Posted by: SB Websites | December 31, 2013

GNE X40 Great Park & Ride

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Great Park is an impressive sustainable urban development situated North of Newcastle which oddly is in a rural setting and is set to include high quality residential dwellings, commercial premises and community facilities offering universal appeal. The idea of this was to also allow the population of Great Park to be sustainable by using the bus to go to work or commute into Newcastle City Centre. Therefore the Great Park and Ride service X40 was born operating every 20 minutes to and from Great Park. It started out with Arriva Northumbria who operated ADL Mini Pointers which were branded ‘Great…. Park and Ride’ which is covered here. Earlier this year the service was re-tendered early due to Arriva operating the service to an unreliable standard for which Go North East won. However Arriva were not pleased with Great Park cutting their contract short so operated the service commercially whilst court proceedings went ahead of which they didn’t win so Arriva pulled out leaving the Go North East contracted service. Despite the route being every 20 minutes virtually no passengers use it and it seems a great loss in resources for a service that carries round fresh air all day. Go North East operate their 4 Scania L94UA / Wright Solar Fusion’s from the Centrelink on the X40 and are outshopped in a striking blue, green and black livery which is seen here on 4952.

4952 Great Park and Ride



  1. As usual you haven’t failed to deliver! This livery is a very tricky one but you have certainly hit the nail on the head.
    Also how was your needed break and happy new year to you all!

  2. Perfectly detailed Keiron, apparently these buses may go onto articulated driver training in the future, but for now are branded up for this according to a Gateshead driver.

  3. By the way I’ve left a LOT of messages on the Wear Tees Express Renown page that tell you vehicle changes and just so you don’t have to go back and look;

    On 26th January the Pronto Presidents are being replaced with some Cobalt Clipper Citaros, to be honest that’s the main one.

  4. Hmm, its interesting you say that because there have been rumours about them going onto the Pronto but then just the other day on the NEB GNE Latest forum people were saying that the Blaydon Racers will gain an extra Citaro and 4 will go onto the Wear Tees Xpress and the other 2 (06 regs I assume) will go to Gateshead Riverside for Blaydon Racers and Crusader and Stanley for Diamond. Both acting as a back up.
    Because of this I don’t know what is to happen with these as there have been 2 possible scenarios. But when that’s been said, how is the plan to have 6 Olympians left by the end of this month going to work?
    One of my suggestions was that spare Omnicities from Cobalt Clipper that aren’t going onto the Whey Aye Five 0 to Stanley for X30/X31 which will mean the Trident Plaxton Presidents can go to Crook which will replace 5 of the B7s and the 2 from Percy Main can go over to make the PVR of 7, much more reliable although the buses aren’t that much older than the current ones.
    Surprised at them making a 44A but to be honest people have never been happy with the way the Diamond routes went. They were always changing the 43s route around the Fellside Park area. That was the point of them bringing in the 143 but it clearly never worked.
    Sorry for this lengthy comment but I needed to clear my mind 😛

  5. Great work again!

  6. It has been confirmed that the X21 is getting Citaro’s by Gary Wheatley, the supervisor, as well as a couple of Crook Drivers and ex-Crook Drivers that have come to Chester. If I’m honest though Robert it doesn’t seem to make sense because the Pronto Presidents can barely handle the amount of people getting on, and then having single Deckers put on it seems ludicrous, but that’s what they have chosen to do, when the Gemini’s replace the Citaro’s on the Cobalt Clipper they’ll be dispersed to Saltmeadows to gain their new liveries. Although it is possible, I doubt the Diamond will need a Citaro spare, although it may be used only on the 44A, however one of the northern Renown’s or 8221 could easily do that job. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the Northern livery is being replaced as the standard fleet livery and everything in reserve is just going to be red with go north east here and there.

  7. Seems a bit of a waste with them changing the Spare fleet livery. They just seem to change it so often and apparently the whole point of the ‘Northern’ fleet names was because it was their 100th year so they placed them on in advance to probably get their money’s worth out of it.
    Apparently the X66 is to gain new buses this year with 11.7m Versas on the card but with the artics just been debranded awaiting new vinyls it seems unlikely. The Cadet on the S1 (8266) is also to receive branding at the same time as the X66. Whatever it will look like, it better look good on the white base.
    I imagine the PVR of the Diamond wont change as only 1 journey on the 44 per hour will operate as a 44A. Just because of fussy passengers round White-le-head and the people that live at Dipton have to suffer.

  8. Marcus, the Citaros are NOT going on the X21. They are now being allocated as followed:
    5331: Riverside for PVR increase on ‘Blaydon Racers’
    5333-6: Peterlee for the X7
    5337/8: Likely to be one at Riverside and one at Stanley as back-up for the Citaro routes at those depots

    The Pronto is to keep the B7TLs for now, due to the issue of capacity should single deckers replace them on the current frequency.

  9. So since the Pronto needs an upgrade what are they going to do? Unless they do what I said, take the 7 Trident Presidents and replace the B7s as that’s the Correct PVR for them. Or they could do what somebody else said, although its the unlikely option, and it would mean investing in a few more Hybrids.

  10. I guess we’ll just have to wait until 26th January for when the upgrade is due, but the Citaros may not be coming from the Cobalt Clipper. However, I know the Whey Aye Five 0 is getting the OmniCity’s from the Cobalt Clipper. What is confusing me is that the drivers have been told they are getting those Citaros and are buzzing about it, and I saw one of the Pronto Presidents (I think it was 6034) and it seemed to have one or two of it’s stickers removed, and besides a lot of Tridents like 3877 and 3869 are being allocated to the X21 as well as 6022 and 6038, the latter of which is now on a daily basis, and there have been no recent accidents on the X21 which means it can’t be filling in for a damaged one, although 6021 spends more time on the pits at Chester than out on the road in service, so perhaps one or two are scheduled to go into the red fleet livery soon, I do know however that that has definatley been confirmed for early on this year.

  11. The Angel B5s could surely manage a trek up to Bishop Auckland every 30 mins to keep the X21s frequency, they aren’t like the Vykings.

  12. That’s exactly what the 21 does on a Sunday Robert, but the only issue with that idea is that Crook would then only operate the 18 with 571 and 572, which would be pointless and GNE might then stop renting Crook and those two MPDs would get transferred to Chester. Also worth noting is that after 6:00 at night anyway, Crook stops operating and Chester gets rotored to the X21 until about midnight, so it’s not like the Unit 1 Chester drivers wouldn’t know the route. So, if you ask me, the X21 will definitely and is definitely getting a vehicle upgrade, and if what you suggested was to happen, more Gemini’s would need to be invested in, and knowing the company they would rather pass down some older buses.

  13. Yeah, I think the B5s suit the X21 really well, but would they not need to be re-branded as they only include branding to Durham? Anyway, there are so many rumours going round, one of which is the Crusader to gain new buses this year or next year which would displace the Citaros onto the Lime. I really cant see this happening as the route has had 2 bus upgrades within the last 2 years so another one I think by record will make it the most upgraded route since the main branding process began. That is why I really cant see this whole event happening.

  14. The Citaros are definitely being replaced on Cobalt Clipper, by 6101-15. If the fact they have yet to be repainted is your evidence, that is simply because it has been the Christmas break and Mercedes will have been closed down for 2 weeks. As this will be their first repaint (apart from 5337/8), they will be done under warranty by Mercedes themselves as per previous repaints

    As for new vehicles, the Lime and Crusader are both in-line for new vehicles as is Laser amongst others.

  15. Apparently 5337 has gone to Saltmeadows for a repaint

  16. 6005 was at Chester for a brake test today and ended up on the 887 to my delight, it certainly was a nice surprise after a long day. Tony has been rostered back to do it so there is another bonus, and as he works in the office he gets a pretty good insight to vehicle movements and repaints etc. He seems to think that the date for the new X21’s is not January 26th but February 26th, which would make a bit more sense in my opinion, although either seem to be a possibility, but he doesn’t know what vehicle type it’s getting yet.

  17. It has been confirmed that the Citaros were going to be put on the X21 but something has altered that decision, however there is a rumor that the Red Arrows are to get brand new Gemini’s and then the B9s will go onto both the Pronto and presumably the rest to another service, possibly the 20 or maybe the Highwayman? Anyway, Tony told me another rumor is that on the 25th January there is some sort of huge vehicle movement going on with several buses moving to different depots to cover for the now doomed Olympians and also just for a general move around that GNE have from time to time, maybe the Darts will be going as they are forcast to soon, so we’ll just have to see.

  18. Really?! Whats the point of that, B9s that are still pretty much brand new been replaced by newer B9s? Why don’t they just get new B9s and put them straight onto Pronto.

  19. Well, am I right in saying that its the B5 now rather than the B9?

  20. To Robert

    I normally just refer to them both as Gemini 2, but the B9 is a lot more powerful than the B5, plus the B5 apparently costs more because it has an exquisite interior (plush head cushons) so I would say the rumor is if I’m not mistaken, 6001-6007 and 6049-6055 are B9s that are speculated to be replaced with fresh B5s like 6056-6070. 6001-6007 are expected to be placed onto the Pronto sometime later this year and 6049-6055 are now believed to be going onto the Prince Bishops as only 7 buses are branded for that. Both of these would make logic sense, the only downpoint is that GNE are already cascading Gemini 2’s down from service to service; what were once state of the art buses are now going to become just typical fleet vehicles, but I think Gemini’s will always stand out within the fleet. By the way, I was at Gateshead today and nearly all of the new Fab 56s are in service bar one or two as 5209 (I think it was) was operating the 56 still in the Solar Fab56 Livery as well as 3974. 8266 was in service at the Metrocentre still in it’s white livery but it is worth noting that 5219 and 5220 were on the X66 which to me signifies that the new liveries have begun for the bendies but I couldn’t be bothered to travel all the way to Saltmeadows to check. I took a ride on both 5219 and 5220 and both reminded me of pulling away on a DAF the second we pulled out.

  21. Yeah, I saw B5 because I saw this post coincidentally posted by Kuyoyo 😛 :
    ‘B9s are also unlikely for future decker orders unless they were ordered in the next week – the Euro6 emissions take effect from the 1st January 2014 when the Volvo Decker becomes the B5TL (after operators requested the 5-litre engine in the new decker rather than the planned 8-litre fitted to the replacement for the B7RLE – the B8RLE).’

  22. 6027 is on loan to Chester for a little while. Today it was on Scholars 886 along with 6038 on the 885, 6022 on the 888 and 6019 on the 887, so there was a line up of four Presidents.

  23. UPDATE! 8227 was on the 71 today, 3974 was on the 50 and 8231 was on the X25. I think they may have possibly been transferred, although 8227 and 8231 are due to be executed soon anyway. I don’t think they’ve gone to Stanley with 8232, but I think they’ve come to Chester instead as we’re crawling for buses. 3983 made an appearance on the 886 tonight, and I found out from John Terrel our replacement driver on the 887 for the week while Tony is on his holidays that the Solars that are kind of kind of not on the 50 (4926, 4927, 4928, 4929, 4930 and 4931) are to go onto the X25 due to quiet buses, and with nearly empty buses the Tridents can be used elsewhere while about five of them are displaced. 3878, our bus tonight, was extremely noisy and I didn’t get the full details but I’m pretty sure he said we’re getting Vykings to make up for the supposed-to-be-going Tridents; and I also think he said the Lolynes were going to start their withdrawal session in a short while.

  24. However it is always possible that with the Tridents leaving the X25 and the Darts leaving the company, perhaps only one or two Lolynes will go back to Stanley and four become replacements for the Darts as the 71 does get a lot of Lolynes on it anyway.

  25. Also it is rumored that the National Express coaches will not go to Riverside as anticipated, there was one, I think 7101 on the 888 last night.

  26. Great idea to get some Lolynes to Stanley! Get rid of those Olympians, especially that 3814 that I have been moaning about lately 😛 Also, I assume when the planning permission for Riverside was granted, the Citylink bendys were still in the fleet which gives them extra room but I do doubt that it will be big enough to fit 20-odd coaches in.

  27. Tonight 3974 was on the 887. It’s been borrowed for the week from Deptford due to a shortage of buses, and by the looks of it the Darts I saw yesterday have gone. The coaches really annoy me and the way the National Express drivers prat around Chester depot like THEY own the place when they merely have a roof over their heads because GNE was kind enough to give up some room and sign a contract, plus I don’t like massive buses.

  28. At least they are getting money out of it…mind you, would there be anything to pay since the buses are part of the Fleet?

  29. If I’m honest, I don’t think the National Express drivers are paid by Go North East, but National Express pay them to work for Go North East. Pat Armstrong spent a couple of months working for National Express and came back to regular driving at Chester just before Christmas, so obviously Go North East have some kind of system, but also worth mentioning is that Pat was the first of GNE’s drivers to go from being a regular driver and then onto coach driving to the bottom of the country. To be fair though, I’ll ask Gary Wheatley on Saturday, but I do know that National Express have no ownership over Chester whatsoever, it’s like Go North East rent Crook off Weardale, and while both companies buses are stored on that site, Weardale can do anything while GNE can’t. 3978 was at Chester yesterday on the 13/14 and X22 before being put on Scholars today. It’s good for me because I like to ride Vykings, and instead of having to travel to Gateshead or Park Lane to see a few (3983 hardly ever leaves the depot these days), and I’ve had two in row these past two nights, so I honestly don’t mind them. 8227 was on the 50 today so I don’t think it’s going quite yet.

  30. I saw a Ex-metrolink solar in fleet livery on the Lime Cycle today, maybe this is the start of the big movements due to service changes?

  31. It would probably be 4961 or another of the ones still holding out at Washington

  32. So another loan to Chester? I personally cant see why they have received so many loans considering how long they have lasted without them.

  33. I had 8227 on the X25 this morning, according to Gary Wheatley Chester are that desperate for buses that they borrowed 8227 and 8231 from Stanley for the rest of this week as well. 3978 and 3983 were on the 21 on Saturday with 6016 then after suffering engine bother it was replaced with 6022. 3974 was on the X22 and 13 and 14, but that and 3978 haven’t appeared today

  34. I love the new X66 livery although if anymore was to be added it would be a little bit too much. Those roadworks on Durham Road here at Stanley are Murder! Bus stops been closed but the bus I get on goes along Avon Road then turns right and goes along past St Stephens Church (78 way) then up round Hollyhill Gardens East then round to West and carries on. Those roads aren’t very easy to go round with all the cars parked there without roadworks taking place there aswell!

  35. I saw 5347 the other day and it’s new livery is indeed fantastic, but I think they’ll all enter service like that when Riverside opens in a couple of days. The 50 was due to get OmniCitys on Sunday but they are now due to be transferred this Sunday, I’ve seen a sketch of the new intended livery and it looks awesome but according to the plan still has the light blue coat, although knowing Go North East they’re likely going to add a twist. When they arrive, 4928 will come back from Saltmeadows and will operate the X25 with 4926, 4927, 4944 and a Lolyne, while 4929, 4930 and 4931 go to get re-painted into the same base livery. The Darts will finally be banished at some point during this, and Chester will recieve a couple more Renowns to replace them. Sadly, Tony told me that Stanley is to be the final stronghold for the Olympians, and that they haven’t had any buyers checking them out, and the majority are to be scrapped at Thornton’s.

  36. Apparently according to a photo taken 5347 was out in service today. Certainly looks a lot better and looks like they have actually spent money on it. Stanley only have Olympians because of all the scholars services (which i’m admitting to using :P) but I hope we move from Olympians and do what we used to do. On a morning we used to always get a Lolyne and on a afternoon it was nearly always a B7 with the odd Olympian. I just want to see one of these Drifter Streetlites as I haven’t been to Seaham or that area of Sunderland to see one! Although I was there and checked on the day before they entered service, I was annoyed, 24 hours away from seeing one but oh well :P. Cant wait to see the new livery for the 50/50A, I just find the pun so clever that id be sad to see the brand go! lol.

  37. It is still going to be Whey Aye Five 0, to be honest it’s probably the only one of GNE’s brands that a. make sense and b. give you a laugh but with the old folks it takes a while for them to understand, some just call it the Whey Aye Bus. Also, I really like it’s creativity and it’s a shame for 4926, 4927, 4928, 4929, 4930 and 4931 as now they’re just going to be one in many red buses.

  38. Also, today Tony mentioned the Red Kite is to recieve a new livery or an upgrade.

  39. Upgrade probably as the Red Kite only received one last year? That may be wrong, you know how fast time goes and its often easy to lose track of things.

  40. I’m on about a new livery wen I say it received one last year by the way.

  41. 8232 was on the 71 today, so that’s been borrowed from Stanley as well.

  42. I think they must of been reinstated to be shared, I wonder how many people go to the new Depot on Sunday, that’s if its still scheduled to be operated out of that day.

  43. Probably some of the big enthusiasts to get some of the first pics and put them on Flickr, but to be honest I don’t think Go North East will let dozens of people inside on it’s first day, considering some drivers will need to take buses out and may not know what is where, so I think I’ll give it a fortnight or so before I make an effort. GNE might not even let people on site, and may make them stand at the fences instead, knowing what they’re like on ‘health and safety’.

  44. Yeah, I think it will be a bit crowded down there, im not a person for taking photos and uploading them, im just a see it and let it go type of person. At least nobody can come and shout at you if you get a tiny bit of information wrong on the description or photo title.

  45. 2 OmniCity’s have arrived at Chester, Tony said they were 5260 and 5261 but they are waiting for the rest to arrive before they all enter service and that they had a slightly modified livery of that worm by the Scanias. Hopefully all six will be in service by the end of the week

  46. 5261 is a Coaster.

  47. I already knew that but that’s what he said; by the looks of it the new Whey Aye Five 0 buses are going to be 5255, 5256, 5258, 5259 and 5260.

  48. Yeah, 5257 aswell? Cant wait to see what the livery will look like!

  49. I can guarantee it’s well waited for, and no doubt it will look great on an OmniCity.

  50. I highly doubt the current livery will look good on them though, so I hope they re design it!

  51. 4930 was on the 886 tonight with a couple of stickers removed.

  52. 3974 and 3978 permanently transferred to Chester. 5257, 5259 and 5260 are the only OmniCitys to arrive so far, although the last was in service on Tuesday sporting it’s livery. The darts are to be withdrawn when all six have arrived.

  53. Im so glad to see omnicities back on the X30/X31/X70/X71. Missed them so much, doubt they will get branded though.

  54. 5258 has arrived at Chester, and 5255 and 5256 are due to arrive tomorrow night. The plan is for those two to go to Saltmeadows in the morning and get their new liveries applied ASAP before being picked up and driven to Chester, and then over the course of the week the rest will get the same treatment so by next Monday hopefully the six OmniCitys will be in service under the Whey Aye Five 0 brand.

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