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Monday, 17 March 2014

Metroline CELF Centre Part 43...News Special [Present & Future]

The introduction of new Routemasters on the 390 was the catalyst that triggered a fleet shuffle within the Metroline fleet particularly concerning their Holloway and Potters Bar Garages. Which is what will be covered in this post, not so much what was at the centre today, so in this case the pictures act as a visual aid to the text.

Route 390 converted from its Plaxton bodied Volvo B7TL vehicles to NB4L operation on the night of the 7th of December 2013. The introduction of these vehicles was over a week late, for reasons unknown, however the change of vehicle type was swiftly done which in theory would make the VPLs surplus to requirements. VPL581 - 603 formerly Route 390 operatives were reassigned to the Route 4 which just gained clearance for the longer 10.6m vehicles.

VPL603 was loaned to AC (Willesden) for a couple of months to aid the absence of VPs there whilst their engine modifications were being done.

Metroline (PB) TP448 LK03 GHH seen here in a decommissioned state
following withdrawal from service at Potters Bar. The vehicle is part of a larger batch of vehicles delivered in 2003 which had bonnet numbers running from TP348 - 465. 
Benefiting from the extra surplus vehicles, Metroline took the chance to allow the modernising of Potters Bar Garage with some TEs in order to replace the TPs at the garage and allow the garage to be one of their few to be operated by only one type in terms of double decks.

16 TEs in the form of TE892/893, 895 - 903, 905/906, 908/909 & 911 were transferred over to the garage to begin an exodus of the TPs there on the 217 contract as demonstrated above with TP448 (LK03 GHH) sitting in a decommissioned state.

VPL629 - 637 which have no had a solid route allocation since the introduction of VWs at the garage on the 134 for which they were purchased many moons ago in 2005 have since been deployed on the Route 17.

The Surplus vehicles around the fleet have started a max exodus of the TP class vehicles within the company, with TP411/412/413 being stood down in the process. Although in the process the exodus TP440 along with TP446 were transferred to UX (Uxbridge) to aid enhanced services following the two day Tube Strike in February, however they have remained in service where they join TP433 (LK03 GFZ) another former PB (Potters Bar) resident.

Metroline [HT] Routemaster LT27 LTZ1027
The recent 332 tender announcement which was successfully retained by the company with a contract specifying 'new' Hybrids acts as further confirmation to the 189 gaining new Routemasters. The 332 will instead use the 189's batch of TEHs with the 189 gaining LTs, although there will be a few route alterations to accommodate this.

Over at HD (Harrow Weald) it has been said that the leased VP466 - 472 along with VP485 - 489 will be withdrawn in the coming months to be replaced by some VP5xx from AC which begs a question as to what may be replacing them at the garage. It may be worth noting that the said VPs will not be gaining any engine modifications, a compulsory action for all B7TLs that will be operating in London past this year...

TA638 - 659 have also found themselves spinning on the rumour mill once again, with someone suggesting that they could go over to HD.

Metroline West (G) TE1738 SN09 CFO
TE1738 SN09 CFO which started off its life as DN33598 in 2009 is seen parked outside the centre today and funnily enough is the only vehicle that will be written about. The vehicles acquired by the company in 2013 following the purchase of 5 First garages in West London have were renumbered within the Metroline fleet sequencing system which saw them gain bonnet numbers TE1715 - 1751. Prizes for anyone who can correctly state which other batch of vehicles in the Metroline fleet have a similar numerical codes and contain exactly the same amount of vehicles.

Once duties are brought to an on Routes E1 and E3, some will transfer to UX for the U4 while others will stay at G (Greenford) for the 282.

Metroline (HT) VW1277 LK12 AKN
Amid the news that has been so kindly shared with me, the biggest itself comes from West Perivale (PA).

Confirmation has been given that 24 VWs will transfer over to HT for the Route 43 to allow the lingering TPs and TPLs to be withdrawn from service at the garage. The introduction of the VWs at Holloway which is expected in June 2014 will see off the 5 TPLs currently operating on the Route and will allow more TEs to head to PB to allow the exodus of the TPs to continue.

The transfer will work in conjunction with the Route 7 gaining its new Gemini3/B5LH Hybrid buses which will release 26 SELs  to operate on Routes 79 and 297 after being refurbished. VW1205 - 1216 purchased for the 79 in 2011, will remain at PA to operate on the 105 along with VW1175 - 1180. VW1181 - 1204 are the models expected to depart to Holloway.

The MMs that were prematurely withdrawn are nonchalantly starting to re-enter service again after a refurbishment programme, of which a few are still undergoing. To add MM817 has recently been fitted with a new engine and gearbox.

It has also been stated that the former Route 245 DEs, will not be operating at PA for much longer...

Delivery of BF63 HDE is still awaited.

I thank you for taking time to read this post and I do hope it has cleared up a few of the rumours going around. Please note that all information is correct at the time of posting , however it is still subject to change.


C0BO says:
at: Monday, March 17, 2014 4:14:00 am said...

PB also took TE911 from HT.

at: Monday, March 17, 2014 6:21:00 pm said...

DE 1115 -1151 THE 10 REG Enviro 200

Jacob says:
at: Monday, March 17, 2014 7:17:00 pm said...

Another batch in the Metroline fleet with similar numbers to their First ones? Alongside TE1715-51 (DN33575-611) is also the batch of DEMs for route 223 which is DEM1912-8 (DM44202-8).

Where are the 245 DEs going? And I look forward to BF63HDE.

Jay says:
at: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 1:45:00 am said...

That's exactly the batch I was talking about. Loved them when they were first new. Just out of interest, DE1151 is now at KC.

at: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 7:33:00 pm said...

When are the LT's due to be used on Route 189?

at: Sunday, March 23, 2014 1:06:00 am said...

will the ex 245 envrio 200s go to UX to replace the 03/53 Caetano Nimbus on the U2-U3??

C0BO says:
at: Monday, March 24, 2014 11:14:00 pm said...

According to LVF TE894 and TE907 have transferred to PB from HT.

Jim Smith says:
at: Thursday, March 27, 2014 3:21:00 pm said...

It might be my age but I still like the old route masters. One of my earliest memories is going upstairs on one and seeing big ben.

at: Saturday, March 29, 2014 3:34:00 pm said...

TP426 & TP428 were present at CELF on 7 March, long withdrawn TP425 was hidden behind and all 3 were gone by 21 March when I next had a look. Also of interest on 21 March was Harrow's VP623 which has been out of service since 22 November 2013. Great posting above, plenty to look out for on my regular trips down to London.

at: Sunday, March 30, 2014 7:07:00 pm said...

why is DE1151 AT KC

at: Monday, March 31, 2014 6:48:00 pm said...

Just a quick question, is it confirmed about the 189 getting NB4L's and is there a source? Cheers!

Jay says:
at: Monday, March 31, 2014 10:50:00 pm said...


The 189 is not confirmed as gaining NB4Ls, but is widely speculated to, a notice was put up at W garage stating the 332 will be using existing Hybrids which has driven this rumour into overdrive mode...It may be of interest the 189 passed its route test.

Jay says:
at: Monday, March 31, 2014 10:51:00 pm said...

Many thanks! Can't believe its going to be four years of these visits 15th of April. VP623 needs a new engine and gearbox. TP425, 426 and 428 as well as 448 should have all departed to Ensignbus. Thank you for appreciating my efforts.

at: Tuesday, April 08, 2014 9:42:00 pm said...

15th of April? That's my Dad's birthday!

Terry Cameron says:
at: Monday, May 12, 2014 11:09:00 am said...

Glad to know about the Metroline CELF,very awesome model they present.I like most one in it which is Hybrid technology.Its a better option to save the fuel and i think its very comfortable for the passenger.Nice work done on the blog and its very informative to know about it.

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