Thamesdown Transport has revealed four new buses as part of Swindon 175 celebrations – the anniversary of Swindon being chosen as the home of the Great Western Railway works in 1841.
In keeping with Thamesdown tradition, all four buses have been named after former Great Western locomotives built at the Railways Works in Swindon with these new buses adopting names from the Castle Class locomotives.
Two have been selected names to commemorate famous figures and the men who helped put the town on the railway map, Sir Daniel Gooch and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, with the remaining two being named Sudeley Castle and Sarum Castle.
The buses, which are Alexander Dennis Enviro200 midi buses, feature comfortable, modern high-backed seats in a new colour scheme for the company, as well as audio-visual bus stop announcements, a larger area for those travelling with pushchairs and with free WIFI.
Sir Daniel Gooch was officially launched by Mayor of Swindon, Councillor Andrew Bennett; Isambard Kingdom Brunel was unveiled by Paul Jenkins, Managing Director of Thamesdown; and Sudeley Castle was launched by Frank McGhee of bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis. Sarum Castle was launched by Thamesdown’s Stan Scott, who joined the company 30 years ago directly from the Swindon Railway Works where he was a coach trimmer and he still uses the skills he learnt there today as the upholsterer for Thamesdown.
The historic Swindon Hooter was also sounded to commemorate the unveiling of the vehicles.
Peter Oliver, Commercial Director for Thamesdown, said: “Swindon has a history steeped in the excellent provision of public transport, and the legacy of skills that railway left us is strong at Thamesdown. We are proud to associate the naming of our new buses with the Swindon 175 celebrations..
“We hope that this investment makes bus travel more comfortable and a great option for getting around Swindon.”
Chairman of Thamesdown’s Board of Directors, Mike Bawden, said: “This investment is very welcome and marks the start of a fleet renewal programme.”
Frank McGhee of Alexander Dennis said “We are delighted to provide Thamesdown with these new buses and are looking forward to receiving further orders later in the year.
For more information on Thamesdown, visit www.thamesdownbus.com