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Arriva London Lea Valley Garage [LV]...Farewell

Today was a visit to the much loved Lea Valley Garage, a garage that I have visited many times before and one that I won't be visiting again as, by March 2014, it will be handed over to National Grid who require the site. Another desolate location - as with Northumberland Park Garage, my previous visit - at least there is a huge Tesco superstore as well as an IKEA within close proximity, well a 10 minute walk away. The garage is served by routes 192 and 24 hour route 341.

The garage itself is located at the back of an industrial estate just north of Tottenham, and seems about a million miles away from civilization and can proved difficult to get to, providing you don't have your own form of personal transport. One thing I did note whilst inside the main reception, is that the garage actually overlooks EC (Edmonton Garage), it was probably the aquamarine vehicles in the background that caught my eye.
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Go Ahead London General Northumberland Park Garage [NP]

Today was a perfect day to test out the quality of my new camera, which has grown on me, my other was destroyed by my younger brother, but i picked this one up for the same price, so it seems as if this was a blessing in disguise. So the day's visit was London General's Northumberland Park, which is pretty much in the middle of scenic nowhere! Just kidding, there is a railway station that provides very infrequent rail services to London Liverpool Street and a few fields.

I have actually done this garage before, although I'm not sure if I can count this one as a revisit but I did come here back in June 2010, just shows you how long I have actually been doing this for and a lot has changed since then....back then it was utilized by a company who went by the name of First.

Before I go any further I would like to credit the Go Ahead London staff, who were so polite to show me around and take time out of their busy day to ensure that I was safe whilst on site.

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Picture Of The Day [25th of January 2014]

See here picking up at Waterloo Station in the ever fading daylight is Camberwell based WHV14 LJ61 CXN whilst operating on the limited stop X68, one of only three Tfl express style routes, which seem to be falling out of favor. As the years have gone by transport for London have felt the need to minimize the number of express routes in London, with them swaying towards a more Metro style of transportation. Has anyone noticed how the Metropolitan Line has now lost many of the off-peak fast journeys?!

The Route links Russel Square and West Croydon, with the first stop after the terminus being Waterloo, before continuing non stop to West Norwood, however despite this the route whenever I have done it, never actually seems very fast. At present it is allocated WVLs from the 68 & 468 contract, however odd appearances are never a rarity, picturing one is!

One thing that does baffle me, is the fact, that it is a 'limited stop' route but numbered in the letter prefix series as opposed to the 6xx series that follows suit with the 607 which runs limited stop on the Uxbridge Road from White City to Uxbridge.

However if you want a real express route, please travel on the X26, which runs from Heathrow Central to West Croydon also using some lovely Mercedes Citaros. Anyway that's all from me! 
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Picture Of The Day [21st of January 2014]

Former Go Ahead London VM1 BJ11 XGZ is seen at the Mile End terminus of the D7 prior to running to Poplar.

The vehicle is an MCV DD103, a body that originally introduced in 2005 in Singapore as the ComfortDelgro engineering bodywork and mounted to the Volvo B9TL trix-axle chassis.

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Vehicle Focus: MLF122 [AJ02 ZRY]

Continuing on from our vehicle focus posts, we decided to do an entry on possibly one of my favourite single decks, MLF122. London has had its fair share of odd vehicles but they always seem to depart well ahead of their time and this vehicle was no exception. The Marshall bodied Dennis Dart was one of a few demonstrator vehicles heading to London at that period and some may remember the first ever Wright Electrocity, YG52 CCX that went into service at Arriva's Wood Green garage back in 2003.

MLF122 AJ02 ZRY on the 210 at Golders Green © Stephen Hughes
The Marshall Capital body was not the most successful of single deck bodies in London despite receiving orders in huge quantities from First London who appeared to be a big admirer of the body.

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Arriva London Wood Green Garage [WN]

It's been a while since the last garage visit, if I remember correctly, the last one was London Sovereign's Edgware depot when their Hybrids for the 13 were just commencing delivery. Looking back, that was all the way back in July. Its a new year and a new start, so I've decided to do a bit of reflecting, and it occurs to me that the actual purpose of the blog was to photograph pictures of London bus garages and new stock. Something which hasn't been done lately, but I promised viewers I will live up to this again in the new year. So here we have it.

Wood Green, home of the famous 'Shopping City', The Alexandra Palace Ice Rink and also home of Arriva's London operations. The garage was transformed from a horse tram depot to a modern tram depot in the early 1900s, which then had a capacity 67, noticeably smaller than today.
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Picture Of The Day [11th of January 2014]

The caption below shows London's latest generation decker, dubbed 'V6'. The vehicle was delivered to Go-Ahead's Camberwell Garage in October 2013 for extensive testing on the route 12 for a period set to last 6 months.

Go-Ahead London V6 BF63 HFE ©  Lee Thather
The vehicle is a totally new model, although a descendant of the WVLs the company operate. The 'dream decker' as it is referred to or Wrightbus Gemini3 is a combination of a new Gemini2 body, minus the fancy trimmings and a noticeably smaller upper deck window layout. All of this coupled to a 5 litre engine and chassis which is due to replace the existing B9TL. This results in a much lighter weight model, although I won't go into detail on here...see my Bus Expo post for more detail.

The fleet number V6 represents the sixth generation volvo within the company, going in this order.
  • NV - Olympian - Gen 1
  • PVL/WVL - B7TL Euro III - Gen 2
  • PVL - B7TL Euro IV - Gen 3
  • WVL - B9TL - Euro V - Gen 4
  • WHV - B5H - Euro V - Gen 5
  • V6 - B5TL - Euro VI - Gen 6
A further two are due for Arriva and Metroline, with the Metroline example, BF63 HDE said to be imminent, however there are no signs of the Arriva demo as yet. 
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Picture Of The Day [9th of January 2014]

A throwback to the naughties instantly symbolises better days with NV14 N414 JBV operating when new on route 51.

London Central NV14 on the 51 © Mark Bowerbank

The photo kindly provided by Mark Bowerbank instantly brings back memories of when I first got to travel on these beasts as a child. Lovely vehicles these were, far better than anything modern.

The introduction of these vehicles on the 51 back in 1995 came after the T class Leyland Titans were reallocated to allow this route to get an upgrade, but I do say that with my lips tied. The Titan and Olympian were both great buses, so we'll say, the Titans had to head on to pastures new.

17 of these vehicles were delivered in October 1995, for the commencing of the new route's new contact due to start the following month. They were allocated bonet numbers NV11-27, they were the company's second batch of Olympians.

Problems did arise with these vehicles as great as they were, an FFD check on NV16 confirmed that the VIN did not match the registration allocated to the bus and many others in batch, so many of the vehicles were re-registered. 2002 saw NV11 transfer out to Metrobus' Crawley operations as 896.

The rest soldiered on right until 2004, where the low floor revolution as it was called saw them come to the end of their London lives, being sold via Ensignbus. They were succeeded on the route 51 however in 2003 by a derivative of the Northern Counties body, the Plaxton President with a B7TL a chassis which signified the second generation of Volvo within the company.

The route was respectively lost to ELBG back in 2008, who were purchased by Stagecoach in 2010 who now it from their Plumstead Garage. The route now operates with Scania Omnicitys. 
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