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Felly Magic

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Not sure whose it was, but saw a Plaxton Paramount off in the distance earlier today, looked like dark red over cream livery though I was a good ways off and stuck in traffic stacked at the Stoney Stratford/A5 roundabout.  It had vanished in direction unknown by the time I got through the lights.

Surely must be in preservation, can't imagine anyone still running a Paramount in mainline service.  

Made me realise again exactly how much I miss getting to spend time around these vehicles.  Though I always saw the Paramount as "modern tat" originally!   Supreme III/IV or Duple Dominant II being what were "proper" coaches in my mind.  Still reckon the Dominant II is one of the best looking coaches ever made.  Especially when they still had all the factory brightwork in place.

I really need to find someone around here involved in that side of things and see if I can get my hand in again.  I'm acutely aware that it's going on nine years since I last drove a bus/coach and I really miss it!

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8 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

Surely must be in preservation, can't imagine anyone still running a Paramount in mainline service.  

Not impossible as a local operator is still running a K reg ex Stagecoach B10M / Alexander PS on school services 

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22 hours ago, martc said:

Gas powered single deckers in Transylvania, Romania mid 1980's -

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Travelled on some Romanian buses in that area back in 1991. Even at two years old (by the chassis plate details) windows had wooden wedges in them to stop them falling out. I can only imagine how wonderful* gas powered ones were.

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I posted this recovery truck in the truck shite thread but the bus it's towing is just as interesting.

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Behind the cherished reg hides the first production Plaxton President, the genesis of the low-floor double-decker. It first appeared in London as a DAF demonstrator in 1998 carrying S201 JUA plates but doesn't seem to have been licensed as such and only ran on trade plates. That reg was then issued to the first Alexander ALX400-bodied example and this one finally entered service in late 1999 with Arriva as their DLP1 (V601 LGC). 

It was open-topped for the London sightseeing tour in 2006, then sold ten years later to Bathroom Takeaway, who used it as a hospitality vehicle for shows. They donated it to Buses4Homeless, who intended to convert it into a 'health and wellbeing bus' to be operational on a site in London by the summer of 2019, but don't seem to have done anything with it. No idea where it had come from or was going.

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Just seen this news which has come as a bit of a shock if not a complete surprise. 

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So finally Solent Blue Line have won. The takeover is complete. And it only took 35 years. 

It was Blue Line starting up that prompted Southampton CityBus, then still in council ownership (or was the brief management buyout phase?) to buy Routemasters which is how I ended up owning one so it's quite a big moment in my life. 

So Blue Line were seen as the enemy until CityBus got rid of the RMs at which point they became the good guys (yes I am that fickle). In time CityBus were bought by First Group and Blue Line, or their Southern Vectis owners, by Go Ahead and at some point renamed Blue Star. But for the last 20 years the blue buses have looked by far and away the more professional outfit than the red ones. 

We currently have a choice of both from here in to town but I always use Blue Star given the choice because they use a fleet of smart Enviro 400s with nice blue velour seats so I can sit upstairs. First use a motley collection of Steetlites with nasty grey pleather (it is so obviously not leather). Except about six months ago four of the Wright Streetdecks as pictured above arrived. But only four. I thought more might arrive but they never did. I bet they regret painting those four now. 

It seems odd to think of Southampton as a blue city but I won't shed a tear at the loss of First Group. They sold Southamptons last bus garage to Sainsburys and moved to an industrial estate instead. 

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