The day unfortunately started off with an Arriva Trains Wales, Class 150 on the run down to St Austell. The train was completely packed with standing room only when I boarded in Devonport, and stayed full throughout the journey. In the week this service is provided with a HST, except on Saturdays and Sunday.
On reaching St Austell it was a quick hop onto my first WGL service of the day down to Newquay provided by Vario V40 WGL. The journey was smooth and uneventful and arrived at Newquay with good time before my first herritage trip of the day.
WGL have recently taken on an extra Mercedes Citaro, this being quite obviously an Ex-London example operated by 'Metrobus' in its previous life operating the X26 between Croyden and Heathrow Airport. This will now provide extra capacity when needed on the Truro Park and Ride which is now carries branding for. The bus was sourced from Venturer Bus and Coach Sales.
The selection of buses operating from Newquay were two Routemasters, the first being SMK 737F.
The shot shows the RF bringing up the rear with Open Top Routemaster 783 DYE, with Bristol VR JWV 259W.
The first trip I went out on was indeed on the VR right the way to Padstow, a journey of an hour and a half taking in the most fantastic sceneary along the country roads which did get very tight in places, not helped in some locations by holiday makers being incapable of reversing, always the way! The VR was a nice example with a stunning exterior. The engine was nice and throaty and coped with the hills surprisingly well. Though I must admit it did get a bit hot along the way! Of course any bus would heat up in the weather we enjoyed on Saturday though.
Back in Newquay and after a quick pasty it was onto the 3rd Routemaster operating, this being 62 CLT on the 505 to one of Newquay's many holiday camps. This Routemaster was fitted with a Scania engine and pulled very well, though surprisingly it did still have some essence of one of the older engines! A very nice bus indeed. Again from the outside she is a 'stunnah' with plenty of looks as she powered along the route.
Back in Newquay and it was then another trip on the VR to go upto Truro. The 585 was a very interesting route. I've only ever done the Newquay to Truro run on the more direct 89 and 90 offered by First, but the 585 was certainly a lot more interesting!
And then it was a quick hop upto the station aboard one of the recent arrivals to the FDC fleet, this being R241 LGH. I must admit this was a pretty nice Volvo Olympian even though it was a short hop, she powered up the hill to the station with ease!
On arrival at the station it was a simple 10-15 minute wait for the train back upto Plymouth - or so we thought. A few minutes of waiting later a call came in from Louis Rawlings which went something along the lines of "Hello dear! There's a line side fire down here between Truro and Redruth. I'm stuck on a train in Camborne but have been told the fire brigade are in attendance". Sure enough a few minutes later in Truro the news was confirmed. The easiest way to put it is that 2 hours past before the fire was confirmed to be officially out and the train rolled into Truro. It was then quite mad with around 3 train loads of people all wanting to get on one service.
Luckily this didn't cause too many problems when we did finally reach Plymouth with only a 10 minutes wait until the 2056 81C back home! I thought I was in luck when a Trident rolled down the hill in place of the normal Dart MPD, though on reaching Torpoint it was into the depot for a bus change to 40002! A disapointing end to a great day. Thanks very much to all who were involved in the running day! I shall very much look forward to more in the future.