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London Sovereign new DEs..the latter batch

Yesterday myself and the other Blog team members, Rohan and Tyreece visited a secret location in London to gain shots of London Sovereign's new DEs for Harrow Garage (SO) for the conversion of the Routes: H9,H10,H11,H14 and H17. Three of this batch are already at Harrow Garage with two,DE71 and DE74 reported as already in service on the H13 and H14 respectively.

London Sovereign DE99 YX11 CNJ and DE90 YX11 FSZ
The new DEs weigh 7,780KGS and have a new interior which is expected to become standard on all London Sovereign vehicles. Upon us arriving there there was a gentleman from IBUS installing the equipment on board which suggests they may be set to enter service in the very near future. There are 26 Buses located here, however with all of them logo-less, it does strike me as odd...

London Sovereign DE96 YX11 FZZ

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Go Ahead London Silvertown Garage [SI]..New WVLs for the D7

Today I visited Dockland's Buses Silvertown Garage (SI) with the permission of the Go Ahead London staff as I had received some information that some WVLs for the D7 and SEs for the 276 had been delivered to the Garage. When I got to the garage there were half a dozen SEs all 10.8m and registered with LX11 plates and there were about 8 WVLs, most of them blinded for the D8 and only one blinded for the D7!

Docklands Buses WVL430 LX11 FJF and WVL431 LX11 FJJ

The new WVLs are the first ever Go Ahead WVLs not to have the skirt, they are finished in allover red as part of TFLs new vehicle requirements which becomes effective as of October 2011. The WVLs weigh 12,360Kgs and are part of a batch of vehicles for the route D7 that consists of 13 Buses. I must admit they do look very smart and appealing. The new Buses will officially take to the road on the 17 of September 2011 when Go Ahead London take over duties on the D7 from First. Other Buses at the garage such as the new SEs are also finished in allover red as early pictures have shown and they will also take to the road on the 17th of September 2011 when Go Ahead London take over duties on the 276 from Stagecoach. Interestingly these 10.8m SEs weigh 8,100Kgs making them the heaviest long wheelbase Dennis Dart E200s in London. I must add they do feel quite solid which gives the question; have Alexander Dennis finally stepped up their game. VM1 BJ11 XGZ, the unique MCV B9TL Double Decker has been deemed unfit by the engineers so will not be on the road for another few days. But credit goes out to the Go Ahead London staff for allowing me on their premises to take photos of their Buses! Pictures from the visit are below.

Docklands Buses SE129
Docklands Buses WVL422 LX11 FHV

Docklands Buses
WVL424 LX11 FHY, WVL 426 LX11 FJA
and WVL425 LX11 FHZ

Docklands Buses VM1 BJ11 XGZ
Docklands Buses SO2 BV55 UCU
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London United Stamford Brook Garage [V]...New MCLs for the 203!

After spending the best part of two hours at Metroline CELF Centre, I made my way to Stamford Brook Garage located in West London. I decided to take The Central Line to North Acton, change at for the Ealing Broadway Train, then transferred onto the District Line to Stamford Brook Station. I arrived at the Garage at 4pm and with the permission of the London United Stamford Brook staff, I was allowed on the premises to take pictures of the new Mercedes Citaros for the Route 203.

London United BD11 LWP and BD11 LWR
The new Mercedes Citaros are part of a batch of 7 vehicles for the Route 203 that was retained by the company back in February. For those wondering why these Buses are so late and why they are they are of the Citaro type that has seemingly fallen out of favor in London. I have one answer for this question! The original order was actually placed for Optare Tempos however Optare explained to London United that they wouldn't be able to deliver the Buses on time so the order was changed to EVOBUS UK, who trade under Mercedes Benz. The new Citaros feature a new seat Moquette as you will see below which I think some of you will find well as their 12m length and 35 seats they also weigh 11,900kgs. So they are pretty heavy vehicles but no doubt they will do their job. If you are wondering why they are at Stamford Brook instead of Hounslow Heath, this is because they are being commissioned here instead where they will be getting IBUS fitment, CCTV fitment and Wayfarer Ticket Machine Fitment. All photos taken with the permission of the London United staff and I must stress again that this was an organised visit and all safety procedures were followed whilst on site. Credit to London United for this visit! More photos are below.

The interior of London United BD11 LWP
The rear of London United BD11 LWP
The rear of London United BD11 LWU
London United BD11 LWU
The rear of London United OV17 YJ58 VBX
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Metroline CELF Centre Part 25...What a lovely surprise!

Today with the permission of the Metroline CELF Centre staff, I had the pleasure of being allowed the walk around the premises of this truly state of the art facility.However whilst there just by chance I had the shocking yet pleasant surprise of meeting one of the industry's most well known faces; Ian Rivett, for those who don't know he is a very well know photographer and meeting him was surely the highlight of my day. The reason for visiting the Centre was just to have a general look around.

At the Centre today, there was nothing other than usual VWs and TEs, ect, those of you who are regular visitors of the blog will know exactly what I'm talking about. There was one surprise at the centre today; this is that all the VWs for the 79 have now been delivered to the facility, this is really shocking considering the 79 contract starts on the 26 Of November 2011. Reports have suggested that they will be used on the 297 initially, however these reports are unconfirmed as yet, so I think I'll wait until this is confirmed. Now A lot of you may think I just walk into garages and take photos; however I cannot stress enough that all visits to garages/outstations and depots by us members of the Blog (Myself, Jack and Rohan) are planned prior to us actually visiting them and we have to comply with the safety rules whilst on site, such as keeping on the walkway and wearing our high visibility vests. We highly recommend that prior to you going a garage, you contact the operator first as it can land you in trouble. Many thanks. COL Blog Team. More photos from the visit are placed below.

Metroline TPL259 LN51 KYT
Metroline VW1204
The rear of Metroline VW1182
Metroline VW1182 LK11 CXS
Metroline VPL181 Y181 NLK
Metroline VW1199 LK11 CYT
Metroline VW1201 LK11 CYV
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Latest Buses at the trim...17th Of August 2011

Metroline VP487 LK03 GMV
Go Ahead London PVL374 PJ53 NKL
London United VLE5 PG04 WHH

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New Buses for the 299

Below First London's new DM44197 YX11 FYV stands at Woodfield Way Bus Stop near Bounds Green en Route to Muswell Hill. This is one of 9 new Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 Buses for the Route that was runs from Muswell Hill Broadway to Cockfosters Station as part of a new 5 year contract for First.

The new E200s are 9.3m Long nevertheless they still have the standard dual door feature which is praised by TFL as they enable quicker loading and offloading times which can help speed up the journey. The route is operated from First London's Northumberland Park Garage which is very close to the line of route and helps its reliability and punctuality. So cheers to First for another 5 years. 
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Arriva London Lea Valley Garage [LV]...New DWs for the 73

Today I visited Arriva London's Lea Valley Garage located in Northumberland Park, North London. The reason for this visit was due to the fact I gained some first hand information that a 'handful' of some new DB300 (DW) had been delivered to this location for commissioning prior to starting work on the Route 73 (Stoke Newington - Victoria).

The new DWs are part of a batch of over 57 vehicles for the Route 73 with 20 of these vehicles being Hybrid (HV) and the other 37 being DWs. These new DWs have powerblinds as standard which is a first for the company. As TFL have made powerblinds mandatory for all new Buses that operate with TFL service, Arriva's days of ordering manual blinds are well and truly over. I must say it is a welcome change as powerblinds have proven to be better than manual blinds, time and time again especially in conditions of reduced visibility. Once commissioned these DWs along with 6 HVs that are also situated here will transfer out to Stamford Hill Garage (SF) to take on work on the Route 73. This particular garage is set to receive quite a few routes following the temporary closure of EC , one of these Routes is the 444. It is expected that EC will be 'mothballed' until Arriva gain some tender work.

More Photos below:

Arriva London HV43 LJ11 EFO
Arriva London MA88 BX05 UXD

Arriva London DW433 LJ11 AEA
Arriva London MA84 BU05 VFG
Arriva London T152 LJ60 AVZ
Arriva London EN4 LJ57 USV
Arriva London VLW23 LJ51 DGY and DW 251 LJ59 AAX

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Abellio Fulwell Garage [TF]

Amid all the riots and other things going on today I managed to visit Abellio's Twickenham Garage in West London.

The Garage holds 71 vehicles which is excellent considering the size of Garage. The Garage remained under lease of Travel London operations until the company was taken over by NedRailways (Abellio) in 2009. Abellio from this site run multiple West London Routes from this locations and these are routes; 235481490941969H20H25H26R68 and R70. The Garage is home to a healthy fleet of Enviro 200s for the R68 and R70, Dennis Ceatano Nimbus' for the 235 as well as some Trident ALX400s for Surrey operations, Dennis Pointer Darts for the Route 235,481,490,H20,H25 and H26 and the sole East Lancs Spryte Dennis Dart for Abellio's Surrey operations. I must give a shout out to all the welcoming Abellio London staff who were kind enough to allow me on the Garage premises

More Photos Below

Abellio London 8465 RL02 ZTC
Abellio London GM03 TGM
Abellio London 9735 Y235 HWF
Abellio London 9715 V315 KGW
Abellio London 8532 YX10 FEJ
Abellio London 8106 LJ56 VSY
Abellio London 8550 YX10 FFM
Abellio 8451 RD02 BJX
Abellio London 8453 RA51 KGE

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