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SANTA BUS IS COMING TO TOWN      18 December 2017

Reserve Dart SLF 34611 has emerged from the paintshops at the Wheatsheaf bearing extensive Christmas branding. It would appear that the vehicle is to be used in connection with charitable operations, with vinyls on the rear declaring 'All proceeds will go towards Toma fund'. With only a week to go until Christmas, it seems unlikely the branding will see much time in service.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

In older news, MAN 18.220 A69 22013 returned to service at Slatyford yet again during November 2017, replacing Kinetic bodied 22508 which has suffered mechanical failure (again).

BRANDING BLITZ      28 October 2017

In a bid to increase the prominence of the corporate livery, removal of branding from vehicles is currently underway. With the Club22 branding all but extinct in Newcastle, Sunderland's 'it's a gas' livery and South Shields' 'get there with Es' campaigns are coming to an end as both are to be phased out with vehicle repaints already underway. To date, Sunderland's 28002 and South Shields' 27728 & 27730 have all been repainted and relieved of branding, sporting fresh coats of corporate livery.

Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

BOOMERANG BUSES      1 October 2017

Following a brief sojourn in the Highlands, both 22013 and 22047 have once again returned to the North East. Both were part of a group of MAN 18.220 A69's which earlier in the year were loaned briefly to West Scotland. Seems the pair cannot keep away from the North East! 22013 is pictured below back on site at Slatyford depot, once again awaiting disposal.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

Following the service changes earlier this month, former Walkergate based Enviro400 19204 transferred over to Slatyford, though nothing was replaced as a result. 19204 is seen below operating Slatyford's Service 10 in North Kenton. It is also notable that 19205, which transferred out from Walkergate to South Shields whilst the PVR for Service 1 was reduced, has not returned to the depot, despite the PVR returning to the higher term time operation.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

MAN-GO      16 September 2017

Following the return to service of 27510 on Teesside, MAN 18.220 A69 22020 has been withdrawn, seen below stored at Stockton depot minus ticketing equipment.

Also withdrawn, Slatyford based 22074 was replaced by the entry to service of Kinetic bodied MAN 18.240 22510.

Meanwhile, Alexander ALX300 bodied 22013 and 22047 have transferred north to Scotland once again, this time to the Highlands where they are now operating from Inverness.

These recent changes leave the following 2003/2004-plate MAN 18.220s in the Stagecoach North East fleet:

22012/50/51/67-70/80-82 - Slatyford

22016/18/19/26/61-66 - Teesside

22022/24 - Walkergate

22011/14/15/17/20/21/23/25/27-46/48/49 - Reserve or For Disposal

22071-76 - Prep for DTV

CURIOUS CASCADE      16 September 2017

Now that the summer (what summer!) is behind us, temporary transferee Enviro400 19205 has departed South Shields and returned to Newcastle. However, it has not so far returned to service at Walkergate in line with the seasonal PVR increase for Service 1 as expected. Instead, it is currently parked up out of service at Slatyford depot.


Sunderland are currently evaluating a Bio Gas double deck Scania 280UD with Enviro400MMC bodywork on Service X24. Registered DD16GAS, 80036 carries a distinctive midnight blue and gold livery with vinyls highlighting the technology used. During its stay on Wearside, it provides some much needed respite for the struggling Omnilinks, though single deck gas buses are still a common sight on the route, with multiple Omnilinks off the road at any one time. While it would seem highly unlikely that the evaluation will result in new decker stock being purchased for the X24, it does mark a welcome (albeit temporary) return to decker operation at Sunderland.

Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017


As usual during the University summer holidays, the frequency of Service 1 has reduced, resulting in a decreased PVR - this year reducing by two vehicles. Unlike previous years which has seen vehicles loaned to other Stagecoach UK Bus divisions, this year, 19205 has been loaned to South Shields to provide additional capacity on Services E1, E2 & E6 during the busy summer months. The other reduction is offset by the operation of shuttle Service 118.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

Service 118 is operating from Four Lane Ends to the BT Call Centre on Gosforth Park Way, via Longbenton. This service replaces Service 18 in these areas which is temporarily able to reach them due to the closure of Killingworth Road, which is expected to last until February 2018. Service 118 operates every 20 minutes - mostly carrying fresh air - and attracts a PVR of one vehicle. The PVR of service 18 is unaffected. Service X63 and some evening journeys on Service 38 are also diverted, though there is no change to PVR for these services.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

CAN'T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN      31 July 2017

The spare vehicle capacity at Slatyford should have eased of late with the return to service this month of 19196 and 22580, both of which had been long term VOR, together with the surprise return to service of 22012, which seemingly refuses to stay withdrawn! On the flip side, 22574 seems to be spending rather a lot of time in the depot again, and there remains little progress in getting Kinetics 22509, 22510, 22511 & 22515 into/back into service.

RESERVE ROUND-UP      6 July 2017

Former Hartlepool Dart SLF is now on site at Sunderland - it is currently unknown whether it will see further service in the city. This takes the total number of Darts replaced by the seven former South Shields Enviro200s at Hartlepool to nine and leaves Hartlepool with only five spare buses and no active reserves.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

Further ALX300 bodied MANs to return from loan to Ayr are 22013 & 22045, both on site at Stockton depot.

Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

The list of long term VOR buses continues to grow, now comprising: 19196 (Slatyford), 22019 (Teesside), 22509 (Slatyford), 22515 (Slatyford), 22580 (Slatyford), 24102 (Teesside), 27510 (Teesside) plus accident damaged 22579, the remains of which are back at Slatyford depot, as well as 22510 & 22511 which have never left the depot since arriving over a year ago.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

In other news, Slatyford's 22411 NK06LUY has been treated to a repaint, removing the remnants of the ***KING X47 branding. With 22412 undergoing similar treatment, only 22408 & 22409 remain in something of a state.

COASTAL CASCADES      30 June 2017

Following service cuts in South Shields, the peak vehicle requirement at the depot was reduced by six. As a result, seven 61-plate ADL Enviro200s were released for cascade down the coast to Hartlepool. 36461-36467 have all now entered service in Hartlepool, which had led to the ousting of some eight Pointer 2 bodied Dart SLFs - 34550, 35155, 35157, 35158, 35159, 35160, 35161 & 35173 are all now parked up at the depot, ticketing equipment removed.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

AYR SUPPLY      30 June 2017

Six of the withdrawn ALX300 bodied MAN 18.220 A69 fleet, 22013, 22015, 22040, 22045, 22047 & 22049 were loaned to Stagecoach West Scotland in May 2017, covering for several defective vehicles at the company's Ayr depot. 22040, 22047 & 22049 had returned to Slatyford depot by late June, as illustrated below.

A selection of the MANs on loan to Ayr
Photo © David Duffield 2017

22040 and 22049 back at Slatyford fo.lowing their spell in Ayr.
Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

SLATYFORD SHORTAGE?      4 June 2017

Adding to the mounting number of MANs withdrawn at Slatyford, 22077 and 22079 are now both confirmed as withdrawn, parked up with ticketing equipment removed. With no replacements to date, their withdrawal is unlikely to help with vehicle shortages seen at the depot over recent months.

19196 also remains parked up at the rear of the depot as it has been for some time now, along with a more recent addition in the form of 22509. It remains to be seen whether the service cuts in South Shields, which came into effect today, will release additional capacity to Slatyford.

UPGRADE FOR THE 71      31 May 2017

The trio of former Teesside Enviro300 bodied MAN 18.240s which recently arrived at Slatyford, 24113, 24114 & 24115 entered service today, providing all three duties on Service 71.

Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

Additional withdrawals at Slatyford include ALX300 bodied MAN 18.220 A69 22078, which has had ticketing equipment removed, and 19196 which has been parked up at the back of the depot for several weeks now, front panel absent.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

TEESSIDE TRANSFER      29 May 2017

On site at Slatyford this evening, former Stagecoach on Teesside Enviro300 bodied MAN 18.240 A69 24114. Also, presumably reinstated, 35194 was this evening parked up with the service fleet with ticket machine installed.

LATE SHOWS      21 May 2017

Stagecoach North East again provided the vehicles for the Late Shows this year, in the form of Enviro400 10649 and Tridents 17239, 17240, 17643 and 17645. The four open toppers were the intended allocation for the evening, however 17240 didn't make it through the night, receiving attention in the workshops at Slatyford late last night and now parked up against the rear fence. 10649 was drafted in as a rather better spec - albeit closed top - replacement.

Considering the Tridents have been reupholstered and resprayed prior to entering service, internally they appear incredibly shabby. In particular the seat backs and moulded handles are extremely worn and battered. Without exception, they appear to be in a significantly worse state than the dcecade older Olympians that they have replaced. 17239 is the best presented of the bunch - presumably resulting in it seeing almost exclusive use on the City Sightseeing franchise to date.

Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot 2017

ABANDONED ALX      13 May 2017

Fleet changes continue at Slatyford following the service cuts which took place a couple of weekends ago. The latest withdawal at the depot is 22073, now parked up at the rear of the depot with ticketing equipment removed as illustrated in the photo below, which is copy; Stagecoach North East Bus Depot.

Several vehicles at Slatyford are currently VOR, including 19196, 22515, 22574, 22579 & 22580. 22579 was involved in a tragic accident on the Redheugh Bridge on the evening of 10 May and is not expected to return to service.


Click the link below to download our special edition news publication:

Feature Article NEWcastle Network


Click the link below to download our special edition news publication:

Feature Article On the eve of Newcastle Service Changes

TRIDENT TESTED      9 April 2017

Today saw the start of the 2017 City Sightseeing NewcastleGateshead season. For the first time, this year the tour will be operated by low floor vehicles, with converted former Manchester Dennis Tridents picking up the baton from the outgoing former Sunderland Busways Leyland Olympians. Just one bus is needed for the off-peak season and today that saw 17239 as the first of the batch to enter service.

The shot below, © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot, captures 17239 X239NNO looking resplendent in the afternoon sun at St James' Park.

In other news, Transbus Dart SLFs 34562/67 have transferred to Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire, with 34565 expected to follow once repairs have been carried out.

Photo © Lee Wardle

Following the return to service of 39724, 39730 returned from Walkergate to Slatyford, with 22022/24 moving in the opposite direction. Recent departures have included 14669/71 which have been sold to private buyers and 19201/02 which have transferred to Stagecoach East Midlands.

Notable fixtures at Slatyford include 22075 & 22574, both of which are stored at the rear of the depot, without ticket machines.

MANS ABOUT TOWN      28 February 2017

Eight months after arrival in the North East, East Lancs Kinetic bodied MAN 18.240 A69 22509 has finally entered service at Slatyford, leading to the withdrawal of MAN 18.220 A69 22013.

Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot.

Slatyford however gained similar MAN 18.220 A69 22022 from Walkergate, with MAN 14.240 A66 39730 moved in the opposite direction.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot.

These changes leave Walkergate free of 03-plate ALX300s while Slatyford retains 22022/24 and 53-plate examples 22050/51.

STAGECOACH STREETDECK?      28 February 2017

In an unusual move, Stagecoach North East are currently trialling a Wright StreetDeck demonstrator, SL15ZGP temporarily numbered 80028 in the Stagecoach fleet. The vehicle is being trialled in Newcastle on Service 38, operating between Whickham View and Freeman Hospital. However unlikely, should an order be placed following the trial, this would represent the first new purchase of non-ADL (or predecessor) products for the North East since the Quaylink Designlines over a decade ago.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot.

DART DEMISE      28 February 2017

The Pointer2 bodied low floor dat is rapidly becoming an endangered species on the streets of Newcastle. As predicted (see 'Cascades Continue', below) 35163/72/73/88/89 were all withdrawn at Slatyford following the arrival of cascaded Enviro200 bodied MAN 14.240 A66s from Sunderland. Of these, 35163/72/73 have transferred to Hartlepool, with 35172 in service there and 35163/73 undergoing preparation for service. No withdrawals have been noted at Hartlepool, as a result, but are likely to comprise 34550/63/64.

35188 and 35189 remain onsite at Slatyford, devoid of ticketing equipment.

Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot.

SEE THE SIGHTSeeing      28 February 2017

The City Sightseeing Tridents have recently undergoing branding for the service, which will commence operations on 9th April 2017. Those completed to date include 17240, 17643 and 17645. Former Cityseeing Olympians 14670/73 remain on site at Slatyford (14673 still parked up under cover with the service fleet!) though 14669/71 have recently left the depot - destination unknown.

Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot.

CASCADES CONTINUE      5 February 2017

Following last weekends service cuts in Sunderland, further cascades have now taken place which has seen all but two of the MAN 14.240 Enviro200s transfer out of the city. In addition to 39728/30, previously reported, 39729, 39730 and 39732 have also now transferred to Slatyford.

There have been no confirmed withdrawals from Slatyford as yet, however Pointer Darts 35163, 35188 and 35189 have all been parked up at the rear of the depot recently. 35188 remains at the rear, 35189 is now parked up along the side of the depot building and 35163 is no longer visible on site. Also notable by their absence, 35172/73 are likely to make up the balance of withdrawn vehicles at Slatyford, at least three of which should be expected to transfer to Hartlepool to replace slightly older 2004 examples there.

With five vehicles withdrawn at Sunderland, at least one further withdrawal would appear to be pending. 34605 and 39727 were both in service on the 18s yesterday while 39709 was parked up over the pits at the Wheatsheaf.

In other news, 22024 was an unexpected returnee at Slatyford, operating the 6/7 circuit on Friday.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot.

And finally, Enviro300 27508 has at last left Slatyford, currently undergoing repaint at the Wheatsheaf, prior to transfer to Teesside.

Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot.

SUNDERLAND SPARES      1 February 2017

Last weekend saw the latest set of service cuts come into force in Sunderland. Overall, the depot's PVR decreased by three, however up to seven vehicles might reasonably be expected to leave, since three Omicities were added to the allocation for the new express Service X24 to Newcastle. It's looking likely that the remainder of Sunderland's Enviro200 bodied MAN 14.240 A66s may be heading to Tyneside, with 39728 noted in Slatyford depot and 39730 in service on the 30/31/36 cycle today. Time will tell whether 39709/27/29/31/32 depart Wearside, or if Dart SLF 34605 has finally reached the end of the road.

Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot.

As well as cuts in Sunderland, the frequency of Service X34 was reduced back to every 30 minutes from 30 January, leading to a reduction in PVR from five to three. As a result, 19645 & 19646 have transferred to Walkergate. No withdrawals have been noted to date, but MAN 18.220 A69s 22022/24 would seem likely candidates.

In other news, Slatyford's 22570 (branded for Service 100) and laggard Enviro200 26078 both finally entered service on 10 January, leading to the withdrawal of 27508 and 22021, respectively.

MORE FROM SLATYFORD      5 January 2017

It's hard to believe there are five other depots with all the activity at Slatyford over recent months. The latest news though comes again from there, with confirmation of the withdrawal of 22032, leaving just two more MAN 18.220 A69's likely to be withdrawn following the arrival of the Enviro200s.

© Stagecoach North East Bus Depot.

On the subject of the new Enviro200s, the final member of the batch still to enter service, 26078, has appeared at the rear of the depot complete with fleet numbers and ticketing equipment, looking good to go.

© Stagecoach North East Bus Depot.


Only a matter of months since the arrival of sixteen new Enviro400MMC deckers at Slatyford, the depot has recently taken delivery of a batch of 18 Enviro200MMC single decks, the first in the North East fleet. The vehicles carry regionalised branding for the Stagecoach app and are for use on Services 30, 31 & 36. Details of the batch are as follows:

Fleet #       Registration   Branding variant
26063         SN66WLR   It's canny good!
26064         SN66WLU   It's canny good!
26065         SN66WLV   It's nee bother!
26066         SN66WLW   It's nee bother!
26067         SN66WLX   Heading doon Toon?
26068         SN66WLZ   It's nee bother!
26069         SN66WMA   It's canny good!
26070         SN66WMC   Heading doon Toon?
26071         SN66WMD   Heading doon Toon?
26072         SN66WME   It's nee bother!
26073         SN66WMF   Heading doon Toon?
26074         SN66WMG   Heading doon Toon?
26075         SN66WMJ   It's nee bother!
26076         SN66WMK   Heading doon Toon?
26077         SN66WML   It's canny good!
26078         SN66WMM   It's canny good!
26079         SN66WMO   It's canny good!
26080         SN66WMP   It's nee bother!

All but 26078 have been noted in service and cascades are still working through, however the arrival of the batch will ultimately see the departure of the majority of the 03- and 53-plate ALX300 bodied MAN A69s from Slatyford, with 22033-42/45-49 already confirmed withdrawn to date. Meanwhile, 03-plate examples 22021 & 22022, previously reported as withdrawn, have returned to service at Slatyford. The only other 03-plate examples to remain active at Slatyford are 22013 (officially in reserve) and 22032, with four 53-plate examples (22043/44/50/51) remaining in service presently. It is expected that 22032/43/44 will be the final three ALX300s to be withdrawn, restoring balance to the Slatyford fleet.

26069 is pictured (below) at Slatyford depot, shortly prior to first entry into service. Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot

The only member of the batch yet to enter service, 26078 is pictured shortly after delivery and prior to receiving fleetnumbers. Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot

Illustrating the rear branding carried by the batch, 26064 and 26072. Photos © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot

EXCITING EXPRESS      3 January 2017

As previously reported, a new express service X24 will be introduced from January 2017, operating between Sunderland and Newcastle providing a direct link between the two cities. This development has seen the arrival of a trio of tri-axle Scania K270UB Omnilink at the Wheatsheaf, formerly having operated with Stagecoach in Fife. Still undergoing preparation for service, the vehicles comprise 24001, 24002 & 24003 (SP57CNE/F/J).

The shots below, all © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot, depict the latest arrivals at Sunderland, prior to receiving repaint.

ENVIRO300 EXCHANGE      3 January 2017

The first generation Enviro300s are all but extinct in Newcastle, with only 27508 remaining in use on Service 100.

Replacing the batch on Service 100 are newer Enviro300s 22570, 22574, 22579, 22580 & 22581 (SP08DCV/DA/DL/DN/DO), which have joined the company from Stagecoach East Scotland. Following transfer from East Scotland, the vehicles have undergone repaint and received a new style of branding for Service 100. All but 22570 have now entered service.

Illustrating the branding as now carried by the batch, 22581. Photo © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot

Of the displaced first generation Enviro300s, 27506 has to date been repainted and placed into service on Teesside.

OLYMPIAN FAREWELL      3 January 2017

With the end of the 2016 City Sightseeing season, the last Olympians in the Stagecoach North East fleet have now been permanently withdrawn. 14669/70/71/74 are parked up at the rear of Slatyford depot awaiting disposal. 14673 is now visible on site but is likewise listed for disposal. Replacements come in the form of Dennis Tridents - five have transferred from Manchester, of which four (17239/40 and 17643/45) will see service. These four have been converted to open top and painted in plain red base colour, pending application of City Sightseeing branding. This photo, © Stagecoach North East Bus Depot, illustrates the current appearance of the batch.


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