Issue 71

Sunday 21st March 2004
next update week ending 26th March 2004

Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute 
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned,  or indeed any other official body. 
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.

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An interesting week for me with a day trip from Frankfurt to Hamburg on an ICE1 of the German Railways. Top speed recorded was 250kph but then do up to 280kph. The highlight of my trip was a Citaro on the Hamburg Airport service with 3 axles. I didn't know such beasts existed.

Seen outside Hamburg Hauptbanhof on an evening journey to the airport.
This bus is fairly new and seats 40 passengers with extra luggage accommodation.

From the back one can see the rearmost doors. Journey time is around 40 minutes and there
is a web site to study as can be seen from this photo.
Jasper is an offshoot of the main local bus company.

Sad news this evening is of a third Citaro artic to catch fire in service. This time it was yesterday, Saturday, when one was affected in Park Lane. Think that must be the 436 route. I haven't heard of any problems with the many German artics so I wonder what the problem is?

Ed Watkinson took this picture on a visit to Cobham Museum in January.
Certainly something different.

Talking of Megabus which is featured again this week under that heading. It seems that Olympian 13614 on the 0930 from Birmingham last week made an additional unscheduled stop on the hard shoulder of the M40  to pick up passengers from Tube 50051 which had broken down! Is this a first does anyone know.

News from The Oxford Times this week says that attacks on local buses in Oxford have started again with both main companies affected. It seems that the trouble now is in Blackbird Leys.

Well, now on to the reports for our area. Your contributions continue and I am pleased to receive them each week. My thanks to everyone who sent information.

Malcolm Crowe, 21st March 2004.

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News of the local companies 21st March 2004

Robert Hall of Arriva Marketing writes "One of my colleagues has give me your name as a potential source of historical information. It has been mentioned to me that the 326 in High Wycombe will be 70 years old this year, and I am looking for its actual start date. Is there any chance you could help me with this?"

Olympian 5103 was working the 280 service in Oxford last Saturday
and is seen here leaving Queens Lane.

Carousel, High Wycombe

Citaro CB53BUS has now received full vinyls for the A40 service.



This week saw the return of coach 15 from refurbishment at Volvo Coach Loughborough. It was awaiting vinyls and fitting out of ticket machines etc on Saturday and may be expected to enter service later next week.

Coaches 69-71 have gone away for repainting into Airline livery and possible fitment of toilets. They will be 49 seaters as 67 and 68.

Brian Matthews sent some excellent period shots of COMS buses which I include below.

Here we see 214, an ex north Western Road Car Fleetline with Alexander bodywork.
when new these buses were painted cream and worked the X60 service from Manchester to Blackpool.
upon arrival in Oxford they remained cream for a while and often operated weekend coastal services.

An AEC Bridgemaster 376 taken in Queen Street in 1977

The Paladins reinstated for route 14 have been well received by drivers and passengers alike, the Darts not giving such a good ride.

An unusual working was on Saturday when Volvo - Plaxton Verde 642 was on 22 road.

The Citaros have settled down well on X3/X13 road and here 833 is seen turning by Carfax on its way to the JR.

The interiors feature some excellent advertising and the bright an welcoming impression is well liked by passengers.


Adam Rideout, Marketing Manager of Stagecoach in our area, sent a number of pictures featuring the route 10 low floor Darts which will go into service tomorrow.

33653 shows off a nearside front view.

33655 and 33650 give a front and rear view.

Councillor Peter Johnson and Councillor Dan Paskins onboard one of the low floor 10's

Rob Williams writes "Most of the reserve Volvo B10Ms were taken for storage at Nuneaton during the weekend of 6th/7th, with the ex Primeline Darts being brought back in return. The two B10s on loan to Banbury (20704 and 20541 I think) are hanging around to allow cover at Witney whilst two Olympians head off for the annual Cheltenham races operation. 

33652 and 33821 were late arrivals this weekend, having come directly from the Bedford and Banbury paint shops respectively. 

33650-5 will be branded for route 10, launching on Monday 22nd. The others will basically do as the step entrance Darts do now, the odd duty on the 20 plus I guess a bit of city work. 33652 has however returned to Nuneaton for MOT, but is expected to be back and ready for service by Monday! The application of route branding commenced today, the same sky blue colour but slightly different wording."

Whilst most of the Alexander PS bodied Volvos are said to have gone into reserve 20205 is seen here last Saturday on layover at the Rail Station between workings on route 20.

20205 at The Rail Station

821 was working the 31 to Wantage last Saturday.

However a number of reports note that 33822 has been seen on the 1, 3 and 7 routes last week bringing back old memories of when these buses were new.

Talking of old memories, how many of you remember trails with an artic on the Tube.
Here 561 is seen at Lewknor near the M40.

looking through my photos this weekend I came across this nice shot of one of the minis in service on Park & Ride.

A wet Friday at St Giles.

Ralph Adams writes "Yes, number five is alive. 18055 returned to service this week after a few weeks in the garage under repair. You can't tell that anything has even happened to it."


Wednesday 17th:
16141 on morning U1 dupe and then Megabus!
52143 in use with training school for the day
34466 on 1

Rubgy's Megabus 13614, J166 UNH has been on the pits in Oxford all week, I don't think it has been used in service.

Tim Hall writes "further to my previous message 16401 was only used by Swindon depot that day because of a shortage of d/decks. It did not have a ticket machine fitted and together with 16402 is still at Swindon and after being used at the Cheltenham festival both buses are to go to Scotland

Oxford Tube 50038 re-enters service.

Ralph Adams writes "After almost 15 months, it is back in service operating to London at about 1400 today.(Friday)

The seating upstairs has been reduced by 4 seats and I found the leg room more than ample for me. The footrests were spring loaded and easier to relax in than other Tubes. The seats are alternate red and orange check. I had heard some negative comments but to my eyes (and I have no colour sense) the seats looked good. One of the other passengers was using shoe polish to colour his shoes right next to the red fabric on the seats but it looked as though none got on the seats.
The downstairs 4 seats which can be removed for disabled passengers still looked intact and available for removal if required. I had previously been informed that this bus would not be fully accessible.

The exterior is all red with just the large Oxford Tube logo on front and sides."

The photos below were taken by me a week courtesy Martin Sutton, the MD of Stagecoach in Oxfordshire.

The interior downstairs looking forward.

Facing rearwards, the toilet door has been changed giving a more airy appearance.

The upper deck looking towards the rear. As Ralph says only 64 seats now giving more leg room.

Paul writes that "This week's LSP at states that from 25th April, Tube frequencies will be altered. All timings are given as departure and arrival times in London:"

Victoria (dep Oxford 1h30-2h earlier) at:
0545, 0615, 0645, 0715, 0735, then every 10 mins. until 0845, then every 12 mins. until 1145, then every 15 min. until 1930, 1940, 1950, 2005, then every 20 min. until 2245, 2315, 2345, 0005 (Fri. night only), 0015 (Mon.-Thu. nights), 0025 (Fri. night only), 0040, 0100 (Fri. night only), 0110 (Mon.-Thu. nights) 0120(Fri. night only) 0140, 0210, 0240, 0340, 0440.
Victoria at:
0605, 0635, 0705, 0725, 0745, 0805, 0815, 0825, then every 15 min. until 1555, then every 12 mins. until 1955, 2010, 2025, 2040. 2055, then every 20 mins. until 2335, 2355 (Fri. night only), 0005 (Mon.-Thu. nights only), 0015 (Fri. night only), 0035, 0055 (Fri. night only), 0105 (Mon.-Thur. nights only), 0115(Fri. night only), 0135, 0205, 0235, 0305, 0405, 0505.

Victoria (dep Oxford 1h30-2h earlier) at:
0540, 0640, 0715, 0745, 0815, 0840, 0900, 0920, 0940, 0952, 1005, 1017, 1031, then every 10 mins. until 1221, then every 12 mins. until 1445, then every 15 min. until 1715, 1725, then every 12 min. until 1913, 1928, 1938, 1953, 2003, 2015, then every 15 min. until 2400, 0020, 0040, 0100, 0130, 0150, 0210, 0240, 0340, 0440.
Dep. Victoria at:
0605, 0705, 0735, 0805, 0825, 0850, 0915, 0935, 0950, 1003, 1015, 1027, 1042, 1057, 1112, 1127, 1140, then every 15 min. until 1555, 1607, 1619, 1631, then every 10 mins. until 1831, then every 12 mins. until 1955, 2008, 2020, then every 15 mins. until 0005, then every 20 mins. until 0205, 0235, 0305, 0405, 0505.

Victoria (dep Oxford 1h30-2h earlier) at:
0540, 0640, 0710, 0740, 0815, 0845, 0905, 0925, 0945, 1015, then every 15 mins. until 1145, then every 12 mins. until 1345, then every 15 min. until 1645, then every 12 min. until 1845, 1900, 1915, 1930, 1945, 1950, 2005, then every 20 min. until 2345, 0015, 0040, 0110, 0140, 0240, 0340, 0440.

Victoria at:
0605, 0705, 0735, 0805, 0835, 0905, then every 20 mins. until 1125, then every 15 min. until 1455, then every 12 mins. until 1855, then every 15 mins. until 2155, then every 20 mins. until 2335, then every 30 mins. until 0205, 0305, 0405, 0505.

Brookes Bus 

Adrian Lancer writes "I have been informed that a Brookesbus will visit Bicester Village on a private hire trip on Friday 26th March.  It should arrive at 11am and leave at 2pm - no idea if it will remain there or return to Oxford in between!"

Tangy Tango writes "The Birmingham Megabus was intended to use the M40 between London and B'ham because the A40 is a more quicker way out of London than trying to crawl up the A5!

Also within B'ham the service stops at Kings Norton Station which is on the road to M42 Junction 2, and the M40 joins the M42 at Junction 3A, the M6 joins the M42 at junction 8!! So the M40 is the quickest way.

Just a suggestion why not the B'ham Megabus stop at Hillingdon in and out of London? My logic is that it would bring more people from the west of
onto the Megabus service who may not like going into the centre of London just to come back the way they came!!!!! Although whenever I have been on the Oxford Megabus out of London no-one was at the Hillingdon stop, we sailed straight through."

Andy Gilmour adds "The Birmingham Megabus is to be moved from Rugby to Leamington depot next month, so there will probably be driver changes at Warwick services or somewhere nearby. I believe it also serve stops SW of Birmingham on leaving the city, so the M40 was obviously the planned route"

20202 was on Megabus duty yesterday, doing the 1800 to Birmingham off London. The bus was about 80% full.  It was certainly better at climbing hills than 13614!

Ben Morroll sent this picture of 20202 working a Megabus service to London from Birmingham last week. 

Ross writes "13614 on the 0930 from Birmingham yesterday made an additional unscheduled stop on the hard shoulder of the M40  to pick up passengers from 50051 which had broken down!" 

Worth's Motor Services

Another Worth's coach on the 70 at St Giles. S6WMS.

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13.7 metres arrives at VCS. Fenn Holidays fielded this Bova coach on a National Express relief last Friday.


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This is a most interesting site which I do recommend

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