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July 2005

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Reading Mainline - Five Years On


Many of Reading Mainline's former staff gathered yesterday evening for a reunion to mark the fifth anniversary of the company's closure. Routemasters No.15, No.17 and No.25 were used for a tour along some of the former routes, including the D from Purley Post Office to Addington Road, and the H to Hemdean Road, before continuing to a pub near Checkendon for a barbecue.

N15, N17, N25 on 23 July 2005 (59890 bytes)

No.15, No.17 and No.25 lined up at Purley Post Office.

N15, N17, N25 on 23 July 2005 (47570 bytes)

The Routemasters and a number of the ex-employees at the old Hemdean Road terminus.

Excels in New Zealand


The batch of Optare Excels exported from Reading during March have now started to enter service with Ritchies in New Zealand. Peter Thompson kindly sent this shot of former 921, now Ritchies 660 operating route 845 in Takapuna, North Shore, Auckland.

921 in 2005 (78520 bytes)

The vehicle bears New Zealand registration CSM924.

Just Passing


An unusual visitor to Reading at midday on Sunday 10th July was ex-London Transport ST 922 (GJ 2098), now operated by the London Bus Preservation Trust at Cobham Bus Museum.

ST922  on 10th July 2005 (68166 bytes)

ST 922 receiving attention under the bonnet at the Three Tuns, Wokingham Road. A screwdriver and spanner was sufficient to cure the problem. Thanks to Mac Head for this photo.

ST 922 is an AEC Regent 1 with Thomas Tilling H27/25RO bodywork with a petrol engine and manual gearbox and is the sole survivor of a Tilling ST with open staircase. The reason for it being in the area is not known, there not being any local rallies or running days in the area.

Thanks to Mac Head for this report.

Follow-up from Peter Day on 14-07-05 - ST 922 must have been on its way to or from the Woodcote Rally, held on the weekend of July 9th/10th. Aforementioned ST922 and AEC Regent No 3 were the only two buses present amongst lots of steam engines, cars, trucks and bikes.

Second Batch of Solars on the Road


Reading's second batch of Wright Solars entered service today on the next quality route, route 9. The vehicles wear a light green version of the new Reading Buses livery, and again feature interior branding with information specific to the route, about the Reading Buses high frequency network and about Reading Buses in general.

1014 on 4 July 2005 (13274 bytes)

As with the introduction of routes 4, 5 and 6 the new timetable leaflet has been delayed, but this time the temporary A5 leaflet has been produced on higher quality paper than before.

1018 on 4 July  2005 (71961 bytes)

1018 passing the Royal Berkshire Hospital this afternoon, headed for Shinfield Park.

1020 on 4 July 2005 (57447 bytes)

1020 arriving at St. Mary's Butts headed for Caversham Heights today.

Royal Blue Evening


Two preserved Royal Blue (Western National) coaches were selected for the British Trolleybus Society's annual tour of the Reading area by preserved bus yesterday evening. The first was Bristol RELH / ECW 2365 - HDV 624E and the second was Bristol LL6B / Duple 1520 - LTA 729.

HDV 624E and LTA 729 on 1 July 2005 (58855 bytes)

Here both vehicles are seen before the start of the tour outside Odd Fellows Hall.

The tour started in Reading outside Odd Fellows Hall, and proceeded out of town up Russell Street and via the A4 to Theale, Thatcham, Newbury, Wantage, Harwell, Culham, Goring, Pangbourne and the Oxford Road back into Reading.

LTA 729 on 1 July 2005 (42758 bytes)

LTA 729 in Theale for the first photograph stop.

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