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Monday, 25 August 2014

Metroline Harrow Weald Garage [HD]...VWs for the 140/640

Located right at the pinnacle of Harrow is my local garage Harrow Weald, which is operated out of by Metroline and has done so for as long as I can remember. Although the garage at present only runs three routes, two of them are the busiest routes in Harrow. For years the garage has solely operated bus types but only on the Plaxton President body, however that is about to change and in this case change is good.


The Garage was opened by the LGOC in 1930 in order to allow the much smaller South Harrow garage to close which it did, although the new base in fact was not much larger which it evidently wasn't as it had to be extended just two years after opening in order to provide additional space. The garage became somewhat of a hub for a few experimental vehicles during its earlier years of operation, following the introduction of the Daimler CH6 types as well as the ST diesel type, the first diesel buses in London.

By 1970 the garage had become home to the newly set up Harrow Buses network, which saw the vehicles painted in a royal cream and red livery, reflective of the borough's affluence. The very successful operation ran all of the routes in and around the Harrow area benefiting from demand of a new local netowork. However it fell victim to its own success and the new network eventually collapsed in 1994. Harrow Weald survived the demise and the garage and operations were passed to Metroline that year with the small base holding just shy of 60 buses.

By 1999, the base took on delivery of its first new low floor DD buses with the commencing in delivery of 16 brand new Trident 2/ALX400 bodied vehicles for the newly won Route 140.

The introduction of new buses at the base was aided again in 2002, following the delivery of new President bodied Tridents, dubbed as TPLs, TPL239-255 were their numbers. A year later a further 9 new vehicles were delivered to the base, with President bodies, however with a Volvo B7TL Chassis, thus starting the nonchalant and gradual introduction of Volvos into the garage, they were assigned bonnet numbers VP466-469 & 484 (now transferred to Willesden AC) - 488.

A year later in 2004, the garage took on the delivery of a further 24 Plaxton bodied Volvos which were assigned bonnet numbers VP604-628, 628 being unique in being the only one of the vehicles to have powerblinds. A year later the garage took on the delivery of VP317-330 which were released by Holloway (HT) following the introduction of the new bus type, the Enviro 400 on the 24. Thus allowing a similar amount of TAs to be transferred to Cricklewood (W).

In December 2006 Metroline had taken 6 former Metrobus ELC/Trident Lolyne vehicles, which were coded, ET765-770, the vehicles were delivered following the transfer of 6 TAs to W, by July 2008, they had all departed the fleet.

By November 2007, the garage had taken on delivery of the remaining VP331-347 from HT, completing the transfer and conversion of Harrow Weald from a Trident to a Volvo garage in a move which saw the TAs headed to Perivale East (PV) and latterly W for the 210.

In 2004, following negotiations with Tfl and London Sovereign, it was agreed that the Routes H12 & H14 would swap operators, which saw the H12 shift to Metroline and the H14 going the other way to London Sovereign.

In recent years the garage has come under much scrutiny from enthusiasts, who seem to think that if a bus is over 10 years old, it needs to be withdrawn and have called for new buses to be introduced into the base. Well it seems as if their calls have been answered, as at present the garage has taken on the delivery of 6 VWs from Brentford (AH), these being VW1243-1248 which began their life at HT on the 43 over 2 years ago. The vehicles at present are in the process of receiving new blinds as well and will go into service on the 640 when that is taken over from Arriva on the 3rd of September 2014, and the 140 which will be receiving a frequency increase. Look out for the new(er) vehicles which are set to hit the road within the next two weeks. I hope you have enjoyed this read and more pictures are based below.

VWs and VPs lined up at the back wall
Metroline VP344 LR52 BOJ enters the bus wash
Forecourt view of Harrow Weald with VWs intact
Metroline VPL184 Y184 NLK
Harrow Weald Shed entrance from the rear
Metroline VP319 LR52 BLV 
Forecourt view of Harrow Weald
Forecourt view of Harrow Weald
Wheel Testing facility at Harrow Weald Garage
Metroline VP336 LR52 BNO & Metroline VP619 LK04 UXB
Maintenance bays at Harrow Weald Garage
Panoramic view of Harrow Weald 
Metroline VP616 LK04 UWY at Harrow Weald Garage
The maintenance area
The maintenance area
Metroline VW1243 LK12 AAF hides away at Harrow Weald Garage
Garage Fact File

  • Opened in 1930
  • Holds 70 Buses
  • Runs three routes at present
  • Built to replace the former South Harrow garage

8 Comments:

Anonymous
at: Monday, August 25, 2014 6:22:00 pm said...

Wasn't the first low floor buses introduced on the 186 the prototype single decks forgot what they were called.

Anonymous
at: Monday, August 25, 2014 6:48:00 pm said...

Wait, what is going to replace VW1243-48 on the E2/E8?

Courtney Bonnick says:
at: Monday, August 25, 2014 8:13:00 pm said...

New buses at last. But I don't mind the 10 year old VPs.

Kevin says:
at: Monday, August 25, 2014 10:33:00 pm said...

I believe they received 36 new buses in 1999 (TA82-117)

8R4THK4J 81 says:
at: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 9:50:00 am said...

Since the E8 is mainly worked by DMs and DEs, then the E8 could be alright.

Anonymous
at: Friday, August 29, 2014 4:00:00 pm said...

It's a certain movement. Despite the VPLs being borrowed and VPL207, most of the bus from this garage were VPs. It's cool hearing that they will take route 640 over, instead of EW, and new VWs coming to this garage.
Thank you for this post.

Anonymous
at: Thursday, October 23, 2014 7:48:00 pm said...

LLW operated on rte 186 nwp to bx, another of my many garages I use to work at in my 42 years of bus work

Anonymous
at: Thursday, October 23, 2014 7:49:00 pm said...

LLW

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