Sunday, 23 August 2015

Summer Fleet News

After the heritage update, here is some summer fleet news...
Ex-Cardiff Dart 147 (T147DAX) has been sent away for a replacement engine and from there will go for respray into Catch22 fleet colours. Sister buses 144/145 may possibly be getting all-over adverts, which is the reason they are still operating in their Select of Swansea livery of all-over white.
319 was expected to receive an all-over wrap for the summer but for expediency has received side panel adverts for the Pleasure Beach "Hot Ice" and "Christian Farla" shows.
Ex-Diamond bus Dart 657 (V657HEC) retains blue livery but is likely to be repainted upon return of 147.
Ex-Stagecoach Trident 51 (LX51FNJ) entered service with us on 4th August after a lengthy period of Mot preparation (delayed by having to separate engine/gearbox due to leaking main oil seal). It is likely to retain London red for the foreseeable future with a few corporate hires booked that require a modern London red bus. Indeed, look out for 51 in a forthcoming advert for a new Santander phone app!
After an absence whilst some work was done on the bus off-site, stalwart Volvo B10M 898 (R898XVM) has returned to service after passing its MoT. Due to DDA regulations, 898 will no longer be used on stage carriage operations after 31 December. Other forthcoming withdrawals may include dual door Darts 143 (T143AUA) and 512 (X512UAT).
Cream liveried ex-Cardiff Dart 319, now with side panel adverts for Pleasure Beach shows.

Trident 51 on service 22 at Bispham roundabout (Photo: Alan Robson)

Catch22 - Heritage Bus update

Well I am sure a lot of you have read various stories recently about our operation, but given that it is regarded as sub judice, I will not go any further into this, but will instead update readers with the interesting stuff!
On the heritage front, Ribble 1997 was refitted with its overhauled Gardner engine after a £3,500+ reconditioning and has finally returned to passenger service for the first time since withdrawn by First Western National back in 2002. We are using it on private hires and Zoo service 21.
Another recent addition to the hire fleet is Blackpool PD3 516 which has been absent in passenger use since it became a driver trainer bus in 1984. After removal of the training modifications, 516 was resprayed in the red/white Blackpool colours of the 1930s which was applied to sister buses 507 & 516. Again, the bus has joined our private hire operation but was used for the first time on Zoo service 21 on 19 August with its period style Tigerrific adverts.
Sadly, PD3 529 (on loan from LTT) sustained roof damage on a private hire early in August and is now stored awaiting repairs which will be undertaken during the winter. Routemaster RM1583 is also absent awaiting a new engine (its AEC unit failed and is beyond repair) whilst Ribble RE 366 has been away for attention to engine oil leaks but has now returned.
529 returning from the Zoo before it sustained roof damage which now awaits repairs. (All pictures Alan Robson)

Ribble 1997 leaves the Stanley Park on its way to the Zoo

516 heads to the Zoo showing its new Tigerrific adverts.