Flying Scotsman, was to have also featured a duck next to the eminent engineer.
But Sir Nigel's family, and others, were not keen on the appearance of the duck with the bronze statue which is due to be unveiled at King's Cross station in London on April 5 2016 - the 75th anniversary of Sir Nigel's death.

And now the Gresley Society Trust, which commissioned sculptor Hazel Reeves to create the statue, has announced the duck will not appear.
The trust said: "After widespread consultation, including with our president, vice presidents, members and Sir Nigel's family, we have agreed to make some small alterations to the details of the scheme, among which are the removal of the mallard from the foot of the statue."
The trust's chairman David McIntosh told The Times: "It was quite clear if we persisted with the duck we ran the significant risk of falling out with people whose opinion we valued."
He added that Sir Nigel's two grandsons took the view that the duck "detracted from the dignity of the statue".
However, Robin Jones, editor of Heritage Railway magazine the symbolic addition of the mallard duck would have made it more memorable for passers-by.
London is littered with statues of the great, good and often forgotten: this symbolic addition would have made this particular one memorable and a talking point for passers-by of all ages. I recall the great golden all-conquering take-no-prisoners eagle which stood atop the swastika on the motif of the nation which took the world speed record in 1936, reaching 124mph on a VIP trip for Nazi top brass, with some fairly unpleasant people on board. Two years later, a locomotive named after a harmless unassuming commonplace duck snatched that speed record and kept it forever. That itself is so wonderfully British. Love a duck – especially that one!
– Robin Jones, editor of Heritage Railway magazine
Born in 1876 Sir Nigel became chief mechanical engineer of the London and North Eastern Railway. His Flying Scotsman was the first steam loco to exceed 100mph in service, while the Mallard achieved a then world-record speed of 126mph in 1938.

Thursday, 29 October 2015


London buses 'cheaper than Thailand's Tuk Tuks and Venice's gondolas'


London buses are cheaper than Venice’s famous gondolas and Thailand’s Tuk Tuks, new research has found. Riding on the capital's iconic red buses has been found to be cheaper per mile than Thailand’s famous Tuk Tuks and Venice’s renowned gondolas. The research by Travel Republic looked at 18 forms of transport around the world and calculated the average price per mile. 

Travelling on a red London bus will set passengers back 42p per mile while Tuk Tuks in Bangkok, thought to be an extremely cheap mode of transport, will cost an average of 94p a mile. 

Of the world’s other iconic modes of transport, gondolas in Venice were found to be the most expensive at £53 a mile and the Dhow Boats of Zanzibar, Tanzania, will set travellers back £23 a mile. New York’s famous yellow taxis were found to cost an average of £2.50 a mile and Maldivian seaplanes cost £2 a mile. The best value modes of transport worldwide was found to be Guatemala’s Chicken bus – the equivalent of 1p a mile.


Blackpool Tramway celebrated 130 years of operation during September and a selection of vehicles have been supplied by Haydn Davies, Paul Gooderson and Dave Heath and their efforts can now be viewed in an album by clicking  here 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

New London Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Rail Line Opens

The new £320m rail line linking Oxford and London has opened in a deal between operator Chiltern Railways and Network Rail.
Chiltern Railways says it is the first train line to link a major British city to London in 100 years.

Two new stations, Oxford Parkway and Bicester Village, will take passengers into London Marylebone.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who is an Oxfordshire MP, said it was "an historic moment" for the county.
Commuters will be able to travel from the north of Oxford, just off the A34, near Water Eaton park-and-ride, to London Marylebone in under an hour. The direct line into the city of Oxford is expected to open in 2016.
The rebuilt station for Bicester Village has also opened, directly linking the retail park to London.
The journey from Bicester Village to London Marylebone will take 46 minutes.
Oxford Parkway is expected to attract an additional 250,000 return commuter journeys each year.
The new service will offer two new fast trains per hour throughout the day between Oxford Parkway, Bicester Village Station and London.

 A new station for Bicester Village has also opened,
directly linking the retail park to London
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said the new line would help to boost capacity "as rail travel is forecast to double over the next two decades".

Mr Cameron said the new line meant "there will be more trains, faster journey times and better transport links for people living and working here".

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Sunday the 25th October saw changes to the Trent operated Red Arrow service. The main event on the day was the introduction of nine superb Plaxton Elite bodied Volvo B11RT tri-axle coaches. Complete with 57 seats, charging points and wi-fi, these now operate the section direct along the A52 between Derby and Nottingham, with just one intermediate stop at the Queens Medical Centre.

The service runs daytime basically every 10-minutes Monday to Saturday and every 20-minutes on Sundays, with widened headways at other times.

Since 1997 the service had also run north from Derby via Alfreton to Chesterfield, but only at best every 30-minutes. Earlier in 2015, this section was separated and effectively meant it was run as two distinct elements Derby-Nottingham and Derby-Chesterfield. Thus the opprtunity was taken to completely revise the northern section's identity, so from the same date this became known as The Comet.

This will eventually be operated by existing low-floor Wright bodied Volvo buses in a completely revised livery, which at the moment can only be speculated upon. However, informed sources indicate that one should look out for whooshing objects on a dark background.

In the meantime similar yellow liveried vehicles cascaded from route 2 (Ikeston & Nottingham - itself upgraded with new Volvo/Wright), operate the service until the assigned buses are ready for take off.

Monday, 26 October 2015


Stagecoach Manchester plan to say farewell to the Volvo B10M-55 with Alexander PS bodywork, by a Running Day on Saturday the 14th November. Route 192 (Manchester Piccadilly & Hazel Grove), will host the event with the company's last two such vehicles in service. These will run hourly from each end between 0900 and 1700-hours with fares collected donated to the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention charity.

A selection of such preserved and other versions of the type will be on display at the Hazel Grove Park-&-Ride site.

Sunday, 25 October 2015


Is this football’s strangest stadium? Train line runs through the ground of a Slovakian amateur team

There are a number of things that could potentially distract football players during matches - but a train hurtling its way past a pitch during a game has got to be perhaps the most unusual - and distracting - of them all.
However, that is the reality for Slovakian amateur team TJ Tatran ─îierny Balog, who play their games next to a railway track that regularly has trains making its way past the ground - even during matches.
A video uploaded onto social media by a fan attending a game involving the Slovakian team shows just how focused players must be as a steam train travels along the length of the pitch during a match while spectators sitting in stands just in front of the track watch on.
Aside from the fact that a train goes right past the ground, the noise made by the engine coupled with the steam emitted from the train prove to be the ultimate distraction for players - although supporters certainly seem to enjoy the show with many taking pictures and indeed videos of the unusual scene.
Watch a clip of TJ Tatran ─îierny Balog's stadium playing host to a train during a game by clicking  here

This clip featured recently on an edition of the satirical BBC television news programme 'Have I Got News For You'.

And on the subject of television programmes Michael Portillo is on his foreign railway travels again with 'Great Continental Railway Journeys' BBC2 at 9.00pm, whilst 'Chris Tarrant : Extreme Railway Journeys' is aired on Channel 5 at 9.00pm on Thursdays. Any editions missed can be viewed on the respective catch-up services.


The Leicester Transport Heritage Trust held their annual event during September at the Abbey Pumping Station adjacent to the Space Centre. There was also an open day held at the First Leicester bus depot nearby and Roger Kaye has supplied a small selection bus images old and new which can now be viewed in an album by clicking  here

Saturday, 24 October 2015


Leyland based firm John Fishwick & Sons bus service to cease trading

From blogpreston

Leyland based, Independent bus company, John Fishwick and Sons is to cease operating from today, Saturday 24th October 2015.

The public transport company with a history extending from 1907 will no longer be providing a bus service for the immediate future and Stagecoach have stepped in under special measures to continue a bus service due to special dispensation.
People from Preston, Leyland and Chorley will be lamenting the demise of the ubiquitous bus service which has become a way of life for local commuters.  Many Prestonians will recall the Fishwick & Sons bus station at the lower end of Fox Street with the all too familiar green buses. Up to 1953 Fishwick & Sons also had a haulage side to the business as well as public transport.

Stagecoach announced this statement on their website at 10.00pm on Thursday 23 October 2015:
‘Following the news that John Fishwick & Sons bus company is due to cease trading after business on Saturday 24th October 2015, Stagecoach can announce that they will be providing service 111 with effect from Sunday 25th October. This follows special dispensation given by the Traffic Commissioner to Stagecoach to allow this to happen at very short notice.
The route will be the same between Preston Bus Station and Moss Side (old Black Bull), then will operate a loop of Dunkirk Lane, Schleswig Way, Longmeanygate, Leyland Lane, Dunkirk Lane, then normal route back to Preston. As a result, we will not be serving Golden Hill Lane between the Leyland Lane traffic lights and Tuer Street.
There will be a new timetable, offering a 12 minute frequency Mon-Sat daytimes and every 30 mins in the evenings and all day on Sundays.
Please click here to download the timetable.
We will accept all valid Fishwick’s tickets and passes for travel in the short term and will advise more on tickets in due course. The full range of Stagecoach tickets will be valid for travel. Service 111 will be within the Preston ticket zone, which covers all of Leyland area.
We will not be in a position to operate any other former Fishwick’s routes on Sunday or Monday, but will be in discussions with Lancashire County Council over the possibility of covering other sections of route’.

Friday, 23 October 2015


On the 7th September the Norwich Park-&-Ride network was upgraded with a fleet of new buses and a revision to the routes operated. Established local operator Konectbus, a Go-Ahead subsidiary, took over the network completely having up to then been just one part of the operation. Eighteen new ADL Enviro400 diesel engined double-decks, along with several of their existing fleet buses now run the whole network.

There are now six distinct routes:

501      Thickthorn P&R via City Centre to Airport P&R
502      Harford P&R via City Centre to Sprowston P&R
503      Postwick P&R via City Centre to County Hall
510      Costessy P&R to Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital
511      Costessy P&R to University of East Anglia
512      Harford P&R to County Hall

ADL double-decks 623 upper and 624 lower illustrate the 'new order' of buses that now run the lion's share of the network.

Several existing fleet buses have been retained and repainted into the new two-tone green livery number 600 upper, passes by the former Anglia Television studios, once home to such programmes as Quiz of the Week, The Price is Right hosted by Nicholas Parsons and Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected, the one with the gyrating silhouetted lady. All since gone in the mists of time. Below, fleet number 800 one of the small fleet of former London operated Mercedes-Benz Citaro G articulated buses, is used on the University Hospital route and looks pretty good in the livery. Maybe a tad better than the previous liveries carried.

From the same date Konectbus also took over responsibility for the operation of the main Norwich city centre bus station and the facilities at the respective Park-&-Ride sites.

And finally.

Around the same time the fleet of older ADL Enviro400 double-decks assigned to the konectexpress route 8 from Toftwood via Dereham to Norwich, were replaced by five similar new versions. The livery as illustrated on number 619 upper, was freshened up and the route rebranded as the Straight8. The replaced double-decks were then cascaded onto the route 2/2A Norwich to Sheringham and Holt via Cromer. Number 605 below is shown as it passed along the A149 at Beeston Regis on the North Norfolk coast in the older konectexpress livery with revsed branded. Unfortunately despite passenger and other interested parties' expressions of concern, the company has decided to withdraw this route from the 2nd November.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Go-Ahead First Quarter Trading in Line With Expectations

Bus and rail operator Go-Ahead said first quarter trading was in line with expectations.

The Newcastle registered group saw 1% revenue growth across its regional bus routes, despite a 1.5% fall in passenger journeys.

Companies include Oxford Bus Company, Metrobus Crawley, Go North East, Go East Anglia, Go South Coast, Brighton & Hove and Plymouth City Bus.

Growth across London bus operations was also consistent with expectations.
Revenue growth was 2.5% while mileage grew 2%.

Companies include London Central, London General, Metrobus, Docklands Buses and Blue Triangle

Go-Ahead’s rail operations, which include GTR, Southeastern and London Midland franchises – through subsidiary Govia – all delivered growth.

click to enlarge
Passenger revenue across London Midland was 11%, reflecting prior-year quarter performance which was affected by engineering works.
The firm said the Department for Transport are ongoing around a contract for London Midland from March 2016 to October 2017.
Southeastern delivered around 6%, which helped to offset “challenges” in GTR, which saw around 4.5% growth.
GTR continues to incur incremental costs as a result of operational challenges and changes in its operating network.
In the second quarter the Department for Transport are expected to announce the successful bidders for the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises, and Go-Ahead plan to submit bids for Transport for London’s Overground contract.
David Brown, group chief executive of Go-Ahead, said: “Overall trading performance has been satisfactory and our full year expectations for both bus and rail operations remain unchanged.
“In our rail division we look forward to hearing the outcome of the Northern and TransPennine Express rail franchise competitions, and to submitting our bid for TfL’s London Overground contract.
“We continue to make progress in our bus division. Our locally-run bus companies work in partnership with local authorities and are focused on the needs of the communities they serve. We are proud of our high levels of customer satisfaction, which remain the best in the sector at 90%.”