12 July 2011

Plus Bus?

Meet 48270, my steed to work this morning. You can tell it apart from the others in the batch as it has great big "PlusBus" stickers all over the windows. First 48270 WK02TYD
Apart from the window stickers there is one big feature that sets this bus apart from the others. It does not like hills. In fact, I would go further than that - it hates hills! There are three up hill sections on the 15 on my morning commute, the last section is actually done twice. The run out of Derriford Hospital up to traffic lights for Marjons is particularly painful for this bus.
Now I know how it feels. I hate hills too. I struggle to get up the hill from my house to the bus stop. I need a rest half way up. I'm getting on a bit. I don't though have to carry anyone else up the hill. If anyone else wants to get up the same hill they can usually walk past me. They don't have to follow me up the hill. 48270 does not have this advantage. The poor driver just has to put his foot down and wait, and eventually the bus will get to the top. Some passengers will mutter to themselves about the lack of speed. Some will joke about it and occasionally suggest to the driver that they might get out and push. And then we look out the window and read the writing - "PlusBus"
These Volvos do seem to be the bus of choice on the 15 these days, (the company's choice, not the passengers). None of them really enjoy hills. There are a couple of the W-PAF and W-PFBs which are almost as slow as 48270, but its the PlusBus which stands proud.
Now if I am really lucky tomorrow I will get an old Dart.

Elsewhere on the net

  • Leyland PSUC1/13 East Lancs bodies new 1966 or 1967. To Malta 1981 or 1982 TGP Photos Unlimited
  • As is very apparent in Plymouth at the moment that First have been concentrating their resources on the routes into Barne Barton, and Plymstock/Elburton PTOTPA
  • Depressing Doncaster Discoveries [2] Loopy Hassle at Lordens Hill. Public Transport Experience
  • Leicester Dominator 100 has returned to the workshop and a pause in its restoration whilst other projects progressed. Busworks Blog
  • Depressing Doncaster Discoveries [3] Muddle at Maltby. Public Transport Experience


  1. I remember one of the old Volvo Crusader 1's on an N plate. Used to be a regular or the old Red Line in Saltash.

    One morning she was pretty much at capacity. We attempted the steep hill up towards St Stephens church on service number 2, but didn't make it. We had to turn around & go the route we had just come. Fun times!

  2. 48270 used to fly about 3 years ago great to drive, used to sound like there was a boat engine in the back!!

  3. Did anyone know, or even care that TYD was the last right hand drive Volvo B6BLE built,

    When we got her in Callington she was refurbished and went like hell, it used to be our weapon of choice, but as usual its died a death

  4. As Trevellyan says, the one and only time I did the whole 76 to Bude and back I had TYD, and it was great! Shame that she hasn't been looked after over the past couple of years then :-(

  5. The native W-PAFs have always sounded like a bag of spanners in a washing machine, and have great difficulty in even making it over speed humps. The batches that have been transferred in would all storm about for the first six months, then would quickly descend into barely being able to drag themselves along the flat.

    Is FDC maintenance de-tuning these things for fuel economy or don't they know or care how to maintain B6's properly?

  6. Try a B6BLE in Saltash! Totally Naff, Not Suitable at all. Dart's have Enough Trouble keeping Time on 1/1A, Imagine 48270!

  7. Having passed your comment to the engineering manager. he tells me its recognized that in the B6's of this batch that the engines are getting a bit tired. Certainly 48270 was in the garage yesterday. Apparently each one is being looked at and balancing the fuel consumption/smoke production/power loss etc against cost will see them rotated through an engine refurbishment process. I believe 1 is already underway and another ear marked. As I monitor fuel economy I don't believe an active process goes on to eek out the best MPG in any way other than to encourage good driving practice via Green Road and the prevention of unnecessary idling.

  8. 48270 is a pleasure to drive compared to 48232 and 40580 (i think) there are awfull 48232 even struggles on the level


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