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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Metroline CELF Centre Part 44...New VWHs for the 7 & VW1469!

Its been a long one since the blog was last updated and an even longer one since we even did a CELF visit, but you know know they say, good things come to those who wait and it seems as if I was rewarded for my patience as what I pictured was not what I came here to see.

Above we have a picture of the recently delivered VWH2002, a Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5LH which is one of two that have been delivered to the Centre early for driver familiarisation prior to entering service on the Route 7/N7 which was retained by the company following a successful round of bidding last year. The vehicles have been allocated fleet numbers VWH2001-2023 which follow directly on from the Greenford based TEs that are allocated to the 92. This batch of vehicles are only the second batch of Gemini3 Hybrids in London, with the first being operated from Stagecoach's Plumstead base on the 53 and they are quite eye catching too, which is probably exaggerated by the stunning paintwork as well as gold advert frames.

A keen eye will notice that the vehicles have been delivered with their hubcaps intact, so it remains to be seen whether Metroline will start to adopt hubcaps on their vehicles as they formerly did.

Upon entering service on the 21st of June 2014, these vehicles will see the SELs (739-764) pushed to the Routes 79 and 297 after a refurbishment which is nonchalantly taking place at the moment.  At present SEL746, 760 & 763 have been refurbished, while SEL747 & 749 are both receiving remedial treatment prior to their refurbishment. The introduction of the Scanias on the 79 and 297 will push 24 VWs to Holloway to convert the 43 to a full allocation of VWs whilst displacing the TPs and TPLs in the process.

Upper Deck interior of Metroline VWH2002
Upper Deck interior of Metroline VWH2002
Lower Deck interior of Metroline VWH2002
Lower Deck interior of Metroline VWH2002
Long term absentee VP623 and Metroline VWH2002

The nearside and rear of Metroline VWH2002

Another sight was the long anticipated delivery of Metroline's Gemini3 bodied Volvo B5TL which finally arrived at the Centre on Tuesday 20th of May 2014. The vehicle has been allocated the fleetcode VW1469 and will go into service on the 297 once fully commissioned, all it awaits at present is a wayfarer machine as well as few more CCTV cameras.

Metroline demonstrator VW1469 BF63 HDG
and DLD204 LN51 KXK
Seeing the vehicle here today is somewhat of the highlight of my day as I have personally been tracking the whereabouts of the vehicle ever since it was announced that Metroline would be allocated one of three demonstrators. The other V6 BF63 HFE which was allocated to GAL departed service in January 2014 whilst Arriva's one BF63 HDE which was originally on paper allocated to Metroline has been delivered to Wood Green Garage but has yet to see service. Below are some other shots of what was at the premises today.

The rear of Metroline Demonstrator VW1469 BF63 HDG
The rear of Metroline VWH2001 LK14 FAA
Offside rear of Metroline VWH2001 LK14 FAA
Refurbished SEL760 LK07 BCX
Metroline West (ON) LK59 CWT
Metroline West VW1568 (UX) LK55 AAY
Withdrawn Metroline TP406 LK03 CEV
Metroline Demonstrator VW1469 BF63 HDG
Metroline VP623 & VWH2002 LK14 FAA
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post as much as I have enjoyed in typing it up. A vehicle fact file on Metroline's new VWHs can be seen below.
  • 23 Vehicles to be delivered between now and June
  • Allocated fleet numbers VWH2001-2023
  • Metroline's first batch of Gemini3s 
  • To be exclusively used on the Route 7/N7
  • Weigh a mere 11,255 KGS


at: Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:21:00 pm said...

Vw1568 is an UX bus not ON but great post

London Buses On The Go says:
at: Friday, May 23, 2014 5:09:00 pm said...

Awesome post!!! Coincidentally, I should hopefully be nipping down to the CELF Centre tomorrow, so I may see a few interesting things. Shame I'm not allowed inside though!

at: Friday, May 23, 2014 7:03:00 pm said...

The Gemini 3 looks beautiful, plus what happened to VP623

Jay says:
at: Saturday, May 24, 2014 10:46:00 am said...

VP623 had a gearbox failure

at: Saturday, May 24, 2014 3:55:00 pm said...

How long has VP623 been at CELF for

at: Monday, May 26, 2014 11:50:00 am said...

IMHO the Gemini 3 looks hideous. The top deck, with its shallow windows and crude gasket glazing, looks like something from the 1950s, not 2014, and doesn't go with the rear design at all. Just compare this to the lovely-looking new E400.

COBO says:
at: Monday, May 26, 2014 9:04:00 pm said...

What happened to VP623? And will it go back to service?

Unknown says:
at: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 1:23:00 pm said...

Metroline have won route 34 off Arriva London they will run route 34 from PB with 22 double deckers buses. They will start to run the route on 8 November 2014.

at: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 7:28:00 pm said...

Its been confirmed, the RATP Group has bought London Sovereign from Transdev, finally London United and London Sovereign are going to be together again, after 3 years of separation!

Jay says:
at: Wednesday, June 04, 2014 4:08:00 pm said...

Not sure if VP623 will see service again, its being salvaged for parts at the moment, in addition to this it also has no gearbox as well as a fully functioning engine.

Julia says:
at: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 10:08:00 pm said...

LVF is showing that the 7 is still all SELs - have the new hybrids been delayed?

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