Thursday, 27 April 2017

First Trial X1 Coach

First have today trialled a tri-axle coach on the western section of the X1 between Norwich and Peterborough. Although not in service, it was used to test whether or not the size of the vehicle could viably be used on the service when the current fleet list replaced. It seems First really are thinking of and experimenting with every possible option for the latest upgrade, which should mean only the best will be chosen!

Thanks to Sam Larke for bringing this to my attention, and to Gerard Fletcher on the X1 Blog and First for the pictures.

Fleet Update: First

As reported on East Norfolk Bus Blog yesterday, a number of vehicle movements are under way to accommodate for the introduction of the new X41 Charcoal Line service in Norwich, as well as the Park & Ride services in Ipswich which First will be taking on in the summer. A new website has been set up for the latter, which proudly shows off a few clues about what the buses may look like but for now it will be kept under wraps!

Arriving yesterday at Caister Road for use in Great Yarmouth were two Volvo B9TL Wright Eclipse-Geminis in the shape of 37141 SN57HDA and 37142 SN57HDC. These are to replace two newer versions which are being transferred to Norwich to use on the X41. Ex-Leeds 36181 BF12KXU is already at Simon Morris being repainted, and 36182 BF12KXV is expected to follow suit.

37142 at Caister Road this morning
37141 also at Great Yarmouth today
Also arriving at Caister Road yesterday, but for Ipswich were two Alexander Dennis Enviro300s complete with leather seats and WiFi. These, including the two aforementioned double deckers have been transferred from First's now defunct Borders operations in Scotland. 67763 SN62AUK and 67773 SN62AXH are the first of the type to operate in Eastern Counties, the latter needing a lot of de-branding as it is currently branded up for the X95 service between Carlisle and Edinburgh, complete with a striped front.
67773 pretending to go to Hemsby!
There seems to be a bit of confusion as to which buses are still to come but I have been told the following. Another six Enviro300s will soon be making their way over with three expected in Yarmouth on Tuesday, with one going straight to Ipswich, whilst another one is scheduled to arrive at Caister Road on Wednesday. The five confirmed buses, yet to arrive are as follows, with the sixth still to be decided upon.

67753 SN62APO
67760 SN62AUC
67774 SN62AXK
67775 SN62AXO
67776 SN62AXU

67763 after having the destination screen programmed for Eastern Counties

Lastly, some news from Norwich is that 60916 YG02DKU is being taken to Simon Morris tomorrow to be repainted into the new livery. She is seen below at Roundtree Way depot today ready to leave after having her panels replaced.

Konectbus to Mulbarton

The following has been taken from Konect's official press release which can be read here.

From Tuesday 30th May, Konectbus will launch new route 37A between Mulbarton and Norwich City Centre via Asda on Hall Road. The route will operate Mondays to Saturdays up to every thirty minutes.

404 seen when Konect operated the Sunday service
All bus stops between Mulbarton and Norwich will be served including Swardeston, Keswick crossroads and Hall Road.

Passengers can take advantage of CityZone tickets which allow travel to the N&NU Hospital, Broadland Business Park, Norwich Rail Station and Longwater Retail Park. CityZone tickets can be bought on the bus with cash, on the Konectbus m-ticket app or at Norwich Bus Station with card or cash.

Don't forget weekly and monthly tickets will be accepted on Anglianbus 37B on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

More Buses for Charcoal Line

I have been reliably informed that the first extra bus to be used on the extended Charcoal Line service is now at Simon Morris in Ipswich for a repaint into the grey-fronted livery. The bus in question is Great Yarmouth's 36181 BF12KXU. It is thought that there will be a number of bus swaps over the coming month to accommodate the extra buses needed for the 41 and X41, with some heading from Norwich to the coast and others heading the other way. I'll keep you informed.

Left: 36181 at Caister Road in Great Yarmouth shortly after arriving from Leeds.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

China Comes to Town!

Sanders Coaches today announced on twitter the arrival of their newest member to their coaching fleet. NS17GAS is a thirty-two seater Chinese built Yutong midi-coach complete with a private registration number. Photo by Sanders Coaches.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

FirstNorwich Refurbs

33166 looking fresh in the sunshine today at Roundtree Way
A new refurbishment programme has begun at First in Norwich, with the first vehicle to undergo the process being put back on the road today. Purple Line branded 33166 LR02LYD was the first on the list which saw an almost entire repaint including application of the new style Network Norwich branding.

Next on the list is Volvo B7L Wright Eclipse 60916 YG02DKU which was pulled off the road yesterday. The seats are to be retrimmed and the extra luggage racks present from it's time in First West Yorkshire's Park & Ride fleet will be removed. At the same time, most of the exterior panels are to be replaced and once that's done the bus will be sent to Ipswich for a repaint into the Olympia livery.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Norfolk Green Solos in Wigan

On my recent travels I visited Stagecoach's depot in Wigan for a quick look inside. Upon arrival I was quite surprised to see a number of ex-Norfolk Green vehicles present. After a little research, I found out that four Optare Solos are currently being stored there awaiting collection by their new oweners, McGills in Scotland. I managed to snap all but one, MX55WCV.