Wednesday 22 April 2015

Catch 22 Dart Collection Grows

Further Dennis Darts have joined the Catch 22 bus fleet. New to Cardiff T144/5DAX arrived from Select Bus of Swansea and await preparation for service. Earlier in April V234HBH was purchased from Arriva in Aylesbury. Volvo B7TL W139EON has left the fleet after only a short period in use. Dart S316LHB has now been repainted in fleet livery.

New service 21 (Tower to Zoo) has been registered to start from 2 June, while summer service 12 has a variation from 1 June and the 22 from 26 May.

Catch 22 Bus Fleet List April 2015
69F69SYEMCW MetrobusMCWPleasure Beach advertChina Motor Bus ML81 11/88
143T143AUADennis DartAlexanderNew Catch 22Armchair, Hounslow 5/99
144T144DAXDennis DartPlaxtonWhiteCardiff Bus 8/99
145T145DAXDennis DartPlaxtonWhiteCardiff Bus 8/99
147T147DAXDennis DartPlaxtonOrange/GreenCardiff Bus 8/99
186X186CTGDennis DartPlaxtonCardiff Cardiff Bus 9/00
234V234HBHDennis DartPlaxtonArrivaArriva Shires 11/99
316S316SHBDennis DartPlaxtonOrange/GreenCardiff Bus 1/99
319S319SHBDennis DartPlaxtonCreamCardiff Bus 1/99
326F326UJNMCW MetrobusMCWPleasure Beach advertChina Motor Bus ML77 10/88
356R356LERDennis DartAlexanderNew Catch 22Stagecoach new 10/97
466W466UAGDennis DartPlaxtonNew Catch 22East Yorkshire 4/00
468W468UAGDennis DartPlaxtonNew Catch 22East Yorkshire 4/00
617X617JCSDennis DartAlexanderNew Catch 22Stagecoach 2/01
657V657HECDennis DartPlaxtonBlueBlackburn 1/00
658V658HECDennis DartPlaxtonNew Catch 22Blackburn 1/00
898R898XVMVolvo B10MAlexanderRedStagecoach Manchester
RM1583583CLTAEC RoutemasterPark RoyalRedLondon Transport 
RML887202UXJAEC RoutemasterPark RoyalRedLondon Transport

Citaro Details

Citaro 557 is one of two fully branded and in use for driver familiarisation. It is seen (from the public highway) manoeuvring in the depot yard (Alan Robson - please see for more pictures)
Citaros 556 and 557 are now in use for driver familiarisation - details of the batch of ten are shown below. Sunday 24th May is reportedly their entry into service date though this is not officially confirmed yet.

NoRegChassis NoArrived
550 BJ15BEYWEB62801523129261  10/4/15
554BJ15UVW WEB628015231292651/4/15

In other news, Trident 328 has received an allover advert for Sealife Blackpool
A rear view of 328 in its new Sealife Blackpool advertising livery. Previously Trident 314 was so adorned from June 2012 to February 2014. (Alan Robson - please see for more pictures)

Thursday 16 April 2015

Citaros Unveiled

The first of then ten Citaros has emerged into public view at a staff launch at Rigby Road. All ten are now in stock and two are fully branded in a new silver/grey and yellow livery with black edging to the yellow relief. Equipped with free wifi, leather seats and wood effect flooring they have the unusual brand name of Palladium. Much like Stagecoach Gold, First Platinum and Arriva Sapphire this has a hint of quality about it referring to a precious metal - though most would consider it to have a theatrical link.

556 BJ15BEU and 557 BJ15BTY were the two branded vehicles launched, and other photos have identified further members as BJ15AVX, BJ15BEO, BJ15GOP/GOU, BJ15UVW/UVX. 

BTS Facebook link

Saturday 11 April 2015

PD3s at Kirkby Stephen

Front and rear contrasts - 501 and 512 were popular performers on the free bus service at Kirkby Stephen (both photos Gary Conn)

Slip boards on display - the 31 was a diversion of service 11 to Saltcotes Road in 1973. Blackpool regularly used painted slipboards for school specials and new routes before destination displays could be added.

No Reversing at the Social Club

February 2009 and preserved 529 poses at Thornton Social Club terminus on a photoshoot for Bus and Coach Preservation - buses arrived into an embayment to the right of the camera and reversed into this spot to await time.

April has seen the demise of a long disused terminus. From 1930 to 1977 an intermediate service on the 14 ran as 14A from Bus Station to Thornton Social Club. After 1977 only a handful of journeys terminated at Social Club but by 1988 when the 14A resumed a new terminal loop via West Drive, Amounderness Way and Bourne Way was used. 

At some point - perhaps in the 1960s - a terminus was constructed with buses pulling off road into an embayment then reversing 90% into another. When this ceased used is not clear - certainly in 1988 there was an 0705 Bus Station to Social Club working which returned at 0730 after just one minute layover and another trip at 0720 from Bus Station and 0750 from Social Club. By 1988 these had been extended to Ash Street, and the Social Club terminus now used the terminal loop via Bourne Way.

The arrival embayment can just be seen to the left of the bus

Thursday 9 April 2015

Myllenium Hits the Road

As already reported East Lancs Myllenium bodied DAF trainer 971 is now in use - here it heads South along the Promenade (James Millington)

Friday 3 April 2015

Tiger Tiger - Burning Bright No More

The last two Fylde coaches have now reached their final destination. Duple Laser 27 (MJI7846) of 1985 was sold in 1997 and latterly operated with Confidence in Leicester. After around 18 months in store it was noted in a Barnsley scrapyard in January (seen here).

One of five new to Shearings coaches bought by Fylde to upgrade their fleet, 22 (F700ENE) was last used by the School Bus Company in Oxfordshire and passed to Hardwick of Carlton during March. It was sold by Blackpool Transport in 1999.

The sole Seagull Coach purchased by Blackpool Transport in 1998 and sold the following year remains in Ireland. 27 (R927TFR) is a Portuguese Marcopolo bodied Dennis Javelin and now runs for Kearney's of Cork as 98TS3522. Picture here.

PD3 Pair in Service - in Kirkby Stephen

Saturday and Sunday this weekend sees the annual Rally at Kirkby Stephen. Preserved PD3s 501 and 512 departed from the Fylde today in unison for the long journey north and are both expected to see service on Saturday and Sunday. Lytham PD2 70 is also booked in to the rally on Sunday.

Trainer 971 ready

Trainer 971 has finally been prepared for use it was MOT'd in November and was taxed in February. New to Yorkshire Terrier and last used by Stagecoach Sheffield, it was purchased in July 2013 and repainted in October 2013 but final commissioning has been delayed.

It was intended to replace Delta 970 with 971 but it is now expected to remain in use alongside 971 and sister 969.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Citaros arrive

When this blog launched in April 2009 I reported the arrival of final batch of Optare Solo in post number 2. Since then just nine new buses have arrived - the 2010 Centros - but that long period is now over with the arrival of the first five of the new Mercedes Citaros. One is believed to have arrived in March, while four were noted on delivery today.

The buses are Euro VI engined with E-leather seating, wood effect flooring and free wifi with charging points and next stop announcements. They are believed to be in a silver livery with yellow and black relief and are earmarked for route 5. 

Image from Blackpool Transport Facebook site