Last night Scania OmniDekka 828 received the cherished MRD 1 registration plate previously worn by Optare Spectra 701. Originally from the Mayor of Reading's private limousine, the plate was presented to Reading Buses in 1991 and originally worn by Metrobus 461 which at that time had just joined the fleet from Harrow Buses. The mark was then transferred to the first ever Optare Spectra 701 when it was delivered in 1992, whilst 461 became E247 KCF. 701 has now been reregistered J257 NLU.
828 on route 23 at Reading Station today.
701 at Reading Station today, just before heading out to operate the afternoon schools working on route 9.
To complete the MRD 1 timeline, 461 at Reading Station today also on school services, this time route 80.
Also of note is that four Scania N94 / East Lancs Esteems have now entered service with Thames Travel on route X39, following on from significant timetable improvements last year. The route runs from Watlington to Wallingford via Oxford, with a 60 minute frequency to Watlington and a 30 minute frequency to Wallingford.
106 in St. Aldates, Oxford on 5th June 2006 not many days after entering service. Further vinyls are still to be added to the livery.
Reading Rail-Bus 2006
Today saw the 4th annual Reading Rail-Bus railway / bus collectors fair take place at Rivermead. For the third year running Reading Heritage Travel operated a 20 minute service from Reading Station for most of the day using exReading Mainline Routemaster No.15, formerly known as RM999.
No.15 at Rivermead lunchtime today.
New height barriers have been put up in main the Rivermead car park since last year meaning that buses and coaches are no longer able to access any of the car parks outside the complex. The shuttle turned around in the access road alongside, but it didn't look like there were any options for normal buses/coaches. For a relatively short time a few years ago there was a regular bus service that terminated in the Rivermead car park!
Also see the June 2004 news page.
Reading Trolleybuses 70 Years On
This weekend the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft commemorated the 70th anniversary of the first Trolleybuses in Reading. For the first time ever preserved Trolleybuses 144, 174 and 196 were brought out of storage to join 113 and 181 under the wires at Sandtoft all at the same time. Motorbuses 3, 47, 52, 76, 98 and 258 also attended along with tower wagon 332.
The grand line-up of Reading Corporation vehicles. From left to right 258, 76, 52, 3, 98, 47, 193, 181, 174, 144, 113, 332.
For more pictures and a full review please go to Bus Zone's special Sandtoft Reading Weekend page.