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Metroline CELF Centre Part 50...New Commercial Streetlite & News Special

We made it to a half a century of CELF Centre visits and unlike Jack who visited here last week, it seemed as if luck was on my side today as the title may suggest. Having been out of the scene for the past month, it was nice to be greeted by something new and something which I had no clue even existed.

The yet unregistered 8.8 ton demonstration vehicle was ordered in April of this year for completion in late June, ordered specifically for the new commercial Route 714, it will operate out of the company's Potters Bar base in Hertfordshire, although its specification may suggest may suggest otherwise. Typical of any Metroline vehicle it features the blue on orange interior as well as the Esteban Civic seating and makes a welcome change from the far too familiar E200, regardless of how much ADL want to change the design.

Whether or not more are ordered is dependant on this trial, however at present it seems as if Metroline cannot get enough of the Wright offerings at the moment and this comes as the news of an order for 23 new VWHs was announced just three days prior.

Metroline Wright Streetlite
Although I remain unconvinced in regards to the design of the Streetlite it does offer a welcome change from the current offerings on the market. Although there is no official fleet number, through a grapevine I did hear that it may be coded STL1470 and registered SL15ZGR. Typical of me I asked if the vehicle could be moved in order to gain more shots and here's what the request produced...

Seen here entering the CELF Centre facility driven by my favourite engineer who moved the bus in order for me to get a better shot.

Metroline VWH2097
One of 64 new buses for Willesden Garage is seen resting prior to the start of its very long life...News from the centre suggest the following.

  • Route 90 converts to DD operation using a mix of SELs and VWs, with VW1205-1216 moving back to PA from HT to facilitate this conversion.
  • Route E8 to gain MMs from PA with DEs moving in the opposite direction along with a few from Cricklewood.
  • VP5xx from Willesden to transfer to HT in order to aid the ousting of the TPs and TPLs.
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Metroline CELF Centre Part 49...New VWHs for Willesden [AC] read that right...Posted by Jack. I am last! Apologies it has been so long. University/Full time work has not left me with enough time to make a worthwhile post.

It has been 4 months since the blogs last visit to CELF, and being in the area, I thought I would do the honors. Whilst its been 4 months since the blogs last visit, it was my first visit to the site since March 2012! Metroline must have know I was on my way as I have never seen the place so empty! Great!

My primary reason for visiting today was to check out the new VWHs for Willesden. VWH2099 and 2105 were present on site today. CELF will always play an important part of the blogs history - it is also the place I had the pleasure of meeting the COL creator himself for the first time! ;)

VWH2105 is one of a batch of  34 (numbered VWH2088 - 2121) Volvo B5LH/Wrightbus Gemini 3's that are currently in the process of being delivered for Routes 6 and 98. Either side of it is Metroline West VW1865 and Brentford's DE1013.

Other pictured from the site can be seen below (which shows how empty it was compared to previous visits!)

 Harrow Weald VP625, LK04UXH

Greenford TE1720, SN09CEA

 Metroline Variety - TE1090,VWH2099 & VPL214

 VWH2043 & TE679 in the chassis cleaning area

 Perivale West DE1609, YX58DWG

MM779, LK07AYL - This bus was in service on the 90 two days ago but is now completely blindless.

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London Recap - May 2015

Introduction of new Enviro 200's on Routes G1 and 322.

The start of May saw the introduction of new buses at Plough Lane and Stockwell for the Routes G1 and 322 respectively they where a batch of small Enviro 200's, quite possibly the last standard batch for London, with all future models of the MMC flavour.

SE254 is seen at the Battersea Shaftesbury Estate, this is one of very few turns where buses have to reverse in the road. (Taken on 02/05/15 by Kristian Lake).

SE239 is seen on stand at Clapham Common on the first day of operation of the route following its transfer from Abellio (Taken on 02/05/15 by Kristian Lake)

New Coca-Cola NBFL advert livery
LT167 is seen on Oxford Street on 9th May working on the Route 10 to Kings Cross, this was the first NBFL to receive the advert with a couple more also expected to get similar treatment. If it is anything like last years Coca-Cola advert then get it quickly as it wont be around for long.

New Ensignbus Volvo B9TL's/Gemini 2's
One of the surprises of the month came in the form of four new Volvo B9TL's which where delivered to Ensignbus towards to end of April, this was to allow a similar number of older Trident/ALX400 buses to be disposed of. The new buses came with the Wrightbus Gemini 2 body, are the last of the type to be delivered. Carrying 15 Plates, the vehicles themselves were built iin 2014 under the small type approval scheme which allows manufacturers combined to build up to 250 vehicles of a previous Euro rating and similar models have showed up with Arriva North East as well as Go Ahead North East.

127 (LX15GOK) is seen in Stratford City Bus Station on 9th May while working on a DLR Rail Replacement Service to Canary Wharf, this was one of 26 buses within the Ensignbus fleet to be named after a local Purfleet solider who lost there lives in the Great War, A wonderful tribute to commemorate the centenary of the Great War.

Cross-London Transfers...
May saw a further four ex Stagecoach Trident/ALX400's enter service with Tower Transit at Westbourne Park, these four had been released from Leyton following the conversion of Route 55 to NBFL and join six others already with Tower Transit.
TAL33208 (LX03BTY) ex Stagecoach 17754 is seen at Marble Arch on 9th May while working on the Route 23 to Westbourne Park.

NBFL introduction on Route 73
The introduction of 53 new NBFL's and six transfers from BN began on Thursday 14th May, when the first ten entered service, the whole route is expected to be converted by Saturday 6th June.

LT467 is seen on Oxford Street near Bond Street Station while working on the Route 73 to Victoria. (Taken on 23/05/15 by Kristian Lake)
LT472 became the latest victim of a accident, while on its first day in service it collided with another NBFL on Oxford Street outside Selfridges, causing long delays to all bus services in the area. But thankfully no one was injured and the bus was towed away within an hour. (Taken on 23/05/15 by Kristian Lake)

Route 135 transfer to Go-Ahead
Saturday 23rd May saw the transfer of Route 135 to Go-Ahead operation using E208-223 (transferred from NX thanks to the cascade of WHV's from Q following the introduction of NBFL's on the Route 12, yes I know its complicated) in the interim until the brand new Volvo B5LH/Enviro 400 MMC's (numbered EHV1-13). It is estimated that the first bus will be delivered for commissioning at the turn of the month. It is unlikely to enter service for at least two weeks while it undergoes some testing. So keep you eyes peeled in June for the EHV's.

E211 is seen at Aldgate Station while working on the Route 135 to Old Street, having transferred over from New Cross a few days previous. A couple of buses ventured onto the routes D7, 673 and 474, they are also currently the only buses able to work on the 135. 
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