Euro Bus Expo 2012
6-8 November saw the bi-annual Euro Bus Expo show at the NEC in Birmingham with a number of manufacturers displaying new models. The star of the show was probably the new Plaxton Elite i with it's innovative interdeck design providing 75 seats and wheelchair access without a lift. However, the item of greatest local interest was the first Scania KUB270 chassis for Reading which was on display on the Scania stand.
The first Scania KUB270 chassis for Reading.
The Plaxton Elite i wearing a livery celebrating 10 years of Megabus
Optare launched the MetroCity, a restyled Versa designed for high intensity city and suburban operations.
Optare also displayed their recently announced low floor Bonito minibus based on the Fiat Ducato.
Mercedes-Benz displayed their new Citaro K (K standing for Klein, German for small), although like the full size models the rear layout seemed somewhat compromised compared to many other manufacturers offerings.
Placed by the new Scania chassis, an artists impression of how the new Enviro 300NG vehicles might look when branded for route 2.
Madejski Stadium FastTrack Changes Hands
Monday 5th saw the start of the newly combined Green Park and Madejski Stadium FastTrack contract in Reading, operated by Reading Buses. As part of the new contract the drivers have been on a new training course and wear a simplified dark green uniform which omits the Goldline logo. As previously announced the contract will utilize 10 of the recently ordered gas powered Scania / Alexander Dennis Enviro 300GS vehicles from next May, but in the meantime four temporary vehicles have been transferred to Reading from the Newbury Vodafone fleet having been ousted by the former Thames Valley Park shuttle vehicles.
11 at St. Mary's Butts this afternoon. It was later on the 53, meaning that the new timetable mixes vehicles between all of the routes.
1037 at St. Mary's Butts.
10 inside the old Bus Station.
Green Park FastTrack 1032-6 were also in use as before, along with generic 1031. Meanwhile, the displaced First Berkshire Scanias 65724-6 seem likely to end up on the X74 between Slough and High Wycombe. Reading 1021 has lost its route 9 branding pending loan to Newbury, which with the fifth Thames Valley Park vehicle will allow the sale of 1029/30. Loaned 804 is the a permanent transfer in it's place having been on loan due to roadworks for some time.
1021 was still in use on route 9 today along with 1020 and 1022-5.