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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Go Ahead London Silvertown Garage[SI]...MCV B9TL

Its been a while since the last Garage visit due to various different circumstances going on in my personal life however they say patience is a virtue and don't you think this visit was worth waiting for? Two of my mates took a visit to this Garage just yesterday to gain pictures of this vehicle which I'm sure you readers know all too well. So I only thought that it was my duty to gain photos too for of course you, the readers. For those that don't know this vehicle is an MCV bodied Volvo B9TL one of only two in the World.

Go Ahead London VM1 BJ11 XGZ

A first one was built in April 2010 but deemed too heavy for TFL service so a second lighter version was built in August 2010 and sent to Go Ahead for trialling on the Route 425. I must add that this is a stunning looking vehicle and it is being received well by all Go Ahead London staff that seem to come across it. This model weighs 12,373 KGS and has a length of 10.284m, however for its length the vehicle is extremely comfortable in terms of leg room and still manages to seat 63 people. It's somewhat of a milestone for TFL vehicles. I honestly cannot name one design flaw in this vehicle. So please feel free to state any in the comments section...nevertheless more photos are available below.

More Photos Below:
Go Ahead London VM1 BJ11 XGZ
Go Ahead London PVL276 PJ02 RBO
Go Ahead London LDP302 R153 RLY
Go Ahead London WVL421 LX11 CXD
Go Ahead London ED5 AE06 HCG
Go Ahead London LX07 BYS
Go Ahead London LX07 BYK
Go Ahead London ED5 AE06 HCG
Go Ahead London PVL129 W529 WGH
Go Ahead London SO5 BV55 UCY
Go Ahead London SOC9 LX08 ECY
Go Ahead London SE44 LX10 AVB
Go Ahead London SE44 LX10 AVB
Go Ahead London MCV B9TL
Lower Deck Interior 
Go Ahead London MCV B9TL
Upper Deck Interior 


peter says:
at: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 11:44:00 am said...

Very nice series.

ps didn't see link to your blog at first, hence question about location on your flickr account

Jamaal says:
at: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 11:46:00 am said...

Thanks Pete. I remembered after to put the link to the Blog so people would know where to head for more information and pictures.


peter says:
at: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 1:12:00 pm said...

Hi Jamaal, thanks for your exchanges, I must say its nice to see this garage is getting nice new fleet at last including the new Volvo Gemini's for the 474's. I can remember when it was a minibus garage years ago operating transit minibuses from Harry Blundred
Then Blue Triangle (docklands buses) got swallowed up by Go-ahead. But the little blue transit minibuses used to ply their trade along the Barking Road competing with the then route 15 (RML's)as a hail & ride operation literally stopping anywhere.

lol Pete

at: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 1:16:00 pm said...

It looks very nice, but the vehicle is slightly small for my liking. In my opinion it should be 10.6m long

Jamaal says:
at: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 2:21:00 pm said...

No problem Peter. This vehicle is absolutely stunning!

It doesn't need to be 10.6m Long because even at 10.2M it still seats and has more standees than most 10.6m Double Deckers on the market.

at: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 3:27:00 pm said...

If you think this vehicle's passenger capacity is in any way impressive I think you need to check the figures again! A seating capacity of 63 is nothing special compared to a TfL-spec Enviro400 (67 seats) or Wright-bodied B9TL (62 seats).

Moreover this vehicle still does not meet TfL's requirement for a total passenger capacity of 87 (IIRC the capacity is 82 or 83) - TfL have granted special dispensation for the vehicle to be used. The manufacturers are working on ways to further reduce the vehicle's weight to allow more standees to be carried, so any future MCVs should meet the target capacity of 87.

The above information was published in various trade magazines a couple of weeks ago.

While a longer version would be nice, I doubt whether one could be built to TfL specs without being overweight.

Jamaal says:
at: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 3:49:00 pm said...

You do realize that this is not the production model, the production model will actually have a capacity of 87 right?

You cannot compare a Gemini 2 that seats 62 seats to that of a vehicle that seats 63. Considering its length of only 10.2M and its a first time for MCV going into the U.K double decker bus market, it is an excellent attempt that will only get better.

at: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 4:39:00 pm said...

Er yes, I do realise that the production vehicles will meet the capacity requirement of 87 - I said as much in my 2nd paragraph.

Why shouldn't we compare a TfL-spec Wright-bodied B9TL with a TfL-spec MCV-bodied B9TL? They are very similar vehicles, and are intended for the same market. All I am saying is that the seating capacity of the MCV is about average for a vehicle of its type, yet you seem to be of the impression that its capacity is somehow better than that of its competitors (e.g. your comment at 14:21).

Yes, it looks like a nice bus, but let's wait until MCV produce the 87-capacity vehicle before we get too excited about it.

Jamaal says:
at: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 6:41:00 pm said...

Ah I get you now, the point I was trying to get across was not that we shouldn't compare the Gemini 2 and DD103, the point was that in terms on length to seat ratio theres no comparison between the Gemini 2 and MCV.

I actually cannot wait until these start rolling of the production line in full swing. Something tells me Metroline will be the first to order them too.

at: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 8:10:00 pm said...

The build of the bus is less curvy means it doesnt getaway being below 10.4m in my opinion. More curvier buses such as enviro 400s get away with being 10.1m and below. Otherwise it is amazing. Other points include the capacity if MCV want it to be a hit it should seat 70+. It would be a hit in cities such as Birmingham.

at: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 10:36:00 pm said...

I would be glad if Go-Ahead ordered some but don't think that would happen somehow

at: Thursday, June 02, 2011 7:46:00 pm said...

i bet they all fall apart after 3 months ! ( not like the pyramids ! ) they look ok but still nahhhhh

Jamaal says:
at: Friday, June 03, 2011 1:01:00 am said...

MCVs are the best built buses in this industry, tried and tested. So I doubt they'd fall apart.

Second it's Plaxtons

Third it's Wrights

Fourth it's Optare

Fifth it's Scania

Sixth it's Alexander Dennis

at: Saturday, June 04, 2011 10:11:00 am said...

i somewhat disagree with that - marshalls cant make decent buses

Jamaal says:
at: Saturday, June 04, 2011 12:02:00 pm said...

Marshalls are very strong Buses. Its the E400 and E200 you need to look out for. They are poorly built and cheap that is why they are Britain's best seller ,not for build quality, just for price and their quick construction time.

Fred the Shred
at: Saturday, June 04, 2011 5:40:00 pm said...

@ anonymous- I agree with your comment about marshalls- the capital body was to say the least atrocious! Corrosion, "live" rear ends windscreens coming adrift. Need I go on??

at: Saturday, June 04, 2011 6:38:00 pm said...

I agree with the E400s not being very good.
Some of the seats are not good. The rear seats, seats above the rear axle and above the driver upstairs are extremely uncomfortable. Those seats are always the same, no matter what seats the operator has chosen for the rest of the bus.
On the other hand, on Wright Eclipse Geminis, all the seats in the bus are the same.

Another thing that isn't good on E400s is that on some older ones, the rear door alarm has problems.

Scania OmniCitys are also not very good - lots of creaky panels and some older ones also have the door alarm problem that some E400s have.

at: Saturday, June 04, 2011 7:49:00 pm said...

They need to do something with the powered blinds on some buses as they tend to go wrong alot

Jamaal says:
at: Saturday, June 04, 2011 10:28:00 pm said...

E400s also only take 37 hours to build....need I say anymore?

at: Sunday, June 05, 2011 10:57:00 am said...

good old dm's ! i rather jave e200 over a mcv anyday

Jamaal says:
at: Sunday, June 05, 2011 3:49:00 pm said...

Then look forward to a bus that takes two days to build and regular brake downs.

Fred the Shred
at: Sunday, June 05, 2011 4:34:00 pm said...

well at least it will keep the engineers busy!

Jamaal says:
at: Sunday, June 05, 2011 4:43:00 pm said...

LOL! The take that I got from the engineers at Metroline's CELF Center is that they hate Dennis vehicles.

at: Sunday, June 05, 2011 9:16:00 pm said...

I seriosly doubt E400s only take 37 hours to build.

First of all, the chassis for them are built in Guildford, the chassis are then loaded on to trucks and driven from Guildford to Falkirk(a good 8-9 hour trip), there then un-loaded from the trucks, sent into the factory, and then the body construction beging.

Theres no way that anyone could build the chassis, ship it from one end of the country to the other and then build the body(including all fixtures and fittings)and paint it in only 37 hours.....impossible!

Jamaal says:
at: Monday, June 06, 2011 12:05:00 am said...

My mate works for Alexander Dennis, he actually delivers the vehicles across the country and he was telling me all this information. I'm not talking about the Chassis because ADL pre-build them to 10.2m spec so that does not come into the equation.

Not all the chassis are actually built are built in Guildford, only some, mostly for the London and South East region.

The E400 Body is very modular and is easily molded and fitted so that reduces build time.

Constructing the body panels only takes a few hours and painting the Bus only takes a few hours.

at: Monday, June 06, 2011 6:57:00 pm said...

No bus in london is all that to drive no matter who builds them!

Jamaal says:
at: Monday, June 06, 2011 7:47:00 pm said...

I'm judging you've driven Buses, if so what types?

at: Monday, June 06, 2011 10:12:00 pm said...


at: Monday, June 06, 2011 10:17:00 pm said...

OOP,S almost forgot trident's and mercedes midi buses too

at: Monday, June 06, 2011 10:50:00 pm said...

And GEMINI 2's pretty much everything but RM'S and RT'S

at: Sunday, June 12, 2011 8:12:00 pm said...

So how did you find out about all this

at: Saturday, June 18, 2011 11:30:00 am said...

MCV are not very good at building buses. I have worked at the factory and on the aftersales. The Build quality is poor and design is not as good as you all make out. Jammal, are you an engineer or an enthusiast? I did work at Metroline and they prefer the Dart SLF's. The enviro 200 is that Dart SLF but euro 4 and 5 standard. The chassis is the same. I have to admit working on VDL buses also on a Wrights Pulsar gemini are quite good. Design and engineering. Volvo's are over complicated. Give me a Plaxton vehicle anyday over and Alexander, MCV, East Lancs etc for a body. I am also aware that Alexander and Plaxton are now part of the same group. Single decks an Enviro 200 is easy to work on and understand. They are built at Plaxtons Park, Eastfield. You don't get that many faults with those as you do E400. All in my experience and opinion of course.

Jamaal says:
at: Saturday, June 18, 2011 6:35:00 pm said...

I'm both. What I was told by the Metroline staff is that MCVs are quality Buses and tend to be more expensive due to the build quality of the Bus. ADLs are awful and can just be delivered quickly that's why companies order them, they are also cheap.

Plaxton are simply the best ever coach builders, the President body being one of the best Bus bodies to grace British roads.

The thing with E400s is that they are so quickly built, it only takes 37 hours to build one of them, quite poor IMO.


at: Sunday, June 19, 2011 5:53:00 pm said...

They are perhaps talking about the MAN side as it is relativly good chassis, but having worked on the MCV body, its not great, leaks like a sieve and coming back from Egypt, they were wrong a fair few imes looming the vehicles. I would rather have an E200 over an MCV. I don't know how long in Eygpt it takes them, but the standard says it must be fairly quick. All they do in the factory in Sutton is fit the electrical parts (modules etc) and relevent body parts. So timescale are quite hard to judge. I'm not so sure it takes 37 hours as they have to be painted, dry and be prepared. So I think someone might have had their figures mixed up. But I will ask an ADL engineer when I next see one.

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