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Showbus 2014

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Fleet Update ~ FirstGreat Yarmouth

Once again, I must apologise for the one week gap between posts. I'm not going to make an excuse, because you are all probably aware of the reason why I am finding less and less time to write. 

It has been reported that alongside two as yet unidentified Volvo B9TL Wright Eclipse Geminis, First's Alexander Dennis Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA will soon be repainted into the express versions of First's coorperate livery. This is the same paintjob worn by the twenty-two buses which were purchased last year to operate the X1 between Peterborough and Lowestoft. This news has been met with dismay amongst many enthusiasts and bloggers alike and I feel that I must share the same opinion. Unfortunately First have assured me that no matter what we do, we won't be able to change their mind! The decision means that less and less standard liveried vehicles will be seen along the route which will improve the public image of the route, aswell as increasing passengers confidence when catching the X1 as the livery is easily recognised. 

We want your photos! If you have a photo of 33423 that you are particularly proud of, please do email it to zak.nbp@gmail.com where it will be featured in a photo special memorial of the 'most photogenic bus' in East Anglia.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Driver Trainer spotted in Norwich

Today saw me in Norwich, for an hour or two getting a few bits and bobs for my car, and I was thrilled to see the very visible 60807 S658RNA approaching me on St Stephen's Street. The Vovlo B10BLE Wright Renown was previously in service with First in Great Yarmouth, and left for a repaint and conversion to a training vehicle in Rotherham a good number of weeks back. Sister 60808 S659RNA will also be treated to the same work, after departing Caister Road last week. An as yet unconfirmed double decker is also set to be converted in the future.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Spotted: Kvarner

One more day in Croatia. It's flown by and I really wish I could stay longer. Although I've been keeping up with the local bus scene back home via the usual blogs, I've also managed to do a bit of spotting myself, here on the Adriatic coast.

Autotrans 1261 RI391-OG negotiating the rather
steep approach to the bus stop in Njivice
a similar 1153 RI885-KM was also
 noted on the service to Rijeka
Before departing little old Hempnall last Friday, I had done some research into buses in Croatia and couldn't find any information whatsoever so I wasn't quite sure what would face me upon arrival. It took three days to get here, as my family had decided to spare the expense of flying and to take the car instead; via France, Belgium, Luxembourgh, Germany, Switzerland, Liectenstein, Italy and Slovenia, before arriving in Croatia Sunday night. The first few days flew by without a bus in sight, probably due to the fact I was sunning myself on the beach, basking in temperatures in the low thirties. Wednesday saw cooler temperatures which allowed me to be distracted from the beach and to venture a bit further up the road to find the bus stop. After noting down the times I spent most of the day cycling back and forth between the bus stop and our rented appartment photographing the vehicles as they passed through Njivice on their way to Rijeka, with connections to Zagreb and then even as far south as the Alabnian border. This was the day that I figured buses simply didn't exist in Croatia, as every single service was operated by a step entrance Setra coach. 

Autotrolej 581 RI467-TU shortly after I disebarked
Feeling a bit dissappointed, I managed to persuade my parents to take a short trip to Rijeka the following day, the main city in the Kvarner region. I was hopeful that I may have more luck photographing actual buses rather than coaches; surely a city as big as that can't have all their services operated by step entry vehicles?Turns out, I was half right There were buses in Rijeka, but the age of them really shocked me. It made me realise how lucky we are living in the UK, where more and more companies are becoming step-free. I spent about five minutes outside the bus station, and then wondered up to a brand new shopping centre about thirty minutes walk from the city centre. After getting what I wanted to get, I decided to test out my Croatian and caught a rather old looking MAN SG240 back to the centre. A little bit of research reveals that they were built between 1980 and 1986, but that is all I can find out as the wikipedia page is in German.

Autotrolej 714 RI214-RG, a Mercedes-Benz
O350G Citaro, similar to those operated by
Dereham based company Konectbus.
Feeling a bit homesick, I made my way back to the carpark where I was pleased to sight a familiar looking vehicle approaching. Turns out there are low-floor buses in Croatia! Also noted were a small fleet of light blue liveried buses, and although I managed to catch a bus using Croatian, I couldn't quite understand what the livery said but I'm assuming they are powered by hydrogen or some other form of environmentally friendly fuel. These were all Irisbuses of some sort, but I managed to spot a small version in the same livery, also an Irisbus. Still no idea what fuel it uses though!

210  RI410-UH is a breath of fresh air, thanks
to it's low emissions, and also thanks to
the fact it's not orange.
I will be arriving home Monday evening, and will hopefully be publishing a small selection of  bus photographs taken in each country we passed through on the way to Croatia, and on the way back, where we will also be visiting Austria and the Netherlands.

Harry is on holiday for a while soon after I get back so I will be taking back the reigns to allow him to enjoy his holiday.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Anglian and Konect Service Revisions

308 AU11EPF working the 53 on St Stephens
Street last month.
A bit behind, but please forgive me as I'm currently on holiday in a hot and sunny Croatia! Hopefully I'll be publishing some of my bus shots from across Europe, as it took three days to drive here with stops in many countries which gave me the opportunity to take some bus photos.

Go-Ahead owned sister companies Anglian and Konect have announced some service revisions which will take place from September 1st. Rather than go into all the detail here, I will advise you to go over to their websites to see the official changes. They include timetable and route amendments, whilst service 53 Wroxham to Tuckswood will transfer to Konect, along with Anglian's five remaining Optare Versas.

ex-Anglianbus Optare Tempo 414 YJ55BLX is also due to depart for a repaint at some point within the next week.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Fleet Update ~ FirstBus

Good evening ladies & gents! Just a quick update from me this evening, compiling the weeks changes to the FirstBus fleet!

I'd like to inform you that Ex-Norwich Volvo 66950, WX55TZM, has entered service with FirstIpswich in their own new livery- Charcoal Front & First Corporal Colours to the rear.

In addition, 44519, An Enviro 200, Also has entered service with Ipswich in their new Charcoal livery. For more information & news on Ipswich I'd certainly recommend visiting the Ipswich Bus Blog and Steve's Bus & Train Page! Steve reports that 44518 will return shortly from Rotherham in the Ipswich Charcoal Livery.

Routemaster NML623E saw use yesterday on Private Hire. She transported a number of my mums friends to a local wedding. See EastNorfolkBusBlog for photos!

60807, S658RNA, Has returned in driver training livery. She certainly looks very bright!

Volvo B7TL Wright Eclipse-Gemini 32629 KP54KAX has seen plenty of use this week- I observed her on route 1 on Friday & Saturday, and seen her pass me throughout the week!

Finally, Volvo 66333 (MV02VBY) has returned to FirstNorwich after short term loan.


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Experiencing Sanders Route 6 For The First Time

Earlier this week the family planned to attend an attraction in North Walsham. This gave me the perfect opportunity to persuade them to travel on Sanders route 6, and so we did!

Today was the first day travelling on Sanders Route 6 for myself, and I was highly suprised by the amount of turns & Narrow lanes this route encounters. I set out at 9:15 on one of the first route 6's of the morning and 1 hour 30 minutes later I arrived into North Walsham on one of their Scania Omni Single Deckers. It gave a great ride there.

The return journey was made up of a DAF Wright Bodied Single Decker, Not as comfy although still bearable!


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Fleet Lists Updated

Our fleet lists have now been updated. Check them out by clicking the fleet lists tab.

Friday, 1 August 2014

A14 Bendy Bus Update

Since my post regarding the sighting of three silver liveried Scania bendy buses, I have been contacted by Tom Munson, the Operations Manager at Beestons; who confirmed they are heading his way. He reveals that four are already present at the depot, with another six to follow. All are ex-Menzies and were used on Heathrow Airport, though it is not decided which specific services they will operate with their new owners.

Photo courtesy of Beestons.

Thanks to Tom Munson for getting in touch.

Fleet Update ~ FirstIpswich

The long wait is over, and Eastern Counties now has a bus in their own heritage livery. Clive on Ipswich Bus Blog and Roy over on East Norfolk Bus Blog have been lucky enough to be supplied a photograph of the bus shortly after arrival at 1900 yesterday evening.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Fleet Update ~ BorderBus

105, Southwold bound at Beccles Bus Station
Yesterday I finally managed to sample the new 146 service between Norwich and Southwold which is operated by a small fleet of Enviro200s. BorderBus have five E200s in service, all with personalised registrations; except for one. 105 SK07HLU was photographed last week sporting personal plate BB07BUS, but today it was back to it's original registration. I am informed that this is due to change as soon as the paperwork comes through but until then it will have to carry it's original reg.