Jump to content
Felly Magic

Bus Shite (I'VE BEEN PAPPED, NOOOOOO LOL)

Recommended Posts

How to improve a Streetshite, it involves a pile of oily rags and METRO papers, plus 5 litres of supermarket unleaded, you can tell they are accountant led on the design, made from the cheapest materials they could find, then lobbed a quid off each component's cost for good measure, and Wright are wondering why their punters are going elsewhere

 

Since National Express took over the former Tayside buses to make Travel Dundee (renamed Xplore Dundee a few years back....because, fuk nose), they've had a penchant for buying absolutely shite buses. They've probably been through more buses in the past 10 years than the whole company has managed in the last 30+ combined.

 

To be fair, they started off fine, the B10L Wright Liberators were decent, always preferred them to the Renowns (which always felt cheaper and rattlier even when new), they had them in service from new right up until 2016. so the oldest of the first batch of Liberators were pushing 20 years old when they came off service. The B7L Eclipses were "ok".

 

Everything else has been shite. I worked across the road from the depot and it became a running joke how many Optare Solos were in the yard with bonnets open every day, in fact they were being repaired more than they were in service. And that was the case from day 1.

 

There's been many disasters, such as the Optare Spectra Daf thingys.... that were either so unreliable or so shite, got punted off the fleet after 3 months.

 

I remember being on this one as a kid once, on a very wet day and it was absolutely pissing in water upstairs.

 

SCN_0051.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And it still exists.

 

post-3950-0-84359100-1543014060_thumb.jpeg

 

It was transferred down south to allow fleet standardisation as the production batch was down here for the 50 route. Oh and one was to be set fire to not so long after.

 

Dundee is in the process of receiving some E400mmc in platinum spec with leather, usb charging and extra space to replace the more elderly members of the fleet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The elderly fleet members i think are cast offs that came the other way from Brum, v reg, they are also in the process of scrapping buses that are 10 years old!

 

The new hybrids seem to be the least reliable they've had, just going on how many you see at the roadside a week.

 

Mind you, as said, they may still be better than the Solo's, going by the fact they actually got out the depot to have their breakdowns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been in a Spectra once and only once...and it was an ex demonstrator with every option under the sun fitted. Including cruise control...with which I scared the living daylights out of myself with when I discovered that if you bit resume, that it calculated the absolute fastest way to get back to that speed - seemingly overriding things like throttle mapping, rev limiters etc... don't think I've ever been in another bus that could get to 30 that rapidly. Letting it just start to roll then clicking resume was quite a good game. Shudder to think how many gallons of diesel we got through...

 

It drove nicely, though in fairness it was a very pampered example with next to no miles on which I don't think had ever seen stage service.

 

The Streetlite today felt to me like someone had taken the idea of the Optare Solo, stretched it in Photoshop, then let loose a team of accountants on it, before getting it assembled by the lowest bidder.

 

Which is a shame, as for all their flaws I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the Renown.

 

If I'd had space (and the license...) I'd totally have grabbed one of the B10BLEs when Aberdeen started to shuffle them off. They'd been neglected for a bit, but there are enough million things out there with the same running gear it wouldn't have been hard to get them into good order again. Especially for private use with a driver with some mechanical sympathy.

 

Speaking of bus stuff...

 

Something I kick myself for not grabbing when I had the chance (actually when a couple of the aforementioned B10BLEs went for scrap) was a destination blind. Was offered one twice, but turned it down at the time under the stupid common sense argument of "I don't have room for it."

 

Seeing a flipdot display being used at a convention a couple of weeks ago poked it back into my mind though, and I do now have somewhere to put one...but holy balls they change hands for utterly insane money on eBay. Especially given how many must get chucked into the breakers every year.

 

Anyone able to get hold of (or know a sensible source of) a flipdot destination blind? Ideally with the controller, though they at least seem to be reasonably readily available. Would rather have something from Hanover than Brite-Tec as I'd like it to actually work...

 

Seriously can't believe what people are selling them at as executive office adornments!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flip dots ought to be easy to get hold of, most people fit LED blinds now. I did have a Deric controller lying around somewhere.

 

The Bright-Tech LED stuff was ok, but the flip-dots tended to stick after a few years - the early ones had the 6-button controller which was gash. Some of the first buses I drove (a batch of Volvo B6/Alexander Dash’s in Cheltenham) had them and they were a swine to set up - some buttons barely reacted to any input at all, whilst other buttons required the lightest of touches otherwise it would skip 3-4 numbers (invariably including the number you wanted to stop at).

 

Still can’t beat a proper roller blind in my opinion, an LED is better for ease of reprogramming and putting ‘funnies’ on the blind, but there was a fairly simple joy in being able to find combinations on the roller blind that worked well, like at Shrewsbury Garage where if you were terminating on a 576 half way along the route (a couple of buses did in the evening) you could roll back to the depot with ‘Knockin OFF’ wound up on the display....

 

The 4-track Wumpty blinds were good for a laugh, I remember seeing an ex-TWM Tanat Valley Lynx heading along the M54 towards Birmingham on a staff day out to Aston Manor with ‘SHIT Excursion’ proudly displayed on the front.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MCV's are Egyptian? Well I never, you live and learn, I always thought they were a re-incarnation of MCW.

 

As a non-bus person (driver or passenger) I've admired EYMS's MCV's from afar - they look both modern and smart to me

 

attachicon.gif35798443294_745cc106fb_b.jpg

They look smart when new but the build quality is terrible. The depot I work at had a couple of Evolutions when new and as you drove down the road you could see the windows moving around, we were always amazed they never fell out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Through six degrees of seperation they're very, very distantly related to Marshalls at Cambridge.

Very distantly.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

After Marshall bus failed they bought the rights to the Capital design. Marshall Bus had bought the rights to the Duple Dateline body after Duple closed and facelifted it as the Capital. This in turn became the MCV Evolution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You missed a step. Marshall bought the rights to the Dartline body from Carlyle when they went bump. It was Carlyle who bought it from Duple.

Marshall. The only bus builder with its own airport (the rather sublime Art Deco Cambridge airport). They were quite forward in their technology (aircraft style honeycomb style sandwich interfloors to reduce height but keeping strength) but their styling was a little hit and miss.

post-3950-0-15362500-1543051819_thumb.jpeg

post-3950-0-83799200-1543051826_thumb.jpeg

post-3950-0-14184500-1543051842_thumb.jpeg

post-3950-0-87740800-1543051950_thumb.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carousel Travel of somewhere in Oxfordshire have MCVs low-entries sat on Merc chassis - only a 12 litre engine. They must be fun to drive.

 

I don't know how much they 'share' with Dundee but the catchy named National Express West Midlands I found had a brilliant fleet when I used to live in Birmingham. Phasing out the last of the Metrobi after almost 30 years in service (they kept suffix-reg buses in service up until at least 2008 when I moved there), the brilliant if not a bit over engineered Merc O405s and even a few of the aforementioned Volvo B10Ls. Nothing boring. Surprised the Spectras are being 'dissed' here - I would have though what is basically a Metrobus with DAF hardware would be dead reliable. Reading Buses have just inherited a few ex-London DB250s and the engine and gearbox combo definitely gives them 'presence'.

 

On the subject of destination blinds Hanover Displays has been a rare British manufacturing success story. I like the idea though that the growing use of rear-facing displays serves mainly to serve prospective passengers the new that 'this is the bus that you have just missed'.

 

Pub quiz question. Which were in front line service longer - Glasgow's Ailsas or Birmingham's Mertrobuses?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of bus stuff...

 

Something I kick myself for not grabbing when I had the chance (actually when a couple of the aforementioned B10BLEs went for scrap) was a destination blind. Was offered one twice, but turned it down at the time under the stupid common sense argument of "I don't have room for it."

 

Seeing a flipdot display being used at a convention a couple of weeks ago poked it back into my mind though, and I do now have somewhere to put one...but holy balls they change hands for utterly insane money on eBay. Especially given how many must get chucked into the breakers every year.

 

Anyone able to get hold of (or know a sensible source of) a flipdot destination blind? Ideally with the controller, though they at least seem to be reasonably readily available. Would rather have something from Hanover than Brite-Tec as I'd like it to actually work...

 

Seriously can't believe what people are selling them at as executive office adornments!

 

you could try joining this bookface group (if you arent already) and ask Tony Hunter https://www.facebook.com/groups/411584718880057/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you could try joining this bookface group (if you arent already) and ask Tony Hunter https://www.facebook.com/groups/411584718880057/

Facebook is somewhere I'm not on I'm afraid. The fact that it immediately started trying to reconnect me with people from my secondary school who I've no intention of ever speaking to again, given that they came very close to causing me to take my own life back then.

 

Still no idea how it came up with those suggestions given I've never communicated with them electronically, and Facebook has been given neither my real name, any historic location information or permission to use any of my contacts (not that it would get anywhere as I've never emailed any of them).

 

I expected flipdot displays to be readily available cheaply given they're mostly being outed for LED ones now, hence my surprise at three figure price tags on eBay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TWM spent a fortune on having the rear ends of their Metrobuses rebuilt by Marshalls (my uncle was a designer there) to extend their working lives. I seem to remember they were rebuilt in stainless steel and fully stress analysed. Marshalls were doing about 5 a week. Hence they needed to keep them to get their money out of them.

 

When MCW went tits Optare bought the rights to the Metrobus and Metrorider. The Spectre used the Metrobus design of running units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read somewhere that TWM/NXWM's accountants have some odd ideas when it comes to depreciation and book value of their assets. That leads them to do strange things like take relatively modern buses out of service and store them for years instead of selling them straightaway, then when they do eventually sell them they're outdated and haven't moved for ages so they're pretty much worthless. Probably also explains why they kept the Metros going for so long as the rebuilds added to their book value or something.

 

Anyone remember that single-deck Fleetline (the 'Baseball Bat') they built? It wasn't an accident victim as you might think, but was done deliberately as they had too many double-deckers and needed more midibuses, so they thought they could save money by making one into the other. Eventually they figured out it was cheaper to just buy new Dennis Darts, but not before inflicting this bizarre conversion on Fleetline 6956. Happily it survives at Wythall and I've actually ridden on it.

5780441817_3142e888c6_b.jpg

West Midlands WDA 956T by Adam Floyd, on Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Faceache there was a vid of an ALX400 of NXWM doing what a lot of modern plastic does, and burns, they are running some pretty decrepit looking deckers still in Brum and the surrounding areas, and wasted paint on a Trident, painting it in Wolverhampton livery, when in reality, the bus should have gone for scrap. The problems with Spectras was twofold, Optare's comedy build quality, and DAF, DAF have been notorious at stopping parts supplies not long after they delete a model from their range, the 8 and a bit litre engine had no torque, and was hopeless when nailed to a Voith 3 speed, and the aged GKN/Kirkstall axle caused quite severe 'issues' with headroom on the lower deck. The dasboard warning light bingo board would always have something permanently lit, normally something not even fitted to a bus, like tail lift warning. Not a lot of people know that under the skin, the Streetshite is a VDL, aka DAF Citea, which explains lots, and the Streetdeck is also a VDL, and so was the Borismasturbator, which most are now running 100% diesel as the hybrid drive system could not cope with stop start London traffic, and the batteries would not charge, and I notice the upper deck AC has been removed, and opening windows have been fitted. 

 

Cardiff Bus hit the headlines last week, when a bus decided to roll down a hill, and ended up embedded on a traffic island, the bus was one of the Citaros, and has severe damage. All is not well with CB, they lost in the last financial year nigh on £2 million, all suppliers have put them on stop, and buses are in a real state, a few weeks back a Scania Omnicity broke it's back whilst in service, and the East Wanks/Darwen/Optere Olympus Scanias can barely drag themselves up to 40 now, staff morale is in the real shite, as the company is basically on the brink of collapse, it is only a matter of time before the firm is offloaded by the council

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Birmingham's MCWs lived longer; the eldest native Glasgow Ailsa in service at the end was A11 (CSU 219X), though similarly aged second hand Ailsas A136/7 (HSF 86/91X) were also in use until that point. Larkfield's were all withdrawn overnight when the 54-plate Geminis entered use, Knightswood's lasted about six months longer from memory as they were seatbelted but they had all gone by about June 2005.

 

I'd need to double check but I think there were still around 40ish running in 2005.

 

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who doesn't like pictures?

 

A11 at the Pollok Centre in August 2004, A27 at Govan Bus Station in April 2004, A136 at the Pollok Centre in July 2004 and A137 at Govan in August 2004.

 

I was, thankfully, a mad bus spotter and I took SHITLOADS of pictures at the time these Ailsas were fizzling out... Glasgow's been dull as fuck since these and the ST-class Gardner Tigers died.a639ebd002fff33148e20e9b80f413a8.jpgb4bb7020c4b75dadf66dec28b6f18479.jpg12287e59fa180a16534043a8b2c73a59.jpg37eed54f25ad1683eb4bb60d7abd9e91.jpg

 

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made brief mention of the ST-class; in 2003 several STs were outshopped in 'Barbie 2'; from memory ST365 was the first outshopped, though ST339, ST347 and several of the later Cumbernauld based D-reg examples were also treated.

 

ST347 in particular was an odd one; it had been a long standing member of the training fleet but during 2003 it was rebuilt and reinstated to the main fleet for it's last eighteen months or so.

 

I was a huge fan of these Leyland Tigers and I was thoroughly disappointed when they were withdrawn. Drivetrain was a 5-speed fully automatic Leyland transmission driven by Gardner's 180bhp 6HLXB diesel (model TRBLXB/2RH), though the first ten of these Alexander-bodied examples (OUS 11-20Y) were Leyland L11-powered (TRBL11/2R), later upgraded to turbocharged Leyland TL11.

 

More pictures, all taken between May '03 and April '04.9b94d3081b457b13da5684e68e5f845f.jpg655d43bf84b4500a99e1fac40b7d7095.jpgc32209180fa2f041b2c5540d0522ace9.jpg130096ef1bbefee30ff7b50ee3b17302.jpga22dfd747796eaccf630c7c847c57f09.jpg88295c39b71dbe9e44af50575643728a.jpg318184f35703609602a77177bcc5c733.jpg

 

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read somewhere that TWM/NXWM's accountants have some odd ideas when it comes to depreciation and book value of their assets. That leads opthem to do strange things like take relatively modern buses out of service and store them for years instead of selling them straightaway, then when they do eventually sell them they're outdated and haven't moved for ages so they're pretty much worthless. Probably also explains why they kept the Metros going for so long as the rebuilds added to their book value or something.

 

Anyone remember that single-deck Fleetline (the 'Baseball Bat') they built? It wasn't an accident victim as you might think, but was done deliberately as they had too many double-deckers and needed more midibuses, so they thought they could save money by making one into the other. Eventually they figured out it was cheaper to just buy new Dennis Darts, but not before inflicting this bizarre conversion on Fleetline 6956. Happily it survives at Wythall and I've actually ridden on it.

5780441817_3142e888c6_b.jpg

West Midlands WDA 956T by Adam Floyd, on Flickr

They also spent a fortune on re-engining loads of MkI Leyland Nasties with Volvo engines, then withdrew them and used them as a hire fleet. New bean counter arrived, worked out storage costs were more than they were getting for the occasional hire and sold the lot. Mainly for scrap.

 

 

On the subject of Volvo engined MkIs, a conversation I had just after midnight one Saturday/Sunday morning went like this:

 

Ring, ring; ring,ring; err, yes

 

That National has just run out of diesel.

 

What?

 

Yep, it's stopped.

 

What, where, eh?

 

About 400 yards from the depot, in the bus stop before the narrow railway bridge.

 

How can it be diesel, you filled it this afternoon didn't you?

 

Fill it? Why?

 

A Volvo one will not do a full day, didn't somebody tell you?

 

Given it's run out of diesel obviously not.

 

Can you walk to the depot, fill a container, walk back, fill it, bleed it and get it going (I kid you not)?

 

You pay me as a driver, not a fitter.

 

What are you going to do then ?

 

Walk to the depot, get in my car and fuck off home. See you tomorrow afternoon.

 

What about the bus?

 

Don't worry, nobodies going to nick it.

 

How can you be sure?

 

It's run out of fucking diesel!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cms206 - I drove something similar when I worked for Tanat Valley:

14145283093_6987f1109b_c.jpgTanat Valley: 241 A41 XHE, Oswestry by Chris, on Flickr

241 had a TL11 and 5sp semi auto, not the quickest of the Tigers at Tanat Valley but it felt almost indestructible - indeed when a passing tractor got up close and personal all that happened was the black rubbing strip fell off. The panels just needed the tyre scuffs wiping off and it was good to go again. It had been upseated to a 65-seater and was a school run only machine unless things were desperate. I drove it on its final day, still got the pic somewhere that I took on the way back to the yard. Sadly it didn’t survive a cull of older machinery in 2010 and was carted away over the Pennines to Barnsley.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we're doing overall adverts of markets on buses have these of Southampton City Transport's 224.

post-20743-0-59040600-1543137068_thumb.jpgpost-20743-0-44677600-1543137089_thumb.jpg

It carried this for years, it even went for a repaint and came out still wearing it. Both bus and market long gone now of course. This was all hand painted, none of your fancy vinyl here, I doubt a vinyl printer big enough existed then.

 

A fine example of the signwriters art. Looking for these pictures reminded me just how many hand painted adverts we had, not just all over one's but some simple one's where I guess it was just cheaper and easier to get the signwriter to do it than get it printed. He obviously had a full time job down here. Another great art lost. I really should dig out some more.

 

 

Edit. Sorry printed same pic twice. The second one was meant to be this.

post-20743-0-13946600-1543137701_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...