Posted by: SB Websites | May 18, 2012

Sightings in Durham City Centre 18/05/12

Not much occuring today execpt from Solo 2814 getting its alloys and wheels cleaned outside before being being driven away with drivers in.

Also 7442 was being fixed for it cuttting out and managed to start and was driven out of Door 1 and into Door 4 and parked up ready for service if something else breaks down. It is seen turning into Door 4 with alot of fumes even when stationary which certainly tells me the engine is in a very bad state.

Prestige 4066 also appears to back in operation in Durham whilst being fixed and prepped for service. Alongside it was Pulsar 1419 raised on the lift which could have been photographed if the fitters moved out the way. OmniCity 4646 was also being fixed. OmniCity 4664 also entered service on the 49.

As for the 43 today it had:

  • 4654 – NK05 GXH
  • 4656 – NK05 GXL
  • 4663 – NK07 FZF
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Posted by: SB Websites | May 17, 2012

Sightings in Durham City Centre 17/05/12

Today, 4060 S702 KFT was in use on the 63 and 64 with black tape holding the light clusters in the body work; shoddy Durham fitters at work here! S702 is the worst out of the Prestiges as it can only change gears at red-line revvs, has a herrendous engine buzz and idles itself to peices. It also has no suspension  so all the rattely panels inside seem like they are going to fall off.

Also, door 2 was opened to reveal 4664 gaining a new rear bumper and a repair of the engine transmission into drive. After thinking they had fixed the problem the fitter tried to move her with no success in drive so I assume it was fixed later.

Furthermore, 1501 X475 GGO cut-out in Durham when coming onto the 48 so with slope into the bus station it managed to crawl itself into the stand dead where all the passengers from the 57 disembarked. Its seen here getting its engine looked at which eventually made them to jump-start it which also proved successful and was driven back to depot.

Posted by: SB Websites | May 16, 2012

Sightings in Durham City Centre 16/05/2012

With the Arriva Scotland West franchise sold to independent operator McGills the refurbished Plaxton Pointers for the 26 service were no longer required and McGills rejected them. Therefore they were purchased by Arriva North East and a few are now at depots across the North East, most notably Darlington. They are ex London Plaxton Pointers that have had their centre door removed rather crudely, new seating moquettes and new floors applied and yellow painted handrails. Out of the 8 that have arrived Durham depot have gained 1501 X475 GGO and 1502 X478 GGO. Both have been in use for approximately a week operating primarily on the 63 and 64. After experiencing 1502 it is in an average condition with surprisingly very little idling when stationary. Although the breaks are rather loud and it is painfully slow so no wonder it was 10 minutes late after coping with Canterbury Road bank! Another problem is that it is rather jerky when changing gear but I suppose that’s what you get when purchasing ex London stock. On the plus side they don’t have bench seats unlike the S-KHN Darts that left not long ago. Also of note X475 GGO only wears the Arriva swirl on the front giving it an odd appearance. Below is X478 GGO in use on the 64 still wearing a Ryan Air advert from Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

No surprise here but also on the 63 and 64 were Boneshakers 1 and 2 (Y258 KNB and Y295 KNB).

DAF DB250 / East Lancs Lowlander 7441 Y691 EBR was also in use today.

Meanwhile on the 43, OmniCity 4657 was in use and is seen turning out of the bus station onto North Road heading to Esh Winning.

OmniCity 4656 was also in use but developed a door fault so is seen heading back to depot where Pulsar 1419 NK09 EJJ took its place.

Finally, currently under repair is Solo 2814 YK08 ETJ, Lowlander 7444, Prestige 4066 and OmniCity 4664.

Posted by: SB Websites | April 2, 2012

Sightings in Durham City Centre 02/04/12

Today saw the new U1 service commence to link the Durham Business School part of Durham University to Ushaw College whilst its dormitries get refurbished. Its a fully subsidised service from the University and operates hourly running express from South Road to Durham City Centre then to Nevilles Cross and then express to Ushaw College. Since it is it’s first day in operation I was shocked to see a full-size Pulsar in use and expected a Solo instead. As seen below not a sole was on the U1 and their wasnt anyone else on all day either so I would expect within the next few days  it to gain a smaller vehicle unless the University specified this sized vehicle. Here is 1418 NK09 EJG on the U1 laying over on Durham North Road.

In other sightings Dennis Dart SLF / Alexander ALX200 1796 Y259 KNB has gained new adverts for Jet2 Holidays replacing Arriva ones from its life at Dalrington depot 6 months ago. The “Boneshaker” (named because of a peice of paper applied with Boneshaker on it on the dashboard) is seen on the 63/64 workings with an unusually quiet load. The 63/64 are cross-city services that gain a high amount of custom and easily surpass other routes profitiability wise but nevertheless Arriva insist on allocating Palatines, E Types, Prestiges and any other low quality vehicles to the services whilst services such as the 50A gain brand new 2012 Pulsars. Here is 1796 below.

Posted by: SB Websites | April 1, 2012

43 Audit 01/04/11

As its a Sunday the 43 operates hourly but still uses 3 vehicles interworking with other services in Durham. It has seen 2 single deckers and odd working of Gemini 7626. Today has seen the use of:

  • 1467 – NK61 CXY
  • 4643 – CX05 EOV
  • 7626 – NK61 EBV

Posted by: SB Websites | March 31, 2012

43 Audit 31/03/12

Today the 43 saw 3 OmniCity’s used which is pretty rare considering Pulsar’s are more common. 2 swaps occurred in the day with OmniCity 4657 being swapped for recently acquired 4643 CX05 EOV and then swapped again for Pulsar 1472. So today’s 43 saw:

  • 4656 – NK05 GXL
  • 4657 – NK05 GXM s/o 4643 – CX05 EOV s/o 1472 NK61 CXT
  • 4664 – NK07 FZG

Posted by: SB Websites | March 31, 2012

Sightings in Durham City Centre 31/03/12

Today has seen VDL SB220 / Wright Pulsar 2 1418 NK09 EJG join the “school bus crew” as it gained a rear school bus sticker that has been unthoughtfully applied over the Wright chrome bar and already peeling off at the corner. So, the School Bus vehicles now consist of:

  • 1415 – NK09 EJG VDL SB220 / Wright Pulsar 2
  • 1419 – NK09 EJJ VDL SB220 / Wright Pulsar 2
  • 1722 –  V722 DNL Dennis MPD Plaxton Pointer
  • 1795 – Y258 KNB Dennis Dart SLF Alexander ALX200
  • 1796 – Y259 KNB Dennis Dart SLF Alexander ALX200
  • 2814 – YK08 ETJ Optare Solo M950 Optare
  • 2818 – YK08 ETT Optare Solo M950 Optare
  • 2819 – YK08 ETU Optare Solo M950 Optare

Another sighting is the move of DAF SB220 / Plaxton Prestige 4044 S344 KHN from Durham to Redcar depot for the Summer. 4044 has therefore been removed from the School Bus list as it did indeed wear School Bus Stickers when it was painted into interurban livery at Durham depot. Here it is seen leaving the depot.

Interestingly today saw no Lowlanders in use at all and staying in the depot with 7444 parked outside the depot in the mild drizzle whereas 7441/2/3 were lined up inside coincidentally in numerical order.

An odd working also today saw OmniCity 4647 NK05 GXA in use on services 48/57 which can be seen below.

Another odd working was solo Palatine I 7367 R641 MNU see use on service 56A.

And finally over on Gemini observations today saw 7626 and 7627 stick to allocation and being used on services 49/49A which do not require these deckers. They should see use on the 43 or the X1/X2 which at times do need double deck vehicles.

Posted by: SB Websites | March 3, 2012

New Gemini travels on the 43!

Today the 43 had an interesting start with recently transferred Lowlander 7443 working alongside a Pulsar and an OmniCity. Also entering service this week were the 2 VDL DB300/Wright Gemini 2 for the 49/49A. 7626 NK61 EBV was seen on the 49 and 7627 was on the X1/X2 until 17:40 when it arrived into Durham but instead of heading to depot swapped onto the 43 making 7443 make a trip on the long 57 to Peterlee. By sheer luck I managed to be on the first journey of a new Pulsar on the 43 in December and the first journey of a Gemini on the 43. Compared to the Pulsar’s; with literally no suspension and riddled with faults; the Gemini’s are the complete opposite and seem very high standard compared to the Palatines, E- Types and Lowlanders which would be used for Double Decker diagrams. Zooming up over Relly Bridge as if it was nothing. I look forward to these being on again as it also eased passenger loadings as the 17:45 journey i always pretty busy! So today the 43 is:

  • 1422 – NK09 EJX
  • 4654 – NK05 GXH
  • 7443 – Y693 EBR s/o 7627 – NK61 EBX

Below is 1422 on Durham North Road heading out onto the 43, 7443 laying over in Durham Bus Station for the 5 minutes layover for the 20 minute frequency to kick in and 7627 in Ushaw Moor unloading passengers.

Posted by: SB Websites | February 17, 2012

The 43 today has a green glow

The 43 consisted of 2 OmniCity’s and a Pulsar today keeping to allocation of 3 new single deckers rather than the Plaxton Prestiges that occasionally get used. 4646 was in service showing off its green brighttech display which at night is much more visible than the standard orange colour on Hanover Displays. So today’s 43 is:

  • 1471 – NK61 CYE
  • 4646 – NK05 GWZ
  • 4647 – NK05 GXA

Below is a photo of 1471 sat in Durham in the lay-by stand prior to departing on the 08:20 from Durham Bus Station to Esh Winning.

Posted by: SB Websites | February 14, 2012

The 43 is getting newer…

Today the 43 saw use of 2 61 reg Pulsar’s operate all day without being taken out of service which so far is quite rare. Although Pulsar 1465 had a problem just outside of the comprehensive school in Ushaw Moor where problems with the wheelchair ramp stopped it from moving even though the ramp was folded ready to go. After a ring to the depot to ask why it wasn’t working he gave the ramp a kick on the floor and revved the engine and it got going again. Not good for a 4 week old Pulsar! So today’s 43 is:

  • 1461 – NK61 CXS
  • 1465 – NK61 CXW
  • 4663 – NK07 FZF

Below is 1461 turning into Ushaw Moor Oakridge Road next to the now privately owned Sports Centre, 1465 in Whitehouse Court with a broken ramp and 4663 on Ushaw Moor Whitehouse Lane.

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