Friday, 27 May 2011
Going full circle
Around 4 years ago now, First's Plymouth fleet said goodbye to the last of the R-TLM batch of Marshall bodied Dennis Darts, as they headed off to to work in Swansea. Ironically, 4 years later, R162 TLM has marked the second coming of the R-TLMs with her arrival in the city. The '09' reg mini Enviro 200s are now at work in Swansea, in a new drive up there, presumably with new routes/route structure. So with these additions, the R-TLMs will be returning to Plymouth once again. Whether R162 itself ever worked in Plymouth, I don't know, but certainly several of her sister did once work across the city, so if anyone knows if she did once work in Plymouth, do leave a comment. I must admit, after having a trip on R162, she seems in a very good state of repair. The paintwork certainly was looking very fresh, and the dark blue interior was spotless. Of course the Marshall Darts are renowned for their bumps and rattles as you drive along, and I will admit, this one does follow the trend, as well as being slightly sluggish on the hills. But yet I do prefer it to the Enviro 200s just dispatched. This Dart was certainly quieter, and felt much more stable than the Enviro 200s did. The very short wheelbase meant they often rocked about quite a lot, so these are certainly somewhat smoother. Wales certainly seems to have treated the Dart well though. It certainly will be nice to see a bit more variety in Plymouth over the coming weeks. The sad departure though, is that of WK56 ABZ. This is the Ex-Truronian example of Enviro 200 represented in Plymouth, so its a shame to see yet another truly local bus, be lost to other fleets. Of course several Ex-Truronian Darts have now made it into First Hants and Dorset. ABZ certainly felt that bit more powerful than the 09 reg Darts did, and although it did contain the backbreaking 'Urban90' seats, she always managed to give a very pleasant ride, but I suppose thats the harsh reality of being part of a nation wide group!
Another addition to the fleet from Taunton is S528 UAK. It seems quite strange that we have been losing our S reg Darts to FHD, but yet now we gain an S reg Dart into the fleet, which is non matching? This particular transfer just seems to make very little sense! Apologies for the quality of this photo also. Someone had decided to scratch the back window of this B6!