Monday, 28 October 2013

‘yourbus’ expand again

When I did my last piece that included ‘yourbus’ (See ‘Scene’ in Matlock 17th  October). I said that they were quietly building a network in this part of central Derbyshire.


Today (28th. of October 2013), two more pieces were fitted into the jigsaw.


Route 113 has been taken over from ‘Glovers of Ashbourne’.


The Plaxton Primo’s that Glovers mainly have employed have given way to ‘yourbus’ Wright ‘StreetLites’.




Here MX62 GXE about to load in Belper for the 12-25 departure.







The other route that ‘yourbus’ is operating is the 114 that runs from Derby to Ashbourne via Hulland Ward. It was operated by ‘Arriva’ as the 109.

Here we see MX62 GOA about to leave Ashbourne on the 2-00 p.m. departure.


The sun has almost obliterated the destination but it is still readable. In case there is any doubt, I show the repeater by the door.






I was a little surprised that ‘yourbus’ are operating just one service on what is normally ‘trentbarton’s ‘Swift’ Derby- Ashbourne service.


I presume since the bus arrives on the ‘swift’ and it departs on the 114 (both at 06-35) that it is a positioning movement.




Considering ‘yourbus’ rapid acquisition of routes over the past few months It is interesting to speculate where they are going to turn up next !!  


Saturday, 26 October 2013

‘Scene’ at the East Midlands Airport

I have been a regular viewer at the EMA for many years and passing on my way elsewhere, I had to call for an hour or so. 


I have discovered that the East Midlands Airpark which lies to the side of the runway and is located just out of Castle Donnington village has a mound that allows good views over the wire fence that otherwise restricts photography.


Opening at the Airpark is restricted in winter time but the advantage it gives is well worth the small fee charged. 


There is also the Airpark’s collection to view. 



Lockheed L382G Hercules operated by ‘Air Contractors’. Although Irish registered, it is based at the EMA and is reputedly the only civil registered L-100 Hercules in Europe.




Boeing 757-21B of having just landed. Previously with ‘China Southern Airlines’ as B 2803.




Boeing 737-8S3 of ‘’ leased from ‘Travel Service’ (TS) in the Czech Republic for the summer of 2013. 

From new in 2001 it has been with ‘Pegasus Airlines’ in Turkey as TC-APH followed by a spell in storage before going to TS in April 2013.





Boeing 737-8AS captured just after take off. ‘Ryanair’ has, at the last count over 300 of this type in service.




Aerospatiale 72-212A of ‘’ on finals. It has been with Aurigny since its delivery in 2009.




Airbus A321-231 of ‘Monarch Airlines’ again on finals. Now 7 years old it had 6 years with ‘Royal Jordanian Airlines’ as JY-AYG before moving to ‘Cyprus Airway’ as 5B-DCO prior to joining Monarch in April this year.



Reims Cessna F406 Caravan 2 of ‘Atlantic Reconnaissance Ltd’. working for the ‘UK Coastguard’. Previously on the Dutch register as PH-FWF. 





Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee Archer takes to the skies.



The registration on this Boeing 757 freighter parked outside the ‘DHL’ cargo facility is obscured by its tailplane. However most of these that I have seen before have been German registered.




Boeing 737-3Y5 of ‘’ having just landed. Previously with ‘Air Malta’ as 9H-ABT and ‘Norwegian Air Shuttle’ as





Boeing 737-8K5 (WL) of ‘Thomson Airways' carrying ‘’ titles. Now 6 years old it was new to Thomson but has been sub leased to ‘Sunwing Airlines’ a number of times.




Airbus 321-111 of’ Thomas Cook Airlines’ was previously with ‘Airtours International Airways’ and ‘My Travel’.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Blackpool Trams


An autumn break in Blackpool introduced me to the new trams running there. These are Bombardier Flexity 2 light rail vehicles built as part of the 100 million pound upgrade of the 128 year old tramway system that runs as far north as Fleetwood Ferry. 


Apart from the trams themselves, there has been massive improvements made to the promenade, track overhead supply and a new purpose built depot at Starr Gate at the Southern end of the line.


The Flexity 2 trams have been built by Bombardier in Germany and Austria and operate alongside members of the ‘heritage’ fleet.


Normal daytime services are provided by the new trams with the heritage fleet coming out on special occasions and at night during the illuminations.


My own ‘take’ on the new trams is that they are comfortable, fast, powerful, low floored and seem well able to do the job. I understand that blown sand on the track along with salt spray can be a problem but the crews I spoke to were well satisfied with their new mounts.


Having been in service since Easter 2012 they seem to have been well accepted by everyone.






The drivers control desk.





The view the driver gets of the road ahead.





The overhead power supply wire showing how it is spread to even out the wear on the pantograph head.




The termini at Starr Gate and Fleetwood Ferry are 11 miles (18km) apart and it is interesting to note that both termini serve the same purpose for Blackpool’s buses.









No. 11 about to leave Bispham heading North.









No. 15 again


Saturday, 19 October 2013

'Scene' in Carlisle part one, Trains

Carlisle Citadel Station


In its heyday Carlisle Citadel Station (known these days as simply Carlisle) welcomed trains from the following railways. The  Midland, the Caledonian, the North Eastern, the London & North Western, the Maryport & Carlisle and the Glasgow & Southwestern.


It must have been a colourful and noisy scene.




Today it is still busy and proudly displays its place as the Northern terminus of the Settle and Carlisle line. This being regarded as one of the most scenic railway lines in the country.





A pair of Virgin Voyagers (221109 & 221111) at the Northern end of the station heading in opposite directions.





It is not surprising that many of the loco’s seen in and around Carlisle are owned by  ‘Direct Rail Services’ (DRS) because although they have depots around the country the company is headquartered in Carlisle.


DRS is wholly owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency and was established in 1995.  



Named ‘County of Staffordshire’ of (DRS) waits its next duty.


At one time 57308 worked for Virgin Trains as one of its ‘Thunderbird’ locos and at that time carried the name ‘Tin Tin’.


They were used as rescue loco’s on the West Coast Main Line and also for hauling diesel units from Crewe to Holyhead and return.




Another DRS loco carrying the livery of 'Malcolm Rail' passes through on a Southbound freight. Most class 66 with DRS have come direct from General Motors but this one of five purchased secondhand from the defunct operator ‘Fastline Freight’. 




Known as Brush type 2’s when originally built in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Originally numbered as D5224, at various times it has carried the names ‘The Blackcountryman’ and ‘Spalding Town’.

Now simply 31106 it is seen propelling a Network Rail test train.



Most passenger trains these days are made up are made up of multiple unit stock and here are a few that were present.



In the colours of ‘Northern Rail’ had just arrived from Leeds. It had worked over the Settle and Carlisle line in bright sunny conditions. I had been a passenger on this from Settle.




One of ‘Scotrails’ fleet of 156’s. 

There have been a number of ‘Scotrail’ liveries over the years but I think that this is the best.




The trailing car on this Virgin Voyager set heads North over the border.

I find it strange that these diesel sets operate considerable mileage ‘under the wires’.

Surely bi-modal stock has to be the answer.





One of the much derided Class 142 fleet. I personally like them and I think a lot of their so called rough riding characteristics come from running on old fashioned short lengths of track held together with fishplates. On welded track, I think that they are acceptable. 




Built as a Brake Standard Open (BSO) at Derby in 1974. It was one of 14 converted to Driving Break standard Open (DBSO) to enable it to work in push pull mode with a loco on the rear of the train. Part of ‘Network Rail’s fleet.




A former British Railways built Mark 1 coach now used for ultrasonic testing purposes. Part of ‘Network Rail’s fleet.



Further photos can be seen on my Flickr 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

'Scene' in Matlock today 17th. October 2013

It is seven months since I did my last piece about Matlock. That appeared on the Focus Transport website and is still available to view by going to focustransport .org. 


Then go to articles from January to July and scroll down to 9th of March and it is entitled Matlock 2013.


Today however I was looking at what was new to me or different.


‘yourbus’ are perhaps better known for their tussles with ‘trentbarton’ (tb) in and out of Nottingham and Derby but quietly they have set about building a network in and around this central part of Derbyshire.



All the services currently operated have been taken over in the last couple of years or so from other operators, mainly

‘TM Travel’ and ‘Doyle’s Coaches of Alfreton’.


It does not end there however,  from the end of October they are taking over the 113 Belper to Ashbourne service from ‘Glover’s of Ashbourne.

In addition, a new route the 114 between Ashbourne and Derby replaces the old 109. It was formerly operated by 'Arriva'.


Services are run with a mixture of Wright Streetlite W/F and D/F ‘s which are now about a year old. 


My experience is that they have settled down to being regular, reliable performers being warm and comfortable at the same time. That will do for me !!






H822 DVL

Licenced as an Iveco Ford. It looks like a former mobile shop or library but gets included because of the use of the word ‘bus’ in its livery. 


Sat in Sainsbury’s car park it seemed to do a steady trade.




IIG 9818

Also at Sainsbury’s was this VDL Bova of ‘Caledonian Travel’ which was touring in ‘Nottingham and the Peak’.



(tb) are known to be refurbishing the Scania/Wrights on the ‘sixes’ services which cover a corridor of Derbyshire from Derby as far North as Bakewell, as far West as Wirksworth and as far East as Ripley.


It seems to be taking some time to complete. There are a small number of buses wearing the new base colour with little branding while the old livery is still in widespread use. One of each is illustrated.















were High Peak buses contribution whilst in a similar livery.


G535 VBB 


Brings the Sheffield to Matlock via Bakewell service 218 service into town.


Formerly this Leyland Olympian with Northern Counties Palatine body now with 'TM Travel' worked in London for ‘Arriva’ in full London red livery.



V327 KMY 

A Dennis Dart with Plaxton’s Pointer bodyworkIs another former London resident having worked there when it was part of ‘Metrobus’s fleet. Now with ‘DW Coaches’ of Clay Cross.


W423 RTO

The last time I saw this 'TM Travel' former ‘tb’ Optare Solo it carried no titling having been just at that time been transferred from one to the other. 

Now properly identified, its green livery dates back to the days when it worked on 'tb’s se7ens service between Derby and Belper.




A Plaxton Cheetah bodied Mercedes-Benz Vario from ‘G & J Holmes’ of Clay Cross.




An ‘Amber Valley Community Transport’ Volkswagen Crafter unusually not carrying its normally distinctive side branding.