Issue 80
(OBP 296)

Sunday 6th June 2004
next update week ending 19th June 2004

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A special day as the 60th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings. Just a thought for all those who gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy in Europe today.

A quieter week with less travel than usual but an interesting end to the week, on Saturday, when I worked for London General and took NV165 to Epsom Downs and The Derby. There were dozens of open toppers including Tappins MUI7854 and an ex alder Valley VRL pictured below. NV165 is the latest NCME Olympian to be converted to "convertible open top" by LG and it was a very nice bus indeed.

Some of the open toppers at Epsom Downs.

Friday proved interesting when I worked a spell on the X3/X13 road with two Citaros 837 and 829. I had a chance to sample the revised X13 working where buses now go up Headington Hill and more directly to the JR. A break at Queens Lane gave the opportunity to get a number of pictures, some of which are shown below.

Duyring a break at the Rail Station I was pleased to see an old BEA RM which was being used to promote the Green Party Candidate and equally pleased to receive this nice shot from Rob Williams. He has used the trees to great effect. I also took some shots but must bow to Rob's excellent composition.

Still on the Routemaster front I received an interesting picture. Whilst out of area I have included it for general interest.

Gavin Frances writes "I know this is a bit outside your area but to-day was the last day of Stagecoach running Routemasters on the No 8 route in London, which I suppose means their last operational Routemasters in the country.

Stagecoach organised a large collection of special buses to run on the 8  including RT's, RTL's, RTW, RM, RMC, T which the enthusiasts who had gathered to record the event really appreciated. Everybody thought Stagecoach had really made an effort.

Needless to say there had to be a surprise which turned out to be RML2665 painted in full Stagecoach corporate colours especially for the day."

Thanks to Gavin for the picture, I must say the RMs are fast disappearing now.

On a local front Carousel are strengthening their operation  with the take over of a number of workings on the 339 to Lane End which Arriva do not wish to continue with. One wonders what the future will hold for both companies, one which is expanding and one which is contracting.

Well, now on to the reports for our area. Your contributions continue and I am pleased to receive them each week. However due to afore mentioned time constraints these will be held over until next week. My thanks to everyone who sent information.

Malcolm Crowe, 6th June 2004

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News of the local companies – 6th June 2004

Abbey Coaches, High Wycombe.

A visit this morning revealed two interesting vehicles, one of which - the National - had just received a smart new coat of paint.


An Aylesbury based Dart, 3355, works the 260 into Oxford last Friday

Ed Maun writes "Reference Issue 79 and the item re 7 new buses for the 328/329 in September: I believe the new buses are for a revamped 326 service and are expected to be Volvos.   I understand that the 326 is to be the next Quality Bus Route – how about “Red Route 26”.   This is probably why Arriva were asking questions about service 326 through your web page recently.    There appears to be an assumption that the 326 is 70 years old this year – I am not so sure, but I am not an expert in London Transport matters and, as I have said before, 326 was a long standing London Transport Country Area route.    Now if we brand it “Red Route 26”, as the TV26/LT326 was a joint working for some 45 years if we include the successor operators, then it has a history of some 77 years.    Thames Valley’s original partners on the route were subsequently absorbed into LPTB (London Transport).    Over the years the route has been modified and extended as new housing estates were extended along the Wye valley and slowly crept up the hillsides.

Steve Warwick writes with daily reports as follows.

Wed 2nd June

Mercedes 2417 was involved in an accident with a lorry at Great Gap (Ivinghoe) and was badly damaged and one passenger quite shaken.

Thur 3rd June

Continued shortage of DD buses resulted in Scania 3164 working the 280s Oxford-Aylesbury.

Fri 4th June

The three Volvo Olympians, 5159,5160 & 5161 are nowhere near ready to return. It will be a few weeks yet before they return.



No reports from bus Monkey this week which are missed.

Richard Griffin sent this shot of 55 on the 0300 from Gatwick pausing at an  empty Heathrow Central Bus Station
en route to Oxford at 0400hrs one morning last week.

My day on X13 last Friday enabled this shot of 837 at the JR, with its blind now showing Brookes as an
intermediate point. The interior cove panels also have some nice posters, one of which is shown above.

403 was caught at Queens Lane seemingly with a blind fault as it showed the company logo.

With the move to the new garage rapidly advancing, I thought this shot of 827 coming
through the bus wash at Cowley Road would prove evocative in the years to come.

Newbury & District

Problems on the line on Friday resulted in  this N&D Solo appearing at Oxford in the morning rush hour.

Red Rose

Earlier on Friday i noticed at ?????WW registered Metrorider working the 275 and later
when I sampled a Tube(50035) on a trip to Hillingdon the more usual Solo was running into Oxford on the 387???


Ian Pinnell wrote "I thought you would like to know that 22917 (Stagecoach in Oxfordshire) was on driver training duties on 1st June. As this bus is 7 branded, it did come to be a bit unusual. What happened to the usual driver training buses??"

Keith Wood writes "Ex Oxford 16517/16518 have left Nuneaton. Incoming are withdrawn 14933 and 40140. 40136 seems to have gone again ! Oh and Rob Long lost ex Banbury Merc K424 ARW has finally turned up in Lincolnshire with Hunt, Alford.

Andy Churchill writes "Noted at Horspath road is ex- stagecoach east London Dennis dart 34049 (R949FOO) still in it's London red reason not known ,but it had been destined for stagecoach in Wales in April but it is wondered what it is doing at Oxford.

Ralph Adams writes "London Dart 34049s still at Oxford after 2  weeks. It was sent to Oxford with mechanical defect whilst on its way to South Wales, repaired and sent on its way to break down again at Faringdon. Full repair now made and should leave shortly. It is London red with plain metal panels (i.e. replacement of accident damage and not yet painted) 

16522 returned as single door H51/36F on Thursday 27th May
16523 went for conversion on Thursday 27th May
16403 left for Scotland on Thursday 27th May"

Mike Penn wrote "You reported in your Oxford and Chilterns web page that former Thames Transit L712 JUD is now with Centrebus of Leicester.  While this is correct I should point out that it is actually part of the Centrebus St Albans operation which was taken over from Sovereign Bus at the beginning of this year.  As Centrebus is closely associated with LQT of Dunstable it is often seen in the Luton area operating for LQT, as is L710 JUD which is also owned by Centrebus.  I am attaching photos of them, both taken in Luton operating for LQT.  As you can see L712 JUD retains Stagecoach livery while 710 has been repainted in the Centrebus/LQT orange and blue livery.  Both retain their centre exits.

Olympian 16141 works a 34 service to Harwell IBC. It is seen waiting time at High St early last Friday. 

Stagecoach Wales Dennis Dart/Plaxton Pointer 32051 (N 51 KBW) Cardiff Road, Caerphilly - 3rd June 2004
Photo by Ian Kirby


Various readers report that the cherished registrations on Tubes 40, 44, 50, 55 and 60 have been removed and those Tubes reregistered as below.

Tube coach reregistrations
40 now T614DWL on 26 May
44 now T615DWL on 28 May
50 now T616DWL on 28 May
55 now T617DWL on 26 May
60 now T618DWL

All the above were T--UBE. The company also purchased T66UBE but it was decided to show its actual age and W66BBW then used.

Maybe T66UBe will appear on the new Tubes since one presumes this is why the registrations have been removed.

50044 seen from the front.

50050 seen from the rear. I am told that this particular coach is a flyer.
However my trip on 35 showed it to be a lively performer achieving 55mph up Stokenchurch
from a standing start at Lewknor.

An email received reads " Name is David, I live near Cambridge and the other day I got a view of one Neoplan heading down the A14 going towards Huntingdon away from Cambridge, it looked as if it was in Stagecoach London Livery but I did only get a quick look as the road was busy and didn't see it until it was beside me. It did look as if it could be one to go down to yours, it looked very clean and i couldn't catch the reg No."

Ed Maun writes "....there is a news item in the recent Transit trade paper (28 May) stating that 25 new Neoplan double deck coaches are due to enter service from June 27."

Roland Cox writes "... On Mentor website ( in used vehicles for sale are details and photo of a Tube coach for sale at £95000

Surprisingly working the U1 22054 is seen here picking up at Queens Lane last Friday

Ralph Adams writes "Megabus 13618 H522FRP at Oxford as CH53/39FT with radiator problems. Toilet installed on nearside removing front 2 forward facing seats.  At London Green Line Coach station today, I was told that all Megabus operations would have toilets and trailers for luggage by end July."

Tappins of Didcot -City Sightseeing

As mentioned above MUI7854 went to The Derby at Epsom  Downs last Saturday.

Another registration is on this Atlantean GJZ9574. See previous News Page for its true identity.

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