Monday, 20 August 2012

A-Line Coaches updates

Recently A-Line coaches ,Cornwall have been shifting around their fleet a bit, heres whats Happened:

Ex-Plymouth Citybus Mercdes 709D N276 PDV has been purchased from a membr of the Plymouth City Transport Preservation group.After passing her Class 6 MOT first time , N276PDV returned to service from preservation for the first time in several years.  276 was brought out onto service 80 and ran capably and reliably throughout the first day, despite having sat out of use at Winkleigh for many months, this shows how reliable the little 709D's really are,even with the eldest ones reaching 20 years of age soon.

Secondly, A-line coaches have bought another Mercedes 709D with a coach spec Plaxton Beaver PUI 6627. This bus used to be L813 SAE and operated for Cityline (later First Bristol). The bus was later sold to Target Travel of Plymouth owned by Robert Risk (who was previously owner of Roberts Coaches) until 2012. The bus was then sold to its current operator A-line and is in use on 80A/B. Having rode on PUI in service with Target, I can say she is definatley a great little 709D thats well looked after.

Finally, ex Hong Kong Volvo B6LE/Alexander ALX200 R178 NPN  has been recently withdrawn from A-line after around a months service. The bus was bought by A-line coaches from Heartlands of Tamworth for use on the 80A/80B Liskeard to Torpoint service. The bus was the A-lines first and most likely last Low floor bus. The lead to the withdraw is the bus is simply too long for the cornish countryside ( Downderry in particular ) and the 9MPG factor costing Aline alot of money in fuel prices. The bus has been put up for sale on ebay various times but no buyer has been found. The chances of the bus being striped for spares and sold for scrap are high and as two Mercedes 709s have recently been bought ,there is no chance that she will be called for service any more. My tribute to R178NPN can be found here:

Sunday, 19 August 2012

All change on the railways!

Well,as 99% of enthusiasts would probaly already know, Virgin have lost the contract for the West Coast Mainline and First Group will be taking over as of early December. From what I have been told, all current stock on the WCML will be passed over to First as well as 10 6-car Class 390 Pendolino's that are currently on order. These new set's will lack a Buffet car and will have highly reduced capacity, raising the chances of overcrowded services. Surely the reduced capacity and lack of Catering falicities have reduced passengers faith in First Trains already? However,it's been said that they feel there is no need for it due to the cut journey times of as little as 3 hours. Who Knows?

I have also been told (however im not entirely sure) that First Great Western (Greater Western Franchise) will be taken over by Deutsche Bahn Schenker railways after the Franchise is up at the end of the year. DB will apparently be taking on all the current FGW stock however it is unclear what livery (if any change at all) these will end up in. Once again, I have only heard this and cannot confirm the takeover. If anyone knows anything ,please let me know and any info I have will be published on here.

EDIT: The franchise for First Greater Western does not get announced until January 2013 therefore ,the paragraph above about DB Schenker is NOT true. Some say they rekon it will be Stagecoach that take over GW...only time will tell.
FGW 43144 approaching Pewsey for the 1604 to Plymouth

SWTN Introduction video!

Above,as you would know if you have watched it is my new South West Transport News intro/promotion video. I decided to try and make a sort of advert clip or intro just to get ths blog a bit more well known. I posted it on the Facebook page earlier this evening and with around 10 minutes and I had a considerable inerest in STWN from others across the enthusiast community. I have also had people offering to send in news and updates across transport fleets in the South West england.

I would just like to thank those who have taken an interest in STWN and who send in updates and photo's, and I hope to see the continued support.

Shift around at First!

With thanks to enthusiast David Jory, I can bring you news that First Devon and Cornwall (ex Western National) Volvo Olympian/NC Palatine K801 ORL (The first ever Volvo Olympian) has returned to Torpoint after a long stay in Dartmouth for X80/81 and Dartmouth Academy School bus. The bus is one of 4 deleivered to Western National in June 1993 for use on the X80 and is one of two left (the other being K803 ORL) making the bus a very rare vehicle. In 2005 the bus was in Barnstaple but later retuned to operate in Plymouth and later Torpoint. The bus is also along with K803 ORL is the only double decker left in First Group which is ex Western National. Im hoping K801/3ORL will make it into preservation eventually.
 Secondly, First Devon and Cornwall (ex First Manchester) Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urban MX56 AEU (69227) was seen in Truro on 08/08/2012. This bus has recently been repainted into the Eden Project white advert livery. As far as I know,this is the only rigid bus in the Eden Porject fleet as the rest are Volvo B7L Artics.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Paignton gains a Palatine!

This morning I was waiting for the 09:53 12A into town,having just decided to miss S805BWC on the 09:50 12C service. I am very glad I did let 17005 go indeed, at 09:53 on the dot, Volvo olympian/Palatine P919RYO races round the corner, I thought I was seeing things for a moment ( as some may know, I really love my Palatines). I wasent seeing things, Palatine 16879 provided a splendid trip into town , proving much more powerful than the Alexander bodied ones as a result of its 5 Speed ZF Gearbox compared to the usual 3 speed Voith,found in other Olympians in the area.

This is the first time that I know of that a Palatine bodied Olympian has operated with Stagecoach Torbay since the M-DGP's and N-HGK's which were the mainstay of the Bayline 12 route until the fleet of 21 new Tridents arrived in 2004.

Its a shame the Volvo Olympians only have 4 weeks to go in service,better make the most of them while they're still here!

P919RYO is seen next to another Palatine in Exeter last year.