Another week,, another page! A quieter week in some ways as last week's page was somewhat delayed.

Somewhat surprising is the continuing closure of Victoria Bus Station in the forecourt of Victoria Station. Buses waiting to resume service are now parking on the stop used by the Oxford tube  for customers alighting for the area.

Express arriving service now must use stop Z5 by the side of the station!

At last the first of repainted Oxford Interdeckers into Carousel livery has arrived and entered service on February 2nd. Lewis Nagle sent two pictures of this coach en route to High Wycombe from Heathrow, which were a first! Thank you Lewis.

Lewis Nagle

I attach two pictures of newly repainted coach 75 on the 102 this weekend. The new colours certainly give these coaches a new lease of life!  

Pictures by Lewis Nagel.

The dust is settling from the Stagecoach launch of its new branding but it will be sometime before we see this locally although I understand it is intended that existing vehicles will be repainted quite quickly.

This issue has the first pictures of the new Green Line coaches for the 758 service. See under Arriva below.

A note from Alexander relating to the pieces about past Oxfordshire routes.

I read Hugh Jaeger's query about the history of busses linking Bicester and Brackley on your news page dated 1/21, and would like to correct some mistakes he made.

The service didn't become the X88 and absorb the 88 in 2003, that happened in 2007, I remember reading it on your news page.

The Oxfordshire villages 37 service never existed to the best of my knowledge. The X88 wasn't subsidized before 2007, as it never existed before then.


Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 11 February starting at 7.30 p.m. at The Gladiator Club, 263 Iffley Road, Oxford, OX4 1SE. One of our founder members Chris Bates will give us an amazing tour of buses "From Sydney to Grimsby". Having had a preview of his pictures I know that we are in for a real treat. 

There is parking in Iffley Road, as well as by the club building and there are a few places in adjacent side streets. COMS/Stagecoach route 3 passes the door and is pretty reliable at that time. Drinks are available at the club bar.

When I did my presentation last month, I found this a convenient and pleasant location. Ed. 

A trip to Europe by Kevin Nicol  - St Gallen

The population of St. Gallen is about 75,000 (140,000 in the metropolitan area). Verkehrsbetriebe der Stadt St Gallen provides the bus service in the town and has a fleet with a lot of variety. For trolley buses, they use articulated and double articulated Hess trolleys. The bi-artics are used on routes 1 and 2. In St. Gallen, like most other Swiss towns, the transit service in focused on the main rail station in the downtown area. It was a beautiful sunny day so I had to walk a little away from the downtown to try to get some sun shots of the buses without shadows from the tall buildings. The diesel bus fleet consists of 30’, 40’ and 60’ MAN Lion City buses. They also have the 15m MAN double rear axle buses. The 15 metre length work out to about 48’. You will notice that for line 4 the MAN buses pull trailers. This would be the first of 3 Swiss cities that I would photograph buses with trailers. At one time, it was very common in Switzerland, and the practice is still used in some cities. If you are wondering how you pay a fare in a bus with a trailer, the answer is that you pay it ahead of time. All of Switzerland is an honour system so people board at all doors of the buses which makes for very quick boarding. On the rail system, the fares are checked quite often but for buses, I was only approached once by a fare inspector in Neuchatel. 

Artic # 299 appears to be a one of a kind bus according to information I saw on the internet. The MAN artic has 4 axles and appears longer than 60’ but I was not able to confirm this. Apparently, it was  a demo built for a future order that never materialized.

I also saw only one electric Solaris Urbano bus (#220) in St. Gallen. Solaris is a Polish bus builder who seem to be winning more and more bids from Swiss properties. I would see them operating at a number of transit systems.

Regiobus is a commuter operator in the St. Gallen area. The area served is south and west of St. Gallen on eight routes. I was able to photograph their 60’ MAN Lion City articulated buses but their website also shows a 40’ bus which obviously are operated as well.


St. Gallen is also a major operating area for PostBus (or PostAuto). PostBus can be best described as a combination of GO Transit and Greyhound as they provide commuter and intercity bus service across Switzerland. They do not compete with the train network however, as they only provide connections to the many small towns and villages across Switzerland that are not serviced by rail. They have many mountainous routes in the south. I did not get a chance to ride PostAuto and will also have to save that for another trip. 

In St. Gallen (part of the Eastern PostAuto Region), most routes depart from Bahnhof St. Gallen. Transit buses used include Iveco Crossway (# 10369), Volvo Couvet (SG 443902), Scania Hybrid (# 80491) and MAN Lion City (# 11048). The fleet numbers for PostAuto were very small, and in some cases, there were two per bus (one for the contractor and one for the whole system). The number was not listed on all sides so if I did not write down the number and it is not identifiable by the photo, then it is identified by the licence plate.


Articulated buses used include MAN Lion City Artics (# 10) and Mercedes Citaro (# 3). The most interesting buses in the fleet are the Alexander Dennis Enviro 500 double deck buses. PostAuto has 19 of the double deck buses and they are assigned to the St. Gallen region. They replaced Neoplan double deck buses when they were put into service a couple of years ago. They are mainly used on routes 120 and 121 but I did see them on other routes as well.



In a future issue I will continue with Kevin's European Tour.

More from Argentina by Paul Bateson

During late 2019 Paul visited Argentina and in this issue we see some of the buses used in and around Buenos Aires. I visited BA in the early '70s hosting a group of travel agents when I worked for TAP Portugal. On arriving in BA we were met by a Government Host who was to be with us all the time we were in the country. My surprise was considerable when the driver of our Mercedes coach (42 seats), on finding out I was a coach driver stepped out of his seat and invited me to drive the group for the three days spent in Argentina. I still find it difficult to believe this happened but it did ! Sadly I am unable to find any  pictures from this trip, I think I took Super 8 Cine!

This link will give readers a good idea of bus and coach providers in Argentina : https://myntransportblog.com/tag/argentina/ 

So here are some pictures to show the modern bus system in Buenos Aires taken by Paul Bateson in November 2019.


Neobus Spectrum Road 350 / Mercedes Benz O-500R-1830 / Chevalier Costera Metropolitana (Argentina)

Local buses are often of Agrale manufacture from Brazil.


Numerous vehicles are of Mercedes manufacture.





This was a delightful restored Mercedes during the time Paul was Ushuaia, Southern Argentina.

The type was basically a good chassis often used for bus or coach bodies.

Information is available on buses and coaches in Argentina but often without translation, my Spanish is not good!!! 

This is a company, located near Tring, in the heart of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

I have not heard of Longmile previously but they have an excellent fleet of coaches.

One of their staff, Ash, sent me some interesting pictures and a comment.

One interesting vehicle is an ex Hong Kong Olympian detailed below.

LML Coach Hire H462EJR

LML Coach Hire/The Long Mile H462 EJR Leyland Olympian tri-axle/Alexander RH ex Citybus, Hong Kong 162 ET1746

Upon arrival in the UK joined the megabus fleet as Stagecoach 13652, based at Newcastle to Newcastle to London services (and therefore toilet fitted for that), when the new tat arrived for megabus this one and five others formed the South West Trains replacement fleet based in Winchester.

Latterly it was with Howards as F18HOW and then Tiger European, Nottingham.

Ideal for large parties. Ashley Toms.

I am publishing some of the pictures Ash sent and a link to the company web page, who knows someone in need of a coach might catch up here?

"Thought you might be interested in one of our new coaches !  I believe this was a show coach which did the rounds last year. Now with Cherished registrations, J777LML and J888LML." 


Brand new for 2020 - Mercedes Benz Tourismos - Ashley Toms



James Freeman sent pictures of his visit to Newcastle on January 25th.



Large numbers of supporters travelled north to see the match and a selection of the coaches involved are shown above.

Whilst in the city James took some pictures of local bus operations.

Two members of the Go North East fleet are seen in the above pictures.

As can be seen from the pictures the old rubs shoulders with the new as Stagecoach runs a varied fleet in Newcastle.
The M A N s are now rather elderly and the latest buses are all white ready for the new livery.

North of the Border with Gordon Scott

Pictures taken on January 31st at Alexander Dennis Falkirk factory.

Stagecoach London 11346 - SL69XXC Alexander Dennis E40H MMC
one of a batch 11341 - 11375 for Bow London depot for route 25 fitted with advert boards. Seen out on a test run.

Another First West England Bristol 39440 - YN69EHT Scania Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 CBG City leaving Falkirk on its delivery run. 

Fleet news and developments

The February allocation list is now available courtesy Paul Swann of Arriva Midlands & Shires Head Office.

Arriva Enthusiast Fleet 5 Feb 20.xlsx

Mike Penn

Here are some photographs from Luton you might like.  Arriva seem to be short of buses in Luton with the debacle over the 758.  These are two from Arriva Midlands which may or not be temporary loans.  2737 (CX04EHZ) is a Wright bodied DAF SB120 and is seen in  Luton operating the 12 service on January 10th.  2991 (YJ09MKE) is an Optare Versa, the twin of the one operating in High Wycombe, and is seen in Luton operating the 24 service on January 20th.Here are some photographs from Luton you might like.  Arriva seem to be short of buses in Luton with the debacle over the 758.  These are two from Arriva Midlands which may or not be temporary loans.  2737 (CX04EHZ) is a Wright bodied DAF SB120 and is seen in  Luton operating the 12 service on January 10th.  2991 (YJ09MKE) is an Optare Versa, the twin of the one operating in High Wycombe, and is seen in Luton operating the 24 service on January 20th.

Pictures by Mike Penn

Gavin Francis visited Maidenhead on February 3rd and caught Arriva's working from High Wycombe.

33 route 2327 is seen in Maidenhead working the 37 service.

At the other end of the scale! 3918 is seen with a 37 service heading towards Maidenhead on the same day.

Closer to home, Citaro 3013 was causing much congestion in Desborough Avenue having failed as seen.
It was still there an hour later!!

A late entry for this issue was a real scoop when Gavin Francis caught up with the first of the new Green Line coaches in Bulleid Way, London on February 6th.

Quite a welcome change for passengers on the 758 who have had to accept E200MMCs whilst waiting for these new coaches.
7100 is the very first and was only delivered a few days ago. 

Mike Penn

Seen in Luton on January 20th is Centrebus 581 (YX11CTV) which has recently had a repaint into red livery having previously been operating in Luton for several years in an all white livery.  It is technically on hire from D & G bus which was recently taken over by Centrebus but I don’t think it has ever operated for that company.


Caught on February 3rd in Stokenchurch by Gavin Francis.

T124 - T124AUA - working a school run from Stokenchurch to the Royal Grammar School.

Gavin Francis visited Maidenhead on February 3rd and caught First in the area.

Service 4 runs from Maidenhead to Heathrow and two buses are seen in the pictures above by Gavin Francis. 

As mentioned in the Editorial the first of the repainted Interdeckers has now entered service. Gavin Francis has provided pictures taken on February 4th of coach 75 and unpainted 73 in service at Wycombe.


These coaches certainly look more appealing in the Carousel livery.

Citaro 877 is back with Carousel now following an extended loan to Thames Travel during which time it was involved in a problem in Reading.

All of the X90 Interdeckers are now off the Oxford fleet and appear in some cases on the Carousel listing. I think it is probable that they will be used on the upcoming X50 High Wycombe-Heathrow service as well as the 102.

Two of the coaches used by Oxford to work the National Express 737 route are now with Go South Coast as seen in the pictures below taken by James Freeman at Basingstoke.

Coaches nr 8 and 10 once in the  Oxford fleet. 

Scania 206 was operating the ST1 on Friday, February 7th.

Note under Carousel 877 is back in service at Wycombe. 

In a few days time the 737 service will route via Milton Keynes instead of Stokenchurch, High Wycombe and Hemel Hempstead. A sad loss as this service routing was quite popular with customers in spite of the lack of publicity. 

Gavin Francis visited Maidenhead on February 3rd and caught Courtney in the area. Not many buses appear to show Reading based fleet number as yet!

One bus with a fleet number is 675 - YJ68ULZ seen working route 9.

A regular service runs to Windsor, route 16, and here 663 is seen loading with 665 also working the 16.

Branded for Foundation Park, an ex Demonstrator, now 668 is seen waiting time.

Solo SR 139 is seen with a 7 to Woodlands Park.

A delightful little bus, looking rather careworn, 126 is seen with a 239 service to Henley.

Solo SR 199 is seen with an 8 to Halifax Road.

E200MMC 673, Bracknell based, is working the 53 service to Wexham Park Hospital,
brightly painted in red and yellow, one of three identical buses so treated.

I am told that the wide variety of colour schemes is to be short lived as a standard scheme will see many repainted dark grey with coloured route branding. i.e. green or purple etc.

Many thanks to Gavin for his contribution here. 

Obviously there have been numerous pictures over the past week showing the new Stagecoach image. I include a few below as so far not many buses have seen service in the new livery as yet.

53715 shows the new coach livery to advantage.

The single deck Park & ride type livery and the double deck livery.

Not much to report at present but I do  have a picture of interest which shows 15965 in South Wales.

15965 with an X3 from Cardiff via Pontypool to Hereford at the start of the journey on February 4th by Jon Williams.
It doesn't look to tidy with varying colours and front corner damage.

BYD/ADL Enviro E400EV 14031, on loan here from Stagecoach Manchester is seeing extensive driver training use in Cambridge. We understand that this is currently taking place between Cowley Road depot in Cambridge and the city centre. The training is in advance of similar 14033 and 14034 entering service here later this month.

Other pictures to hand courtesy SKM are two of the single decks for Cambus and two of the tri-axle deckers.


In the next issue I have a wide selection of photographs from Gary Seamarks.  

50283 is seen working an express service to Oxford, heading along Marylebone Road by Gavin Francis February 4th.

50233 is seen working a straight service to Oxford, running through Notting Hill Gate by Gavin Francis February 4th.

50247 is seen working a service to Oxford, loading at Grosvenor Gardens by Gavin Francis on February 4th.

Amazing, all three pictures feature coaches with black rooves!!!!!! 

West's 55027 in Barnstaple Bus Station operating megabus route M31 from Bristol to Barnstaple on February 4th by David Green.

This Irizar, IRZ525, was pictured on Park Lane with a Radley College trip, February 4th by Gavin Francis. 

Smaller operators and London developments

Lewis Nagle

Also, as promised, a couple of White Bus nrs 64 and 65 now liveried after the last picture I shared back in December.

Two of the new buses showing the application of White Bus branding and working the 446 service.

Gavin Francis on February 4th.

Someone has suggested that TfL requires support of £1m per day to subsidise the services.
Above is a wrap promoting frozen fares taken by Gavin by Marylebone.

HOURGLASS is one of the latest wraps in London seen above on two LTs at Marble Arch.

New Electric buses, the first on a central London route, BYDs with ADL Enviro City bodies seen at Notting Hill Gate.
BCE47003 and BCE47007, the only two in service working their designated route on February 4th.
The buses lack any advertising boards and one hopes they are not spoilt by the application of one that covers the staircase window!!

City Tour London's image is retained by the VLE shown above at Notting Hill Gate. 

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