Saturday, 14 July 2018

Remaining Rainbow Revised (4)

The Remaining Rainbow AT LAST
A few omnibological eyebrows were raised when Trent (possibly then still branding Barton separately) announced the new Rainbow 1.

Following in the wheeltreads of Notts and Derby trams, trolleybi and bus route A1, the first (?) of the new-look multicoloured rainbow Rainbows was to run between Nottingham and Eastwood then split with one branch following history and going to Ripley; whilst the other branch would run to Alfreton.

BOTH would be called "Rainbow 1". Traditionalist bus watchers were aghast. How could two patently different routes be called the same thing? No good would ever come of it. The Ravens would leave the Tower of London and Trent's bosses would have egg on their corporate faces.

But that's what they did.

In a vague and haltingly unreliable memory, fbb thinks that one half was branded Rainbow 1 Blue (with blue destination blinds) and the other half was Rainbow 1 Red. Or is that a sad rambling of the old man's easily confused mind?

The recent Rainbow 1 has three, possibly FOUR variants!
The original is via Heanor, then the Alfreton leg has two routes.

In 2011 a further option appeared with one bus an hour running non stop from just beyond Heanor. It was dubbed the "Rapid One" - because it was a lot faster, see. Here's how Derbyshire show the timetables. Firstly the one one (actually two ones) that runs from Alfreton ...
... and secondly the other one, actually the other two ones, that run from Ripley.
Notice, however, that the County includes the rapid one (called the Rapid One) in the main Ripley one timetable.

Obviously easy peasy if you are travelling Nottingham-wards; and OK for the return provided that you get the times right and look VERY carefully at the destination display, you should be all right.
Remember; they are all the same "One", they are the last remaining Rainbow one, but they all go to different places.

The Derbyshire timetable layout does not recognise the not-quite every ten minute frequency from Eastwood; the "not quite" being the gap created when the Rapid One does not stop between Langley Mill and the City, thus leaving a twenty minute hole in the frequency.

But, from 22nd July, there is a change.
The missing one (the Rainbow one which had turned into the Rapid One) has gone from the timetable and been replaced with a "normal" stopping journey - the ten minute frequency from Eastwood no longer has an annoying gap.

Derbyshire now shows the one that has been removed as a separate table.
It would be difficult to include it as it leaves 5 minutes after the xx15 stopper and arrives in Nottingham 18 minutes before the ordinary one.

How does Trent communicate all this? Sensibly it shows three separate tables for the three ones ...
... which does make you wonder whether using the same route number is a sensible idea.

The Rapid One is a completely separate one.

But the Trent magic begins to evaporate a little. Here is the graphic on the web site:-

It shows a puce paint job. But here is one of the latest buses ...
... palpably not particularly puce, perchance? Even fbb's deteriorating visual acuity can see that! But there is worse.
Hourly to 11pm (that's 2300 in real money) it most certainly isn't.

And one little niggle which always irritates your corpulent correspondent:-
What does the above mean? It SHOULD mean that there is a one bus at 1715, followed by another one at 1725. But fbb reckons that it doesn't mean that. "Repeat patterns" should always confirm the end of the repeat, here a bus at 1615, THEN one at 1725, to avoid ambiguity.

It is a pity that these bludners detract from an otherwise excellently publicised network. Operators some 35 miles to the north could learn a lot.

They won't but they could.

As usual, regular users will soon get used to the mysteries of Trentbarton branding - but one does one-der whether these four ones are one step too far.

Please note : at short notice fbb is off to Sheffield today and back tomorrow - visiting lorry driving Dave (remember him?) in Sheffield. A report on the journey may appear in Monday's blog. Dave has been suffering from a long period of hospitalised ill health and a visit is long overdue.

Tomorrow's and Monday's blogs may be somewhat abbreviated as fbb copes with a sudden change of plan and the utter tedium of long journeys in a CrossCountry Voyager!

 Sunday Snippets blog : Sunday 15th July 


  1. The Versas may be newer, but they are *not* the current buses on the Rapid One, which are indeed the Uno-looking pink and blue Wrights bodied Volvos. But yes, the claim of hourly to 11pm is indeed being economic with the actuality.

  2. Mitch in Notts14 July 2018 at 11:30

    Oh dear.
    I live on what is now the Rainbow 1 route and have for 32 years. Pre-deregulation it was the 231,332,333 giving a 13/17 minute frequency Nottingham to Eastwood then half hourly to Ripley and the two separate routes to Alfreton.
    In October 1986 the 231 received an extra half hourly bus to Heanor giving a 10minute frequency to Eastwood from Nottingham - this extra bus eventually diverted to serve the new Giltbrook Farm Estate when the roads were completed.
    When the Rainbows were launched the 332/3 became the R12 & R13. The Ripley 231s the R11 and the Giltbrook Farm 231s the R10. This maintained the 10 minute frequency under one set of numbers.
    They then mucked around with buses through Nuthall with daytime R11s running via the Village Bypass but the Evening & Sunday via the Village. The R10/12/13 continued to serve the village.
    The launch of the Rainbow 1 saw the Giltbrook Farm diversion removed and the addition of under the driver display boards so Nuthall residents knew which way the bus went.
    Finally the introduction of the Rapid One in 2011 DID NOT see a 20minute gap in the Eastwood service - there has NEVER been a 20minute gap -simply an hourly Nottingham to Eastwood bus runs short. At the same time all journeys were reinstated to Nuthall avoiding the need for the under the driver boards much to their relief.
    You managed to loose the 10minute frequency as you only looked at the Derbyshire Publication. As I tried repeatedly to explain to you in the days of the GBBTT Derbyshire DO NOT show journeys that run wholly within Nottinghamshire in their timetables. Peter WHITE go back to school!