R852 PRG's Reviews

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I've decided to create a thread dedicated to my reviews. As I know people seem to enjoy reading them, I thought putting them all in one thread could be a good way of documenting them, with each review now going in this thread. I've got some free time, so I might make my way back through the ''Bus Related Outings & Reviews'' thread, and copy and paste my other reviews from there, and into here. If I do that, I'll put the date in bold at the top of the post, so you know what you're reading. Like I said, it's just I'm trying to gather the reviews and put them all in one place, rather than have to trawl through the main reviews thread for them. I'll be posting my reviews in this thread from now on. Hopefully it's a success. 

R852 PRG
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
Saturday 1st August 2015

Back to present day today, and I've been out and about on a Get Around day ticket. I headed through to Sunderland first, followed by North Shields (splitting at Jarrow for fifteen minutes) and then down to Newcastle and onto the Quayside for some photos of the ''Quaylink'' Versas.

#78 – Chester-le-Street Durham County Cricket Ground to Sunderland, Park Lane Interchange – (08:38 --- 09:12) – Go North East 5398 – Wright Streetlite DF/Wright Streetlite Micro-Hybrid
In recent weeks, I've been catching an ''Angel'' 21 service through to Newcastle between 08:40 and 09:00 a lot to start off my outings, which has resulted in me getting used to my alarm buzzing at 08:00 in the morning. Rather than break this routine, I decided I would catch the 08:40 ''Coast & Country'' 78 service through to Sunderland (08:34 from Chester-le-Street). After leaving my house at 08:25, I arrived at the bus stop at 08:35. Within a few minutes, I saw a ''Coast & Country'' branded Streetlite coming down Ropery Lane, and once it had rounded the roundabout, I flagged it to a stop. To be honest, I was surprised to find ten passengers were on board. The next few villages on the route, Great Lumley, Bournmoor and Shiney Row, were where the majority alighted, with only one carrying on to Sunderland. A few boarded along Chester Road but when we entered Park Lane, we only had around a dozen passengers. The next couple of runs after usually have standees, so I have to say it was a nice change. The WiFi on board worked absolutely brilliantly, and was very speedy. I hate having to eat into my mobile data when surfing the web, so WiFi is always really handy. The Next Stop Announcements worked well, with the audio in-sync with the screen; plus the volume was at a reasonable level. My only disappointment was that the plugs weren't working, I can't remember if I told citaro5284 or not, but it didn't really matter as I had obviously charged my phone overnight.

#9 – Sunderland, Park Lane Interchange to Jarrow Bus Station – (09:35 --- 10:14) – Go North East 6039 – Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President
The driver dropped us off in the middle of the Interchange, where the ''Fab56'' departs from to be precise. He then went over into the layover bays, as he had arrived so early. After making a quick trip to Greggs for my usual bottle of water, I saw him walk across into the Interchange itself to refill his cash dispenser. Looking around to see if there were any Nexus employees (to see none), I sneakily got my camera out and snapped ''Prince Bishops'' 4945 and ''Coast & Country'' 5398 in the layover bays. As I'd succeeded in my mission, and had a while to wait until the 09:34 to Jarrow was to depart, I headed out of the Interchange to get some more photos. When the time crept up to 09:30, I made for the bus stand. Before long, a red Volvo B7TL President rounded the corner into the Interchange, and came to a halt at the stand. The 09:34 runs light to Park Lane from Deptford, meaning I was the first passenger of the day on 6039. Sat at the front upstairs, and listened to some music through my earphones. The journey went by pretty quickly, I think this President was quite fast when you compare it to some of the other examples in the fleet, which crawl up the slightest gradient. After alighting in Jarrow Bus Station, I located the stand for the North Shields-bound 9, due at 10:31. As it was very quiet, and no charvers could be seen, I decided to get some photos to pass the time.

#9 – Jarrow Bus Station to North Shields Town Centre – (10:30 --- 10:43) – Go North East 5166 – Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown
Before I knew it, I could see this entering the bus station. I'd been stocking up on paper timetables, as they were a free for all in one of the shelters. When I checked the fleet number; 5166, I recall this was one of the dual-door ex-Oxford B10BLEs that people aren't particularly keen on. As I'd never made a journey on 5166 before, I had to see what I was in for. We departed Jarrow with about fifteen passengers, the majority of whom were OAPs and sat near the front. I chose to sit on the offside quadrant, stretching my legs with my bag in between them. I have to say, I didn't mind this one as much as I thought I would. Granted, it was only a short journey between Jarrow and North Shields, but it was smooth nonetheless. Not sure I would volunteer to do the whole route from Sunderland. One thing I noticed was how it seemed to struggle in terms of speed during our run through the Tyne Tunnel. I always like going through the tunnel, I've yet to do it from the upper deck of a double decker, something I'd just like to do for the sake of it. We pulled into North Shields on-time, and I alighted here along with everybody else. 

#310 – North Shields Town Centre to Newcastle, Haymarket Bus Station – (11:07 --- 11:50) – Go North East 5247 – Scania CN230UB/Scania OmniCity
As I've got a good friend from my early childhood who lives in North Shields, I'm quite familiar with the place (although I rarely go there on my outings). In front of 5166 was ''Cobalt Clipper'' 6102, which I snapped a few photos of, before walking across to get some photos of ''North Tyne Links'' 553. Then the Ferry Shuttle Solo appeared, along with Arriva Pulsar 1497. Got decent pics of all, however I noticed the driver of 1497 (who jumped off to have a cigarette) kept his eyes sealed on me as I walked back across to where the 310 departs from. Speaking of the 310, I overheard some elderly women talking about some sort of march that was taking place in the town centre soon, so I wanted to make sure I was out of there on the next bus to Newcastle. My heart sank when I saw red OmniCity 5247 appear, with the blind set for the 310 to Newcastle... After a driver changeover, a load of about twenty passengers, myself included, boarded. I sat at the emergency exit; just in case the thrills of the journey became too much for me and I had to throw myself in front of an oncoming vehicle on the Coast Road... One thing I did notice from this journey – that area of houses between North Shields town centre and Middle Engine Lane, ooof... I thought Hollyhill Gardens in Stanley was bad! The journey wasn't as bad as I expected in hindsight; when we got closer to Newcastle, I noticed the famous Steven Hodgson boarded at Arriva's Jesmond depot. Nearly all passengers jumped off at St. Mary's Place, meaning just him and I along with one other person were on board when we came into Haymarket. As I walked down the aisle, he turned around and smiled, saying hello. I generated a conversation and introduced myself, before I said goodbye to him when we walked different ways at Haymarket Bus Station.

#Q3 – Newcastle, Haymarket Bus Station to Quayside Guildhall – (12:18 --- 12:23) – Go North East 8315 – Optare Versa V1110/Optare
As I exited Haymarket, I saw Gary Devlin standing by himself at the little island where most enthusiasts stand to get photos, so I went over to talk to him for a while. After about ten minutes, I left him and headed back into Haymarket to jump on a ''Quaylink'' Q3 service down to the Quayside. I found 8315 – a ''Great Park & Ride'' Green example – at the top of the bus station. I boarded and sat at the back, I love how comfortable the seating is at the back on a Versa, and the legroom next to the emergency exit is fantastic. As we pulled out of Haymarket; I almost died when I heard how loud the Next Stop Announcement was. I wasn't expecting it either, seeing as we were just pulling out of the bus station. It was a pleasant little ride down to the Quayside, and I jumped off at Guildhall. While I snapped a photo of 8315, Jack McArdle introduced himself and I spoke to him briefly, however I was just mainly focused on getting photos of the ''Quaylinks''. Sid was with him too. After quite a while, and after Jack and Sid had left, I caught the next ''Quaylink'' to appear. I'd really recommend photos on the Quayside, you get no hassle there and it is just great.

#Q1 – Quayside Guildhall to Newcastle Central Station – (12:54 --- 13:00) – Go North East 8334 – Optare Versa V1110/Optare
The next bus to appear, was ''Orbit'' purple liveried 8334, working the Q1 to Central Station. Rather than stick around, I boarded this. The driver was quite a pleasant man, and he greeted me as I boarded. About half a dozen passengers were already on board, which meant I had a pick of the seats. Again, I chose to sit near the emergency exit at the back. The seats there are just so comfortable, I've found they're quite similar on the ''Venture'' Solos – so I'm guessing it's an Optare seating thing. It was a smooth journey and I have to say, I quite enjoyed it. When we were all dropped off at Central Station, an elderly lady had a lengthy conversation with the driver about the buses to Gateshead from where they were being dropped off. I crossed the road to get a photograph of it, and it came out quite nicely. After waiting for what felt like ages, a MetroCentre-bound bus showed up, in the form of a 10A...

#10A – Newcastle Central Station to MetroCentre Transport Interchange – (13:13 --- 13:24) – Go North East 6084 – Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini 2
When I boarded, I had yet another pleasant driver, who greeted me and even asked how I was doing. As the lower deck was crowded, I headed upstairs. Sat four or five rows from the front, next to a plug socket. Finally! I took the opportunity to charge my phone here, getting it from 49% to 63% over the course of this relatively short journey. I realised, with the plug sockets; that (having not checked the fleet number when I boarded, as I usually would) that this was 6084, the ex-''Fab56'' branded Gemini 2. It provided quite a smooth journey, as most B9TLs do. This would have been my second B9TL of the day, had the blasted 5247 not been operating the 310... Nevermind! As we approached the MetroCentre, I headed downstairs, along with a handful of OAPs. Quite a decent number of passengers alighted here, I think if you told some people to go into Eldon Square, and find a bus that would take them to the MetroCentre, they would head to the stand for the 10/10A/10B; as the link between the two is very heavily promoted and seems well used. 

#X66 – MetroCentre Transport Interchange to Gateshead Transport Interchange – (13:26 --- 13:37) – Go North East 5332 – Mercedes 0530N/Mercedes Citaro
When I jumped off, I saw Citaro 5332 just across the Interchange, working the X66 to Gateshead, so I went for it. As my opinion of the Citaros has now started to change for the better side of them, I boarded this one completely voluntarily. About eight passengers were on board when we left the MetroCentre, with no drivers halting the bus at Riverside to commute to Gateshead Interchange. I sat at the quadrant on the offside; with the three side-ways facing seats on the nearside to my left. With it being such a short journey, I can't make many comments. We took the route via Askew Road, rather than along the Centrelink. When we got to Gateshead Interchange, I made my way around the Interchange, trying to make heads and tails of the new stand allocations visually. Another ''Quaylink'' branded Versa appeared, with the Q2 to Heworth, so I jumped on that.

#Q2 – Gateshead Transport Interchange to Wrekenton High Street – (13:43 --- 14:02) – Go North East 8331 – Optare Versa V1110/Optare
It was 8331, yet another former ''Orbit'' branded example. Upon making this journey, I'd been on all of the new ''Quaylink'' services today (Q1/Q2/Q3). A few elderly women accused the driver of not stopping in the correct place, due to the stand re-allocations, however he insisted to them that he was right and they were wrong. He didn't seem to be as nice as the other two drivers I'd experienced on the ''Quaylink'' today, and he didn't really seem to acknowledge my ''hello'' when I boarded. Passenger numbers were pretty low throughout the journey, the majority of whom alighted in Wrekenton, myself included. I spent most of the journey talking to Sean (northern156) on Facebook Messenger, he was somewhere up in Scotland doing a train bash... God be with him. I thought I was being a clever guy by calling the Class 380s ''Darth Vaders'', when in fact that nickname is for the Class 450s. I got mixed up. They look pretty similar as it is. 

#X1 – Wrekenton High Street to Washington The Galleries Bus Station – (14:10 --- 14:18) – Go North East 6005 – Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini 2
After waiting for a while, I saw a ''Red Arrows'' B9TL coming up Old Durham Road. Rather than hang around, I decided to board this and head to the Galleries next. As soon as I boarded, I saw how busy it was downstairs; with nearly every seat taken. Thus, I made my way up the staircase. I was surprised to see Adrian sitting towards the middle of the saloon, so I sat on the row next to him and started talking. It seems every weekend I manage to bump into him. I told him where I'd been, and it seems we were in North Shields not far apart from each other, Adrian had been there when the march was just starting. It was quite a smooth journey; I'm sure it's been brought up before, but 6005 has a nice little ''squeal'' sound in the engine. It's very noticeable, and the noise stands out from the others. When I got to the Galleries, I decided I was going to call it a day here, and board the next bus back to Chester-le-Street. Coincidentally, a Stanley-bound ''Coast & Country'' 8 service was pulling in at the same time, so I said goodbye to Adrian and made my way downstairs to then connect onto the 8.

#8 – Washington The Galleries Bus Station to Chester-le-Street South Burns – (14:20 --- 14:41) – Go North East 5406 – Wright Streetlite DF/Wright Streetlite Micro-Hybrid
The vehicle operating this run was Chester-le-Street's 5406. I recall being on this example before; I believe the only ''Coast & Country'' Streetlites I need are Stanley's 5400 and Chester-le-Street's 5402 and 5403. 5408 has been stalking me quite a lot recently, so it was nice to be on an example that was not said vehicle. I sat at the back, big mistake. The seating there is dreadfully uncomfortable, however, the bus was quite busy so I decided not to change seats. I connected to the WiFi without any problems, and charged my phone without any issues. The Next Stop Announcements were working fine, and before I knew it, we were passing Chester-le-Street depot and coming into the town centre. After alighting and having a quick trip up to Morrison's; I hitched a lift to the Black Horse on 8303 (working the 14:54 ''Lambton Worm'' 34 to Waldridge Park; I live quite a long walk from the town centre, and if I can get a bus closer and kill the walking time, I will do so). Driving this Versa was a miserable prick. He used to drive the 08:10 21 service (which I used to use on a daily basis) from the Black Horse to Newcastle on a weekday morning, before the big rota amalgamation and when that was part of a 4-day rota. He looks like he really hates his life. Somebody could drag him out of the cab and drive the bus over a cliff and he would sit there, content with it... Anyway, I walked home from the Black Horse and was back in the house for 15:20.

It was a great day out, despite bumping into as many as five other enthusiasts, I'd class it as a solo outing. Really pleased with how some of my photos from today came out, I'll get onto uploading them to Flickr later on tonight. Thanks for reading. Smile

R852 PRG
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
Sunday 2nd August 2015

Time for a very rare Sunday outing from me; as we had one from Dan last weekend, I decided I would brave the lack of frequency and make a day out of what is usually a day of rest (in other words; doing absolutely nothing productive). With me on my Get Around adventure today; was the mysterious and elusive Geoff, some may remember the little references to him in the days after the Howlands Rally in June, but since then he seems to have fallen off the radar... Time for a comeback!

#21 – Chester-le-Street Black Horse to Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station – (10:06 --- 10:54) – Go North East 6060 – Volvo B5LH/Wright Gemini 2
While I usually make my first journey before 10:00 on the average Saturday outing, I'd arranged to meet Geoff in Eldon Square between 10:00 and 11:00, so I woke up at 09:00, and left the house at 09:45. Usually, my walk into Chester-le-Street is around twenty minutes (remember, I live far away from the town centre itself), so I was expecting to be in the town centre for about 10:10. As I reached the top of the Front Street; I saw an ''Angel'' branded B5 waiting at the Black Horse bus stop, bound for Newcastle. I boarded, and recognised the driver. A man called Tim, who spent a short while driving my scholars service last year. I'd become quite friendly with him, and despite having him since then, he didn't seem to recognise me. While I was talking to him just then, he seemed to click and remember me. After informing him of some scholars changes (which he was unaware of), I made my way upstairs and he pulled away from the bus stop. A few more passengers were picked up outside of Corals, before the uneventful journey through to Newcastle took place. Being a Sunday, it wasn't particularly busy, and I was the only passenger upstairs when we pulled away from Gateshead Interchange. Upon arrival in Eldon Square, I thanked and said goodbye to Tim before waiting for Geoff to arrive.

#Q3 – Newcastle, Haymarket Bus Station to Quayside Guildhall (11:04 --- 11:10) – Go North East 8314 – Optare Versa V1110/Optare
It wasn't long before a ''Red Kite'' 47 arrived, with Geoff on board. We walked down the bus station and he suggested we got the ''Quaylink'' Q3 down to the Quayside. It sounded like a good idea, so we walked through Haymarket Bus Station; where a green Versa just happened to be pulling in at the very top. Driving this machine was quite a friendly man; we pulled away with ease and the quick journey down to the Quayside flew by. We sat in the middle of the vehicle, I have to say the passenger numbers were alright, although the majority were OAPs. When Guildhall came up, we alighted here and had a pleasant walk along the Quayside. Geoff quite likes the various things you would find on the stalls along the Quayside, and I have to say the variety of things people were trying to sell (which nobody wanted) was quite vast. When we'd reached the Law Courts; we checked the times for the buses. The City Sightseeing open topper was due at 11:30, while a Great Park-bound Q3 was expected at 11:37, and a St. Peter's Basin Q3 was due at 11:43.

#Q3 – Quayside Law Courts to Newcastle, Market Street – (11:34 --- 11:39) – Go North East 8314 – Optare Versa V1110/Optare
The time was 11:20, so we decided to walk across the Millennium Bridge, and see the times for the Q1/Q2 at Baltic Square. We crossed the river, and I checked the stand for the Heworth-bound Q2s; one was due in a couple of minutes at 11:28, so I got myself in a position for a photograph. It was former purple Versa 8329, and I got some decent photos of it. We casually made our way back across the bridge; when Geoff said he could see the 11:37 Q3 back to Newcastle in the distance. I looked; it was quite far away, but so was the bus stop. We picked up the pace as we crossed the bridge, but started to run once we were on firm ground once again. I think some of the other people around at the time thought we'd stolen something from one of the stalls on the Quayside, and were making a terrible getaway. Fortunately, we made it to catch 8314 (which we had just been on!). Following a quick driver changeover, we pulled away. Once again, it was a smooth and quick journey. Despite only taking an interest in them in the past few days, I've started to find myself quite fond of the ''Quaylink'' Versas; I think they're in good condition and are pleasant to ride.

#56 – Newcastle, Market Street East to Gateshead Transport Interchange – (11:45 --- 11:52) – Go North East 6087 – Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini 2
We alighted on Market Street, with the intention of heading to Heworth next. We checked the bus stops, and ended up waiting with a group of others on Market Street East. The first thing to turn up was 6087, a ''Fab56'' branded B9TL, which we decided to get to Gateshead, before awaiting the next Heworth-bound service. While all of the other passengers remained downstairs, we hit the front seats for this short hop to Gateshead Interchange. In the midst of this; I showed Geoff a photo of preserved former Northern ECW bodied Leyland Olympian 3656, having been recently repainted into yellow and cream Tyne and Wear PTE colours. Have to say it looks incredibly smart, I hope to see it at Seaburn. After disembarking 6087, we checked the new stand layout, and located the ''Citylink'' 58 to Heworth.

#58 – Gateshead Transport Interchange to Heworth Metro Interchange – (12:01 --- 12:29) – Go North East 5378 – Optare Versa V1170/Optare
A queue of around fifteen passengers formed while a quick driver changeover took place. Whilst the previous driver seemed quite a happy guy, the driver who took over didn't smile once. I sat at the very back, next to the emergency exit; where I find the seating is most comfortable and has a lot of depth to it. We departed Gateshead with roughly twenty passengers, off the top of my head. I browsed the forum until we left Old Durham Road, and started going through Deckham. I'd never seen such a place before. Makes Stanley look like a beautiful place! Geoff mentioned he was once considering buying a house around the area, when he was younger. Before long, we were out of Leam Lane Estate, and just a few stops away from Heworth Interchange. I have to say, while I connected to the WiFi without any issues, the Next Stop Announcements were very quiet.

#4 – Heworth Metro Interchange to Washington The Galleries Bus Station – (12:44 --- 13:05) – Go North East 5363 – Mercedes 0530N/Mercedes Citaro
I got some photos around Heworth (no Nexus staff were in sight!) before we did a couple of loops around the Interchange, and boarded ''Connections4'' branded Citaro 5363 to Washington Galleries. This Citaro was a very smooth machine with a great amount of power, as I usually expect from the ''Connections4'' branded examples. I told Geoff about the whole Cecil the Lion thing, with him being killed, his brother coming in to look after the cubs, and now his brother being killed as well; apparently I was making it out like it was a soap opera. Before we knew it, we were at Concord Bus Station. Now, if I was an outsider, and somebody told me there was a place called ''Concord''; I would automatically think of the plane. In reality, Concord is far from the beauty and majesty of the aircraft; it looks like it's been hit by one! While we sat waiting during the driver changeover, Geoff brought up the videos Bazza used to put up on YouTube, of his favourite places. Concord; lovely! 

#X1 – Washington The Galleries Bus Station to Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station – (13:16 --- 13:48) – Go North East 6050 – Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini 2
Having arrived at the Galleries, Geoff suggested we headed back to Newcastle on the ''Red Arrows'' X1 service. I checked the times for the ''Whey Aye Five 0'' 50A back to Chester-le-Street, one was due at 13:20, while an X1 was expected at 13:17. We sat down at the bottom of the sitting area for the X1, at the foot of the escalators. As I glanced around the bus station, I saw Malarkey. He had been to ASDA and sat down in the stand for the next bus to Lambton. Within a few minutes, a ''Red Arrows'' X1 came to a halt, running a few minutes early(!). Following the driver changeover, we boarded this ''Red Arrows'' branded bus and made our way upstairs. As the front seats had been taken, we ended up sitting a few rows behind them. We discussed the various goings-on on the forum; it passed the time by nicely, before we knew it were pulling into Gateshead Interchange. We carried on to Newcastle, and noticed 8335 (the ''Pride'' bus) was parked up in the layover.

#21 – Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station to Chester-le-Street Red Lion – (13:50 --- 14:35) – Go North East 6062 – Volvo B5HL/Wright Gemini 2
I said goodbye to Geoff, and he headed elsewhere, while I joined the line to board. About twenty people were on board when we left Eldon Square, with a relatively similar number boarding in Gateshead. The upper saloon looked quite busy after we departed the Interchange, with a lot of those passengers withdrew in Low Fell and Birtley. When we arrived in Chester-le-Street, only a few passengers remained. As I had jumped on a Chester-le-Street bound service, I had seen when exiting Eldon Square that the next ''Angel'' heading in was a Durham-bound service. Having watched 6062 pull out to head up to the Black Horse, I hovered around the bus stop. Two women enquired as to whether or not they could get to Bishop Auckland from here, or not, as they needed to get there as quick as possible. I explained that on Sundays, one 21 service to Durham every hour carries on to Bishop Auckland. Fortunately, when it appeared, it did indeed have ''Durham for Bishop Auckland'' on it's destination screen. Quite a lot of passengers asked the driver if he was going to Bishop Auckland, I'm not sure what was going on there. I alighted at my local stop and walked home from there. 

I admit, while outings on Sundays are quite hard (with a lot of services not in operation, and nearly all of the others on a reduced frequency), today was quite fun. Most likely because I very rarely venture out on Sundays, so it was something different from the usual. It was also nice to see Geoff again. Thanks for reading. Smile

R852 PRG
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
I just love how you can't go a single review without mentioning Stanley in it. Are you starting to get jealous that you don't live here...? Tongue
(02 Aug 2015, 6:24 pm)R852 PRG Wrote: I admit, while outings on Sundays are quite hard (with a lot of services not in operation, and nearly all of the others on a reduced frequency), today was quite fun. Most likely because I very rarely venture out on Sundays, so it was something different from the usual. It was also nice to see Geoff again. Thanks for reading. Smile

Marcus

21 every 10 minutes to Newcastle is hard! Boo Hoo!

Could be worse I have 4 buses an hour to Darlington. Although it is 4 different services to Darlington so if I want to head to Newcastle it's one 7 an hour and the connections don't meet so it's half hour or more of waiting in most cases!
(02 Aug 2015, 6:24 pm)R852 PRG Wrote: #21 – Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station to Chester-le-Street Red Lion – (13:05 --- 14:35) – Go North East 6062 – Volvo B5HL/Wright Gemini 2

An hour and half to travel between Eldon Square and Chester? Bad traffic or did the bus get lost coming out of Gateshead? If there was only someone from the forum present to give directions out of the maze which is Gateshead eh?

Also, you've managed to travel back in time somehow. I'll let that slide though; it happens!

7.8/10!
(02 Aug 2015, 6:31 pm)Jimmi Wrote: 21 every 10 minutes to Newcastle is hard! Boo Hoo!

Could be worse I have 4 buses an hour to Darlington. Although it is 4 different services to Darlington so if I want to head to Newcastle it's one 7 an hour and the connections don't meet so it's half hour or more of waiting in most cases!

Could be worse, I have one bus every two sodding hours!
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(02 Aug 2015, 7:01 pm)northern156 Wrote: Could be worse, I have one bus every two sodding hours!
At least you can drive, I can't!
Tuesday 4th August 2015

Today was my last available day for an outing, as I go on holiday on Saturday (returning on Thursday 20th August). I decided I would make the effort to go out and write one more review before a brief hiatus. I'm trying to work around the ''See it Do it'' event at Barnes Park on Friday, if I do go, I won't be sticking around and I will be gone before anybody sees me. Anyway, on with the review.

#21 – Chester-le-Street Clifford Terrace to Durham Bus Station – (10:20 --- 10:36) – Go North East 6060 – Volvo B5LH/Wright Gemini 2
After waking up and getting ready for the day ahead, I decided I would head through to Durham first. I left the house just a couple of minutes after 10:00; the walk to the Clifford Terrace bus stop (when I walk at a reasonable pace!) is roughly ten minutes. It's five minutes from the Red Lion in Chester-le-Street, so the 21 services from there are at 05; 20; 35 and 50 minutes past, with two X21s scheduled at 10 and 40 minutes past. The X22 also runs past it, just a few minutes before the next hour, also, the Arriva ''MAX'' X12 service goes past but does not stop (believe me, I would use it if it did!). As I awaited the 10:20 Durham service, a van pulled up at the bus stop. Watching in the corner of my eye with intrigue, I saw the man getting equipment out of the van. It was clear he was either repairing (although I could not see any damage) or simply maintaining the bus stop. He was pulling a big hose out of the rear of the vehicle as I was walking a couple of metres down to flag the approaching ''Angel'' Gemini, it's possible he was just cleaning the windows. The company name did have the word ''Clean'' in it, so I'd suggest it's likely. Vehicle was 6060, with a driver I had never seen before. Ever since the big rota amalgamation just over a year ago, I've seen countless new drivers at Chester-le-Street. Sat at the front upstairs, and watched the quiet journey go by. Standard journey on one of the ''Angel'' branded B5LHs, it was smooth and punctual. 

#44 – Durham Bus Station to Stanley Bus Station – (10:47 --- 11:24) – Go North East 5287 – Mercedes 0530N/Mercedes Citaro
We were dropped off of the 21 at the drop-off stand in the bus station, at the very top. After I walked around to North Road, and down to Greggs for my usual bottle of water to get me through the day, I made my way back up to the bus station. I waited for a ''Pronto'' X21 and a ''Sapphire'' 22 to depart the bus station through the exit, before I walked back undercover. As I re-entered, I saw the time on the big timetable board; it was exactly 10:45, and the ''Diamond'' 44 (which I intended to catch to Stanley) was due at 10:50. Within a couple of minutes, I saw the distinctive ''Diamond'' livery turning into the top of the bus station, and I made my way towards the stands. The driver brought it to a halt a couple of stops down from it's allocated stand, and after waiting for all passengers to alight, I boarded and showed him my Get Around, before heading to find a seat. Opted for my favoured place to sit on a Citaro; at the very back, where I can rest my arm on the luggage rack thing where another seat could be. One elderly lady boarded, asking the driver ''if he went to the hospital''. A few more were picked up at Millburngate, with a couple alighting in Sacriston and Edmondsley. In or near Sacriston, I saw a conked out 3868, with passengers on board and hazard lights flashing. A decent number of passengers were picked up in the Craghead and South Stanley. 5287 provided quite a pleasant ride, and we entered Stanley with a load of about twenty five passengers, at 11:24. One thing that I noted, with regards to the proposed changes to the ''Diamond'' services and the X30/X31, is that quite a number of passengers boarding near Stanley, were heading to either the MetroCentre or Newcastle...

#X30 – Stanley Bus Station to Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station – (11:26 --- 12:08) – Go North East 6131 – Scania N94UD/East Lancs OmniDekka
As we pulled into the bus station, I saw the Newcastle-bound X30 was waiting in it's stand; was so I decided to catch that to Newcastle. In one of my most recent reviews, I mentioned I was looking to get one of the refurbished 04-registration OmniDekkas (6131 and 6133), luckily for me, I had the red liveried example of the pair; 6131. A few people were already on board, they were all sat downstairs; I guessed they were carrying on the journey from Lanchester. After the next driver arrived (with the driver who had brought the bus from Lanchester going elsewhere, seemingly leaving those passengers on board with the doors closed, which I think isn't allowed?) and logged on to the ticket machine, the queue of about fifteen passengers (the majority being OAPs) started moving. Most of them sat downstairs, however a few OAPs made the back breaking journey up the staircase to sit on the upper saloon. Fortunately, the front seats were unoccupied, and I sat down and relaxed into the seat directly above the driver. For about thirty seconds anyway. I winced as I heard some loud children racing up the stairs, and then coming towards the front. Two women appeared to be in charge of the four children; the six of them all sat on the left hand side. The eldest boy, who brandished a thick north eastern accent and a blue and white hoodie; was the epidome of the typical British charver. With the racket that family of cattle produced in the background, I put it out of my mind and enjoyed the ride through to Newcastle. This machine raced along the open country road that passes the Tanfield Railway, then soared through Sunniside and down Lobley Hill Bank, before climbing into Gateshead via Bensham, where the animals alighted. I then enjoyed the rest of the journey through to Newcastle. 

#44A – Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station to MetroCentre Transport Interchange – (12:14 --- 12:30) – Go North East 5337 – Mercedes 0530N/Mercedes Citaro
On Percy Street, while still on 6131, I could see the Wright Streetdeck demonstrator was on stand with the X21 service to Bishop Auckland. Tempted to have a ride to Chester-le-Street on it, to see if the route had changed the bus for the worse since my previous ride on it about two weeks ago, I was a bit annoyed when I saw it pulling out as we were pulling in. Nothing else of interest was in Eldon Square at the time, and I couldn't see any enthusiasts up at the little island by the Haymarket when I entered on 6131, so I just did a little loop around the bus station, from Percy Street, down past Haymarket and then back in through the bottom, to kill some time. A few minutes later, I saw one of the red Stanley-based Citaros on Percy Street, with the destination already set for the 44A to Durham. I decided I would catch this across to the MetroCentre, I'm quite fond of the seats in these two buses; they're nicer in my opinion than the seating on the average Citaros. I'm guessing they retained this seating from their previous operator (Southern Vectis?). Despite being 06-reg (making it nine years old and one of the oldest in the fleet), I found this example had just as much power and smoothness as a two year old ''Connections4'' example. After I jumped off at the MetroCentre, I once again found myself in a situation where there was nothing of interest. Soon, I just got bored of waiting for something good, and decided to board the next thing back to Newcastle...

#10A – MetroCentre Transport Interchange to Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station – (12:44 --- 13:02) – Go North East 6083 – Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini 2
Within a few minutes, I saw a ''TEN'' branded B9TL coming in, Newcastle-bound, in the distance. Two Riverside drivers were floating around the stand, so I came to the conclusion that there was going to be a changeover. Sure enough, after the bus had emptied, the drivers changed over. Passengers started boarding while the previous driver continued to sort out his belongings, which were on the luggage rack thing. While the lower deck was quite busy, I headed upstairs to find it deserted. Taking advantage of this, I got an interior photograph. The rest of the queue ended up making their way upstairs, and we pulled away at 12:45. I looked at the VOR line inside Riverside as we passed; I saw recently withdrawn 4841, an R-PRG example, which was a sad sight. Before long, we were crossing the River Tyne and heading into the city centre. It was the usual B9TL journey, with the smoothness of the engine providing a great journey. Upon arrival in Eldon Square, I noticed the row of bench seats in Costa were unoccupied, so I sat down and treated myself to a small Hot Chocolate for £1.40(?). I connected to the Eldon Square WiFi and had a Snapchat conversation with Adam, before finishing and leaving Costa at 13:15. Then, I headed up to the little island next to the Haymarket for some photos. After spending quite a while there, and getting some decent photos, I headed back into Eldon Square for the next ''Angel'' 21 service back to Chester-le-Street. 

#21 – Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station to Chester-le-Street Lloyds TSB – (13:57 --- 14:32) – Go North East 6016 – Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President
Before long, an ex-London President appeared with the 21 service; Chester-le-Street bound. It was 6016, in my opinion, one of the better B7TLs in the fleet. I ended up sitting to the left of the staircase upstairs; we departed Newcastle with a load of about twenty people upstairs, then about thirty by the time we'd hit Gateshead. I wasn't expecting a service at this time to be so busy. At Low Fell, a young mother and her daughter were walking down the stairs for their stop when the driver pulled away as they were descending the stairs. Shows how sometimes you really do have to make a presence at the front of the bus for the driver to register that you're wishing to disembark. He was another new face at Chester-le-Street depot, can't recall ever seeing him before. By the time we'd reached the Red Lion in Chester-le-Street, nearly everybody had alighted. I was the only passenger still upstairs; after a driver changeover, I prepared to alight at the next stop on the Front Street, next to William Hill (although I believe the stops themselves are named after the nearby Lloyds Bank). When I thanked the driver, I noticed he was yet another unfamiliar face. Where have they all come from?! A quick de-tour before walking home meant I was in the house for 15:15. 

It was a nice little outing, obviously as can be seen, I didn't go very far and stayed in my comfort zone. When I return from holiday, I intend to do an Explorer on Saturday the 22nd of August, so there will be no more reviews until then. I'll still view the forum while I'm away. Thanks for reading. Smile

R852 PRG
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
If only you had waited at Stanley 90 minutes longer, you would have had 6133! It was the 15:00 X30 out of Lanchester (i saw it at 15:42 at Sunniside) so if i can workout correctly, it would have been the 12:57 X31 out of Stanley to Newcastle.
"also, the Arriva ''MAX'' X12 service goes past but does not stop (believe me, I would use it if it did!)"

We got caught out by this, last week. I was spitting nails because according to the Arriva app, it stops at the Red Lion.

At least I'm forewarned for future hospital appointments. Just means it costs us more, as we have to use 2 different bus companies.
(04 Aug 2015, 6:47 pm)S813 FVK Wrote: If only you had waited at Stanley 90 minutes longer, you would have had 6133! It was the 15:00 X30 out of Lanchester (i saw it at 15:42 at Sunniside) so if i can workout correctly, it would have been the 12:57 X31 out of Stanley to Newcastle.

I've seen that one twice today while having a whale of a time on the Quaylinks..! Got a pic of it yesterday too (although forgot to upload it).
(04 Aug 2015, 9:24 pm)BusLoverMum Wrote: "also, the Arriva ''MAX'' X12 service goes past but does not stop (believe me, I would use it if it did!)"

We got caught out by this, last week. I was spitting nails because according to the Arriva app, it stops at the Red Lion.

At least I'm forewarned for future hospital appointments. Just means it costs us more, as we have to use 2 different bus companies.

The X12 does actually use the stop outside the Red Lion in Chester-le-Street on the Front Street. which is the main stop where Poundland is.
(04 Aug 2015, 9:27 pm)Dan Wrote: I've seen that one twice today while having a whale of a time on the Quaylinks..! Got a pic of it yesterday too (although forgot to upload it).

Getting your hands dirty testing the announcements after the recent issues?

6133 is certainly hard to miss thats for sure! I would be quite happy to see it all day.
(04 Aug 2015, 9:27 pm)Dan Wrote: I've seen that one twice today while having a whale of a time on the Quaylinks..! Got a pic of it yesterday too (although forgot to upload it).

Aye, made that spin out as well.... Big Grin Tongue
(04 Aug 2015, 9:33 pm)Jimmi Wrote: The X12 does actually use the stop outside the Red Lion in Chester-le-Street on the Front Street. which is the main stop where Poundland is.

I can unforgive the driver then. Miserable git he was. Think he's the same guy who ignored my stop and dropped me off 1/4 of a mile down the hill from my house on a filthy winter day when I had a load of heavy bags after picking up some shopping on the way home from a physio/hydrotherapy appointment.
Tomorrow I will be on a North East Explorer, providing the weather isn't too bad, with Adrian. Got a few things I need to do. I'll have the review up on Sunday, as it's my sister's birthday and we're going out for a meal in the evening.
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
(21 Aug 2015, 8:29 pm)R852 PRG Wrote: Tomorrow I will be on a North East Explorer, providing the weather isn't too bad, with Adrian. Got a few things I need to do. I'll have the review up on Sunday, as it's my sister's birthday and we're going out for a meal in the evening.

I would've joined you however I'm on the Cumbrian Coast and at Stobart Fest tomorrow! Smile
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Saturday 22nd August 2015

Following my break from writing reviews, after my holiday, I've returned. I enjoyed a North East Explorer ticket with Adrian yesterday; I would have typed the review up last night, but I was busy. Our plan was to visit the yards of Alpha Recovery in Dudley, Cramlington, and Thorntons Brothers, in North Seaton, Ashington. Despite putting together a rough plan for our adventure, things didn't go to plan from the off, and we ended up just making it up as we went along.

#X21 – Chester-le-Street Black Horse to Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station – (08:56 --- 09:29) – Go North East 3872 – Dennis Trident/East Lancs Lolyne – ''Work, Eat, Play''
I'd set my alarm for 07:40, in order to get ready and walk into Chester-le-Street for the 08:34 21 service to Newcastle; getting me there for 09:13 and allowing a connection onto the 09:30 X20 up to Ashington. However, when I naturally started stirring, I realised the time was 08:31; I had slept in. Without thinking, I got up and started hurrying the usual process along, leaving the house just shy of 08:40. Messaging Adrian to inform him of this change of plan, he joked that my plan was out of the window, before telling me to try and make an X21 or an X12 from Chester-le-Street to speed things up. Fortunately, as I had walked quicker than usual, I reached the top of Front Street at 08:55. On Durham Road; I saw an East Lancs Lolyne coming along, with the ''Pronto'' X21 to Newcastle. Making it to the Black Horse bus stop just as it rounded the roundabout onto Front Street, an elderly woman next to me commented that ''they had put one of the old ones on''. I obtained my Explorer ticket for £9.70 from the driver, and headed upstairs. Every seat was taken downstairs, with a load of about fifteen passengers upstairs. Sitting a few rows from the back, I took the opportunity to relax, having rushed out. Upon arrival in Newcastle, I messaged Adrian again, telling him we were going the long way around via the top of John Dobson Street and St. Mary's Place as opposed to Blackett Street and Percy Street. The driver dropped us off in the very bottom ''set down'' stand in Eldon Square, where I soon located Adrian.

#X21 – Newcastle, Haymarket Bus Station to Ashington Bus Station – (09:33 --- 10:28) – Arriva North East 7523 – Dennis Trident 2/Alexander Enviro400 - ''Sapphire''
We walked into Haymarket, hoping the 09:30 X20 hadn't left yet. Unfortunately, as soon as I clapped my eyes on the ALX400 operating the service; I saw it pull out. Luckily, a ''Sapphire'' branded Enviro400 was sat next to the stand it had been occupying, so to waste no time, we jumped on that. The vehicle was totally deserted, with no other passengers on board. I initially went for the seat above the driver, with plenty of legroom; however Adrian hinted that he was hoping for that one, so I shifted across to the other side. I have to say, I quite liked this journey. The 2014-example Enviro400s on the X21/X22 have loads of power in them in my opinion, and the ''Sapphire'' seating was actually pretty comfortable. Enjoying the ride through the scenic areas between towns, we discussed various topics ranging from the law to Quality Contracts. One thing of note; the window at the top of the stairs rests against the CCTV monitor when opened, I hadn't realised until Adrian pointed it out. Upon arrival in Ashington Bus Station, after an enjoyable run up from Newcastle, we walked towards the site of the old depot; now demolished. We walked around to the main part of the bus station, for a few photos and to pick up a timetable for the 35/35A services. A young boy emerged from the little Arriva office, mentioning that the Volvo B7TL that I was photographing was a nice bus. I later determined that it was Tommy, I didn't recognise you at the time I'm afraid, but it later clicked that it was you when I remember seeing some photos from the ''Quaylink'' launch.

#35 – Ashington Bus Station to North Seaton, opposite South Side – (11:53 --- 12:04) – Arriva North East 1580 – Wright Streetlite DF/Wright Streetlite Micro-Hybrid - ''Eco-Green''
Next up was a trip to The Rohan Kanhai, the nearest Wetherspoons, for a nice breakfast. We located a nice two-seater table, and both ordered a Traditional Breakfast; great value for money at £2.99. Discussing the upcoming Seaburn rally while we awaited our food; we then enjoyed our breakfasts and headed out of the Wetherspoons at about 11:15. Next on the agenda was a walk down to Arriva's Ashington depot. Parked up was ''MAX'' branded Enviro400 7531, a couple of withdrawn Darts at the back, along with an ex-London President, a Prima training coach, and an ALX400. Adrian suggested we asked at the main office to see if we could be granted permission to get some better photos from the inside, however after several attempts at knocking, we realised nobody was in the offices. After a short walk back to Ashington Bus Station, we located the stand for the next 35/35A service which we would catch to Thorntons. A short wait took place, before one of the ''Eco-Green'' branded Wright Streetlites appeared. I was slightly disappointed, as I was hoping for an ALX400, as these services appeared to be a bit of a dolly mixtures allocation from my observations so far. Nevertheless, we boarded this characterless and uninspiring Wright Streetlite; I spent most of the journey watching our progress on the Google Maps app, before I rang the bell for the driver to stop at the nearest bus stop to Thorntons. 

#35A – North Seaton, opposite South Side to Ashington, Station Road – (12:41 --- 12:57) – Arriva North East 1761 – Dennis Dart SLF/Dennis MPD – ''Original Arriva''
After walking along the road, we turned off onto a country lane where I determined we would find Thorntons. We could see the site from where we were, and as the rows of hedges seemed to go on for a while, we decided our best bet was to walk through the open field to get to the site. Once we were there, we observed a Go North East Driver Training coach, along with a Volvo B10BLE and a ''Fab56'' Gemini. A Weardale Motor Services President was also present along with an unregistered gold-liveried Enviro400. Around the back, were various First vehicles along with a few Arriva vehicles. I photographed two of the First ''bendy'' Scanias, which I later discovered were part of their Aberdeen fleet. With our business done at Thorntons, we made the long walk back to the main road, and finally reached our bus stop for the next Ashington-bound service at 12:35. We winced when we saw an original-liveried MPD coming along the road, but we boarded nevertheless. This run was operated by 1761, we sat at the very back. With a load of about ten passengers, we replicated the route we took to get to Thorntons. During this time, Adrian showed me a few of his memories on Facebook; in the midst of the discussion, I forgot that the Morpeth-bound 35/35A services don't go into the bus station, which we flew straight past. We got up and rang the bell, hoping the next stop wasn't too far.  

#35A – Ashington, Station Road to Ashington Bus Station – (13:02 --- 13:07) – Arriva North East 7492 – Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini - ''Arriva''
We were dropped off at a place called ''Station Road''. Crossing the road for the next bus back to Ashington, we were in luck. One of the ex-London Volvo B7TLs could be seen in the distance, which we flagged down to a halt. As we were only travelling a short distance back to the bus station, following this massive cock-up, we sat in the lower saloon. I could see a few passengers were upstairs when we boarded, and around half a dozen were sat downstairs. Before long, we were pulling back into the bus station, where we were dropped off. Adrian popped into the store for a drink. There was a massive queue for the sole check out, so he queued at the bakery. The woman was blabbing on for about five minutes while we stood waiting, to then be told to go and queue at the other place. That woman could talk for Britain! After just giving up with the drink, we walked back out and into Ashington Bus Station once again. The ''Sapphire'' X22 was just departing for Newcastle as we saw it, so we ended up having to wait for the ''Sapphire'' X21 again. 

#X21 – Ashington Bus Station to Regent Centre Metro Interchange – (13:20 --- 14:11) – Arriva North East 7527 – Dennis Trident 2/Alexander Enviro400 – ''Sapphire''
Luckily, we had dodged a 57-plate Enviro400 and landed ourselves a 14-plate example. This time, it was an X21, and had come from Newbiggin, so a few passengers were on board. After a driver changeover, we started boarding. I showed the driver my Explorer; he nodded, however he then proceeded to snatch it out of my hand and give it a closer look. He closely resembled what I would associate with a retarded pig suffering from the mumps. We departed Ashington with about a dozen passengers. Adrian pointed out a man that was a lookalike of Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter, sat at the front. A boy called Davey was sat in front of him, we're assuming he was the grandfather. ''You're a wizard, Davey''... We decided we would alight at Regent Centre and get a few photos, before progressing onto the Tyne & Wear Metro for some bashing. Before long, the robotic Next Stop Announcement lady informed us that Regent Centre was coming up next, so we headed downstairs. Located a nice spot for some photos, and stood there for about ten minutes getting some shots, before we decided to catch the next Metro south to Newcastle Central Station.

Tyne & Wear Metro Bashing
We passed through the unattended barriers at Regent Centre, and headed down to the South Hylton-bound platform. An announcement came on while we waited for the Metro, saying that the network was currently running to time and a good service was expected, before mentioning line improvements between North Shields and St. James(?) on Sunday 23rd August, with details of the replacement buses. Before we knew it, I could hear the sound of an approaching train on the tracks; I turned to see a refurbished Metro heading our way. It was formed of units 4011 and 4086. We sat in 4011, managing to get a seat with no issues. There were a few runners at West Jesmond; who attempted to block the doors open. Upon arrival at Haymarket, a lot of people jumped ship while a decent number boarded at Monument. Our stop at Central was next, so we got up in preparation to alight. We treated ourselves to a Costa (small Hot Chocolate to take away for me) and I went about my duties getting some photos. I saw ''Flying Scotsman'' liveried 82205 on a departing Virgin Trains East Coast service, followed by CrossCountry Voyager 220028 on the next platform. The Thunderbird locomotive today was EWS-liveried Class 67 67024. Down in the smaller platforms, were First TransPennine Express' Class 185 185135, and Northern Rail's Class 156 156451, along with Class 142 142094. As the 14:55 Virgin Trains East Coast service to Inverness was due at 15:05 (running late), I went for a photo. On the next platform I could see Class 91 91109 on a Kings Cross-bound service. Luckily for me; it was a full VTEC HST! I photographed 43302 on the front and 43299 on the rear before meeting with Adrian again. Walked back down into the Metro station to catch the next Metro to appear; it was in the form of 4064 and 4082, which we caught to Gateshead. Adrian sat down while I stood for this short two minute hop across the river. Next, was a service back to Newcastle; which we caught as far as Haymarket, formed of 4063 and 4071. I stood once again until Central, when seats became available. 

#21 – Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station to Chester-le-Street Clifford Terrace – (15:58 --- 16:50) – Go North East 6064 - Volvo B5LH/Wright Gemini 2 – ''Angel''
Adrian and I had a little wander through Haymarket Bus Station, and headed out to the spot that most take their photos at. We spent about ten minutes there before Gary Devlin appeared. We spoke to him for a few minutes before we went our separate ways. On Percy Street, we saw ''Venture'' Solo SR 649 working the X71 to Consett; so we took the opportunity for a photograph. I said goodbye to Adrian as I headed down into the bus station and he caught an X1 back to Washington. 6064 was my ''Angel'' home. One of my preferred examples; all of it's facilities work brilliantly and it sounds very healthy in comparison to one or two (that shall not be named...). Rather than head upstairs like I usually do, I decided to sit downstairs, just next to the Hybrid engine. It was a smooth journey home; a driver changeover in Chester-le-Street saw John Westmoorland take over for the run to Durham. When I alighted, I thanked him and made my way home. I was in the house for about 17:05 before going out for a meal in the evening for my sister's birthday.

All in all, it was a great day out. Despite deciding to pass on the trip to Alpha Recovery in favour of some rides on the Tyne & Wear Metro (the former of which I will save for another day), everything else went quite smoothly. Next Saturday, I've got my train tickets booked for a trip to York with citaro5284, of which I will spend a lot of time planning and familiarising myself with the bus network in the city. Then on Monday 31st August, we've got the NEBPT Seaburn Rally. I shall be in attendance. I hope to see others there as well, should be a good day out. As ever, thank you for reading. Smile

R852 PRG
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
(23 Aug 2015, 2:06 pm)R852 PRG Wrote: Saturday 22nd August 2015


... A young boy emerged from the little Arriva office, mentioning that the Volvo B7TL that I was photographing was a nice bus. I later determined that it was Tommy, I didn't recognise you at the time I'm afraid, but it later clicked that it was you when I remember seeing some photos from the ''Quaylink'' launch. ...

I knew it was you and Adrian, like. I only posted in the "Stalking and such" as you never said hello!  Tongue

I would have dug out some of the freshly delivered timetables if my X21 wasn't due.  :s

At least you found the new depot, this time!  Tongue