Sunday, 22 July 2012
The mighty Fleetline
Saturday the 21/07/12 started off like any other Saturday... Trying to get out of bed and onto the bus to town, This week 47298 was provided. Then onto the Train to Sheffield which was 144023. The unit seemed to be stuggling to get speed however nothing too bad and we arrived into Sheffield on time, The service arriving at Barnsley before the annocement even managed it at 07:53. 4 minutes early. Was planning a day in Sheffield with Thomas Cousins but after seeing smoke coming from Sheffield Railway Station we ended up staying there nearly an hour and then finally got a Tram (119) to Middlewood and from there onto Stagecoach Sheffield 36456 (YN61FXU) A modern ADL Enviro 200 branded for Supertram Link at Ecclesfield, These services are SL and SL2 connecting Middlewood with Stocksbridge and Malin Bridge with Stannington. After swapping buses in Stocksbridge onto 36457 (YN61FXV) i checked facebook spotting a mobile upload uploaded by Steve Crossland in Chesterfield. This was showing Stagecoach Chesterfields Preserved Daimler Fleetline Roe 15513 (MBE613R), It was in service operating route 39 (Holme Hall-Chesterfield-Grangewood). So noticing this and spotting an opertunity in Stocksbridge we set off on a misson towards Chesterfield...
We set route from Middlewood via Yellow Route Tram to Sheffield and Tram 110 was the traction. The time was about 12:15 when the tram departed Middlewood. We then got to the tram stop at 12:35 after completing some sucsessful running only to find the X17 (Sheffield-Chesterfield-Matlock) was delayed... We didn't know this until 12:45 when it still had not shown up but about 12:54 15695 (YN60ADZ). So after what then felt like a year we arrived in Chesterfield and left the service which was still late. After running down to New Beetwell St we got some estimated timings from Steve Crossland which we're extreamly helpfull. We throught we had missed the service at 13:35 thus crossed over the road. Thats when i saw the Fleetline coming down New Beetweel St towards Grangewood... Some more running occured but thankfully we got to the stop before the bus did and we're able to board the service. Ovcoruse this was the first time i had been on this vehicle and after never ever expecting to do so i was very happy indeed. Went up stairs and found Steve and everyone else up there, Sat down as we headed off towards Grangewood. It was clear the vehicle was in an excerlant condition and i was unable to find anything wrong with it what so ever, Infact it turns out it was the best bus ive been on all year but ovcourse with only a Leyland Olympian of TM Travel to compete with it a Daimler Fleetline, never mind an Open Top Daimler Fleetline. As we went down towards Grangewood there we're a few Low Flying Trees which required ducking for, Nothing an E400 a day wont put right however, It added to the fun. Heading back Into Chesterfield we picked up the vehicle advertising the new Maplin electronics store in the town.
We got back and went throught Chesterfield, Having a Day Explorer and all i couldn't really not go for the journey and do a round. Overall i certainly think 15513 should be used on service during the days more often in Chesterfield even if it doesn't do peak hours returning to the depot at 3 in the afternoon. This is a quallity bus and if i ever see it in service again i'm affrade my plans will change faster then they ever had as i don't think i will be able to miss the operatunity to ride this monster of a vehicle again.
Also in Chesterfield was the vehicle advertising the new Maplin store (There 200th Store) as mentioned before... This was another Open Top however a Leyland Titan, Operated by the South Yorkshire Transport Museum in Aldwarke, Rotheram (Event Day Sunday 16th Sept 2012). The vehicle was NIB 5232 and was also in peak condition however there was no opertunity to ride on this it was seen circling around Chesterfield Town Centre most of the day and is photoed to the Left with most of its crew taking a break from Fleetline 15513.
Another intresting point to the day was TM Travel Optare Solo M850 1160 (WM52PZD) sitting in Sheffield Centrel Bus Station, This was displaying GOD on its rear destination desplay... An intresting choice of destination certainly when on an Optare Solo M850, You would most expect that destination to be on one of there many Olympians still in service in and around Sheffield.