Euro Bus Expo 2008
Today was the third and final day of the annual bus & coach show the at the NEC in Birmingham, this year the larger Euro Bus Expo variant. As such several manufacturers had new designs on show, with hybrids and environmental credentials also high on the agenda. Probably the most impressive new vehicle was the Plaxton Elite, a new premium coach body that is being added to the existing Plaxton range.
The Plaxton Elite. One is reminded of the former Hestair Duple 425 and perhaps the Irizar PB.
Optare took the opportunity to launch two new products - the Optare Rapta integral double decker, and more surprisingly another restyled Solo - the Optare Solo+ which shares a common look with the new Rapta.
The Optare Rapta. The design is so new that the show vehicle did not feature an interior, hence the darkened windows!
The Optare Solo+. After the launch of the Solo SR last year, this option may eventually replace the original design if it receives sufficient interest. Unlike the Rapta this bus did feature an interior, but only to a very basic specification.
The only local link was in the shape of Reading 51 which featured on a display advertising MAN / Wright Meridians alongside a demonstrator of the same type.
Thames Travel on 126-9
Thames Travel are now into their second week of operations on the 126-9 services between Reading, Twyford and Wokingham after winning the contract from Reading Buses. Short Darts appear to be the regular vehicles on the service for the time being, including the two in Oxford Science Park livery.
156 on the 129 at Reading Station this morning.