Wednesday, 6 July 2011

End of Line 11

322 was taken out of service for repaint after use on Tuesday 5th July while Volvo Olympian 379 has also entered the paint shop as the first of its type to receive the new livery. 379 was last used last week so 322 becomes the last of the 40 Line 11 buses to operate in the now defunct livery.
The 11 livery debuted on Volvo Olympian 374 and later appeared on 375-379. Here is 376 in Lytham in May 2004. 379 regained the livery in November 2007 and became the penultimate bus to operate so painted
When the Metro network was introduced, 14 Olympians 370-373, 401-410 and three Deltas 101-13 were dedicated to Line 11 with small stickers applied to the front. 374 entered the paint shop in late 2001 and returned to use on 23rd January 2002 in turquoise and yellow as the fourth Metro livery to see the light of day (after the 7, 6 and 26 resp). It was followed in February by 401 and 406. It was decided to use the Volvo Olympians in preference to the Trents ahead of the arrival of new Tridents which would take over the Volvo duties on Line 14. 375-7 were painted in March/April and 378/9 in August.
406 beat sister 401 into service by a few days and both lasted just under two years.
368-373 all received Line 11 livery after their 2002/3 refurbishment but were replaced by the 2004 Tridents
Deltas 101-103 were destined not to carry 11 livery and were replaced by 122, 130-133 which were partially painted out of the original pool livery into Line 11 colours in October 2002 and November. Leyland Olympian 368 became the 14th branded bus returning to use after refurbishment in mid November. 2003 saw the other five East Lancs bodied Olympians refurbished and outshopped in Line 11 livery with 370-373 in January/February and 369 in August.

122 was one of the first Deltas in 11 livery in November 2002. It was never repainted again
Line 11's first new buses - Tridents 322-327 arrived in May 2004 having be preceded by new Solos for Line 5 which cascaded Excels to Line 7 and Deltas from there to Line 11. 119, 125-129 were repainted into turquoise during May and June. These led to a reduction in the Line 11 Olympian fleet with 368-373 and 375 part painted black/yellow in May/June 2004 followed by 374/6/7 in March/April 2005, 379 in November 2005 and finally 378 in March 2006. The Volvos were replaced by Deltas 115-118 transferred from Line 6 - while on the debit side Delta 131 was destroyed by fire in 2004.
Trident 323 of 2004 in St. Annes on a peak working to Lytham Saltcotes Road
The second batch of Tridents for the 11 (328-332) arrived in June 2006 and were the final vehicles to appear in 11 livery for the first time. They replaced Deltas 115-117, 129 and 130 which were withdrawn in the autumn. 129/30 became driver trainers, 117 was used for spares and 115/6 were reinstated as dedicated buses for Tramway Replacement work while still in 11 livery; before receiving pool livery in April 2007. Surprisingly they regained Line 11 livery in November as did 379, but Delta 128 left the fleet for sale to Preston Bus as a driver trainer.

The final Line 11 fleet - from November 2007 to July 2010 was:
10 Deltas 115/6, 118/9, 122, 125-127, 132/3
11 Tridents 322-332
1 Olympian 379
Other buses to carry the livery were: 117, 128-131, 368-379, 401/6 making 40 - more than any other Line livery. Twin Car 673+683 represented the Line 11 livery in the short lived Metro era on the tramway.
115 and 116 had their livery modified for use as Tram Replacement buses during winter 2006/7. After a brief period in pool livery during the summer they returned to Line 11 colours in November 2007
The Deltas continued to run after the end of the Metro livery for a few more months - finally replaced by new Volvo B7s in September 2004. Trident repaints out of turquoise started in November with 332 and have progressed in almost reverse numerical order (325 snook through ahead of 326).
Reliability issues with Line 11 meant that buses could often be seen overtaking as the 7/8 minute frequency lead to bunching. 323 on a St. Annes working, overtakes 322 heading for Lytham Square at Starr Gate