Thursday, 27 June 2013

Norfolk Show creates interesting workings

The Royal Norfolk Show taking place this week has caused a greta opportunity for enthusiasts to be out and about, spotting rare workings. This is due to various buses being used on the shuttle services throughout the day.

 First of all, we have anglianbus 104 (WX62HGG) running on the 581A to Beccles via Wheatacre. This is a very unusual allocation, especially due to the fact that a 581A regular, a Scania OmniCity was taking the MAN's place on the 146/140 duties. Below we see 458 (YN05HFH) about to pull into the bus station in Norwich, ready to leave on the 140 to Hall Road.
 GoAhead have suggested that they would like the newer vehicles to be based at Rackheath for work in the city, with older vehicles allocated to the more rural routes. This could be another reason for the strange allocations. The company could be testing out different buses on different routes to see if they will work on them. Rackheath are unable to take on any gas powered

 buses at the moment though, as only Beccles has the right facilities to refuel and service them. To the right, we see anglianbus using a konectbus Mercedes-Benz Citaro on a shuttle service to and from the Showground, via City College.

Another uncommon sight was an ex-Brighton & Hove Dennis Trident East Lancs Lolyne working on the number 8 service for konectbus. Konect have a fleet or ADL Enviro400s branded for the 8 which usually work the route. If they cannot use one of these on the route, they tend to send just a regular Enviro400, however due to many buses out on shuttle service, this East Lancs was sent instead.
FirstNorwich are running a service direct to and from the Showground from the City Centre at short intervals of every half an hour. These were mostly covered by Blue Line Volvo B9s, which caused the older, spare branded Presidents along with some single deckers to make appearences throughout the day on the 25s. The route is given the number 100 which is not to be confused with Norse's 100 circular to County Hall.
First weren't keeping it quiet about the presence of their heritage Routemaster bus being in service! The bus, based at Great Yarmouth ran three services to the Showground in the mornings, and two from the Showground in the afternoon. A treat to the members of the public aswell, not just enthusiasts!

Finally, due to the amount of buses being used for the Norfolk Show, FirstNorwich sought the help from their nearby neighbours at Lowestoft to fill in the gaps left by the absent buses. Lowestoft currently have nine of these Plaxton Pointers working in the fleet, which is plenty more than they need after receiving a few more from Great Yarmouth last month. This particular bus, 42451, is seen here working the Red Line service 24. An ex-Lowestoft dart was also seen in the city. V357DVG is on trial at FirstNorwich, as they are looking for replacements for their long serving Optare Solos, which run services 37, 38 and 39 on the Purple Line. MPDs are currently the top choice for replacing the 2002 registered Optares. I for one will be pleased to see some Pointers back in service in the city.