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Bus-Related Outings & Reviews
Bus-Related Outings & Reviews
Bus-related outings and reviews should be posted into this thread.

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Bus days out
Yesterday I had a mini day out to do some shopping.

68 - 7662 V662 DVU - Walton to Bootle Strand:
A fast and comfortable bus but the idle vibrations were too much for me.

52 - Unknown Pulsar - Bootle Strand to Queen Square Bus Station:
This wasn't too bad from what I remember. It was a 59-reg but unfortunately that's all I can remember as I lost my notes.

47 - 3034 MX10 BZT - Sir Thomas Street to Seaforth
This was excellent. A very fast and comfortable bus free of rattles which provided a very enjoyable ride with some kickdown too. One of the best Pulsars I've been on and reinforces my opinion that I think Southport depot has the best Pulsars.

Tomorrow I'm going out with a good friend of mine for a long overdue day out. There's no set plan yet but I'll post a report of the day either tomorrow evening or on Sunday.
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RE: Bus-Related Outings & Reviews
Today, I have been out with a mate shopping. This is what we rode on...

Go North East SPD 8214 (V214 ERG)
17 - Howdon - Wallsend Interchange
This bus was truly awful! It was squeeky and it did not stop rattling! I was glad to get off!

Met up with mate

Tyne and Wear Metro
Wallsend - Monument
Not really any comments to make!!

Go North East Citaro 5290 (NK08 CGF)
44 - Newcastle, Eldon Square - MetroCentre Shopping Centre
Very nice ride. It was smooth, and rattle and squeak free!

Go North East Omnicity 5274 (NK56 KKL)
45 - MetroCentre Shopping Centre - Newcastle, Eldon Square
Nice ride, however it was a small bit rattly.

Left mate

Arriva North East 4509 (V509 DFT)
X9 - Newcastle, Haymarket - Middle Engine Lane
It was average! It was a bit rattly and a bit squeeky! Even though it is in the new livery, it is not refurbished like sister 4501 (V501 DFT)

Go North East 514 (X514 WRG)
41 - Middle Engine Lane - Howdon
I came this way to avoid SPD's, however this was just as bad! It was awful! Rattly and very noisy!

Smile Thanks,
Thomas, Tyne and Wear Reporter Smile

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RE: Bus-Related Outings & Reviews
I went out today to Preston (via Ormskirk) with a friend; I sampled the following buses and trains (the latter are being posted for completeness):

ANW's Plaxton Pointer 2 X229 ANC (2229)
56A - Netherton, Glovers Lane > Queen Square Bus Station
I was shocked when I spotted this as being my first bus of the day! I couldn't have started any worse, and if I could, I wouldn't know what to do! Its interior was filled with things that could rattle, such as the seats - some of which were bouncing up and down, causing banging, handrail-rattling and squeaking all the way! Its shudder between idle and gear one was sickening too! The only impressive feature of the bus was its speed, however the driver was time-watching... Sadly, the bus stuck with me throughout the whole day in the form of a headache! I'd probably give this bus the "pleasure" of being Bootle depot's worst bus in service to-date!

Merseyrail's 507031
Moorfields > Ormskirk
I don't really pay attention to trains (I was reading the ECHO for most of the journey!), however this one seemed to clang and squeak a lot, especially from underneath!

Northern Rail's 153316
Ormskirk > Preston
It was nice to see a 153 again as these used to be my primary form of transport a while ago when I used to live in Cumbria. I couldn't fault it really!

Preston Bus' Optare Solo M920 PO56 RRZ (20788)
88A - Preston Railway Station > Preston Bus Station
My first ride on a bus that belongs to this company - a Solo though... It was pretty average really! It rattled a bit, however the woman driver wasn't too slow! The interior appeared to be well-kept, apart from litter beyond the control of the company!

Preston Bus' Citaro BF60 OEZ (10031)
16 - Preston Bus Station > Farringdon Park, Tudor Lane
After spotting this bus, we decided to take a ride on it - with it being unique to the company! I was really impressed by it! It seemed quick off the line, however the rattles and squeaks it featured came from the cab area. The interior seemed nice too! The driver was very nice; top marks for him!

Preston Bus' Esteem PO56 JDK (30915)
16 - Farringdon Park, Tudor Lane > Preston Bus Station
I was pleased that a bus of this type showed up as I've been wanting to ride the type for quite some time now! I was VERY impressed! The woman driver was fast and the bus sounded fantastic! There weren't many rattles either! The interior, again, seemed to be in a good condition!

John Fishwick & Sons' Pulsar YJ08 EFS (7)
111 - Preston Bus Station > John Fishwick & Son's Tuer Street Depot in Leyland
My first ride on a bus that belongs to this company; at first, I was slightly disappointed that it was of the type that I ride on over and over again! The driver was VERY fast though, with some kickdown too! The bus was generally quite fast and it sounded much better than many of ANW's examples! The interior was smart-looking and different! This Pulsar was probably one of the best of the type that I've ever rode on to be honest! The journey seemed to have a decent load all the way! Excellent ride!

John Fishwick & Sons' Pulsar 2 YJ12 CHH (15)
111 - John Fishwick & Son's Tuer Street Depot in Leyland > Preston Bus Station
With it being clear that once a bus finishes its journey here, something different from inside the depot tended to start the next outward journey, we decided to ride on this bus (and avoid ending up with a Cadet - the type were rising in numbers inside!). Again, its interior was different and smart. It sounded the same as ANW's 61-plated examples; it also rattled quite a bit. The driver was quite fast, and we even got kickdown out of him once or twice! The journey, again, seemed to be well-loaded all the way too!

Preston Bus' Omnidekka PO56 RSZ (40407)
23 - Preston Bus Station > Fulwood ASDA Supermarket Bus Station
Another low-in-population type with this company, which is why we chose to ride on it! Another fantastic bus! The driver was quite fast, however the bus itself was great! Ride-quality-wise, it was fine! It sounded fantastic! One of the best double-deckers that I've rode on to-date!

Preston Bus' Lolyne V192 EBV (40592)
23 - Fulwood ASDA Supermarket Bus Station > Royal Preston Hospital
It was certainly nice to ride ANOTHER type of bus within this company's fleet, however I didn't really enjoy the ride - despite the speeds and kickdown the driver was enforcing! The interior was a bit too gloomy for my liking.

Preston Bus' Optare Versa V1100H YJ61 JJU (30122)
19A - Royal Preston Hospital > Preston Bus Station
Optares aren't really my thing to be honest! They lack variety! This bus sounded exactly the same as Cumfybus' new hybrid Solos; the only difference was that this bus seemed much faster! It rattled too - EVERYTHING SEEMS TO RATTLE THESE DAYS...!

SM&SL's Scania/Enviro400 PX09 AXA (15471)
2X - Preston Bus Station > Preston Railway Station
I pity the passengers that were staying on to Southport and even Liverpool! The ride was close to unbearable to be honest! It vibrated in idle; it rattled violently whilst going. It sounded boring, however that's my opinion on the type!

Northern Rail's 153316
Preston > Ormskirk
Exactly the same as my previous ride on it, however this time it sounded a bit rougher!

Merseyrail's 508103
Ormskirk > Old Roan
I didn't even pay attention to the train if I'm honest!

Cumfybus' Optare Solo M920 H12 CFY
130 - Old Roan Interchange (Bus Station) > Netherton, Glovers Lane
This bus was AWFUL - not even worth my 50p! The driver was fast, however the bus was so slow off the line and beyond! Rattles were violent too! Nice interior though!

My opinion on new companies that I've sampled today:

Preston Bus
Their buses seem to be well-presented internally, however whilst their fleet is still in repaint mode, not everything is perfect externally! Staff seem friendly; I only had one disagreement with a woman driver at Royal Preston Hospital over taking a photograph of her bus...

John Fishwick & Sons
DAFs/VDLs all-around in their single-decker fleet, it seems! I was very impressed with 7, and 15 wasn't bad at all! Their fleet looks OK (their livery is not to my taste!). Their staff seem quiet, however friendly when confronted! Credit to their depot staff for being very friendly!

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RE: Bus-Related Outings & Reviews
Today I had a much overdue day out with a friend.

311 - 2219 X219 ANC - Dennis Dart SLF 10.7M (Plaxton Pointer II)
This was alright. Not much to say about it as I was only on it for a ten minutes

10A - 27721 PO11 BDE - Alexander Dennis Enviro300
This was excellent. It was fast, comfortable, free of rattles and the trip up to St Helens was very enjoyable indeed

Met friend in St Helens Bus Station

20 - 7647 V647 DVU - Dennis Dart SLF 10.7M (Marshall Capital)
This wasn't too bad. It didn't rattle and had good acceleration. One of the better examples of this type I've been on

34 - 2993 MX59 JZJ - VDL SB200CS (Wright Pulsar 2)
Again this was excellent. The engine was fantastic providing some excellent kickdown and a very good turn of speed. The ride to Leigh was very enjoyable

34 - 2211 X211 ANC - Dennis Dart SLF 10.7M (Plaxton Pointer II)
This was quite good - it was more enjoyable than the other Plaxton Dart I had earlier in the day

33 - 1057 R57 XVM - Scania L113CRL (Northern Counties Paladin)
My friend and I really enjoyed this. The driver expertly navigated this excellent example of a Scania around Sutton Heath which provided a very good ride indeed

Break

35/35A - 676 CX58 FYU - Optare M880SL (Optare Solo)
This was very good. It was our first ride on an Arriva Optare Solo and we were both impressed. I look forward to riding the other St Helens examples in the future

E11 - 193 DE52 NYW - Tecnobus Pantheon
I quite enjoyed this. It was only a short journey so I can't really say much about it. I look forward to riding some more of these in the future

Left friend at St Helens Bus Station after break

10 - 2694 CX58 EWG - VDL SB200CS (Wright Pulsar)
I liked this. The bus itself was fast and comfortable and the driver was excellent

20 - 27710 PO11 BBV - Alexander Dennis Enviro300
I was really pleased when this turned up as it's one of my favourites. Despite being tired I enjoyed the ride home

That's all for now. I've got a day out planned this week so I'll post that report as well
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RE: Bus-Related Outings & Reviews
I had a day out to Liverpool & Birkenhead today, this is what I rode:

6 Huyton to Liverpool (2721) - This was quite good. It held an excellent turn of speed, and sounded great due to the ZF gearbox.

407 Liverpool to Birkenhead (4200) - This was good. It did rattle a bit, but a lot less than it's sisters. It sounded quite good, too.

411 Birkenhead to New Brighton (4002) - This was OK. The engine sounded fantastic, but the Gearbox was jerky and it rattled a lot.

410 New Brighton to Liscard Village (2345) - Fantastic! It sounded great, and barely rattled. Need I say more?

413 Liscard Village to Birkenhead (2428) - This was poor. It hardly rattled, but was very sluggish up hills. Nearly coming to a standstill regularly.

407 Birkenhead to Liverpool (4201) - What a dire bus. It rattled constantly, and you couldn't even hear the engine over the cooling fan.

8 Liverpool to Prescot Road (7625) - This caught my eye as it's been NFS for a number of months. It was pretty poor to be honest, rattled very violently. It did sound quite nice, and was relatively fast.

18 West Derby Road to Liverpool (2576) - This was excellent. It held an excellent turn of speed, and didn't rattle. Commander's are definitely my favourite modern buses.

8 Liverpool to Huyton (7658) - Was made up to see my favourite Dart come in! It was great as usual, excellent engine with the only fault being that rattly window!

That's a round up of today, enjoy reading folks. Smile
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RE: Bus-Related Outings & Reviews
Today I have had a Merseyside based day!
This is how it was (without times)

ARRIVA NORTH WEST 4420 - This was a very fast ride from New Brighton to Liverpool one of the better Enviro400's IMHO.

NORTHERN RAIL 142 052 - I was shocked but happy when I seen that this was operating a short shuttle from Lime Street to South Parkway I must say this was a great example but I prefere the examples with bench seats.

ARRIVA NORTH WEST 680 - I did a loop from South Parkway and back via Speke Hall tbh I am not a fan of Solo's and this one just did not intrest me

EAST MIDLAND 158 862 - This was a very good 158 but smelt vile onboard apart from that could not fault it

CUMFYBUS - YJ12 GXC? - I old had a 4 or 5 minute journey on this from Queen Square to Liverpool 1 these just remind me of a cross between Arriva old hybrids and first Manchester SR's I was not that that impressed with the interior much prefere the blue fabric.

ARRIVA NORTH WEST 4406 - Only went from Liverpool to Birkenhead on this and did not really take notice

ARRIVA NORTH WEST 4141 - This was the first time I had this JUA and it was fast tbh nice ride from Birkenhead to Clatterbridge

ARRIVA NORTH WEST 2418 - this was a very nice cadet first time I have been on this one only problem the back had the DAF ALX300 syndrome where the whole back was moving never see this on a cadet before.

AVON 307 - not very impressed it had bad shakes and vibrations when static I'm glad I only went from Arrowe Park to Greasby on it

ARRIVA NORTH WEST - 44?? - Did not take much notice of it from Greasby to West Kirby

AVON BUSES 124 - What a heap this bus is yer ok it has a good turn of speed but it stalls, door open random when bus goes around corner and it smelt really bad of Diesel this bus has not improved and is still as much of a shed as it was when it was W11 JBA fleet number 57 of A1A ashame it ruined my journey on the 77 from West Kirby to Woodside

Lastly

ARRIVA NORTH WEST 2314 - this was great bar the big hole down the side of the rear seat closest to the pavement which was producing heat and dust every time the driver accelerated
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RE: Bus-Related Outings & Reviews
Had a nice day with the girlfriend today. The plan was to stay in Widnes but boredom led us to St Helens and Warrington!


Arriva VDL SB120CS/Wright Cadet ????
Service 79C from Hough Green to Widnes
Cant remember which one it was, but overall it wasn't too bad, a rather nice ride overall, slightly rattly if nothing else but a decent-ish turn of speed.

Arriva Scania L113CRL/Northern Counties Paladin 1057 R57 XVM
Service 33A from Widnes to St Helens, Bickerstaffe Street
The smile that was on my face when I seen this is uncomprehendable when I seen this laying over at the stop. I wasn't that disappointed in all honesty! It sounded very healthy, the driver wasn't slow but wasn't fast either, I can't complain really! The interior wasn't as rattly as some other examples that have mercifully gone for scrap! A nice touch was the original power blinds, although the 1 interurban door look a bit out of place :P

Arriva VDL SB120CS/Wright Cadet 2496 CX54 DKO
Service 329 from St Helens Bus Station to Warrington Bus Station
Someone up there clearly fancied having a laugh at my expense when this was allocated to this! The bus wasn't too rattly and had a decent turn of speed, but the constant cooling fan was an annoyance.

Arriva VDL SB200CS/Wright Pulsar 2 2962 MX09 JJE
Service 6 from Warrington Bus Station to Sankey Bridges
Someone else decided they would have a giggle by having this appear to me when I wanted my Dart fix for the day! In all fairness it was a massive improvement on previous GL Pulsars I have been on. It wasn't very rattly and the engine sounded very good indeed, just a shame it never had the chance during my journey to rev that high! However it is worth noting that the boarding process was greatly delayed and hindered by the new ticket machine.

Arriva VDL SB120CS/Wright Cadet ????
Service 110 from Penketh Lanes End to Widnes
Another generic rolling turd, what can I say, it was quite rattly but was quick off the mark, nothing to rave about by any means!

Arriva VDL SB120CS/Wright Cadet 2534 DK55 FXX
Service 79C from Widnes to Hough Green Farm, Sporting Ford
One of the better ones, not massively quick but a tidy and not so rattly interior made for a bearable ride.

Arriva VDL SB120CS/Wright Cadet 2553 DK55 FYT
Service 79C from Hough Green Farm, Sporting Ford to Hough Green Station.
Good news! Its idle vibrations have been sorted!
Bad news! Its developed a catastrophically unhealthy engine, with a loud whirring/whistling coming from what sounds to be the gearbox while it is accelerating, particularly low to medium revs in gear 1 and 2. And it was even louder outside than it was inside. It is unlike any noise I have heard any other VDL product make, or any bus make for that matter! Utterly dreadful and desperately needs it seeing to soon as it was not good.

I'll also be making a complaint tomorrow to Arriva regarding their ridiculously bad punctuality on the 79C corridor, with any journies that I get from Hough Green Farm (Runcorn bound) often running 10 minutes late, if not more. It has been a recurring issue over the past few months regardless of time of day (For gods sake, even early morning Sunday servcies that I have got have ran over 15 mins late!)
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RE: Bus-Related Outings & Reviews
(03/06/2012 00:01)K853 MTJ Wrote:  Arriva VDL SB120CS/Wright Cadet 2496 CX54 DKO
Service 329 from St Helens Bus Station to Warrington Bus Station
Someone up there clearly fancied having a laugh at my expense when this was allocated to this! The bus wasn't too rattly and had a decent turn of speed, but the constant cooling fan was an annoyance.
Blame the hot weather the other week as the cooling fan has been stuck on since! One good thing about that though is that it masks the whining from the gearbox... Seriously though, just be glad you weren't allocated 2491 or one of our crappier Darts which plague the 329!

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RE: Bus-Related Outings & Reviews
The next journey was operated by a Pointer 1 I think, 2102 IIRC, which I would have happily taken over 2496. When I last rode it, it was actually a decent performer! But I rode far too much VDL yesterday :P Needless to say me and the better half and going through a rough patch now after she said that she liked Runcorns Cadets Dodgy :P I joke of course, but she did say she liked them a lot better than Marshalls! FUME!
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