Scania N230UD / East Lancs Olympus

The first six Olympuses 835-40 were ordered for use on the Loddon Bridge Park and Ride service. One of these is seen below nearing competition at East Lancs on 26th June, followed by partially branded 835 in the same location on 28th June and then 838 complete on 1st July. Thanks to Alistair Liddle for these photos:

83x on 25 June 2007 (66999 bytes) 835 on 28 June 2007 (66091 bytes)

 838 on 1 July 2007 (47079 bytes)

Originally ordered for May 2007, 835-40 were delayed until early July because the real time equipment sub-contractor wasn't able to deliver their equipment to the bodybuilders on time. The exact delivery dates were as follows:

835 - 30th June 2007
836 - 2nd July 2007
837 - 2nd July 2007
838 - 4th July 2007
839 - by 17th July 2007
840 - 5th July 2007

839 was due to visit Ireland on demonstration duties, however its late delivery from East Lancs meant that this never came to happen.

Following reductions to the FastTrack service from 31st March 2008 (the short lived extension to Winnersh Triangle was withdrawn, and the peak frequency was slightly reduced), 840 was repainted into generic silver livery. It is seen below pausing at the Station on 10th April 2008 prior to re-entering service after repaint, still with some of the route 500 branding on the back window and its old silver swoop instead of grey. Thanks to James Cusworth for this photo:

840 on 10 April 2008

Following further reductions to the FastTrack service from 10th January 2010 (peak frequency reduced from every 8-10 to every 12-15 minutes), 838 and 839 were repainted into dark green route 4/5/6 livery. 838 was the first to return by 21st January 2010 and was in service by 23rd, with 839 going away the week after and returning to service by 28th. 838 is seen below on 23rd January 2010:

838 on 23 January 2010

A further 21 examples were ordered for delivery in late November 2007 to convert routes 12/20, 31/33 and 63/65 to premier status. However, following the collapse of the East Lancs Group, and the subsequent takeover by the Darwen Group the order was delayed until February 2008. Deliveries were expected to commence in December, with arrivals continuing through January 2008 until 25th February when the buses were to be launched on a revised network of routes. In the event deliveries commenced in early February 2008 as follows:

841 - sometime between late on 8th and early on 11th February 2008
842 - sometime between 10th and early on 11th February 2008 (present outside East Lancs on 10th)
843 - sometime between 10th and early on 11th February 2008 (present outside East Lancs on 10th)
844 - sometime between late on 8th and early on 11th February 2008
845 - on or around 13th February 2008
846 - on or around 13th February 2008
847 - by 22nd February 2008
848 - by early on 18th February 2008
849 - 22nd February 2008
850 - 23rd February 2008
851 - by 24th February 2008
852 - 8th or 9th March 2008
853 - 8th or 9th March 2008
854 - 8th or 9th March 2008
855 - 13th March 2008
856 - 1st or 4th March 2008
857 - 28th March 2008
858 - 3rd April 2008
859 - 28th March 2008
860 - 31st March 2008
861 - 31st March 2008

Further delays were caused by the collapse of seat manufacturer MTB, meaning that the second half of the batch have Esteban seats. Following this, the well respected seat moquette supplier Holdsworth's also went into administration in late February, meaning that negotiations were required to secure moquette for the final two vehicles. The plans for the liveries also changed slightly, with the light blue examples moved to the start of the production run, and the final two which were originally to be maroon were switched to silver following the decision to use the Scania OmniDekkas from route 17 instead.

844 is below outside the East Lancs factory on 8th February 2008. Thanks to "Bunny" for this photo:

844 on 8 February 2008

The first four entered service "early" on 15th February to cover for vehicles being repainted in readiness for the forthcoming service changes. 844 is seen below on route 37 on 16th February with its full Quality Travel lettering applied, but without the full route branding for the 15/16:

844 on 16 February 2008

845 is seen below on its first day in service on 25th February 2008:

845 on 25 February 2008

Service changes from 10th January 2010 saw the destinations printed along the side and on the rear of 841-7 removed and replaced with commercial advertising frames.

851 is seen below on its first day in service on 25th February 2008:

851 on 25 February 2008

Service changes from 10th January 2010 saw routes 63/64 replaced by new routes 12, 13 and 14. 848/9 were left surplus to requirements and repainted into dark green routes 4/5/6 livery, whilst the branding on 850-54 was revised with "Woodley" lettering. 849 had returned from repaint on 1st February and was back in service by 3rd, meanwhile 848 was away for repaint in its place and back in service by 28th. 854 is seen below on 23rd January 2010:

854 on 23 January 2010

856 is seen below on route 35 on 30th March 2008:

856 on 30 March 2008

Service changes from 1st September 2008 saw Sunday route 35 withdrawn and replaced by journeys on Monday - Saturday routes 15 and 33. Consequently the branding on 855-9 was revised to omit the 35. 857 is seen below on 13th September 2008:

857 on 13 September 2008

Further service changes from 10th January 2010 saw the destinations printed along the side and on the rear of 855-9 removed and replaced with commercial advertising frames.

838, 839, 848 and 849 had their route 4/5/6 branding modified to read route 5/6 following the withdrawal of route 4 from 25th October 2010. 848 is seen below on the first day of the revised service also sporting lettering to promote the increased 10 minute frequency of route 6 from the same date.

848 on 25 October 2010

On 28th or 29th February 2012 838 and 848 had their lettering modified to promote 1 fares between Whitley Street and the Town Centre. 838 is seen below on 16th March 2012:

838 on 16 March 2012

In June 2012 850-54 received lettering on their front windows to promote 1 fares anywhere in Woodley. This was updated to 1.20 following an increase from 24 September 2012.

861 is seen below on 10th April 2008 during its first week in service. Thanks to Stuart Curwen for this photo:

861 on 10 April 2008

In October 2013 repaints commenced into a revised Sky Blue livery for routes 15 and 16 which was similar in style to that which was introduced with the ADL Enviro 400Hs a couple of years earlier.

840 repainted out of generic silver, returning to service on 26th October 2013
841 returning to service on 9th November 2013
842 returning to service on approx 18th January 2014
843 returned to service on 16th February 2014 (being treated after 844)
844 was repainted at Renault Trucks, being noted there completed on 29th January, and it returned to service on 2nd February 2014
845 returned to service on 1st March 2014

840 is seen below on 30th October 2013. Thanks to James Cusworth for this photo:

840 on 30 October 2013

In addition 861 was repainted into dark green from generic silver, returning to service by 21st December 2013.

835-7 were advertised for sale during the summer 2014, and following the entry into service of Enviro 200s 651-3 on 10th September 2014 had their Loddon Bridge branding removed. They received temporary Reading Buses fleet names for temporary use on any route pending the delivery of delayed Enviro 400s 751-7 a few weeks later. 835 was the first to return to service, being noted on route 17 on 13th September. They are thought to have been withdrawn after service on 22nd October 2014, and were sold to Uno, Hatfield by 28th December 2014.

Pending the entry into service of Enviro 400s 759-74 on 10th May 2015, dark green route 5/6 branded 838/9, 848/9 and 861 were advertised for sale during 2014. Due to a closure of Reading Bridge 839, 849 and 861 lost their route 5/6 branding and remained in service as float vehicles until 31st May 2015. 861 was first observed in this state on 18th May, 849 on 19th and 839 on 20th. Meanwhile 838/48 were withdrawn on 9th May, with 838 sold to Wealdon PSV and 848 to Abus, Bristol, departing on 15th. 838's official sale date to Wealdon was June 2015, from where it went to Autocar, Five Oak Green by September 2015.

The rear branding on 855 was updated in June 2015 to reflect the 10 minute frequency on route 33 introduced in September 2014, followed by 859 on 30 or 31st July 2015. 856 was done by October 2015 and 858 was confirmed by November but probably done earlier.

861 gained an overall livery for Berkshire Rugby in July 2015, which was modified to include a Sky Blue front in July 2016 following the extension of route 15 to IKEA. It retained dark green interior branding with route specific information removed. It gained a full colour front LED display by 3 September 2016.

839/849 gained temporary coming soon lettering for Claret Spritzer in September 2015 pending the return of 802/7-9 from refurbishment. 839 was sold to Wealdon PSV in November 2015, whilst 849 lost it's coming soon vinyls at this time whilst remaining in service pending disposal along with 860 to Wealdon PSV sometime between 27 and 31 December 2015.

Disposals have been as follows:

835 to Uno, Hatfield by 28th December 2014
836 to Uno, Hatfield by 28th December 2014
837 to Uno, Hatfield by 28th December 2014
838 to Wealdon PSV in May 2015, then to Autocar, Five Oak Green by September 2015
839 to Wealdon PSV in November 2015
848 to Abus, Bristol on 15th May 2015

Last updated: 19-09-16

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