Sunday, 6 December 2015

Depot Visit: Lynx

I planned to go to King's Lynn last Tuesday, as I haven't found the time to go this year at all. So I still hadn't photographed the new bus station, most of Stagecoach Norfolk's latest arrivals and repaints, and I'd also never seen a Lynx bus. 

So on Monday, I emailed Lynx to find out if I would be welcome at the depot to take photos. Within ten minutes I had received a friendly reply saying they'd be more than happy to have me and would even come and pick me up from the bus station upon my arrival. I honestly didn't think that companies that are so enthusiast-friendly still existed, so I was more than looking forward to my visit.

After driving to Wymondham and catching two Konectbuses to get to the North Norfolk town, I rang Lynx and was told that their MD Julian was on his way to pick me up. As an enthusiast himself, I was not surprised to see the word 'BUS' on his number plate!

After a short drive to their depot, which is shared by a haulage firm, he introduced me to the office staff and then showed me around his part of the yard. There were four buses present outside the garage. 7 YJ58CEY is one of five shorter X1060 Tempos in the fleet. It was being cleaned and has recently had it's Coasthopper vinyls removed. Another bus present was longer X1200 version 5 YJ55BKU which was sitting awaiting service. Next to 5 was a menacing looking black coach, which turned out to be 31 N175LHU. The Volvo B10M VanHool T8 Alizee is used on schools and rail replacement work and whilst it looks a bit shabby from the outside, which Julian admits and is looking to fix, on the inside it's impeccably smart. Fifty-three black seats feature red leather headrests, which will compliment the vehicle nicely once it gains Lynx's fleet livery in the near future.

the interior of 31, N175LHU
Hiding next to 31 was 9 PF10MDY which as far as I was aware was painted in Diamond's livery. But alas it was gleaming bright red and was just awaiting a few parts before it being entered into general service.

Then I was in for a treat. Inside the garage was 8 PF10MDX which Julian kindly drove out of the gloom to allow me to photograph. But it was the vehicle next to 8 that interested me more. Those who don't know, Julian used to be the MD of Konectbus in Dereham. He also owns a couple of restored vehicles, most famously UFX852S, a Leyland National. It was officially on loan to Konectbus from him, but now he's moved to Lynx and so has his bus! It is currently being restored and will eventually be out and about again in bright red. At the moment, it's looking a bit worse for wear but that can only be expected as it's being stripped and assessed at the moment to see what is needed to bring it back up to scratch, but Julian's kindly allowed me to reproduce my photos here so you can all see how it's getting on.

As I was about to leave, coach 30 P330RVG arrived back being driven by a client of the haulage firm next door who also train drivers. The coach is a Volvo B10M Plaxton Premiere and although it wears Lynx's distinctive red livery it lacks fleetnames on the side which I'm told is to prevent complaints to the company should the learner's driving be somewhat questionable. Interestingly, the vehicle was new to First Eastern Counties and used to operate on the X94; today's X1.

30 P330RVG
And with a photo of that vehicle also taken, Julian explained that all the other vehicles were on the road operating Lynx's 35 service between King's Lynn and Hunstanton and so he kindly gave me a lift back to the bus station to allow me to complete my task.

A big thanks has got to go to Julian for taking the time to ferry me between the depot and the bus station, and to Jenny in the office for organising the visit. I'm sure it won't be my last! To view Lynx's fleetlist, please click here. I have also made a new album on my flickr page dedicated to the company which can be seen by clicking here.

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