45 members of the Scottish Branch were shown around the Alexander Dennis
factory in Falkirk on Saturday 7 September. The Branch makes regular visits
to the site. The factory was on holiday the following week and all completed
vehicles had been delivered to their new owners leaving nothing in the yard
outside to look at. However inside there were plenty of vehicles in build. We
were shown all stages of construction and painting, window fixing, and
electrical wiring. The majority of the vehicles in build were for Stagecoach
and E30 and E40 vehicles predominating, but there were also some E50 (ex
Enviro 500) in build for Canada. We also saw the CKD part of the factory.
A new design was to be introduced next summer involving many more
standard parts in all bodies built. This was being designed with prototype
construction taking place at the nearby Larbert headquarters.
Thanks are due to Alexander Dennis for their hospitality and the staff for
showing us around the building.
After the tour of the factory most members stayed on for a tour of Central
Scotland in an M-Line of Alloa Iveco Beulas coach whose registration started
JC03…. giving away its previous history as being part of the WJC buses fleet
(now defunct) with John Carson as owner. The fleet operated many older and
interesting vehicles, some unique. The M-Line coach was driven (extremely
well) by M-Lineʼs ownerʼs son. We visited First at Bannockburn and Larbert
where we saw some of the many Volvo B10BLEs transferred recently from
Aberdeen along with some of the Scanias painted in the Stirling University
service brown and orange (these have to be lowheight because of a railway
bridge). Some of the blue First buses on the X38 service to Edinburgh were
also noted either at the depot or in service. These have simply been
repainted in the blue livery and fitted with Wi-Fi rather than refurbished with
new seats. At M-Line we saw an ex Transdev Volvo/Wright double decker
with coach seats painted in their red livery advertising their tours to
Disneyland Paris along with various older deckers for school contracts. We
also visited Bryans of Denny and Mitchells and Billy Davies in Plean which the
usual coaches and older school double-deckers.
A lunch break was made in Falkirk where members could view New Market
Street bus stance and the local services. All enjoyed a very successful day.