Posted by: SB Websites | June 6, 2013

GNE Blaydon Racers Citaro

gne logo

The already tired dual-doored Wright Renown’s have been transporting passengers across Gateshead, Swalwell and Winlaton since 2011 when they arrived from Oxford to replace Super Pointer Darts. However, it was soon realised that these were not a viable (or reliable) vehicle to use in service as loadings got generally busy for a dual-doored vehicle compared to a more relaxed load on a full size one door saloon. Therefore, with the rest of the Gemini 2’s being delivered for the Red Arrow Service X1 the Citaro’s could then transfer to the Blaydon Racers to cascade the Renown’s away. The Citaro’s then gained a similar style livery concept to previous ones but keeping the red basecoat which still looks smart however it lost its yellow identity which the service had from 2007. They wear a large yellow and brown Blaydon Racers logo on both sides and then yellow writing including the places the 49, 49A, 49B and 49C services operate to. Also of note, is the message on the back reading ‘Mercedes comfort every day’ sparking back to the classic Red Arrow’s slogan ‘Leave the car at home and take the Merc…..’ of 2007. One of the 07 plate Citaro’s; NK07 KPR; is seen wearing the livery working the 49 in the direction of Winlaton.

5281 Blaydon Racers



  1. FINALLY! Honestly Keiron I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting for this!

  2. PS I like how you’ve put the stickers on the middle windows celebrating the 100 years of service. Very nice little touch there Keiron!

  3. Nice net! I to like how you have done the 100 years of service stickers on the middle windows and the Key adverts on the windows on the far side! Keep up the good work!

  4. To Keiron,

    I believe 9133 has had a livery change (which I wasn’t expecting due it moving onto another company by the end of the year). It’s got spirals on it’s back windows and it’s at the right side of the picture at the bottom of the page on the link shown below;

  5. fantastic, although GNE should of put ‘mercedes comfort every few days’ with the amount of oddities you find on routes everyday πŸ™‚ The lights are cool too.

  6. Stunning! Great job! πŸ˜€

  7. Could you make this bus?
    Stuarts, Carluke LSV380

  8. @marcus, thats 8319 not 9133, talking of that it has returned to optare within the last week

  9. To Marcus,

    Thanks, yes it is a nice little touch.


  10. To Marcus,

    Thats not the demonstrator, one of he Simplicity Versa’s got painted red and thats it there. NK11 FXB I believe.


  11. To CDJ,

    Thanks, its a nice smart livery.


  12. i know 8319 wasnt the demo

  13. To Robert,

    Sorry, I was replying to Marcus not you but you beat me to it.


  14. To David,

    No as requests aren’t being accepted.


  15. too fast for you, and i didnt realise, sorry

  16. Thanks Keiron and Robert, the thing was I instantly saw the GNE symbols and instantly thought of the demonstrator, I’m quite sad because I had so many opportunities to ride 9133 but didn’t take them up, and now I regret it. Any idea which company it’s going to join now, because it’s getting passed around the country I believe? I would imagine down south somewhere.

  17. To Marcus,

    It seems that was the original intention however it did gain full GNE interior and the usual livery applications which seemed quite unusual. Also, it may not have gone back because the time had ran out, it could simply be returning to get somethiong done to it as Optare’s arent very reliable in GNE’s fleet and they need to check up on it since its a demonstrator and been operating for quite a long time up till now. This will allow them to monitor progress since this is a one-of-a-kind.

    I have been on 9133 3 times now and managed a ride of it on the 58 as well as the Streetlite demonstrator.


  18. I never got to ride on 9133 eventhough it was at my local depot for several weeks 😦 what made it worse was the amount of times i saw it in Stanley Bus Station parked up on the stand not in service with nobody there, 1 massive opportunity missed. Also, why have GNE repainted the Doxford Clipper MPDs, newer buses been cascaded onto the route from another brand that is getting new buses or just getting new buses?

  19. To Robert,

    Deptford are receiving Streetlites from Drifter so perhaps Versa’s are going onto it.


  20. Hi, Please could I have the GNE 100 years bus. thanks. Tommy

  21. ok, thanks for that, i was just wondering as i thought it was odd, so the 39 must get very busy at peak times then for them to get an upgrade, still good buses i guess, well that might not be true but you never know

  22. To Robert,

    In case you’re wondering also the 28 and 34 are due the M1’s.

  23. To Thomas,

    Its already on the Nets in the News section.


  24. To Robert,

    I don’t know if the Doxford Clipper is gaining hand-me-downs however I do know tharty Deptford are recieving Streetlites.


  25. So where will I find the GNE 100 years bus?

  26. The GNE 100 years bus is at the bottom of the Nets In The News list so it hasn’t been published yet but I’m certain it will be done soon

  27. Brilliant, thank you!

  28. If possible could I please be able to have a East Coast Optare Solo heres the picture .thanks Tommy

  29. Nice, thanks for all your help guys(btw im Robert, just i couldnt be bothered to log in) and i think its time the DAFs went out of the GNE fleet, i have never been a fan of them, noisy, throw plumes of black smoke and they are slow, i think the M1 solars will be great on those routes. Also, if the M1 is getting new buses, what buses are they or has it not been decided yet?

  30. To Thomascandlish,

    I don’t think requests are being taken at the moment or even if anything is being added to the Nets in the News but I’m sure they will be soon, Keiron will tell you for sure.

  31. I’ve heard some mention of new build Merc Citaros for the M1, true or not is a different matter!

  32. To Keiron,

    572 on the X21 today, lots of rare appearances on that route are starting to make me think the guy who makes the allocation sheet at Crook is a comedian.

    To Robert,

    Tony (a driver), told me even the Yellow Buses are going to be withdrawn also, some more Deckers are going to be bought to replace them and some sort of Mercedes is due on the M1. For the full story I put something near the bottom of the Tyne Trail a month or two back now. The one thing I love about Prestige’s is the engine when it starts back up and comes to a stop, I love the whirring noise, and even though I’ve rode each one ten times over, I can’t explain how monumental it feels.

  33. To NewcastleNorthEasternBuses,

    The Citaro’s are ‘sourced’ which I don’t think os brand new. They will either be of a dealer which I find unlikely or secondhand from another Go-Ahead group operator.


  34. To Thomas,

    As Marcus has said requests aren’t been taken and I update the Nets in the News section whenever something newsworthy occurs just in case I forget!


  35. To Marcus,

    I am also a fan of Prestiges however Go North Easts are in a much better condition in comparison to Arriva’s. Yes, Prestiges are fitted with a classic ZF gearbox which when combined with a DAF SB220 always makes a fantastic sound. The application of the handbrake also creates a whirring sound when stationary on some (if they haven’t already broke.)


  36. Mercs would be ok but if its getting an update its more likely because it gets busy as the solars are in good condition so i think it will be the deckers been bought for it but the mercs might be bought as people will probably stop using it as they spent loads of money on new buses.

  37. To Robert,

    The Solars are starting to get old for such a vital link and those Solars would be better to replace older stock. (Prestiges…)

    The Gemini’s arriving later this year are for the fabfiftysix.


  38. Wow thanks for that, i wasnt aware that the fab fifty six wa getting Geminis and i dont think that although the service does get busy and i dont think the solars can handle it the way they used to.

  39. To Keiron,

    Time does fly by, when I was a toddler I remember the Prestige’s and Palatines and Lolynes and Presidents were ‘state of the art’ buses, now many are looked upon as old and pathetic when compared with Gemini’s or Vyking’s.

  40. To Keiron,

    Could you ever imagine a Northern Mercedes in the present standard fleet livery. With all the Diamonds and Blaydon Racers amongst other flashing new liveries I must say I would find it hard to imagine. But yet again the Solars were intended to be used as todays version of Hybrids, yet some of them have wound their way into Northern. Or perhaps take the likes of a Lolyne or President and splash them into the old 1980’s and 90’s Northern General livery, to be honest things become routine after a while and sometimes it’s hard to picture stuff ten years ago, I definatley can’t imagine myself a decade ago.

  41. you should expriment the mercs in fleet livery by makng one, ur answer will await before you

  42. Hi Robert,

    I’m afraid I don’t make or even try to make nets, I print off of Keiron and Matthew’s websites, specifically this one, and that’s why I contribute so much and spread so much newsworthly info to show my gratitude.

  43. ill try for you, i know im not the best maker of paper buses but ill at least try instead of leaving it to the professionals.

  44. To Robert,

    Thank you very much for that that’s very thoughtful of you.

  45. It will be interesting for me as well as you

  46. The net can be viewed on my blog

  47. To Marcus,

    See when I was younger I was surrounded by Alexander, Leyland and Roe bodied Leyland Olympians and Optare Delta’s. All but a memory now.


  48. To Marcus,

    I wouldn’t mind seeing one in the livery however they deserve to be in a better livery considering how good they are.


  49. Hi Keiron, please have a look at my new GNE Northern Optare Solo in Pop card livery at . All viewers welcome! thanks, Tommy

  50. To Thomas,

    Very nice, my only criticism would be to just tidy up your net as it seems you have a few stray pixels especially over the windows. Once that has been sorted it will be a very nice net. Well done!


  51. Hi Keiron, the ‘Pop’ card bus is much better now and in .png. And there is a poll on my website I’ll be happy if the Solo wins and i’ll be happy if lots of people used my website!!!!! πŸ™‚ Thanks Tommy!

  52. To Thomas,

    I noticed and I thought you would be another good blogger but sadly I was wrong. You have simply pasted my nets onto yours removing my copyright information, you must remove all of them nets created by me as you didn’t ask for prior permission.


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