Sunday, 25 September 2011

London, 24/09/2011

Yesterday i had a trip to London with Adam and Jamie to see what was about, basically. New buses on the 73 and new and old buses on the 453, both of which were recently relieved of Bendy Buses.

I have no real idea how to write up about a trip to the Capital of England, but im going to try my best so please bare with me...!!!!

My day didnt start of smoothly. The night before there was overhead wire problems at Littleport (circa 1745hrs) but not a problem i thought, as engineers had all night to restore the service.....yeah right!! I got to Downham Market at about 0640hrs and 365511 sat in the uproad platform, and i thought at first that he was there to form the 0709 to London (which i was going for) but at 0645 it cleared off southbound.

At 0710 (one late) my train rolled up which was 365507, i joined it and took my seat ready to go. But we didnt go. Our driver announced that we were going to be waiting here for a while owing to wire problems, so i knew then we would be in for a long old slog. Credit to our driver he did keep us informed as to what was going on, but few of my fellow passengers agreed, argueing that we should be kept up to date the whole time, but how is this possiable when the only thing that changes is the fact we`re still sat here and are going to be for a while? I mean, new information isint coming in all the time is it!

We eventually set off at 0756hrs as far as Littleport, when it became clear that the reason for our prolonged stay at Downham Market was due to the fact the unit id previously seen at Downham Market was acting as a `rescue` train to propell out the unit which had caused the previous nights OHLE problems. They must have encountered further problems in getting the crippled train moving, but eventually they did, and we was only sat at Littleport for 15mins, leaving at 0830hrs for a near perfect run from then on to London Kings Cross. We joined up to 365541 at Cambridge to form an 8 car set to London, where we arrived some 80mins late.

I met Jamie and Adam just outside Kings Cross about 15mins after my arrival, as owing to my delays they hopped an earlier train down to London, which gave me some time to photo the new VDL Gemini II`s on the Route 73:
DW433 - LJ11AEA

After a few more photos, we took the Victoria Line to, unsurprisingly, Victoria with set 11037/38, to photo some National Express ops and whatever else was kind enough to show up. We caught Abellio`s Plastic Pig 8554 - YX11AEC to Victoria Coach Station, where, quite thoughtfully the first coach we saw was one of Galloway`s  new Volvo B9R Ceatano Levante:
FJ61EVN, Buckingham Palace Road.

The only other new Levante seen were FJ61EWA with Luckett, Fareham:

FJ61EWA, Buckingham Palace Road
After 40odd mins at VCS, we took Go-Aheads life expirerd Volvo B7TL Plaxton President PVL124 - W524WGH back to Victoria, and took the 1146 Victoria - Eastbourne/Ore service formed of 377451/438 and 468 to East Croydon, and hopped on Tram 2550 to the Church Street stop where we caught Arriva`s VDL Gemini DW40 - LJ53NHG to West Croydon Bus Station, where we stayed for a little bit to get some photos of the local bus scene, which dont seem to have caught up with Central London for the average age of its buses, loads of S reg DLA Class and loads of Arriva Darts.
DLA62 - S262JUA
There were plenty of these funny things about the place, DWS4 - LJ53NHC
After that, it was time to take me trip on my first ADL Trident Optare Olympus, which we took DOE11 - LX58CXA on the route 154 to Moreden, however owing to our late running, we were turned short at St Hellier, and told to join the bus in front which was DOE9, but as we were one of the last off, we decided to join the bus behind, which was E61 - LX07BYG, a ADL Enviro 400 which took us the rest of the way to Moreden.
More odd things, this time a Optare Esteem bodied Enviro 400 in Morden.
So, from Morden we took the Northern Line back into Central London. We decided to go to Embankment, to photo what coaches would be parked up there:
61 - BD60XSZ Mercedes Tourismo
OIB3514 Volvo B10M Ceatano Enigma Amber, Rayleigh
SIL7029 Setra S315GT-HD Skill, Bulwell
YS03ZKZ Scania Irizar Inter-Century Greyshell, Cannock
JE52/06LJE both Bova Futura`s L.J Edward, Hailsham
WA54KTT Bova Futura Barnes, Swindon
MX10DFE Neoplan Tourliner SeaView, Poole
3093RU Volvo B12B Ceatano Enigma Baker, Moreton in Marsh
JAZ8291 Vovo B10M Johnckheere Deuaville Standcom, Foxton
NJI9242 Setra S315GTHD Belle, Lowestoft
RUI9414 Scania Irizar Century Standcom, Foxton
73-XEA745 & 74-405MDV both MAN Noge Catalan Star`s Bowen Group, Tamworth
K50HAM Neoplan Euroliner Jans, Soham
FG10WEN Mercedes Tourismo Owen, Ostwerty
Y664HWY Bova Futura Cook, Westcliffe On Sea
J300TRU Neoplan Tourliner Trueman, Ash Vale
YIL1840 Bova Futura Howells, Deri
BV08ZVZ Setra S416GTHD Florida, Halstead
FN52HRR Volvo B12B Johnckheere Mistral Lehane, Sturry
PPY238 Setra S??? Chenery, Dickleborough
N909DWJ Scania Irizar Unknown Operator
EB04LYN Scania VanHool T9 Alizee Lynns, Eastbourne
GT06LCT Scania Inter-Century Turner, Little Maplestead
BHZ1880 Volvo B7R Sunsundegui Sideral, Cropley, Fosdyke
BV10ZKC Mercedes Tourismo Clark, Lower Sydenham
YN09AOX Volvo B9R Plaxton Panther Anderson, Bermondsey
W10HOL Setra S315GTHD Welsh`s, Pontefract

We then walked upto Parliment Square, to photo the new buses working on the route 453, which turned out to be a mixture of ADL Trident Enviro 400 and older Volvo B7TL Plaxton President.
E175 - SN61BHF, Parliment Square
E165 - SN61BGO at Trafalgar Square
After a photting session around Parliment Square & Trafalgar Square, we decided to travel on a damned Routemaster on the 15 to Tower Hill, and i can safely say i wont choose to make that mistake again, ride comfort was appaling!! (Avoid RML1933 - ALD933B at all costs)

After noting none of the Hydrogen buses on the RV1, we took Docklands unit 76 (forgot to note its twin) to Poplar and then sets 61 & 99 to Westferry, followed by 148 & 102 to Canary Wharf to see what Ensign were using on DLR Replacements to Stratford, we travelled on ex Stagecoach Trident/ALX400 103 - V479KJN to Stratford, followed by ex Go-Ahead Trident/President 107 - X601EGK back to Devons Road, then finished with ex Metroline ALX400/Trident 109 - T87KLD, after establishing nothing out the ordinary was on the route (T87KLD was winner though for me).

New Go-Ahead Plastic Pig SE143 - YX61BXL stands at Canary Wharf
After Stratford we caught 321327 into Liverpool Street where, as it was going dark, we decided to head back to the Embankment, so caught First Group Trident 33354 - LK53FDA to St Pauls, where i spotted TP15 waiting at the lights to head the same way as us, so caught that from St Pauls to Aldwych where it was a short walk down the hill to Temple, where we found Swans, Chaderton Mercedes Tourismo BF60OFT parked up:
BF60OFT, Temple Place

Even though these have been around for well over a year now, they still make for a nice change from all the boring NX Levantes. Here is Kings Ferry`s FJ10EZH on the Embankment.

We finished things off by catching the District Line back into Victoria from Embankment to have a last look at Victoria Coach Station, and got a shock by seeing Barnsley Allocated ADL Trident Enviro 400 19557 - YN59EAF deputising for the usual coach on a Megabus to Huddersfield, but unfortunatly my photo came out terriable so i wont be putting it up on here.

The journey back to Downham Market was fault free, the 2045 from Kings Cross was formed of 365520 & 365503, with 503 being detached at Cambridge, and i arrived back at Downham 2 mins late. All thats left to say is thanks to Adam & Jamie for a good day out!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

2 hours in Ely 21/09/11

Yesterday (Wednesday 21st Septemebr 2011) i had to take my car to Ely for its annual service, which gave me time to photo some trucks and buses going past on the main A142 through the 3rd smallest city in the UK (corrections on this welcomed, working from memory there)

At the times i was there, 1440-1630, i was hoping to photograph some school services, as with A&P Travel being based around the corner, and Freedom Travel/Fen-Cabs just around the other corner, i stood a good chance. Both these operators have some very interesting stuff, (A&P prehaps to much so).

First coach seen however was not from either of those operators, but was a DAF VanHool T8 of `Discover Cambridge` (a company not seen by me before). I think, going by the livery it mght be ex, or still with Youngs, Haddenham, but no link is yet to be found.

The wait was eventually worth it, as with 20mins to go before the car was ready, this Volvo B10M/NC Palentine M550SPY turned up. One of a few vehicles they seemed to have applied fleet names to:

And then, thankfully, this lump of a D10M Citybus was kind enough to show itself, In a former life, it was new to Nottingham City! (C308NRC, with A&P)

Now, thats the buses dealt with, be dammed if im going to upload all 50odd of the truck pics, so iv chosen my favourites:

Turners DAF CF AY59AYM

Lynn Star Iveco Stralis BT10VMP

Three Distrobution DAF XF105 AE59CGY

DHL Volvo FH460 PO60AKG

Turners Volvo FM12 440 KX06OOF

And spot of the day H. C WIlson Heavy Haulage new Scania R620 6x4 R80HCW.

Big Robs Big Blog

Welcome to the start of Big Robs Big Blog. A place to share the views from Big Robs Big Mouth and also to set out some pictures and spotting jottings from any trips i do, as well as the odd bit of news.

My Main focus will be on transport. This is my main hobby in life, photographing trains, lorries, planes, buses, coaches and most other things with wheels, (with the exception of prams, this is just to confrontational) so you can expect alot of postings to do with those, as well as photos (most photos will be put up on Flickr, link left hand side at the top of the page)

Also every now and again i might stick on a posting about something that particularly grinds with me, now that could just about be anything, you`d do well to be warned now that i will not hold back, i will be speaking my mind on alot of subjects so if you are an easily offended do-gooder type person with no sense of humour or life, then please don't stay!!

Here's to a happy blogging