Author Topic: FlixBus UK  (Read 7592 times)

Offline Barry

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Re: FlixBus UK
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2021, 12:18:09 AM »
Do they perhaps fit alongside other Whippet operated journeys?  They must have an awful lot of otherwise dead running between Cambs and London!

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: FlixBus UK
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2021, 07:25:45 PM »
I have been looking at the timings for the Flixbus Cambridge to London/London to Cambridge services and the following are shown:


Southbound
                                          NSSu  SSu       ThF   SSu         F       NF
Cambridge (Parkside)           0530  0600      0730 0800       1320 1330
Victoria Coach Station          0800  0800      1000 1000       1530 1530


Northbound
                                          M                     SSu NSSu        Daily         
Victoria Coach Station          1430                1700 1700       2130
Cambridge (Parkside)           1635                1900 1925      2320

M   Mondays only
SSu   Saturdays and Sundays only
NSSu   Not Saturdays and Sundays
ThF   Thursdays and Fridays only
F   Fridays only
NF   Not Fridays      

As HughT and Barry suggest, there is probably some interworking with other services.

The only trips that closely match seem to be the 1530 arrival in London from Cambridge matched with the 1700 departure back to Cambridge. The other timings would suggest links with other services. The somewhat isolated 1430 Mondays only northbound journey is perhaps a case in point.

There is an imbalance of journeys with three trips each day southbound and only two trips northbound (three on Mondays).  The two morning arrivals in London (0800 and 1000) and the late evening departure (2130) are really isolated from any other Cambridge service timings.


David 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2021, 07:30:11 PM by Spoddendale »
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Offline John Wakefield

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Re: FlixBus UK
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2021, 09:25:42 AM »
With such a limited time table, basically one journey out and back, I dont think National Express have anything to worry about.  People do need to travel at other times if the day, and frankly the train is still the best way to travel to London.

Offline Steves

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Re: FlixBus UK
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2021, 05:09:47 PM »
It's quite possible that Whippet operate to another destination from London before returning to Cambridge.  NX used to have those kind of diagrams to maximise the use of the vehicles and drivers. There used to be a Parks of Hamilton coach that worked a feeder service to and from Southend with the coach parked overnight in Southend.

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: FlixBus UK
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2021, 08:09:59 PM »
That’s right Steve. In fact there have over the years been quite a number fascinating workings by north of England and Scottish based NX contractors. After completing a ‘long haul’ from the north into London the vehicle then covers a ‘short haul’ from London to the south coast etc.

There have been some workings in the past that I was particularly fond of seeing and photographing on the A11 around Barton Mills.

During 1986 Cumberland Motor Services covered the 1730ish London-Swaffham service 097 with a vehicle that had worked down from Whitehaven during the main part of the day. The next day the coach did the 0730ish service from Swaffham to London followed by a mid-day service from London back to Whitehaven.

In 1993 the coach working the 1030 London-Lowestoft service 597 (arriving Lowestoft at 1435) which returned as the 1615 Lowestoft-London service (arriving Victoria at 2020) was worked by Express Travel Services of Perth. Sometimes the coaches carried the Caledonian Express livery which NX used for its Scottish services at the time). This working was sandwiched between overnight Scotland-London and London-Scotland runs. Later this London-Lowestoft-London working was assigned to Wessex of Bristol presumably between Bristol-London/London-Bristol runs. Ambassador Travel was the main contractor otherwise.

In 1989 another unusual Wessex working was the 0825 NX service 351 from Sheffield to Cambridge (arriving 1240). After a two hour break the coach and driver then worked the 1440 service 747 from to Bristol (arriving 2050). The previous day it had worked Bristol-Cambridge/ Cambridge-Sheffield on the same services.

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Online Elsworth Fox

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Re: FlixBus UK
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2021, 10:22:38 PM »
Talk of surprising vehicle workings took my mind back over 50 years.  At the time I was working for Southdown in the office that dealt with the company's express services.  One Monday morning I took a very aggrieved phone call from a man who said he was Midland Red's Coach Superintendent.  Midland Red was, at the time, a fellow BET company.  It seemed to me they thought themselves above other BET companies.  He told me he had seen a Southdown coach on hire to Allenways, "one of our competitors," that weekend.  I explained to him that the drivers on our Triumph naval weekend leave services from Portsmouth were encouraged to hire themselves out when away.  They earned something for themselves and something for the company.  If he wanted to them to stop working for other companies, he should offer to hire them for Midland Red.  For the rest of that summer, two Southdown coaches operated relief journeys on the Birmingham London service.  Speaking with drivers, I was told that one occasion they arrived back in Birmingham to find to find an inspector panicking because there was an overload on a South Wales service.  The two drivers volunteered to share the driving on one coach providing a relief as far as Cardiff.

Offline TCD813

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Re: FlixBus UK
« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2021, 10:56:41 AM »
Talk of surprising vehicle workings took my mind back over 50 years.  At the time I was working for Southdown in the office that dealt with the company's express services.  One Monday morning I took a very aggrieved phone call from a man who said he was Midland Red's Coach Superintendent.  Midland Red was, at the time, a fellow BET company.  It seemed to me they thought themselves above other BET companies.  He told me he had seen a Southdown coach on hire to Allenways, "one of our competitors," that weekend.  I explained to him that the drivers on our Triumph naval weekend leave services from Portsmouth were encouraged to hire themselves out when away.  They earned something for themselves and something for the company.  If he wanted to them to stop working for other companies, he should offer to hire them for Midland Red.  For the rest of that summer, two Southdown coaches operated relief journeys on the Birmingham London service.  Speaking with drivers, I was told that one occasion they arrived back in Birmingham to find to find an inspector panicking because there was an overload on a South Wales service.  The two drivers volunteered to share the driving on one coach providing a relief as far as Cardiff.

At that time, I would have been living in Fareham and recall that there was an interchange for the outbound Triumph naval weekend leave services, in Harrison Road, Fareham, at the back of Price's Grammar School playing fields.

On Friday late afternoon/early evening, Southdown coaches would arrive from Pompey, Gosport and 'stone frigates' (land bases) such as HMS Collingwood. Sailors would swap coaches for their final destination. When all transfers were completed, a stream of coaches would roar off around the right-hand bend of Harrison Road, sharp left into Serpentine Road, up the hill and bearing left before turning right into Park Lane, then onward to their destinations. On more than one occasion a coach would miss the gentle left at the top of Serpentine Road and, shortly thereafter, come to a screeching halt in the cul-de-sac of Mead Way.

I assume there must have been a similar interchange point for return services on a Sunday evening, but where this was I never knew.
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Online Elsworth Fox

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Re: FlixBus UK
« Reply #37 on: October 02, 2021, 11:20:16 AM »
At that time, I would have been living in Fareham and recall that there was an interchange for the outbound Triumph naval weekend leave services, in Harrison Road, Fareham, at the back of Price's Grammar School playing fields.

On Friday late afternoon/early evening, Southdown coaches would arrive from Pompey, Gosport and 'stone frigates' (land bases) such as HMS Collingwood. Sailors would swap coaches for their final destination. When all transfers were completed, a stream of coaches would roar off around the right-hand bend of Harrison Road, sharp left into Serpentine Road, up the hill and bearing left before turning right into Park Lane, then onward to their destinations. On more than one occasion a coach would miss the gentle left at the top of Serpentine Road and, shortly thereafter, come to a screeching halt in the cul-de-sac of Mead Way.

I assume there must have been a similar interchange point for return services on a Sunday evening, but where this was I never knew.

Before my time in the Express Services office, I had spent a year at Portsmouth. During that time I had conversations with drivers on the Triumph express services and I never heard any talk of a similar arrangement on the return journeys.  In fact it would have been very difficult to arrange with coaches coming back on five main routes; Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Plymouth.  What did happen was that the coaches on one of the routes would get together even though they might have different starting points.  For example, the Liverpool route would have the regular driver starting from there, one from Manchester, possibly one from Newcastle under Lyme and at least two from Birmingham. I think the drivers would sort out their passengers so that each would have the least number of 'ships' to drop off.

I was told that frequently the sailors were often amenable because they were the worse for the odd drink or several.  There was one occasion when a coach returning from Leeds had its rear run into into Northampton, crushing the back seat.  Fearing the worst, the driver went to the back knowing that a sailor had been sitting on it.  It turned out he had been stretched out, asleep.  The collision had rolled him off onto the floor.  He got up, a little bit groggy, sat down again and promptly went back to sleep.

There were other events that even given the length of time mean that the participants are probably no longer with us, perhaps should not be put in print.

Edit: removed inadvertent double-quote
« Last Edit: October 02, 2021, 04:43:06 PM by TCD813 »