Sunday, 29 June 2014

What's Current In The Suburbs?.....

    ........ Electric buses. On 31st May 2014, four brand new electric Optare Metrocities were delivered to Hounslow (AV) garage for use on route H98. They were chosen for this route, because it is very overcrowded, and the 4 Optare's should provide additional capacity on the route. They are numbered OCE1-4, and have yellow blinds, which wasn't expected. London United put them out on a regular basis, and the charging point is inside the garage itself. They have high-back seats, with leather head-rests, which are a tad unnecessary seeing as no other London buses have them. The interior is spacious and bright, and although I haven't ridden them, they seem like promising buses and I hope they are ordered in quantity. Annoyingly, there were none out on the day I tried to ride them, although I did manage to get a couple of pictures of OCE1 at the charging station, and the interior and front of OCE3 on Regent Street, at the bus cavalcade.

The rear of OCE1, at the charging station.

The front of OCE1, at Hounslow Bus Garage.

The Metrocities, like the BYD's at Waterloo garage, have branding on them.

The front of OCE3, at the Regent Street YOTB event. Sorry about the poor quality of the picture, there were crowds everywhere preventing me from getting a decent picture.

Interior of OCE3, showing the leather headrests.
Thanks for reading!


     On Thursday 26th June, my blog assistant managed to get a picture of a very rare working at Richmond Bus Station. This is the first time this working has ever happened, and I was thrilled when I received this picture. I don't think anyone else has snapped this, so I believe this is a London Buses On The Go blog exclusive! Here it is:

The sole Volvo Plaxton President bus at Stockwell (SW) garage, had a day out on route 337 for the first ever time. The bus is supposed to work route 249, but it wanted a break from Anerley on that particular Thursday.
Thanks for viewing this picture, I'm very proud to have it on my blog!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Random Observations-23/06/14

Sorry about the post bunching, but I've had requests for another Random Observations post today. Despite me having lots of other bus changes posts to do, I still haven't uploaded some photos from the weekend, which are preventing me from publishing posts. Some posts, however (like the 38 NB4L conversion), are being delayed because of late vehicles, like LT172/3, which are vital for the post. Anyway, enough of me ranting, lets get on with the post!

VW1406 has been carrying an all-over advert for Schuh Shoes, which is a place I will probably never want to visit. I'm sure some people would disagree with me, however.

Route 159 has been withdrawn from Paddington Basin, and now terminates at Marble Arch. Which route do you think should serve Paddington Basin now? Route 205? 332? 436? I think the 205 would be a good idea, as it gives links to the east end and many major rail stations.

This route is always busy, and the DNHs on this route seem to be avoiding me. The last 5 times I've used the 23, I've caught a DN. There are double the amount of hybrids than diesels on the 23, so I should be using hybrids more, shouldn't I?

VH2, the second of route 13's hybrids, on Oxford Street.

An Enviro 400/E40H gets ready to overtake the older DAF Gemini, near one of many massive shops on Oxford Street.

TP421 is at Kings Cross, halfway through a route 17 journey from Archway-London Bridge.

9552 is on the 211, one of two routes to serve Waterloo Station at platform level. There are another two dozen once you walk down some escalators.

This is a very rare type of bus in London, so look out for them! They can be found on route 181, between Lewisham Station and Grove Park.

Enviro's from the 136/199 batch are becoming extremely common on route 47. Here is one in Catford.

Here is a curtailed bus on route P4. Clearly, it was bunching that day.

Another curtailed bus, this time on the 208, which is a very overcrowded route which links Lewisham and Orpington via Bromley.

Bus jam!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A 10.8m Evolution climbs a hill in Blackheath, a very posh area in South-east London.

The rear of a fairly new Enviro 200 on route 386.

Double deckers are now common on route 202. Here is one in Maze Hill, near journey's end.

A working that is quite infrequent, is a Trident ALX400 on route 189. This route may convert to New Bus For London operation, possibly in Winter 2014.

TP1537 on route 607, at Ealing Broadway. The buses on this route get so full, I can imagine that these Presidents would much rather be on their allocated route, the U4, which is a quiet route from Uxbridge-Hayes Prologis Park.

SP63 passes the House Of Fraser shop in Richmond.

DE30, on route 33.

These Enviro's have become extremely sticky on route 337, although they do occasionally appear on routes like the 87.

We shall end with another Metroline ALX400 straying onto a route it's not supposed to be on. This time, it's the 332!
Thanks for reading, and hopefully route H98's electric buses should be on a post next!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

New Bus Route Ideas-Route 400:

Route: Romford Station-Crossharbour Asda
Frequency: Mon-Sat: Every 8 mins Sun: Every 10 mins
PVR: 32
Bus Type: Enviro 400 E40D/Enviro 400 E40H
Garage: Barking (BK)

                                     Stops towards Crossharbour:

Romford Station
Western Road
Mercury Gardens
Romford Market
North Street
Mawney Road
The Brewery
Queen's Hospital
Oldchurch Rise
Beechfield Gardens
Justums Lane
Seabrook Gardens
Whalebone Lane
Selinas Road
Lymington Road
Baron Road
Angle Green
Pedley Road
Goodmayes Primary School
Green Lane
Green Lane
Meldrum Road
Levett Gardens
Goodmayes Lane
Sandhurst Driver
Thurlestone Avenue
Barking Bus Garage
Levett Road
Salisbury Avenue
Barking Community Hospital
Upney Station
Ripple Road
Tudor Road
Blake Avenue
Morley Road
Greatfields Park
River Road
King Edwards Road/Newham Way
North Circular Road
Beckton Triangle Retail Park
Woolwich Manor Way
Evelyn Dennington Road
Noel Road
Ridgwell Road
Prince Regent Lane
Freemasons Road
New Barn Street
Keir Hardie Primary School/Beckton Road
Forty Acre Lane
Rathbone Street
East India Station
Billingsgate Market
Canada Square South
Canary Wharf Station
West India Avenue
Heron Quays
The International Hotel
Admirals Way
South Quay Station
Harbour Exchange Square
East Ferry Road
Crossharbour Station
Isle Of Dogs Asda

The stops towards Romford are very similar, therefore I won't include them. Thanks for reading!

Random Observations-19/05/14

Hey readers, you should know by now how these posts go. Most of these pictures were taken in April, which clearly shows how late this post is.

VP557 is near journey's end at Tottenham Court Road.
 Annoyingly, the day these pictures were taken on was extremely sunny, which is good if you want a tan. I, however, do not want a tan, therefore I wasn't happy.

A repainted SEL743, at the eastern end of Oxford Street.

HV54 creeps along Oxford Street, almost silently. This bus is a hybrid, and the code stands for Hybrid Volvo.

The rear of another hybrid on Oxford Street.

The bus on the left is quiet, the bus on the right isn't. The 6 will probably get new buses soon, as the Volvo Presidents are looking a bit worn after ploughing between Willesden and Aldwych for 10 years. I predict the new bus type will be Gemini 3 Hybrid, making the route duller than it already is.

There are more than enough hybrids at Cricklewood for this bus to convert to full diesel-electric operation, but it never seems to happen.

One of the few suriving TN's at Westbourne Park is having a day out on the 23, which should be 100% Enviro operation.

The rear of E251, at Paddington.

After the 92 conversion to Enviro operation in 2012, the number of VNZ's left in London has declined. Here is one of the surviving 8, near Westbourne Grove.

Here is one of the more common VNW's, on route 28.

SEL752 has broken down since April. Why are these buses so faulty?

Here is a curtailed DML on route 70, at North Pole Road. There was another bus right behind this one.

A much rarer curtailment, is this. Here is a DE on route 72, terminating at Wood Lane, Du Cane Road. Sorry about the poor picture quality, I only put this up because of the curtailment.

Here is a refurbished SEL746, on Du Cane Road in East Acton.

The first SEL in the batch, starts a journey from East Acton-Russell Square, bracing itself for the evening rush hour.

Route 72 gets extremely overcrowded in peak times, and passengers keep demanding longer buses. This route can't take double-deckers, due to Hammersmith Bridge.

In previous posts, I have stated that SEL750 is refurbished...but it's not. It's just repainted.

DE1000, stands at the lower bus station in Hammersmith.

This is the old look on route 10: SP124 standing at Hammersmith Bus Station.

LT82 terminates at Hammersmith.

I believe this is the only London route that is elevated at both ends. This makes the route unique, and I use the 211 quite a lot. Weirdly, I've mostly used it on weekdays.

 Thanks for viewing the pictures. A post about Hounslow's electric Optare Metrocities should come out soon. Sayonara!!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Too Embarrassed To Confess

        Sounds like Tellings Golden Miller, who failed to provide a decent service on route E10 on Saturday 31st May 2014 and blamed another operator for it. On that day, route E10's contract was awarded to Tellings Golden Miller, also known as TGM, a company which haven't run any London bus services for over 20 years, apart from the commercial Kingston University shuttles, which don't use red London vehicles. The company confirmed they would order 9 8.9m Enviro 200s, to match a peak vehicle requirement of 7. The new buses are Euro 6, and have a special ZF gearbox, although they are extremely noisy and Euro 2 Dart Pointers seem quieter than these vehicles. The route would be run from their Heathrow (HE) garage, situated near the Cargo Terminal in Heathrow Airport.
        The route was meant to be extended to Chiswick Business Park on this day, but the extension was abandoned due to concerns about the traffic levels on Gunnersbury Avenue, a road which the extended part of the E10 would use. Transport For London are thinking of extending route 70 from Acton Market Place to the Business Park, but the reason why route E10 was originally chosen to be extended was to give links to Ealing Broadway from Chiswick, which the 70 doesn't provide. Anyway, this is what happened on the day of the changeover....
      ....Lots of bunching and curtailments, as it turned out. There were 40 minute gaps in the service, and there were three buses coming within 10 minutes at one point, despite the normal frequency of the route being every 15 minutes. There were many curtailments (partly because TGM didn't know how to work the blinds), and partly because of the bunching. As Tellings Golden Miller are a subsidiary of Arriva, one would think they would've had some knowledge of working blind sets, as Arriva have operated TFL bus services for nearly 25 years now! Despite the bunching, I was excited about riding a Tellings Golden Miller bus, as I've never travelled with them before.

A well-loaded 3429 waits at the traffic lights in Greenford Broadway.
       Two minutes after 3429, another E10 going westbound appeared. I don't know if you agree with me, but I call that bunching!
3427 is approaching Greenford Broadway.
        There was a 17 minute wait for an E10 at Ealing Broadway, and the bus was so full that I couldn't get a picture of the iBus screen or interior on that journey. When the vehicle pulled up, I was disappointed to find there were no TGM logos or even a TGM seat moquette; instead the buses had Arriva logos and an Arriva interior. For non-bus enthusiasts, it looked like the poor service on the E10 was run by Arriva, and I won't be surprised if I find there are complaints about the inadequate E10 service going to Arriva London, who have never even run this route before. When I alighted the crowded bus at Greenford, I hoped I would get another chance to ride these buses and get pictures of the interior.
3432 gets ready to depart at Clifton Road.
     I was originally going to board an E3 to get home, but an E10 going back to Ealing Broadway pulled up at the stop first, so I boarded that instead. This meant I got home late, but who cares about that?
3429 arrives at Greenford Broadway.
     I got on, and it was pretty empty. It was so empty, that I actually managed to get a picture of the iBus and interior. However, it didn't take me long to figure out that there was an E10 two minutes in front of us, which then got curtailed to West Ealing, Scotch Common.
iBus screen on 3429.

Interior of 3429 facing forwards.

Finally, the interior of the whole bus.
    On the whole, I wasn't impressed with the service that Tellings Golden Miller provided on 31st May. To be honest, the service hasn't improved much since the day TGM took over, and I'm disappointed about the fact there aren't any new TGM seat moquettes or logos. Also, the roundels on the buses say Houndslow instead of Hounslow, which shows that TGM clearly haven't bothered to look up the spelling of Hounslow. I hope the service on the E10 starts improving, but I shall say no more on the matter. Thanks for reading!