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Saturday, 9 June 2012

Go Ahead London Putney Garage [AF]

Despite the rainy weather, we managed take the tedious trip to Putney garage which is currently occupied by Go Ahead London, who are in fact have just become the largest London Bus Contracts operator this year following the winning of routes such as the 19 and 249. The garage is situated in the parish of Putney in Wandsworth and is close to neighbouring towns Fulham and Roehampton.

The base originally opened in the late 19th Century, however by the early 20th Century plans were made to transform the base into a motor-bus garage and in 1912, Putney garage as we know it today was born. The garage is well hidden as it is not located on the high street, rather on the Chelverton Road located behind the high street. 

The garage became famous amongst enthusiasts and personnel alike in London as it was the first garage to receive the first of the highly popular RT Bus type in 1940 to displace the ageing STL type. During the second world war the garage was actually used to store unused and de-licensed buses. The massive forecourt area on the garage was one of the factors that made it possible to do this.

After the closure of Putney Bridge Garage in 1963, the garage was re-coded to the garage code we now see today (AF) and at the same time, started to receive short wheelbase Routemasters coded as RM and long wheelbase Routemasters coded as RML. The RMLs were used for the garage's central London routes as their slight increase in length allowed more space to meet the demands for a growing demand in bus usage at the time especially in the central and city areas. The RMLs remained at the garage until 2005 when routes 14 and 22 were converted to OPO (One Person Operation) using some brand new low floor Wright Gemini bodied B7TLs.

In 2008, the garage became the only garage in London to receive Enviro 400 bodied B9TLs, a record which still stands to date. The new buses coded 'VE' and numbered; VE1/VE2/VE3 were leased from Volvo for fuel efficiency tests against the Tridents in the fleet.

Today the Garage holds 112 buses and runs the following routes: 2274424430670, 24-hour routes 14 and 85, and Night routes N22 and N74. In early 2012 it was announced that the company had retained the 22/N22 using brand new Wright Gemini2 B5LHs and B9TLs. This will allow the older WVLs to transfer Rainham for the newly won Route 257.

Many thanks to the Go Ahead London staff for allowing us on their premises and ensuring our safety was paramount whilst on site. More pictures from the visit are located below.
GAL SE189 SN12 AVF is seen on recovery after failing on the road
A general view of the forecourt
GAL SE189 SN12 AVF is seen on recovery after failing on the road 
The entrance onto Chepstow Road
Buses only!
A general view of the forecourt
A general view of the forecourt
A WVL is prepared for its next run out.
The engineering pits
GAL VE3 LX58 xxx is seen awaiting treatment
Two WVLs seen sitting outside in the rain
A view of the yard
A general view of the forecourt
A general view of the forecourt
A general view of the forecourt
Key Facts to note about Putney Garage

  • Opened as a bus garage in 1912
  • First garage to receive RTs
  • Runs 14 Bus Routes
  • The only garage in London to have Volvo E400s


at: Sunday, June 10, 2012 4:09:00 pm said...

Chelverton Road, not Chepstow road...

Apart from that, great!

at: Friday, June 15, 2012 8:40:00 pm said...

Did ya get any pictures of the driver cab on the E400 volvo?? cheers??

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