Friday, 1 July 2016

Blue Line Bonanza

36179 arriving at Roundtree Way this afternoon
I'm afraid it's more coverage of the Blue Line today, with the second bus returning in the new paint job whilst another has headed down to Ipswich in return. 36167 BD11CFM is the fourth vehicle to arrive at Simon Morris, joining 36169 BD11CFO which is midway through treatment at the moment. Thanks to 36167s departure, 36179 BD11CDY has returned home and was placed straight inside the depot to have the interior branding applied. The adverts include a friendly welcome message, route and ticketing information, amongst others which will compliment twelve unique rear adverts we can all have fun trying to spot. 36179 carries "for coffee & cake with the blues" and will be at Roundtree Way over the weekend before entering service next week.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Fleet Update: First

32211 approaching Temple Road earlier this year.
More updates from First this week include Ipswich's 66850 MX05CHD, a Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse-Urban which is on loan to Lowestoft, whilst Lowestoft's Enviro200 45118 ST09JPT heads south in return to cover for Ipswich's short wheel-based models which are all off the road at the moment. 

At Great Yarmouth, Volvo B7TL Plaxton President 32211 LT52WTU is withdrawn and will follow her sisters to Cornwall in the next couple of weeks.

At Norwich, Volvo B9TL Wright Eclipse-Gemini 2 36166 BD11CFK entered service on Tuesday in her new Blue Line guise whilst ex-Leeds 36182 BF12KXV has also hit the road.

Another thing to note, although not directly First related is that Danny Beales and Chris Speed have made the tough decision to sell their AEC Swift 85 WEX685M. Any sensible and genuine offers should be made to them via their Facebook page.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Blue Line Branding

Following on from last week's post showing FirstNorwich's 36166 BD11CFK's new paintjob, I have been sent in photos of her complete with her new branding. It is virtually the same as that seen on the Pink Line buses, but in blue! Route information sits above the door, free WiFi adverts appear on the upper deck windscreen and on the nearside rear window along with a circle which advertises the Network Norwich day ticket which is valid on all First services in the City. The rear window will play host to various different slogans, with 36166 saying "to catch gigging debuts, cruise with the blues!" The only difference is that the old blue destination screen surround has been kept on and utilised by placing a handy white sentence saying "to & from the city centre".

36169 BD11CFO is the next bus to get painted and it arrived at Simon Morris this morning. 36166 has returned to Norwich.

Photos by Mark Webster and Bryan Dickson.

© Bryan Dickson

Friday, 24 June 2016

Open-Topper for Great Yarmouth

It is after a long wait that I can now finally reveal that First in Great Yarmouth will be operating an open-top decker on their summer-only service 3. Branded "Seasider", the service operates every hour between Vauxhall Holiday Park, and Haven Seashore Holiday park calling at the Rail Station, Market Gates, and the seafront. The bus in question is ex-Essex 32905 W905VLN, and it is photographed at Rotherham's depot by Richard Barnes and Chris Speed respectively wearing a "Great Yarmouth Transport" colour-scheme based on First's colour routes livery. Thanks chaps for allowing the use of your photos!

It could arrive in Norfolk as early as next week, having undergone a full repaint and interior refurbishment.

© Richard Barnes
© Chris Speed

Thursday, 23 June 2016

First Gemini Update and Anglian Update

ex-First Leeds 36183 BN12JYF and 36184 BN12JYG both entered service in Norwich yesterday, whilst 36181 BF12KXU is in service in Great Yarmouth on loan. On the Blue Line front, 36166 BD11CFK has now been repainted and is awaiting her new style branding to be applied. Andrew Berry and Bryan Dickson have sent me the following pictures of her at Simon Morris in Ipswich.

© Bryan Dickson
© Andrew Berry
Sister vehicle 36179 BD11CDY is now receiving the same treatment.

Over at Anglianbus, I have been contacted by an employee of the company who has informed me that they will still be operating the 80 and 81 services on a commercial basis, whilst BorderBus will operate their 580 route between Bungay and Yarmouth as competition. The Diss end of the route is also up for tender, and we should know the final details within the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

BorderBus New Service

One thing to note on VOSA the other day was that Beccles based BorderBus have registered a new service. There were plenty of rumours going around last week that Anglianbus had handed back the tender for the 80/81 service between Diss, Beccles and Great Yarmouth. Although that is still unconfirmed, it now looks to be the case as BorderBus have registered service 580. Sound familiar? 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Fleet Update: FirstNorwich

36181 photographed in Leeds in March.
Thanks to Simon Taylor for making me aware that the first two of a batch of twenty-two Volvo B9TL Wright Eclipse-Gemini 2s will be arriving at Norwich this evening. 36181 BF12KXU and 36185 BN12JYH were new to First Games Transport Ltd, a branch of the company specifically set up for the London Olympics and was later used to provide transport for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.  A load of Gemini 2s and Enviro400s were purchased to transport the thousand of fans to and from the games locations under the brand "FirstShuttle" but after having completed their duties in London, this particular batch found their way to Leeds and have operated there ever since. It is expected that the full batch will include 36181 through to 36202 with buses to be split between Great Yarmouth and Norwich depots, however final details are yet to be confirmed.

On the Blue Line front, 36179 BD11CDY is expected to depart for repaint tomorrow. Remember you can keep up to date on Norwich's repaint programme on our dedicated page which can be found above on the tabs, or by clicking here.