Mercedes Benz 609D

1406-11 E406-11HAB

In the Autumn of 1987 Midland Red West (MRW) had a requirement for more 20-seat minibuses to allow for expansion of the company's minibus networks. As production of the Mercedes Benz 608D vans had finally ended the Company turned to the successor the Mercedes Benz 609D. An initial order for six vehicles was placed unusually via the local Mercedes dealer in Worcester, Howells of Worcester, who sourced the buses. They were bodied by Paxton's specialist body manufactures Reeves Burgess of Chesterfield.  The first five examples were introduced at Kidderminster to allow the minibus Shuttle network in the town to be expanded to take in Bewdley on 24th October 1987 as 1407-11 (E407-11HAB). Weeks latter 1406 (E406HAB) entered service at Redditch on 11th November 1987. Since the launch of the Reddilink network in Redditch the garage had always struggled to keep 16 minibuses out of the original 18 Mercedes 608D minibuses on the road to maintain full service. Of all the networks minibus substitution by Leyland National was most common at Redditch. 1406 was not well liked by some drivers at Redditch and was christened  it the "sea sick bus" by them on account that to save money MRW had not had specialist stabilizers fitted to suspension to make what were really vans with bus seats into something more suitable as a bus. 1406 remained at Redditch until 1992 when it moved to Kidderminster to finish it's days there following an increased requirement for 609D minibuses to work Centro contracts in the Black Country.   

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into MRW Service

Date Withdrawn

Disposal

E406HAB

1406

Reeves Burgess 16871

B20F

11-Nov-87

Nov-00

Erith Commercials 6/01

E407HAB

1407

Reeves Burgess 16866

B20F

24-Oct-87

Oct-01

Erith Commercials 3/02

E408HAB

1408

Reeves Burgess 16867

B20F

24-Oct-87

Oct-01

Erith Commercials 4/02

E409HAB

1409

Reeves Burgess 16868

B20F

24-Oct-87

Oct-01

Ram, Sudden 11/02

E410HAB

1410

Reeves Burgess 16869

B20F

24-Oct-87

May-01

Erith Commercials 3/02

E411HAB

1411

Reeves Burgess 16870

B20F

24-Oct-87

Jan-02

Erith Commercials 3/02

1412-36, 50484/5 & 1439 E412-39KUY

The second batch of Mercedes 609D minibuses also featured B20F Reeves Burgess bodies, although with detailed differences to the first batch. These included the flap over the destination gear inside the bus being in two halves and the screen behind the driver being Perspex and not the black coated mesh screen of all the older minibuses. 1412-1437 entered service on 23rd April 1988 at Hereford depot in yellow, green and orange Hereford Hopper livery for the new minibus service in the City of Hereford. The remaining two, 1438 and 1439, were delivered in white and were immediately put into store as they were not required for the initial Hereford minibus network. They both found use as driver trainers before moving to Hereford depot after service revisions called for four more vehicles. These being 1438 and 1439 plus 1410 and 1411 from Kidderminster Garage. Kidderminster had two extra Mercedes 608D minibuses as replacements in the shape of 1361 and 1440. Virtually all of the Mercedes 609D minibuses at Hereford carried names which were latter removed when they were reallocated to other depots. In 1991 Centro were becoming concerned with the reliability of the Ford Iveco minibuses that Midland Red West were operating in Birmingham from their Digbeth depot. To keep the Centro happy and to gain long term minibus contracts Midland Red West moved ten Mercedes 609D minibuses (1420-1429) from Hereford to Digbeth, replacing them at Hereford with the Digbeth Ford Ivecos. More of Hereford depot's Mercedes 609D minibuses (1417-1419 &1430-1434) were moved to Digbeth depot in 1993. This time they were replaced at Hereford by older, second-hand Mercedes 608D minibuses that Midland Red West acquired from Bristol Cityline. When Digbeth depot stopped operating minibuses in October 1995, all of their Mercedes 609D minibuses were reallocated to Kidderminster depot. Most remained in service there until late-2001 when they were replaced second hand Mercedes 709D minibuses from Bristol and a number of Mercedes Varios which had become surplus to requirement at Worcester depot.

Registration Number

Original Fleet Number

National Fleet Number

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into MRW Service

Date Withdrawn

Disposal

E412KUY

1412

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17006

B20F

Apr-88

Jan-02

Erith Commercials 3/02

E413KUY

1413

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17007

B20F

Apr-88

Jan-02

Erith Commercials 3/02

E414KUY

1414

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17008

B20F

Apr-88

Oct-01

Erith Commercials 4/02

E415KUY

1415

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17009

B20F

Apr-88

Oct-01

Erith Commercials 4/02

E416KUY

1416

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17010

B20F

Apr-88

Mar-02

Erith Commercials 4/02

E417KUY

1417

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17011

B20F

Apr-88

Oct-01

Erith Commercials 3/02

E418KUY

1418

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17012

B20F

Apr-88

Feb-02

Erith Commercials 7/02

E419KUY

1419

90258

Reeves Burgess 17013

B20F

Apr-88

Apr-02

First Leicester 4/02 - Used for staff transfer

E420KUY

1420

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17014

B20F

Apr-88

Oct-01

Erith Commercials 4/02

E421KUY

1421

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17015

B20F

Apr-88

Oct-01

Erith Commercials 3/02

E422KUY

1422

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17016

B20F

Apr-88

Oct-01

Erith Commercials 3/02

E423KUY

1423

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17017

B20F

Apr-88

May-02

Ram, Sudden 11/02

E424KUY

1424

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17018

B20F

Apr-88

Oct-01

Erith Commercials 3/02

E425KUY

1425

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17019

B20F

Apr-88

Apr-02

First Leicester 6/02

E426KUY

1426

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17020

B20F

Apr-88

Jul-02

Erith Commercials 7/02

E427KUY

1427

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17021

B20F

Apr-88

Sep-90

Erith Commercials 3/01

E428KUY

1428

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17022

B20F

Apr-88

Sep-90

Erith Commercials 3/01

E429KUY

1429

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17023

B20F

Apr-88

Sep-90

Erith Commercials 6/01

E430KUY

1430

90276

Reeves Burgess 17024

B20F

Apr-88

Apr-02

became 2030 10/02 - Sold to James, Tamworth (Invincible Coaches) 7/07

E431KUY

1431

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17025

B20F

Apr-88

Jun-01

Erith Commercials 9/01

E432KUY

1432

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17026

B20F

Apr-88

Mar-02

Erith Commercials 4/02

E433KUY

1433

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17027

B20F

Apr-88

Sep-01

Erith Commercials 3/02

E434KUY

1434

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17028

B20F

Apr-88

Nov-01

Erith Commercials 3/02

E435KUY

1435

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17029

B20F

Apr-88

Nov-01

Erith Commercials 3/02

E436KUY

1436

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17005

B20F

Apr-88

Nov-01

Erith Commercials 3/02

E437KUY

1437

50484

Reeves Burgess 17086

B20F

Apr-88

May-02

Sold to Willenhall Commercials for scrap 3/05

E438KUY

1438

50485

Reeves Burgess 17087

B20F

Apr-88

Aug-02

Pickford, Chippenham 9/05 via James of Tamworth

E439KUY

1439

N/A

Reeves Burgess 17088

B20F

Apr-88

Oct-01

Erith Commercials 4/02

1463 D763DWT

South Wales Transport took delivery in 1987 of two prototype minibuses based Mercedes Benz 609D chassis. D763DWT as 363 was fitted with a Reeves Burgess body and D764DWT as 364 was fitted with a Robin Hood converted body. In 1994 both became surplus to South Wales Transport requirements and D763DWT passed to Midland Red West and D764DWT passed to Thamesway. On joining the Midland Red West fleet D763DWT was allocated the fleet number 1463 and was repainted from its South Wales Transport green livery into the standard Midland Red West livery of red and cream before entry into service at Digbeth depot. When Digbeth garage stopped operating minibus services, after operation on Saturday 27th October 1995, 1463 moved to Kidderminster depot with the other Digbeth Mercedes 609D minibuses. It remained in service at Kidderminster depot until October 2001, when it was withdrawn and sold like many of the other surplus First Midland Red minibuses at the time to Erith Commercials in April 2002. 

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Body Type

Seating Capacity

Date into MRW Service

Date Withdrawn

Disposal

D763DWT

1463

Reeves Burgess 16419

B20F

Feb-94

Oct-01

Erith Commercials 4/02

Various between 1606 and 1671

The original vehicles formed part of a 35 vehicle batch 1406-39 (E406-11HAB,E412-39KUY) which were originally allocated to Redditch, Kidderminster and Hereford Garages. Some of these vehicles lasted in service for nearly 14 years. Even when the vehicles were built in 1987 the bus industry was moving towards larger minibuses and so it was strange that in the early 1990's that First Eastern Counties should have a batch of Mercedes 609D vehicles converted by Frank Guy into 20 seat minibuses. Many were used on services that the company had taken over when it purchased a competitor call "Flying Banana". The vehicles were made surplus with service revisions and the transfer of larger Mercedes 709D based vehicles into the fleet. First Midland Red acquired 25 of the vehicles for use at Hereford Garage to replace both Mercedes 608D and older 609D vehicles. Initial examples acquired from Eastern Counties were painted into the then standard Red and Cream fleet livery. However,  in April 2001 N615GAH became the first company vehicle to be painted in the new corporate Firstgroup livery. All the vehicles have been withdrawn as service revisions at other garages have allowed the larger Mercedes 709D and Mercedes Vario vehicles to be transferred to Hereford Garage. This process has also helped the Company dispense with manual gearbox vehicles. Operation of Mercedes 609D minibuses finally came to an end with First Midland Red on Saturday 3rd May 2003 after nearly 16 years use of this type of minibus. 

Registration Number

Fleet Number

Original Fleet Number

Body type

Seating Capacity

Date into Service

Date Withdrawn

Disposal

N606GAH

1606

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Sep-00

withdrawn

Sold to Stephenson, Rochford 8/03

N607GAH

51614

1607

Frank Guy

B20F

Jan-01

withdrawn

Sold to James, Tamworth 10/05

N608GAH

51616

1608

Frank Guy

B20F

Jan-01

Apr-03

Sold to James, Tamworth (Invincible Coaches) 6/05 - exported to Africa 12/08

N612GAH

1612

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Aug-00

Oct-02

Sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

N614GAH

1614

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Aug-00

Dec-02

Sold to Stephenson, Rochford 8/03 - then Invincible Coaches in Tamworth 6/05 as a replacement for N624GAH - now with Bromyard Omnibus

N615GAH

51615

1615

Frank Guy

B20F

Jan-01

withdrawn

Sold to James, Tamworth 6/05

N617GAH

51617

1617

Frank Guy

B20F

Sep-00

Dec-02

Sold to James, Tamworth 6/05

N618GAH

51618

1618

Frank Guy

B20F

Sep-00

Dec-02

Sold to James, Tamworth 6/05

N619GAH

1619

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Aug-00

withdrawn

Sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

N620GAH

51620

1620

Frank Guy

B20F

Aug-00

Sept-02

Sold to James, Tamworth 10/05

N621GAH

1621

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Jan-01

withdrawn

Sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

N624GAH

51624

1624

Frank Guy

B20F

Jan-01

Dec-02

Sold via a dealer to Invincible Coaches in Tamworth - vehicle written off in a fire June 05

N628PAH

1648

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Jan-01

withdrawn

Sold to Stephenson, Rochford 8/03 -Then All-Ways Darwen registered ALZ8579 9/04

L251PAH

1651

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Aug-00

Dec-02

Sold to Stephenson, Rochford 8/03 -Then All-Ways Darwen registered BNZ9817 12/04 Now with Williams an registered WIL2525

L254PAH

1654

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Jan-01

withdrawn

Sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

L256PAH

1656

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Jun-01

withdrawn

sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

L259PAH

1659

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Sep-00

withdrawn

Sold to First Northampton 5/03 - Sold to James, Tamworth (Invincible Coaches) 7/07 to scrap 9/08

M360XEX

51360

1660

Frank Guy

B20F

Jan-01

Apr-03

Sold to James, Tamworth 6/05 now reseated B16F and with Theobalds 4/06

M361XEX

1661

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Jan-01

April-03

sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

M362XEX

1662

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Aug-00

withdrawn

sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

M363XEX

1663

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Aug-00

Nov-02

sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

M366XEX

1666

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Aug-00

withdrawn

sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

M367XEX

1667

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Aug-00

17-May-03

sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

M368XEX

1668

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Aug-00

Oct-02

sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

M369XEX

1669

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

Aug-00

Oct-02

sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03

M371XEX

1671

N/A

Frank Guy

B20F

May-01

17-May-03

sold to Ramm, Sudden 11/03