Issue nr 275
Thursday November 9th, 2023

From the Editor

This coming Sunday sees the Annual Remembrance Day

This issue contains a number of buses celebrating the day

Chalk Farm Garage Running Day Sunday 5th November 2023  reported by Gavin Francis
supported by Rob Lanham, Nigel Eadon-Clarke, Mark E. Lyons and others

Out & About with Richard Sharman

Red Rose service update by Hugh Jaeger of Bus Users

Buses in the Landscape

Coach visitors to Oxford by David Beynon

Fleet News and developments

London operations

Readers visit outside our area

Gordon Scott from Edinburgh

Chalk Farm Garage Running Day Sunday 5th November 2023

 Last Sunday a Running Day was held on the 30th Anniversary of the closure of Chalk Farm Garage. Our group was invited to take part for which we would be using RTL 554 on Routes 74 and 68 and RM 1962 just on Route 68.

As I would be driving the RM I decided it would be a good idea to check the route the day before. Over the years the northern part of the route has changed and it is now basically covered by Route 1. We would be operating the section between Waterloo and Chalk Farm.

I started at Waterloo Station and parked outside was RML 887 operating RouteT15.

A few journeys on the T15 start at Waterloo Station but during the day it runs between Piccadilly Circus and Tower Hill

During the day whilst at Aldwych RML 2583 passed on T15.

I saw several buses on the route over the 2 days and they were all carrying healthy loads which must be encouraging for the private operators.

As always in London there are road works and diversions which I found on this occasion so it was good preparation for the next day.

Sunday morning it was an early start, the buses were ready to go as we had prepared them during the week.

RTL 554 and RM 1962 ready for departure.

We drove in convoy to Swiss Cottage and then the RTL went off to operate short workings on the 74 and we went to Chalk Farm Station to run the 68.

RM 1962 crosses Waterloo Bridge on its first trip. GF driving.
(Picture courtesy of Mark Lyons)

Gradually throughout the day I saw many of the heritage buses operating a variety of routes and as I was driving a lot of the time I did not have a great deal of time to take pictures but below are those I did manage to get.

Once used on Prince Edward Island, Canada RTL1076 has now returned to the UK as seen in ther first picture.


To help record the day Nigel Eadon-Clarke has also supplied me some pictures and I hope between us we have recorded all the buses which were used on the routes.

All of the pictures were taken in the Camden Town and Hampstead Heath area.

The final act of the day was to drive RTL 554 into Harmood Street where Chalk Farm Garage had been and this atmospheric shot was taken.

Photograph courtesy of Rob Lanham

Overall a very enjoyable day which I know gave a lot of pleasure to both young and old passengers, some of whom had never ridden on this type of bus and others who enjoyed reliving the past.

An interesting aside from Sunday was to find RT 2157 still acting as an estate agents office in the back streets of Camden Town. It is believed that the bus incorrectly displays RT 2517 on the bonnet plate.

It was withdrawn from London Country service at Leatherhead on 12th January 1977 initially going to Booths at Rotherham before passing into preservation.

RT 2157 in Uxbridge on 12th January 1977 and then in preservation at Southend  on 3rd June 1984. (Both pictures supplied by Paul Bateson)
Over 30 years ago it then appeared in Camden Town and has been there ever since.

These pictures taken by Paul Bateson show the interior and exterior of the bus in 2006.

Finally this picture taken by Nigel Eadon-Clarke showing the bus still in situ. 

Out & About with Richard Sharman

Having initially operated in fully branded Scottish CityLink livery,
50445 appeared in service on Saturday 4th of November debranded.

What is believed to be the last of the Scania ADL Enviro400's was transferred from Stagecoach South last week, with a West Enviro200 moving the other way.

15988 has now entered service at Oxford, currently retaining its 700 Coastliner branding.

Oxford Bus Company's National Express-liveried Caetano Levante 2 57 is seen leading a fellow
Oxford Bus Group Pulham's fleet member through Bicester on the 737 service towards Stansted Airport.

Oxford Bus Group's Pulham's Coaches division were operating on the Bicester Village Park & Ride service, displaying route number 600, on Friday 3rd of November.

Recently acquired ADL Enviro400MMC YX69 NNB and Optare Olympus-bodied Volvo B9TL PU10 HAM were the two vehicles in use.

It is not known if Pulham's were covering this for Oxford Bus Company due to school holiday availability, or if these workings will now be operated by them ?

Stagecoach South operated a rail replacement service between Bicester Village Station and Bicester North Station on Sunday 5th of November. They were using former Oxford E400MMC 10434 from Basingstoke, and x3 new Coastliner E400MMCs 11581-3 from Portsmouth depot. 

The screenshot from  shows 10434 back on its original home ground, with the two blue icons being two of the Coastliner E400MMCs.
The other bunch of Stagecoach vehicles is Bicester outstation.

Seemingly, along way to come to cover such a short trip!.

Prospect Coaches of Lye, Stourbridge have added 3 Higer-bodied Scania Tourings to the fleet for its megabus contracts, to replace the Irizar i6's currently in use.

PR73 EMA is seen working the M37 from Bristol to Norwich via Oxford and Birmingham.  

Linburg's Van Hool LIG 558 is seen operating its regular megabus working on the M34 to Portsmouth.
This service is often worked with a vehicle in the company's own livery.

Rugby's Elite i 54610 'Jenson Busson' is seen working a M34 service towards Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Another loan vehicle from within West to Oxford is recently painted 15983, seen on layover having worked an S5.
This joins the ever growing number of Scania Enviro400s based at Horspath Road.

Airline Tourismo 34 is seen operating a National Express 737 service,
standing in for the normal Levante 2, which was receiving attention at Gloucester Green.  

Derek Taylor 

One of four Stagecoach South vehicles on the service to Bicester Village yesterday. 
Welcome home 10434 !! Ed

Service update by Hugh Jaeger

You will know that this week four new Oxfordshire County Council subsidised bus routes, all serving Watlington, start running. Red Rose Travel is the contractor for all four. Routes 122 and 123 to Reading started on 6 November, and will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Routes 126 and 127 to Thame will start on 7 November, and will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The bus used on the first day is an Optare Solo, registration mark MX58 KYR.
Attached is a photo of it that I took as it passed Peppard Common on the B481 road, on route 122 returning from Reading to Watlington.

Readers will note that the bus is in Redline colours with Red Rose fleet name applied. Ed. 








Jack Cooper

Tower Bridge always provides a great backdrop as seen on October 30th.

St Pauls is even better again on October 30th.

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

David Beynon

One  in Redbridge and one in Beaumont Street taken in this morning’s walkabout, November 9th. 

     Fleet News and developments   

Adam Green

Hemel has recently taken some old buses from Arriva North West and Wales.


2678-CX58EUW New Number 3757

2679-CX58EUY New Number 3760

2681-CX58EVB New Number 3759

2683-CX58EVD New Number 3763  

Adam Green

Loaned 531 (2201) seen in Hemel on October 29th.

Gavin Francis

Thames Travel 253 with full RiverRapids branding at Carousel on November 4th.

Malcolm Crowe

870 is seen at the depot on November 4th hiding Thames Travel 253.
Then revealed next to 880.

David Beynon

28 is seen at the top of New Road still without branding on November 3rd. 

Jack Cooper

305 is seen in St Aldates on November 2nd.

Branding for a route has its drawbacks when 657 was working the 5 but 658 is seen working the 400
both around the same time on November 2nd.

The 15 branded buses were luckier as seen with 683 and 684 in St Aldates on November 2nd.

690 is however not working the 8 as branded but the 3 seen in St Aldates on November 2nd.

Jack Cooper

MB18ENZ seen in The Strand, London on October 30th.

Jack Cooper

933 is seen working an X40 service in Oxford on November 2nd.

Jack Cooper

.... seen during a visit to London on October 30th.

Skills and West Midlands TRavel operate these three Levantes seen in London on October 30th. 
Lucketts X5523 and Woods BV23ZVL also seen pulling out of Bulleid Way.

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Jack Cooper

733 seen in Buckingham Palace Road working the 702 on October 30th.

Gavin Francis

................. records variety working the 40.

Y26RRT is seen in Stokenchurch on November 3rd.

A decker working the 40, HJ02HFF made one round trip on November 8th.

Seems that there are regular "unrecorded" transfers of West buses to Oxford. That is from

David Beynon

The other Poppy bus in Oxford, 15989 in Magdalen Street East on October 3rd.

Jack Cooper

Variety working the 10 on November 2nd.

Not what is seems, working Oxford's 10, 15351 is a long way from its branded route 10 on October 30th.

Jack Cooper

Three current examples of the fleet, the main and the newest 6 cities example on November 2nd.

The Poppy coach which although not tracking on is still in daily service.

Nick Eustace

Three pictures showing the detail of 50452 ready for the road on November 5th. 

Jack Cooper

Megabus Eurocoaches eVoTor BV22HDC in Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria on October 30th.

     London operations    

Gavin Francis

........... visited London on November 4th to make a recce of the route he would be driving on Sunday. Before are some of the interesting vehicles he saw.


Jack Cooper

...................... also spent time in London taking a number of interesting pictures.


  Reader's visits outside our area 

Gordon Scott

Stagecoach East Scotland Fife Dunfermline the only double decker 84071 - LD23 EZX, ADL BYD E40D Electric Bus
amongst ADL BYD E20D single deckers
operating out of Dunfermline depot. Taken Dunfermline.

Stagecoach East Scotland Fife taken at Dunfermline
bus station ADL E20D 26351 - YX20 DFU
was one of four delivered in white livery and non standard seating
dealer stock.

Taken in Princess Street Edinburgh Parks of Hamilton
Volvo 9700 Integral LSK 615 in Caledonian Travel on Rail Replacement work.