First Berkshire

Welcome to BusZone's unofficial page about First Berkshire. For their official website click on the logo below.

First Logo (1623 bytes)

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. In 2013 Beeline branding was reintroduced for local services in Bracknell.

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.

Fleet List

Current Fleet

First Logo (1623 bytes)

53065 on 26 October 2012

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.

DML165 on 11 July 2003 (46691 bytes)

Freshly repainted Dennis Dart / Marshall Capital DML165 (now 41165) at St. Mary's Butts on 11th July 2003.

DML 172 on 7 June 2003 (31326 bytes)

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 on 23 March 2006 (77021 bytes)

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.

823 in July 2001 (24782 bytes)

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.

832 on 15 January 2000 (14830 bytes)

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.

64012 on 21 June 2013

Mercedes Citaro 64012 was cascaded from Heathrow service in April 2013, and seen in Bracknell wearing Beeline branding on 21st June 2013. Thanks to Gary Baxter for this photo.

65726 on 12 September 2005 (72640 bytes)

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, 33141 & 65726 on 6 March 2010

33145 with 33141 and 65726 behind on 6 March 2010 making an usual view of three First vehicles together at St Marys Butts.

33147 on 21 September 2009

33147 at Bracknell depot on 21st September 2009. Thanks to Bob Stanger for this photo.

68512 on 21st March 2005 (51457 bytes)

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.

Bee Line Logo

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.

211 on 24 April 1999 (17968 bytes)

This is Dennis Dart / Plaxton Pointer 211 (now 42411) outside the Broad Street Mall on 24th April 1999, before local fleetnames were removed.

175 in July 2001 (25038 bytes)

Volvo Olympian / Alexander RL Type 175 (now 34275) in Reading in July 2001. This bus was originally from First Glasgow.

34274 on 2 November 2005 (57757 bytes)

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.


797 in August 2001 (23744 bytes)

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.

710 on 12 August 2003 (51344 bytes)

One of the current RailAir vehicles, this is Scania / Irizar Century 710 (now 23010) on its second day in service, 12th August 2003.

23013 on 13 April 2004 (56683 bytes)

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 on 5 Septmebr 2007

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 on 7 June 2008

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.

20601 on 1 September 2007

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.

Former Vehicles

78 on 20 August 2002 (17969 bytes)

This is former Dennis Dart / Wright Handybus 78 outside the Broad Street Mall Reading on 20th August 2002.

201 on 24 November 2001 (20286 bytes)

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.

811 on 21 December 2001 (20962 bytes)

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.

813 on 4th October 1997 (14610 bytes)

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 on 12 January 2005 (54807 bytes)

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.

43911 on 5 April 2008

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.

744 in July 2001 (22931 bytes)

This is former Plaxton Premiere 344 in Greenline livery in July 2001 away from it's usual coaching duties, and on the 191.

N822 KWS on 12 Augsut 2003 (45533 bytes)

This is Plaxton Expressliner fleet number 799 (now 21122) deputising on the Reading RailAir service on 12th August 2002.

2126 on 16 April 2003 (53008 bytes)

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.

704 in August 1999 (17503 bytes)

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.

701 on 6 August 2003 (49499 bytes)

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.

Madejski Stadium FastTrack logo (7737 bytes)

827 in September 2000 (21905 bytes)

This is Wright Axcess Floline 827 (later 65627) in September 2000 wearing the Madejski Stadium FastTrack park 'n' ride livery.

827 on 11 April 2002 (33545 bytes)

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:

Alder Valley - Brief History
BeeLine Showbus Photo Gallery
Busworld - The BeeLine of Bracknell
First London Timetables
Keith Till's Fotopic Site
Nathan Gorton's Fotopic Site RECOMMENDED

Contact details:


Greenline Website:

Rainbow Fares Website: