Tuesday, 28 June 2011

UCOC Lodekka glazed

UCOC Lodekka 651 has been transformed by the fitting of the newly manufactured cream window rubbers and new glazing, making the bus look much more complete. 651 has not been fully glazed for many years, having suffered badly at the hands of vandals who had smashed almost every window on the bus before it was rescued by Rushden HTS and despatched to the BusWorks for restoration.

Work has also commenced on the re-flooring of the bus in specially commissioned green Treadmaster.

King Alfred Panther roof rebuild resumes

After devoting many man hours to the extensive restoration & conversion work on two ex-London RML Routemasters, work is now progressing apace on other projects, including the King Alfred Panther 419.

The bus has come to the BusWorks for a complete roof rebuild and as can be seen in this view, the roof has been stripped down to its basic frame. This revealed that many of the roof joints were rotten or broken, but also the exceptional amount of timber and little strenthening steelwork. This was a feature of the traditional Plaxton coachwork of the period, but even so the full length timber cant & waist rails were unusual by the early 1970s.

Unfortunately, the stripping of the roof has revealed weaknesses elsewhere in the structure of the bodywork - typical though of the 36ft. long 'Derwent' style bodies.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Bristol VRT prepared for export

Former Alder Valley, but latterly Western Greyhound Bristol VRT CJH119V is being prepared for export to Budapest, Hungary where it will be used on sightseeing work alongside the recently converted ex-Lothian open top Olympians. An offside door is being fitted to the vehicle before it makes the journey to the Hungarian capital, whilst the upper deck seating is being replaced.
Acquired by the BusWorks' parent company back in 2008, CJH119V has been in store and never used by the ClassicBus North West subsidiary and so the vehicle has been selected as a reserve bus for a new sightseeing venture.

Olympians exported to Hungary

Two of the three ex-Lothian open top Olympian buses have been exported to Hungary in readiness for sightseeing work this summer in the capital city, Budapest. E303MSG and E304MSG made the journey to Hull and then by P&O ferry to Zeebrugge, before the 1,000 mile road trip across Belguim, Germany and Austria. They arrived in Budapest on Sunday 19 June and are now being resprayed in the sightseeing operators' colour scheme. Both buses were fitted with offside platform doors for European use by the BusWorks before export.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Stagecoach Olympian surfs back to Devon

The first of the North Devon "Surf & Cycle" buses has now been completed by the BusWorks in Blackpool after successfully passing its VOSA test for the notifiable alterations. The lower deck has had all seating removed and replaced by surf board, cycle and general storage racks for a summer service that will link Barnstaple and Ilfracombe and various watersports developments along the North Devon coastline. Stagecoach in Devon will operate the new service from their Barnstaple depot.

The project is European funded as part of the trans-national project to develop sustainable marine leisure activities along the Atlantic Coast, and North Devon Plus was successful in bidding for funds to stimulate watersports activities in the area.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Eastern Counties RLE864 launched

Eastern Countries Bristol RE No.RLE864 was launched at the North Norfolk Railway event in April following the completion of its restoration at the BusWorks. It had left us the previous month for the 230 mile journey back to its owner Julian Patterson of Konectbus fame, but on a low loader. RLE864 has been internally restored, repanelled, re-glazed with new cream rubbers, repainted into NBC express livery and had its engine rebuilt during its time at the BusWorks. No doubt it will be appearing at many rallies this summer.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

RML885 arrives at the BusWorks

Isn't it just typical - you wait ages and then two come along at once! The Busworks has never handled one of the original 24 RML type Routemasters during its first four years of trading, but now, following closely behind the arrival of RML887, RML885 arrives for a makeover. Owned by former FirstGroup Director Mike Mitchell, RML885 arrived in 'as withdrawn' condition but is being treated to Class VI PCV preparation and test, replaced glazing rubbers and respray into London red and Chiswick cream.