Author Topic: Swallow Coaches  (Read 4550 times)

Offline alex397

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Swallow Coaches
« on: July 11, 2014, 11:31:46 pm »
This coach operator based in Rainham looks like it will be starting a bus route in September between Debden and Harlow. It will be numbered the 66, and will operate via Loughton, Waltham Abbey, Upshire, Epping, North Weald. Timetable can be seen on Traveline.

Apart from a brief period continuing TWH's 555 route, this will be their first bus route (I presume).

Whilst the route is not exactly direct from Debden to Harlow, I think there is some good potential for other parts of the route. For example, there will be a direct link from Upshire to Harlow, and from Upshire to Loughton/Debden. It may also attract North Weald residents as it will be far more direct to Harlow than Townlink's 20/21.

I hope they do well this time, as other operators haven't exactly had much luck with the Loughton-Harlow routes.

Offline alex397

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2014, 07:22:08 pm »
In addition to the 66, there will also be the 66A, which will operate hourly from Debden, Loughton, and then an anti-clockwise loop around Upshire and Waltham Abbey. So, 66/66A will form a combined 30-min frequency between Waltham Abbey and Loughton.

They will also be using the name EOS London - not sure what the meaning of the name is. They have a website--- http://www.eoslondon.com/index.htm

Also, they will have a orange, grey and black livery. I suspect they have acquired ex-Pennine Darts and just adapted the livery - nothing wrong with that as long as it still looks smart.

Offline AndrewHA

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2014, 06:13:10 am »
I wonder if it will go in to the " grounds " of St Mary's Hospital at Epping , as the the old Arriva / TGM Route . Or merely stop out-side like the present service does , run by what ever Harlow Operator runs it , this week etc .
Certainly be usefull , if it goes in the grounds , for people , like my wife , with walking difficulties etc . Trying to cross the road is " challenging " out-side the Hospital !
Andrew HA.

Offline alex397

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2014, 05:37:38 pm »
I wonder if it will go in to the " grounds " of St Mary's Hospital at Epping , as the the old Arriva / TGM Route . Or merely stop out-side like the present service does , run by what ever Harlow Operator runs it , this week etc .
Certainly be usefull , if it goes in the grounds , for people , like my wife , with walking difficulties etc . Trying to cross the road is " challenging " out-side the Hospital !

Looking at the Traveline website, sadly it serves the stops on the roads and not in the grounds.

Its a shame that fewer buses serve the hospital now. Its fine if you are going south of Epping, on the 213 or 541, but there surely must be many from North Weald, Ongar and Harlow who may use the hospital, but have to cross that horrible road on their return journey.

Perhaps a reason, is that the turning circle in the grounds is very tight, and sometimes not helped by parked ambulances. If SM Coaches went in to those grounds, there would be lots of damage!!  ;D

I have a feeling Chris Hunn, the former TWH owner, has a part with Swallow now, as this seems like one of his routes. And of course, there was a connection between the companies in the last few weeks of TWH's operations. Well, I hope he has more luck this time, as he does seem to put more effort in than the other local companies!

Offline Palatine One

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2014, 05:58:56 pm »
I have a feeling Chris Hunn, the former TWH owner, has a part with Swallow now, as this seems like one of his routes. And of course, there was a connection between the companies in the last few weeks of TWH's operations. Well, I hope he has more luck this time, as he does seem to put more effort in than the other local companies!

If Mr Hunn has anything to do with this, I seriously hope he puts more effort into running the services properly than he did at TWH. Another fleet of battered buses in a mixture of previous operators liveries complete with boards shoved in the windscreen masquerading as destination displays isn't going to attract passengers.

Offline David Stewart

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2014, 09:28:57 am »
The 66/66A is to be marketed as "EOS London.com"  and with a black and orange livery.  That livery is inheritred with Darts being obtained, formerly with Pennine Motor Services.  And yes, Chris Hunn is with Swallow.
Dave Stewart

Offline LS736

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2014, 10:58:20 pm »
Chris Hunn is working with Swallow, mainly on a driving basis, though I have assisted in setting up some parts of the service.  Regardless of opinion, and probably owing to not being aware of the facts regarding the operation of TWH, I do feel my experience in operating local bus services is worth something.  On a personal note, I am very pleased to have ceased trading as TWH  - it was to much as a sole trader to undertake, especially without the right support and funding.  Finding premises was very difficult, and I had a large amount of vandalism at one stage, causing damage to 6 vehicles which was very costly. Aside from that, maintenance was a major issue, and the amount of engine and gearbox failures I suffered was ridiculous, hence the rather frequent change and variety in the fleet.  When I started the 55 a few years back, the vehicles were all liveried, smart and we were reliable.  I recall leaving Harlow Bus Station one evening with a full standing load on a high capacity single deck. That's how a bus service should run. I never intended to operate a rather shoddy mixture of whatever buses I could get hold of in a hurry! I took on too much, and in hindsight should have stuck with running just two or three buses. I have many regrets about my operation, but I certainly don't regret trying :) I respect that everyone is entitled to an opinion. . . . .

Offline Palatine One

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2014, 07:08:07 pm »
Fair points LS736, I will admit my opinion is based from what I saw of TWH's operations over the past year or so when things weren't going as well as they could. Best of luck with your new job at Swallow.

Offline alex397

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2014, 07:38:26 pm »
EOS are also operating a bus from Harlow to North Weald Market on Saturdays. Today was the first day of this.

I think it shall do well, as Arriva's 523 which used to operate to the market looked like a busy service. I never understood why they got rid of it. Just like the 250 and 500 which Arriva operated - they gave them up, despite both routes having far more potential than Arriva seemed to understand. I guess that's why the independents are doing better than them.

Offline alex397

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2014, 08:08:10 pm »
EOS now also have a new route 16, which started at short notice.

It runs one return journey serving Debden, Loughton, Waltham Abbey then direct to Harlow. This is to improve the journey for college students from Debden/Loughton and WA. In between these journeys, it then just runs between Harlow and Waltham Abbey via the same direct route. All the journeys on this route run on college days only. And anyone wanting a double-deck ride, I think this is allocated a DD the whole day to cater for the college journeys.

Unfortunately Townlink (whatever they are calling themselves) have also registered a new 16. However, it is different from the EOS 16, and will run between Waltham Abbey and Harlow via the 66 route. EOS seem to be a far better operator, so hopefully Townlink will fail.

Offline AndrewHA

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2014, 07:28:21 am »
Yes , I obtained some shots of the EOS new route 16 last Wednesdsy when In Harlow . ( See my Flickr site ) .
The driver was handing out Time-Tables for the 16 to the passengers as they alighted in Harlow . They were just printed A4 sheets in land-scape format .

No doubt if Townlink has also registered a Route 16 , they will make their usual half-hearted attempt at running it , with journeys missing , Buses running at the wrong times etc etc .
Andrew HA.

Offline alex397

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 08:58:45 pm »
EOS has operated Swallow's Dart/Marshall Capital R876MCE on the 16.

Also, one of Swallow's coaches used on the 16 is FN52MZF. I've heard there have also been other coaches on the 16 and 66.

Offline alex397

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2015, 09:12:01 pm »
A few updates about this company:

Tonight was the first evening of operation for the 21A, operating 2 return trips between Warley (Eagle Way) and Ongar via Brentwood, under contract to Essex CC. This was following Townlink removing the last two commercial evening journeys of the 21 between Warley and Ongar. The 21A and 21 will connect at Ongar. Why Essex CC couldn't have just given Townlink some 'de minimus' funding to reinstate the two journeys, I'm not sure.

And from 26th January, the main network is completely revised, and will operate the following routes from that date:

* 66: Debden - Loughton - Waltham Abbey - Waltham Cross Bus Station - Waltham Cross Railway Station. The reason for it terminating at the railway station is because of TfL's rules restricting them from laying over at the Bus Station. Mon-Fri every 20 minutes, Sat every 30. Including a 66B school journey via Upshire.
* 66A: (Debden - Loughton) - Waltham Abbey - Upshire - Bumbles Green - Harlow. Basically like TWH's 555. The extension to Debden is one return journey on college days for Harlow College students.
* HC1: Harlow College (and not the bus station) - Epping - North Weald - Harlow. College day only service in this direction only with 8 trips.

Also, they now have 2 Optare Excels, and another one to follow, and also an ex-Metroline 02-reg Trident.

Offline Palatine One

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Re: Swallow Coaches
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2015, 09:44:42 pm »
Why Essex CC couldn't have just given Townlink some 'de minimus' funding to reinstate the two journeys, I'm not sure.

Considering Townlink's (albeit under a different name) "history" shall we say in their dealing with ECC contracts I think its hardly surprising!