Hot on the heels of the use of a large part of the Stagecoach Heritage Fleet by Stagecoach South at the Goodwood Revival comes news of the use of another historic vehicle in service.
Stagecoach has advised that "a very last-minute addition to Customer Service Week, which runs between Monday 3rd to Friday 7th October We will have our 1943 Utility Guy, presented in the erstwhile Alexander's Perth Town Service red livery of the period, operating duplicates on Goldline Service 7 Hillend-Perth-Scone each day, between 0930 to 1430"
Normal Stagecoach fares will apply:
Stagecoach South provided additional services for visitors to this year's Goodwood Revival. What was different for 2016 was that a large number of vehicles from the Stagecoach UK Bus Heritage Fleet were used.
It is always pleasing to see the Heritage Fleet vehicles being used and earning its keep, rather than being parked up and neglected in the corner of a depot.
Full marks to the team at Stagecoach South for coming up with an operational plan to use the buses.
With thanks to Stagecoach South and Colin Ashcroft, Operations Manager for Stagecoach in Portsmouth we are able to present a selection of photos of some of the buses used.
In recent years there has been a move away from moquette-covered seating in buses, as many companies take advantage of the properties of e-leather. There is no doubt that e-leather (and full leather) are easier to keep clean and are harder wearing than traditional moquette.
Moquette has a tendency to wear around the seams as any fold tends to expand the weave. Leather on the other hand can be expensive, but is harder wearing.
So enter e-leather. Whilst I have seen it used on buses and coaches I have never really understood how it is made.
What I do recall is a trade press article which suggests that it can be around £70,000 cheaper to trim a coach in e-leather against traditional leather. When new both have the same look, but apparently age differently. Over time traditional leather assumes a shiny finish whereas e-leather loses its sheen.
E-leather is made from discarded leather off cuts and also uses parts of the cow’s hide that is not actually used in the manufacture of real leather.
The off cuts and other materials are cut and separated into individual fibres with water jets then being used to link the fibres. Colour are added as pigments rather than dyes, which increases colour saturation and reduces the occurrence of fade. Once coloured grain and surface coatings are applied.
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.