Reading Buses Annual Open Day
Today Reading Buses held their sixth annual family open day at the Great Knollys Street depot. The gates were opened by the mayor at 1100 with all of the usual attractions and fundraising events inside. A free vintage shuttle bus ran every 20 minutes to/from Great Knollys Street via the Station and Town Centre loop using a mixture of guest vehicles, whilst all proceeds from the day went to PACT the company's current charity of the year.
403 and 418 passing Forbury Gardens.
The gas buses are temporarily being fuelled by tanker, seen here, pending the completion of the compressor and mains connection.
Work to create the new gas compressor underway in the rear corner of the yard.
The newest vehicles amongst the display were of course the Enviro 300SGs, along with a Weavaway Versa and a recent First RailAir coach. A bumper final cavalcade of vehicles around the Town Centre was led by 1935 AEC Regent 47 and Reading Mainline No.15 which has recently been reunited with it's original registration WLT 999:
47 passing Forbury Gardens with Reading Transport Chief Executive James Freeman at the wheel.
No.15 passing Forbury Gardens with owner and Reading Mainline founder Mike Russell at the wheel.
Hidden away behind the scenes was former Metrobus 462 paying a visit from Birmingham whilst Scania OmniCity 10 made a very unusual appearance in service on the 1.
Former 462 was stationed in the front yard.
10 in service at St Mary's Butts on Jet Black 1 today.
Gas Powered Bronze 11
The next duo of ADL Enviro 300SGs entered service today on Bronze 11, with only generic liveried 420 left to enter service.
418 is Friar Street today. Thanks to James Cusworth for this photo.
The rear profile of 418. Thanks to James Cusworth for this photo.
Meanwhile former Reading Optare Solo 122 entered service with Thames Travel last month as their 714, and retains a number of Reading Buses stickers inside. It has since been reregistered L1 OXF.
A rare photograph of 714 on 11th June 2013 with it's original registration. Thanks to James Cusworth for this photo.
Thames Travel Take Solo SRs
Thames Travel have started to take delivery of a batch of six Optare Solo SRs for new Oxfordshire contracts in the Bicester area. Two of these vehicles are to be operated from the Oxford Bus Company's depot each day, and four from a new out-station at Poundon near Bicester.
718 on it's first day in service yesterday. Thanks to Graham Low for this photo.
Only four of the six vehicles could be delivered in time for the contracts starting, so two demonstrators are also on loan from Optare - one Solo which is being used on the new services, and one Versa which is being used elsewhere to release an existing Solo.