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.