Monday, 6 September 2010

Weymouth's Open Toppers

For the first time in many a year, Weymouth operated three open toppers this summer for its 501 Summer service. Route 501 operates hourly from Portland Bill to Weymouth, with some journeys extending to Bowleaze Cove.

MOD571P has turned into many people's favourite VR. The only one remaining in fulltime service within First* still sees frequent use on the route, and here she is pictured on 2nd September at Weymouth seafront. 39971 is due for withdrawal at the end of this summer season, but this has been said for many years. After all, MOD was originally acquired by People's Provincial for spares, and here she still stands.

An unfortunate accident with a low bridge in Southampton gives us our second open topper. Acquired from Metrobus in Autumn 2004, N528LHG was acquired by First Hants & Dorset in 2005 at Portswood depot. However, following her accident, withdrawn Olympian A757VAF donated the front of her roof, and here 34528 carries on in Weymouth. Pictured on 2nd September of Weymouth's now withdrawn Park and Ride service - the 510 will no longer continue as it is to be replaced next year with a brand new Park and Ride service connected with developments in Weymouth for the Olympics.

Weymouth's most recently acquired open topper is Volvo Citybus E215BTA, new to Western National. After a few early teething troubles, 38015 is now in regular service and joined MOD571P on the 501 to Portland on 2nd September. Pictured basking in the sun along Weymouth seafront.

Finally for today is blast from the recent past - ATA555L - the last Mk2 VR that was in service with First Hants & Dorset. Finally numbered 39955, here she is pictured along the seafront back in June 2004, where the 1A operated to Portland Bill at a higher frequency of every 30 minutes using a variety of VRs. ATA555L was acquired by Southern National from Western National before both companies were taken over by First. On this day in June, I also managed to photograph MBZ7140, VDV142S and MOD517P.

Thanks for reading my first post. Please feel free to browse all of my photos from Thursday afternoon in Weymouth.

* First in Essex still own and operate KOO790V in preserved Eastern National livery, although this does not see full time active service work.


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  2. N528 LHG was actually new to London Central, allocated to New Cross for route 171. Sold to Metrobus in 2001.
    Also, wasn't this one of the few deckers not deroofed at Swaythling, Central Bridge did for 34258 if I recall??

  3. Thanks for the info re: 34528. I must admit I had always thought 34528 was deroofed at Swaything but I may be wrong - certainly 32031 (W801EOW) suffered a similar incident not too long before 34528's and this was at Swaythling - maybe I got muddled up!

    Sorry for the inaccuracies - I'll tidy them up next time I post :-)