Sunday 30 December 2007

MPD seen on 34

Dennis Dart MPD 205 saw a rare running on the 34 on Saturday. The MPDs are most often used on the 45. And while we are on teh subject on the 34 the 34B will from Tuesday be run by First Devon and Cornwall where Varios are thought to be used for all the new services that First have taken over with the retendering of the Plymouth Citybus routes.

Northern back on service

Northern Belle returned to service last week following this years refit. She was moored from Voyager for a few days to let the wood swell up before being put into open water as she does leak very badly. Nothing major has been done mostly a genral tidy up and repaint and a few replaced bits here and there. And what was good news to here was that they kept the original name "Armadilo" engraved on the stern so can now be seen. July will see her 82nd birthday.

Wednesday 26 December 2007

Attack at Tavistock

On Friday 21st a 49 year old cleaner at Tavistock bus depot was attacked by robbers. The incident happened at 23:30 when the robbers came into the depot and then started hitting him using an iron bar and shouting at him "Where are the keys and the safe?". And man was unable to for fill this as he did not have the keys to the safe. He was then tied up and was left while they broke into the cabin and office at the depot. The man suffered injuries feet and hands from the tying up and injuries to his stomach from the iron bar. The police are appealing for witnesses.

Friday 21 December 2007

C417 HJN off on her travels again

C417 HJN was off on her travels again on Thursday again. She was spotted opperating the Park and ride duties a couple of weeks back and again in Plymouth last week. On Thursday she was seen opperating the 5 to the Railway Station and the 6 to Elburton. And being I think I'm right in saying the only bus that was probably running in Plymouth with a gear stick she was not driven very well by the Plymouth drivers. She has now returned to Torpoint seen today running 81 and Cremyll school duties.

Sunday 16 December 2007

On the buses

Well what was just an innocent 20 minutes shopping with Mum in the village to Millbrook turned out to be 7 hours onboard Derrick Cuff’s bus.

It started out at 13:19 in Millbrook where I was just getting the camera out to take a picture of the bus but he pulled away. So then we went to Cawsand to get a picture of the bus in Cawsand but who was driving but Derrick Cuff. So I flagged the 32759 down and jumped aboard the bus. “A Child first Day Plymouth Plus” I said to him. “Oh so you’ve been missing me then have you.” And well I had to reply yes. So I asked him where he’s been for his 3 weeks. And he replied that he’d been on his Honeymoon in Gambia. He said that he was hoping to see just a few old bangers or really rare buses but there was absolutely nothing. So we went off on the route talking about things. Then what cropped up (which also has its own article) was that the new Olympians that were coming to Torpoint to replace our Varios are now not going to come here and will be going to Callington which is a real shame because we were all looking forward to getting them but well can’t do anything about that. I just hope that doesn’t mean he will be returning back to Callington just so he can drive them but I know I would. STOP PRESS: This is not true they are still coming to Torpoint. So we went on to Torpoint where we waited there for 30 minutes while I had a look round the depot and Derrick was having a brake. It was then back on the bus this time on the 81 into Plymouth sadly the Dart was the bus that turned up. So I reluctantly boarded 40002 and we were off. Nothing much cropped up except his fascination with his phone. He was talking about all the different T.V programs that he watches when he’s on the ferry or running early etc. We got to Bretonside at 14:58 dead on time and went and parked the Dart up and I went to take a few pictures until going out on the 1523 81C. While there Gerald turned up with 34813. We had a chat with him and he asks Derrick “So how’s married life then” Then Nick turns up and says “You asked that yesterday” Gerald says “Well it can’t be very good because he hasn’t said anything about it” “And he’s on the half past one tonight. And we all laughed. Then Gerald starting going on about “So why do people like you do bus spotting?” So then Derrick started going on about “You know the other day I showed you those pictures of the depot back in the 60’s” “Well that’s why we do it to remember times like that” So then we left and went on all the way back to Cremyll where we met Chris who was on his ½ hour brake before the last ferry. Had a chat with him for a while and a play with the bus blinds until it was time to get going back to Cawsand. And on the way back who did we meet but Luke Farley. Who came on to go to go to Cawsand who started bringing up how much he like the bus we were on however much we hate it. Well a very good afternoon and all that for just £2.60. “Cheaper than you think with a First Day Ticket”

The Paxman Valenta farewell

So here we are. 31 years on from when the first two Class 43s 43002 and 43003 first set off as there number of 253001.

The train was developed in the early 70s as there would soon be high demand for a new faster locomotive. The train needed to be cheap, reliable, comfortable and fast. For this they came up with the prototype class 41. The train used the brand new Paxman Valenta engine able to develop 2,250 hp. The train used all the latest technology and was aero dynamically shaped and could be driven at both ends to make shunting easier. The two prototypes emerged as 41001 and 41002. The ends did trials on the Eastern Region and Western region lines but the trains were withdrawn shortly after. But they put in a bid for a similar design which would run on all the high speed lines in the UK. So then after the Class 43 Intercity 125 was born. The trains were built from 1976 to 1982 numbered 43002-43198. Maximum speed before the train was 100mph. But because of the 125’s rapid acceleration and deceleration this was therefore increased to 125mph. This slashed journey times across the country and a top speed of 148mph means that the train still holds the record today. The southwest got the third batch of trains.
The trains were set out in a 2+8 format. 2 being the power cars and 8 the carriages. First Great Western was by far the largest buyer of the train with 117 operating last November. During the early 90s most of the fleet received newer versions of the Paxman engine in a bid to reduce emissions and fuel costs for the trains though the engine proved fairly unreliable and did not prove to be much more efficient that the older engine therefore this project was scrapped. And so the date of December 1st 2007 came round on the calendar. This would mark the day of the last ever running of the Paxman Valenta engined Class 43 Intercity 125 31 years on from when they first started. Many many enthusiasts came to witness the final running of them. The train many us have grown up with would have a set farewell tour of the Western Region railway.

At 0640, renumbered 253001 which was the prototype number 43002 and 43003 departed Exeter for London Paddington. At 1005 she would become the London Paddington to Exeter. Then onto the 1300 to depart Exeter for the last time to Paddington. Then after the 1600 Paddington to Bristol. She then left Bristol for the last time at 1830 to head back up to Paddington. And then for her last time she left Paddington for Swansea. She came into Swansea dead on time. There after final tributes were made to the most successful HST ever made now to be replaced by the horrible sounding MTU which by I would say all enthusiasts views not even a shadow on the Valenta. And so we leave the station to where they first set off 31 years ago. Will it ever be the same again? The triumph of 20th Centaury engineering comes to a close. The Paxman Valenta. Serving us from 1976-2007. R.I.P

Monday 26 November 2007

First sailing for Bretagne

Sunday 26th saw the first reported sailing of the Bretagne the old flagship ferry of Brittany Ferries. The boat has now replaced Pont Avon on her sailings between Plymouth and Santander while Pont Avon goes on for her refit. The boat will also run at times in tandem with Pont L’Abbe until Pont Avon’s return early next year.
Should read 'Aven'
Sorry Farley

VDV 142S

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. I've been very busy with other things at the moment.

The 17th November 2007 saw two boys life long dreams came to life with the chance to drive ex-Devon General/First Open top Bristol VRT VDV 142S. She was also in her lifetime in service known as Lawrence of Arabia, 39942 and 942 when with Devon General. She was built in 1978 and acquired by the Western National Omnibus company until 1983 where she passed into the hands of Southern National who renamed her Lawrence of Arabia as were all other open top VRTs. In 2001 she was bought by First Hampshire and Dorset and was used in Weymouth as the Harbour Sights open top tour bus until 2006. She was then brought into preservation by Terry Partridge. The bus uses the Standard Gardener 6LXB engine and can carry 76 passengers. Being an open topper she is slightly lower and wider than the standard VR at 13foot high and 9foot wide. If I am correct she is chassis number 22429 from a batch of 8 bought at the time. So on the Saturday Terry invited myself and Jon Harris up to a disused airfield at Winkleigh to come and have a go of driving our dream of a Bristol VR. At first we didn’t believe what he had said. Us driving a 9 ton Bristol VRT! Well he was serious and so we went up there me with him from Saltash as he is a local man and Jon by himself. We reached Winkleigh around 11:15 and we had a look around the more restricted areas of the site before going up to start the beast that Is VDV 142S. She roared into life first time and we gave her a few minutes to build up air pressure in the all important brakes don’t want them failing. As soon as the pressure was above 80 Terry set her off and showed us the course we would do and abut the controls of the bus where to watch out on the course and so on. Then it was our turn. Jon went first around the course very gingerly first In order to just get used to the VR. When I got in I was actually very surprised how easy the bus was to drive, the steering was a lot lighter than I expected and the gearbox was very easy to operate. A very good bus to drive and I now really appreciate why this iconic bus was loved so much by so many people. We drove round and round up and down in and out the whole 3 hours we were there we didn’t stop and the VR stayed loyal to us the whole time not one mishap. What a bus. Now I just need my own.

Sunday 11 November 2007

First takeover of Plymouth Citybus Routes

Sorry I haven't posted for a while I have been busy.

Recently First Devon and Cornwall has won the bid to take over all the retendered routes from Plymouth Citybus that have been given away. First Devon and Cornwall were only going to get a few the rest to Target Travel but they are all now going to First Devon and Cornwall. These routes will be 10, 13, 18, 30, 34B(not 34) 38, 44B (not 44) and 46B (not 46). If any of these apply to you please consult me for more information on the changes that will be taking place on your local route. The changes to your timetables and route operator will be taking place on Sunday 30th December this year just in time for the new year though there will Sunday operation the next day then no operation the next and then Sunday operation the day after that. These changes will be permanent and not short term as Plymouth City Council is currently trying to cut back on costs related to Plymouth Citybus therefore retendeing them seemed the best option for them to do. The timetables will be revised so if these routes apply to you please check the First Devon and Cornwall website which is The new timetables will be published in the near future there under the section “New Timetables”. The changes will also mean that the fairs will increase and certain passengers will no longer be able to buy return journeys for the routes as they could be operated by different companies at different times.

Monday 5 November 2007

A message from the Transport Week

A message from the editor of Transport Week:

"Here at the Transport Week, we have received numerous complaints about our magazine. Unfortunately, it is not actually our magazine. 'PTOTPA', or 'Cor-Dev' as it is known as now, bears a remarkable similarity to Transport Week. I would like to take this opportunity to advise all readers that it is not the same magazine. We retain strict editorial independence. For all your up to date transport news, go to Any opinions, articles, or photographs featured in 'COR-DEV', are not the responsibility of the Transport Week in any way, so any copyright issues reside with 'COR-DEV' (leave a comment at this blog, if need be).

Subscriptions to the Transport Week, are available by emailing me. Please see our blog for further announcements.

Many Thanks,

Luke Farley

Friday 2 November 2007

34812 leaving Cremyll

Taken this moring is Leyland Olympian 34812 on the school holiday only 81C 07:59 service to Derriford driven by Karl this moring. Plenty of time to talk to him and take some pictures when the bus arrives with a 30 minuite gap until the Cremyll Ferry departs.

Troubles on the 83

Lately with the timetable change and improved frequency of the 83 has been causing major confusion for the commuters of the route. On Tuesday the driver had on the blind 83 but then changed to an 86 therefore went towards the railway station meaning commuters to Devonport had to walk from the railway station mainly to Devonport High School For Boys as that was the popular school route. This also means 86 goes into Derriford "An uneeded journey" says Danial Chalinor as no body got off or on. He says that this should be left to travelers on the 83 not the 86. Then on Wednesday the bus did not arrive to pick the boys up until 5:30 some 30 minuites late meaning some very un happy pupils and parents. They say with all this new rebranding and more frequent buses has acctually made the route less reliable.

Monday 29 October 2007

New timetable swings into action

Good picture today of the first day of week service on the new timetables A-line and first pictures in Cremyll. Yesterday the new All Cornwall bus timetables were released and the timetables I am happy to report are now a lot better. The connections with the ferry is even better than the times that 81B and 80B used to do and are at much more convenient times with better links with the ferry. For example my buses the old 0830 and 1615 which I couldn't get becomes 0827 and 1633. This will mean 30mins wait in the morning for the ferry but much better links in the afternoon and throughout the day where buses leave Cremyll at --56/57 minutes past. This means very good connections for both ways of traffic. But this does mean that again A-Line Travel are being forced into competition with First as they both run the afternoon bus at very near the same time. A-Line Travel leave first ahead of First at 1630 and First last at 1633. This will mean that most of the traffic going to Millbrook will use First and Cawsand traffic which will most likely just be me will use A-Line. This will mean the same battle as many years age but companies leaving at the same time. This therefore again could mean that A-Line could be forced out of the equation once again. Though some people may still choose A-Line because A-Line is near a pound cheaper than First are. And if Jim drives fast he could still likely beat First by driving fast which Jim doesn't really like doing but he could likely beat first still. Especially as First are using the Olympians on that route. I'll give you the results to see how the timetable is going as soon as a get news from the drivers.

Northern goes in for refit

Sorry I haven't psted for a few days been busy with other things.

Northern Belle was taken out of service at Lunch time today marking the start of operation for Tamar Belle on the Cremyll-Plymouth route. The Northern will now go in for refit at Voyager Boat yard and undergo her yearly refit including painting and maintenance. This will continue until the Spring of next year. But for now Tamar Belle will ride the waves. And rock too.

Wednesday 24 October 2007

Major Shortages at Torpoint

Over the past two days there have been major bus shortages at Torpoint because of so many buses braking down. There has been three Tridents out of action but today returned to 2 out of operation. Just one Leyland was working this afternoon after 34813 had a breakdown at Tregantelle Fort yesterday meaning she was out of action today and today 34809 broke down in Antony. The dart has not been sighed by me the whole time no I don't know weather she is in service or not. This meant that there was only the Volvo Olympian usually the least reliable, three Tridents, two Leyland Olympians and what turned out to be the workhorse of the day five Mercedes Varios. As I have called it the Vario revival. The three Tamar Link Varios were operating along with two Marchall Varios from Plymouth here to cover from the breakdowns. This could continue throughout the week until it gets fixed. But the Varios have been running to full capacity and many people have had to be refused to get on by the drivers as they just didn't have any more room. The picture above shows the crowding on 50306 on 81C in Torpoint going towards Plymouth. I've said it before and I'll say it again. They should have kept the VRs.

Monday 22 October 2007

Another pink for Plymouth

The first of the Newly branded Tavylinx buses has been finished. This bus has been down here for a while and is fleet number 40570 YJ51 PZZ. Again the route branding for the bus has been done into Pink and Purple nearly the same shade as is seen with Tamr Link but is done in a different pattern. The photo linked at the bottom was taken by Derrivk Cuff yesterday. The bus will hopefully go into service the start of next week though could be earlier.

Sunday 21 October 2007

Torquay 100th Aniversary

Today was the 100th Aniversary of public Transport in Torquay. I will bring you the full story tommorow but the bus above was particully interesting. The bus above is a Stagecoach Dennis Trident T653 KPU. The bus has been re-painted and re-upholstered into an old Devon Genaral livery just for the occation. It was done very nicely and I congratulate Stagecoach a lot on there work on this bus. I really am getting to value Stagecoach a lot more and nearly more than First. Because of costomer service, quality of the fleets and there secdual which they acctually keep to.

Friday 19 October 2007


First Devon and Cornwall route 83 and 84 are very well used routes operating a service between Bretonside bus station and Tavistock. Well last week First Devon and Cornwall Managing director Marc Reedy says we will be getting seven 51 reg (2001) Volvo B6BLE’s (pictures on the cover coming) down here from York and will be painted into a new branded livery expected to be much the same as Tamar Link and Mayflower Link in design instead of the now phased out colour routes e.g. blue 7. This livery will be branded as Tavylinx which will be applied to the newer seven buses. To come with this the frequency will be increased from the current 20minuite gap down to every 15 minutes. STOP PRESS: The buses should be fleet numbered 40580-40586. These should be an all over livery and not just vinyls. And was also heard 40570 is already down here and may have been rebranded?

Pacers hit our branchlines

Class 143 and 142 pacers were thought to have left the rails forever after they were phased out in the late 80s after so many complaints and unreliability. Well they have returned to haunt our branch lines. These trains are fitted out very nearly the same as Leyland National buses with in some cases the same seats, engine, doors windows, fittings bacicly everything except the wheels even though these have a revised bodywork to make then look less bus like. Though they are worse to ride on that the actual buses themselves. Oh well. I say enjoy them before they brake down. Picture of a Pacer link below:

Thursday 11 October 2007

Sprosed up ex

News on ex-Torpoint Leyland Olympian now serving in her last years down in Penzance has been spruced up again. Only about two years ago she was re-painted and cleaned out when she came down to serve in Torpoint. Well she was had another re-paint but sadly looks the same as all the other Olympians as the depot down there haven't bothered to paint her grill like they did in Plymouth. I think you'll agree it doesn't look as good as when the grill was white. And they have given the interior a general clean up and is looking fine in her last days of service. Well at least I presume that theses are her last years. Same with all the Olympians. Problem is what they will replace them with when it does happen. There are plenty of disused step entrance Darts and Varios but they do need some double deackers. Who knows. They might just have to keep them going. Should have kept the VRs aswell.

Link below is to A167 VFM in Marazion in spruced up condition:

Tuesday 9 October 2007

Marshall Vario helps out at Torpoint

Sorry for the lack of updates I have had problems with the camera uploading.

Saturday saw Marshall Bodied Mercedes Vario 52596 taken to Torpoint to help out on 181 dutyies. But I came into Plymouth at about 10:50 we passed the depot and was sitting there and on the return journey on the 2:30 from Plymouth it was still there. No need for it really.

Monday 1 October 2007

Branding for A-Line

A-Line Travels Mercedes 709 has received her first branding for about ten years since she changed hands to Brigg's coaches. This was done in the form of local solicitor Richard Harris which also was done on the sidea of the old Ivecos (J234 KDL and J238 KDL) which I will pick up on as soon as I find out more on there current position. Anyway as you can see the branding really does make it look like a proper bus again not the coach its been for so long. Looking very smart. And was proposed another Mercedes 709 could be bought in the very near future because of the unrelibility of M152 LPL. More on this also to come.

Friday 28 September 2007

Millbrook school bus blunder

This week the children of Millbrook have been treated with having on most occations a Leyland Olympian for there school bus becasue of Trident shortage because of broken down 32756. Therefore on Wednesday Leyland Olympian 34812 was roped in to do the run. This meant as she has slightly less capasity she had a full load on her. Probebly for the first time in her life. They were going up Hounster Hill away from Millbrook but without a run up because of heavy traffic at that time of the morning. The driver floored her up the hill but near the top she stalled and ran out of power. This meant at least 40 of the pupils had to get off and walk the rest of the hill in the pouring rain and let the bus kreep up the hill. Not a good start for there day I think you'll agree.

Thursday 27 September 2007

Cremyll plans

Sorry its taken me a while to do this but here we go.

On Saturday the exhibision in St Andrews church unvailed the new plans and drawings on the new buildings and redevelopment in Cremyll. Pictures that will be above but the downloader isn't working. They show the new extension added on which wil contain new deisabled toilets, a new waiting room the demolishing of the old porta cabin whih has been there for 20 years, the refurbishment of the old barn shed thing on the other side of the road, making the current turnstiles into an Ice-Cream parlour replacing the kiosk down there, realtime information system which I think isn't really needed and the other obvious one is there won't be any railings anymore leaving it open plan with not as much security. Pictures will explain all when they come.

Work will commence likely sometime in November and is due to be completed by the Summer. We look forward to this. PTOTPA will keep you informed of the happenings as they unfold.

Tuesday 25 September 2007

Another brakedown at A-Line

Sorry its a short post again. I am quite busy at the moment.

Today A-Line travels "Unfaithful" Mercedes 709 broke down again today. This happened somewhere along the route 270 on the return journey from Trago Mills. Ths therefore meant on the 4:30 service we got the coach pictured above. It was a lot nicer than the 709 but what do you expect. Got us home in record time aswell. A lot nicer to be on and a lot faster even on a country route which the 709 is suited to.
Didn't know how to turn the picture round. Sorry.

Sunday 23 September 2007

Spot the difference

Sorry its not a very good post today but I will get back on to some more interesting ones tommorow.

Pictures below are Derrick Cuff having a bit od fun in Cremyll yesterday.

Can you spot the difference?

Thursday 20 September 2007

Cremyll ferry exhibision

Saturday the 22nd September holds a exhibition Entitled Stonehouse views and Cremyll Quay. This will include pictures of the ferry, achieve footage, historical information, old maps of the area, and genral history.

This is being held by a local historian who will give guided walks of Cremll Quay and Mount Edgcumbe Gardens aswell as the new development plans for the bulidings in Cremyll quay such as replaceing the porta cabin and renewing the tol gates ect.

The event is being held at St Paul's Church in Durnford Street on Saturday between 10:30 and 16:00.

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday 19 September 2007

A-Line replacement bus

I would have published this on Friday but as I said I have been away from Friday to Sunday adn didn't have time yesterday.

Anyway A-Line Travel have had to hire in an LDV Convoy Minibus to run the service from Friday to yesterday. This was because the front windscreen of M152 LPL was smashed by a low branch. The bus is back in service now.

34813 brakes down in Millbrook

Yesterday the 7:30 81C service to Cremyll was run by a very fed up looking John Walker running 11 minuites late. Him and 34813 passed me while waiting for Jim at my stop. As most people stil carry a Rame Rider with them whenevr the First bus comes before Jim at the time they are out for Jim they get that instead. Well it had been reported by sevrsl drivers that week that 34813 was having gearbox troubles. But the only enginneer at Torpoint was on holiday leaving John having to use that bus. Well the passengers got on the First bus at Millbrook Quay infront of Jim. Went up the road and then the clutch went. Luckily Jim was running early and he was still waiting at the quey when about 10 passengers came panting and screaming up to Jim. As they got on Jim said to them

"Don't you feel imbarrised! Don't you feel totally imbarrised! Now your not going to be using First instead of me again are you!"

When we were in Cremyll John did turn up with 34813 still limping along as that bus has to change to the Cermyll Anderton school bus after the service. Jim followed John back up the hill towards Torpoint incase of breakdown. They made it as far as the bottom of the lake and then she did compleately give up the ghost. To save time Jim transported the passengers to Millbrook while they got a replacement bus to Millbrook. Don't know where they got a replacement from refering to my last post.

Her bigest journey ever

Spotted by Terry Partridge yesterday you've gueesed it. 34002 (K802 ORL) has been on her travels again. But this time the furthest away from home she has ever been. She was spotted yesterday in Kingsbridge. And opperating route branded bus opperated route 93! At the moment there is a bus shortage in Torpoint meening the Millbrook school bus is being run by a Leyland Olympian instead of a Dennis Trident to the Millbrookers dispare. So why are they still sending 34002 off to opperate Plymouth services and especially route 93. With its route branded Tridents and other ex-London Tridents and then whole of Plymouth depot to choose from why oh why 34002. Anyway the video of her can be seen on Terry Patridge's excellent new blog which I have provided the link to below:

and a picure also by Terry below:

Monday 17 September 2007

WHOTT bus rally

Before any of you ask no I wasn't at the Duxford showbus I was at the much better WHOTT rally at Westpoint!

My day started off being up at Loddiswell for 6:00 to get the buses ready and off. Except no one turned up until 6:50. But anyway when they did arrive it was opening up all the garages and moving buses to get others out. But most were already up at Westpoint so not all of them had to be driven up that morning. First I cleaned up the cab of the Western National tow truck. Then Filling buses up with water ad oil and fuel. And then right at the last moment was cleaning down with polish Colin Billington's beautiful Bristol REL Royal Blue coach. It was then off to Westpoint and I got the liberty of going down in the Royal Blue RE. Never been on an RE and I was asponished on how nice they were. And being able to do 70mph along the motorway.

When we reached Westpoint we were directed into posision and I went up to the entrence. from there I took pictures of all the buses arriving as we were one of the first so gave me a good oppotunity to take lots of photos. Then we went round the grounds taking pictures and then had a good chat with Paul. Owner of the newly painted LFJ 844W which was in my view the best bus at the show. Looking apsolutely beautiful in her old livery. LFJ 844W will also be at Winkleigh on 7th October so come along to that aswell. Then it was looking around all the buses. Then a ride on a lovely Bedford VAL. Never been on one of those eigther. Then more looking then a ride of a Leyland Atlantean. Then more looking and talking.

Most pictures are avalible at my new Flickr acount but I didn't realise that you can only put 200 pictures on it. So I couldn't fit them all on. On just type in LFJ 847W or something along those lines. My username is bristolvrboy.

See you at Winkleigh

Sunday 16 September 2007

NFJ 592M and the South Devon Railway Transport Gala

On Saturday I went along to the Annual transport Gala at the South Devon Rally. They were running extra trains that day though no buses turned up and only a few extra trucks. I expect they were all preparing for the WHOTT rally held today. They had one very unusual double header in the form of British Railways 5526 and 31108 a class 31. Pictured above.

Also pictured above is ex-Torpoint Bristol LH 1592 NFJ 592M. This was put into preservation in 1999 after working for Western National then being sold to Plymouth Citybus and after used as a school bus until the new seat belt regulations were inforced. This meant the bus was put into preservation but the owner didn't have enough money to be able to restore her. She was therefore bought by James Pratt as his first ever bus. He did some minor mechanical work to what was already a very well looked after and a reliable bus even at her age. But he found other buses to restore so he sold her to a policeman. He was going to paint her up and then rally her but no. She was left to rott in a field at the South Devon Railway. 6 years on she now needs upwards of £4000 to do her up again back into perfect working order like she WAS before the changeover. A brillient bus and a very unique bus gone to waste because he couldn't be bothered.

I am back

Sorry I forgot to tell you I was away for the weekend. Plenty of news to blog about now though.

Thursday 13 September 2007

Strange bus at Torpoint?

Today spotted by my Grandmother while walking someone elses dog a green double decker bus was spotted opperating service 81C towards Plymouth. If anyone knows anything about this please leave a comment or send me an e-mail. I will try and find out what it was tommorow.

Tuesday 11 September 2007

The end of an era

The start of week announced the much loved Cornish theam park Dobwalls has closed. Back in 2006 it was closed when they said they were "Refurbishing it" Infact they were acctually ripping up the track and taking down the play areas and cafe and making way for a new arts gallery and holiday homes.

This came as an appsolute shock to me. Some of you may have already known this was happening but I certainly didn't. I would have loved to have come to the last running day hardly publicised to have one last journey on the beautiful railways they "Had" there.

William Jeferson better known as Big Boy or 4008 pulled the last train up the Sherman Hill route at 16:30 35years since the first commercial train was pulled up the line driven by Simon Whittal. What a lucky man he was.

The trains are at the moment being auctioned on an official website just for the trains. They are:

Pioneer: £65,000-£75,000
Mathias Baldwin: £50,000-£60,000
Spirit of America: £50,000-£60,000
Centinnial: £65,000-£75,000
Otto Mears: £120,000-£140,000
Queen of Nebraska: £120,000-£140,0000
Queen of Wyoming: £120,000-£140,000
William Jeffers Big Boy 4008: £340,000-£360,000

All of these are just guide prices and do not include VAT. Who knows what they could go for in the end.

Genaral Palmer has been kept back to be the center the new art gallery and the first train at Dobwalls David Curwen has not been mensioned. I will try to find out about that in a future blog. If you would like to look at the website the address is below:

Saturday 8 September 2007

And again

Yesterday the Torpoint Volvo Olympian was off on her travels again opperating a 7A to Mount Batten. I apologise for the quality of the picture. I wish all the buses in Plymouth were Leyland Olympians and Volvo Olympians and Varios. I much prefer the older buses and high floor buses to the all singing all dancing low floor buses. They just son't give the comfort or pleasure of the high floor bus. And while they do that they can bring back the VRs aswell.

They should have kept the VRs. I think it would be quite easy to convert a VR or an Olympian to disabled access.

Firstly take out the middle hand rail in the entrance. Secondly fit a ramp that comes out from underneath the bus eighther hand or motor opperated. Thirdly take ou a few seats and put some extra hand bars in. Easy!

Friday 7 September 2007

Fire at Bluebird Coaches

On Wednesday evening a fire broke out at the coach depot of Bluebird Coaches in Weymouth. To save me explaing please go to the link below for the video on it from the BBC. It is the left hand collom forth one down. A tragic loss for such a successful company. They are probebly ensured though.

Wednesday 5 September 2007

Off to be fixed

While at Plymouth depot today taking a picture of LFJ 844W which I got cought doing again and it was the same man as before. But this time he was nice enought to Escort me to her incase of an accident which was very nice of him I was looking at the boards for buses coming in to be fixed or MOTed and so on tommorow. Well 2 Torpoint buses are coming in tommorow. 34002 and 50306. This could mean a bus shortage at Torpoint tommorow so do look out for any different buses at Torpoint.

He's Back!

The old Torpoint driver Derrick Cuff famous for publishing the website has returned to his old work place at Torpoint. Derrick Cuff was a driver at Torpoint for many years until trasnfering to another First depot. But today I boarded his 1:27 81C driving Mercedes Vario 50306. Just to let you know and pacifically you Luke. (He knows who he is: hopefully)

LFJ 844W then and now

As you know I am following LFJ 844W's progress in preservation very carefully and today for the first time went to have a look at her in her new livery. The picture at the top is used courtacy of Terry Partridge of LFJ 844W back in her glory days in Torpoint. My picture hasn't got the colours quite right but prity much the same as she really is. They have acctually done very well with the position of the colours just where they should be. But the blue isn't quite deep enoght in shade the red the same but the cream is too dark. Could just be the photo but I think that photo by Terry is prity good. The only other things are the top deck windows whic are now non-opening ones and there is a plate or cover over the front of the old picture. That might have been just when the change over of companyies was I am not sure but apart from that brillient. Very good job. Looking forward to the WHOTT rally her first outing. And if Terry is reading Paul the owner of her is reading this Derrick Cuff wants her to do 81B aswell on a commemerative journey.

Double Deck 34

Plymouth Citybus 34 is as you know the route of which the Dennis Enviro 200s run on exculsively to 34. But you do still get the odd Dart now and again. But today going to Derriford 179 (G612 OTV) a Volvo Citybus turned up usually used on school services. Its rare to get a Dart let alone a Citybus. I was very pleased. You never get double deck services with Plymouth Citybus anymore and found the journey a lot more pleasent than the journeys on the low floor buses. Its rare to get those buses on any route and probebly from tommorow even less likely because its back to school for most children tommorow. And if you didn't notice 179 was in the Black thunderbus livery from Plymouth Sound radio station but not anymore. But you can still make out the outline of the words.

Tuesday 4 September 2007


Sorry its a bit out of the area but it was too good to miss out.
Today it has been announced that finnally the new section of high speed railway between Folkstone and London has been completed.
The trains have since 1994 have been able to hurtal through France at 186mph but have had to go a lot slower because of other commuter trains this side of the sea. It was put by the old French Priminister in 1993 that:
"Next year, we will set off at high speed across the northern plains, then push into the Channel Tunnel, and afterwards we will be able to dream at a very slow speed in Britain to admire the landscapes"
But not now but still 13 years on. Now it possible to get from London to Paris in just over 2 hours. Thats only an hour longer than it takes me to get from Cawsand to Plymouth.

Saturday 1 September 2007

Another day at Loddiswell

Today I went up to Loddiswell again. Home of most of the WHOTT's preserved bus fleet. The jobs on the Agenda today were first to fit the new fleet number and 'One Man operated bus' signs to Bristol VR 1157. But that was left to Colin. I got the job of polishing up Bristol FLF Lodekka 2019 (824 KRL) to make her ship shape for the WHOTT Westpoint rally which I will come onto in a later blog. This took about three hours to do only the outside though but that includes polishing and watering it down. Then it was to take all the notices off all the buses owned by the WHOTT ready to put the new ones on for the Westpoint Rally. And then to replace some of the seats on First Devon and Cornwall AFJ 749T. For this I got the honour of getting to start her up and reverse her out of the garage. The thrill I got from having 13litres of Gardener Engine at my foot was phenomenal. Then came to replace the seats which took about an hour and a half. Then that was it. I am back there next Saturday with all hands on deck to finish preparing the buses. Can't come the day before the rally but the day of the rally they want me there by 6:30. Might have to ask my Dad for a lift at that time of the morning there being no bus at that time. More to come next week.