Sunday, 17 April 2011


I've just returned from a few days down in Swanage, where I've been busy taking photos around the area. Wilts & Dorset are the primary operator in Swanage and use their Optare bodied Scania N230UDs on the key routes.

Advertised as the "Purbeck Breezers", a fleet of 12 Scanias operate out of Swanage depot on routes 40 (to Poole), 44 (to Worth Matravers) and 50 (to Bournemouth via Sandbanks ferry). They vary between completely closed top, convertable open toppers, and partial open toppers. 1401 (HF09FVU) stands in the foreground having arrived on route 50, with 1412 (HF09FVT) loading for route 40 in the background.

The coast along route 50 gives you some fantastic opportunities for scenic photos - such as my header photo at the top of the blog. Here the weather doesn't help, but 1401 is pictured along Swanage seafront arriving on route 50.
I've worked out that only a PVR of 7 is required throughout the winter with reduced frequencies. It has been announced that route 50 will increase to every 20 minutes during the summer holidays, going to every 30 minutes in May. Here 1403 (HF09FVW) passes 1411 (HF09FVS) having just arrived on route 44.

Swanage depot occupies the area where a large rail yard used to be. The hole of Swanage bus depot on the right of this photo was part of the Swanage rail station yard back when the line was open and part of the national rail network. Now only the stone engine shed remains. 
1412 heads for Poole on route 40 as it passes Class 33 33111 in Swanage town centre. I spent a lot of time on Swanage rail station during my visit - it feels like you are being transported back in time...
Route 40 also gives the opportunity of some excellent scenic shots. Here 1412 heads through Corfe Castle for Swanage with the castle in the rear. Route 40 will remain at every hour in the summer months, but the Sunday frequency will go back to hourly.

No Solos are allocated to Swanage depot, but here former Go North East 2699 (NK54DFD) stops for a break from its driver familiarisation duties. 2699 is a Poole based Solo - minibus operation in Swanage ended a few years ago with the end of routes 142, 143, 144, 150 etc.
I hope to return in the summer - I'm quite looking forward to sitting on the top of the hill on Swanage seafront photographing route 50 arriving every 20 minutes. I've got railway photos to follow later this week.


On another note, my smugmug site has grown a bit more - go to - I've also tinkered with some settings. Thoughts please :-)


  1. Have you ever located the actual depot though James - there's usually at least one bus inside undergoing maintenance. It's in Kings Road West just 100 metres or so beyond the fire station - the 40 passes it so if you're looking in the right direction you can't miss it

  2. Hi Andy, yes I did find the depot (for the first time and completely by accident!). Nothing in there that was any different - lord knows where 1406 and 1408 were (probably at Poole to be honest). Volvo B7RLE 113 was in there on the Thursday but it moved out by Friday.

  3. Hi James,

    Just looking at Wilts & Dorset's website, the 40 is currently running every 30 minutes until early Septemeber.


  4. Hi Anon,

    Many thanks for that interesting piece of information! Makes me want to visit even more! I believe they are using the Unilink Scanias that aren't required on the Uni services at the mo.

    Also the X43 is running 4 times a day, with the town service 44! Should be quite interesting (and busy... which it certainly wasn't back in April!)


  5. James,

    Have just discovered your very readable blog. I was there in July and all Solent Breezer Visionaires were working the 50. The 40 was worked by Unilink Enviro 400. In the yard were the Unilink bendy 4001 and tree lopper Bristol VRT OEL232P and Lancet F40 KRO. I look forward to reading more updates in the future.

  6. Thanks for the information - I did mean to get to Swanage over the summer to get all of the extra workings but opted for Weymouth and never managed to do both.

    Thanks for your kind comments too, Beezer.