New Generic Livery Hits the Road
An updated two tone generic silver livery has been unveiled on former route 17 Scania OmniCity Double Deck 1110 this week. Repaints of this batch have commenced pending the arrival of further Enviro 400Hs later in the month.
1110 on route 17 on Friar Street today.
Meanwhile withdrawn Wright Solars 1017-9 have been drafted back into service to provide cover on the 20, 20A and 21 whilst low trees are cut back to legal carriageway height to prevent damage to the new Enviro400Hs.
1017 on route 20 today.
Claret Hybrids Enter Service
Today saw the first five "claret routes" hybrids (210-3/5) enter service on the 20/20A/21. The full branding will be applied after the summer to allow occasional use on route 17 whilst the vehicles from that route are repainted later in the summer.
215 at St Marys Butts this evening.
Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon saw the seventh hybrid for Yellow 26 (207) quietly enter service.
207 at the Yellow 26 Reading Station terminus today.
Reading Buses Open Day
Today Reading Buses held their fourth annual family open day at the Great Knollys Street depot. The doors opened at 1100 with tours of the control room and workshop, rides through the bus wash, hook-a-bus, bus of fortune, tombola, face painting, barbeque, ice cream van, historical Reading Trolleybus film show, transport sales stalls and modern and preserved vehicle displays. 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 the Duchess of Kent House charity. The day had no less than four centrepieces this year - new "claret routes" 210, an Alexander Dennis Enviro 400H chassis, preserved Reading Trolleybus 113 and preserved AEC Regent 47.
210 with Reading Buses electric hybrid branding applied. External branding for "claret routes" is still to be added, but some of the internals had been done.
There was also strong support from The Green Bus again this year, with open top Volvo Olympian / Plaxton Palatine 2 R265 LGH an unusual visitor from Birmingham joining 708 on display.
The Green Bus R365 LGH with Reading 708 behind.
The event also saw the official naming of four of the Yellow 26 buses after significant local people. Interior panels explain more about the person that each bus has been named about:
202-4 then led the grand finale cavalcade of vehicles around the Town Centre. The line-up was as follows:
With the exception of Yellow 26 for the reasons above, all of the buses on display this year were numerically the first of each batch. Thanks are to be extended to Reading Buses for opening their premises for the event and raising funds for charity, and also to those who worked behind the scenes to make the day happen. Preserved Reading Transport Guy Big J4T recovery vehicle 300 was also present as both it, its owner and volunteers from the British Trolleybus Society were instrumental in towing 113 down from Sandtoft and into position each day.
Behind the scenes - 300 towing 113 from Cross Street into Friar Street yesterday evening.
Trolleybus Returns to Broad Street
Reading Corporation Trolleybus 113 returned to Broad Street today as part of the British Trolleybus Society's 50th anniversary celebrations. 113 was not only the Society's first vehicle, but also the first Trolleybus to be preserved by private individuals in the UK. It was joined by the Society's AEC Regent 47, and situated on the eastern side of Broad Street outside the Oracle it recreated transport scenes from the past and generated interest and appreciation from passers by.
The scene in Broad Street this afternoon.
113 facing Tilehurst.
47 with the blind still set from a visit to Caversham Heights last night.
The previous evening saw the British Trolleybus Society's annual tour of Reading by preserved bus. AEC Regent 47 was joined by Bristol RE 258 for a trip to Riseley via Swallowfield, returning via Shinfield Park across town to Caversham Heights, Emmer Green and Caversham Park.
258 and 47 at Shinfield Park (the former Shire Hall).