Author Topic: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019  (Read 7120 times)

Offline chopper

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #90 on: April 07, 2019, 08:12:43 PM »
I believe that there is a low bridge in the Buckingham/Bicester area which precludes the use of double deckers through to Oxford. I stand to be corrected though.

Offline TCD813

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #91 on: April 07, 2019, 08:17:28 PM »
I believe that there is a low bridge in the Buckingham/Bicester area which precludes the use of double deckers through to Oxford. I stand to be corrected though.

I wouldn’t be standing if there’s a low bridge looming!
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Offline al_557

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #92 on: April 07, 2019, 10:56:36 PM »
I believe that there is a low bridge in the Buckingham/Bicester area which precludes the use of double deckers through to Oxford. I stand to be corrected though.

I have been on a few Volvo Olympians all the way to Oxford. Never an Enviro 400 though

Online Coast_Hopper

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #93 on: April 07, 2019, 11:05:14 PM »
I believe that there is a low bridge in the Buckingham/Bicester area which precludes the use of double deckers through to Oxford. I stand to be corrected though.

Yes its at Finmere just past Buckingham, its on the road towards Bicester,

The bridge in question is on the old Grand Central Railway, there is track laid in that area and used by enthusiasts, a few miles heading back to Buckingham the line is in use as far as Calvert for the London bin trains, there was at last time of looking 2 bin trains a.day

Below is the bridge in question at Finmere Station
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 11:07:27 PM by Coast_Hopper »

Offline al_557

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #94 on: April 08, 2019, 12:42:26 AM »
Yes its at Finmere just past Buckingham, its on the road towards Bicester,

The bridge in question is on the old Grand Central Railway, there is track laid in that area and used by enthusiasts, a few miles heading back to Buckingham the line is in use as far as Calvert for the London bin trains, there was at last time of looking 2 bin trains a.day

Below is the bridge in question at Finmere Station

15' 3" is plenty high enough for a decker to pass under. Especially as there's no high bridge deckers allocated to Bedford due to low bridges on some routes

Online Coast_Hopper

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #95 on: April 08, 2019, 12:55:46 AM »
Enviro 400 is 14m 1ft in height

Offline Julia_Hayward

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #96 on: April 08, 2019, 06:34:00 AM »
St Neots station bridge is 14'9", quite a bit lower than Finmere, and while it may seem alarmingly close to first-time passengers (well, it did to me the first time!) it clearly has no problem with deckers.

Offline tomfrombedford

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #97 on: April 08, 2019, 12:11:17 PM »
Is there any reason why the alx400’s aren’t used on the X5?

Offline Habbinman

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #98 on: April 08, 2019, 02:28:35 PM »
Is there any reason why the alx400’s aren’t used on the X5?
Because of their mileage range on a full diesel tank would be very limited ! Could only possibly schedule them for no more than 2 round trips !

Offline Habbinman

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #99 on: April 08, 2019, 02:38:34 PM »
Yes its at Finmere just past Buckingham, its on the road towards Bicester,

The bridge in question is on the old Grand Central Railway, there is track laid in that area and used by enthusiasts, a few miles heading back to Buckingham the line is in use as far as Calvert for the London bin trains, there was at last time of looking 2 bin trains a.day

Below is the bridge in question at Finmere Station
I've been under that bridge with both an Enviro 400 and an Elite I decker. The Elite I we borrowed from Megabus for gauging trials, but it wasn't favoured because of its seating arrangement, being unsuited to multi-stopping on X5 & with elderly people requiring more downstairs seating if they are only going 2 stops across St Neots etc Also, the luggage area is needed more as under-lockers on X5, with carrying bikes/shopping trolleys.

Offline Habbinman

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #100 on: April 08, 2019, 02:44:29 PM »
Can you provide any evidence to support that claim?

But, travelling around the Stagecoach Group, you need to ask the question "Why is it only Bedford who are having trouble with these Elites ??"  I haven't heard of any problems at other depots ?

Offline TCD813

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #101 on: April 08, 2019, 06:20:08 PM »
But, travelling around the Stagecoach Group, you need to ask the question "Why is it only Bedford who are having trouble with these Elites ??"  I haven't heard of any problems at other depots ?

Something on Michelle H's list?
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Offline al_557

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #102 on: April 08, 2019, 06:48:46 PM »
But, travelling around the Stagecoach Group, you need to ask the question "Why is it only Bedford who are having trouble with these Elites ??"  I haven't heard of any problems at other depots ?

I can't comment on other Stagecoach depots. The main issue Bedford have with the Elites seems to be the doors. It has to be said that the X5 between Bedford and Cambridge is more of a local bus service than an express service. So the doors would be opened and closed a lot more than if they were being used on Megabus services for example. Although the previous batch of Panthers (6 of which are still there) and the good old B10M's never had such issues.

Hopefully whatever modifications they're having at Volvo in Ely sorts them out. Then the Enviro 400's can go back on the 1 and 9 where they're supposed to be

Online Coast_Hopper

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #103 on: April 09, 2019, 12:15:23 PM »
Because of their mileage range on a full diesel tank would be very limited ! Could only possibly schedule them for no more than 2 round trips !

ALX400s can do more than a 2 hour round trip, used to travel from Kings Lynn to Spalding and thats 2 hours each way, never filled up at Spalding, neither did it fill up at Lynn when it returned

Online Coast_Hopper

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #104 on: April 09, 2019, 12:18:18 PM »
Am I right in thinking the route changed on the X5 didnt it used to go to Aylsbury before Oxford rather than Bicester

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #105 on: April 09, 2019, 02:18:32 PM »
I have been on a few Volvo Olympians all the way to Oxford. Never an Enviro 400 though

Same here, as those who read my piffle last year will note I mentioned having 16593 to Oxford and back in the snow on an X5. 14000 also did the 2140 Bedford to Oxford and back one Saturday night. I also had 16209, again in the snow, from MK station which arrived in from Oxford so no issues with any bridges. 19889 and 19890 were on the X5 to Cambridge earlier today.

Yesterday I missed winner 11126 out again on the 0832 50. 18424 was on the 53 and 18336, 18419 (rediscovered) and 18423 were on 1's.

Today I missed winner 11126 out again on the 0832 50. 18424 was on the 53 and 18336, 18419 and 18423 were on 1's.

It would appear I have become stuck in my Carnival of Monsters time loop again where everything is repeated over and over again.

Offline al_557

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #106 on: April 09, 2019, 07:07:58 PM »
Withdrawn Tridents 18109 (KX04RVL) and 18417 (AE06GZO) have now been towed away for scrap.
Withdrawn vehicles left at Bedford are Optare Solos 47354 (AE06TWN), 47435 (YN53SVV) and 47436 (YJ56AOL).
47354 is due to go to Ensignbus shortly. I believe 47435 and 47436 are still owned by Bedford borough council although I could be wrong. 47436 has been sitting in the same place for well over a year and has been heavily cannibalised for spares

Online Coast_Hopper

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #107 on: April 09, 2019, 11:20:37 PM »
I believe 47435 and 47436 are still owned by Bedford borough council although I could be wrong. 47436 has been sitting in the same place for well over a year and has been heavily cannibalised for spares

What happens if they dont rebuild it

Offline Habbinman

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #108 on: April 10, 2019, 08:06:30 PM »
Withdrawn Tridents 18109 (KX04RVL) and 18417 (AE06GZO) have now been towed away for scrap.
Withdrawn vehicles left at Bedford are Optare Solos 47354 (AE06TWN), 47435 (YN53SVV) and 47436 (YJ56AOL).
47354 is due to go to Ensignbus shortly. I believe 47435 and 47436 are still owned by Bedford borough council although I could be wrong. 47436 has been sitting in the same place for well over a year and has been heavily cannibalised for spares
The Withdrawn 47435-42 Solos at Bedford ARE still owned by Bedford CC. According to the latest Official Fleetlist, it says " Discussing with Council" Therefore, it's probably up to the Council to make a final decision on their fate ?

Offline Habbinman

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #109 on: April 10, 2019, 08:09:40 PM »
Am I right in thinking the route changed on the X5 didnt it used to go to Aylsbury before Oxford rather than Bicester
NO, the X5 has NEVER gone via Aylesbury.   The National Express service 747 used to go via Aylesbury, from Cambridge to Oxford & then onward to Bristol etc.

Offline Habbinman

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #110 on: April 10, 2019, 08:30:23 PM »
I can't comment on other Stagecoach depots. The main issue Bedford have with the Elites seems to be the doors. It has to be said that the X5 between Bedford and Cambridge is more of a local bus service than an express service. So the doors would be opened and closed a lot more than if they were being used on Megabus services for example. Although the previous batch of Panthers (6 of which are still there) and the good old B10M's never had such issues.

Hopefully whatever modifications they're having at Volvo in Ely sorts them out. Then the Enviro 400's can go back on the 1 and 9 where they're supposed to be
Any modifications the Elites are having at Volvo (Ely) will be for Engine/Chassis ONLY. Volvo's would NOT be doing anything to the front doors, as that would be ADL at Harlow or involve an ADL mobile engineer visiting Bedford.

The main trouble with Plug Doors, as on the Elite, & as I have said before, is that the closing/locking mechanism is very sensitive. If the vehicle is leaning into the gutter because of the road camber, the doors will not close correctly ! The vehicle MUST be almost completely level across the width of the front axle & the body upright !!. You see, as the door closes, it comes into the door aperture & then lifts to lock it. If the door does not close completely flush, when it then lifts, it doesn't engage the locking plates on the door frame. This can distort the natural curvature of the door, so it is out of alignment ! This then leads to the fact that if the door has not closed & locked correctly, that the gearbox goes into Disabled Mode, which the driver cannot override.  The only way to really overcome the problem, if the vehicle is leaning into the gutter, is for the driver to get out of his seat & physically guide & gently pull the door into position......it will then finally close, lift & lock...job done ! BUT, then have the drivers been trained about this ??? I bet not, as I've shown at least 3 or 4 how to overcome the problem, as I've ridden the X5, and they've sat there quite amazed how easy it is to solve !!

Offline Habbinman

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #111 on: April 10, 2019, 08:46:08 PM »
ALX400s can do more than a 2 hour round trip, used to travel from Kings Lynn to Spalding and thats 2 hours each way, never filled up at Spalding, neither did it fill up at Lynn when it returned
If you read it correctly, I mentioned TWO Round Trips (Not a 2 hour trip each way). The fuel tanks on ALX400s vary in capacity, with most being short range & very few long range. The X5 Cambridge to Oxford is on average a 3 hr 45 min journey each way, so Two round trips would be 15 hours !!  Therefore a Controller allocating an ALX400 to such a duty, would have to be very wary as to what the diesel tank capacity is, of any ALX400 he would possibly want to allocate ??

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #112 on: April 11, 2019, 02:21:07 PM »
Not only did I miss gold winner 11126 on the 1532 50 on Wednesday but also 11127 on the 1712 50. A third miss today was 11136 on the 0832 50 as work precludes me from being around at those times of day.

18336, 18419 and 18424 were all on 1's yesterday as I worked from home but typically no sign of any gold stuff when I checked the website when I could have done something about it.

This morning I had 18336 into town on the 0730 81 from Luton after it's long service on the 1 over the last week or so came to an end. 18419 and 18424 were still on the 1's but the route managed to rustle up three E400's this morning. Only 19705 was noted on an X5 whilst 18423 did the 0840 9B and 18108 was on the 0932 50.

Offline Julia_Hayward

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #113 on: April 14, 2019, 11:06:14 AM »
The E40D's don't do complete round trips on the X5, through journeys tend to involve a change of vehicle onto/off of an Elite, so that the E40Ds stay up at the Cambridge end of the route. No doubt fuel tank capacity is part of it, but I also understand the E40Ds are not compatible with Oxford's LEZ. Timekeeping also suffers more on the longer run down to Oxford as the E40Ds can't keep up with the schedule.

The doors have multiple problems - I often see drivers repeatedly hammering the door-open button to make the door respond; and in places where the road camber is bad or potholes are present, the door can get stuck on the ground. The lifts are even more sensitive to being lined up badly, but they don't seem to be used much. Still, not my problem any more now I'm a London commuter!

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #114 on: April 15, 2019, 01:48:58 PM »
At the end of last week I think I saw 37111 on the W7 but that might have been a figment of my imagination but 28632 wasn't on Friday. I am sure the poster at the station is advertising Wi-Fi and toilets on this service so a referral to the trade descriptions act might be in order. I went home on 19889 on the 1740 9B Friday and witnessed 15405 on the 1705 50. 15401 appeared on the 1810 50 apparently.

As if by magic 19889 was on the first 9B Saturday morning to take me into town and also repeating was 15401 on the 0832 50. The 0932 50 was even worse with 35179 which passed me inbound whilst I was on the Youngs Coaches van hooligan type tri-axle vehicle on the 0915 rail replacement to Wellingborough via Turvey with its massive load of two passengers. Yes, this year I remembered the Wellingborough bus event which I forgot about last year! Arrival at Wellingborough saw a another Youngs vehicle waiting to leave for Bedford.

I assume Youngs Coaches have off loaded their olys as winner K735 ODL unexpectedly produced all weekend in service at the museum running site still in Youngs livery but apparently now with Diamond Coaches. Also out all weekend was ex Bedford 14054 and on Sunday Lawsons ex Bedford 16232 did one trip. On my way to Welly on Sunday I only viewed one Bedford departure and that was 19891 on a 53. Why was I only expecting a single decker on a Sunday? Young's K3 YCC or whatever was the vehicle not of choice from the station.

This morning 19084 and 19108 were reported on 50's with 18419 and 18423 still working 1's, 18424 on 53's and my bus to work on the 6 was 18336 which has been spinning around all day so far on the route with 19705.


Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2019
« Reply #115 on: Yesterday at 01:49:29 PM »
Visitors to Bedford on Tuesday pm on the W7 were 37109, 37041, 22838 and 22841 in that order before 37109 made a second visit. Further visitors to Bedford on Wednesday 17 April were 39680 on the 0832 50, 39682 on the 0932 50, neither of which were any good to me and later in the day, 35177 on the 1705 50, 15402 on the 1810 50 and 28633 on the W7. My buses to get home were 18424 on the 6 and 18423 on the 9B.

Today 18104 did the 0832 50, 18424 was on 1's and 18423 arrived on an 81 and then joined 34421 and 37434 on 6's instead of doing the 0900 81.

The buses tracker seems to indicate a reduction of E400 usage this week as the other week there was an average of five on the Cambridge section.