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Old 18th December 2016, 00:32   #1
THarris123
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Default Bus Trips

This is a thread for details of any adventures any of us go on and want to do a ramble on what happened on the trip. It should save a few long worded posts on some of the other threads.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I meant to post this about a week or so ago...

Last Saturday I did a rather large trip visiting 5 different depots of First.
First of all it was onto 376 from Wells to Street with 35164 to grab a ฃ10 day ticket. On 376 was also 35161 and 35162. Going past Wells depot, 69441, 66724, 69457 and 2 Streetdecks were in. Then changed onto 8.34 29 to Taunton with 40581. I noticed 40581 had its registration plate changed back to the YJ51 version, implying it's ready for selling soon. The driver was one of the old experienced drivers, so it was a nice old pleasant and joyful ride. The bus is fairly awful and I had a very painful backside getting off at Taunton. On the journey, I saw 69013 on 75, 40585, 40584 and 47543 on 29,77,54.

In Taunton depot were 23014 (with a L plate), 66745, a dart and 23312.

I then transferred onto 10.35 30 to Axminster. I was very pleased to have one of my favourite sort of buses - 33380. A very comfortable joyful journey all the way to Axminster (although the driver did question the validity of my day ticket which was a bit annoying). Only problem is it was raining and the bus ended up into Axminster quite late. Luckily I had about 5 mins in the train station to swap onto X51 with 36001 to Dorchester. A lovely Scania as always - something I did note though there was quite a bit less branding. It was another lovely ride. Single was ฃ7. Only thing to note was 69212 heading out of Dorchester on X51 as we got in.

After looking around Dorchester for 10 mins, I caught 10 to Weymouth. This was a very lovely B7 - 69542. A very nice comfortable ride again and I really think its a nice choice of vehicle for the route - powerful, comfortable and a really really smooth ride. Made it in Weymouth with just enough time to look around the depot - quite a lot of ALX400s sat at the front of the workshop and a few tridents sat at the back of the depot. Then onto the train to Yeovil Pen Mill - this was one of the GWR refurbished trains. A complete overhaul had been done and I really enjoyed it - the seats are brilliant and its so nice to see next stop info on them. A really good job has been done on refurbishment. Quick walk to Yeovil and look around Yeovil. 40581 then turned up on the 77 back to Wells, so after having a lovely day on so many lovely vehicles/train, I ended up with a knackered backside walking home from the bus station.

Overall it was a lovely day out. It could have been better in terms of weather and it'll be much better when the B6s have gone and replaced by B7s. Overall ฃ29.50 (ฃ10 WoE plus day, ฃ7 X51 single, ฃ3.50 to Weymouth, ฃ9 train single) spent out on travel, which is a little annoying, considering I expect I could have done that once upon a time on a First South West Day Ticket for ฃ7 (plus the train fare).

Observations on the day were:-
29, 77 & 54 40581/4/5, 47543, 45114, 67600
376 35161/2/4
Wells depot 69441, 66724, 2 Streetdecks
Taunton depot 23014, 66745, Dart, 23312
P&R 47537/8, 55102
21A 48273 (with OIG1796 now)
4 44601, 55108
28 67710, 67701
75 69013
Taunton bus station 40570, 67705/6, 67709 (went onto 22A), 44922, 33377, 55105
21/A 69018, 40592, 32947, 48272, 43822
22/A 62192, 33381
30 33380, ALX400 Trident
99 47540
1 44924/44932
3 45111/45112(?)
X51 36001, 37583, 37586, 37585, 69212
X53 36006, 36003
Damory - 3828, 3762 (44) in Bridport
10 69210, 69542, 69545, 69546
Weymouth 2 47408, 63187, 47405
Weymouth 4 53613
Not in service 69211
Depot 33057, 32887, Scania, 37583, 32031/3/6/8/46, 42953 and 63181 (?) - back panel knocked off
Yeovil - 1 53110, bus station 50466, 58 42951, 1 2xHoppa, 58 53610

Last edited by THarris123; 18th December 2016 at 00:32. Reason: Double post prevention system
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Old 18th December 2016, 19:17   #2
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Next time, if you ask for an Axminster - Weymouth ticket it will cover you for the 10 (works on X51/10 as well as X53.
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Old 23rd December 2016, 20:08   #3
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A little trip into Bath and Bristol today:
First of all 173 69438 to Norton, then swap onto 172 to Bath. Quick look around Bath - noticed 32638 on 41, meaning these 3 have probably transferred.

Then onto X39 37770 to Temple Meads and swapped onto 70 to Muller Road. Stood at Muller Road in the rain initially looking around and then waiting for 17. Waited there 40 mins in the rain annoyingly. Took 17 to Kingswood with 37013 and then swapped onto 32282 on 19 to Victoria Park. Now sat in a pub after catching U5 with 32099. Plan is to head back on U5, then either 172/3/4.

Noticed that 69438 has had its windows done, but nothing else, meaning either there has been a change of plan or it had issues meaning it had to go away, so had the windows done whilst away.

Observations today:
265 65726
19/A 32282/47550/66993
1 47544/7/9/5
4 42939/902/5/15
Parked up on Dorchester Street 42955
3 44524, 42968,
5 66352, 66353, 66884
U1 33943
179 44914
X39 37770/62/57/37358
41 32638
U5 32069/99
37 32280
38 66355/42903
21 39138/40

Bris 33939
50 33665/32941
73 37623/37015/37340/8
8 47437/47440
24 47455/47461
903 37608/9
42 66941
45 42901
75/76 37588/90/8/LK53LZF/
70/71 35115/11/04/09/39/16
Port 33933
46 66731
78 66934
Heart FM B7L 77
36 LK53LZE
17 37013/4/37342
16 66332
35 43849
42A 32356
43 37626
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Old 25th December 2016, 01:14   #4
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Hi All,

I quite like this thread and I am posting a day trip from Cumbernauld to Stirling and Falkirk on Thursday 08/12/2016. The weather was raining off and on . The National Express Dundee was being towed into Alexanders at Falkirk. The Class 68 loco was on a Grangemouth to Aberdeen freight, I think. The buses that I travelled on are at the very end.

FG = First Glasgow
FSE = First Scotland East
SES = Stagecoach East Scotland
SWS = Stagecoach West Scotland
NXD = National Express Dundee.

Cumbernauld
FG
37149

FSE
36013
69262

McGills
8425 / 8436

SES
54117 / 54124 / 54143 /

SWS
10511 / 10517 / 10520 /

KU52YKC – Canavan, Kilsyth
KU52YKE – Canavan, Kilsyth
KU52YKY – Canavan, Kilsyth
YE52FHN – Dunns, Riggend
KX04HRK – Dunns, Riggend
BX54DLY – Canavan, Kilsyth
GW55XPX – Canavan, Kilsyth
YX11CVT – JD Travel, Calderbank

Stirling
FSE
30940 /
31146 / 31562 /
36013 / 36014 / 36015 / 36021 / 36023 / 36026 /
39303 / 39304 /
61224 /
63257 / 63261 / 63264 / 63265 / 63266 /
65694 / 65702 / 65709 / 65711 / 65712 / 65719 / 65721 / 65751 / 65753 /
67745 / 67747 / 67757 / 67758 / 67759 / 67761 / 67764 /
69264 / 69293 / 69405 /

SES
54120 /

KSK 976 – Parks, Hamilton
LS04OSL – Mackies, Alloa
YJ54UXD – Ferguson, Stirling
KX06LYK – Addison, Aberfoyle
SN06GGK – Mackies, Alloa
FJ08FYW – Hunters Executive, Alloa
YJ58CCV – Hunters Executive, Alloa
YX11CUC – Mitchells, Plean
YY15NHZ – Hunters Executive, Alloa
YY15NJE – Hunters Executive, Alloa

1320 – 68006

Falkirk
FSE
32298 / 32919 / 32924 /
47532 / 47533 / 47614 / 47615 / 47616 / 47617 /
50232 / 50233 /
53706 /
61229 /
63256 / 63258 / 63262 / 63268 / 63269 / 63270 / 63271 / 63274 / 63275 /
65699 / 65708 / 65715 / 65716 / 65717 / 65718 / 65754 /
68558 / 68566 /
69255 / 69257 / 69258 / 69259 / 69261 / 69263 / 69280 / 69282 / 69284 / 69286 / 69287 / 69288 / 69290 / 69402 / 69405 / 69406 / 69407 / 69409 /

NXD
5426

Y555EMH – Horsburgh, Pumpherston
KX04HRA – JD Travel, Calderbank

Cumbernauld
FSE
69254 /

Haulage
54124 / SP62CJU / M9 Dundee / SES
63264 / SN65OJO / 38 Edinburgh / FSE
69288 / SN57JCZ / X37 Glasgow / FSE
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Old 8th January 2017, 23:54   #5
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My trip today was:
35160 376 to Bristol
33488 X7 to Cribbs
66992 19 to Downend
33802 48 to Emerson's Green
47559 18 to Henbury
B9 76 to Bristol
Streetdeck to Wells

Really nice trip around and I really enjoyed 33488 and 33802. 33802 seems to be more designed for city work, but the seating is really comfortable and it provides a really nice journey experience. 33488 was the most fun - a really powerful bus exactly right for the motorway and the route. The seats are comfortable too.

The 18 is a long old tiring route on a Streetlite, but still interesting.
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Old 9th January 2017, 22:27   #6
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I don't often get to travel on National Express, as there are only 2 coach services per day along the North Wales Coast - the 545 to London and 385 to Manchester.

However, just before last Christmas, I took the opportunity to sample the 1700 NX385 service from Manchester to Rhyl. I was at Chorlton St in good time at about 1630, and was getting a little concerned when 1700 came and went with no sign of the coach. I suppose I was expecting it to start at Manchester, being the return working of the NX385 from Bangor that morning.

Just after 1700, a Llew Jones' Caetano Levante came on to the stand, marked "NX544 Manchester" [Upon checking, I later discovered this was the 1130 non-stop from London Victoria due into Chorlton St at 1610.]

I was surprised that after 5 minutes or so, giving passengers chance to disembark, the driver to visit the loo and board the 4 of us waiting, we departed at 1705 as the 385 to Bangor. I had been expecting a driver-change here, but the same one who brought it in took it out.

I had a comfortable seat at the front and settled-down for the journey. Progress out of Manchester was slow, being the rush-hour, and we pulled-in to Manchester Airport about 1740, 10 minutes down. Here, five extra passengers joined us. Rejoining the M56, we drove to the M6 junction, but then went into Lymm Truck services, where it appeared the driver was expecting relief. There was no-one awaiting us, but shortly after we arrived, a relief driver turned-up, saying he had followed us in to the service area. After a change of drivers [the relieved one taking one passenger with him], the new driver took over for the ongoing journey. The fact we were 10 minutes late, and that he was late, shows how precarious these service-station changeovers can be.

A slow journey followed via the M6 and M62 to Liverpool. The new coach station at Liverpool One seemed difficult to reach, and involved going through narrow streets, thronged with Christmas shoppers. At one stage, our driver had to drop the anchors and take avoiding action to miss an errant car-driver, who had pulled-out of a side street with less than the desired attention! He pointed-out the red light on the forward-facing camera in his cab - apparently this starts to record whenever any untoward action has been taken. He was relieved to find the light went out a few moments later!

We lost those from Manchester Airport at Liverpool One, and departed about 20 minutes down with just the three of us on board - one lady for Birkenhead, one for Bangor and myself for Rhyl. After passing through the Birkenhead tunnel and enjoying a circuitous tour of Birkenhead to reach the stop on Europa Boulevard, we bade farewell to the one lady passenger leaving us here. The driver then announced to the two of us remaining that he didn't have to go to Ellesmere Port, as there was no custom, and that we would be having a 5-minute break at Birkenhead. He then left the coach for a smoke, and left the engine running. After five minutes, the engine cut-out, signalling it was time to go!

As there were no takers for the North Wales coast, he avoided Flint, Prestatyn etc, by travelling directly down the Wirral and on to the A55 to North Wales, and we arrived into Rhyl from the Sainsbury's direction at 2020 - five minutes early.

It was an interesting experience - the coach was very comfortable and the drivers friendly, but the overall time of 3hrs 15 minutes compared badly with ATW at 1 hr 40 minutes. And there is only one coach per day, compared with the hourly train service. It may do better in the holiday season, serving the caravan and camping sites between Flint and Colwyn Bay, but I got the impression that in December, it was mainly a way to return the coach for servicing at Llanrwst.

Last edited by Welshman; 10th January 2017 at 10:08.
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Old 10th January 2017, 21:18   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welshman View Post
I don't often get to travel on National Express, as there are only 2 coach services per day along the North Wales Coast - the 545 to London and 385 to Manchester.

However, just before last Christmas, I took the opportunity to sample the 1700 NX385 service from Manchester to Rhyl. I was at Chorlton St in good time at about 1630, and was getting a little concerned when 1700 came and went with no sign of the coach. I suppose I was expecting it to start at Manchester, being the return working of the NX385 from Bangor that morning.

Just after 1700, a Llew Jones' Caetano Levante came on to the stand, marked "NX544 Manchester" [Upon checking, I later discovered this was the 1130 non-stop from London Victoria due into Chorlton St at 1610.]

I was surprised that after 5 minutes or so, giving passengers chance to disembark, the driver to visit the loo and board the 4 of us waiting, we departed at 1705 as the 385 to Bangor. I had been expecting a driver-change here, but the same one who brought it in took it out.

I had a comfortable seat at the front and settled-down for the journey. Progress out of Manchester was slow, being the rush-hour, and we pulled-in to Manchester Airport about 1740, 10 minutes down. Here, five extra passengers joined us. Rejoining the M56, we drove to the M6 junction, but then went into Lymm Truck services, where it appeared the driver was expecting relief. There was no-one awaiting us, but shortly after we arrived, a relief driver turned-up, saying he had followed us in to the service area. After a change of drivers [the relieved one taking one passenger with him], the new driver took over for the ongoing journey. The fact we were 10 minutes late, and that he was late, shows how precarious these service-station changeovers can be.

A slow journey followed via the M6 and M62 to Liverpool. The new coach station at Liverpool One seemed difficult to reach, and involved going through narrow streets, thronged with Christmas shoppers. At one stage, our driver had to drop the anchors and take avoiding action to miss an errant car-driver, who had pulled-out of a side street with less than the desired attention! He pointed-out the red light on the forward-facing camera in his cab - apparently this starts to record whenever any untoward action has been taken. He was relieved to find the light went out a few moments later!

We lost those from Manchester Airport at Liverpool One, and departed about 20 minutes down with just the three of us on board - one lady for Birkenhead, one for Bangor and myself for Rhyl. After passing through the Birkenhead tunnel and enjoying a circuitous tour of Birkenhead to reach the stop on Europa Boulevard, we bade farewell to the one lady passenger leaving us here. The driver then announced to the two of us remaining that he didn't have to go to Ellesmere Port, as there was no custom, and that we would be having a 5-minute break at Birkenhead. He then left the coach for a smoke, and left the engine running. After five minutes, the engine cut-out, signalling it was time to go!

As there were no takers for the North Wales coast, he avoided Flint, Prestatyn etc, by travelling directly down the Wirral and on to the A55 to North Wales, and we arrived into Rhyl from the Sainsbury's direction at 2020 - five minutes early.

It was an interesting experience - the coach was very comfortable and the drivers friendly, but the overall time of 3hrs 15 minutes compared badly with ATW at 1 hr 40 minutes. And there is only one coach per day, compared with the hourly train service. It may do better in the holiday season, serving the caravan and camping sites between Flint and Colwyn Bay, but I got the impression that in December, it was mainly a way to return the coach for servicing at Llanrwst.
Llew Jones operate three National Express Services

Vehicles work on a two days cycle

385: 07:30 Bangor - Manchester
544: 13:00 Manchester - London
090: 19:00 London - Southend On Sea

Driver and Coach Stays in Southend Each Evening before returning as

090: 07:35 Southend on Sea - London
544: 11:30 London - Manchester
385: 17:00 Manchester - Bangor
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Old 11th January 2017, 13:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwsbro View Post
Llew Jones operate three National Express Services

Vehicles work on a two days cycle

385: 07:30 Bangor - Manchester
544: 13:00 Manchester - London
090: 19:00 London - Southend On Sea

Driver and Coach Stays in Southend Each Evening before returning as

090: 07:35 Southend on Sea - London
544: 11:30 London - Manchester
385: 17:00 Manchester - Bangor
Interesting diagrams - thank you for posting them.

I wonder of the people of Southend ever look at the legal lettering and wonder where Llanrwst is?
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Old 11th January 2017, 14:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welshman View Post
And there is only one coach per day, compared with the hourly train service. It may do better in the holiday season, serving the caravan and camping sites between Flint and Colwyn Bay, but I got the impression that in December, it was mainly a way to return the coach for servicing at Llanrwst.
The service pattern has been like that for years and yes, the seasonal aspect is very pronounced. During the summer (esp on Saturdays), I used to book loads of duplicate coaches from Liverpool to Prestatyn, Rhyl and Towyn (for those holiday camps).

The service was the 390 (now 385) and it ran through to Pwllheli - can't remember who ran the service car. Dupes were operated by local Liverpool firms but also had some North Wales firms like Caelloi and Clynnog who would tramp around the country all week and yes, would operate a 390 dupe on a Saturday to get the crew/bus back home!

Pwllheli also had a direct service 6** service direct to what was Butlins. It ran Saturday only and we even hired double deck coaches on that from a firm on the Wirral on occasion.

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Old 15th January 2017, 16:29   #10
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Originally Posted by TheGrandWazoo View Post
The service pattern has been like that for years and yes, the seasonal aspect is very pronounced. During the summer (esp on Saturdays), I used to book loads of duplicate coaches from Liverpool to Prestatyn, Rhyl and Towyn (for those holiday camps).

The service was the 390 (now 385) and it ran through to Pwllheli - can't remember who ran the service car. Dupes were operated by local Liverpool firms but also had some North Wales firms like Caelloi and Clynnog who would tramp around the country all week and yes, would operate a 390 dupe on a Saturday to get the crew/bus back home!

Pwllheli also had a direct service 6** service direct to what was Butlins. It ran Saturday only and we even hired double deck coaches on that from a firm on the Wirral on occasion.
Many years ago I had an employment application from someone who had been employed on National Express work by East Yorkshire at Pwllheli. They used to do the service from Pwllheli as far as Manchester and then do the westbound service back home. Apparently they had two drivers based there on this work.
The application form looked strange:
"Employer: East Yorkshire Motor Services.
Address: Pwllheli!"
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Old 15th January 2017, 20:34   #11
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Tayside Travel AKA Caledonian Express had drivers based all over the Uk At one time.
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Old 15th January 2017, 21:35   #12
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Tayside Travel AKA Caledonian Express had drivers based all over the Uk At one time.
Sounds like the coaching equivalent of Saltley BR footplate men!!

[Remember the legend - when Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed Apollo 11 on the moon, they found Saltley men waiting to bring it home ]

Last edited by Welshman; 15th January 2017 at 21:37.
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Old 15th February 2017, 23:13   #13
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Enjoying a break away in West Wales, I managed to get out for a day with a West Wales Day Rover in Pembrokeshire. Whilst I've enjoyed trips out in much of South Wales, Pembrokeshire was a new experience for me.

Starting in Kilgetty, the first bus of the day was Edwards of Pontypridd. They now have a Pembrokeshire operation after the Silcox failure. One of their e200s (YX64VRV) still lettered for the old Bebb service to Beddau was working the former Silcox 361 and so we headed off, driven at speed with a very friendly driver. Only a few passengers joined the throng as we arrived at Pembroke Dock.

Time for a coffee (with a proprietor looking rather like Damon Hill) and to enjoy the general ambience of decline in the town. Next was the 349 to Haverfordwest, one of the few commercial operations in the area, operated by First. 42881 was the machine, one of the standard allocation of 2003/5 Darts based locally. It was fairly well loaded as we made it across the Cleddau. Strangely, it contained a baffling set of internal adverts, with a raft of domestic abuse ads, cheap car sales and estate agents spin.

After lunch, it was time for the 315 and a Puffin Shuttle Solo YJ09EXV operated by the other Edwards business (of Haverfordwest). The plan was to head out to Dale but we bailed out at Milford Haven. Instead, we caught another small Solo in First 53711, a Pembrokeshire CC machine that worked for Silcox, passing to First alongside the 356 to Pembroke. It was a really nice run out alongside the Cleddau and through some very narrow sections. Quite a few sharp climbs as we made the way through Neyland and then around every street in Pembroke Dock including the new loop by the station.

Arriving at Pembroke, time for coffee and cake. Then time to kill so a wander around the castle walls and along the mill pond. That did enough to waste time before another standard Dart arrived for the 349 to Tenby in 42861. The 349 serves a lovely part of the world as we headed on increasingly small roads towards Manorbier, served by a loop where we passed a returning 349. Again, it was reasonably well patronised run and you can understand why this is commercial though not strong enough to sustain particularly modern fleet though the Dart was well kept without barely a rattle.

We arrived in Tenby and having more time to kill and being bored with coffee, I headed off for a pint. That did the trick. Just enough to waste time before a choice of three different services to Kilgetty but the best one was the 381. This was another former Silcox service, showing the gap that PCC had to fill when they went bust. Yet another ageing but decent Dart in 42879 arrived. We left with one other passenger, and only grabbed another couple in Saundersfoot; by the time Kilgetty was reached, the Dart was empty.

Have to admit that the multi operator ticket (for ฃ7.50) was great value and the network of services whilst a bit sparse in parts, was decent enough in this straitened times.
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Old 17th February 2017, 01:58   #14
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Originally Posted by TheGrandWazoo View Post
Next was the 349 to Haverfordwest, one of the few commercial operations in the area, operated by First. 42881 was the machine, one of the standard allocation of 2003/5 Darts based locally. It was fairly well loaded as we made it across the Cleddau. Strangely, it contained a baffling set of internal adverts, with a raft of domestic abuse ads, cheap car sales and estate agents spin.
*Geek-hat on*

42881 (SF05 KXC) was one of a batch of 12 Pointer Darts new to First Glasgow in 2005. The first 8 of the batch (42877 - 42884) now reside at First Cymru's Haverfordwest depot, the last 4 (42885 - 42888) remaining with First Glasgow (at Overtown depot, to be precise).

*Geek-hat off* lol
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Old 17th February 2017, 02:05   #15
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*Geek-hat on*

42881 (SF05 KXC) was one of a batch of 12 Pointer Darts new to First Glasgow in 2005. The first 8 of the batch (42877 - 42884) now reside at First Cymru's Haverfordwest depot, the last 4 (42885 - 42888) remaining with First Glasgow (at Overtown depot, to be precise).

*Geek-hat off* lol
Enjoyed 42879 today as well - very decent machine and climbed well out of Saundersfoot for a 12 year old machine
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