Saturday 4 November 2023

Saturday Variety

Talking Of The Rail Bus

It is claimed to be cheap because it is "very" light and the track is not "heavy" so you don't need to dig deep and move a lot of cables and pipes. The video suggests opening between station, city centre and hospital in 2024.

Sorry guys - NO CHANCE!

The concept of 'Very Light Rail' (VLR) has been developed as a means of delivering a light rail system at a much lower cost and with much reduced construction times than traditional tramways or light rail systems. This will allow for such systems to be rolled out across smaller towns and cities so they can gain the benefits of a tram system at a considerably more affordable cost. The system had reportedly been engineered for compatibility with the existing West Midlands Metro mass transit network. It has been envisioned that services upon the network could be operated upon a 'turn up and go' frequency at a typical interval of every three to four minutes, rather than using a timetable.

Still wth a driver? Surely it should be autonomous?

fbb Consultancy Service Cracks A Problem.
An email from a chum (a chum of some repute in the bus industry, now retired, reached fbb a day or two ago.

"In Derbyshire and seeing a number of Go Coach, or something like that, double deckers at Chatsworth and in Chesterfield. Is this anything to do with the GoCoach outfit in Kent?"

fbb likes a challenge!

First attempt.
Just Go Holidays are based in Cheltenham, but there is no evidence of any double deck vehicles!

The problem with GoCoach (as its name suggests mainly a bus operator) is that their renown in for very smart but smaller vehicles ...
... although double decks have appeared from time to time. 
But what would they be doing in Derbyshire?

Then fbb had a burst of uncharacteristic genius. (Well it seemed a good idea.) Amazon have a huge depot on or near the Kent Fastrack busway. A while back they started a special service AZ running frequently (ludicrously so) mostly along the said busway.

Buses were bedecked in a black Amazon inspired livery.
Although you would never guess from the paint job, the contract was won by, tada, GoCoach! In the early days, until the Amazon blackness appeared, yellowness prevailed.
The route was a disaster as nobody used it, so it was soon withdrawn; leaving Go with stopped double deckers that were't a lot of use.

Now fbb's brain was working (rare) unusually fast (even rarer!). Is there an operator in the North Derbyshire area (Chatsworth, Chesterfield) that might need extra double decks.

Which operator has just taken over Stagecoach's route 80 between Chesterfield, Killamarsh and and Sheffield?

80/80a Chesterfield - Sheffield

The service will no longer be run by Stagecoach. Unfortunately low numbers of people using the bus but increasing costs to run the buses mean that the service is no longer able to cover its costs.

We have worked closely with Derbyshire County Council to find a solution that will keep the community connected. Hulley’s of Baslow will provide a partial replacement service 80/80a between Chesterfield and Crystal Peaks.

There has been trimming - it no longer runs past Crystal Peaks shopping centre ...
... but there's high frequency bus and tram from there into Sheffield. The Chesterfield o Crustal {eaks section is unchanged.
So Hulleys will need extra buses!

A search on-line reveals that fbb's thought processes are less wonky that usual. Here is a GoCoach bus working for Hulleys.
fbb does not know whether this is an ex Amazon bus - but it seems possible.

Identification solved and one happy retired bus manager can now sleep soundly in his bed; and so can fbb's enquiring chum!

Talking Of THE Rail Bus
Here it is grazing peacefully at Peterville Quarry station platform in a break from driver familiarisation work.
That ballast is really too clean! Spot the ancient Hornby Dublo buffer stop!

Seaton Weather
The whole of the Esplanade area was flooded, this being Marine Place the bus terminus.

£2 Flat Fare Publicity
You wonder how much of the £15 Transdev Yorkshire Coastlinet will get back from HMG - what's the betting it is not the whole £13?

No doubt the company is economising by using second hand left hand drive single deckers rather than the usual rolling stock.

Halloween Silliness
That's all of it course - but does this help or hinder the passenger?

Our Guest Settles Down

Down in Seaton, the mighty Seaton
The lion sleeps tonight
Down in Seaton, the mighty Seaton
The lion sleeps tonight

Wee heeheehee weeoh aweem away
Wee heeheehee weeoh aweem away

See th'intruder, far from welcome
The lion sleeps tonight
See th'intruder, far from welcome
The lion sleeps tonight

Wee heeheeheehee weeoh aweem away
Rrr, la la la weeoh aweem away

Poor Mr Tubbles; he'll eat your grubbles
Big Ginge sleeps tonight
Poor Mr Tubbles; he:ll eat your grubbles
Big Ginge sleeps tonight

Wah oh oh, wah oh oh, wah oh wimoweh
Weeheeheehee dee heeheeheehee weeoh aweem away
Weeheeheehee dee heeheeheehee weeoh aweem away

Islanders Return To Islanders

And here, a bit of history!
Happy aeronautical memories.

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 5th November 


  1. Hulleys have been using Go-Coach buses on and off for more than a year. It's nothing new.

  2. Hulleys 80 does not serve Beighton & Spital & Hady are now served by the 55, most go through to Holymoorside. On Sunday it runs to Bakewell