A Midsummer Night’s Bus Theme

A spring and summer collection of older buses in Greater Manchester.

In the last quarter, we have seen the continuance of JPT’s operations by Stagecoach Manchester. Of late, some buses inherited from the JPT fleet, and a few former Bluebird Bus and Coach vehicles have been see on its commercial and subsidised services.

Still defying and outrunning the younger whippersnappers are some of First Greater Manchester’s older constituents of its fleet. The former Doncaster based X-reg Marshall bodied Dennis Dart SLFs are a regular sight on the 38, 39 and some journeys of the 41, 343 and 346 services.

With Manchester Day coming in less than two days time, we turn our attention to Central Manchester for most of today’s selection.

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Volvo Olympian T898 KLF, First Greater Manchester, Lever Street, Manchester
Not for the first time, we begin our round up with a Saddleworth bound bus. This time, 34098, a Volvo Olympian, is seen on its usual stamping ground: the X84 limited stop service to Carrcote via Lees and Uppermill. At odds with most of First Greater Manchester’s Oldham – Manchester services, this avoids the town centre, traversing Oldham Way. It is about start the first of its evening peak journeys.
Volvo B7RLE, MX55 FGE, First Greater Manchester, Lever Street, Manchester
Owing to the clean lines of the Olympia livery, it is hard to believe on the outside how this bus is middle-aged. It is seen loading one lunchtime on the 135 service to Bury.
Dennis Dart SLF, AJ54 AMJ, Stagecoach Manchester, Stevenson Square, Manchester
Also middle aged, standing in Stevenson Square, this Dennis Dart SLF was inherited from Bluebird Bus and Coach, seen on a route which saw competition with JPT. On closer examination, the grab rails are still in the blue of the Dunstan era.
MAN 18.220/ALX300 Stagecoach Manchester S130 TRJ, Ogden Lane, Openshaw
An elder statesMAN (sic for the purpose of this caption) of the Stagecoach Manchester fleet, 22130 (MAN 18.220/ALX300, S130 TRJ) is seen on the 171/172 route into Newton Heath at the junction of Ogden Lane and Ashton Old Road, Higher Openshaw.
Stagecoach Manchester, ADL Enviro200 Dart, SS57 BLU, Piccadilly Gardens
Back to Manchester city centre: this time another example from the Bluebird Bus and Coach fleet as seen by its cherished numberplate. 33871, an ADL Enviro 200 Dart is seen loading on the 77 service to Chadderton.
Stagecoach Manchester/JPT, Leyland Olympian, H159 BKH, Oldham Street (front view)
This fellow has caused a stir among Greater Manchester’s bus enthusiasts, when it became one of the last vehicles to reach JPT’s garage, whilst in its independent guise. Seen loading on the 118 service it was, at the time of this photograph, probably the oldest bus in revenue earning service within Greater Manchester. H159 BKH, a Leyland Olympian, is seen in the livery of its last owner with the only noticeable changes being the JPT lettering and destination.
Rosso, Volvo Olympian, S864 DGX, Market Street, Hyde (front view)
Quite a rare sight in the centre of Hyde at least. Not only a Rosso bus, but also one in the heritage livery of Rawtenstall Corporation! Another Volvo Olympian, S864 DGX, is seen close to the town centre’s B&Q Supercentre.
First Greater Manchester, Volvo B7TL/ALX400, W727 DWX, Oldham Street (close up)
To close our latest selection, we have another Bury route. This time the 163 via Middleton, Heywood and Darn Hill. First Greater Manchester’s W727 DWX, a Volvo B7TL/ALX400, came from First South Yorkshire’s Sheffield operations. Possibly one of a few buses to have called at Park Hill as well as Darn Hill estates.

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That’s your lot for the time being. Enjoy…

S.V., 20 June 2014 (Almost the Summer Solstice).

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