The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  

 News Page

Issue 271
Sunday 10th August 2008

finalised on Monday 11th August
(next update week ending 23rd August 2008)

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute 
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned,  or indeed any other official body. 
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.

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Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date

 News of the local companies – 10th August 2008

"11 August - see Stop Press at the foot of this page"

Volvo/Alexander PS 3330 has been involved in a fairly serious RTA on the A4155 near Marlow. See this week's Editorial.

Pete Cannon writes to send pictures of G292.UMJ. at Wycombe Marsh on service 37 Maidenhead. Pete says "SERVICE 37 MAIDENHEAD brings back memories for me when I stayed at Frieth using the original 37 terminating at Frieth schools or Fingest or Turville or in its earlier days Henley." He asks have you or any of are members any more photos of the original service 37 that could be posted?

Matt Robinson writes "Just a few brief snippets I could muster from Arriva at Luton."

"Wright Scania 3602 (KE55CTU) has returned from remedial work at Scania. Following accident repairs some time ago part of the saloon floor around the front step had sunk. It is back in full service. Similar 3609 (KE55GVZ) is now out of use after having its fuel tank damaged in a collision with a Toyota MR2 in Houghton Regis a fortnight ago."
"Leyland Olympian 5105 (G655UPP) is currently undergoing front end accident repairs after languishing in the corner of the depot untouched for several weeks."
"Dennis Darts 3280 and 3287 (V280/7HBH) are the latest to receive LED destination displays. 3287 differs from the other Darts' displays in that it has scrolling text. Similar 3286 has had a super rear ad for Pizza Hut applied."

"Hemel Hempstead based Scania 3155 (N705EUR) has been freshly outshopped in an overall advertising livery for the Intalink Explorer. It has also gained interurban livery at the front. I attach two photos of this showing two profiles of the vehicle."

Pictures by Matt Robinson

"Luton based Volvo Olympian 5140 (N46 JPP) and Dart 3287 (V287HBH) have gained LED destination displays. Unlike previous Luton vehicles to have gained LED displays these have the type fitted to the Solars and Eclipses featuring a static destination and scrolling 'via' points on the second line. 5140 is the first Volvo Olympian at Luton to be fitted."
"Saturday 26th's hot weather took its toll on certain vehicles within the fleet. Scania 3204 overheated and began depositing water and coolant at Handy Cross between Marlow and Wycombe on my return from Reading, causing the driver to stop. The situation I feel was handled poorly following advice given to the driver by Cressex depot staff, leaving all 30-40 passengers by the roadside and driving off on the assurance of 'there'll be another one along in a minute'. Unfortunately a replacement as such didn't materialise, some passengers opting to pay again on the Carousel Line 2, while others waiting the full half hour for the 800 working behind. (Worked by ex-COMS 3841 - Scania 3204 was replaced by Volvo 3865, photo attached leaving Eden).
Later I witnessed Hemel Dart 3171 and one of the ex Sovereign Wright Volvo B10BLE's in St. Albans suffering similar leaks."
"Later in the day I photographed Wycombe Scania 3158 (N708EUR) on a Saturday evening 62 working, returning to its original 'home' in Hemel Hempstead. Had anybody else noticed that she still has white doors from the old Lakes ad?"

Attached are a variety of pictures over the last couple of weeks, including ex Line 40 Solo 2492 (YK07BGF) working into Luton on the 321.

Volvo "PS" 3332 on the new through route - 52.

Taken prior to the branding for Red Route 33 being applied.

Unusual to see this branded Volvo on the 850.

"080808  - Today's Arriva update comes from Aaron Tibbett, Volvo Olympian 5138 (N38JPP) has returned from repaint at Watford, fitted with a new LED destination display."

"Aaron himself then took 5140 (N46 JPP) down to Watford depot in preparation for repaint immediately following its morning duty. I would guess that all six of the Volvo Olympians at Luton will be done during the school holidays when they can get away with using smaller buses on the 24."

Picture by Glenn Knight,

Nigel Peach writes "I've noticed that the red Darts are at last starting to receive branding for Red Route 33, with 3821 & 3824 so treated but 3822 has not been done yet." 

"Have enjoyed catching up on Days 2 & 3 of your journey to Lands End. It must have taken you hours to put the package together - much appreciated!"

Each bus, 3821-2, 3824-7 has a different picture but full branding only appears on the nearside. Picture by M Crowe.

From Glenn Knight 

Harlow Bus Station from Glenn  Knight.

"With the new service 52 from Hemel to Wycombe running, HW Depot runs 46 duty car, which is usually an N-Reg Scania (3146) and HH Garage running 2 buses usual a T/R/S-Reg Low-Floor Dart & 03-Reg DAF Cadet."

"Luton Dart 3287 has been Fitted with LED Blind & finally 3128 M728OMJ seen in Wycombe on 14/07/2008 on "STAFF SHUTTLE"

3330 M234TBV was seen in Hemel Hempstead on 52  19/7/2008.

3604 KE55FBX worked the late 19.40 Luton to Studham 20/07/2008.

"Volvo 3332 - M783PRS operated the 1230 37 HW - Maidenhead whilst 3824 - N524NJO was on town service with Versas 2401 and 2402 (YJ57EKF/G) were on the 39 route. 3854 N414NRG was going to Bourne End on 37. B6 3115  L315HPP was on Red Route service 33."

"Merc 2133 N913ETM was on the Night Owl taken in Luton 01.08.08. Scania 3148 N698EUR was involved in a accident on Telford Way, Luton after a car hitting the nearside."

5165 EWW 544Y on 23s in Bury Park 05/08/08

It is reported that both Versas have been seen operating the 800/850 services to Reading but one of these could have been a short working to Marlow.

Gavin Francis sent this picture of 5144 displaying the revised settings on the indicator now common to all deckers operating the 280.

Dart 3228 on the revised 52 route workings. Gavin Francis.

Glenn Knight reports "New Solos for Stevenage in the new livery 304/5 FN08CHG/H in Stevenage yesterday on town service. Dennis Dart J65 was on the 505 to Chingford taken in Harlow also a view of Harlow Bus Station."

502 S502APP is in the new Intalink branding.

On the final day with Luton and on transfer 110 - L710JUD was on its way to Grantham and caught fire.

Luton based 121 M821RCP suffered an engine fire on 14/07/2008 & the gearbox failed on 163 K860PCN 163. It is suggested that the engine from 163 will go into 121 and 163 K860PCN will be scrapped

Y131TBF will now stay at Luton since seat belts are fitted,

Dennis Dart 118 XIL8418 has been involved in an RTA and is being inspected by VOSA.

N431CHL Dennis Dart Northern Counties B39F Ex-Yorkshire Traction is now at Luton Depot in the new Centrebus Livery.
This bus is ex-Huddersfield Bus. Picture by Glenn Knight

585 W985WDS seen in Luton 05/08/08 on 19A`s 

Thanks to Glenn Knight for this report.

Charlton Services

Charlton still run this smart but now elderly Leyland Tiger on various work. - picture by Gavin Francis.

One of the latest Citaros in Wycombe on route 74 - picture by Gavin Francis.

A very smart, if elderly Olympian at Stansted - picture by Gavin Francis.

The Green Line liveried coach on the 701/2 services in London - picture by Gavin Francis.

A reregistered coach (NatEX NJZ4124.) operated the 09.05 Oxford-Stansted early last week. The scheduled Levante was unavailable.

Parks of Hamilton are operating the summer only 543 Southampton-Glasgow service.
Pictures by Gavin Francis.

Russell Young writes "National Express are re equipping the Hotel Hoppa services around Heathrow with E200s.They appear to be using the white/grey livery that is being applied to trains operating their rail franchises East Angliaand on the East Coast Main line."

At Harlington Corner on Bath Road, approaching the Sheraton Skyline hotel - Sunday 13 July 2008.

A reader writes "having been an avid reader of your pages since I moved from the area several years ago, I would just like to let you know a slight error on your page this week. You have a collection of 3 Levantes which are marked as Stagecoach Gloucester. Two of these coaches belong to Yeoman's Canyon Travel of Hereford. We operate the 413 service and two workings on the 444 with our four new Levantes. FJ08KOB and FJ08KNZ are two of these. The other two being FJ08KNK / KNX."

Is this Yeoman's or Stagecoach. I saw KNH in VCS on Friday and that was SC 59305.
Picture by Gavin Francis.

For the record I would appreciate the fleet number and registrations of the Stagecoach and Yeoman's vehicles.

From Ian Brown in Hemel Hempstead.

Are you aware that NEx have quietly stopped (since last week) their recently introduced commuter service from Milton Keynes Coachway to Canary Wharf? If you try to book a journey on the NX website from MK to CW, your are taken from MK to Victoria and thence on coach service SHO 10`across London to Canary Wharf. Any other NX services for the chop?

Indeed it is announced in Route One that the Commuter service has been dropped and I note that the proposed Swindon-Reading-London commuter has not appeared. Actually the 444 seems to be something that has replaced the idea. The coaches are tri-axles with only 49 seats, tables, wiFi and free iced water. They run only to VCS.

Richard Sharman writes "Go-Northern has taken delivery of some Tri-Axle Levante's, these appear daily on the 304 to Weymouth, these are the first Tri-Axle Levante's to operate into Gloucester Green, the second picture shows the overhang over the bay."

The 310 was operated by this DAF coach last week and was caught on camera by Gavin Francis.

One of Bruce's two Levantes which operate the year round 539 service. Gavin Francis

Another two axle Levante in London but not with FJ registration (YN08FXP). Can anyone enlighten me please? Picture by Gavin Francis.

One of the older coaches to gain the new branding, D329 seen at Stansted last week. M Crowe.

The company web page offers information for the enthusiast which can be found at the following link.

As mentioned elsewhere in this issue various people are asking why the wheel trims have been removed from many of the fleet. Can anyone shed any light on this happening?

Although unconfirmed, it would appear that two more Volvo coaches have been ordered for the Airline fleet and then the two Scanias, 62 and 63 can be transferred to the London fleet replacing the last two Excaliburs, 25 and 26. This will provide OBC with a very modern coach fleet.

25 looking forlorn without its wheel trims. M Crowe.

Trident 112 sports a new super rear - Gavin Francis.

The company has introduced three Q busters to help with the summer influx of English language students - 635-637.
637 is seen above in pictures by Gavin Francis.

Despite the comments on wheel trims, Trident 907 sports some very fancy ones in this picture from Gavin Francis.

Unusually Citaro 822, which normally works on the 500 service is seen above on the 400 in this picture from Gavin Francis.

Equally red Citaro 838 is seen in another Gavin Francis picture on the 500.

Busy times for Oxford Bus in St Aldates in this picture from Gavin Francis.

Some interesting pictures of ex Reading Buses from Ben Morroll

Islywn motor taken in Blackwood and ex Reading Buses.

Midland Classic taken somewhere between Swadlincote and Burton around one of the estates.

Do visit Rob Williams's site which covers Reading in detail.

Red Kite

Red Kite SL52BFU Optare Solo County Rider seen in Leighton Buzzard to 73 to Totternhoe by Glenn Knight

Red Rose

Matt Robinson writes "Just a couple of photos of Red Rose buses..."

FJ06URR in Hemel Hempstead Bus Station

OU08EHO at Luton Rail Station.

Glenn Knight visited the Red Rose depot and sent pictures and a partial fleet list. 

Red Rose Travel at Dinton Road Depot

H620 ACK

N784 JBM

N802 GRV

N803 GRV

N902 NRY



P263 NRH

R502 YWC

R796 GSF


V108 VLH


Gary wrote saying "thought you might like the blind on this tube captured in Oxford last Monday 21/7. Unaware of it till I got home."

A surprise arrival a week ago at Oxford was Neoplan 50133 which we are told is add capacity to the London route of the Oxford Tube. It is on long term loan.

In these three pictures, the latest by M Crowe and the earlier by Gavin Francis the coach can be seen in its earlier and latest guise.

Double deck operations Oxford style - pictures by Gavin Francis.
Note some unusual workings in these pictures.

PS 20543 is seen in St Aldates. This is a Harwell outstation bus. Picture by Gavin Francis.


H654VVV Leyland Olympian in Leighton Buzzard on 165 to Bedford taken 19.07.2008. G Knight.


Marcus Lapthorn writes "The Volvos that were formerly used on the 66 route between Swindon & Oxford have not yet departed for Gloucester due to a number of reasons. Stagecoach South West have had to provide four extra buses on one of the Cheltenham routes in order to try and maintain some sort of timetable, as roadwork's on the A40 have decimated the reliability of a local route. 

Secondly they have had to provide buses for the Fairford Air Tattoo and thirdly now buses have been sent down to the Farnborough Air Display! 

When all of this is over, the planned move of the Volvos should take place I believe."

Western - Scotland

DC writes "A couple of interesting pictures I thought you may be interested in, all taken at Stagecoach Western (Kilmarnock depot)."

52026 (ex Tube M103XBW) training vehicle & an unknown Plaxton training vehicle.

28952 modified to accommodate driver ticket machine training for their new ERG equipment, complete with ERG vinyl's
(even the reg is only one letter out).  The vehicle has now been transferred to Bluebird for their driver training.

North West

Gez from Lancaster sent me these pictures of the Trident with Morecambe and Wise advertising.


Ken Baker took an interesting picture of a marketing push in Barnstaple by the company. New branding on a couple of the Barnstaple Olympians has taken place and 16350 is the other bus noted.

Here 16062 shows the new cost of a single on the 21 between Barnstaple & Bideford.
 Households have also had a pair of free tickets through the door.


A few more pictures from Steve Knight were received of this event. A significant number were also taken by Chris Maxfield and these will appear in later editions of OCBP.

These pictures certainly seem to convey the complexity of this annual operation.

Matt Robinson writes "I make it that there are 3 double deck OmniCity's in service with Thames Travel, registered OU08HGM, HGN & HGO. I've attached a picture of HGO in Oxford taken during its first week in service (19th July)."

Pictures by Gavin Francis

Picture by Matt Robinson

Picture by
Richard Sharman

Some more pictures of the current Thames Travel fleet.

Pictures by Matt Robinson and Gavin Francis.


P501OUG Trustline in Harlow 18.07.2008. Picture by Gavin Francis.


Tiger Line T1 started a week ago and I thought the following link may be of interest:

Suzy Scott writes "I was out and about sampling the new service yesterday, and uploaded some pictures too. Have a look at these entries in my LiveJournalŠ Part One ­ Meet The Tigers - A brief background on the significance and history of these vehicles :

Part Two ­ Sample The Tigers - A selection of pictures, taken from the first journeys on the first day of service :

Feel free to browse all the pictures at :

Steven Dinnage writes "Just thought the group may find this of interest, being former Woottens C64HOM sighted down in Brighton, It must of been quite a journey coming down from Whitstable. (Ive forwarded this message from the Invicta group.)"

Z&S Aylesbury

Z&S M42 ONF Scania L113RCL Northern Counties Ex-Mayne, Clayton 42 Seen at Leighton Buzzard 2/08/08 on the 165.
Picture by Glenn Knight.

Former Megabus 13614 is seen here on a Private Hire to Oxford, in the new ownership of Z&S Coaches, Aylesbury.
Picture by Richard Sharman,

Another Z&S decker, this time taken by Gavin Francis.

Stop Press

Today, August 11th 2008, First Essex launched a new fleet of coaches from their Chelmsford depot. The details are:

20801-20805  Volvo B9R/Plaxton Panther C43FL for the revised X30 service between Southend and Stansted.

They have Fainsa leather seats with one single seat on its own which is replaced by a wheel chair when required.
There are no toilets on these coaches but they do have WiFi and plugs for Laptops or Mobile phones at the two tables in the centre of the coach. There is also a DVD player in each coach on which an arrival DVD is played as the coach arrives at Stansted. 



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