Issue nr. 260
Thursday, July 20th 2023

To view past issues click here

From the Editor

Go-Ahead Oxford to get very large charging hub

Netley Bus Rally from David Gray

50th Anniversary of crew operation from Edgware Garage

Buses replace trains on the London Underground

The Royal International Air Tattoo

Tony Bungay at Milton Keynes

Latest Fleet News with new transfer to SC Oxford

Edgware Station on July 15th

Super Loop routes and livery revealed

The X34 at Oxford is not new

Ensignbus latest update 

Go-Ahead Oxford to get huge charging hub

Go-Ahead Groups’ Oxford Bus Company has teamed up with Zenobē to build one of the UK’s biggest charging depots as it gears up for electrification

The Go-Ahead Group has commenced work to install one of the biggest electric charging hubs in the UK at the depot of its Oxford Bus Company operation. Zenobē, the fleet electrification specialist, has begun work to install extensive charging infrastructure at Cowley House.

The 104 charging points, each offering 150kW of DC power, are being installed ahead of Oxford Bus Company receiving the first delivery of electric buses later this year. The hub will be supplied by an 8 megaWatt (MW) electrical connection, which will provide enough electricity to charge all 104 buses, enough for each bus to drive over 170 miles per day.

With co-funding from Go Ahead Group, Oxfordshire County Council and the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, Oxford Bus Company has ordered 104 new electric buses to begin arriving on Oxford’s streets from late 2023.

A consortium of bus operators including the Oxford Bus Company pledged £43.7m towards the scheme, the government committed £32.8m and Oxfordshire County Council £6m. In total the combined investment will result in 159 new battery electric buses serving Oxford. Oxfordshire was one of only 12 local authorities to successfully apply for ZEBRA funding and is one of the biggest schemes in the country.

Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director, said: “This is another exciting step forward in our extensive infrastructure scope of works in preparation for transforming our city services to electric. Partnering with Zenobē ensures we will receive the best-in-class advice and technology to fully equip us with a market leading charging solution that meets our needs.

“We’re looking forward to introducing the first tranche of electric buses later in the year, which will help improve air quality and make bus travel an even more attractive option for people to travel around Oxford.”

The Oxford Bus Company’s owner, Go-Ahead, has pledged to convert its 5,500-strong bus fleet nationwide to zero emission energy.

Christian Schreyer, Group Chief Executive, said: “Customers in Oxford can look forward to clean, green, comfortable buses when this work is complete. This is a great example of bus operators working in partnership with local and national government to deliver zero-emission transport.”

The commencement of works is the latest stage in the ambitious urban decarbonisation project, Energy Superhub Oxford. The four-year project has seen innovations such as the creation of a first-of-a-kind battery storage system, a high-power private wire charging network and an electric vehicle (EV) charging hub at Redbridge Park & Ride.

To enable the buses to charge overnight, depot charging infrastructure being installed by Zenobē will be powered by an EDF Renewables UK substation at Oxford Bus Company’s Watlington Road depot.

Steven Meersman, Co-Founder Director of Zenobē, said: “This is a flagship project for Zenobē. It is an example of what an ambitious operator can do with a strong vision and local support.  We have worked on more than 50 electrification projects globally and this one stands out for its scale and for the level of collaboration with other operators and government.  It has been great collaborating with Luke Marion and his team: we are happy to have started work and are looking forward to seeing the first buses on the road later this year.”

In 2020 Oxford Bus Company introduced the first double deck electric bus to Oxford via its City Sightseeing Oxford fleet. It now has three retrofitted electric vehicles in its fleet, which were delivered in partnership with Oxford City Council.

The arrival of the fleet of electric buses is expected to support a further drop in NOx levels to help clean up Oxford’s air pollution as part of wider aims for Oxfordshire to become a net carbon zero county by 2025.

All the new buses are being manufactured in the UK and are expected to arrive by June 2024. The Go-Ahead Group is an international provider of public transport services, and its Oxford division includes Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel, City Sightseeing Oxford, Carousel Buses and Pulhams Coaches. 

Xelabus - 2023 Bus Rally

Netley Bus Rally from David Gray

Photos I took at the Netley bus rally in Sunday.









By way of background the event, the first at the site for many years, was a celebration of 10 years+ bus operation in Hampshire by Xelabus.


They had several of their fleet on display with a stand selling relevant merchandise.




Neuroblastoma UK charity fighting childhood cancer

Neuroblastoma UK


Funds raised from this and also from the sale of an excellent guide which included a history of the company were donated to the Neuroblastoma UK charity fighting childhood cancer. 


50th Anniversary of crew operation from Edgware Garage of the 292
by Gavin Francis

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the final day of crew operation from Edgware Garage a small running day involving 1 RT was operated on Rte 292 running from Colindale ASDA to Borehamwood. Starting at 10.46 from Colindale, 5 round trips were operated with RT 2177 with a finishing time of 21.55 recreating a dark finish as it was on the day.

 The final crew journey on the 13th July 1973 by RT 3793. (Photo courtesy of Rob Lanham).

            RT 2177 approaching Edgware Station 

RT 2177 at rest at Colindale ASDA.

A flashback to the past with the conductor helping a passenger.

RT 2177 turns from Burnt Oak Broadway, into Station Road Edgware.

How nice to remember those far off days. Ed. 

Buses replace trains on the London Underground
by Gavin Francis


Over the weekend the Northern Line was closed between Camden Town and Edgware and Replacement Bus Services ran instead. The NL1 ran through Edgware and was operated using Arriva buses controlled by Arriva staff. Virtually all buses involved were standard red double deckers, HV, LT and T class but a surprise was the appearance of Wycombe based Versa 2954. All pictures taken outside Edgware Station except 2954 which is outside Canons Park Station to serve The Jubilee Line.

The red deckers were HV113, HV239, HV384, HV411, LT133 and LT491 on July 15th.

The Versa was Wycombe's 2954 seen at Canons Park.


Last weekend there is a Rail Replacement Service on The Chiltern Line between Amersham and Aylesbury.

On Saturday it was being operated by Masons Trident LG52DBV which is former Arriva DLA 236.


The Royal International Air Tattoo
Royal International Air Tattoo 2023 | Royal Air Force (
with report by Dave and Decric and pictures by Rob Hough

Dave & Deric

The Royal International Air Tattoo has just taken place. We thought you might appreciate a list of the vehicles loaned to Stagecoach West for the event. A number of the loaned vehicles also appeared on normal service at Gloucester and Swindon, allowing for Stagecoach West buses with tachographs to be used on private contracts at the RIAT. We have included the Oxford buses with the loans as technically they were Thames Transit vehicles on hire to Cheltenham & Gloucester Omnibus Co.! 

Vehicles on Loan to Stagecoach West for the Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford 12/07/2023-17/07/2022

Stagecoach East: (4)

10792 (SN66 VZP), 10867 (YX67 VDC), 15294 (YN17 OND), 19586 (AE10 BWX)


Stagecoach London: (8)

10182/3 (SN63 JWK/L), 10196 (SN63 NCA), 10344/6 (SN16 OLH/K), 11349 (SK20 AYB), 19865/6 (LX12 CZU/V)


Stagecoach Midlands: (4)

10730-3 (SN66 VWW-Y, VXA)


Stagecoach Oxford: (3)

15736 (VK61 FKK), 15837 (OU12 FGC), 15966 (YN14 PKZ)


Stagecoach South West: (2)

15260 (YN65 XDM), 15924 (YN63 BWY)

Rob Hough

The staff contingent from Stagecoach.

Some of the buses used. 

On my way to the Lakes buses at Milton Keynes
from Tony Bungay

Tony Bungay

A holiday in the Northern Lake District and the decision to travel by Train from MK, afforded the opportunity to get some photos of some aspects of bus operation in both places.

Milton Keynes

Arriving at Milton Keynes with time to wait before train arrival enabled chance to get the following. 

As the British Grand Prix was over the weekend, Milton Keynes rail station had a shuttle service in operation to Silverstone numbered S1 

Enviro 400mmc 10728 is seen loading up on the S1

Other operators working into Milton Keynes include UNO who’s Enviro 400mmc 264 is working Cranfield Connection to Bedford

Arriva are the modern day successor to Milton Keynes Citybus and operate amongst other vehicles a number of Wright StreetLite vehicles.

 3320 awaits it’s next duty, hence blank destination, while unidentified similar behind is working to Newport Pagnell.

Smaller StreetLite 2312 is working an out of city service to Northampton.

A much longer Stagecoach service is the X7 to Leicester via Northampton.

Seen being worked here by Scania 28634, though in this instance the camera failed to capture the destination.

A much newer vehicle belonging to Arriva is Volvo MCV 3978 working service F70 from Luton via Leighton Buzzard

For casual or younger readers, it is perhaps worth pointing out that the Stagecoach operations, despite being worked by 2 separate companies within Stagecoach, and Arriva were all originally part of one company called United Counties

Sporting Bedford Bus Logo is 19887 on layover just down from the original but short lived purpose built Milton Keynes Bus Station,
which still stands and used as a car park I think!

Also on layover is Arriva 200mmc 3128 with a Red Rose Enviro 200 and again 19887, coming alongside is Mercedes 1001 on staff bus duty.

Working the X5 in the latest distance livery is Enviro 400mmc 10804

Still in Stagecoach Gold Livery is Scania 15842 again working the S1 to Silverstone.
Rear view of 10804 showing it’s original Stagecoach West Route branding faintly on lower rear panel.

Thanks for this informative piece. His report from The Lakes will appear in issue 261. Ed.

Gavin Francis

Attached a picture from Binders Yard. The playbus is former Abellio 9008.


Jack Cooper

Coming up Queen Street is Thames Travel's 905 with an X2 service on July 16th. 

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

No contributions for this issue. Ed. 

     Fleet News and developments   

Malcolm Crowe

Citaro 3008 seen in The Pastures above Wycombe with a 30 working on July 15th.
The dark sky indicates some rain ! 

Nick Ross

An archive view from April 7th 2012 of Arriva Leyland Olympian 637 F637 LMJ on the 35 local service in Leighton High St.
It has the fleet number 5087. Ed. 

From Saturday July 15th 2023 a more modern Arriva Enviro 3153 is parked up between local duties. 

Gavin Francis

The newest member of the fleet AT23AET is seen with older ET15AET at Binders Yard on July 15th.

R70AET is seen outside the sports centre at Handy Cross on July 19th. 


Noticing the disposals at Ensign, Slough now has one Volvo 7900H remaining in service and to capture remaining time this bus has with Slough I asked contributors to provide photos of the bus working the X74.

Gavin Francis

When brand new the bus is seen Frascati Way, Maidenhead with a 75 service on September 3rd 2013.

The same bus seen in a rainy Wycombe on July 14th. 

Kevin Fuller

First's Volvo 7900H Hybrid 69928, BV13ZCX, pauses at Farnham Common on the A355
whilst working the 14.25 High Wycombe to Slough service on July 15th.

The buses are not outliving any comparable buses and one questions the reliability of the early Hybrids ?  See further comments under Ensign below. I read that these withdrawn buses are for parts recovery and then scrap.

Gavin Francis

This ex megabus coach would appear to now be with Harlequin of High Wycombe by July 15th.

The service revisions including Harwell and Newbury.

Harwell Campus - Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel


Gavin Francis

On the 14th the bus branded for the 8, 408 was working the 1B whilst 940 unbranded was working the 8.
This happens on a regular basis, so maybe there is an increased passenger loading currently?

877 seen heading for Uxbridge with  a 101 service in Oxford Street on July 14th.

938 and 941 both seen at The Wycombe Coachway on July 19th with 8 workings.

New Sprinter 983 seen at The Wycombe Coachway on July 19th waiting for the call.

Malcolm Crowe

432 has been VOR since late January 2023 and is seen above in the overflow yard on July 15th.

The weekend sees little requirement for the PMU fleet as seen on July 15th at the depot.

Bob Chalmers


 687 been on X1 duty Fri 14th (covering for 673 maybe, which has not been in service for 10 days) - picture taken at Beverly Close, Abingdon.

I dropped OBC an email about the new X1 stops for Alexander Close (Dunmore Road) missing from the displays/announcements and fair play to them - they replied quickly and the stops have now been included.

Gavin Francis

Gavin was at The Wycombe Coachway on July 19th an caught up with various Airline coaches working though.

Tourismos 30 and 32 seen en route.

Interdecks such as 68 have little time left for service with  Oxford being replaced by a further four Tourismos very soon.

Heading for Oxford 68 sets down customers at The Coachway.

Jack Cooper

Three of the new 23 plate Tourismos are already in service as seen below.

23 and 24 seen at Gloucester Green on July 16th.

Older Tourismo 31 shows slight differences between the 19 and 23 plates.

Street Deck 653 seen at the top of New Road working its branded service on July 13th.

MMC 603 also at the top of New Road works at 400 service to Thornhill on July 13th. 

Gavin Francis

Also seen at The Wycombe Coachway on July 19t is PUI9395.
This coach does not appear in .

PUI 9395 is a Volvo B7R/Plaxton (Transbus) Profile coach in the fleet of Pulham, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire. It was new to Baker, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire (but then based at Enstone, Oxfordshire) as DB53MTB in November 2003, passing to Jeatt (White Bus Services), Winkfield, Berkshire in April 2008. It arrived with Pulham in January 2016 and was given its current mark in March 2016. 

Malcolm Crowe

Citaro 840 spent many months in Oxford often working the 11 service.
It is seen above in Wallingford on July 13th with a 23 service.

908 passes 913 in Didcot on July 13th.

922 is heading for Oxford with a 33 working on July 13th. 

Gavin Francis

We have not seen this bus in Stokenchurch before, E18RRT has an interesting history.
It started live with Eifions Coaches of Holyhead as CX65BUF and on being sold joined the Ensign fleet.
Seen above in Stokenchurch with a 40 working on July 16th.

Andy Churchill

Seems Oxford likes Scania double decks. Ed.

An arrival to Oxford coming from Stagecoach South Chichester is E400 15992 in its Distance Livery from its use on Coastliner 700 .

E400 15989 in its Royal British Legion poppy appeal livery , Oxford are getting a few more of these being exchanged for some of the MMCs .

These two buses are in service today (200723) per

Jack Cooper

MMC 10670 is seen working route 1 at the top of New Road on July 13th. 

Jack Cooper

Panorama 50437 turning into Castle Street, London bound on July 13th. 

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

Go Ahead London LT872 is the first to carry this advert for Naked drinks. 
It is seen at Elephant & Castle on 15 July bound for Deptford on route 453

Gavin Francis

Some more wraps :

Taken on July 12th & 18th.

Edgware Station-15th July 2023 

Last Saturday morning I made my way to Edgware Station for a number a reasons.

To get some pictures and have a ride on RT 2177 which was operating on Rte 292 all day to mark the anniversary of being 50 years since the last year crew bus ran from Edgware Garage.

Also the WDE Wright Electroliner class were starting to enter service with Metroline on Rte 204 and also the same operator have recently put into service the BDE class Alexander Dennis electric buses on Rte 142.

In addition there was a Rail Replacement Service operating due to the closure of The Northern Line to Edgware Station.

Edgware is a very busy place for buses but the layout with the bus station and garage at the end of a narrow entrance road means a regular feature is a queue of buses blocking the road outside. The drop off stop is too close to the road and it only allows 2 buses to drop off together, anymore have to wait in the street. I understand there are plans in place to redevelop the area which probably means an even lengthier period of even more congestion. 

RT 2177 waits at the station entrance whilst the two buses in front unload their passengers. 

In the 2hrs I was there I took well over 200 pictures and on checking when I got home counted buses on 15 different routes trying to squeeze into the bus station.

Three operators were present, Metroline with buses from Edgware (EW), Cricklewood (W), Potters Bar (PB), Harrow Weald (HD), Arriva with buses from Wood Green (WN) and Palmers Green (AD). Finally RATP were also represented. They share Edgware Garage with Metroline and use garage code BT.

Below are pictures representing each of the routes passing through and the types of buses operating ranging from the oldest TE class E400s through to the latest Electroliners.


Superloop Routes

Saturday 15th July saw the introduction of the first of the Superloop routes in London.

First into service was SL8 which in fact is the previous 607 just rebranded. The route is operated by Metroline VMH class buses from Greenford depot. They carry a dedicated livery with a white top half showing the Superloop logo and the route served.


2563, 2563-2, 2590, 2566-2, 2595 All of the above pictures taken outside Westfields Shopping Centre.

Rather disappointingly normal white on black route blinds have been used rather than the white on blue to show an express service that the 607 was. This shows they are something different to the standard London bus routes.

The route has a PVR of 20 so not sure if the buses will be a consecutive batch or just random numbers, but with both 2563 and 2590 branded it looks like there will be gaps in the sequence.

Inevitably some of these will appear on other routes and plain ones like 2595 appear on the SL8 which will no doubt confuse passengers. 

The next route to be changed will be the X68 which is due to become SL6 on July 31st.

This route only operates Northbound to Russell Square am peaks and Southbound to West Croydon pm peaks Monday to Friday.

EH 217, MHV 11, MHV 13, MHV 7, WHV 187, WHV 196, and 2 x WHV 188 

The above pictures were taken at Waterloo Station and as can be seen in a series of six consecutive buses three different models are used. Presumably Camberwell (Q) Garage can use any of their buses on the route so it will be interesting to see if they standardize on one model and if it is the MHV it will match those on the SL8.

Also because of the limited service of the X68 what will be the buses used for during the day and at the weekends. Presumably they will be used on normal routes which again will cause some confusion.

No doubt we will find out on July 31st.

I am pleased to include so much from London by Gavin which I am sure readers will find most interesting. Ed. 

Andy Churchill

The X34 service to Newbury is nothing new and Here are photos of the timetable for the service when it was introduced on 19th June 1983 and served not only Newbury but also Winchester on the way to Southampton and was jointly operated by Oxford-South Midland  with Hampshire Bus And Alder Valley all operating a couple of journeys each and with cheap fares and a photo shows Oxford City Link Leyland Tiger 109 (EBW109Y) on the route which also carried local passengers and the 112 (Newbury-Oxford) service was also revised from the same date .


My thanks to Andy for a very interesting contribution. Ed. 

Tony Bungay's report from The Lakes will appear in issue 261. Ed.



Vehicles In; 

First Eastern Counties

Dennis Trident W905VLN  

First Berkshire

Volvo Hybrid BV13ZCJ, BJ63UHZ, BJ63UJW, BJ63UJX,   

First Midland Red

Volvo B7TL KP54AZN, KP54KBO  

First Cymru

Volvo B7TL SF07FDA, W801PAE 

First Essex

Volvo Hybrid BV13ZBN 

First Sheffield

Volvo B7TL YJ06 XKW


Streetlites SK63KGO, KGV, KGX, KGZ, KHC, KHD, KHL.  

First Glasgow

Volvo B7TL YN06URC 

First Aberdeen

Volvo B7RLE SV06GRU 

From Dawson Rental’s

Scania Omnicity decker YR59 FZE  

From Go Ahead London

Enviro 200 SOE7 LX09  AYM  

Ex Preservation, Andover

RML 2396 JJD396D   

Vehicles Out

Scania N94 YV03 RBF – Busby, Fruiteers, Stafford.

Scania Omnicity decker YT10 UWB, XBZ to Ripley, Barnsley  

Optare Versa SV60 CCO, CCX to Select Bus Services.

Enviro 400 LK59 DZP, DZO to 1st Bus stop, Gravesend  

W905 VLN to PVS Barnsley.

W801 PAE to MC Tractors  

RML 2396 JJD396D to Ensign Heritage Fleet