This page

Brief history
Current fleet list
Route List

Brief History

Galleon Travel, with the bus fleet originally trading as Trustybus, emerged from the Logic Bus operations that were started on 26th March 2012. That start was when route L3 was introduced to run between Harlow and Hammond Street, competing over much of its length with Centrebus C3, which was later taken over by Roadrunner.  Harlow local service 1 to Sumners & Katherines was later initiated, again competing with RoadRunner. This situation was resolved in June 2013 when a revised C3/C3A service was left to replace most of the former L3 and Roadrunner C3 route whilst the Sumners and Katherines route was left to Roadrunner. The 25 route today is the direct successor of this operation.

The Galleon private hire operation is a remnant of the original Trustline operation, being the part which wasn't sold to Centrebus.

In May 2013 the company took over Hertford to Bishops Stortford service 351 on short notice tender from Roadrunner. Further tender success saw the company take over the 541/2/3 and 392 routes from September 2013, and retain the 351 (recently renumbered 35).

Expansion in 2015 saw the takeover of many Cheshunt area locals, the introduction of a Sunday service on the 410 together with a 311 (Waltham Cross to Hertford) replacement operating as 411. Then from 16th November, a major challenge to incumbent Townlink with an 8-vehicle Harlow - Epping - Ongar service, 419/420. The Cheshunt services have been given up but the Epping and Ongar services, expanded to incorporate the 541, were won after a hard fought battle.

Vehicle policy seems to have a very significant ex-London component. Early examples were low cost low floor Dart/Pointers which gradually gave way to slightly newer next generation replacements, often Scania's. A few iterations of fleet livery have evolved, usually applied in a way which is sensitive to the body style of the vehicle. Due to the high volume of turnover in the fleet, previous operator colours have always been a quite significant component of what is presented. The arrival of Scania double decks launched of the Central Connect name and adapted colours in mid-2019, initially for the 420/420A services but now cover all vehicles services. Tender wins, particularly in Hertford, have continued.

For many years the company operated out of a base in Roydon but in August 2022 this changed and the main centre of operations moved to Stansted. Some local operations continued, from February 2023 moving to a location at Riverway, Harlow, itself a road which has house many previous operators in the town.

The vehicles shown below are those in relatively recent operation. Others may be stored, withdrawn or awaiting sale. Fleet numbers were allocated on paper from early 2022. These started to be displayed from summer.

The final chapter in the story is the sale of the company to Vectare on 24th August 2023. At this time the separate Central Connect brand is being maintained and in fact has been updated, although we see that changes to the main Epping routes sees the new routes listed by ECC as Vectare and application of the logo is minimal. Fleet numbers are also only minimally displayed. A big clear out of the older and odder stock has taken place since the ownership change. Doubtless more will follow.


Current fleet list

Alexander-Dennis Enviro 200MMC
The first brand new vehicles for Central Connect were a pair of this class, which entered service in May 2021. A further pair then entered service in December 2021. With personalised registrations (CC21GAL, CE21GAL, CE21GAL, CE71GAL) these stayed until January 2024 when they transferred to operate with Vectare on services in Nottingham.

That first experience with the class was obviously a positive one, as a fleet of 5 (YX22OKA-E, numbered 1605-9) then joined at the end of June 2022. Soon after, 5 further short examples entered service in October 2022. All 10 were removed from the fleet, returned off-lease, in Spring 2024.

Following the purchase of Central Connect by Vectare, the class began to be significantly bolstered. First to arrive was YX22OJJ, followed shortly afterwards by 2 transfers from the main Vectare fleet in 316 and 317 (YX16OBO and YX16OBS) which still carry Vectare branding.

Next to join was former Red Rose GW16BUS in manly silver.

There then followed in late 2023 and early 2024 another 3 batches in the number ranges 322-5 and 348 to 356, as follows:

322 to 325 are 10.8m examples in full fleet livery
348 to 351 are also 10.8m examples, so far in white.
352-356 are shorter 9m examples, also so far in white.

349 (SK73CNO) did arrive and see service in Harlow but was moved to operation outside the area after a few days.

Latest arrival - March 2022 - is 342, which carries the new logo.

Where fleet numbers are in brackets, they are not displayed on the vehicles themselves at this time.

Vectare YX16OBO

316 was former Abellio London 8138. It came to Vectare in Autumn 2021, initially entering service in red, it later gained Vectare fleet blues. It is seen here operating on Vectare route 61 but had moved to the Central Connect fleet by January 2024. It was always single door and is a short (9.0m, B24F) example.  (R Hudson)
    Central Connect YX16OBS 317, former Abellio London 8141, has followed the same journey as 316. It is seen here on the Central Connect 420, although before destination displays were programmed. . (R Hudson)
    Vectare YX22OJJ YX22OJJ was the first new arrival to the Central Connect fleet in the Vectare livery, although with no name at this stage. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect SW16BUS Full new Central Connect get-up, although no fleet number, for SW16BUS. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect GW16BUS Following on, this time coming from Red Rose, GW16BUS, which still carries red and silver livery. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect YX73OVM The first of the 3 brand new batches is represented by 322 (YX73OVM), one of 4  liveried 10.8m examples, seen on the 420 at Harlow Bus Station. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect YX73OVP And the same setting for the last of the first batch of 4, 325 (YX73OVP). (R Hudson)
    Central Connect SK73COJ The next batch of 4, 348 to 351, is also 10.8m but in white livery so far. 348 (SK73COJ) is seen here. Note the Minstral display. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect SK73COU 349 (SK73COU) has a full working dispaly, as seen on route 25 on 2nd February 2024. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect YY73RGX The final batch, for the time being at least. are five 9m examples and are allocated numbers 352 to 356, although as with all other vehicles in the new number series, these are not yet displayed. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect YY73RGZ 353 (YY73RGZ) is shown here in a new black livery for the Hertford town network. The vehicle displayed "on hire to Galleon Travel " notices when seen in December 2023. It carries legal lettering for Vectare Ltd in Loughborough. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect YY73RHA And, similar 354 (YY73RHA), noted from January 2024. (R Hudson)

Mercedes Benz Sprinter/EVM Cityline
A type not exactly liked by much of the bus world. The first example, CC04GAL, previously GU19KKE, arrived with Central Connect in late 2020 and operated alongside the since-departed Solos on the HCC contract services H1/3/4. It showed that with the right livery treatment and a decent destination display, these vehicles can be quite passable as a bus.

Vectare have long been fans of the type and also present them well. A number from their fleet have operated on Central Connect services since the acquisition, to the point where a number are now considered part of this operational fleet, for the time being at least. 

Central Connect CC04GAL

The vehicle in service in the original livery in the early days of Central Connect ownership on a Hertford local service. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect CC04GAL Following the "H is for Hertford" brand for local services launch, with its associated black livery, the vehicle received a repaint and had branding applied. The same vehicle is seen at Hertford Bus Station. (R Hudson)
    Vectare RX20RJV Fleet number 201 shown operating with Vectare in the days when the service was still numbered 381 showing the full offside image. (R Hudson)
    Vectare WV20VDG Fleet number 202 shows the nearside including proper bus entrance doors and destination displays, a major step forward from the Ugobus days. (R Hudson)
    Vectare RX70SKZ Fleet number 204, again in service with Vectare. (R Hudson).
    Vectare RX23TVE Fleet number 221 is another that has moved since this picture was taken. (R Hudson)

Optare Metrodecker
A sighting of this vehicle is rare indeed. Built for Reading Buses and originally painted in Green Line livery for use on route 702, the order was cancelled, probably due to very protracted delivery. It has been with Central Connect since 2022.


Central Connect CT21GAL

School duites and rail replacements seemed to offer the best chance of a sighting of this vehicle at first, but on Friday 14th October 2022 it was in regular service on the 420. It has since been a regular operator. (R Hudson).

Wright Streetlite DF 10.8m
Reported as acquired in September 2020 and arriving in Central Connect livery and with branding for route 386 were 2 vehicles formally of Tower Transit, where they operated a variety of London routes. Colour LED displays feature. CC11BUS was absent and for sale for most of 2022, but has now returned to service. Conversely, CC10BUS (previously SN64CVR) has not seen service and has been removed from the operational fleet list.
Present reg.

Trustybus CC11BUS Hertfordshire CC contract service 386 was  upgraded with 2 liveried Streetlites. The route, sponsor and operator are all clearly shown here on CC11BUS. (R Hudson) 
    Trustybus CC11BUS Rear view. (R. Hudson)

Scania Omniciti N230UD
Arriving in April 2019, former London United SP146 (YP59OEE) entered service in all-red, dual-doored and with no working destination display. This, it transpires, was a trial which led to an order of 12 being placed, 10 of which arrived and came to be used the 420/420A, which were rebranded Central Connect as part of the change. Sister vehicle YP59OET was the first of the owned batch on 3rd June 2019 but the entry into service of YP59OES and then YP59OEV showed the future image. All 10 came to carry the new colours. Post pandemic quite a number were stood down with as few as 4 left operational. A number did gradually return to service but we are back down to 2 stalwarts. The end is clearly in sight.

Trustybus YP59OET

First of the purchased batch, YP59OET, is seen in service on route 420 in June 2019. This vehicle has long since been repainted. (R Hudson).
    Trustybus YP59OES The new image with Central Connect (and no Trustybus) name, with more blue and no yellow and somewhat illegible route branding above the upper-deck windows, shown here on 2004.  (R Hudson)
    Trustybus YP59OES The offside view. (R Hudson)
    Trustybus YP59OES Note that dual doors are retained and that the colour LEDs use white for destinations but a different colour for each of the 420 and 420A. (R Hudson) 
    Trustybus YP59OES You can just make out the scrolling text on the rear display, which really doesn't work on a display that wasn't designed for it. (R Hudson)
    Trustybus YP59OES Finally, an advert for the Central Connect services has now been added to YP59OES at least, promoting more directly the link to London. (R. Hudson)

Alexander-Dennis Enviro200
Arriving in Spring 2021, three former London vehicles. Two refurbished, re-registered and looking smart CC54/55BUS). One (LJ58AVE) retained "as acquired" livery. These were joined in summer by a fourth example (ex Arriva EN3, LJ57USU), also in London livery and entering service with Arriva blinds still fitted.

Four more, now 1401-4, arrived starting in February 2022. Then acquired from Ensign, a further 8 examples arrived in June 2022. These arrived in full fleet livery, carry colour LED displays and fleet numbers. One has since suffered accident damage and is not shown.

Finally, in August 2022, 2 more in white with Xelabus personalised registrations.

The fleet appears now to be in quick decline with a good number having departed in 2024, leaving just those shown below as operational.

Central Connect YX60DXY

Bishops Stortford area routes 7/7A were once run by Central Connect but have since been passed to Stephensons. 1413 (YX60DXY) is seen at the interchange looking smart just after repaint. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect YX12FPY The 301 is a long-established former Eastern National route running via the main roads to Saffron Walden. It has seen a variety of operators in recent years. Central Connect took over from Stephensons on 1st August 2022 but very recently surrendered in again after a dispute with ECC. 1414 (YX12FPY) stands ready to depart. Note the STN garage code. (R Hudson) 
    Central Connect YX12DHM Next up numerically is 1415 (YX12DHM). This bus spent most of its working life in Newport, where it wouldn't have looked much different to a Stephensons 301! It arrived, however, like the rest of the batch of 8, fully treated to Central Connect livery. 1416 (YX12DHO) follows suit. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect ML62OGY The highest numbered in the fleet of the 8 was 1417 (ML62OGY) see waiting to take up service in Bishop's Stortford. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect L8XEL Awaiting livery, logos and fleet numbers, L8XEL  (previously CN11FBC) is one of a pair pressed into service at the end of August 2022. The other was L9XEL (previously CN11FBD), since departed. (R Hudson)
    Central Connect MX12DZE Also awaiting becoming CC'd is one time CT Plus fleet member MX12DZE. No destination display facility was available when pictured. (R Hudson) 

Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander Pointer
This 2021 acquisition is clearly dedicated to driver training. It has been noted around and about. Previously a London vehicle operated latterly by Tower Transit.


Central Connect KP02PVO

Full latest Central Connect livery for this dedicated training vehicle, even at 19 years old. (R Hudson).

Route List

Within Harlow:
25/25B Harlow to Brookfield Centre - commercial service, hourly, Mon-Sat . PVR = 2
418B Harlow to Loughton, hourly, evenings only, Mon-Sat. PVR = 0
420/420A Harlow to Epping, North Weald and Ongar. Every 20 minutes Mon-Fri peaks, every 30 minutes off-peak and Saturdays, every 2 hours Sundays. Alternate buses only between North Weald and Ongar.  Commercial service  PVR = 7

Outside Harlow:
9/9A - Braintree (Great Notley) to Great Bardfield. Mon-Sat, hourly, PVR = 2.
35 (previously 351) - Bishops Stortford to Hertford via Hunsden and Ware. Hourly peaks, 2-hourly off-peaks, HCC contract service. PVR = 2
66A - Waltham Cross to Debden, HCC contract service, Sundays.
306 - Wicken Bonhunt to Bisphops Stortford (St Mary's Catholic School). HCC contract service, schooldays only.
315 - Bishops Stortford to Great Halligbury. Mon-Sat, 7 return journeys.
322 - Bishops Stortford to Lindsell via Takeley and Great Dunmow. Tuesdays. 2 return journeys furing off-peaks.
323/324 - Bishops Stortford to Great Dunmow via Takeley. Mon-Sat, hourly combined service with additional 2-hourly journeys within Great Dunmow on 323 (not evenly spaced for a combined hourly 323 service). PVR = 2
325 - Bishops Stortford to Little Hallingbury. Mon-Sat, 7 return journeys.
383/384 - Hertford to Stevenage. PVR = 2
386 Bishops Stortford to Stevenage - Mondays to Saturdays, PVR = 2
418 - Epping (St Margaret's Hospital) to Loughton. Mon-Sat, every 2 hours. PVR = 1.

542/542A - Harlow to Debden circulars. ECC contract service, Mon-Sat, PVR = 1.
H1 - Hertford Town Service, Pinehurst to Hertford North. HCC contract service.
H3/H4 - Hertford to Horns Mill. HCC contract service.
H5/H6 - Hertford Town Service - Bengeo to Hertford. HCC contract service.

Other pages

Bus route maps
Enthusiasts Main Index

[HarlowRide Main Index]

Last update 11th May 2024

[Top of Page] | | [contact us]