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Route 32: Kilburn Park to Edgware (Timelapse Video)

Route 32 runs between Kilburn Park and Edgware Bus Station via the A5 (Edgware Road), serving Colindale, Hendon and Cricklewood in the process.

The route is operated by Metroline from Cricklewood Bus Garage (W) using the 9.9m ALX400 (TA's) and the Enviro400 (TE's). The route is 7 miles long and has a Peak Vehicle Requirement (PVR) of 17.

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Pictures of the Week [W/E - 21.09.2014]

DEL2062 - LK64ECE is seen here at Metroline's CELF Centre awaiting its' transfer to Cricklewood Bus Garage.

This bus is part of 10 E20D's (DEL2062 - 2071) ordered by Metroline for newly retained route 112. Two of these buses (DEL2062 and DEL2063) have been fitted with a start-stop technology system, which cuts out the engine whist stationary.

You may be thinking why these buses aren't numbered DEL2024-2033. This is because an order of VWHs will fill the void, with delivery commencing in November. More information on these buses will come out near the time.

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Pictures of the Week [W/E - 14.09.2014]

VW1245 - LK12AAF is seen in Harrow Weald operating on Route 140 to Heathrow Central on its first day of service

VW1243-1248 have transferred from Brentford Bus Garage (AH) to Harrow Weald (HD) to help aid the PVR increase of the 140 to 28 and for the newly retained school Route 640, which was previously with Arriva the Shires.

The buses were part of a larger batch with numbers running from 1243-1306  which were brought in for newly retained Route 43, 134 & W7 contracts back in 2012 but were displaced after the route was converted to the LT Type. VW1243-1248 headed west to Brentford to help displace the ill reputed OTH class Optare Tempo Hybrids whilst VW1249 & 1251 headed to Alperton to make up newly formed DD allocation of the 245. 

Metroline VW1245 LK12 AAJ stands outside Harrow & Wealdstone Station
on the 140 en route Heathrow Airport

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London United Shepherd's Bush Garage [S]

Today's visit was Shepherd's Bush, home to an array of different things, a famous area it is, probably exaggerated by the fact it is home to the BBC television centre located on the Wood Lane, the area has a long history of affluence, which was given a further boost upon the opening of Westfield shopping centre in 2008. However despite all this excitement, we humbly visited the one bus garage in the area which is operated out of by London United Busways, the garage visit has been on the cards ever since the blog opened, so it is somewhat of a small achievement to finally cover the base.

The garage is one of the busiest, if not the busiest London United operate out of, and is due to be upgraded to a Centre of excellence within the next few years, with a similar protocol to Metroline's CELF Centre facility. The base was opened in 1906, and was part of a number of pre-war bus garages being constructed at the time. However at the time of its construction it was used by storage company vanguard until 1908 when LGOC took over ownership of the facility fully. The operation sadly did not last for long, a mere six years which was mainly due to the fact, the nearby Hammersmith Garage (R) was housing a lot of work in the area, namely the Riverside Network of routes. The base was disused from the years 1914-1920 following the WWI and was finally closed in 1923, before being rebuilt the same year as the base we now know today as Shepherd's Bush Garage.

The Garage located on Wells Road in Shepherd's Bush is adjacent to the Shepherd's Bus Market Railway Station which funnily enough, had to be rebuilt upon its completion in 1940 due to the fact the platforms were built 18 inches too narrow of the regulatory requirement. Strangely the garage is one of only a few that have not been subject to much change in their lifespan, with early photos of the base in 1960s and 70s demonstrating the little change in appearance.

In more recent years, the garage has become renown for its diversity of different bus types, and became significant in being the first base in London to take on delivery of the Scania Omnicity buses back in 2006 for flagship route 148. By 2008, the original batch of Scanias had disappeared from the garage and replaced by a new batch, due to the former being low heigh and not to Tfl's ever changing vehicle specification. By 2010, the base had received its first Hybrid vehicles, taking on delivery of 20 E400 Hybrid buses for route 94. The vehicles were a hit amongst drivers, who were used to driving the more lethargic and lack lustre TLA Class ALX400 Tridents.

Following the retaining of the 220 in 2012, the route was moved from the base to the nearby Park Royal base and got the 272 and C1 in exchange, increasing the cost effectiveness of running all three routes. In May 2014, the 419 was transferred from Stamford Brook Garage using its 7xx series DPS class Pointer Darts which can often be seen on the C1.

However for all the garage's hard work it came as a complete shock when it was announced that they had lost the 49 to Abellio, which duly passed to the company on the 6th of September. It was suggested that the VEs made redundant from the loss of the 49 would be heading to Tolworth (TV) and latterly Fulwell (FW) however it seems as if none of those plans will materialise and the buses are due to head back to their leasing company imminently. More photos are available below and I do hope you have enjoyed this write up.

London United VE10 PG04 WHB
& VE9 PG04 WHA 
London United VE7 PG04 WGY 
At present most of the batch from VE1-10 are at the facility in a decommissioned state awaiting their returns to their leasing company. VE1/4/5 & 6 are at sister company, London Sovereign's Edgware Garage covering for some of their vehicles which remain long term VORs.

London Sovereign SLE3 YN54 OAC at Shepherd's Bush Garage
London United DE37 & LT136 in the maintenance area
London United DE92 YX58 DXA
London United ADH16 receives some attention in the workshop
London United LT126 about to enter the bus wash
London United TLA19 SN53 KHU
London United LT139 LTZ1139
The maintenance area
The leftside wall at Shepherd's Bus Garage
London United TA240 LG02 FBE
Shepherd's Bus Bus Garage facing the front
The maintenance bays
Two of a kind maybe?
London United ADH60 SN60 BYM & LT109 LTZ1109
London United DPS719 SN55 HSE
I must send out a huge credit to the staff on duty who ensured that I was safe whilst on site and ensured that my visit was a fun and pleasuring experience. Kudos! 
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Metroline CELF Centre Part 46

Another visit to the CELF Centre facility presented us with another opportunity to take some shots which otherwise would not be widely available to the general public. The facility for those who don't know was opened in 2007 after lying dormant for many moons storing Sir Alan Sugars Amstrad computers. 7 years later, it is now the central maintenance hub for Comfort Delgro subsidiary, Metroline Travel who are arguably one of London's most successful companies.

Metroline SEL747 LK07 BBF
The above picture is pretty much self-explanatory, it illustrates SEL747 having returned from a nicely done refurbishment at Metroline's own in house refurbishment centre, which we will be covering very soon, the vehicle was part of a one off batch of Scania's delivered for the route 7 in July 2007. Allocated fleet numbers SEL739-764 & 803 - 809 they were strictly allocated to zone 1 routes, 7 and 205 when new, they very much looked the part with their gold add frames and civic esteban seats. Nowadays, their duties have been reduced to routes 79 and 297 following the retention of the 7 with new Volvo hybrids, in the form of the new VWHs.  As part of the switch, VW1193-1216 are/have headed to Holloway to help aid the conversion of the 43 to that type whilst at the same time displacing the TP class Presidents increasing the age profile at the garage.

Metroline MM819 LK57 AYG
Seen undergoing maintenance is MM819 which was once part of a numerous fleet of MCV bodied MANs that were also delivered in 2007, but numerous problems has resulted in these vehicles to have their life cut short forcing many of them into early retirement in 2012/13. However recent tender gains with existing single deck vehicles has forced the company into reluctantly pushing these vehicles back into service, with MM813 & 819 expected to re-enter passenger service again after a refurbishment.

Metroline MM819 AYO blinded for the 395
Metroline MM819 AYO blinded for the 79
Metroline MM819 AYO blinded for the 611
Evident I amused myself quite a bit doing the blind changes, quite a tiring practise if done repetitively actually, no wonder most drivers prefer motorised blinds.Is it me or does "79" on the blinds quite suit these vehicles although I wouldn't actually like to see any branch out onto the route.

Metroline VP605 LK04 UWL
Not exactly, one of Harrow Weald's finest, but it works and that's the most important thing when it comes to the world of Transport & Logistics. The vehicle, VP605 despite being 10 years old, was actually one the last new vehicles for the garage. Something that is referenced in about 90% of conversations between enthusiasts about the garage. It seems as if prayers have been answered as VW1243-1248 were delivered to the garage following the tender win 640 and frequency increase on flagship route 140.

Metroline TE926 LK58 KGU
Seen during a visit to CELF for an MOT Test is TE932, a vehicle native to Holloway which is currently one of 10 on loan to Cricklewood garage whilst the recently taken over 112 receives its new vehicles which come in the shape of ten 10.8m Alexander Dennis E200s.

On the mend DP1016 RL51 DNU & VP623 LK04 UXF
Metroline VWH2010 LK14 FBD undergoes some
treatment prior to re-entering service again
The far left corner at CELF shows
long term buses off the road 
Uxbridge Buses MA1 F601 XMS
Uxbridge Buses MA1 F601 XMS
CELF Centre 
Metroline DEL2065 LK64 ECN
This visit concludes our 46th documented visit to this facility

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