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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

All Change Route H28...Goodbye Euro2 Darts!

As I'm sure many of you will know, this is my mate Jack's favorite bus route and rather worryingly so. Normally, I'm not the type to get so sentimental when a set of buses leave London to be replaced by a newer set of drivel as I can honestly say, with the way routes are timetabled now, it doesn't matter if the bus is new, old or whether it has 240HP, you will still have a very slow and unpleasant journey!

Abellio London 8590 YX62 DVC
However this time, I can relate. At 20 years of age, I wouldn't exactly call myself and 'oldie', neither would I want to, however I guess its safe to say, I've done and seen my fair share of things in this life, its not the age that makes you, its the experience. I've also seen good buses enter the Tfl network and leave the network, Titans, B6LEs, name it!

But this time, its really personal, for those who don't know the Route H28 is in the process of receiving a batch of 9 new Euro5 E200s, which will see its current buses being phased out, thus making it the last route in London to be run by an allocation of Euro2 Darts. The Euro2 Darts are being phased out due to stricter emissions standards influenced by the European Committee, in addition to this our mayor Boris Johnson has announced his concern of the high levels of pollution that is taking place in the City of London. In order to do his part he has ordered the removal of all Euro2 Buses in London and demanded that exhaust traps to be fitted to Euro3 Buses in order to make them more 'environmentally friendly'.

For me and many others alike, this is sad news, as the Euro2 Dart is arguably the best single Deck vehicle that has ever hit the streets of Britain, it was fast, comfortable to ride on and full of character and most importantly, I was there to witness the pinnacle of it's success and now it is being replaced by utter drivel, in most cases the Enviro 200. As a youngster growing up in Harrow, in 1999 when Sovereign retained all of their routes, I was suddenly surrounded by them and I will always remember that distinctive wolf like howl when they were clocking speed.

Back on topic, the Route H28 was introduced by London Buses as a low frequency route operating between Osterly Tesco and the enormous Bull's Bridge Tesco in Hayes. Its primary focus was to serve the un-bused back roads of Hounslow, Isleworth and Brentford. Here's a map of the route below

In December 2000,  in order to comply with the DDA Act, Tellings Golden Miller introduced 8 new 8.9m Dennis Darts with Plaxton Pointer bodies. The vehicles were numbered as followed;

8051, X311KRX
8052, X312KRX
8053, X313KRX
8054, X314KRX
8055, X315KRX
8057, X317KRX
8059, X319KRX
8061, X322KRX
8062, Y38YVV

8062 was a late purchase by the company and entered service in February 2001. The route was originally run from their Fulwell Base adjacent to London United's base on Wellington Road. The new Darts were very light and quite nippy and they were finished off in TGM's white,yellow and blue livery as demonstrated below by 8052 X312 KRX.

8052 X312 KRX. at Bull's Bridge Tesco (C) Andrew HA

The route, along with the buses transferred to Hayes garage where they were repainted into 'London Red'.  During 2008/2009, 8061 spent 3 months at Walworth, whilst in 2007, 8062 spent 4 months in Byfleet.
Apart from this the vehicles on the route stayed pretty much route bound, although towards the latter end of the contract, 10.2m Pointer Darts from other routes became more common on the route and Jack rightly so hinted that it could be Abellio testing the route to see if it could accommodate the use of longer vehicles for their next tender of the route.

Abellio 8470 HX04 HTV
His assumptions were right and when it was announced that Abellio had retained the Route for a further 5 years, they quickly confirmed it would be more drivel in the form of 9 10.2m E200s and this week the  Vehicles have started to enter service.

The new vehicles numbers go as followed;

8583 - YX62DAU - body no. C238/1
8584 - YX62DBU - body no. C238/2
8585 - YX62DDE - body no. C238/3
8586 - YX62DDO - body no. C238/4
8587 - YX62DFE - body no. C238/5
8588 - YX62DFO - body no. C238/6
8589 - YX62DVA - body no. C238/7
8590 - YX62DVC - body no. C238/8
8591 - YX62DVG - body no. C238/9

But wait, it doesn't end there, upon the introduction of these new vehicles, the company have also taken the opportunity to showcase their rather interesting new livery...I'll reserve my judgement in this post, although by that sentence alone, you have probably guessed what I think of it already. The new interior puts a much welcome change to their previous livery which was shared by National Express Group.

Thanks for reading the post and we hope you have enjoyed reading it. Feel free to comment and rate below.


at: Friday, March 01, 2013 12:20:00 am said...

I wonder why Abellio has changed their interior? Does anyone know?

at: Saturday, March 02, 2013 4:11:00 am said...

Abellios new interior looked like CT Plus's on the 153. Not sure how I feel about the interior though, I do prefer the old interior better but as with most thing it will warm to me. I can't wait to see this interior on a double decker though, that should be interesting. I must say though I like the new styling of the E200s they look more sleak than those made before 61 reg.

at: Saturday, March 02, 2013 8:43:00 am said...

I believe there's a chapter of the H28's history that's missing here.

If I recall correctly, the H28 was originally operated by London & Country from a tiny yard on Albion Road in Hounslow. I think it was operated with early Darts with East Lancs bodywork, which had a manually-operated fold-out wheelchair ramp at the door.

at: Tuesday, March 05, 2013 9:40:00 am said...

The best place for old fleet, but sadly disappearing too now, is Hong Kong, they have a much better fleet of buses, ranging from old Olympians built specifically for the market over there (tri-axle) although since new regluations, they're using two axle buses, but much more cleaner and well kept than London's fleet, and no VDLs or any of those half hearted companies.

Volvo, Dennis (ADLs new E500 is a winner, but prefer the old 2003 model)

the ADL 400 is the most boring design i've ever seen, but somehow CTB in Hong Kong make it look unique with the rear styling and interior.

Do check it out, maybe do a small feature on what's out there ;)

at: Wednesday, April 03, 2013 8:07:00 pm said...

I don't think Abellio can go around forever with National Express seat covers and interiors. They've sold some buses on to a company in Birmingham and it's weird seeing another company with an older bus have newer moquettes than most of the newer buses of National Express.

at: Saturday, May 17, 2014 10:21:00 pm said...

So 8062 was a singleton extra, like DPS694 and the yet to be DLE26

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