updated 5 February 2017
in Newcastle began the operation of the City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead
tours under franchise to City Sightseeing Worldwide on Saturday 31st
March 2007. The service is based at Slatyford
Stagecoach in Newcastle began the operation of the City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead tours under franchise to City Sightseeing Worldwide on Saturday 31st March 2007. The service is based at Slatyford depot.
For the 2008 season, 14669 was converted to completely open top, having operated partial open-top (as the rest of the fleet remain) during the 2007 season.
Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot
City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead tours are seasonal and are not currently operating. The 2017 season is expected to commence on Sunday 9th April 2017, notably later than previous years.
For the first ten years of the franchise, the City
Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead operation used H-registered high floor open-top Leyland Olympians. These vehicles started life as closed top
Northern Counties bodied deckers with Sunderland Busways but were converted, by
Stagecoach, to partial Open Top in early 2007 in preparation for running the City
Sightseeing operation. In
preparation for the 2008 season, 14669 was converted to fully open top.
For 2017, a batch of five Dennis Tridents have been sourced from Stagecoach Manchester. Four underwent open top conversion in the latter half of 2016 with the fifth intended only as a spare parts donor. Those which will see service have been painted in red base colour but are yet to receive branding.
Meet the Fleet
Four Dennis Tridents with Alexander ALX 400 bodies form the City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead fleet: 17239 (X239NNO), 17240 (X240NNO), 17643 (W643RND) and 17645 (W645RND).
All four currently carry plain red base livery and are awaiting application of the distinctive City Sightseeing livery with NewcastleGateshead branding. A further similar vehicle, 17647 (W647RND) is stored for use as a spare parts donor and is not expected to see service.
Only one route has operated since the 2009 season, whereas two routes the NewcastleGateshead Tour (Red Tour) and the Ouseburn Tour (Blue Tour) were operated in the first two years of the franchise.
The current route is a variation on the former Red Tour, operating as follows:
Central Station • Haymarket • St James Park • Blackett Street • Quayside • Baltic • Sage • Central Station
The tours are seasonal and operate only between late March and mid December, with maximum frequency in Summer months. For further details of service frequency at different times of year, see the timetable below.
Where to go
Fairly obviously, anywhere on the route is a suitable location for sightings. See the map and timetables above to help select a spot. At times when two vehicles are operating, both pass the Pilgrim Street/Market Street junction within minutes of each other.
Vehicles look impressive in the midday sun as they travel down Grey Street. Alternative locations could be Central Station, Pilgrim Street, the Quayside and Baltic Square.
City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead tour leafets are available on the buses themselves.
The City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead fleet are based at Stagecoach in Newcastle's Slatyford depot. For further information on Slatyford, please visit the Stagecoach in Newcastle Operations Profile.
Three of the partial open-top deckers, formerly the mainstay of the City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead fleet: 14670, 14673 and 14674.
Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot