Stagecoach Midlands announces Volvo Olympian farewell day on Saturday 20th August 2016
Stagecoach stages Chesterfield running day
Stagecoach in Chesterfield staged a Trident Farewell day on Saturday 13th August 2016, when five of its fleet of six Dennis Tridents (17004/07/08/09/50), normally used on college services, were used on normal services 25 and 84. 17058 was the vehicle not in service on the day.
Although low floor buses, these were some of the earliest Tridents built by Dennis and bodied with the Alexander ALX400 body. After operation in London they were used in both Cambridge on Park & Ride services and then in Devon, before moving to Chesterfield. Although being low floor they are the remaining vehicles in the Stagecoach Yorkshire fleet that are not DDA compliant and will be taken out of use later this year.
Trident 17007 was also used on an evening return journey on the 77 service - 2005 from Chesterfield, returning at 2135 from Worksop.
Additionally, the Stagecoach East-owned Leyland Olympian Megadekka, 14000 which was restored to its original livery back in 2011 through a sponsorship deal with Steven Knight Media, was also in use operating daytime services on route 80, whilst Stagecoach in Chesterfield’s own open top Leyland Fleetline 15513 was put to work on service 39.
The event was masterminded by Stagecoach in Chesterfield’s acting Operations Manager Shayne Howarth who should be congratulated for organising and managing the event.
We present a small selection of images from the day.
Nocturnal Busfest planned for Whittlesey in December 2016
Following the success of this year’s Fenland Busfest in May, the organisers - Eastern Bus Enthusiasts - are planning a semi-nocturnal event based again on the Fenland town of Whittlesey on Sunday 4th December 2016 between 13:00 and 19:00. Further details of this and other Eastern Bus Enthusiasts activity visit www.easternbusgroup.co.uk
Virgin turns to Class 90 to help out on East Coast
Virgin Trains has announced that it will be hiring a Class 90 locomotive from DB Cargo from September for an indefinite period. The locomotive will be based at Bounds Green depot in North London to provide cover for the Class 91 fleet. It will be restricted to the Kings Cross - Newark Northgate services due to its lower maximum speed of 110mph.
“The Class 91 is one of the railway industry’s hardest working locomotives, more so in the last year given the extra services we have introduced since the start of our franchise,” explained Peter Cooling, Head of Fleet Delivery for Virgin Trains on the east coast. “With the added workload we just wanted some extra insurance which the Class 90 will provide to help maintain service reliability.”
Virgin Trains East Coast refurbishement reaches halfway
I was taken aback by an announcement from Virgin Trains last week. The company was about to pass the halfway point in its train refurbishment programme. The press release added that the 23rd train was about to roll out of the maintenance depot at Craigentinny in the Edinburgh suburbs.
The reason I was taken aback with the fact that the refurbishment of the HSTs and Mk4s had reached the halfway point was because in all my journeys on the East Coast I am yet to travel on a refurbished train.
The new-look trains include luxurious leather seats and mood lighting in First Class and stunning red cloth seats in Standard, providing a new lease of life to the trains and extra comfort for customers.
Virgin Trains reminds me that the refurbishment programme, which also includes new carpets and fittings, is part of a £40 million-pledge Virgin Trains made when it started operating on the east coast.
David Horne, Virgin Trains’ Managing Director on the east coast, said: “Since Virgin Trains launched services on the East Coast in 2015 we have committed more than £40m to improving our existing fleet for customers. We’re excited to be at the halfway point of our dedicated refurbishment programme, and pass another milestone on our journey towards totally transforming travel for our customers on the east coast.”
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.