Sunday, 7 December 2014

Paignton Pandemonium!

Yet again, I'd like to apologize for the lack of posts/updates etc on both here and flickr, I've had a lot going on and really haven't found the time to get them updated. I'm still managing, however, to get the odd video on youtube every few days or so. Hopefully things will pick up a bit soon.

Well having gone to bed at gone 3am Saturday morning, with the idea of going to Cardiff in mind for this weekend, it's unsurprising that when my alarm went off at 07:00, I deactivated the thing and went straight back to sleep. That was Cardiff out the window for a start. Quite a bit later than planned, I eventually get up at around half past 12, when, shortly after I received a phone call to say there had been a "collision" in Paignton Town Centre and that Air Ambulance was in attendance, and Great Western Road was shut. ( Read more about it here ON THE HERALD EXPRESS WEBSITE ) so I headed into town on Trident 18384 MX55KSE, which has recently returned from RTA damage repair itself.

ex-Wales 47520 in it's new "FOX" branding - very smart indeed!
What was looking like a very boring Saturday afternoon ahead of me turned out to be quite somewhat the opposite! After a gorp at the crash scene outside the bus station, Euro 2 Trident 17057 T657KPU come in on a Brixham bound 12 unexpectedly. In a moment of excitement, I boarded with the intentions of a trip down to Brixham and back to Paignton on it. Sods law, unbeknownst to me, 17057 had sustained mild accident damage on the way down from Newton Abbot and we were all asked to transfer onto newer Euro 3 Trident 18367 WJ55NLZ which had just been pulled off of a Roselands bound 22. Boring! Meanwhile, "FOX" branded Optare Solo 47520 CN57FWM (which was out for the first time in it's new branding) had come off service due to heavy delay and parked up on the 22 overflow stand. My friend and I were most amused when it looked like 47520 was about to do a route 22 on it's first day in FOX branding! On top of all of this, a driver refused to take Optare Solo 47105 WA04TXW out on a FOX due to a flat tyre! Subsequently, Trident 17057 and Optare 47105 both left Paignton Bus Station in disgrace.

"The Beast" 17003 in White Rock on the route 22!
Trident 18383, a really rare type to work the FOX!
By now it was around half past 1 and with everything going wrong, I had made plans to catch the 15:13 train down to Plymouth, just as Trident 17003 S803BWC pulls in on the 22, so I couldn't help my self but go for a trip - despite the fact I'd just come down from Roselands! After a rather beastly run around Roselands & White Rock, we returned to Paignton where, to our shock, there was a Trident waiting to depart on a FOX! So, we just had to! Alexander Dennis Trident ALX400 MX55KRZ 18383 provided an interesting run around Foxhole, a route that should be served by
Optare Solos! The Trident took the steep hills in it's stride, better than the Optares in fact, however the tight turns and parked cars proved difficult for the deckers. Nevertheless, we got there (and back!).

First Kernow 32817 T817LLC on Rail Replacements
 in Plymouth!
The traffic had backed up all the way back to the start of Hyde Road as a result of the RTA and the diversion around Torbay Road & the Seafront that the driver of our FOX advised everyone to get off at Hyde Road and walk to the bus station. As we were pushed for time, we did just that and made the 15:13 Newton Abbot train with good time. After a bash to Newton on 150104, we enjoyed a nice First class trip on a HST, hauled by 43029 with 43027 bringing up the rear, down to Plymouth. After grabbing a couple of shots of the Liskeard Rail Replacement vehicles, we caught Jackett's Coaches X85 up to Barnstaple, with ex-Abellio London Transbus MPD BX54DLD for haulage. From there, we rode back to Exeter St Davids on 150104 (again!) and down to Newton Abbot on Cross Country's 220034. Seeing as we'd long missed the last Paignton Train (21:30) at gone 10pm, we enjoyed a ride back to Paignton on Stagecoach Scania N230UD 15796 WA61KMG and finally Optare Solo 47691 WA58MRV on the 23/22, bringing to an end a quite strange, but nonetheless good day!
Jackett's BX54DLD in Barnstaple
150104 in Barnstaple

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