Tuesday 25 November 2014

Red Arrows Reach All-over [2]

And Then There Was Trent.
Traditionally Barton Transport ran services 5, 5A, 5B and 5X between Norttingham and Derby. An X42 was later added.
Trent ran via the "main road" whilst Barton served Chilwell, Beeston and Long Eaton. Then, privatised Trent absorbed the ailing Barton and began what they have become famous for. Brian King, their former Managing Director, certainly had drive and vision.
Their first network-wide foray into individual route branding was with "Rainbow" routes, as here in the R2 via Sandiacre.
The former Barton routes were left untouched for a while retaining traditional numbers.
Also, a non-stop half hourly service running between he two towns ... 
... was extended to Chesterfield and labelled Red Arrow.
This replaced he tediously slow 244 between Derby and Chesterfield, although on Sundays, when the Red Arrow did not fly, Stagecoach operated an hourly tendered service 244 between Chesterfield and Ripley.

From the start the Arrow was operated by coaches, not buses and the livery was very noticeable indeed.
On the Focus Transport pages there is (a) a summary of he early days of the route (here)  and (b) a pictorial review of the latest vehicles  (here). As well as very posh coaches ...
... the service now runs every TEN minutes between Nottingham and Derby and every half hour on the Chesterfield.
On Sundays it is every 20 minutes extended every hour to home of the twisted spire.
As well as timetables, Trent's web site includes a simplified but easy-to-understand route map ...
... and a hint as to the facilities available on the swish coaches.
For those who are party animals, the Nottingham to Derby bit runs all night.

Whilst the other two non-Arrow routes referred to above still operate between he two cities every 20 minutes, there are loads of extra buses at the Nottingham end.
The former Barton 5 (etc.) is now branded as "indigo" ...
... and runs every 5 minutes between Nottingham and Beeston, every 10 between Nottingham and Long Eaton.
Indigo runs 24/7 to Long Eaton. The previous R2 ...
... is now the i4.
... with a doubled frequency over part of he route, picking up a local loop at Sandiacre.
All very impressive.

You really do have to admire the management at TrentBarton for their perspicacity and skill in developing these services. We do know that this has been at the expense of abandoning some of their "backstreet wiggles" but, as thy say, that's the bus business.

Tomorrow, our third and newest Red Arrow is fired.

 Next bus blog : Wednesday 26th November 


  1. Crawley here we come I presume?

  2. Thanks anon. That makes four! Will include a mention on Friday! I had not picked this one up.

  3. er - and Go North East?

  4. Indeed. But that is Red Arrows (plural). Should have remembered it, though. Another bad housepoint for fbb.

  5. This Red Arrow spotting is fun! Looking forwards to tomorrow as ever. Best way to start the day. Thanks for all your hard work FBB...also you really should get some sort of local recognition for putting Seaton on the map!

  6. Is this almost a "SUCCESS" in public transport then?!

  7. The i4 isn't a doubling of the old R2. Traditionally Trent(102) & Barton(4s) ran combined every Ten minutes Nottingham to Sandiacre. The i4 is the two combined. Think the Barton 4 ran as the R4 until it and the R2 were merged into the 4 than into i4.

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