Eldorado News

As part of the run-up to the next batch of PSVAR legislation, which came into effect on 1st January, open-top sight-seeing bus 146 (350 ELD), a 1996 dual-door Alexander bodied Scania N113, has been fitted with a wheelchair ramp in its centre doorway. In order to create space for a couple of wheelchairs, 3 pairs of seats have been removed from the lower deck, resulting in a O57/27D configuration. Initial plans to fit a wheelchair lift to the upper deck were not implemented, but remain a possibility. As a result of the same changes in regulations, 159 (2959 HA), a BMMO D9 which was one of the ones converted to open top for use in London by Obsolete Fleet in the mid-1970s, and acquired by Eldorado in 2007, has been taken out of full time service on the Manchester Tour, and will only see service as a “special” on the limited number of days it is allowed out!
Second-hand acquisitions are two Scania OmniCity CN230UD double deckers. 121 (YT11 LSF) is H45/31F and was initially a Scania demonstrator, and 122 (YR10 FGR) is H41/22D and is ex-London United. The former has been repainted into fleet livery, whilst the latter has entered service in the all-over red in which it arrived. As yet there are no withdrawals as a result of these arrivals.

An addition to the fleet of vehicles used as tour feeders is 313 (EH64 OXU), a Ford Galaxy, in silver.

Additions to the ever growing Heavy Recovery side of the business are E9 (MF58 MWU), a 2009 Mercedes Benz Actros 2551 with Bonniface Recovery bodywork, E10 (YT59 HPX), a Scania R560LB8x4/4HNB Tractor Unit, also dating from 2009, and E11 (DB03 GHE), a 2003 Scania P144LB6X4R340 Flatbed. Also acquired, primarily for use with E10, is a Nooteboom 8-axle Low Loader trailer.

Scania / Van Hool coach 37 (DC13ELD) has returned from its period of loan to Padbus.

Late new is the acquisition of two Renault Trafic minibuses which have been added to the fleet of tour feeders. 314/5 (DA14 XXA/B) are SL27 models with 7-seater bodies and wheelchair ramps. As a result of these additions, plus the Ford Galaxy reported above, Ford Transit minibuses 303-5 (DA05 AFE-G), dating from 2005, have been withdrawn.

Following the long term loan of 2013 Scania / Van Hool 37 (DC13 ELD) to Padbus, withdrawn Bova Futura 63 (PH02 CDV) - see below - has been reprieved and returned to the Private Hire pool.
New are 5-7 (YM16 ELD, A6/7 ELD) Scania K360EB / Irizar PB 12-3.7 C49DLt (see Home Page photo), and 8-10 (A8-10 ELD) Scania K410EB6 / Irizar i6 14-3.7 C57DLt. They are classed as “D” - dual door - because the normal central “continental door” has been re-located to the nearside, and houses the wheelchair lift. Registration A7 ELD was previously carried by a Jonckheere bodied Scania withdrawn in 2007, and A9/10 ELD were previously carried by Leyland Lynxes withdrawn in 2003.

Withdrawn as a consequence of the above new arrivals are 2 (DB02 ELD), a 2002 Scania K124EB / Irizar Century 12.37 C49Ft, 15 (W15 ELD), a 2000 Scania K124IB / Plaxton Premiere C47Ft, and 62/3 (PH02 CDW/V), 2002 Bova FHD12.370 / Bova Futura C49Ft. The former two were new to Eldorado, the latter two being new to PHM Travel, with 63 being acquired direct from them in 2003, and 62 coming via Arden Forest a year later.

Also acquired, as withdrawn stock from a local car hire company, are three Vauxhall Corsas - DK63 DGR/S/T. These replace a similar number of aging Ford Fiestas used for driver transfer/positioning. No fleet numbers are allocated to these vehicles.

The new Scania / Irizar i6 (see last month's news below) has now been prepared for service as fleet number 4, registered YL65 ELD, and entered service on 1st September (photo).
Just delivered is a new Scania K410EB6 with Irizar i6 14-3.7 C57Ft bodywork.  It is un-numbered, un-registered and as yet carries no fleetname vinyls.  It will be prepared to enter service on 1st September (photo).
Surprising new additions are 233/4 (DD06 UUY/Z) Mercedes Benz 0530 / Mercedes Benz Citaro B52F, dating from 2006. These vehicles are actually owned by the County Council, and will be run, on their behalf, on route 757 connecting villages which are not otherwise served by a bus route. Eldorado took these over in mid-April as a result of the latest round of tendering (photo).
A second ex-Manchester TX4 Taxi, 312 (MB61 VYV), has been acquired as a direct result of the successful operation of 311 (April news below). This time the vehicle is in metallic gold, and again there are no immediate plans to repaint it.
New coaches are 41 (3041 EM), Scania K410EB with Irizar PB 14-3.7 C55FLt bodywork, with a separate door halfway down the nearside for the wheelchair lift, and 42/3 (S12 ELD / W13 ELD), Scania K360EB with Irizar PB 12-3.5 C49Ft bodies. These latter two registrations were previously carried by Scania/Van Hool 12 (see below) and Scania/Plaxton 13 withdrawn in 2010, whilst that on No 41 was originally carried by a Plaxton Paramount bodied Scania K112 (No.231), and later by an open-topped Metrobus (No.141).

New for the ever growing recovery side of the business are E7/8 (YL15 CMS/T), both Scania R580CB8x4ENB, E7 with Dyson Flat Bed body, and E8 with full recovery bodywork by Bonniface (photo).

A rather unusual acquisition is 136 (274 BWU), a 1962 Bristol FS6S / ECW (originally West Yorkshire DX150), which has been fitted with Scania engine and converted to O24/23RDL by Eldorado. Inspired by the FLF (135) acquired some years ago from Padbus, which had already been fitted with a wheelchair lift to the upper deck using a second, dedicated entrance, Eldorado have designed a lift that fits on the existing platform, which, when not in use, is locked in the raised position, leaving access to and from the lower saloon and the staircase as normal, with the exception that because of the lift mechanism, the platform doors now open outwards.

Less controversial acquisitions are 310 (DD12 TWB), a 2012 Mercedes Sprinter 316CDI 11-seater for use as a tour feeder, and 311 (MT12 LJY), a 2012 LTI TX4 Taxi (ex Manchester), also for use as a tour feeder and acquired because of its wheelchair accessibility. Both these vehicles are in the metallic silver livery in which they were acquired, and there are no immediate plans to repaint either of them.

Withdrawn are 4 (R4 ELD), Scania K113CRB30 / Irizar Century 12.35 C49FT; 5 (R5 ELD), Scania K113TRB / Irizar Century 12.37 C51FT; 7 (S7 ELD), Scania K93CRB30 / Van Hool Alizee C37FT and 11/12 (S11/2 ELD), Scania K113CRB30 / Van Hool Alizee C49FT. All these date from 1998. A final withdrawal, after a service life of 24 years, is 64 (A4 ELD), Scania K113TRB / Plaxton Paramount 4000 CH53/20Ct dating from 1991, having been with Eldorado since 2000.


>>> Earlier News (2011-14)