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Friday, 9 September 2011

Go Ahead London Camberwell Garage [Q]...Re-visit!

Now I actually visited this location earlier this year and if I remember correctly it was the 27th Of January 2011. However now I'm back at this location as I received word that some WVLs had been delivered here for the Route 12. So in my usual manner, I decided to book a visit so I could witness these WVLs for myself.

Go Ahead London HOV1 OP07 ARE and WVL439 LJ61 GWY
As I arrived I noticed there were 7 WVLs parked right at the back and strangely registered with 'LJ' plates as opposed to the preferred 'LX' plate on this class of vehicle. The 20 new WVLs for the Route 12 are part of an interesting story, they were actually intended for the Route 89, however Go Ahead appeared to have changed their minds and now the new WVLs will go on the Route 12 and new Enviro 400s will go to Bexleyheath Garage for Routes 89 instead.

In addition to this 16 Volvo B5LH Hybrids that were initially for the 436/53 will be delivered soon again for the Route 12 and a further 5 new Enviro 400s will make up the allocation for route 12 (pvr 41). The sole Optare Versa Hybrid HOV1 OP07 ARE, was present at this location as it is allocated to the Route 360 but it still remains unknown when it will see service. EVL17 presented me with a real shocker today as it was parked up in the yard, blinded for the X68. Credit to the Go Ahead London staff for allowing me into this facility.

Camberwell garage is the second maintenance point for London General with the first being Merton which is head office. Although the garage was opened in 1914, it did not operate a single bus service for much over 5 years when it was requisitioned for the war. However when it did start to operate, it became one of the largest garages in London, the mammoth base was used to carry out body overhauls in 1940s, however in that said year, it was severely damaged following a bomb attack during the war. Following the attack, 13 vehicles were seriously damaged while four were completely destroyed.

The garage was promptly repaired, however in early 1950s the garage underwent a modernisation programme which is sounds funny to say considering the 1950s was so many moons ago. However the programme included the reconstruction of the welfare and operational block, with the addition of a new extended parking area which greatly increased capacity of the garage. The new and improved facilities incorporated a new pit and workshop which also took on the duties of heavy maintenance for the Walworth Garage ironically situated across the road from the base. The changes took the the capacity of the garage to a respectable 350 buses.

Despite its mammoth size, the allocation steadily decreased over the years as many routes were shifted out, until the closure of Walworth garage in 1985. This saw the allocation of vehicles rise back up to 142, although a shadow of the amount it did operate in the 1950s, which was close enough to 200 buses.

For a bit of trivia, the garage held three Leyland Titans, that were fitted with electronic blinds on an experimental basis. The vehicles were used on night bus standby duties.

On the 1st of April 2006, the based commenced the running of Routes 68, 468, N68 & X68 often referred to as the '68 group' after respectively winning it off Arriva, the chosen vehicles were Wright Gemini B7TLs, which are said to be some of the best in London.

On the 1st of May 2010, the garage gained more work, as Routes 42 and 185 moved in, following the takeover of East Thames Buses a year earlier.

On the 31st of March 2012, Routes 345 and 355 were transferred in from Stockwell and Merton Garages following the recent tender gains of the 19 and 249 from Arriva London respectively.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post as much as I have writing it and more photos are available below. Please do not hesitate to comment as your feedback is much appreciated.

A mini fact file has been provided at the end of the post for those who would rather look at pictures and take out segments of information from the post.

Go Ahead London HOV1 OP07 ARE Interior
Go Ahead London HOV1 OP07 ARE Interior
London General EVL17 PN02 XCD
Go Ahead London WHY8 LX11 DYA
London General WLT516
Go Ahead London WVL446 LJ61 GWE

Go Ahead London WVL435 LJ61 GWU &

Go Ahead London WVL436 LJ61 GWV nearside

Go Ahead London LDP103 S103 EGK

CUV 305C

Go Ahead London EVL15 PN02 XCD

Go Ahead London WVL436 LJ61 GWV
Garage Fact File
  • Opened in 1914
  • Did not operate a single bus until 1919 
  • Bombed in 1940 with 13 buses badly damaged and four being completely destroyed
  • Became a major base for overhauls in the 1940s
  • Modernised in the 1950s which included a new workshop which undertook maintenance for Walworth Garage
  • Capable of holding 300 buses


at: Friday, September 09, 2011 10:52:00 pm said...

I thought GAL had got rid of there EVL's but looks like they are using one for a spare

Rohan says:
at: Saturday, September 10, 2011 12:30:00 am said...

Keep up the good work

at: Saturday, September 10, 2011 1:34:00 pm said...

WHY8 and Op07....... Look amazing

C0BO says:
at: Saturday, September 10, 2011 7:28:00 pm said...

Yes GAL kept 3 EVLs for spares.
Just keep up with the good work Jammal.

Jamaal says:
at: Saturday, September 10, 2011 11:38:00 pm said...

Thanks C0BO.

C0BO says:
at: Sunday, September 11, 2011 11:49:00 pm said...

No problem.

Tom Bowell says:
at: Monday, September 12, 2011 11:47:00 am said...

How Easy Is it To Book Appointments at bus garages

Jamaal says:
at: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 2:08:00 pm said...

Its not hard to book bus garage appointments, you just need to phone up your selected garage and explain why you would like to visit. I'll be releasing some guidelines on how to do this soon, with company contact numbers.

at: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 10:50:00 pm said...

What's happening with the 68/468 of late? It's not using those WVLs like it used to, it's always PVL, PVL, WVL, WVL, PVL, and now EVL???

I know one crashed recently, but the last 12 months this route has gone ballistic with PVLs.

Also to note, I saw one of the ex 68/468 arriva buses (that operate on the 176) completely re-sprayed with Buses on the side.

C0BO says:
at: Thursday, October 06, 2011 10:11:00 pm said...

68/468 WVLs are currently being refurbished and repainted.

RobbieG says:
at: Friday, October 14, 2011 8:40:00 pm said...

Thanks C0BO. Are the new WVLs that are on the 45 route for the 12?? I see them blinded for 68/468 in the above pictures but actually only seen them run that route once or twice now.

Jamaal says:
at: Friday, October 14, 2011 11:16:00 pm said...

They are for the 12 but being used on the Route 45 for now as the Route 45s PVLs are currently on the Route 453 which is still in the process of receiving its new Buses. The Route 12 contract does not commence until the 5th of November 2011.

Jibran says:
at: Saturday, October 15, 2011 8:34:00 pm said...

Isnt it better though to send some of the WVLs on the 453 instead of the 45 so the 453 gets new buses and 45 keeps its own buses?

Simon Bye says:
at: Monday, October 17, 2011 11:21:00 am said...

1. It is more cost effective & easier to re-blind manual blinded buses than electronic ones.
2. It has allowed Q to also blind the PVL's for routes 42 & 185 (plus 155 & 345 I think) giving more fleet flexibility.
3. Q provides engineering support for MW so it gives a float of buses that can be loaned in the event of shortages.

Edd says:
at: Monday, October 17, 2011 12:16:00 pm said...

Simon Bye, I imagine Q have also taken this opportunity to put the 12 on the PVL's blinds...

Simon Bye says:
at: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 12:56:00 am said...

They have Edd, forgot that!

Edd says:
at: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 6:05:00 pm said...

On a slightly unrelated note, it's odd GAL have decided to use EVLs as spares when they've got a huge number of spare PVLs.

RobbieG says:
at: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:31:00 pm said...

Jamaal thanks for that. So is there any planned new buses for the route 68 package? The current WVLs on the route are battered and bruised.

Edd, I went on EVL15/17 today - has that annoying woman saying 'Bus stopping at next bus stop, please stand well clear of doors'

Does anybody know if it ran on the 345? Because I remember hearing that all the time on the 345.

at: Thursday, October 27, 2011 12:56:00 pm said...

yes you donuts the EVL15/17 has run out stockwelll garage on the route 345, 88 , 196 ,11 ,87 ,333, 337, 639, 24. as well that the EVL15/17 have been all over the london general /central bus garage within south london

at: Thursday, October 27, 2011 12:59:00 pm said...

and also with many bus garages they are not getting alot of new buses this is becuase of bus tenders and route lost. most common is arria london as it is loosing the route 19 , 249 and i bet london general will do a better serivce for new routes gained than arriva london.

at: Friday, November 04, 2011 8:12:00 am said...

Why can't they use Omnicity's on route 1 lol?

at: Monday, November 07, 2011 5:34:00 pm said...

because the Omnicity's buses are for nice parts of london andwe south london people grubby secand di cast buses. but dotn worry south london nether in a couple of years time i gauartee you that you will get the second hand Omniity's from north london as they dotn need them any more. So nort london treat south london crpa dont you realsie it. all the new bus tenders are for north london bus routes and they get new buses

at: Tuesday, November 08, 2011 10:35:00 pm said...

anonymous 1 gal dont like the omnicities
anonymous 2 i personally dont like omnicities as they have the worst bus seats in the world id much rather have a b9tl gemini 2 or a e400

Paul Lane
at: Wednesday, November 09, 2011 4:36:00 pm said...

Look mate im a bus driver for stagecoach london in PD the omnicities are the most anoying buses to drive with the cheap chasis design as a passenger the seats are uncomftable the bus design is like a giant lego brick and the bus is just cheap. stagecoach london are cosidering ordering scania enviro 400's to oust out some of the y reg tridents.

at: Thursday, November 24, 2011 12:21:00 pm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chicken Pizza
at: Thursday, November 24, 2011 7:36:00 pm said...

I hope on the EVL you can get blinds for the 185.

There has been some PVL's here on the 68, as well as PVL159, which has been on the EL1/EL2 as well.

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