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@cms206

My brain is not, unfortunately, as encyclopedic as I would like, or even as much as it used to be, so we'll be needing these. 

IMG_20240412_184242.jpg.248a641b47b8f4741d803dfeb7255d6f.jpg

The rear of both these books are full of interesting* appendices. Appendix 4 in the second book lists every central route and dates they were operated by RMs and from which garage. 

IMG_20240412_185301_edit_2679471433505167.jpg.e434a61b3bfe21f20b66f0641e6fa7e1.jpg

 

So we'll go straight to the 62, which seems to confirm your dates but by my maths, which involved fingers, even the 60 directly above it appears to be slightly shorter. 

IMG_20240412_185018.jpg.91cb7a813365b98571cb454d8aec5d81.jpg

 

And the 124 and 124A are even shorter. I have no idea what the 124 was but it was run by Catford. 

IMG_20240412_190630.jpg.209fcbba1a0566eb440782883a72d280.jpg

 

There are 12 pages of these so I started skimming but I found an interesting one at the end. 

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The 609 had Routemasters for six and a half months on Sundays only on a route that was trolleybus Monday to Saturday. As much as I like Routemasters it really is a backward step replacing trolleybuses. 

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124 was Forest Hill Stn - Welling via Grove Park and Eltham, with M-F peak extensions to Woolwich; 124A was the Sunday variant which terminated at Eltham Well Hall Stn, and continued to Bexley Hospital on Sunday evenings only. Both were converted to DMS operation.

62 was a seven day allocation, so maybe I got my wires crossed as it didn't have daily variations or extensions/curtailments, bar perhaps the twice daily Creekmouth Power Station journies.

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3 hours ago, cms206 said:

Yes, but even in multicultural London Scots are too hard to understand 😂 we have a Scottish cafe at Angel now though so integration is a matter of time.

Quite possibly; Barking, from memory, had the shortest lived RM conversion in London - @Yoss may be able to confirm - as the 62 converted from RT to RM operation in 4/79, then again to T operation by February 1980.

Dad never drove RMs at Barking. He did drive then at Upon Park when he first went on the buses.  Route 15. We got to see the Christmas lights for free for 2 years, riding on the top deck at the front. He wanted to work at Barking as it was just a 20 min walk away.  He had to wait for a vacancy to work at Barking. Edit: I should say the route he mainly worked on was the 87. I believe he  only wanted to work a crew bus. However, when the  RTs were withdrawn he was given no choice but to convert to OMO buses. I do not remember RMs at Barking, that maybe is because I was living in Hampshire by that the time the book says they where used on the 62s

The days the driver does not have much interaction with the passengers do they. I thought screens and the oyster card (or what ever it is called) put and end to the need to talk to each other. Even the stop announcements are automatic. Driving OMO buses when the Titan was introduced was very different.

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24 minutes ago, Remspoor said:

Dad never drove RMs at Barking. He did drive then at Upon Park when he first went on the buses.  Route 15. We got to see the Christmas lights for free for 2 years, riding on the top deck at the front. He wanted to work at Barking as it was just a 20 min walk away.  He had to wait for a vacancy to work at Barking. Edit: I should say the route he mainly worked on was the 87. I believe he  only wanted to work a crew bus. However, when the  RTs were withdrawn he was given no choice but to convert to OMO buses. I do not remember RMs at Barking, that maybe is because I was living in Hampshire by that the time the book says they where used on the 62s

The days the driver does not have much interaction with the passengers do they. I thought screens and the oyster card (or what ever it is called) put and end to the need to talk to each other. Even the stop announcements are automatic. Driving OMO buses when the Titan was introduced was very different.

London is a totally different kettle of fish to driving buses in the provinces, but even that has changed since I first sat backside in a bus seat in 2008 (manual Mercedes minibuses for my stage carriage career until 2012!).

I still try to provide a smiling face on my London spells but when the warcry of today is "I ain't got no oyster what you gonna do about it fam?" - fare evasion is rife - and people won't even look at you getting on the bus, plus the mandatory spit kits, voice recording in the cab, over a dozen cameras in the bus including one pointing at your feet... yeah. Not a great gig these days.

The 87 is now Wandsworth to Aldwych and operates from Stockwell; the 87 as your father would have known it has now disappeared into the 5 and 287, the latter still running from Barking to Rainham, while the 5 covers the Romford to Barking section.

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One I've not spotted before spotted today.  Old Alexander PS bodied bus, guessing from a combination of statistical likelihood and noise that it's a B10M underneath.  White over yellow livery, and I think it was on an M plate, but didn't get a proper look.

If I hadn't been driving someone to an appointment I'd have followed it to try to get a better look and possibly a photo.  I know Bill's coach hire have a couple of S plate Volvo Olympian deckers, but I've not been aware of seeing a PS any time vaguely recently.

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We have these ex London General Tridents here in Southampton still in London red 

IMG_20240425_125640.jpg.f96994cafee2436e2c069160e1e6aeb6.jpg

They are supposed to be stopgaps before new buses arrive following Bluestars takeover of the First Bus routes last year. We've had them about six months now and I thought we'd have them a little while as they've had to had to have proper blinds made up. They are actually the first buses we've had with physical blinds rather than dot matrix for many years. 

Anyway I was on delivery yesterday and I saw one go past the end of the road in full Bluestar livery. Couldn't get a picture but I used the excellent Bluestar live tracker to find out that it was DOE31. So I pinched these off the internet.

GLhf6SzXcAA9oAf.jpeg.e6f88cc913bf3d603721eb8485f85513.jpeg

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So it's unlikely to be just a stopgap now is it? And to be fair the general public won't look at it and think it's a 15 year old bus, it does look quite smart. 

But unusually it has kept it's London General DOE fleet number. Bluestar and the previous Solent Blue Line have never had anything with prefix letters before and I'd have thought if they were going to keep them they would have given them new numbers but obviously not.

Also whilst scouring the internet I found this recent picture of it in Salisbury.

maxresdefault.jpg.cae02674e24728fe68c6040c15f80ab9.jpg

So it obviously did a bit of time there before it came to us. They are both part of Go South Coast,as are Southern Vectis and More Bus in Bournemouth and Poole and we get buses from those three fleets on loan here quite regularly.

I'm not sure how many of these Tridents we have, the highest I've seen is DOE38  but we don't have that many, there are lots of gaps.

I saw it again this morning so whilst having a bit of a break near the end of my delivery I thought I'd see if I could find it on the bus tracker. I didn't but I found this.

Screenshot_20240425_123150.jpg.4ae171b9513631e8aef05b42f04f3cac.jpg

Okay, a brand new bus. I hadn't seen any of those either. I'd heard rumours we were getting some for a long time but I thought they were just rumours. Furthermore I could see on the tracker it was heading for Shirley so I was ready for it.

IMG_20240425_125613_edit_396410451774353.jpg.d87cac0c11cdaae8cb28fa201076f2c3.jpg

Looks like a fairly standard Enviro 400 but it did have an advert on the back inviting us to try their comfortable seats so I shall have to keep an eye out.

 

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On 22/04/2024 at 14:51, Zelandeth said:

One I've not spotted before spotted today.  Old Alexander PS bodied bus, guessing from a combination of statistical likelihood and noise that it's a B10M underneath.  White over yellow livery, and I think it was on an M plate, but didn't get a proper look.

If I hadn't been driving someone to an appointment I'd have followed it to try to get a better look and possibly a photo.  I know Bill's coach hire have a couple of S plate Volvo Olympian deckers, but I've not been aware of seeing a PS any time vaguely recently.

One of our local operators has two for school services. L800ACL was originally P132XCN and one of the ex Stagecoach Cumbria K760DAO, (the next number is preserved - I should know the reg off by heart as it goes past my house most days).

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On 22/04/2024 at 14:51, Zelandeth said:

One I've not spotted before spotted today.  Old Alexander PS bodied bus, guessing from a combination of statistical likelihood and noise that it's a B10M underneath.  White over yellow livery, and I think it was on an M plate, but didn't get a proper look.

If I hadn't been driving someone to an appointment I'd have followed it to try to get a better look and possibly a photo.  I know Bill's coach hire have a couple of S plate Volvo Olympian deckers, but I've not been aware of seeing a PS any time vaguely recently.

Sounds like this one:

Commerial Transport Training P133XCN

P133 XCN, owned by Commercial Transport Training from Leighton Buzzard way and still going strong if rather scruffy now.

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5 minutes ago, quicksilver said:

Sounds like this one:

Commerial Transport Training P133XCN

P133 XCN, owned by Commercial Transport Training from Leighton Buzzard way and still going strong if rather scruffy now.

That will be the one.

Obviously an ex Stagecoach bus from the plate...One which I quite possibly even travelled on, I know we had a few P---XCN examples in Aberdeen at some point.  Sadly don't seem to have ever managed to snap one of that lot.  This would be the closest.

R935XVM.JPG.58275a214de0ea32d3af101d5ac63dd2.JPG

I'm pretty sure that I must have a bunch of photos hiding somewhere on this computer as I'm pretty bloody sure that I took more than one photo of a PS while I was still up in Aberdeen.

Still irked that despite them being bloody everywhere at the time that a PS is one of the bread and butter buses which eluded my attempts to drive.

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I have another week (allegedly) of enjoying Dennis Darts / ALX200'S or MANs on my local services before these (suitably branded) Yutongs take over after the bank holidays. Stagecoach have bought 23 of these battery buses, apparently full delivery from China has been delayed due to the problems in the gulf, as some have been here a bit. This is 73001.

IMG_20240414_131359006.jpg.c34aa05d08305aeb9104cb65022892bc.jpg

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image.png.06725788a350e393afe4baeea5adb873.png

I quote - 

'When you go to Kawane district, do you say that the organisation will park a bus in line with the passage of the National Express Line!?

Looks like it was a bonnet bus.
Maybe a vehicle running through the barn?

The bus behind us is getting quite a season too.

So it's like that 事

I'm in your way 

 (2024.4.20 伯備線 方谷〜備中川面)' 

Well, some of it makes sense.
 

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With regards to my previous post, I finally tracked down the blue Trident.

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Tracked down quite literally with the Bluestar bus tracker. This is the nearest stop to my house. Just walked out waited less than two minutes and went home again. Modern technology is good for some things.

I do like the proper blinds on these things and the fact that they are in almost Johnston typeface. The number is anyway, the destination should be all capitals but that's something even London changed many years ago. But they are so much clearer and neater than the dot matrix stuff. Although I've noticed some of the new stuff in London now has dot matrix so fine they can replicate Johnston typeface but that sort of thing doesn't seem to have filtered down to the provinces yet.

I used to have a thing for blinds when we first had our RM. Back in 1989 they could be had really cheap, even at rallies. Even managed to get a few for free. We got a full set from Norwood and Victoria garages, just walked in and asked. A guy at Norwood went and found some for us and the chap at Victoria walked us over to a cupboard, opened the door and said help yourself and left us to it. The cupboard was knee high in used blinds. Victoria and Norwood were our bus's first and last garages in London so we really wanted those and of course a set from Southampton CityBus that came with it when we bought it but I ended up with loads more.

Both times I sold the bus I let the blinds go with it because, quite frankly they take up a lot of room if you don't have a bus to keep them in. I can see why operators prefer dot matrix but they don't look as nice.

 

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Managed to cop a DOE while at Ryde last year. I think Hants and Dorset Trim are doing the repaints/light refub on them as I've seen one or two posted on their social media.

LX58CWO.png.62ba37be5454fa85fc75dedfacb7a243.png

Nice to see them gaining proper blinds though; I notice Konnectbus has DOE1 and they immediately fitted it with an LED blind box without any proper re-masking of the aperture. It looks really half-arsed.

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DOE2 is in Southampton now. As far as I can tell DOE31 is still the only one in blue but I don't know how long it takes Hants and Dorset Trim to knock one out (fnarr fnarr). Obviously Bluestar and H&D share a building so you would get them to do it.

Seeing the bus behind in your picture, we have at least one Scania Omni City in that livery on loan here too. Obviously they are in the same number series as the Bluestar ones.

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8 hours ago, Yoss said:

With regards to my previous post, I finally tracked down the blue Trident.

IMG_20240501_122940.jpg.35f311335c79991a745a2cd5711b1883.jpg

IMG_20240501_123003.jpg.0c5809743b7be2857e139e47535cf528.jpg

Tracked down quite literally with the Bluestar bus tracker. This is the nearest stop to my house. Just walked out waited less than two minutes and went home again. Modern technology is good for some things.

I do like the proper blinds on these things and the fact that they are in almost Johnston typeface. The number is anyway, the destination should be all capitals but that's something even London changed many years ago. But they are so much clearer and neater than the dot matrix stuff. Although I've noticed some of the new stuff in London now has dot matrix so fine they can replicate Johnston typeface but that sort of thing doesn't seem to have filtered down to the provinces yet.

I used to have a thing for blinds when we first had our RM. Back in 1989 they could be had really cheap, even at rallies. Even managed to get a few for free. We got a full set from Norwood and Victoria garages, just walked in and asked. A guy at Norwood went and found some for us and the chap at Victoria walked us over to a cupboard, opened the door and said help yourself and left us to it. The cupboard was knee high in used blinds. Victoria and Norwood were our bus's first and last garages in London so we really wanted those and of course a set from Southampton CityBus that came with it when we bought it but I ended up with loads more.

Both times I sold the bus I let the blinds go with it because, quite frankly they take up a lot of room if you don't have a bus to keep them in. I can see why operators prefer dot matrix but they don't look as nice.

 

Some years ago I had a Merc 609 ex Isle of shite shuttle  with the blind still in it. I converted the bus into a camper and every time I moved I used to put a different IoW destination up. Dunno what the Spanish and Portuguese thought about it.

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Today was a weird day.

A few of us Barking based loan drivers have been more recently sub-loaned out to Leyton, but today was my turn to go... to Selkent at Plumstead.

0900 report, duly arrived at about 0845 and was handed a route learning sheet and told to learn the 96 (Woolwich - Bexleyheath - Dartford - Bluewater).

I duly trotted off, got to Bluewater before the news we'd been waiting for... it's over. After our current hotel bookings expire, we will all be returned to our home garages as we are "no longer required".

Plumstead's driver shortage is 27% as of this morning, leading Rainham at 23%, Catford at 19% and Leyton at 14%.

Tomorrow starts my final run of six shifts in London, with a 145 tomorrow, 462s Friday & Saturday, 362 Sunday, a bank holiday on Monday, a 462 on Tuesday and a final 362 on Wednesday finishing at 00.25 on Thursday morning.

 

It's a bittersweet goodbye; I was actually really looking forward to a spell at Plumstead and by London's own admission they both can't afford to lose us all, but equally can't afford to keep us.

I return to my home garage from May 13th, thereafter starting my next adventure possibly the following week at Oldham as part of the Bee Network's ongoing fuckery.

 

Onwards and upwards!

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The operations manager at Bluestar is very much an enthusiast at heart and is himself a massive fan of the DOEs - there are still a handful of them in London (on the 151 from memory) and they are tremendous performers. If memory serves they are actually first generation Enviro 400s under the East Lancashire bodies.

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23 minutes ago, cms206 said:

The operations manager at Bluestar is very much an enthusiast at heart and is himself a massive fan of the DOEs - there are still a handful of them in London (on the 151 from memory) and they are tremendous performers. If memory serves they are actually first generation Enviro 400s under the East Lancashire bodies.

We have 5 DOEs in service at East Yorkshire, they are nice to drive to be honest. Don't know if ours will get repaints or not given the age of them and the fact they are only really used on school runs

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