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Monday, 4 June 2012

The original Volvo B9TL MCV (AE60GRU)

The first Volvo B9TL MCV demonstrator was originally rejected by TFL as it was deemed a tonne overweight for the streets of London. The bus was originally dested for London General. After receiving the feedback the bus was shipped off and VM1 was created which belongs to Go Ahead Docklands Buses and can often be found on Route 425. But what I hear you ask happened to the original demonstrator bus?

 AE60GRU gets ready to leave Hounslow Heath Gargae

After its rejection by TFL, the vehicle moved to a company called Wessex Connect in Bristol and was based at their South Gloucstershire Gipsy Patch Lane depot however shortly after its arrival it was the victim of a low bridge collision. Already it seemed that the future of this bus was uncertain. Ensignbus came to the rescue in September 2011 and took the bus from Wessex Connect. By December 2011, Ensignbus had converted the bus to an open top vehicle and had painted it in all over London red.

Nowadays, AE60GRU belongs to the Bath Bus Company, which is owned by RATP group. The bus is based at London United's Hounslow Heath garage and can be found on a daily basis operating tours around Windsor as part of the Windsor Sightseeing Tour service.

The interior of the bus has the standard sightseeing seat covers. The vehicle is also fitted with a clever omni sound speaker system that works in a similar way to iBus in that it produces audio announcements for the passengers to listen to. The system can produce many different languages for example, English, Spanish and French.

Our thanks has to go out to the driver of the bus who allowed us the time out of his busy day to take the pictures and have a conversation about the features of the vehicles. Pictures of the bus can be seen below:

 Lower deck back facing front
 Wheelchair Area
 Side shot showing branding
 Lower deck front facing rear
 Audio system with pre-recorded announcements shown
 Driver's cab area
 Upper deck front facing rear
  Upper deck rear facing front
 AE60GRU begins its trip to Windsor to commence service


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