Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr. 6 - 29th September 2009

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Welcome to issue number 6 which is somewhat later than planned due to my absence as I attended Showbus at Duxford last Sunday. The weather was glorious and I am sure everyone enjoyed the day with around 500 buses and coaches to look at. I was fortunate to have been able to take one of the latest Oxford tube coaches as an entry. Even more so as we were invited to be the representative for 2009 in the Buses 60 parade from Cambridge to Duxford, preceding the main event. My heading picture this week is one taken by Gary Seamarks of our coach arriving at Duxford. Another entrant from Oxford was one of the latest Brookes Scania entered by Oxford Bus. Both this and ours won awards in the event.

The main feature of the event must have been the dry weather and as mentioned earlier a very warm and sunny Duxford unlike some previous years when a boat might have been a more appropriate means of transport!

Picture taken by Gary Seamarks

Quite a lot has been happening over the past week with the launch of Carousel's new and revised services, transfers of Arriva buses from Stevenage to High Wycombe, new Citaros for uNO at Hatfield etc.

A final note in this issue is that I will be unable to produce full News Issue (295) for a couple of weeks due to the fact that I am about to go into a six day duty stint and will only have some time after 16th October. This means that a number of welcome contributions will have to held over until I can get around to publishing said full issue.




Arriva always supports Showbus and this year sent one of the new Enviro 400s from Aylesbury depot. These buses are generally used on Line 280 from Aylesbury to Oxford.


The picture shows 5438 leaving Duxford and was taken by Richard Sharman.


Glenn Knight writes "After Duxford I popped into Babbage Road & Norton Green Road depot with some very interesting finds. On site were 4362, 4363 and 4368 in School-Bus Yellow. Also 4367 now in Inter-Urban livery and pictured below."


I notice that the blinds are set for the 797 and still wonder why this coach has gained Inter-Urban livery?
Picture by Glenn Knight.


Nigel Peach has been busy observing in Wycombe and writes "I was surprised to see three more additions to Wycombe's allocation when I visited the Cressex depot today (Sat 26th).

They were 3241/48/98 (R602/4/7WMJ), Wright Crusader bodied Volvo B6LEs which were previously allocated to Stevenage. They looked as though they are freshly repainted in the Interurban livery.
Pictures of each of these are shown below:

This means that Wycombe depot has received at least ten recent additions, the others being 3849-52, R reg Volvo B10Bs plus 3453-4, W reg B10BLEs and Scania 3162 (N reg). All have come from Stevenage apart from 3162 which is from Hemel.
I do not know what buses have been replaced, but it looked as though the two surviving B10Ms 3331/2 (M782/3PRS) which had come form Stevenage a year or two ago, were preparing to depart from the depot."

Gavin Francis was in Wycombe yesterday and sent some interesting pictures of recent changes.

Volvo B6 3248 looking rather smart in Inter-Urban livery. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Ex Hemel Scania 3162 looking smart in Blue route livery. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Nigel Peach writes "MAN AF53GCX has been repainted and looks extremely smart (photo attached taken Sat 26th). It has had its central door removed and the plan is to do the same to the other two (GCY (which has already been repainted) and GCZ which is still in white livery). GCX has gained fleet number STL9 (for Sterling). Presumably number 9 following on from the EVLs which are numbered 4-8. Note that GCX still has the orange light on its roof!"

Picture by Nigel Peach.

"All three of the Citaros are now in the new livery and certainly MB51 and 53 have the new branding for the Heathrow routes. Monday is a big day for Carousel when these new routes come into operation."

Gavin Francis was in Wycombe on Monday and took a few pictures of Carousel operations including the branded Citaros.

The first picture shows a branded Citaro on the A40 - Picture by Gavin Francis.

The second picture shows a DAF on the new route 740. Picture by Gavin Francis.

As we've mentioned earlier at least one of the EVLs has gained a digital display as seen above EVL7 - picture by Gavin Francis.

Noel from Carousel sent some pictures of the launch of the A30 service in Chesham last week. Noel says "All the Citaros are now branded for the A30/A40/740 group of services, photos attached. There is one from the official launch taken in Chesham too. STL9 returned late yesterday from MCV having been converted to single door and upseated to 39. Fleet name vinyls are on order for the STLs and should be applied in the near future."

Photos by Noel of Carousel.

MB51 at Showbus, Duxford last Sunday - picture by Glenn Knight.

Motts as always supported Showbus and this year provided their Neoplan, used by Wycombe Wanderers football club as a provision for the Judges and Rally point.

Picture by George Irvine.

Hedley Shanks writes "Just a few more pictures of recent acquisitions. The Paragons have just come from Plaxton coach sales ex Logan’s of Dunloy, Northern Ireland and the Volvo Olympians only arrived yesterday (18th Sept) and are obviously in ‘as acquired’ condition. We also bought N591NRH earlier in the year from sister company Finglands which I have also photographed just before it was sent for painting, as you can see it is reregistered KSK967, Steve Warwick will recognize this number plate from his days at Motts on a previous vehicle, a Plaxton Paramount 3200 DAF, I bet he has a photo!"

The Paragons have just come from Plaxton coach sales ex Logan’s of Dunloy, Northern Ireland

The Volvo Olympians only arrived yesterday (18th Sept) and are obviously in ‘as acquired’ condition.
We also bought N591NRH earlier in the year from sister company Finglands
which I have also photographed just before it was sent for painting, as you can see it is reregistered KSK967.
Above pictures by Hedley Shanks.

Another recent arrival was pictured by Glenn Knight on a recent visit to Motts.


As mentioned above one of the new Scania deckers attended Showbus where it won the award for the best New Millennium Bus. The picture from Richard Sharman shows this bus leaving Duxford at the end of the event.


Picture by Richard Sharman


J May sent news of bluestar 625 (K125BUD), previously with Oxford Bus Company, is only one of two now left in service with bluestar  – 625 and sister 622 (K122BUD). Both are allocated to Totton depot where they tend to operate routes 4 (Southampton – Romsey) and 12 (Southampton – Calmore).


bluestar 625 seen in Totton, (A36 Salisbury Rd) on Saturday 26th September - picture by J May.


I notice that, yet again, Nigel McCree is advertising an ex North East Trident - Plaxton President - for sale at £68,000 plus. I wonder if the six ex Brighton Volvo B10BLEs are to replace six of the Presidents?


The Oxford Bus Museum


Representing this museum, Neil Tidbury brought along his AEC Reliance, once a member of The city of Oxford bus company and resplendent in its livery.


Picture by George Irvine.



Glenn Knight writes "After spending 30minutes to trying top start H577 GKX I gave up and so instead took Vario R450 PRH to Showbus."

Picture by Glenn Knight.

"Another bus arrived today from Stafford Bus Centre. T413AGP, a Dennis Dart Marshall ex-Go North East fitted with Hanover Flip-Dot destination."



The delivery of the new Oxford tube coaches continues as recorded below.


Fleet Number Registration Mark due for delivery or into service
50216 OU59 AVC after 08 Oct
50217 OU59 AVD after 08 Oct
50218 OU59 AVE after 15 Oct
50219 OU59 AUR after 15 Oct
50220 0U59 AUO * into service 23 Oct
50221 OU59 AUT * into service 24 Oct
50222 OU59 AUV after 17 Sep
50223 OU59 AUW ** into service 27 Sep
50224 OU59 AUX after 24 Sep
50225 OU59 AUY after 01 Oct
50226 OU59 AVB after 01 Oct

Note some changes & additional information :-

* 50219 and 50220 have switched registrations from the first note given.
** 50223 was at Showbus and then operated the night service on Sunday evening, 27th September.

Autumn Gold

Monday b21st September saw Stagecoach showing off two members of the 2009 fleet additions. A great deal of interest was shown in the two vehicles on show.

Pictures by Richard Sharman.

Showbus 2009


Several vehicles were at the event, some of local interest including a brand new Megabus Plaxton tri-axle based at Rugby.


The brand new Megabus Plaxton tri-axle based at Rugby, 54059 is seen leaving the event - Picture by Richard Sharman.


An ex Oxford Olympian, 16525, now with Stagecoach in Hampshire and just repainted, is seen leaving the event - Picture by Richard Sharman.


Stagecoach is a good supporter of vintage buses and coaches and their Bristol FLF6G from Kettering was at the show. Picture by George Irvine.


News from Scotland


Dave JW writes saying "Neoplan 50133 should be out on the road in a few weeks time hopefully. Its been treated to a full repaint, in a two tone blue livery for an all-over advert, the first for a Neoplan! Have yet to see it but I'm sure it'll look good!"



A very recent addition to the Tappins fleet was caught on camera by Richard Sharman. When painted into fleet livery this coach should look impressive.





Andrew Morgan and Glenn Knight both wrote to advise me that the new 59 plate Citaros have begun to arrive and Andrew sent some excellent pictures plus registration details.


Three pictures of uNO Citaro 317 (BF59 NHZ) on first day of service on route 603 not the intended route 602.

314  BF59 NHV
315  BF59 NHX

316  BF59 NHY
317  BF59 NHZ (one in pictures)
318  BF59 NJE
319  BF59 NJJ
320  BF59 NJK
321  BF59 NJN
322  BF59 NJO

Pictures by
Andrew Morgan


As ever Woottens had a good contribution to Showbus 2009 including two vehicles in the Buses 60 line up.



Their coach fleet was represented by two Plaxtons dating from 2006.


Above pictures by George Irvine.




£ 16 Million sale-leaseback transaction with National Express for Digbeth facility

UK - Investment firm W. P. Carey & Co. LLC recently announced that its publicly-held, non-traded REIT affiliate, CPA(R):17 - Global, has entered into a sale-leaseback transaction with UK public transport provider National Express Ltd. (NEL) totalling approximately £16 million, including acquisition fees.

The property acquired comprises over 38,000 square feet and will house National Express' main coach terminal. In addition, the office space at the facility -- located in Digbeth, Birmingham, UK -- will serve as NEL's Corporate Headquarters. This facility has been the main hub of National Express' coach service since the Group acquired the site in the 1980s and is strategically important to the operation of the Group's UK business.

The lease will commence following the anticipated completion of the facility in December 2009 and has a term of 25 years.

Jennifer Walsh, Vice President of W. P. Carey International, said: "We are very pleased to be working with National Express and to have acquired such a unique asset which is critical to the operation of one of its strongest divisions. This transaction further cements our presence in the UK and clearly demonstrates our strategy of helping quality companies unlock the capital in their real estate. In the current economic environment, W. P. Carey continues to actively seek sale-leaseback opportunities that are consistent with our defensive, risk management-driven investment strategy and adhere to our philosophy of investing for the long run."