Thursday, 2 October 2014

80 year old London Bus route 137 is due to have New Routemaster Buses

By Chris Sampson (2375-JJD375C 060304 cps) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

London Bus Route 137 is due to have the New Routemaster buses by Mid to late November according to the London Omnibus Traction Society.

Brief History

The route was the first formed which started on the 3rd October 1934. It first operated between Archway Station and Elmers End Green, via Victoria. Then on the 1st of November 1964,
AEC Routemasters commenced operation on route 137, operating from two garages which are GM (Gillingham Street) and N (Norwood) garages. Single person operation buses started on the Sunday service which began on 7th February 1987. Also, this was the same date where it first started to operate from Brixton (BN) garage which is still in operation today. In the early 1990’s the route was shortened from Oxford Circus to Streatham Hill, Telford Avenue.

"London Bus route 137 Oxford Street 052" by Panhard - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

After 40 years of AEC Routemaster service for route 137, they were withdrawn In favour of a Low floor Arriva London ‘DW’ (DAF DB250LF Pulsar Gemini) double deck bus type.

We are now going to see the return of '2nd crew' on route 137 after 10 years of withdrawal of the AEC Routemasters. It also makes it the 7th former AEC Routemaster route which was withdrawn during early 2000’s to have the New Routemaster buses in operation. With the exception of Route 24 which had AEC Routemasters withdrawn from 1986 and became one of the first tendered routes to use non red buses on a London Bus route.

The route currently has a peak vehicle requirement of 31 buses and their frequency is every 6 minutes, the high peak vehicle requirement shows the service is frequent for one of the busiest London Bus routes.

Other news from the Commissioners Report that I found from the Board Papers page of TFL's website; it says that the “Initial performance statistics show the Euro V NRMs achieved fuel consumption 34-60 per cent better in service than conventional diesel buses that operated on the same routes previously.”

Would it show then that the competing hybrid bus types like the Wright Gemini (2 and 3),  the Volvo B5LH and the Alexander Dennis Enviro400 hybrid are able to achieve better fuel consumption than the New Routemaster? which TFL says are 34-60% more efficient than a conventional diesel bus.

For now though, as I wrote in my previous article, the New Routemasters for route 453 have been delayed until mid October.

I would just like to say, a 'big' Happy Birthday to route 137 which is one of the oldest London Bus routes that the London Passenger Transport Board had formed.

So if you think route 137 is the right route to have the New Routemasters, with or without second crew, or use various hybrid bus types then please feel free to express your opinions in the comment section below this article.

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. My username is @CLondoner92.

London Omnibus Traction Society; quote “Since up to LT272 were delivered in June, no more NBfLs have arrived in London. The next type conversion is London General route 453 (to be all opo) and, after two target dates have been missed, is now likely to begin from 18th October. After that, it is Arriva 137 (to be with C/As) with conversion likely to be under way in mid-to-late November. Around 50 to 60 new Euro-VI LTs have been built (numbers as high as the 32*, 33* and 34* range have been noted) and these have been stored up to now in Northern Ireland. We understand that some of the London General buses are now imminent for delivery.”
London Bus Route History route 137 history

Page 14 on September 2014 TFL’s Commissioners report quote “The number of New Routemasters (NRM) entering service will pass the 300 mark – the mid-point of the programme – when the 453 from Marylebone station to Deptford Bridge converts in October. There are currently 260 NRMs vehicles in central London following the conversions of routes 8, 9, 10, 11, 24, 38 (including N38), 148 and 390. The 453 will be the ninth route to be converted. We have awarded the new contract for route 55/N55 to Stagecoach East London using New Routemasters, with the conversion to take place in February 2015. The programme remains on schedule to meet the Mayor’s commitment to increase NRMs to 600 by 2016. The first NRMs with the new Euro 6 generation engine continue to undertake in-service testing. Initial performance statistics show the Euro V NRMs achieved fuel consumption 34-60 per cent better in service than conventional diesel buses that operated on the same routes previously.”

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