Photo Special: Canary and Boro' transport - Part One

The overview of the coaches used to ferry NCFC supporters, there
was an additional row out of view to the right of the camera.
Yesterday was a big day for any Norwich City supporter, with high spirits heading down to London for the play off finals against Middlesbrough. I headed down on Eastons Bova Magiq A17AWE, acquired following the demise of Diamond Coaches and spent the day photographing the astonishing amount of buses and coaches used to transport fans from both teams to and from the event. 

With focus on the Norwich City vehicles, Sanders Coaches were contracted the entire workload to provide seats for some 40,000 Norwich City supporters expected to descend upon Wembley Stadium. Some 130 coaches alone were operated by Sanders and hired in from other operators, with further coaches from private bookings and operators providing fans with travel options away from Club Canary. I was going to note down each and every coach used, but that would be an almost impossible job. Sanders hired in coaches from far and wide, not just from Norfolk; coaches from as far as Lincolnshire, Stafford, Leicester and from London. 

Enviro sisters 33803 and 33804 at Wembley, two of twelve buses
Sanders hired from First.
Sanders hired twelve vehicles from First, consisting of eight Excel X1 Alexander Dennis Enviro400 and four of their Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL predecessors; I am told that this created some rare workings on the Eastern side of the X1. 

The eight vehicles loaned from First were Enviro400s 33803, 33804, 33819, 33820, 33821, 33822, 33823, 33824 and Wright Geminis 37571, 37574, 37575, 37576. Notably, the Enviro400s were programmed with special destination displays in support of Norwich City Football club. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to capture these on camera, but they really did look smart.

The regular enthusiasts who visit Wembley were suprised by the appearance of these twelve service buses, as well as Sanders two tri-axle East Lancs Myllennium Nordic bodied Volvo B9TLs, as they are usually used to the usual crop of coaches. The enthusiasts were out in force more than I have ever seen before at Wembley yesterday, and it was great to catch up with so many familiar faces.

Acklams stunning Plaxton Elite i in the National Express area
After the tiresome walk up and down every row of coaches at Wembley, I walked around the stadium towards the Middlesbrough coach park where on-route I found this next crop of coaches. Operating special National Express services were Acklams of Beverley Bar, Oxford Bus Company and Skills of Nottingham, all of which brought along a stunning range of coaches. A personal favourite, and one which took to the local coach driver's hearts, was this Plaxton Elite Interdeck bodied Volvo B11R,  YX64WBM is one of a number of "Elite" class coaches in the Acklams fleet, and one of a large range of wheelchair accessible coaches also. 

The Elite i was launch launched with Megabus in mind, and developed alongside their requirements. Typically, the model has a capacity of 75 passengers (71 in the upper deck, and three plus one wheelchair in the lower deck area). At fifteen meters long, the Elite i offers an enormous amount of extras and special features, from an electric hand dryer rather than paper towels in the washroom, a double leaf entrance door with low floor entrance and airplane style over head lockers as an optional request.

One of the coaches in the Middlesborough area was this Omniexpress
from the Wilfreda Beehive fleet.
Over in the Middlesbrough supporters coach park, the number of coaches didn't quite match that of the Norwich City following - maybe half the amount of coaches. Even still, there was an excellent range of vehicles to see.

Spotted from the fleet of South Yorkshire based Wilfreda Beehive is this Lahden bodied Scania Omniexpress. Wilfreda Beehive have over 65 years coaching expreience and have grown to become one of the South Yorkshire's largest coach and tour operators, operating an impressive fleet of vehicles ranging from eight seat minibuses, through to seventy seat school coaches and vintage buses.

There were so many more vehicles to see, and so many more which I will endeavor to share in a second compliment from an excellent day.
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About Kieran Smith

Norwich Buses Blog was founded in December 2013 by Sam Larke after he left another popular blog, Norwich Bus Page. Since it's launch, the site has grown dramatically, especially whilst written solely by Kieran Smith during 2015. The blog is now in it's third year and we look forward to more success and growth in the future. If you think you'd make a good writer for Norwich Buses Blog, please do get in touch via email:
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