Wednesday, 1 January 2014

L1/Group News December 2013

General Note:

The Loaned Fleet (with same numbers): 
ex-Metroline VP317-347, 466-472, 474, 476, 477, 479. Code VPN  These will be returned before the 409 passes to Croydon Buses in 2014. These are also covering the E40H/E400H being converted to E45Hs.

There have been 42 second hand buses from Croydon Buses to supplement the two TENs currently on training or existing buses in service:
7 Enviro 200: LT56NBA-NBG (DEN5-11) (trainers)
3 E40Ds: SN63ABD-ABF (TEN113-115) (for Beeline 190 - refurbished)
3 Optare Versas: YN63 BMX-BMZ (OVN1-3) (trainers)
10 Mercedes Citaro: KX54TBX, KX05TBA-TBE, BX09ABA-ABC, BL59ABD (MCN910-920) (for Beeline and 7series spares)
1 Enviro 300: YN04CMJ (ETN4) (trainer)
1 DB250H: KX57EMN (Engineering Testbed)
17 E40H: LT58SXA, SN10SXB-H,J-T, SN60SXY (TE1400-1417) (London use to replace VPNs - then as trainers).

Also, there have been an order of 40 new diesel E40D and E20D (25/15) just as trainers or Beeline:
25 E40D (TEN114-139) (LU63HEA-H,J-P,R-Z, JN63CNT): TEN114-119,121,139 for Beeline, TEN122-134 for 7series (74/75 peaks, X74). As a first, all of these buses will have LED displays.
15 E20D (DEN12-26) (CU63SNT-V, HN63HEA-H, RM63FRD-G): All trainers

TE1256, the E45H demonstrator with non-standard doors will now move across each of the garages over 25 weeks (three weeks at each garage, 4 at UP), moving to WE on 11th December, before moving to F from the 1st January, and continuing via UP (for 4 weeks), HO, SD and U before returning to HN for use on Route X91.

Henlev Group are selling some operations - we have been the successful bidder for Hemel Hempstead (we have also bought Arriva operations at Hemel Hempstead), and practically everything else except what has been sold to Croydon Buses. This includes three TfL route contracts and two London area garages. Walton will be an outstation for Fulwell, whilst Chessington/Barwell will be a separate garage run (currently) jointly by Wellglade Group and L1/Group. The rest is in a joint holding company for re-sell or retention. 

L1/Heathrow Buses

Heathrow North (HN)

Due to the crash (see previous L1/Group post), Heathrow North is half-shut, and the ADL side will be severely over capacity due to part closure of it. Heathrow North is under rebuilding at the moment due to the severe crash. ADL building has been split between Hayling Island and Falkirk temporarily. All L1/Group buses have priority at Heathrow North, though. Rebuilding will be complete by January 2014.

The Heathrow North expansion will start now, for finishing work by November 2014. This expansion will be used for overhauling/bodyshop of buses (L1/Group only), mainly. This is due to it moving out of HN temporarily due to the expansion of the ADL part of the garage to ensure it can handle the new influx of orders from Hong Kong amongst other areas!

Route 457, a new route for TfL, has been won by us and will use new hybrid Optare TempoSR 10.7m (OTM) from 31st May 2014

The New L1/Card Smartcard has been rolled out across our non-TfL buses, as well as our train companies, starting on the 2nd November 2013 (HN Open Day). It is available for sale at all L1/Group Trains/Buses ticket offices, travel shops, various newsagents and our garages. This allows for quicker, cheaper, easier ticketing across our network of buses and trains.

Routes 108 (Bracknell-Jennetts Park) 151/151A (Bracknell-Wokingham), 153 (Warfield-Binfield) will be taken over from Thames Travel on 7th December using E25H (new and existing) for Beeline services. They will be Beeline services.
L1/Cards will be valid on the whole route every day.

A E350H from First Essex is being evaluated for use on 7series. This bus will run on route 74 as an extra bus, or on the 75 peak extras. In response, a E25H bus will move to First Essex to cover, and evaluation. This will be from the London fleet, displaced from the 456.

Route 175 between Heathrow North Bus Garage and Aldershot. This has had an increase to every 15 minutes due to very popular demand! Stagecoach tickets for Stagecoach Gold 1 is accepted between Camberley and Aldershot (that route has been decreased to every 15 minutes) - thus in that corridor, there is an every 7-8min service.

Due to the new Oxford LEZ, routes 74 and X74 will only be operated by hybrid Volvo 7900s (V), Enviro 450H (TE), or the newest Enviro 400 E40D (TEN122-134). E25H may appear, but is unlikely. Older TENs, E400H and Citaros will no longer appear on these routes.

From 20th January 2014, new 7series X75 will run between Heathrow Terminal 6 and Reading. The route is limited stop, calling at Heathrow North Garage, Maidenhead Station, Frascati Way then all stops via Twyford and Bath Road to Reading, St Mary's Butts. This service will run every 30 minutes. As a consequence, 7series 75 will be reduced to every 12 minutes. As per normal, L1/Card is accepted.

Hydrogen and CNG buses at Southall have infrastructure at Heathrow North.
Seven Scania KUB270/Enviro 300SG (12m) will be shared between 7series X74 and new 7series X75:
SEG4-10 (LR63 CNK-P, R)

Two buses have returned to the fleet. TAN1 and TAN2 (formerly TA1/SN03HNB, TA2/SN03HNC), the first two Tridents for Heathrow Buses are now back as showbuses running mainly back on the 140. 

Southall (SA)
Garage news - the site now has access via a new level crossing towards Southall Station, on the western end, adjacent to the Brentford Branch Line off the GWML. Unless there is a train passing, the level crossing will be in use for buses, allowing an adjacent site to be annexed to Southall Garage. 

Route 204 will move from HN to SA from 23rd November 2013.

Due to bus shortages, the conversion of Route 456 to full allocated double decker with increased frequency is only starting now, thus incurring penalties for us (it is currently allocated single deckers, but using mostly double deckers due to overcrowding). This has also led to Route 195 being pressured to be double decked too.
Both conversions are expected to be done by February. 
New E45Hs for the 456 (TE1300-1325) are all in service.

Hydrogen, Electric, and Compressed Natural Gas single deck buses (ironically) will be trialled on the 456 for TfL and L1/Group:

Two hydrogen VDL SB200/Wright Pular 2s:
WS9-10 (HY63 GEN, HY63 GEM)

Two BYD Electric Buses:
BE1-2 (LT63 BYD, LS63 BYD)

Two Optare TempoSR Electric (10.7m):
OSE3-4 (OP63 ARE, LT63 TSR)

Three CNG Scania KUB270/Enviro 300SG (12m):
SEG1-3 (LR63 CNG, LR63 CNH, LR63 CNJ)

Two CNG MAN Ecocity/Caetano:
MCG4-5 (YN63 YTS, YN63 YTT) 

These buses will run extra services on the route every day. The infrastructure for the electric buses to run are based in Southall Garage. Hydrogen and CNG tanks will be based at Heathrow North Garage.
12m buses are prohibited from running between Southall and Greenford due to tight turns, hence the 12m buses will only run between Southall TH and Chiswick.

Route 335 will now have a half/half allocation at each HN and WE, as opposed to just the double decker workings. All the MCNs (non-hybrids) will move to HN, leaving and the hybrid MCs will move to WE. Thus 335 will have no buses from WE from 2014.

The Southall Garage Open Day (for itself), involving the alternative technology buses launch, will be on the 19th January 2014.

Brentford (DI)

Route 695 shared duty will now share with Route 278 on Monday-Friday at DI. This change happens on the week beginning 20th January 2014.

Route 311 will be officially converted to NBfL with another batch of NBfLs eventually, after modifications to Kew Riverside Bus Station are made. This is planned to be 31st May 2014.

Route 239 has been lost on tender and will leave on the 31st May 2014
Part of Route 480 has been retained, a sole double deck working between East Acton and Richmond (return).

The Volvo B5TL demonstrator is at DI on Route 311 (usually), coded VTN1090, moved on 20th November. It will move to WE Garage for use on the 335 from 20th January.

Wembley (WE)
Some NBfLs from the trial at SA are at WE for driver training for Route 16.

Route 113/N113 will be run from Wembley Garage using new E45Hs, joining on the 26th April 2014.
Route 224 has been lost on tender and will leave on the 31st May 2014

Route 335 will partly run from Wembley using MCs ex-Southall Garage from 2014.

Fulwell (F) and Walton (WT)
The garage has been recoded 'F' to avoid any previous operator links.

Route 411 will be gaining new Optare TempoSR diesels temporarily before the permanent Optare TempoSR Hybrids arrive, when the route is gained. These diesels will then transfer to non-London (Hemel Hempstead) operations.

Walton Garage has been acquired as an outstation for Fulwell, which will operate one bus on Route 411 when gained.

Bracknell (BL)
Bracknell will re-open in 2014, moving most Bracknell-based Beeline routes to the bus garage.

Hemel Hempstead (HE)
Bought from Arriva and Henlev Groups - this operation will be influenced by trentbarton, rebranded and routes restructure by January 2014. New buses - Optare TempoSR diesel and hybrid will be used. Route 320 (now berry) will use new E45Hs.

L1/Romford Buses

Upminster (UP)
East London Transit will be surrendered early by Blue Triangle on the 4th January, as all the buses have been delivered for some time now...

UP will have some work taking place through until next year, so some buses will be stored (if for storage) in HN whilst the work takes place.

Routes 66 and 499 have had their contracts novated to L1/Romford Buses. Existing E45H/E40H (for 66) and existing E25H (for 499) have been transferred from the conversion to NBfL for the 15 and double deck conversion of the 456.

Hackney (HO)
E45H has been ordered for 55/N55, Volvo B5LH/Wright Gemini 2 (x5 - the last new Wright Gemini 2s), Volvo B5LH/Wright Gemini 3 (x15) and Plaxton President (x9) have been ordered for the 48. The Volvo Gemini 3s will be coded VT.

Stratford (SD)
Route 8 will be converted to NBfL buses in 2014. SD will host these buses next year.

Upton Park (U)
No new news.

chessingtonbuses, part of L1/Group and Wellglade Group

Chessington (CH)
This garage has been bought from Henlev Group. Route 166 is planned to run from here. Route 418 will be transferred to Fulwell under L1/Heathrow Buses.
Wellglade are also evaluating local services around Chessington and the surrounding area to the south.

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