Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Running Day Part 2- The Buses

Well we nearly made it six out of six new vehicles out, which was meant to comprise of three buses and three coaches, however two of our buses didn't quite make it, as we were forced to move resources over to the 10T10 as the completion of that was slipping and time fast running out. However, late in the day an opportunity came to put another double deck out so we got to five new ones out in the end with only RCL2226 and MD60 having to wait a little longer for their debut. So on any 'normal year' surely a newly restored RTW would be star of the show and it certainly looks well in this shot kindly sent in by Graham Smith of it at Upminster Station having just completed its maiden run.

Perhaps a quick reminder of the condition that it was in as it was first stripped down shortly after having been acquired by us is worth looking at...

It was recovered from France in 2004 by a rather well known and dedicated group but before that it had spent many years in Germany with Hywema who used it to demonstrate their vehicle lifts, and its here a family connection to Ensignbus comes into play as it was delivered to Germany all those years ago by our Chairman here Peter Newman ....And for those who perhaps missed its recovery, Leon's blog takes up the story here http://leondaniels.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/story-of-rtw335-tale-for-christmas.html

The RTW is a great example of the hassle behind the scenes sometimes, as it had no log book, the dumb iron plate was missing and due to the LT body swap scheme the Leyland plate on it would relate to the card for RTW363 that went to Ceylon many moons ago, hence the original application to get its registration back was refused pending more evidence. This we got with help from the LT Museum and Nick Agnew one of the original group who recovered it along with a number of other individuals who sought out paperwork providing an irrefutable paper trail. Thanks to them all and indeed a very helpful DVLA in Swansea and KXW435 was restored back to her... We then had an issue the day before where no DVLA office wanted to tax it as a bus... but 8 hours later that was overcome and she entered service back in the UK for the first time since disposal in February 1966.

The next new decker was somewhat newer as seen in this image by Russell Young...

 One of the last of the Southend Transport Fleetlines that made up part of the Essex scene for so many years with a number of earlier batches as well as these W reg ones. They ran on many different services as well as normal stage carriage work they would venture onto rial replacement and even X1 commuter runs when vehicle shortages demanded. Following sale from Southend it returned to its old stamping ground in the hands of an independent operator seen below looking very sorry for her self at Leigh Station before passing to Stephensons of Southend who restored her in the earlier blue and cream livery, which as a single door vehicle 233 never ran in, so we put her back to the later version that was also worn by the Southend Routemasters. A gearbox problem and new MOT were needed before she ventured out on Saturday and being completely different and unexpected made a welcome addition.

Tomorrow I will add part 3, looking at a few people and tell a little Christmas tale of how one gentlemen's visit to the Running Day was an emotional visit down memory lane...

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see it in its "correct" livery.Never did look right in blue/cream as a single door vehicle