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London United Hounslow Garage [AV]...New ADE's!

After a busy day at work, I took the short trip down to Hounslow garage to check out there new E40D's coded ADE's. Since the last time I visited the garage, some work has been completed within the shed to increase parking captivity space - although I didn't notice this until it was pointed out to me!!! I know we usually do this at the end of the post, but I would like to send a huge thanks out to the member of staff who took the time out of his busy day to take me around the depot this afternoon! Most appreciated!

ADE1, YX12FNG & ADE2, YX12FNH seen in the shed

This garage certainly holds a lot of history. Many people wonder why the layout of the garage is in such a weird shape, however there is a very good reason for this. The town of Hounslow was a very busy place during the coaching days. By the time the Metropolitan and District railway finally made it to West London, the coach and horse era was over. The railway finally made it to West London in 1883. An imposing terminus station once stood on the site of the present bus garage today. The original plan was to continue the railways southbound towards the nearby town of Twickenham however this was later withdrawn and the railways was extended westwards instead. Due to this decision, Hounslow East Station soon replaced the terminus station. Hounslow Town station, as it was know, was in use between1183 - 1886 and 1905 - 1909. This explains the layout of the garage as it is known today. 

London General omnibus took over the site of Hounslow Town Station in 1912. The garage, along with many other in the local area, was requisitioned in the first world war. Hounslow became the first garage in 1925 and 1930 to house the first pneumatic tyre buses and the original Dennis dart allocated respectively. The original depot roof was to low and was raised around the mid 1930's. An interesting thing to note is that a survey was conducted by London Transport in 1947 where it discovered Hounslow garage was housing 92 buses when on paper only 72 were meant to fit! This was achieved by parking layover buses in a plot of land situated at the back of the garage, which remains in place today although used as a staff car park!

In the early 1950's Hounslow garage under went a rebuild which saw a new bus station introduced. Another unique feature about Hounslow garage is that is was one of the only garages in London not to operate the DMS double deck. Hounslow's first OPO (One-Person-Operation) buses did not arrived until early 1982 in the form of Metrobuses coded M for routes 111 and 120. In late 2007 the bus station on the garage forecourt was removed and the 8 bus boarding bays removed along with the roof. Nowadays there is only 2 bays on the forecourt for routes 120 and 281, although that doesn't stop people from walking across the forecourt and knocking on the doors asking to get on. People that stop 5 years ago!

Hounslow garage is now home to a very modern fleet. With the ADE's set to replace the old DPS's, VA's and VP's it is set to become the most modern garage across the whole of London United. The garage will soon be formed of five main buses types. E40D's for Routes 81,120 & 222, Scania Omnicites for Routes 27 (Night Element), 111, 120, 696, 697, H32 and N9, Optare Tempo's for Route H37, E20D's for Route H98 and Mercedes O530 Citaro's for Route 203. All in all a very nice mix of modern buses.

Once again a massive shout out has to go to the member of staff who waited around for me to finish work to take me on this garage tour! More photos from the visit can be seen below!

 ADE1 Lower Deck

 ADE1 Upper Deck

 ADE1 Cab View

 New touch screen pre service check facility

 VP106 and DPS662 on the fuel bays

 Brake testing facility

 Rear of DPS671

 OT7 in the maintenance area

 VA294 and SP7 seen in the minor bodywork repair section

 VA309 and VA85

 VA77 with VA95 in the background blinded for the 203

 DPS660 and DPS669 on the pits

 SP172 down "the alley" - Four buses can be stored here

 DPS657 rear

 ADE2 rear

 ADE2's nice clean engine - not for long!

 SP41 hides in the bus wash

 Shed exit view showing the roof

 OT15 on the forecourt serving route 203

 Hounslow Heath's DPS716 on the forecourt serving route 116
 General forecourt view

 SP136 on the forecourt serving route H32

 DLE8 and DPS592 take a break before completing there next trips

Garage entrance
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Metrobus Croydon Garage [C]

There's a first time for everything they say and today was the first time we ever visited a Metrobus Garage, the Sussex based company have three garages and operate 42 TFL tendered routes. In 2006 they were purchased by 'super-group' Go Ahead but their operations are not  a part of the Go Ahead London group and operate with a different O'License.

The Garage located on the Beddington Lane was opened by Metrobus in December 2005 to house the recently won Route 127 that was surrendered by the ill-fated now defunct operator Centra buses. However the garage building was not actually completed until February of 2006, this caused inconveniences to shunters as most of the garage work was done in the day time. 

The Garage has been credited for their excellent route performance including that on the well used X26 which was sadly lost to Quality Line on the 14th of April 2012 and on the 19th of May 2012, Abellio gained the contract for the Route T33 who interestingly operate it from literally across the road! Nevertheless the garage gained more work from this move as the 54 was transferred from Orpington (MB) which allowed the 30 Scania Olympus' Metrobus own to be housed at the same facility, reducing engineering work yet maximising maintenance opportunities.

A big thanks must go out to the Metrobus staff for allowing us onto their premises and ensuring that all relevant safety procedures were followed to keep us safe whilst on site! 

Welcome to Croydon Garage
Withdrawn Darts
The main storage shed
Another view of the main storage shed showing the engineering facilities
Ferry Vans
Showing the variety at the garage
Interior of one of the Scania Omnicity single decks
Scania Omnicity dashboard
The bus wash
The small maintenance shed
MAN 12.240/E200 YX58 DXC
Scania Omnicity 561 YN08 OAS undergoes maintenance
The Fuel bays
Interior of V327 KMY

V327 KMY

Key facts to note about Croydon Garage

  • Opened by Metrobus in December 2005
  • Work on the premises completed in Feburary 2006
  • Holds 126 Buses
  • Only Garage in London to operate MAN E200s
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Abellio London Walworth Garage [WL]

Today saw a trip to Abellio's Walworth depot in Camberwell. The last time we visited this garage was back in Feb 2011 when the ex Metroline DT's had just arrived in time for the 172 takeover.

8337, YX11AHK

The Garage is leased by London Transport to Abellio London. It currently has a capacity of 98 Buses, for Routes  40, 100,188, 343, 381, 484 and night routes N343 and N381. It was confirmed during this week that a proposed date of the 23rd June has been set by the company for route 35/N35 to transfer to this garage. A lot of new buses have been introduced into the depot since our last visit including a batch of E400H's for use on route 188.

A credit must go out to the receptionist at the depot who took the time to show us around this depot. Whilst on site we followed all the safety rules and wore a high vis. A reminder to all our viewers - Bus garages are not playgrounds, they are workplaces! All of our garage visits are organised and have been approved by the garage manager. Pictures from the visit can be seen below:

Hybrid 2411, SN61DGO

9010, BX54DHZ & 9036, BX55XMK

Bus wash

9010 and 9036 rear view

2411, 9006 and 9034 rear view

9828, LG52XYJ

9757 and 8326 on the MOT pits

VOSA Authorised Testing Facility

Welcome to Walworth Depot
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