Sunday, 1 November 2015

Delta Departs

Delta 130  newly converted to a driver trainer in April 2007
Withdrawn Optare Delta trainer 970 has gone for scrap. Moved recently by preservationists to savlage spare parts, it was collected on 30 October by Partons of Carlton for scrap. 970 was new in February 1993 as 130 - the last of the 28 Deltas purchased new. It was parked up with some sisters in December 1998 when new Metroriders entered service. Most returned to use in February 1999, but 130 was instead taken into the works for stripping as part of a pilot refurbishment - despite being just six years old - oddly the buses were treated in reverse age order - rather than dealing with the older examples.

130 was treated to retrimmed seats, a new floor, laminate side and roof panels replacing soft trim and a full repaint into green and cream. It returned to use in October 1999. 130 was part of the launch fleet for the Metro identity in April 2001 emergeing in the pool livery of grey, mustard and yellow. It then gained Line 11 colours in November 2002. 

August 2006 saw 130 placed into store, replaced on the 11 by new Dennis Trident. Rather than gain another Metro livery, it was selected with 129 to become new driver trainers. ABS braking was fitted to meet new regulations and a repaint took place into reverse Metro livery of yellow and blue. It entered service in February 2007. It was expected to be withdrawn in 2013 when DAF 971 joined the fleet - but the protracted conversion of the income saw it remain in use. An engine failure finally saw 970 stood down in April 2015 - replaced by a Trident - at the age of 22.

Sister bus 969 remains in store - but it too is likely to go for scrap. This will then leave Preston Bus trainer 31082 - ex Blackpool 128 - as the sole surviving new to Blackpool Delta.