Well firstly I shall say I have been reliably informed that there is a Plymouth Citybus Dennis Dart out there, running around with the new logos applied to it. After a Mr Sheppard gave me the tip off I went hot on the heels of this mystery Dart, but unfortunately had no luck with finding it, so keep your eyes peeled for it in the near future!
Right well where to start. Plymouth chucked up some interesting workings today. Starting with FDC, no less than 3 Leyland Olympians were out and about today, these being K615, K616 and K619 LAE. As luck would have it, all three were in Bretonside at one point, and allowed me to get this photo of the trio basking in the winter sunlight! Warms the cockles to think these have survived all these years never separated!
That was about it from FDC, so onto Plymouth Citybus, there was a good mix of step entrance Darts out today, but no particularly interesting workings, other than L116 YOD escaping onto the 16 at one point. The rest were on the usual 46/47s and on the 152, so we won't dwell.
I bumped into Mike Hudson who was out on the 23/4s today around Mount Gould. Of course usually these are operated with Dennis Dart MPDs, which Mike originally had out, but as luck may have it, he was forced to have a bus change, and all that was left, was a Mercedes 709! I can't say I've seen a 709 on the Mount Gould runs any time recently, so was good to see N284 PDV out playing her trade. No one particularly struggled with the steps, and she gave a, should I say thrilling, ride on the 24. I must admit, Mike is a very skilled driver, and really enabled me to see what she can do in the hands of a decent driver! Great work!
And onto the last, but by no means least, in fact quite the opposite was amazing a Volvo B10M Citybus! Yes that's right, G615 OTV had miraculously escaped into service today. I haven't seen a Volvo out in service for a considerable amount of time, and to find her on a core service, used to Enviro 200s was quite a shock. Its true, she is a bit rough round the edges, and the passengers certainly seemed to make a point of that, but what a dream G615 is. I've never been on her until today, but this is a really really good example of a decent Citybus. Dare I say it, better than FDC's D-GHYs and E-BTAs. The gearbox made some lovely noises, and the engine still pulled really well. 34 is getting a bit of a reputation for regularly being 15 minutes late, I experience this first hand, but G615 managed to stay fairly close to the timetable, only running between 4 and 8 minutes late, when noted throughout the day. As silly as it sounds, though the physical movement of boarding the bus is longer, having the central pole separating the flow of passengers on and off the bus actually really speeds things up at busy points of the route. I shall leave you with the photos for now, but I shall get back with some videos of both Mike driving, and of the G reg in the near future.