Sunday 29 December 2013

Snap on Sunday

A couple of Snap on Sunday's this week, depicting something interesting but unfortunately of fairly poor quality, and another, quite mundane, but pleasing to the eye! 

Firstly, the interesting, with the rare occasion of a Volvo Olympian nonetheless operating on the PR2 on Friday afternoon. As Plymothian Transit reported recently, there has been widespread displeasure with First after moving the '12 plate Enviro 400s off the Park and Ride services, and onto the Tavistock routes, leading to a variety of older Dennis Tridents replacing them on the Park and Rides. It was interesting to hear of the Council's reaction to this, but later did seem very ironic that they themselves appeared to be making the 'commercial' decision of introducing parking charges to the Park and Ride sites. A gesture of spite towards FDC? Who knows; but since this story was published I've heard no more of it, so perhaps they came to their sense before it was too late! Anyway back to the bus, and P568 EFL had the honour of appearing likely due to the severe congestion experienced on Exeter Street on Friday afternoon, with her coming in to try and restore a frequent service. That, or perhaps an Ex-London Trident failed; also a likely explanation! Unfortunately a poor point and grab shot with no time to set the camera up properly for the photo; it certainly took me by surprise, but thought I better at least get a record shot! 

Now onto the better quality shot, and to a subject I actually very rarely include in the blog. The photo here depicts Plym II as she plods her way across the Tamar on the 1300 departure from Devonport to Torpoint in the low winter sun; the dockyard buildings providing a satisfying backdrop. 

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Multiple Mercs!

Hello and welcome back once again to PTOTPA whilst I'm back in the South West for the Christmas period. Unfortunately (and unusually for us students!) the Christmas break has started very late, with myself only managing to get back to the region just in time for the festivities; late on December 21st. Thank god I did manage to get all the travelling done on the Saturday though, as no doubt I would have come across far more problems if I'd left it any later! 

A quick update then; University continues apace, with this year already being far, far more intense that my first year. Weekends seem to nearly purely now be filled with endless hours spent in the library with my head buried in books, or my fingers blurring away on a keyboard to keep up with the pressures of University life. Even in my final week before Christmas I'd handed in a 6'000 word report for the Managerial and Enterprise Skills module, along with another 17 pages of Logistics Planning Techniques and Applications (in essence, using many complicated algorithms and computer software to come up with logistics solutions). Other activities have included coming up with a 50 page tender response to a 'fake' manufacturer of personal care products, with us having to come up with a total logistics solution. This included everything from working out every single route for every single delivery the company needed to make, working out fuel, tax, depreciation, maintenance costs, right through to coming up with health and safety policies, KPIs, and even lorry liveries (any resemblance to a well known bus operator's livery is purely a coincidence; along with the company name ;-) ). It's certainly very interesting, but my days is it all time consuming and hence bus spotting is unfortunately being cut to a minimum. Thankfully we're having a small reprieve over the Christmas holidays from work, so the camera is ready and primed to get out and capture all the exciting stuff I've missed in the area over the past few months! 

So to kick us off, a photo of a sight which is becoming increasingly rare as DDA looms ever closer. In just over a year's time, a scene like this will be just a memory; a trio of A-Line Coaches Mercedes minibuses lined up for battle! Reliable and dependable workhorses soon to be lost from the bus industry. Somewhat oddly, two of these are Ex-First vehicles, and the other, Ex-Plymouth Citybus; an unlikely group of stablemates!