Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Norfolk Coaster

Today was the first day of many revised timetables across the Anglian and Konect network, but the main attraction was up on the North Norfolk coast. Konect's new service 22 operates between Cromer and Sheringham with some buses continuing onto Weybourne and the Muckleburgh Collection; a display of various military artefacts and vehicles. 

I boarded the 0940 service 2 from Norwich to Cromer, which now operates on Sundays thanks to the numerous tweaking of timetables which make it increasingly easier for the general public to travel. This particular service was being operated by 604 SN10CEX, and I must say I agree with Steve over on Steve's Bus & Train Page when he says that Konect's '10 reg Enviro400s are quiet, smooth and comfortable.  Coming the other way, I noted a Konectexpress 8 branded Enviro400 which I believe to be 605 SN61CZV. I'm told this is a regular Sunday working as the bus comes off the 2 on arrival in Norwich and then heads to Dereham on the 8. I also spied 504 YJ05PXE which I ended up riding back home after my day out.
50 R739XRV at Cromer with ops manager Steven Royal at the wheel and MD Julian Patterson enjoying the view up top.
Dead on time, I was greeted with the sight of recently acquired Northern Counties Palatine bodied Volvo Olympian 50 R739XRV, along with a friendly looking operations manager at the wheel. After photographing it from all possible angles from the outside, I boarded and was rather startled by the striking orange and blue leather seats of the interior (photo below).  I was rather excited as I had always wanted to ride a MK1 bodied Palatine after seeing plenty operating with FirstKernow on holiday last year. A couple things to note are that the fleet number is not displayed anywhere on the vehicle; I'm not sure why and neither was Steven! Also, the route number seems to be programmed on the left hand side, following in the footsteps of the old AnglianBus numbers.

The rather bright leather seats soak up the 'sun' in Sheringham
I was rather impressed with my first ride on this type of bus. Overall it was quiet and hugely comfortable but the leather seats probably helped with that. One thing I do like about old buses is their love of rocking side to side on the bumpy back roads; ending up with Konect helping out the council in their tree trimming duties as various foliage found it's way inside. Mr Royal did inform me that 50 had already been used by the company to assist in tree cutting, similar to that of Ipswich Buses 9 MRT9P which was seen out last year. Other details to note are that East Lancs Lolyne 725 W825NNJ left Konectbus yesterday bound for Hedingham, and ex-London Gemini 512 LB02YXA is expected out in service tomorrow.

There are high expectations for the 22 this summer, and today these expectations grew thanks to the new bus and service drawing a lot of attention from enthusiasts and the general public alike. A flickr gallery for the 22 will be created in due course.

On a final note, I wish all my readers a very happy Easter!!

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