Yes, I am very sad that the ALX 400 Tridents (VX54s) 33401 - 05, have not been repainted and refurbished, and I think it's highly likely that our MD will want to replace them with, say, cascaded Volvos with Wright Gemini bodies (perhaps some more recent ones from Manchester ?,Speedbird297 wrote: ↑17:03 Wednesday 13th February 2019So if First carry on withdrawing old ALX 400’s in the next few years, which I won’t be surprised if they do as most of them are atleast around 18 years old currently and need to be replaced, that would mean we would have to get some new streetdecks to serve the routes that need DD’s.
and perhaps one or two (Euro6) StreetDecks from Leicester ? )
When Midland Red West became part of the First Group, I relished the prospect of DDs returning to Worcester, which they started to do in small numbers, in 2002 onwards.
By 2004, I had stopped subscribing to BUSES magazine, and THIS forum didn't yet exist, so I had no hint that First Midland Red was about to take delivery of these 5 brand new DDs (33401-05) -- --
(although the reputation of services 57/58 in Redditch suggested that it was a possibility), and when I saw them delivered, brand new, on the patch at WR ( - along with some new A.D. Darts), I did not for a moment doubt they were intended for Redditch.
After 2 or 3 years, my hopes were fulfilled, and a couple of them were transferred to WR,
-- -- AND the most unlikely event imaginable ( - until the recent return of 6015 GHA415D !!), - was their appearance on First's "Blue Line" 32, which at the north end (where I grew-up) had been diverted through "posh" housing by Midland Red West using "Citibus" minibuses.
The late Ken Mills who was MD of the privatised MRW, did not value double-deckers and did not acquire any (except for a few, short-term for Redditch's 57/58), and he maybe is possibly still turning in his grave about the use of DDs anywhere in Worcester ! )
I can say that with respect to Mr.Mills, because when he introduced the Citibus minibus system to Worcester, they gave (for a short time) a 10 min frequency on this route, and plenty of early morning, evening, and Saturday and Sunday journeys.
IF politicians, local and national, had given Citibus the proper support it deserved
I reckon that there could be double the number of fare-paying passengers in some parts of Worcester !
However, the DDs have given me a lot of satisfaction !
Nothing lasts forever though, ( - not even London's Routemasters), and an "upside" for me will be IF our MD manages to substantially update our 7 oldest DDs BEFORE his "superiors" decide to sell FMR, -- IF they decide to ???
-- IF Rotala / Diamond were allowed to buy FMR, they would probably give away all the DD work !!