|Welcome to BusZone's unofficial page about
First Berkshire. For their official website click on the logo below.
First operate most of the town services in Bracknell, Slough and Wokingham along with services to the surrounding areas including Heathrow Airport, High Wycombe and Reading. The recent history of the BeeLine division starts in 1990 with the company was owned by a group called Q-Drive. In 1991/2 Reading Transport purchased the company's Reading and Newbury operations, roughly leaving BeeLine with the services it now operates. Then later in the 1990s the rest of the business was sold to First, becoming known as First BeeLine. As part of a strategy to create a national image for First, the BeeLine name was dropped from the trading name in 2001/2, with publicity describing the company as 'First Berkshire & The Thames Valley'. A new corporate livery introduced in 2012 brought back local identities, and introduced a new First Berkshire fleet name.
Altogether First Berkshire have about 130 vehicles. Standard vehicles in Reading include Scania L94UB / Wright Axcess Flolines, Northern Counties Paladins, Plaxton Pointer / Dennis Darts and Volvo Olympians. Scania L94UB / Wright Solars are used on the Madejski Stadium FastTrack contract and Scania / Irizar Century coaches operate the RailAir service. Further coaches operate in Greenline livery for Greenline services to London, and occasionally make appearances in Reading when away from their usual duties.
53065 was the first Berkshire vehicle to receive the 2012 lilac corporate livery and First Berkshire fleet names in October 2012. Thanks to Peter Coney for this photo.
Freshly repainted Dennis Dart / Marshall Capital DML165 (now 41165) at St. Mary's Butts on 11th July 2003.
This is Dennis Dart / Marshall Capital DML172 (now 41172) soon after transfer from First London. It is seen on diversion at Reading Station on 7th June 2003, but was repainted into standard First corporate livery by the end of the month. Thanks to James Cusworth for this photo.
42643 wears a special livery to operate a shuttle service to Legoland along with sister 42644. It is seen posed for photographs on 23rd March 2006 the day after receiving the livery. Thanks to Mat Wooll for this photo.
This is Wright Axcess Floline 823 (now 65624) in July 2001, unusually operating the 193 rather than the Broadway services for which it is branded. The branding was updated in 2004 using the First Overground name that has been used in a number of other towns and cities.
This is Wright Axcess Floline 832 (now 65632) in its original livery on 15th January 2000. It was purchased as a spare vehicle for the Madejski Stadium Park & Ride service, but did not initially receive the green FastTrack Park & Ride livery. It was eventually repainted once similar 833 (65602) had arrived from First Aberdeen to act as a spare for the service.
65726 is a Scania L94UB / Wright Solar and wears the second generation of Madejski Stadium FastTrack branding. It is seen here on it's first day in service on 12th September 2005. Thanks to Peter Coney for this photo.
33145 with 33141 and 65726 behind on 6 March 2010 making an usual view of three First vehicles together at St Marys Butts.
33147 at Bracknell depot on 21st September 2009. Thanks to Bob Stanger for this photo.
First also operate a number of yellow school buses in Berkshire. Here BMC 1100 fleet number 68512 is seen on a rare visit to Reading on 21st March 2005.
A number of vehicles remain in the base colours of the former BeeLine livery. When it was decided to repaint all vehicles into a corporate livery, all local fleetnames were removed. Vehicles still in the BeeLine livery now simply have "First" fleetnames located on the front.
This is Dennis Dart / Plaxton Pointer 211 (now 42411) outside the Broad Street Mall on 24th April 1999, before local fleetnames were removed.
Volvo Olympian / Alexander RL Type 175 (now 34275) in Reading in July 2001. This bus was originally from First Glasgow.
Volvo Olympian / Alexander R Type 34274 seen on 2nd November 2005 only weeks after being repainted into First Corporate livery Thanks to James Cusworth for this photo.
This is a Berkhof Excellence 1000, fleet number 797 (now 64797) taking a break from it's then usual Greenline duties, operating the 191 in August 2001. These vehicles are now used as dedicated training vehicles.
One of the current RailAir vehicles, this is Scania / Irizar Century 710 (now 23010) on its second day in service, 12th August 2003.
The first of the second batch of RailAir Scanias is 23013, seen on what was probably its first day in service on 13th April 2004. This batch of three differ to the first five in having electronic destination displays fitted.
23013 was one of three Scanias displaced from RailAir to Greenline by Volvos 20611-3. It is seen here posing for a photo before entering service in September 2007. Thanks to Mat Wooll for this photo.
20367 is one of six accessible Volvo V7R / Plaxton Profiles transferred in from Wales in late 2006 / early 2007 for use on Greenline services. All wear standard First coaching livery with additional Greenline vinyls apart from this example which was repainted into this two tone green livery in early 2008. It is seen here on 7th June 2008.
Volvo B12B / Plaxton Panther 20611 at Reading Station on 1st September 2007. This batch of three wheelchair accessible vehicles replaced three of the Scanias on the service.
This is former Dennis Dart / Wright Handybus 78 outside the Broad Street Mall Reading on 20th August 2002.
This is Airport Link services 74/75/76 branded Dennis Dart / Plaxton Pointer 201 at Newlands Bus Station in High Wycombe on 24th November 2001. These vehicles were replaced by Mercedes Citaros on this service in 2002.
This is Northern Counties Paladin 811 (now 64811), the first bus in the fleet to have been repainted into the corporate livery for non low floor vehicles. It is seen here at Jackson's Corner in Reading on 21st December 2001. This version of First livery is no longer being applied to vehicles when they are repainted.
At St. Marys Butts, this is Northern Counties Paladin 813 (now 64813) on 4th October 1997. Vehicles of this type are frequent performers on the Reading services.
64819 is seen on 12th January 2005 wearing the latest version of First livery which has a narrower willow leaf to allow the buses to accommodate adverts more neatly. This livery will be used on all future repaints of both low floor and high floor buses.
A fleet of Dennis Dart SLFs with East Lancs bodies were operated primarily on Surrey County Council schools services as part of the Ride Pegasus project for which they were branded. 43911 is seen augmenting the normal Madejski Park and Ride service at Reading Station for a Rugby match on 5th April 2008.
This is former Plaxton Premiere 344 in Greenline livery in July 2001 away from it's usual coaching duties, and on the 191.
This is Plaxton Expressliner fleet number 799 (now 21122) deputising on the Reading RailAir service on 12th August 2002.
P26 RFS wore the standard 'First' livery for non low floor vehicles and was loaned to the fleet in February 2003 to act as a spare vehicle for Greenline duties. The spare became necessary to allow a higher quality Greenline coach to fill in on the RailAir service after the frequency of the RailAir service was increased to every 20 minutes from every 30 in January 2003. It is seen here on 16th April 2003 still showing its First Midland Bluebird fleet number 2126.
From August 1999 until August 2003 First used a fleet of T-reg tri-axle Plaxton Excalibur coaches on their RailAir service. They were in standard First Group livery, but with special route branding added. They replaced M and N-reg Berkhof Excellence 1000 coaches which were cascaded on to Greenline work, although they did still occasionally appear on the service. The Excaliburs moved on to work for First Southern National, initially on rail replacement work. Above is 704 during it's first week of service in Reading.
This is former 701 on 6th August 2003, in the middle of its first week operating for First Southern National. It is on rail replacement duties at Oxford Station providing cover for Thames Trains on the Cotswold Line.
This is Wright Axcess Floline 827 (later 65627) in September 2000 wearing the Madejski Stadium FastTrack park 'n' ride livery.
This is 827 (later 65627) again, this time on 11th April 2002, showing that some of the drivers on this route liked to have a bit of fun with the otherwise redundant side and rear number displays! These vehicles were replaced by three Scania L94UB / Wright Solars in September 2005 and transferred to First Essex.
|If you have anything that you think should be included here,
please feel free to send an email. All contributions for the site are welcome.
Related sites to visit:
Greenline Website: www.greenline.co.uk
Rainbow Fares Website: www.rainbowfares.com