Another little interesting story has come to my attention with thanks to Dave Bristol VR news site www.ndl642m.blogspot.com. The VR in question is VCA 455W, a long standing stalwart of the V1 from Verwood to Poole. The VR was used on the Fridays only service as well as being used for a local school contract right up until this week, where finally, VCA had had enough. Thursday saw the announcement that finally after all these years of loyal service, VCA had suffered a mechanical failure, and therefore has been retired. The photo is supplied from a flickr user with credit to 'KK70088'.
The vehicle that stepped in was even older than her though. AEC Routemaster KGJ603D, a modified long wheel base example has been drafted in, 'complete with conductor' to run the services before another vehicle can be sourced. Quite a treat for anyone in the area. She is seen here in Seldown Coach Park, in Poole with thanks to Luke Farley.
It is such a shame to see the passing of yet another fine VR. This really seems to be it, with so few VRs still remaining in service. Of course even the youngest VRs are now celebrating 30 years on the road and this has traditionally been the cut off point. The only real numbers are represented in terms of open topped vehicles dotted around, but of course many of these aren't operational every day all year round. The only others are relegated to schools. At least in the south west, the only VR that does see daily operation all year round would be Roselyn's VR as well as Riverlink of course still owning 4 VRs, a couple of which are used on school services.