Sunday, 12 June 2016

Rare Spots: May 2016

36180 on St Stephen's Street at the beginning of the month.

I may have started off last month's post with the same statement, I can't remember. But it's been another quiet month! Or maybe that's because I have less time to spot now because of work. Though I can promise June's edition will be much more detailed as I've already had a lot of submissions so thank you for those! We'll start off with the appearance of a FirstNorwich Volvo B9TL on the Pink Line. As you're aware, the 11/12 routes recently took delivery of a batch of nine StreetDecks which see service pretty much everday. The peak vehicle requirement for the Pink Line though is eleven, and so if you can do simple maths you'll realise that this means not every diagram can be operated by one of the new buses. This usually results in one of Norwich's many Tridents being used and so it was a nice surprise to see the use of one of the newer vehicles to compliment the brand new StreetDecks. Staying with First, the Eastern Counties depots have played host to the groups engineering training bus. The bus effectively tours the country each year giving the massive amount of engineers the opportunity to learn and train during their working hours. 32052 X578RJW is a Volvo B7TL East Lancs Vyking and is photographed at Roundtree Way depot in Norwich.

20501, a Plaxton Paragon coach on Bracondale in Norwich
One more First picture, and then we'll move on to Anglian. The following photo has already been featured on the excellent X1 Blog, written by Gerard Fletcher and the reason for that is as follows. Great Yarmouth's 20501 AO02RBY was transferred from Essex many months ago now, but it was actually bought new specifically for Eastern Counties' Lowestoft to Peterborough route which was numbered X94 in 2002. More recently it's seen service on the town routes in Great Yarmouth but it effecively 'returned home' towards the end of the month when it was sighted back on it's old haunting ground of the X1.
960 on St Stephen's Street

The last photo this month is of Anglianbus 960 AU58AKK which was featured last month operating the short-lived 87D shuttle service thanks to road closures cutting the regular 87 service in half. This time round, it features because it was sighted in Norwich on one of her old regular routes. Both 960 and sister 961 AU58AKN were the designated buses for the 003 and 004 services to Harleston, but along with Anglian's rebranding a few years ago which saw them renumbered 83 and 84 the buses schedule was written so that buses never stayed on the same route all day. Since then, and especially recently, the mainstay on the 83 and 84 have been Optare Versas and Scania OmniLinks so it was a nice surprise to see Anglian's remaining Solo back on the service.

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