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London Sovereign [BT] & Metroline [EW] Edgware Garages

Today I visited Edgware Garage in North West London, this is one of a few shared garages in London, it is shared between two companies, these being London Sovereign and Metroline. On the London Sovereign half it houses 62 Buses which range from Dennis Enviro 200s to Polish built Scania Omnicitys and on the Metroline quarters it holds 66 Buses which range from just Volvo Plaxton Presidents to Trident E400s.

Metroline VPL202 Y202 NLK at Edgware Garage 
The Garage was officially opened in 1925 by the London General Omnibus Company and at the time only holding 30 Buses. However in 1984 a restoration program took place and the Garage was replaced with a new 100+ Base, that would have light maintenance facilities and a Bus wash. In spring of 1999 London Sovereign had won/retained routes 13,114,183 and 292. The 183 was respectively won of Metroline from Harrow Garage (SO). When these routes were won/retained, they saw Edgware Garage as a perfect opportunity to base their operations as it was closer to the routes which they ran and would ease dead mileages. Subsequently Sovereign's Borehamwood Garage ceased London operations. So Sovereign as they were known as at the time took out a 10 year lease on this garage and they became the sole operator of this garage right until summer of 2000 when Metroline moved back in. Metroline moved back into EW following the retention of the 107,113, 204 and 240. The Route 186 moved back into EW in October 2006 following a reallocation from Harrow Weald (HD). However this did not mean there were any capacity issues at the garage, but it now meant that there was now stiff competition for TFL contracts. However it seems strange that the only routes to be shift between operators is school route 605 which was lost by Metroline to London Sovereign who will commence running of the route in September 2012 in time for the start of the new academic year. Both companies at the Garage seem to be performing well however, with Metroline retaining Routes 113,186 and 204 and London Sovereign gaining the Route 251. There were a few oddities today in the Garage in the form of, DPS599 SN51 TBX which has now been decommissioned, DPS627 and Metroline VP486 LK03 GMU. Credit to both London Sovereign and Metroline staff for allowing me on their premises, more photos from the visit are displayed below.

London Buses Edgware Garage 

Metroline TE725 LK07 AZA 

London Sovereign SLE5 YN54 OAG
Metroline VPL201 Y201 NLK
Metroline VPL149 X659 LLX
London Sovereign SP69 YT59 RXS
London Sovereign SLE3 YN54 OAC
Metroline TE732 LK07 AZL
Metroline VPL189 Y189 NLK
London Sovereign DPS627 SK02 XGW
London Sovereign VLE34 PO54 ACJ and
London Sovereign DE69 YX11 GCY
Metroline VP486 LK03 GMU and
VPL167 Y657 NLK
London Sovereign VLP23 PJ53 OUW
London Sovereign SDE23 YX60 BZF
Metroline 720 LK56 FHP and
VPL147 Y647 LLX
Metroline VPL200 Y149 NLK
and TE718 LK56 FHN
London Sovereign DE67 YX11 GCU
London Sovereign Garage yard view
Metroline VPL216 LK51 XGL
Metroline VPL221 LK51 XGR

London Sovereign SLE32 YN55 NJV

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Latest Buses at the Trim...19th of October 2011

Konectbus 800 B57 WDA.
This was former London General MAL97 and used to operate on the Route 453.
Arriva London DLA354 LJ03 MLK
Arriva Shires 6036 YJ55 WOX
Go Ahead London WVL224 LX06 DZG

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London United Park Royal Garage [PK]...Revisit

Roughly about a week ago, I visited London United's Park Royal Garage whilst trying to find my way to First London's new Atlas Road Garage which is situated just 5 minutes down the road. The garage is actually the remains of Metroline's old Atlas Road Garage. The garage is fairly new after its re-opening in 2007 by NCP Challenger who later became known as NSL Services.London United staff at the Garage are also pleased to announce they have retained the Route E11 which runs from Ealing Common to Greenford Broadway.

The Garage was officially opened again in May 2007 following the now defunct NCP Challenger winning Routes 272, 440 and E11. All Buses bought for the contracts were E200s, which proved a smart move by the company as the buses are cheap, practical and very easy for engineers to maintain. In November 2009 Transdev bought out the NSL operations taking over this garage and Twickenham Garage [NC] in the process, this proved a smart move by the company as the routes they lost just over two years ago transferred back to them, bringing more profit into the organisation. Following the takeover by London United the Garage gained high profile Route C1 from Abellio which runs from Victoria to White City.Interestingly this is one of the last Routes London United gained off another company but with recent success regarding the Route E11, lets hope the company can get back to 'winning ways'. More photos from the visit are placed below. Credit to London United staff for allowing me on their premises.

London United DPS625 SK02 XGT
London United OV65 YJ09 EZC
London United OV55 YJ09 EZF
London United OV63 YJ09 EZA

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First London Atlas Road Garage [AS]...A new Garage for London

Today my travels took me to Atlas Road which is home to First's new Atlas Road Garage. The Garage opened on the 1st Of October 2011 and now runs routes; 28,31,328,N28 and N31. Five minutes down the road from Willesden Junction Garage (WJ), taking up this base was a smart move by First.

First London TN33189 LT52 WTE

The Garage opened as a direct result of Crossrail construction that will take a proportion of the yard at Westbourne Park. The new Crossrail construction will allow trains to run between Maidenhead in Berkshire and Shenfield in Essex via Paddington and Central London.The route will be run with new rolling stock which is yet to be decided upon and classified but the construction of this line now means new portals have to be built in Westbourne Park with a large proportion of Westbourne Park Garage's yard being taken over.

Although this is classified as a Garage, it is actually an outstation for Westbourne Park so all drivers will clock of at Westbourne Park before parking the vehicles at this location, this may explain why Route 295 and 328 buses were present today. The opening of this garage has one advantage and one disadvantage for First in my opinion.

The advantage being; First can now bid for more work in the area such as the 272 and 440 when they come up for tender, however  I think one big disadvantage is that Routes 28,31 and 328 now have a greater dead mileage to their start and end points. Especially as they cannot use Old Oak Common Lane, buses running out of service will have to travel all the way around to North Acton to join the A40 which is traffic prone in rush hour just to clear the area.

However I think the pros outweigh the cons so, heads up to First.!  There was not much to see in the garage today in terms of Buses so I provided some yard shots to give viewers a first look at this garage. All photos were taken with the permission of First London's Atlas Road Garage staff. More shots are below.

Atlas Road Garage Yard

Atlas Road Garage Yard facing the rear

Atlas Road Garage Yard facing the front

First London TN33189 LT52 WTE rear

First London TNA33382 LK53 EZB

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Strange Turns and Odd observations

Abellio 8803 LJ57 YBA on the R70 at Richmond Bus Station
(C) Ehbusman1958
Arriva London VLA158 LJ55 BVF on the 59 at 
Kings Cross Station
Metroline DE1158 LK11 CWO on the 46 at Lancaster Gate Station

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Metroline CELF Centre Part 28...New TEHs for Cricklewood

Today I visited Metroline's CELF Centre for what may be the 30th time. The Centre is Metroline's centre point for Bus maintenance, so much so, they have a VOSA station situated inside the facility. There is just something about this state of the art facility that always seems to attract me. The Centre is a one of a kind centre in London and it is well used by other operators such as London Sovereign and First too!

Metroline TEH1222 LK61 BJZ

The centre officially opened in September 2007 and has been a revolution for the company ever since. The reason for myself visiting the Centre this time is due to the fact, I gained some information that some of the new TEHs for Cricklewood had just been delivered. The new TEHs are part of a 26 strong batch numbered between TEH1217-TEH1242. They are for the full hybrid conversion of Routes 16 and 139. Not much is known of what is going to happen to the 60 Reg TEs that they will displacing but I will be releasing more
information when the operator allow me to do so. These buses weigh 11,970KGS and have lower deck CCTV Cameras installed, a feature that was last used on the VPLs for the 390 in 2004 so this may be classified as strange by a few people. Now for the keen eyed people, when the full batch of these vehicles arrive,  you will notice some of them will have silver tree deflectors whilst some have red tree deflectors such as the one shown above and some will have silver rear light hub caps whilst some will have red. Seems pretty strange to me...Not much else to see at the centre apart from the 5 TEHs and some of the earlier TPs from the 1-65 batch that are being decommissioned. 

Metroline TEH1222 interior
Metroline TEH1222 interior

Metroline TEH1221 LK61 BJY
Metroline TP21 T71 KLD
Metroline VP549 LK04 CVL and Metroline DP1049 KX54 NJO
Metroline DLD136 W136 ULR
Metroline TEH1220 LK61 BJX

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Latest Buses at the trim...5th Of October 2011

All photos provided by Mike (EHBusman1958)!

Arriva London DLP16 T216 XBV
London United TA213 SN51 SYS
Metroline VP572 LK04 ELX
Go Ahead London WVL220 LX06 DZC
Go Ahead London WVL219 LX06 DZB

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