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Rare S Stock moment!

The carriage of S Stock number 21001. Photo Photo © Andy Davison. 

This is a rare sight of an S Stock car separated as they have been designed not to be separated into individual cars by any means however the car of unit no. 21001 has been split to do work, this is because Neasden Depot currently does not have the facilities as of yet to deal with the S Stock maintenance so they have to revert to the A Stock style of maintenance by separating the individual cars. However once the equipment is in place the whole train will be lifted in one go. 

Another shot of the other three carriages.
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Ex Armchair DTs find new life with Hunny

Ex Armchair DT15 (KN52 NDY)  stands at Waltham Cross Bus Station working on the Route 555. Photo © Peter Horrex. 

In 2003 Armchair celebrated winning the 237 Contract from London United. The Route was to be run from their Brentford Garage using new vehicles. So in early 2003 Armchair Transport took on the delivery on 22 new leased Transbus ALX 400 Tridents via Dawsons Rentals. In 2005 Armchair was taken over by Metroline Travel and in 2007 the DTs were all repainted into traditional Metroline colours. This consisted of a Red body and a blue and white skirt. However in 2008 the Metroline's Brentford Garage IBUS Scheme commenced and this signalled the end of the DTs at Brentford due to leasing agreements.

Before returning of lease to Dawsons Rentals the DTs had a brief spell at Travel London (now Albellio) to provide replacements for vehicles that were having their IBUS installed.

DT 5 and DT 6 remained at Perivale West Garage (PA) until April 2009 before returning to Dawsons Rentals.

In January 2010 TWH (Travel With Hunny) of Essex acquired an ex Metroline DT. The Bus is used on their route 555.
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And then there were two.... S Stock

S Stock no. 21001 sits at Neasden Depot photo ©  Andy Davison. 

The S Stock is a new type of Train built by Bombardier in Derby. The Trains are due to take over the Metropolitan Line, District Line, Circle Line and Hammersmith and City Line. Prior to their expected delivery this year, two pre-delivery units have been built and sent down to Neasden Depot in North West London for extensive testing. The new Trains are part of Bombardier's Movia family which the 2009 stock currently operating on the Victoria Line belong to. The S Stock will have an articulated 'style' carriage structure the same style used on the recently introduced Class 378s, this means you can see right the way down the Train. They will have a limited top speed of 62mph and the current line voltage on the Metropolitan Lines we gather will be raised from 630V to 750V.  The First stock to be replaced will be the A60/62 Stock currently operating on the Metropolitan Line they are just over 50 years old but are probably some of the best stock operating on the Network. Next are the C Stock that currently operate on the Circle and Hammersmith & City Line they also take up small duties on the District Line between Edgware Road and Wimbledon. The C Stock are probably some of the worst stock operating on the Network I'm sure any enthusiast will agree. Then last to be replaced are the D Stock, these trains will be replaced in 2013 as the last of them were refurbished in 2008. They operate solely one the District Line however for a short period time they were used on the East London Line. 
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The Metroline TPs

TP 435 (LK03 GGF)  stands at Waltham Cross Bus Station working on the Route 217. Photo © Peter Horrex. 

Now any enthusiast who follows Metroline closely will know a repaint scheme has commenced on their TPs (Trident Presidents). Following the loss of their blue and white skirt in May 2009 the first set of TPs based at Holloway, the T Reg examples, were sent to Hants Dorset Trim in Eastleigh, they were repainted, refurbished and fitted with new seats. More TPs from the 2003 batch originally delivered to Potters Bar and Cricklewood have also been repainted however it is only the 03 plate examples that have been refurbished. Some 03 Plated TPs have transferred to Holloway from Potters Bar to take duty on the newly commenced 217 contract. More 02 and 52 plated TPs have also been repainted however some are due to return of lease to Dawsons Rentals in Olney, Milton Keynes. There are also many repainted TPs  now in store in North Wembley while a final decision is being made on their intermediate future, whilst in store they have had their IBUS decommissioned  and Oyster Card readers removed.
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Metroline CELF Centre..Revisit!

I again visited CELF to see what was Buses were there for maintenance. It is quite a busy place as it recieves a different Bus within the Metroline fleet every two days as part of a compulsory check up. However Metroline Buses are not the only Buses to visit. Alot of First London VNs,VNLs, TNs and TNLs have also visited the centre for maintenance, check-ups and paint jobs as well as panel trimming.

If I'm being totally honest, there was not much to see here today apart from some decommissioned Plaxton Pointers which are due to go to NW any day soon and some decommissioned TPs which are due to go back of lease to Dawson's Rentals. More photos from the visit are placed below.
Metroline TP364 LR52 KWF
Metroline DLF74 W974 TRP and VPL632 LK54 FWM
Metroline VP516 LK04 CRU
Metroline DLF81 KM02 HDK (Rear)
Metroline DLD137 W137 ULR
Metroline TAL129 X329 HLL
Metroline DLF81 KM02 HDK
Metroline TE898 LK08 NVO and DLD706 LK55 KME
Metroline DE866 LK08 DWZ
Metroline DLF103 KU52 YKK 
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Metroline Perivale West Garage [PA]

On my way home from Wembley I decided to stop of at Perivale West Garage again. There was abit more to see here than on the last time I visited a week ago nevertheless it still made for a pretty average visit.  

 Metroline DE1000 LK09 EOB and DE1001 LK09 EOC 
The Garage holds just shy of 80 Buses and runs 7 Routes in the form of Routes; 70,143,297,326,395,C11 and the E6. It is completely operated by Enviros and with CELF Centre just around the corner there is a noticeable difference in the performance and maintenance standards of Perivale West's Buses. Strangely there was no sign of any E400s for the Route 297 and as it is a Sunday when the Route 297's PVR gets cut from 15 to about 10, I'd expect to see at least 2 TEs in the yard however this was not the case. All in all it was a pretty average visit but I aim to give you content wherever I can. More shots from my visit are placed below.

Metroline DE954 LK58 CSZ

Metroline DP38 W138 WGT

Perivale West Yard
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London United Stamford Brook Garage [V]

After visiting North Wembley I took the long tedious trip to Stamford Brook via Willesden Junction Overground. The garage is home to the recently won Route 10 contract that was won from First. The contract is a huge boost to the company (London United). I have also obtained a fleet list for the garage which includes some of the transfers and the buses awaiting disposal. The fleet list shall be uploaded shortly.

The Garage opened in 1980 after a rather short two years construction for an elapsed fee of £2million. It was originally built as Chiswick Tram Depot however in the later years of its operation it was used to operate the British Airways Bus service that linked Heathrow Airport with the West London air terminal in Kensington. However this was not the plan for the garage.

The original plan was to create a temporary base for the buses and staff for the nearby riverside garage which was undergoing construction at the time with an indefinite view take on the workload from the Mortlake Garage and Turnham Green Garage which were due to close. However there was another twist as the idea was changed when Turnham Green Garage closed in 1980. In 1983 following a number of service reductions, Mortlake garage also closed with a small proportion of their routes moving to Stamford Brook. Following the withdrawal of British airways operated service, the garage took on the running of the airport routes A1 & A2 using that ever prestige and distinguishable Alexander Royale Bodywork.

However in 1994 the vehicles were transferred to West Ramp which coincidently became an outstation of V thus leaving the garage with Dennis Darts, MCW Metroriders, Leyland Olympians and MCW Metrobuses.

Two years later, following only 16 years of operation, the garage completely ceased operating and became a store for unlicensed vehicles within the company. However the closure of the base did not last long and in 1999 the company re-opened the garage due to the increase in demand in the area. Interestingly up until 2001 the allocation of the garage was entirely made up of Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Darts which was a very smart move as it allowed the company to standardise engineering.

Although when the 9 converted from Routemaster operation to OPO (One Person Operation) using East Lancs Mylenium bodied Volvo B7TLs on the 4th of September 2004, the allocation was transferred from Shepherd's Bush (S) and thus allowing double decks to reappear at the garage once again.Other types such as the comfortable Optare Versa have been introduced into the garage following the retaining of the 391 back in 2009.

Since the reopening of the garage back in 1996, it has enjoyed a wide range of success which is testament to how much the garage was needed when it was originally closed. On the 12th of November 2005, the company re-gained the 27 after a five year stint with First London, the operative type chosen was the Scania N94UD Chassis with the ELC Mylenium bodywork or Scania Omnidekka to you and me and on the 30th of January 2010 the company gained the Route 10 from this base using Polish built Scania Omnicitys to put an end to First's 7 year stint operating the route.

London United DP10 S310 MKH

London United VLE26 PA04 CYJ and VLE45 PO54 OOG

London United U.I.D Olympian

London United SP152 YP59 OEL

London United SLE50 YN55 NKW

London United ADL31 SK07 DYU

London United DPS4 V904 KAG

London United TA231 LG02 FAJ

London United ADS07 SK07 MLV

London United SLE58 YN55 NLJ

London United VLE3 PG04 WHE

 Key Facts to note about Stamford Brook Garage
  • Opened in 1980 after two years construction
  • Cost £2million to build
  • Closed briefly for 3 years in 1996
  • Holds 77 Buses
  • Runs 4 London Bus routes
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Metroline North Wembley Garage [NW]

Today I visited North Wembley Garage (NW). The garage is operated by Metroline. It ceased Route operation in May 2009 and routes 206 and 232 were moved to Perivale (PV) whilst route 251 was moved to Cricklewood (W). 

Ex Metroline TP313 LT02 ZZU

The garage contains an array of TPs displaced from AH, W and HT. It also contains some DLDs displaced from the 302 when it was converted to double deck operation following the company retaining the route just over a month ago. There are also some DAs from Brentford (AH) currently situated in the garage. The Garage was closed due to the fact that it had lost quite a considerable amount of work in the form of Routes; 268,288,303,305,H1,H2 and H3 and keeping this space open meant the company was operating the garage on a loss. 
The garage has now become the company's central storing base with a whole host of vehicles being stored here prior to disposal. In addition to this there are also half a dozen ALX200 Darts which has just been displaced from Brentford Garage (AH).

Metroline DLD97 S297 JLP
Ex Metroline DA146 T146 AUA and DA143 T143 AUA

Metroline DLD87 S287 JLP, DLD94 S294 JLP and
DLD92 S292 JLP

Ex Metroline TP368 LR52 KWK

Ex Metroline TP367 LR52 KWJ and TP373 LR52 KWP

Ex Metroline TP365 LR52 KWG and TP367 LR52 KWJ

Ex Metroline TP370 LR52 KWH and TP365 LR52 KWG

Ex Metroline TP374 LR52 KWS

Ex Metroline TP382 LR52 KXA

Ex Metroline DA140 T140 AUA

Metroline DLD86 S286 JLP

Ex Metroline TP361 LR52 KWC
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