Sunday, 13 July 2014

After Bright Adventures, They Find A Home

        This post concerns the 13 new Enviro 400 Hybrid/E40H double-deckers ordered for the C3 contract renewal in June. This would mean 12-year old Trident/ALX 400's could be sold off to an operator outside of London. The route itself is very short and tricky, starting at Earl's Court and weaving down to Clapham Junction via Imperial Wharf, and a hail and ride section. The PVR for the route is low, despite the frequency being every 8 minutes on weekdays. I was happy that the route would gain buses with a bright interior, and that the ALX400's (which were looking a bit scruffy) would be gone. I use the route regularly, but only for a few stops, between Earl's Court and World's End. I've never ventured further than World's End Health Centre, and I'm intrigued to see how it gets through Imperial Wharf, as I've never been there before. Anyway, back to the buses........
     2452/2453 arrived extremely early, but no one expected them to turn up on route 414 (Putney Bridge-Maida Hill) on a Friday evening! One lucky person managed to get a picture, although it's not me or my blog assistant, as we're not that flexible on Friday evenings. The next day they appeared on the UL16, which is a District Line rail replacement service running between Hammersmith and Wimbledon. After spending two days on the service, I expected that the two buses would appear on the C3, as well as 2454, 2455 and 2456, seeing as they were ready to go out..........
     But no. They appeared on practically every double-deck route run from Battersea (QB) apart from the C3, and as many as five were appearing on the 3, from Oxford Circus-Crystal Palace.

Here is 2460 on Whitehall, overtaking a Sightseeing Tour vehicle.
           After a week, the vehicles stopped appearing on the 3, and decided to go on every other double-deck route run from Battersea, like the 156, 344, C2, 452, 414.  They even appeared on the C3 occasionally, and I was lucky enough to catch 2460 on it, although appearances are still rare a month after they arrived.

Here is 2460 arriving at the World's End Health Centre bus stop.

Here is the lovely, bright interior of the buses.

The rear of SL14 DDY.
      After spending nearly 2 weeks not having an allocated route, the buses finally moved to the 211, to allow some of its Enviro 400/E40D buses to transfer to the C3. However, the new Hybrids still appear on other Battersea routes (like the 452), meaning not just the 211's E40D's are appearing on the route:

Here is an 8-year old Enviro 400 that is supposed to be working route 452 on the C3.

        After nearly a month of not being allocated to any route, the buses have finally found a new home:

2458 at Hammersmith Bus Station.

2457 heads towards Waterloo.

The first in the batch, 2452, at Fulham Cross.

The last in the batch, 2464, terminates.

      So, we have it, these Hybrids have finally found a home! Well, almost..........

2460 appeared on the C3 again only a few days ago, typical!!
   So, the buses are allocated to the 211, but they do constantly appear on other Battersea routes. Thanks for reading and viewing the pics!