Somerset Yard Bash IV – 2nd June 2018

Somerset Yard Bash IV – Saturday 2nd June 2018

PLEASE NOTE you will need a high viz vest or coat for this tour, I can supply a handful but please let me know if you need to borrow one.

The somerset Yard Bash 4 re-visit’s the places from the Somerset Yard Bash 2. This is another multi vehicle tour using different vehicles that haven’t been used on the previous yard bash tours.

The tour starts at the bus stop outside Bath Spa station at 10:00am.

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NOTE We are unable to pick up at Odd Down P&R this time, however if you are arriving by car, it will be cheaper to park at Odd Down P&R and take the bus in. The P&R bus stop in the city is only a short walk to the station.

Arleen’s Plaxton Paramount Dennis Javelin XIB 8381 will take us from Bath to First Bus Weston Island depot on the outskirts of bath and then we will head to Peasedown for a visit to Arleen Coach Hire’s depot.

From here, Somerbus East Lancs Omnidekka Scania 704 BYL will take us to Stanton Wick for a visit to the Travel Filers/Somerbus/Citistar/Glenvic Coaches site.

704 BYL will then take us to Cabot Circus where we will have an hours break. Being near the Bus Station and The Horsefair, it is ideal for logging First buses and various National Express and Megabus coaches.

Abus East Lancs Omnidekka Scania BU54 AJP (requested) will then take us to First Bus Hengrove and First Bus Lawrence Hill depots. We will have around 40-50 minutes at both depots.

Then we will take a visit to the Abus depot, where Arleen’s VanHool DAF SB3000 L536 EHD will take us back to Bath for around 17:30 – 18:00 (Arleen Beulas BAZ 7912 will be used if L536 EHD is unavailable)

Price is £15 per person payable on the day

As always, if you wish to reserve a space on the tour, just E-mail me at james37611@hotmail.com but you can turn up on the day if there is space

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Sn-ap Bristol to London

Sn-ap Bristol to London journey review

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Sn-ap (pronounced as ‘snap’) is a relatively new service, most people haven’t heard of it yet. I only heard of this in January 2018, when a post appeared from an operator on Facebook saying that they were now part of the sn-ap service from Bristol to London. With the URL looking a bit suspicious, and the fact I haven’t heard of it before, made me a bit wary but having looked at the replies to the post, it looked like it was actually genuine. It was then I learnt that sn-ap isn’t an operator, it uses various trusted operators and runs at competitive prices. If you find a non discounted return journey with National Express or Megabus that is cheaper than the fare quoted by sn-ap, you can claim a price match.

So far the options are Bristol and Nottingham to London, but hopefully this will be expanded, and there is options to build your own route or book ‘non-confirmed’ trips but I haven’t found any of this on the website myself yet.
The idea is that it runs on demand. The main page allows you to search Bristol or Nottingham to London or vice versa, and you can book any of the confirmed trips, which runs 7 days a week and at various times of the day.

I booked my trip using the free day return ‘Brizzle’ voucher promotion for two people for a day trip to London. At first I wasn’t really sure it was going to work for 2 people and thought there was a catch, but no sure enough it came up with a zero fare and got my trip confirmed, the 0846 Bristol Lewins Mead to London Baker Street, and the 1640 return. This was booked a week before the date of travel and the fare would have cost £26 return for 2 people.
Had I booked a week in advance for a similar trip on National Express, it would have cost me £60 for 2 people.

What I did like was it informed you of the coach operator (in this case, Andrew James) and also there was detailed information of where the pick up point is with maps, information and a picture which was extremely useful. The morning of the trip I had a text confirming that the coach is nearly ready to go and will be at Bristol Lewins Mead at 0846.

A text later on informed me that driver ‘Nick’ is on his way in AJ17 BUS, and provided a link to the coach tracker. This was very handy, and I liked the advance information of what coach is being used.

Me and my friend traveled up to the Brislington Park and Ride and got the bus to The Haymarket, which is a short walk away from the pick up point. We turned up 10 minutes before the departure time, and there were a few people here already waiting for the coach.

Andrew James Mercedes Tourismo AJ17 BUS turned up at 08:44 with a ‘sn-ap’ sign in the window and a sn-ap representative. We joined the coach which already had a fair amount of passengers on and we set off at 08:48.

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Just up the road we stopped briefly and Nick welcomed us on board, went through the safety procedures and informed us that we should be in London by around 11am. The journey was up onto the M32 then across on the M4.

The sn-ap representative came round asking how we found out about the service and also gave out a small packet of sweets and a sn-ap key ring. Very nice touch!

I have a soft spot for the Tourismo, and this was a very nice coach. Nice shallow entrance steps, nice seats with a small table, nice big windows and a very smooth ride.
We even managed to overtake the 040 London National Express on M4 which left Bristol Bus Station at 0850.

Somewhere past Swindon I noted a Redwing Irizar i6 operating a sn-ap service from London.

At M4 junction 8/9, we turned off onto the A404. Nick then informed us that there was congestion between junctions 4A and 4B because of the rugby match at Twickenham, we will be taking the M40 into London. This was a good idea and because it’s non stop to London and makes a first call at Park Royal, it makes it flexible for diversions. I suspect the 040 London service, which was still behind us, probably carried on down the M4.

The M40 was clear and we had a good run into London. Some people got off at Park Royal, and then me and my friend alighted at Baker Street, arriving there at 11:32.

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We came back to Baker Street around 20 minutes before the coach was due. Again I had received a text telling me it will be Nick with AJ17 BUS. I later received a text informing me that there was an event at Wembley Stadium and may effect the journey times. Although this didn’t make much of an effect I did like the fact they texted to inform of the possible delay, although it’s interesting to note the Twickenham match didn’t appear as a possible delay so I’d assume the reports come through of any events happening near the route of the service in and out of London.

The coach appeared at 16:44, and we were one of 3 joining the coach and I was surprised to see it was almost empty! Unless there was a mass load at Park Royal, this was our loading.

We headed out on the A40 which was a bit of a crawl as everyone else was heading out of London but it wasn’t that bad. We got to Park Royal and stopped for a moment but no one got on, so we rejoined the A40. In total there was me, my friend at two other passengers. 4 altogether.

I was surprised at this as they say they only run on demand, so I can only assume because the morning trip to London was a reasonable load, the return will run anyway as the coach will be going back that way to get to it’s depot (which is in Wiltshire, not in Bristol but I suppose it saves running empty all the way from London).

We then joined the M25 to get to the M4, and then it was a straight run up to the M32.
I was also tracking the 1630 040 London Victoria to Bristol Bus Station, which left at 1635, but it was ahead of us and managed to get into Bristol 10 minutes before we did.

Arrival into Bristol was very swift. Off the M32, straight past Cabot Circus then into Bristol Rupert Street at 19:14.

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At the end I got a text from sn-ap to rate the operator, 1  being poor and 5 being great. I rated it 4, as on the return, the coach was rather chilly inside as the heating wasn’t on, or it certainly wasn’t working towards the back. Other than that, it was perfect! Would I use it again? I certainly would!

Why not try it yourself?
https://v2.sn-ap.com

For a free trial trip between Bristol & London
https://sn-ap.com/brizzle

 

CANCELLED 17/02/2018

CANCELLED – Saturday 17th February 2018

UPDATE 11/02/2018:

Unfortunately, some of the operators have had to cancel for various reasons, that’s not to say we aren’t welcome, I fully understand that operators have a life outside of work and family life comes first. It’s just the date that doesn’t work so I am hoping to re-arrange a re-run on the 24th March.

I know that many of you were looking forward to this and some of you have booked to come down to Newbury for the tour, I was frantically trying to arrange a last minute Oxfordshire yard bash for the 17th February, but unfortunately we could only be at those places by no later than midday. Trying to do 3 depots around Oxfordshire with around 20-30 minute travelling time between each place wasn’t going to work unless we started from Newbury at 7am, which clearly wasn’t going to work.

This would have been the 4th tour I have done and is the first I have had to cancel, so this is a first and cancelling is something I don’t take lightly, it only happens when there really is no feasible alternatives.

I am however grateful to the operators that would have been able to take us in at such short notice even if it was just for the morning that they would be able to let us in, but I hope the Berkshire re-run will go ahead in March, if not I have some other idea’s up my sleeves…

 

Once again I do apologize for cancelling the tour.

 

Bath Christmas Market Coaches 25/11/2017

Although the Bath Christmas Market started on Thursday the 23rd November, the 25th was the first date that the market was on at a weekend. I took a visit to Bath as I expected it to be busier than the usual flow of coach traffic, and it certainly was.

Along with the usual’s like Premium Tours, Redwing, Golden Tours and other local private hires, there was a lot of visitors for the market too, and as expected there was a lot of coaches from the Welsh boys.

I have a gallery on my Flickr of the coaches I snapped in Bath that day, and if you wish to see them, click on the picture below:

Creigiau Travel S12 CTL

I have also compiled a log of the coaches I saw between 10:00 and 16:00 (I would have stayed later if it wasn’t so cold!)

Registration       Operator                         

11 JBT                   Johnson Bros, Worksop
15-BFS-9              AMZ Topdeck, Borselle (NL)
408 OHY              Arleen Coach Hire, Peasdown
8990 PH               Hodges Coaches, Sandhurst
9649 PH               Hodges Coaches, Sandhurst
978 HHT              Edwards Coaches, Llantwit Fardre
AC13 PCC             P.C Coaches, Lincoln
BF15 KFO            Wheadon’s Coaches, Cardiff
BF15 XPM            Coaches Excetera, Croydon
BJ15 AVZ              Edwards Coaches, Llantwit Fardre
BK11 GKC            Herrington Coaches, Fordingbridge
BN17 JBE             Redwing, Herne Hill
BP12 ZGF             Cymru Coaches, Swansea
BU03 LYF             Rebound Coaches, Bampton
BV17 CJF              Golden Tours, London
BX13 BXJ              South Wales Transport, Swansea
BYC 828B              Arleen Coach Hire, Peasdown
C2 HBG                 A&B Coach Travel, Cardiff
C20 BUS                Coniston Coaches, Stourport on Severn
C4 SSU                   Reading & Wokingham Coaches
CN08 TKV             Ridgways Coaches, Port Talbot
D16 EUN               Olympia Travel, Hindley
DA17 LON            Dhilion, London
DN17 LON            Dhilion, London
DY52 DZF              Jenson Travel, Pontypool
EU07 FHY             Crusader Holidays, Aylesbury
F18 ACT                Abbot Coach Travel, Newton Abbot
JIL 2433                Davies Coaches, Llanelli
K18 DUX               Coracle Coaches, Carmarthen
KX59 CYE              P&S Travel, Ceredigion
KX64 AAY              South Wales Transport, Swansea
MB12 MTB            Bakers, Moreton-in-Marsh
MV08 HVJ             P&R Coaches, Southall
MX04 AFU             Jarvis Coaches, Aberdare
OU14 SVF              Longstaffs Travel, Amble
OY67 DWP            ABC Coach Hire, Manchester
P300 EDW             Edwards Coaches, Llantwit Fardre
P400 EDW             Edwards Coaches, Llantwit Fardre
P6 EUR                   Eurocoaches, Yate
P814 GBA              Berrys Coaches, Taunton
PJI 3354                 Target Travel, Plymouth
PO15 AZD              London Travel In, West Drayton
PO15 AZV              Watts Coaches, Bonvilston
PO17 AUY              Horseman Coaches, Reading
R255 FBJ                Centurion Travel, Midsomer Norton
R555 SWM            South West Minicoaches, Bristol
RJI 2714                 Davies Coaches, Llanelli
RL06 RSL               Jervis Coaches, Port Talbot
RX12 HNT             Horseman Coaches, Reading
S12 CTL                 Creigiau Travel, Capel Llanilltern
SF06 VYL              Gwyn Jones, Bryncethin
SF06 VYW             Phil Anson Coaches, Blaenavon
SF54 NBG              Berrys Coaches, Taunton
SIL 7914                Go South Coast (Tourist)
SN57 LKA             Andrews Coaches, Frome
T112 JBA               James Travel, Caerphilly
TIL 6719                Go South Coast (Damory)
V10 CTL                Creigiau Travel, Capel Llanilltern
V210 EAL              Parrot Motors, Bridgend
W609 FUM           Apec Executive Travel, Cowbridge
WA13 GYT            Mainline, Gilfach Goch
WA14 DVJ             Ferris Coaches, Nantgarw
WA62 BBU            Eagle Line Travel, Andoversford
WH04 OXO           Reading & Wokingham Coaches
WH09 SUN           W&H Motors, Crawley
WJ66 KDO            Watts Coaches, Bonvilston
Y15 POS                 Pauls Coaches, Stoke-on-Trent
YD17 WYV            Premium Coaches, Brixton
YD63 FGA             Johnsons, Henley-in-Arden
YF17 LTO              Mainline, Gilfach Goch
YG67 FZM             Heyfordian, Bicester
YJ13 HTG               Apec Executive Travel, Cowbridge
YJ16 EPP                Galloway European, Mendlesham
YK16 SSZ               Parrys International, Cheslyn Hay
YM52 UVX             Rogers Coaches, Martley
YN10 FZV              Cymru Coaches, Swansea
YN16 NZD             Clarkes Coaches, Lower Sydenham
YN16 WWM         Commandery Coaches, Worcester
YP17 FLM             Mainline, Gilfach Goch
YR58 RUH             Go Ahead Brighton & Hove (Spirit of Sussex)
YT11 LPA              Lucketts Travel, Fareham
YT11 LPE              Lucketts Travel, Fareham
YT11 LPV              Lucketts Travel, Fareham
YX15 OVH            Anderson Travel, Bermondsey
YX16 NYA             Johnsons, Henley-in-Arden
YX16 NYB             Johnsons, Henley-in-Arden

Also noted but have no registration log, was a Johnsons Yutong and a Premium Coaches Plaxton Panther 3

Hampshire Yard Bash Report and Log – 28th October 2017

What a fantastic tour it was. 17 people came along the Hampshire Yard Bash and I everyone seemed to enjoy it. Some new passengers on the tour, along with some familiar faces from the Somerset Yard Bash 1 and 2.

As always, trying to plan the schedule isn’t easy, so we did slip behind time through the day as I underestimated the time we’d need at some places. I don’t like to rush people and provided we ran no more than 30 minutes late we should be OK.

We got our visit’s at Xelabus, Wheelers (Hedge End), Emsworth & District, Stagecoach Portsmouth, Lucketts and Portsmouth Preservation. All were very accommodating and had some interesting vehicles to see.

I’d like to thank everybody for their donations for the City of Portsmouth Preserved Transport Depot. We at Chandlers have also made a donation and we would like to thank them for our visit.

I ‘d also like to thank those on the tour for coming along and I hope you enjoyed the tour. I’d also like to thank my support crew Margaret for hosting and Steve for spending the day driving for us.

Spotting Log

Where possible I tried to note everything down for reference, especially if people need to tie up their logs. Unfortunately I did not get a log at the Salisbury Go South Coast depot so if you would like to contribute to this, feel free to e-mail me your logs, or any missing registrations I may have missed.

Thanks to Kevin Pankhurst for filling in the Wheeler’s section for me, most appreciated!

Chandlers Coach Travel:

CT02 CCT
CT15 CCT
CT17 CCT
JLJ 403
FT07 CCT
HT07 CCT
LIB 3903
T701 SUT
W200 ODE
WJ52 MTE
YN59 CXR
CT14 CCT – Visible in yard on the other side of the road when we returned to the depot

Hants & Dorset Trim:

YR61 RPV
YR61 RPY
YD66 AYJ
LX59 DEU
WX59 GJG
OY16 JVL

Xelabus:

FF56 BLU
SK52 OHE
SN60 CNV
SK52 OHA
J18 XEL
SK52 OGY
SN64 CTO (Demonstrator)
SK52 OGW
J20 XEL
PL51 LGC
YR10 AZT
YT11 LPZ
J19 XEL
T313 UOX
YR10 AZA
YT11 LPY
J16 XEL
Y859 GCD
YT12 YUK
J8 XEL
YY66 PFO
J15 XEL

Workshop:

SN60 CNU
EE56 BLU
LX53 AZU
YR10 AZU
Y866 GCD
YT11 LPN
Y852 GCD
Y851 GCD
J15 XEL
J17 XEL

Preserved:

A949 SKL
337 AOW

Bluestar:

1604 (HF64 BPO)
1603 (HF64 BPK)
1972 (X572 EGK) – Trainer
1942 (Y742 TGH) – Trainer
2406 (HF55 JZD)
2407 (HF55 JZE)
2411 (HF55 JZL)
1128 (HF59 KCE)

Workshop:

2434 (HX06 EZC)

Wheelers Travel (Hedge End site):

9195 PU
7969 RU
828 SMV
J3 WTL
L7 WTL
M6 WTL
P6 WTL
P10 WTL
EL07 WTL
YN07 WZR
SF08 RRO
YN11 FTY
PO15 GVA
YK15 OJY
NG56 UPJ
LL57 WTL
NL57 LHG
RX58 ASU
BU66 WTL
HX66 LUO

Angela Coaches Compound:

R600 ACL
R800 ACL
R900 ACL

Emsworth & District:

R478 NPR
RDL 686X
R171 VLA
KV51 KZJ
Y461 JAE
M8 HAT
B29 BMC
R479 NPR
R524 YRP
LG52 DCZ
R475 NPR
P817 REX
T527 AOB
N731 RDD
N906 NAP
X531 UAT
V930 EWP
P991 AFV
KP51 SYA

Stagecoach Portsmouth:

27561 (GX58 GNP)
36830 (GX62 BDZ)
36827 (GX62 BBU)
26154 (SN67 WVY)
26155 (SN67 WVZ)
26163 (SN67 WWH)
34448 (GX53 MWO)
52619 (413 DCD) – Trainer
35118 (GX56 KVU)
34524 (GX04 EXU)
34615 (NK04 NRF)
17944 (LX53 JYG)
97006 (STW 356W) – Tow Truck
26160 (SN67 WWE)
52617 (NFX 667) – Trainer
17740 (LY52 ZDX)
17698 (MW52 UJE)
19090 (MX56 FUM)
35252 (GX56 OGC)
19077 (MX56 FTP)
34527 (GX04 EXZ)
36833 (GX62 BGE)

Preserved Fleet:

J501 GCD
RUF 186
K879 ODY
CD 7045
UF 4813
S305 CCD
P527 EFL

Lucketts:

YG65 ATN
YG65 ATK
YM14 HRD
FJ11 RDX
YT09 FLW
666 VMX
BK67 LNY
A20 HLC
YN12 BVR
YR17 RJU
YN13 XYS
YR17 RJZ
FJ58 AHP
YN16 NZW
BK67 LOD
YN12 BVS
BK67 LOA
YN16 NZY
BN61 MYB
BG61 SXN
YN56 NTE
BK67 LOF
BK67 LOH
WCR 474
YN56 NTG
V142 LGC
BK67 LNZ
YR16 BKV
YR16 BKU
BN61 MXO
FJ58 AJX
BF63 ZTC
FN62 CVY
FJ61 EWA
BK67 LNY
YN65 XDJ
WA14 NWW
V144 LGC
YK05 CCD
YK05 CCE
BF59 NHL

Workshop:

A19 LTG
YN56 FGK

 

City of Portsmouth Preserved Transport Depot:

RV 720
RV 3412
TBK 190K
STP 995
K916 VDV
ERV 251D
AHC 442
RV 4649
BPK 236B
FTR 511
DTP 823

 

 

Somerset Yard Bash Trip Report – 11/02/17

Intro

The Somerset Yard Bash was a tour that took many months to come together. It was my first ever tour so was rather tricky writing up a plan. Initially the idea was going to be a trial run just using the Chandlers fleet, the problem though was where to go? Visit coach parks? Maybe visit yards, that would be different but then Wiltshire is a bit sparse for garages, how would we do vehicle swaps with our fleet, not that there is much ‘school only’ fleet that would be of interest.
Over time it grew into using Chandlers and Centurion fleet, and next thing it turned into a multi-vehicle yard bash! This involved a lot of E-mails and was a huge help having some contacts.

The timetable and itinerary was drawn up, which was altered a few times because it was looking a bit ambitious, and even the final timetable looked a bit tight and I was wondering if we would even be able to finish at Westbury by 18:00.

The places we were visiting were spread over different counties, but as the ‘Wiltshire, Bristol, Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset Yard Bash’ was rather long for a title, I simplified it to ‘Somerset Yard Bash’.

I set it up with a limit of 49 seats and asked people to reserve seats just in the slight off chance that there would be a lot of people and not enough room, I’d hate to have to turn people away on the day. However I was only predicting 10 people, maybe 15 at a push.

In the end there were 25 passengers on board, most were from the local region however there were people from Devon, Berkshire, Wales and even West Yorkshire.

 

The Tour

08:40am I had arrived at the Chandlers Depot, the boss had Dennis Javelin T701 SUT ticking over, warming the coach up and making sure everything was fine. I already hand washed the floor, hoovered the seats, mopped the floor, polished the cab, cleaned the windows, polished the outside windows and washed the body making the Javelin look presentable, all that was left to do was clean the wheels

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Steve from Centurion Travel arrived and did his checks and familiarized himself with the vehicle. He was to be the driver for the first and last legs of the tour.

There was now a bit of a change, if there was time we would visit the other part of Centurion in Radstock where the sales fleet are, and also we could use the reserve Duple Laser Bedford B47 DNY from Bristol to Westbury instead of using T701 SUT again, a bonus for our passengers.

We headed off to Westbury station and was pleased to see the people that had turned up as booked, first time T701 SUT has been photographed in a while, especially as there wasn’t any other ones of it on Flickr!

We was doing fine for time and waited for the 0958 train to arrive as there were 3 passengers coming off that train.

We set of after 10:00 and our first visit was to the Chandlers Depot, which isn’t far away but we had to take a small diversion as the direct route over the railway bridge has a 7.5t limit. There was a First S&A Dennis Dart in tow behind on the 265 to Bath, and at the industrial estate there was another Dart operating the 265 towards Warminster.

At the depot I opened the gates and people went around getting their photo’s and numbers, the first time this has happened here I believe. CT14 CCT was out that day on a Strictly Come Dancing day trip, and HT07 CCT and CT16 CCT were away. The rest of the fleet was in for viewing. People had also noticed the privately owned preserved ECW bodied AEC Regal IV next door, which I forgot to mention. The registration is LYM 729, and seen here when it arrived about 5 months ago

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Back on the Javelin we set off on time for a run to Midsomer Norton via Radstock. Plenty of roadworks in the area (they were working too) and tree cuttings taking place which held back our progress but we made it to our second visit, the Centurion Sale’s park, all vehicles for sale. Contact Centurion if you are interested in buying one of these vehicles, as they need to go and would be a shame to scrap them.

 

Then it was off to the Centurion depot in Welton where we had a vehicle change to Martin Spiller’s Duple Dominant 1 bodied Bedford, wearing the Economy Travel livery. There was time here for people to view the Centurion fleet as well.

 

Martin Spiller took us in his Bedford up to Berkeley Travel up in Paulton to view their fleet. I hoped we could visit here as although I knew most of the fleet was ‘modern’ but would be a good place for spotters to get what they could. There was the added bonus though of ex-Westway Van Hool T8 E329 OMG.

 

Having viewed the fleet it was back on board KPC 211P for a drive down towards Shepton Mallet. It was a great run including a couple of hill climbs. We were on our way to see Steve Lester’s private collection, although it was two vehicles it was a case of quality rather than quantity.
He got his Bedford VAL out for us to see which is currently under restoration. The registration is RPR 738K. Next to this was his Plaxton Paramount Leyland Tiger KYA 284Y.

 

KPC 211P was moved out the yard and Steve attempted to get his Tiger out of the farm. Having managed to get it out onto the road, we jumped on for a short spin out to Pylle. It was a shame we couldn’t do a longer run or do a return trip but there wasn’t much time and we were already around 30 minutes behind schedule.
Our visit to Pylle was to visit the Smith’s garage. The owner was unable to be there however he was going to park what he could outside for us to see, and he did a good job as there was a variety of vehicles parked outside.

 

Unfortunately, I packed my camera away with it switched on and killed the battery. So photos from here on are taken by my friend who has kindly allowed me to use them for this report.

The Tiger returned to base and we switched back to Bedford KPC 211P for a ride to the Travel Filers/Somerbus yard at Stanton Wick available to view. There was a wide variety available, a  Jonckheere Deauville, a Marshall dart, a variety of Van Hool’s and even a rare Van Hool A308.

Tim Jennings had his preserved AEC Regal 3 on display as well. We had a vehicle change here onto Alan Peters Abus Optare Spectra YE52 FHF which was requested. Steve also turned up with the Duple Laser Bedford B47 DNY who would be following us up to Bristol.

 

Trying to do a headcount on a double decker was a bit of a challenge but after three attempts I counted 25 passengers and we headed off to Bristol. We decided to try Eastville (KT Travel) first as we were expected between 1500-1530 and we was pushing it for time as we were still late.
Passing through Temple Cloud, a few people noticed the Buglers coach depot, unfortunately this was not scheduled in and we wouldn’t have had time to stop over.

We made it to KT Travel at around 15:20 or so, but there was no-one to be seen. A driver appeared and wandered what we were doing, and after explaining we were expected here he let us look around. There were a couple of coaches and the added bonus of ex-Frist and Arriva Olympians

 

 

Back onto the Spectra we had a short ride to the 3 Tuners sites. Unfortunately the gates were closed on two of the site’s, but the owner apologized for this as he wasn’t well and it was cold outside so he went home which is understandable. There was also a private Routemaster nearby used as a mobile cafe.

 

Our last visit was to the two Abus site’s. As always, there was a wide range of vehicles to be seen at the Kingsland Road site, including 1910 Group’s R910 BOU, ex-APL Dart Y658 NLO, Routemaster ALD 977B, ex-Empire Facilities E113 KYN and a wide variety of other vehicles.

At the Abus depot round the corner, we got to see the rest of the fleet and the Optare Spectra being converted to an open topper before being exported to Jamaica.

 

The original plan from here was to use T701 SUT back to Westbury so that the Javelin is back home, however we got it arranged that we could use Centurion Duple Laser B47 DNY then swap the vehicles over at the start of the week. This was an added bonus and I think everyone enjoyed the use of both Bedford’s.

On the way out of Bristol in the Brislington I pointed out the Playbus Olympian. If anyone was wondering what the registration is, it’s J620 GCR

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We did a set down and Bath Spa and Westbury Station then set off to the Chandlers Depot to park up the Bedford.

Despite our late running earlier, we managed to arrive at Westbury Station 2 minutes early!

Overall it seemed to be a very successful day and various people asked  ‘Are you doing another one?’ ‘When is the next one?’ All I can say is keep your eye’s peeled on this blog!

I’d like to thank all the operators and various people who have helped make this possible, and more importantly I would like to thank all 25 of you that turned up for the ride. We visited 9 yards, covered 101 miles, rode on 5 vehicles and saw a wide variety of buses and coaches. I hope that it was worth the £10, and I certainly won’t charge any more for the next one.

 

Bath Rail Replacement Buses 15/11/2016

I took a visit to Bath, having to make a visit to the Royal United Hospital, and the day started off by taking the 06:04 train from Trowbridge. However upon arriving at the station, everything was cancelled due to a ‘broken down train’. I had to take the 06:23 265 bus to Bath instead.

It turns out a freight train was the issue as the axle broke and damaged the rails, and was stopped at Hawkeridge, between Trowbridge and Westbury.
No Rail Replacement Buses could be sourced immediately but they would come out once vehicles were free from school duties. After the visit to the RUH, I went back to the City at 10am to see the Rail Replacements were out in force until around 14:00.

A variety of coach operators were out in force providing a variety of vehicles, and it was handy that I bought my camera with me! Here is the vehicles I caught operating Bath to Westbury services:

Applegates

Applegates of Berkeley provided their Plaxton coach H6 EFA

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Centurion Travel

Centurion Travel of Midsomer Norton provided their Irizar Century S344 SET

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Chauffeurhire

Chauffeurhire Coaches had a Mercedes Tourismo CP15 CHP parked near the station though I didn’t do a turn, I suspect it was a reserve

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Pewsey Vale Coaches

I noted 3 coaches from Pewsey Vale, Bova WA04 MHM, Beulas Spica C PE63 OSO and Bova Futura 2 WA15 BWB

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Silverlink Travel Services

Silverlink Travel of Nailsea bought along their Yutong YD66 AXS, which also worked the school runs later on, not seen a new ’66 plate coach on school duties before

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South Gloucester Bus & Coach

Bristol based South Gloucester Bus & Coach bought a small selection. What caught my eye was two N.C Palatine 2 bodied Volvo Olympians at the coach park! I did not see both of them work a service when I was taking photos, however when I passed the bus station on the bus from the RUH, I noted one of them parked outside the station, and then proceeded to the coach park, I suspect they were reserve.

Their National Express Levante’s NX05 AAA and T100 SGB also worked the rail replacements

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