Eldorado News

Continuing the re-numbering of older coaches (see August news), Scania K360EB / Irizar PB 12-3.5 31/32 (DE/DF10 ELD) are now 83/84, and Scania K360EB / Van Hool Alizee 33-37 (DG/DH10 ELD, DE/DF11 ELD, DC13 ELD) are now 85-89.
Eldorado took over the small business of Cheadle-based East Cheshire Coaches. Acquired with the business are 129 (BP60 SJS), a 2010 ADL A40D / ADL Enviro 400 H45/31F which had been acquired from Arden Forest in 2020; 62 (YX13 SDS), a 2013 Volvo B9R / Plaxton Panther Cub C43Ft; 48 (PO20 XNF), a 2020 MAN 19.290 / MOBIpeople Explorer II C74DL; 24 (BB22 RSV), a 2022 Mercedes Tourismo M/2 Access C53FLt; and E42 (MT15 XCM) a Ford Transit Custom van. Note that the fleetnumbers are their new Eldorado fleetnumbers - East Cheshire did not number their vehicles. Two older coaches were not taken into Eldorado stock but have been disposed of.

Eldorado's 123 (DX62 PSW), Volvo B9TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini II and 128 (YN16 HSG), ADL A40D / ADL Enviro 400 have been transferred to Cheadle. 123 is repainted into full East Cheshire livery, whilst 128 has East Cheshire fleet names but retains its red and cream livery.

A new recovery vehicle is E38 (MF73 NPA), a Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 75C18.34 with Slide Bed body, and an unusual second-hand acquisition is E41, a 1994 Kenworth T600A with MHC Slide Bed body, which has been given the “cherished” plate TXI 8668 from recently withdrawn Bova 68.

New arrivals are double deckers 101-4 (YC/YD/YE/YF73 ELD) Scania K320UD / ADL Enviro 500MMC H63/35D, which are route branded for Route 4, Eldorado’s busiest route.

An unusual second-hand acquisition is 160 (RUA 460W), Bristol VRTSL3/6LXB/ ECW O43/31F, new in 1981 as Yorkshire Woollen 460,

Vehicles withdrawn are: 107/8 (DC05 FXM/N), Scania N94UD/ East Lancs OmniDekka H45/32F; 209/10 (DE53 GYB/C) and 211-3 (DC05 FXJ/K/L) Scania CN94UB/ Scania OmniCity B42F; 214-6 (DK55 GYC/D/E), Scania N94UB/ East Lancs OmniTown B34F; 217 (YR06 EDF), Scania CN94UB/ Scania OmniCity B37D; and 225 (YN55 OXU), Scania CN94UB/ Scania OmniCity B39F. These withdrawals include the last of the N94-based single deckers and the last of the original style OmniCities with the oblong headlights. The only OmniCities now remaining are 228-30 (DF13 RMA/B/C), CN230UB types with the later small round headlights and revised back end.

New for the Engineering & Recovery arm of the business is E39 (DB73 VTR), a long wheelbase Mercedes 316CDI Sprinter van.

Several older coaches have been re-numbered, to release their original fleet numbers for use on new coaches expected next year. Scania K / Van Hool Alizee 25-30 (DG/DH07 ELD, DA/DB/DC08 ELD and YN57 JAO) are now 73-8 respectively.

For the same reason, Scania K / Caetano double deckers 101-4 (DA/DB/DC/DD10 ELD) are now 131-4.

Withdrawn are 62/3 (PH02 CDW/V), Bova FHD12.370 / Bova Futura C49Ft dating from 2002. The were both new to PHM Travel, with 63 acquired in 2003 direct from PHM and 62 acquired in 2004 from Arden Forest. 63 has been restored to PHM livery and is now in the North Midlands Motor Museum.

Also withdrawn is 57 (YW14 XCS), 2014 Mercedes Vario 0816D / Plaxton Cheetah Mk2 C29F, having been replaced by the new Yutong acquired in March.

The contract for the County Council “CountyLink” Service 757 (Danecliffe-Plumstock) was up for renewal in April, and Eldorado decided not to tender to continue running the service. As a consequence, Mercedes Citaros 233/4/9 (DD06 UUY/Z, DF12 GJV) have been returned to the Council. The vehicles were Council owned, but operated by Eldorado on the Council’s behalf.

After the lull of the last three years due to Covid, there has been a large influx of new coaches ready for the new season as follows: 20/1 (YO23 ELD, YP23 ELD) Scania K360IB / Marcopolo Audace 1050 C45FLt; 22/3 (YR23 ELD, YS2 3ELD) Scania K410EB6 / Caetano Levante C54FLt; 54/5 (YT23 ELD, YU23 ELD) Scania K410EB6 / Van Hool Altano CH65/5Dt; and 61 (YC23 GUS) Yutong ZK6938BHQ / Yutong TC9 C32Ft. 20/1 are all-over white, with Tours UK branding. 22/3 and 54/5 are in fleet livery with route branding for the X4 Manchester – London express service.

The Marcopolos were scheduled for delivery in March/April 2020, but had only just arrived in the UK when the Covid lockdown started. They were therefore not registered and were put into storage by the importer. With the lockdowns and the slow re-start of the industry post-lockdown, they haven’t been needed, so have been kept in storage till now. This explains why coaches with this styling are carrying 23-plates, when the Audace 1050 was face-lifted for the 2021 season. The Altanos are the first to be built on right-hand drive Scania chassis, and therefore the first on Scania chassis to go into service in the UK, though there are plenty of left-hand drive Scania / Altanos in Europe.

Second-hand acquisitions are 70/1 (YL69 RZW/X), 2019 Scania K410EB6 / Irizar i6 C61Ft, and 72 (YD56 CGE), a 2006 Bova FHD12.340 / Bova Futura C49Ft. All three are fitted with wheelchair lifts and are in white with dual Flexicoach / Eldorado branding.

Withdrawn are 64/5 (R4/5ELD, originally T447/8 ABH) Mercedes 0404/ Mercedes Tourismo 15.RHD C49FLt; and 66/8 (P6 ELD, originally V606 PCX & TXI 8668, originally T932 WWY) Bova FHD12.340/ Bova Futura C53F and C50FLt, all dating from 1999 and acquired in 2017 or later.

A further recovery vehicle acquired is E37 (MG69 CDM), a Mercedes Antos 2536LS with Dyson bodywork.

As in previous years (Covid lockdowns excepted), Eldorado loaned a significant number of vehicles to Crossways to assist with transport to/from the Cheltenham Race Festival in the third week of March. A full list, with photographs of the vehicles, is available in the 'Events' section - see menu in the left margin.


>>> Earlier News (2021/2)