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May 2005    
When Carlisle basks in gentle Spring sunshine it's hard to believe that substantial parts of the city were under water only two months ago.   The Stagecoach Cumberland depot was completely flooded and 84 vehicles have subsequently been written off.   Stagecoach reacted quickly, drafting in vehicles from around the empire.   Regardless of the fact that many of these buses are mid-life they are well presented and carry clear temporary destination boards.   The sunshine is truly shining after the rain.
Carlisle city services were formerly operated by low floor MANs.   These have been replaced by low floor Darts from London such as 34101 (S101WHK) [above left] and 34139 (V139MVX) [upper right].   These vehicles still carry promotional advertising for London's 2012 Olympic bid [lower right].
Although many of the replacement vehicles are standard fare, several oddities are also in evidence such as 28933 (H433EFT), a Scania 113 from Busways [above left]; Western 30342 (N426KPS), a Wright bodied Volvo B6LE, which was acquired with the business of Docherty of Irvine in October 2004 [above right]; Wales 20407 (G67PFR), an East Lancs bodied B10M originally from Burnley & Pendle [below left]; Busways 13022 (A22HNC), an NCME/Olympian that started life in Greater Manchester [below middle]; Wales 32986 (L86CWO), an unusual Wright bodied Dart [below right].
        Business as usual
Despite the catastrophe at Carlisle depot, other parts of the Stagecoach empire continue to function as usual.   Not all the fleet was lost, with Alexander bodied MAN 22804 (V804DFV) surviving [upper left]; Western operate a daily X75 service from Stranraer to Carlisle - 52510 (S860VAT), Plaxton/Volvo leaves for its home town [lower left]; Cumberland continue to operate the trunk 300 service to Whitehaven - Alexander/Olympian 16652 ( R252NBV) is loading in the bus station [right].
        National Express
Carlisle is well served by National Express services on their way to and from Scotland.   Bebb CN54HFK, a Jonckheere bodied Volvo is seen on the (536) service from Aberdeen to Cardiff [above left]; Ulsterbus BCZ1660, a Plaxton/Volvo is on the (921) service from Belfast to Birmingham [above middle]; Sellwyns 107 (YJ04BYH), a Van Hool bodied DAF is on the (533) service from Wrexham to Glasgow [above right].
        Dull Darts and a B6
There are plenty of dull Darts including (clockwise) East Kent 32604 (N604KGF), Ribble 30668 (L668MSF), Busways 32124 (K124SRH), and Midland Red South 32706 (K706PCN).   There are also a few Volvo B6's from Western and Fife such as 30651 (L651HKS) [right].   Strangely Carlisle only had one Dart allocated before the flood.
        PS Types
Another standard Stagecoach vehicle to feature as part of the replacement fleet is the PS-Type/Volvo.   Only one Transit vehicle is on hire - 20838 (P838GND) [left]; nearby Western has contributed a sizeable number of vehicles such as 20592 (M792PRS) [above].   Extensive neighbourly love has also been offered by Manchester and Busways.
Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of the situation is that loan vehicles regularly find themselve in Scotland on the (79) service to Dumfries and the part (179) service to Annan.   A most unusual Volvo B10B, 21001 (M901DRG) from Busways is seen in Annan [upper left]; Manchester 20994 (R994XVM), a Plaxton/B10M loads at Whitesands in Dumfries for Carlisle [lower left];  Lancaster 20436 (M236TBV), an Alexander/B10M heads for Annan from Carlisle [right].
Sunshine after the Rain
All photos taken in March 2005.   Click to enlarge.
Stagecoach Cumberland
BBC article on Carlisle flood
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