No, not Plymouth Citybus' stunning looking Volvo B7RLEs, I've already been beaten to that one! I may get round to doing a post on them if the mood takes me though. But no, today's new addition comes to us from Tamworth. A-Line Coaches has (finally!) received this fine looking ALX200 bodied Volvo B6LE, from, quite obviously, Stagecoach! R178 NPN was new though to a Hong Kong operator, but was shipped back over to the UK in 2000. From then on she worked in and around Portsmouth on the Portsmouth - Havant corridor before then being moved up to Northampton and Rugby to work for Midland Red in 2008.
The classic tell tale signs are there from her Hong Kong heritage including the large air conditioning pod, and the lovely plush coach seating which is thankfully, not leather, but proper cushioned fabric moquette! Don't get me wrong, a leather seat most certainly has a much better visual impact, as well as operational benefits, but give me a good fabric seat any day! The rest of the bus is indeed surprisingly tidy, and although the paintwork will need a bit of sprucing up to get her back into top form, its a very honest well looked after vehicle. Although of course the real test will come when she hits the road on the Liskeard journeys, doing a long 14 hour day through Cornish countryside. The fired right on the button though, with the engine sounding pretty healthy, so things certainly look set for a bright future as it stands. The bus is also quite momentous at A-Line in that its not only the first full size single decker the company has owned, but also that its the first low floor bus in the fleet. Both of the Varios can of course take wheelchair passengers anyway, but the low floor itself has of course got many more positive connotations along with the disabled access.