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
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
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
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(DC13 ELD) to Padbus, withdrawn Bova Futura 63 (PH02 CDV) - see below -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
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
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.