Thursday, 30 August 2012

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Location, location, relocation!

The BusWorks and Classic Bus North West is on the move! Following a decision to focus more on the bus operation & hire activities, the BusWorks site has been taken over by Blackpool Coach Services and we have leased a 20-vehicle depot next door to the Lancastrian Transport Trust premises on Brinwell Road. The excellent premises are now being utilised for the operation of the private hires, Sea Front 12 and the soon to start 22 service.
A two-bay workshop on the former BusWorks' site is being retained for completion of Ensignbus projects RTW335 & MD60.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

St Helens 29 repainted

A recent repaint at the BusWorks is former St Helens PD2 no.L29, a 1962 Leyland PD2 with East Lancs bodywork. 29 was one of several PD2s exported to Canada after retirement from St.Helens but was repatriated in 2004 and now proudly wears its original livery once more after a repaint by Dave Newsome, our coachpainter.
See for pictures of 29 being returned to the UK.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Ex-Stagecoach Darts arrive

Two former Stagecoach East London Darts have arrived in Blackpool and are being prepared for a new service to be operated by Classic Bus North West from September. They will soon be joined by two ex-Transdev examples. All four vehicles are to be refurbished and resprayed in CBNW fleet livery of London red and they will retain their dual doors. The first two are V162MVX & V163MVX, new in 1999.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Leicester 100 reglazed

Former Leicester Dominator 100 has been transformed in appearance following the re-fitting of glazing with new window rubbers. They have proved to be the most awkward windows we have ever fitted with mitred corners.

London Metropolitan MD60 update

Work has restarted on London MD60 this week, after a lull whilst our London Routemasters were prepared for the "SeaFront 12" Promenade bus service. All the corroded upper deck steelwork has now been replaced and repanelling of the between decks is now in hand. Both platforms have also been replaced this week and MD60 is beginning to take shape once more after several years as a skeleton or corroded hulk.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

RML2266 goes all red - for now!

Against a typically British summer sky (!), RML2266 was released from the spray shop today in all LT red ready for its journey home to RH Buses in Oxfordshire. The wheels, mudguards and cream relief stripe will be added later - it is booked in for a wedding on Friday!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

RML887 likes to be beside the seaside!

Routemasters have made a return to Blackpool Promenade for Classic Bus North West Ltd which is now operating "Sea Front 12" between Pleasure Beach and Uncle Tom's Cabin in partnership with Oakwood Travel Ltd. Amongst the selection of Routemasters is former GENERAL liveried RML887 which is now in CBNW all-LT red livery. Other Routemasters occupied include RM1568, RML2290 & RML2734.

RML2266 gets a makeover

RML2266 has been partly repanelled and prepared for an external respray in LT red for RH Buses during June. This vehicle was once part of the Kentish Bus fleet of Routemasters operated on route 19 in the maroon and cream livery.

Reglazing starts on Leicester 100

100 in the poppy red, grey & white livery applied to Leicester buses from the mid-1980s
New glazing rubber has finally arrived to allow Leicester Dennis Dominator 100 to have its glazing refitted. The rubber has been supplied by COH Baines who had to remanufacture a die for the rubber section which was no longer a stock item.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

DFG81 returns to Crosville

DFG81 reflects the evening sunshine on Blackpool promenade.
DFG81 returned to Crosville Motor Services after its partial repanel, interior tidying up and refurbishment and repaint in all cream livery. Before its trip back down the M6 and M5 motorways on the trip back to Weston Super Mare, the bus was posed in front of one of Blackpool's own iconic attractions, the Big One rollercoaster.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

"Crosville" Lodekka SRU981 ready for paint

A workshop shunt allowed SRU981 to glisten in the Spring sunshine w/c 14 May. Since this photograph was taken the lower panel locker doors have been refitted and all glazing.
Former Hants & Dorset, but now Crosville Motor Services early Bristol Lodekka SRU981 has now had all its bodywork completed and is ready for a full repaint in traditional Tilling green & cream. The extent of the work to restore this vehicle has certainly exceeded original expectations with almost every piece of timber on the aluminium framework inserts being replaced and a complete external repanel. Recently, the window pans have been glossed allowing the glazing and new rubbers to be refitted and SRU now awaits a slot in the paint shop.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

RML887 prepared for repaint

RML887 on 2nd May showing its London General heritage livery which will soon be changed to traditional London red.
Former "General" liveried RML887, latterly retained by Go-Ahead in London after retirement from front line service at Putney, is being prepared for a repaint in London red. Only a few minor panels have been changed and the bus is now fully rubbed down for a respray. RML887 will be operated by Classic Bus North West Ltd over the summer months on wedding and other private hire work.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Fylde 79 restoration progresses

Some further steps forward on the restoration of Fylde Atlantean 79 (HRN99N) have been made in recent weeks and during a shunt to move Ensignbus sponsored restorations of RTW335 & Metropolitan MD60 into the newly designated workshop area, 79 was captured on camera. The extent of the strip down can be seen and the next stage is to grind off the corroded steel "top-hat" sections for replacement. The BusWorks has commissioned a local fabrication company to make the replacement Northern Counties style top-hat sections.

Lodekka SRU981 shunted for next stage of work

Now substantially repanelled, ex-Hants & Dorset Lodekka SRU981 was shunted today in preparation for the final stages of preparation for repainting. It is the bus' first appearance back in daylight since arriving at the Busworks with work incluuding a full interior restoration, all external timbers being replaced and rear platform rebuild.

A less fortunate Lodekka...

OPN807 today, wearing the Brighton & Hove colours applied in September 2010
Back in September 2010 we suspended work on former Brighton & Hove Lodekka OPN807 and have been in dispute with its owner ever since. Now no business is ever perfect, you cannot please all the people all the time and you cannot produce a Rolls Royce on a Ford Fiesta budget. I think we are mature enough to understand that there are always two sides to ever story - but the victim in all this has been the bus with all attempts at reconciling the issues and arbitration with its owner having failed so far.
Unfortunately, we are aware that the bus is being used to damage our business reputation and the legal fees being clocked up could be better spent on the real task of bus preservation. 18 months later - OPN807 remains with us! Funny world isn't it...During a shunt round today, OPN807 was captured on camera.
March 2010 and OPN807 is rescued from East Sussex

Friday, 27 April 2012

Crosville FSF complete - well almost!

Lodekka DFG81 out on test and for official photographs posed near the entrance to Blackpool Zoo. It was 1983 when DFG81 last operated in Rhyl on service M87.
Crosville FSF6G DFG81, one of two survivors out of a trio of FSFs converted to open top for use in Llandudno & Rhyl, is now essentially complete - apart from a few minor items and the fitting of the perspex windshields. The bus will soon be returning to the new Crosville Motor Services based further down the British coastline from DFG81's former territory in North Wales  - Weston Super Mare. At the request of our client, the Lodekka has adopted the Bristol Omnibus open top cream & black livery, a throwback to the days when Weston Super Mare was a bustling seaside resort with convertible open toppers in charge of the sea front bus service.
Click here for a picture of restored Lodekka from Weston Super Mare.

Ribble VRT out for test

1997 out on test in former Ribble territory at Wrea Green village
The restoration of the LTT's ex-Ribble Bristol VRT no.1997 has been a stop/start affair in between other business commitments, but this week we undertook further preparation work on the bus in the hope that it can return to passenger use this summer. The accelerator and fuel problems have finally been rectified whilst the air door system is now fully functional once more.

Leicester 100 in for painting

Repainting of Leicester Dennis Dominator 100 is now progressing well in the paint shop. Although it is a quite attractive livery, it is also quite complicated with plenty of masking to make up the red, white, grey and matt black layers. It will make an interesting throwback to the mid-1980s in Leicester when the municipal undertaking made the transition from its characteristic maroon & cream before the undertaking was sold into the private sector.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Beamish and the Boat

The LTT's former Blackpool "Open Boat" tramcar car 605(233) entered service at Beamish Museum in County Durham on Thursday 12th April, the first day of the museum's popular Great North Steam Fair. It is the tram's first passenger carrying duties since withdrawal from service in Blackpool back in October 2009 and subsequent preservation by the LTT. It was exactly 6-weeks previously that 605 had arrived at the museum and in the interim period the tram has been fully repainted and commissioned for duty.

Leicester Dominator to paint shop

Leicester Dennis Dominator has now entered the paint shop for repainting in the red, grey, white & matt black livery in which the bus entered service. 100 has been tidied up internally and we look forward to seeing 100 back as original.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

It's not just buses at the Busworks!

It's not just buses at the BusWorks! Dave our professional coachpainter has been working off site on a Blackpool tram at the Beamish museum. The tram is one of the famous "Open Boat" trams now in the ownership of the Lancastrian Transport Trust and placed on a two-year loan for operation at Beamish. No.605 is being repainted by Dave back into its 1934 style livery.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Crosville DFG81 repainted

Former Crosville DFG81 is now fully glossed in Bristol Omnibus style cream and black livery, as applied to their Weston Super Mare based open top buses in years gone by. New black glazing rubber is awaited and perspex upper windscreens but the vehicle is certainly nearing completion for our client.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

MD60 progress

No time has been lost in re-starting work on London Metropolitan MD60 for Ensignbus. Sections of the upper deck window rails have already been replaced in steel box section, preparing the between deck in advance of repanelling. On the upper deck, the floor covering is being prepared for new brown Treadmaster. The next steps include working down the vehicle to complete steel framework renewal and welding of zintec stress panelling.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Crosville FSF gets painted

The Crosville FSF is now being repainted following the completion of repanelling work and interior refurbishment and tidying up. It will be great to see DFG81 carrying fare paying passengers once again after a lengthy spell in storage.

MD60 returns to the workshop

London Metropolitan MD60 returned to the main BusWorks workshop yesterday for work to resume on this vehicle's major structural rebuild and restoration. Already, all the framework from the lower deck window level has been completely replaced on both sides of the bus with new steel framing, after it was discovered that the lower deck structure was completely corroded. Some upper deck sections and the rear were also replaced but there remain some upper deck and front end sections to rebuild before stress panelling can be completed and a complete repanel can commence.
Ensignbus is now funding the completion of this project and I'm sure many enthusiasts will eagerly await the opportunity to ride upon one of these vehicles again.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

You wait ages then two come at once!

After waiting ages for the opportunity to undertake work on a Crosville Lodekka - we now have two genuine Crosville examples now going through the works! DLG881 is privately owned and has arrived for internal refurbishment only. The bus has had a very interesting history. It was Crosville's last surviving closed top 'LD' series Lodekka to operate in passenger service, surviving until 1979 and even then it's life was extended on driver training duties.
It was still being used as a trainer when it passed upon deregulation to North Western Road Car Company and was not withdrawn until 1993. But even then, DLG881 found another new lease of life - it was restored to passenger use and painted red and cream for a heritage tour of Northwich. Final withdrawal came in 1998, later operating with Rexquote (in Southdown style green & Cream) before finally passing into preservation in 2004.
Work at the BusWorks will include a full seat retrim and interior tidying up. The exterior was repainted in NBC Crosville livery some years ago.

Monday, 5 March 2012

"Crosville" Lodekka SRU981 progress

Ex-Hants & Dorset Lodekka SRU981, but now in the ownership of Crosville Motor Services of Weston Super Mare, is making good progress in the main workshop. As this view shows, the bus has been extensively repanelled whilst the rear platform has been rebuilt & repanelled as well. After dismantling the rotten platform floorboards, the perimeter frame almost fell apart and has had to be completely rebuilt. Our latest discovery in removing the original half-round horizontal moulding around the rear end (to match that which will be applied to the sides) is more rotten timber around the destination display - which is now being rebuilt. Note the original rear lights and registration plate design is being restored.

RTW335 Update

After several weeks of plenty of activity but no 'visible' achievement on RTW335, the jigsaw puzzle of parts being worked on are now ready for assembly on the vehicle. Following further rewiring work, the ceiling and interior roof cove panels are being refitted on both decks. Working down the bus, this has allowed the refitting of the rexine covered green & cream window cappings to be refitted - allowing the interior to start to come alive once more with the character of the London RT class.
Meanwhile, on the exterior only specialist panels await fitting before the lengthy process of refitting new panel mouldings commences. The original rear flasher unit and registration plate unit has been restored, lamp holders replaced and refitted - another feature that is helping to bring the jigsaw of RTW335 back to life. Meanwhile, a prototype for new window pans will soon be ready for inspection off-site. See RTW335's own blog for more pictures...

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Work resumes on Leicester 100

Work has recommenced on the restoration of former Leicester Dennis Dominator 100, which latterly operated with Warrington Transport. The glazing has been removed for replacement of life expired glazing rubbers and the platform stripped for rebuilding of corroded steelwork. Following this work, alongside for mechanical and auto-electrical work, 100 will then be ready for repainting in the 1980s Leicester bus livery of red, white and grey. Not as classy as the former cream and maroon colours associated with Leicester City Transport, but nonetheless distinctive.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

VRT emigrates to Florida, the Sunshine State

Former Alder Valley, but latterly Western Greyhound and then Classic Bus North West, Bristol VRT reg CJH119V is getting ready to pack its bags and report to passport control for a one-way journey to Florida. The bus has been sold for sightseeing open top tours and this summer it will join other expats in the Florida sunshine. CJH119V was originally converted with an offside doorway for export to Budapest but in the event the vehicle was not required and the bus was offered for sale. In the next few weeks the VR will report to Liverpool docks once the shipping has been arranged.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Signed, sealed & delivered

Former Stagecoach Dennis Dragon was delivered back to the "Message Trust" in Manchester today following its 3-month refit into a mobile limo & multi-media entertainment bus. The "Eden Bus" will enter service with the trust after its official launch on 6th February.
Philip Higgs, Managing Director of the BusWorks said “we felt that young people could be engaged by a bright and contemporary limo style vehicle whereas the upper deck features wifi computers, X-Box games consoles, a music room and even a nail boutique”. Julie Mason, who has project managed the bus for the Message Trust commented “the Busworks has been a genius in capturing our vision and delivering it”.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Eden Bus almost ready to spread the message

The limo lounge and entertainment vehicle being prepared for The Message Trust in Manchester is now almost complete. Dennis Dragon M680TDB, donated to the Trust by Stagecoach, arrived at the Busworks in mid-October and the vehicle has now been prepared for its multi-functional role. The picture above shows the bus released from the paint shop prior to the application of graphics for the "Eden Bus" project. The Message Trust works with the hardest-to-reach young people through innovative and effective work in the schools, communities and prisons of Greater Manchester, and beyond through the UK-wide Eden Network.

Ginger Beer Routemaster gets a refresh

Former RMC1459, which assumed a new life as a promotional bus for Crabbies Ginger Beer back in 2009, has entered the workshop for a refresh after travelling several thousands of miles on advertising duties. The work includes interior alterations, panelling repairs and a new fibreglass front dome after several knocks with trees on its travels. Whilst off the road, RMC1459 is also receiving mechanical repairs preparing it for a very busy summer ahead on promotional work.

Crosville FSF stripped for makeover

Crosville FSF DFG81 is being treated to a complete lower repanel as part of its makeover for our client Crosville Motor Services of Weston-Super-Mare. Whilst the between-decks are being left untouched, save for repaint preparation, the lower panels are being replaced after the typically aged and soft horizontal timbers have been renewed. Some interior improvements are also planned and the lower deck window rubbers replaced.

Duple Viceroy arrives for restoration

A very unique vehicle to arrive at the BusWorks is a Duple Viceroy of 1969 origin that started life with Premier Travel of Much Wenlock. Registered UOX533G, the vehicle is bodied on a Ford R192 lightweight chassis and the body was built only a stones-throw away from the BusWorks' site in Blackpool where Duple was based.

The coach arrived at the BusWorks on 23rd January for a complete restoration. It is certainly a challenging job - the coach body is completely rotten below the waistrail and will need a complete rebuild, whilst the body itself has literally "broken its back" around the rear axle.

Friday, 13 January 2012

A genuine Crosville gem arrives

Your writer has fond memories of trips on open top Bristol FSF Lodekkas operating on the Llandudno to Colwyn Way sea front service in the late 1970s/early 1980s. It is therefore simple fate that a vehicle I last rode on back in 1983 has turned up at the BusWorks to renew my acquintance with these superb vehicles! DFG81 now belongs to "Crosville Motor Services" at Weston super Mare which has assembled an impressive fleet of Bristol/ECW heritage buses that are earning their keep on private hire work. The BusWorks has been commissioned to repanel, repaint and prepare the bus for a return to pcv use after many years in preservation.

More Big Bus exports

We have been kept busy during November and December converting Big Bus Tours' Olympians for export to their expanding sightseeing businesses overseas. Although in superb condition for their age, these ex-Hong Kong tri-axle Leyland Olympians are now surplus to requirements in London because, although converted to low emission engines some years ago, they no longer comply with the latest London LEZ regulations. D525UGT & D690UGT have been painted red for export to the USA where they will help to update and expand operations.
As part of the work, the BusWorks has transposed the centre exit from nearside to offside, reduced the overall roof height to 4m, repanelled the buses and then completely resprayed them. In the picture shown, D525UGT awaited only its upper deck glazing to be fitted.

Crosville SRU981 progresses

Former Hants & Dorset, but now Crosville Motor Services of Weston-Super-Mare, Lodekka SRU981 is making good progress at the BusWorks. When SRU arrived it was originally envisaged that its interior would be restored and only the lower panels replaced. However, upon stripping the bus it soon became apparent that although the aluminium frame was very sound, the timber inserts were rotten from top to bottom. Also, unlike later Lodekkas these "LD" series had timber vertical inserts, not just confined to the horizontals as later Lodekkas. This view shows SRU's timbers all replaced with the upper deck window pans refitted and ready for repanelling to commence.