Sunday 10 February 2013

Call That a Bus?


It was advance publicity for a service from "Royal Dutch Coach" that prompted fbb to follow up the "Fyra" story. See yesterday's blog (read again). The initial publicity suggested that this coach service was "the best alternative" to the failed Fyra. Really?

Den Haag - Brussel Rotterdam - Brussel
Brussel - Den Haag Brussel - Rotterdam

Dagelijks rechtstreekse buspendels vanaf:
Den Haag Centraal Station, busplatform
en Conradstraat Rotterdam Centraal

Vertrek maandag t/m Vrijdag
Vertrek tijden:
Den Haag Centraal Station bus platform: 06.45 uur
Rotterdam Centraal, Conradstraat
Brussels Airport: 16.45 uur
Gemiddelde reistijd 2 uur en 15 minuten.

Ten hours from den Haag (The Hague), an hour less from Rotterdam? 2 hours 15 minutes rest break? Being dumped on the outskirts of Brussels with a bus/tram/train service to the Centre.

No way!

But, undeterred, fbb will follow this up after the launch on 4th March. But parts of their web site don't inspire confidence.
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It's certainly not telling you anything about Dutch Coach Travel!
A bit more weirdness for Sunday.

There have been some weird weird attempts to redesign the humble bus for special purposes. The recent "Borismaster" is expensive to build, expensive to run and may well prove a complete "disaaaaaster darling". Alternatively it could just work. At least the final verson ...
... looks a little better than some of the unsuccessful competition entries.
For general ugliness the Dartford Tunnel buses for cyclists take a lot of beating. They were never used much ...
... and needed a platforn at bike-rack level at each end of the route.
Ingenious, but fairly impractical and very expensive to run!

Then there was Stagecoach's experiment with a floating bus operated at Yoker Ferry in Glasgow.
A bit embarrassing were it to spring a leak on a busy commuter run.

There have been many efforts to build and operate a viable vehicle that could run on railway tracks and then divert via an ordinary road service. Indeed, network rail operates some ...
... similar motors today. But not for passengers.
Groovy baby!

In the past, fbb's vote for super weirdness would have gone to the "Daddy Longlegs" tram (train? boat of wheels? bus?) which ran from Brighton to Rottingdean. It was very popular with visitors but not so popular with its coastal location and was eventually terminally mangled by high tides and winds.
But weirdest no more.

No 2 son sent this video of a proposal by a Chinese firm for a new approach to bus travel. It's hard to describe it and even harder to imagine it in practice. The bus runs ON the road using conventional tyred wheels, but (don't laugh) OVER THE TOP of existing traffic.

Best enjoy the video.
Imagine being OVERtaken by one of those on your diving test?

And it's nearly two months to April 1st.

 Next Bus Blog : Monday 11th February 


  1. Surely the most ludicrous invention ever!

    So, it drives over the traffic. Seems to take ages to load up with passengers. Turns a corner when traffic is heading straight on, must be the most hazardous conflicting move ever; Has raised walls that seem to carry the power supply; And then, when the inevitable conflict does happen, involving crashed cars and what looks like a fuel tanker, the Land air bus dumps its unfortunate passengers down into the canyon, trapped by the side walls, presumably carrying high voltage electricity and possibly close to the seat of an inferno, involving the fuel tanker !

    Great, yes, I'll have twenty of them please (NOT)!

    By comparison, it makes Magnus Volk's Daddy Longlegs look sane by comparison. My understanding, by the way, is that the downfall of that particular system was that the shingle, for which Brighton beach is notorious, got washed across the track when the tide ebbed and flowed and got in the way of the wheels.

    Thanks for giving us so much amusement.

  2. FBB I think something has got lost in your translation from Dutch to English with Royal Dutch Coach. The service is from Den Haag and Rotterdam to Brussels Airport. Due to differences in taxes there are considerable savings to be made for Netherlands originating passengers to start their flight itineraries in another country. I suspect that the comparison with Fyra is a little bit of opportunism.

    The coach appears to do one round trip Monday to Friday, with a journey time of 2h 15m each way. Departure from Den Haag is at 0645 and from Brussels Airport at 1645, with free tea and coffee on board. Those travelling in the first four weeks get a 50% discount.

    For many years coach services in Europe were for international journeys only and largely controlled by the state railways through Europabus. This has become Eurolines, where the contractors rather than the railways are the operators. In addition there are numerous new operators such as Megabus and IDBus. Interestingly a recent trip by No 1 and No 2 sons on a day trip (overnight each way)from Warsaw to Vienna rates Souter's Polskibus more highly that Megabus. This may change when the new bespoke left-hand drive Megabus vehicles start operating.

    If FBB can arrange to get to Victoria Coach Station for an 0600 departure IDBus have Lille for £9.00 each way at present.

  3. Thanks for sorting me out Daddysgadgets. I am afraid I simply could not understand the way the web site is presented. Elsewhere the Royal Dutch Coach talks about NATO offices (Brussels) as a terminus. Is that the same as the airport? I think the pointy remains - it does not offer any sensible alternative to Fyra!