Issue nr 273
Thursday, October 26th, 2023

With thanks to the company for their reminder poster

From the Editor

In order to maximise this issue's news I have once again delayed until Thursday to publish.

The major news item this week has been the significant increase in service by the Oxford tube with services now from Carterton, Witney and High Wycombe.

Showbus will be back in 2024 with a new location

Readers Write with items relating to:

Swindon surprise

Derek Wiggins about Swindon

Tony Bungay regarding Rail Replacement and the sale of Arriva 

Ryan Butler and Peter Cartwright discuss the 335/336 services in our area

Coach Visitors to Oxford

Fleet News & Developments on our area operators


New buses for Redline

London developments including pictures from John Marsh

Peter Edgar visits Bristol 

Oxford Tube - Route, Times & Tickets | London To Oxford | Stagecoach (

I am pleased to post pictures and details of the increased services and stop which took place on October 23rd.

The extra coaches were in service this week, 50445, 50453 and 50454. Keep your eyes peeled for 50452 which has been seen in the yard today at Horspath Road in a full poppy wrap !!

Gavin Francis

Lewknor - October 23rd


High Wycombe Coachway- October 24th


Thornhill- October 25th


Jack Cooper

Gloucester Green - October 19th

Gloucester Green - October 21st


Keith Shayshutt

You have the first day operation, Monday 23 October 2023, of the Oxford Tube from Calverton. This is the 0805 departure to London which picked up two customers in Carterton. Picture one at Carterton crossroads, the starting point and picture two as it left Brize Norton.

50453 on October 23rd.

Over the coming weeks we shall doubtless see repaints and other events with this route. Ed. 

After the final 50th event last September I had many disappointed enthusiasts contact me sad that the event would be no more and I had a few commercial offers to take the event on into the future.  I felt it was inappropriate to rush into things so soon after the “last” event and I have explored the offers and secured what I hope will be a long term future for the event at a great site.

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre (

I am pleased to announce I have done a deal with Bucks Railway Centre at Quainton who will host the next SHOWBUS on Sunday September 29th 2024.  I will be involved with processing the entries as I have done for years and arranging the display on the day.  Gradually I will hand over more and more of the arrangements to the Centre.  As I have probably mentioned in my reasons for finishing SHOWBUS on its 50th anniversary I am not getting any younger and the weekend is a physical strain from taking all the kit to the site on the Friday beforehand through to clearing the site, returning the kit to store and finally returning the Motts double-decker and getting home exhausted late on Sunday evening.  The Railway Centre will store all the kit onsite and there will be no need to rush and clear the site on Sunday.  A huge reduction in workload, plus they have the staff to prepare the site beforehand as well as clear it afterwards.

For those not familiar with the Bucks Railway Centre at Quainton, the site is expanding with a huge 7 acre display arena being prepared with a central structure serving refreshments and with toilet facilities.  This is in addition to their existing facilities of an onsite cafeteria, toilets and gift shop all housed in a period Victorian Station building.  There will be outdoor and undercover venues for our loyal stallholders as well as the onsite bookshop.

In addition to the usual fabulous display of buses there will be steam train rides, rides on the miniature railway, restored railway exhibits to admire, you can even have a go at sorting the mail on the Travelling Post Office!  As always there are other nearby attractions that we will ask for volunteers to run buses to: both Waddesdon Manor and Claydon House.  The routes will take you through the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside.  We expect local bus company Red Rose will run a commercial bus service to Quainton from Aylesbury railway station which is served by Chiltern Railways from Marylebone, though there will be ample parking at Quainton.  For those in your party who are not huge bus enthusiasts we are planning an excursion to nearby Bicester Shopping Village.

This exciting news will be released to the press on Monday.  Entry forms will be available to download, as usual, via is early as next week!  However if you just want to re-enter the bus or buses you brought to SHOWBUS 2022, simply email me at and say “same again please”.

Let all your friend know the good news and I hope you will support the new event and enjoy the fun setting at the expanding Bucks Railway Centre. I hope to welcome you once again to SHOWBUS on September 29th next year. 

Gavin Francis regarding GAL DOE13 pictured last week at Swindon

Most interesting was the Go-Ahead Swindon bus LX58CXC.


It also appears to be using roller blinds, not sure if they are old stock or they have had some specially made.
Last week's picture by Kevin Fuller.

Derek Wiggins


Tony Bungay on Rail Replacement operators

Have not seen much of note recently myself, though caught this parked up in Exchange Street, Aylesbury the other week. It is being used on Rail Replacement work. I was in Wales a couple of weeks back and saw an identical vehicle including livery doing the same job there, in this instance in connection with the ongoing refurbishment of the historic Barmouth Bridge. For my sins did not get a picture! But did note legal address was located in Kidderminster, whereas the Aylesbury one was shown as Newcastle upon Tyne. 

You no doubt have already heard the big news, but if not. Arriva has been sold to an American investment company. There are some threads on this on Uk Rail Forum, I think there is more details in a statement on there, but I did not try and open. Though did note a quote of 2 billion pound investment?

Without speculating any further, of course Arriva has interests outside the UK as well, at the risk of stating the obvious! So any investment figure has a lot to take into account.

Ryan Butler comments on 335/336

I am unsure if you are aware, but both the Arriva website and the Intalink website are reporting the withdrawal of the 335/336 service. Intalink are saying they're investigating a replacement service for this route, but if a replacement service can not be found, this would mean this link, that has existed in various forms since the 1920s would be withdrawn.

I have attached a photo of RLH69 on the 336 during the Chesham Running Day a couple of weeks ago.

Peter Cartwright replies with his thoughts on 335/336

I think any replacement is likely to be wholly within Hertfordshire. As long distance passenger numbers along this now circuitous route has greatly diminished as the train between Amersham and Rickmansworth is much quicker and more frequent. Carousel's 106 and 107 now serve the Amersham and Little Chalfont section hourly Monday to Saturday daytime which caters for most needs. 

However, I think there is an opportunity for a fast limited stop service if Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire work together and that is to extend the new 

limited stop service  725 Stevenage - Welwyn Garden City - St Albans - Rickmansworth starting 19 November via the A404 to Amersham then the A355 to Beaconsfield and then the A40 to Wycombe. This would give not only a fast journey from Wycombe, Beaconsfield and Amersham to Watford etc but also restore a link between Beaconsfield and Amersham. It would also be prudent to serve Amersham Hospital and perhaps also Wycombe Hospital as well.  

Some 50 or so years ago Express route 724 was diverted away from Wycombe to serve Heathrow Airport as the 727 could not cope with high passenger ;loadings but this was before the M25 motorway. was built. 

Carousel's 103 to Watford was not attractive for longer distance travellers as it was an all stops service and long distance travellers require a faster journey with limited stops. Food for thought? 

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

Jack Cooper

Humphries BN17JFO in St Giles on October 20th.

JH Coaches JH72COM in St Giles on October 20th.

Voyages Rouillard EV-268-MV in St Giles on October 20th.

     Fleet News and developments   


Nick Ross

Arriva Enviro 4400 leaves Milton Keynes Central on a 150 on October 13th .

Since MK have taken over the 150 from Aylesbury garage former Derby Enviros 4400 and 4401 have been regular performers on the 150  

Tony Bungay

3741, now based at Aylesbury, seen in that town with a 300 working on October 21st. 

A very nice story to read about Oxford Bus


Gavin Francis

531 seen at Wycombe Coachway on October 24th.

The X8 serviced by PMU 988 at Wycombe Coachway on October 24th.

Gavin Francis

Oxford 34 at Wycombe Coachway on October 24th.

24 at Thornhill on October 25th.

29 at Thornhill on October 25th still devoid of branding and fleet numbers.

68 at Thornhill on October 25th. This appears to be only elite I in service at present.

Variety working the 400 at Thornhill on October 25th.

354 working the 700 at Thornhill on October 25th. 

Jack Cooper

Oxford Bus 28 returned from Pulhams on Tuesday, and was in service on the Airline on Wednesday. 29 was returned to Oxford on Wednesday and was in service for the first time on Thursday.  

28 has already been used on the Airline prior to Wednesday, this was on Heathrow to Gatwick shuttles on 30th September.  

28 and 29 on October 19th.

28 is on a 23 plate, however 29 is on a 73 plate. Might 29 be the first 73 plate delivered to an operator within the county?  

677 in Worcester Street on October 21st.

998 (EV test bus) at Gloucester Green on October 18th. This was 900 during ts last visit.

692 is working out of Oxford Bus today, October 23rd, I had seen it on the X2 when I was on my lunch break around 14:00 then on a U5 when I was on my way home at 19:00 ! 

Richard Sharman

976 is seen operating it's normal 11X route, note the Christmas decorations are now up in the city centre! 

656 is seen off route heading beyond Blackbird Leys towards Watlington.

CSS 631 seen at Carfax, one expects heading back to  depot on October 24th. 

It appears that 520 and 521 are out service have euro 6 conversion. Two Sprinters are being used on the ST2. Ed.

Richard Sharman

Ex London 929 works a late evening X2 service to Didcot.

This week mark's the last week of being able to capture services operating in the evening before the clocks go back, and it's dark by 1600hrs. 

John Marsh

.... seen during a visit to London

Stansted's 309 works the A9 at Bow on October 16th.

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley


Bus travel is set to take a giant leap forward for customers of Reading Buses from the start of next month. 

The introduction of a new tap on, tap off payment system will benefit many existing Reading Buses customers and is thought will also attract more people onto the bus. 

From November 1 customers will be able to use contactless bank cards, watches and phones to pay for bus travel by simply tapping on at the card reader on the ticket machine and tapping off on the reader by the exit door. 

The new system will automatically calculate the fare and then cap it at the day ticket price of the zone in which the customer is travelling. 

This means that if a customer is travelling in the simplyReading area their first journey will be £2. For the next journey they will be capped at the day ticket price. 

They will be able to continue travelling all day within the same zone at no extra cost – providing they remember to tap on and tap off with the same device they previously used. 

This system will also apply in all other Reading Buses zones including the simplyNetwork area. 

For tap on, tap off users the operator is also offering a special reduction in the price of the Reading All-Bus day ticket until December 31 – customers in the simplyReading zone will have their day ticket capped at just £3 until the end of the year. The price of the day ticket on their app will not benefit from this reduction to help incentivise customers to use tap on tap off.  

Said Chief Executive Officer, Robert Williams: “By using tap on, tap off customers will never pay more than the day ticket price and don’t need to worry about having the right fare or asking for the right ticket. 

“It also means that if a customer ends up making more journeys than they planned they don’t have to buy more tickets as their fare will likely have been capped.  

“The capping will also work across all operators in the simplyReading area due to the Reading All-Bus ticket.” 

Reading Buses say the tap on, tap off system will only be available for adult tickets and will only cap to the day ticket price at the time of launch. 

Said Robert: “If customers want to buy Boost tickets they should do so on the app and for those travelling regularly, buying a period ticket on the app or smartcard might still be more cost-effective to give better savings. 

“The tap on, tap off system will be available on all Reading Buses services, excluding football and school services. It will also be available on Thames Valley Buses services that run into Reading, but will not be applicable on Newbury & District.” 

Reading Buses point out that customers will be able to track their payments online as well as in their app using the ‘contactless journeys’ section. Robert added: “They will need to register their card first, but then can track all payments made. 

“Full information on the new system, plus a list of frequently asked questions, are on the Reading Buses website”. 

“We think this will be another step change in bus travel along with our app and the original contactless payments project. 

“Customers won’t need to worry about their fare any more knowing they will be capped at the day rate within whichever zone they are travelling.” 

He added: “Alongside the £2 single fare extension and the Reading All-Bus ticket there’s really never been a better time for customers to take the bus.”

John Marsh

Reading 761 in Newbury loaned on October 20th.

Reading 1201 in Newbury working the 1 on October 20th.


Four Volvo B8R/MCV eVoRa buses have been ordered for the X20 and the acquired ADL MMC E20's are being sold.

MCV Evora - Wikipedia

Gavin Francis

Working a school service from Watlington, PO58NPP is seen turning into New Road on October 20th.

Seen in many guises V185OOE from 2007 to 2023

Gavin Francis

Working the 40 one of acquired MMCs soon to leave this fleet GW16BUS is seen turning out of New Road on October 20th.

Working the 40, Y23RRT is seen near the fire gutted Kings Arms, Stokenchurch  on October 24th.

Nick Ross

Red Rose Enviro Y30 RRT parked up between turns on route 21 at Milton Keynes Central on October 13th. 

Dave & Deric

There are no changes affecting Oxford depots. We are aware that 50452-4 transferred to Oxford Tube from Inverness last week, but these arrived too late for inclusion on this Fleet Card.



















For Disposal



10441 appears be away near Bristol, I wonder if for repaint? Ed.

Jack Cooper

MMC 10439 is seen with a 2A in St Giles on October 20th.

MMC 11251 is heading for Carterton with an S1 on October 20th.

Hybrid 12012 is seen returning to depot on October 20th.

Hidden Gold still working it one time branded S5 on October 20th.

Gold 15831 heading for the station  with an S3 on October 20th.

Gold 15934 is seen with an S7 in Magdalen Street on October 20th.

15992 clean of branding works a 14 in Park End Street on October 20th.

Sister 15993 with a 2 in Magdalen Street East on October 20th.

It seems a pity that these "distance" branded buses are not  used on longer country routes ! Ed. 

Richard Sharman

Partial Coastliner branded 15991 is seen on the 8 under the Christmas decorations. 

An atmospheric shot of 15758 heading off to Barton on the 8.

Gloucester's 15359 is seen with the S5 at Gosford towards Oxford on October 23rd. At the time it seems on loan from Gloucester !

Jack Cooper

50446, once yellow and blue, heads for London on October 21st.

West Oxfordshire Community Transport (

Keith Shayshutt

West Oxfordshire Community Transport 345, the Carterton Town Service, on Tuesday 26 October 2023.  

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

Go Ahead and Stagecoach swiftly followed Abellio in getting Poppy buses on the road. 

Go Ahead have wrapped Ee200, seen here waiting time at Elephant and Castle whilst working route 40 on 21 October. 

Later the same day Stagecoach's Enviro City 12518 is seen in a downpour on London Bridge. 
The wrap on this vehicle includes a poppy applied to the front. 

Also at London Bridge is Go Ahead's LT865 which has gained an advert proclaiming LG's support for Busan's bid to host World Expo 2030. 
This is the second campaign run for this bid during 2023. 

British Gas have employed Olympic medallists Tom Daley and Ellie Simmonds to promote half price electricity every Sunday between 11:00 and 16:00. 

Diver Tom is seen hanging out one of the tools of his trade on the offside of Metroline's LT748 at Marble Arch. 

Ellie Simmonds has swapped the swimming pool for a jet washer on the nearside of Go Ahead's LT443 as it passes through a gloomy Elephant and Castle.

Londoner Buses, part of the Transpora group, revised their London sightseeing route with effect from 21 October.   Now renumbered T15 it operates from Piccadilly Circus to Tower Gateway, largely following the same route as TfL route 15 and that followed by the Routemaster operated 15H until 2019.  Limited coverage over the original 'Route A' is provided by the first three journeys in the morning operating from Waterloo via Piccadilly Circus with the final three evening journeys returning the same way. 

On the first day RML887 is seen passing through Trafalgar Square carrying just the handful of passengers that came to typify loadings on Route A. 

The advert on the side is for Brazilian company Ipiranga, the  second-largest fuel distributer in Brazil.  

John Marsh

.... seen during a visit to London

Stagecoach 11342 seen in Bow working the 8 on October 16th.

Stagecoach 11356 seen in Bow working the 8 on October 16th.

Stagecoach 11374 seen in Bow working the 425 on October 16th.

Stagecoach 67010 seen in Bow working the 339 on October 16th.

Stagecoach LT s seen in Bow with a variety of liveries on October 16th.

Peter Edgar from Bristol

I recently had cause to make a family visit to Bristol and managed to have a couple of hours to do some photography in the city. On visiting the bus station to see the plaque that I had been told about commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Bristol Bus Boycott I was surprised to find the vehicle that had been decorated to commemorate the same event parked there.There maybe readers who know nothing about the Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 but living in the Bristol Omnibus territory at the time and old enough to remember it is was basically a refusal for the Bristol company to employ Black and Asian people, resulting in Bristolians refusing to use the buses, this protest lasted for around 5 months until the company backed down.

Photographs of the plaque which is on display within the bus station concourse and photographs of the commemorative vehicle, First West of England 39401.


Jack Coopers article on his visit to The Isle of Wight has been held over until next week. Ed.