From Saturday 5 September, the services will be operated by luxury coaches. There'll also be some permanent changes to stopping arrangements in Newcastle and Peterlee from the same date. The services will terminate at the bus stop opposite St Andrew’s Church, near The Gate, rather than serving Eldon Square Bus Station.
Eldon Square bus station is glued onto a shopping centre of the same name, now itself rebranded as intu Eldon Square.
The new stop, with absolutely no facilities, appears to be on Newgate Street, layby on the left ...
... and a poor welcome to the great home of a certain "Brown" beer. But in another way, this "upgrade" isn't quite what it seems - certainly not at first.
The new "Inter-Deck" coaches ...
No, fbb wasn't sure either; but they have wide doors for wheelchair access and a low floor chunk inside the door then a staircase up to the main seating.
... won't be ready in time (GoAhead must be learning from the rail industry) so, for the time being, you will have what look suspiciously like National Express cast-offs adorned by a few sheets of sticky-backed plastic.
Might it not have been a good idea to delay the "launch" until the vessels were ready to slide gracefully down the slipway of GoAhead's P R machine.
Talking of which the company has been quick to point out that it has its first '70 plate (new registration numbers) on the road on the first day - viz 1st September.
The claim is that it was the first '70 plate "on the road" for any UK bus - unless anybody knows better.
Talking Of New Liveries
Courtney Coaches (now part of Reading Buses) have unveiled a new livery for their Wokingham network.
Formerly attired in boring Courtney generic brown and white ...
... Wokinghamians (if there is such a descriptor) will be able to enjoy a vivid orange.
What Is The Roof Made Of?
The trouble is that most pictures of water towers are taken from ground rather than drone level. So, even if the tank has a roof - and many don't - its hard to see its construction. fbb's Airfix/Dapol based model has a roof, but it just has moulded lines in the plastic.
They would represent very large sheets of something - but what?
fbb was not happy, so glued on some ribbed plastic sheet bought a few weeks ago for something - but what something the old man has forgotten. It seemed a good idea at the time.
There again ...
... the folks at Peterville Quarry Railway might well have splashed out on posh modern corrugated stuff.
fbb's tank still needs the corrugated construction equivalent of ridge tiles.
Notice something different? The original frail rail around the access hatch on the roof ...
... got itself busted whilst resting on the fbb workbench a k a dining table. O.K. Mr Clumsy set something on top of it; but it was always at risk in an exposed position on the model.
Replaced by something more substantial ...
... bits of landing banister from the unwanted interior of a no-longer-available R273. Waste not want not.
Deep Joy c/o Oxford Scientists
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