Monday, 9 July 2018

Considered Collection of Stuff (1)

It Seemed A Good Idea At The Time
A report from the First Bristol Staff Newsletter
Bath colleagues will have noticed that the number of hybrid buses on the P&R services has sharply reduced in recent weeks. This is because very expensive items such as battery packs and generator sets are in need of replacement at prohibitive costs.
We have therefore decided to re-engineer these buses from Euro V hybrid to Euro VI diesel, which involves adding a gearbox and a new engine. This is very major work and while we have the agreement of BANES to do this (it's their contract) we are awaiting sign-off by First UK Bus Division before we can commission the work-which will cost about £75,000 per bus.

Meanwhile we are using buses borrowed from Bristol to operate the P&R. 

fbb is informed by his technical correspondent that ALL early Hybrids suffer from the same problem - it was always going to be about the batteries. Presumably later models are OK?

Bristol Bridge Bash Bother Banished
Yesterday a comment writer worried that double deckers might not fit under the top girders of Ashton Avenue bridge.
They "lads" have tried it out and, thanks to that bit of "pavement" on the right, above, the buses should not bash the triangular gussets (trunion plates?).
The press headline ...
... suggests that there might have been a few scary moments!

fbb thinks "just weeks before" is a tad on the optimistic side!

Peterville Landslip Embarrassment
Readers will remember that fbb has been rebuilding his quarry rock face after it finally collapsed following the ravages of winter weather.

Well. chunks of it fell off!
Hey ho; mix some more concrete and try the mud pie treatment again - this time with a thicker layer of gloop. This time it seems to have stuck/set/gone off! Plus, it has had its first coat of paint.
Its a bit garish at the moment, but will improve with patched of "weeks", undergrowth at its base and, sooner or later some meteorological paint bashing.

The current question, however, is, "Will the repairs all be finished before the railway is closed down for the winter?"

At the present rate of progress, NO!

Livery Delivery
Recent press-launch photos from London North Eastern Railway (nationalised operator of the East Coast main line) show a stick-backed plastic job ...
... but one on-line joker has suggested a bit of nostalgia. How about apple green and teak?
With computers, you can mangle anything, so he offers:-
Perhaps not! Meanwhile, a few days ago in Newcastle upon Tyne, LNER had a bit of one of their new trains on show.
Note it also carried the "brand name" Azuma (A Zoomer?) which was, fbb understands, registered exclusively to Virgin East Coast. Will it remain?

Do "silly names" really encourage people to travel by train. Transpennine's entry into the nomenclature nonsense is "Nova 1", "Nove 2" and "Nova 3".
"Nova" means "new" - so after a few years will they be rebranded as "Olda"?

Eruption in Sheffield
fbb read with horror this headline from his former home city!
(There is a train in the film!)
But, panic not Sheffielders and emigré Sheffielders. It is just the on-line version of "The Star" evening paper getting excited about a recent feetball match.
If you need to fill the space, say everything twice ...
... and add a few exciting pictures.

Harry Maguire used to live in Mosborough. But to add to the potential excitement, look what the new mayor has promised.
What a good way of spending the city's money!

PTE Penance Re-(not)Print
The two potty timetable non-leaflets recently issued from PTE towers have now been corrected.

The X17 is shown as through buses ...
... but still with ludicrous globs of unnecessary empty space. The 65 now only has a Monday to Saturday service, without a repeat of the Saturday times.
No news yet of the expected extra journeys which are due to start in a fortnight.

But the problem with the PTE site is that there is no explanation when a "corrected" table occurs. So how does anyone know that the correction has been made?

More bits and pieces tomorrow.

 Next Considered Collection blog : Tuesday 10th July 


  1. As ever, FBB goes into sepia tinted Daily Fail mode.

    The reason why it's a good idea to spend the money on a party in Sheffield.... well, it keeps the rubbish (and mayhem) located in a single place so it's more cost effective. It's really quite a sensible thing to do!!

    As for hybrid technology, it is certainly a problem as things have evolved. Hence why EYMS (those corporate charlatans) went and converted their hybrids to diesel well over a year ago!

    Lastly, about Ashton Avenue bridge. The bridge is part of the guided busway section so the bus will not strike the gussets! However, it is the part of the guided busway as you approach the bridge where, when undertaking trials, the alignment is incorrect leading to grounding. The contractor is therefore undertaking remedial works and this was why that route is now to open in the autumn rather than being the first to operate as was planned.

    Furthermore, First have specified Scania e400mmc (rather than the ADL version used elsewhere in Bristol and Bath) because of the low height associated with that marque so they can use deckers on the bridge. This extends not just to metrobus vehicles as the Airport Flyer deckers were similarly chosen as they are likely to use the bridge to then access the South Bristol link road and head up the A38.

    1. No, the height of the Scania is not the reason for not selecting the ADL chassis. It's because only Volvo or Scania chassis can take the strains and forces of a guidewheel.

  2. Unsurprisingly, The Derbyshire CC website now includes a new 65 service from Stagecoach Chesterfield starting on 22 July which replaces most of the journeys withdrawn by High Peak - but Travel SY does not! Most of the journeys are supported by DCC, so presumably Stagecoach demanded less support than High Peak.