Thursday, 31 March 2016

Why are National Rail trains delayed?

I would like to give you all a quick report regarding the delays I’ve seen recently.

It's late in the morning on 30th March 2016 and I'm looking at Real Time Trains and Open Train Times (diagram map) of the 0953 service from Romford to London Liverpool Street station. The service is a fast train which runs alongside the Shenfield Metro which is branded as TFL Rail. I should point out that TFL Rail is operated by MTR Crossrail.

The service I'm monitoring is 2K43, operated by Abellio Greater Anglia. I was expecting the 0953 service to London Liverpool Street [LST] from Romford Station [RMF], but instead a freight train (Duty code 488V) went past Romford Station at 0952¼ which is three minutes behind their schedule. Then shortly afterwards the expected 0953 train arrives at 0954¾ and departed at 0955¾ making it two minutes late.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Roundup of London Transport news for 21st March

Instead of reporting the news in separate articles I've decided to group them together where possible, so there will be various news items and transport stories in a larger article from now on. Your feedback on this will be greatly appreciated in the comment section.

Crossrail 2 received a huge boost today, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced funding in the Budget allowing Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail to forge ahead with full scale technical development of the railway. This will enable construction to start in the early 2020s, which would allow the railway to be operational by 2033.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

The Son Of (New) Routemaster with 2 doors 1 staircase!

At last, finally a two door one staircase design of the New Routemaster has arrived!

It was first unveiled at Covent Garden on 16th March and the initials SRM are believed to stand for 'Son of Routemaster'. The newly designed bus is manufactured by Wrightbus whilst the chassis is made by Volvo. The company who designed the original New Routemaster bus was Heatherwick Studios.

Transport Engineer has produced a report on the new bus:

Wrightbus and Volvo launch SRM hybrid bus

A new version of the Wrightbus double decker inspired by the New Routemaster was unveiled yesterday (16 March 2016), based on the Volvo B5LH Euro 6 hybrid chassis.

Dubbed SRM, the new bus body retains the look of the New Routemaster more than 720 of which are currently in service around London but has an overall length of 10.6m 0.7m shorter and has two doors and a single staircase, rather than three doors and twin staircases.

Ian Downie, managing director, sales and custom care at Wrightbus, explains that the vehicle is the result of TfLs (Transport For London) requirements.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

BYD double deck electric bus is set to operate on route 98!

Finally! The double deck battery electric bus has appeared again, this time outside City Hall.

A short ceremony this afternoon welcomed the arrival on London streets of a global first – a completely emissions free pure electric double decker especially designed and developed for Transport for London (TfL) by BYD.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

TFL releases their 2016/17 budget and business plan

TFL has just set out their new budget and business plan to improve London Transport services over the coming years.

Transport for London's (TfL's) proposed Budget 2016/17 and Business Plan has been published, setting out a wide range of further improvements to the transport network in the coming years.

The document shows how investment in the public transport network will continue to deliver significant improvements for customers.

Monday, 14 March 2016

VOSA recalls 468 New Routemasters

This just in, VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) has just recalled 468 New Routemaster buses which were built between 1st March 2012 - 9th September 2015.

New Routemaster: LT62 returns & more updates

LT62 finally returns after its long absence.

I have some more news on the 3 door 2 staircase Hybrid Bus, the New Routemaster.

LOTS (London Omnibus Traction Society) have issued an update on the LT62 (LTZ1062) which had a bad accident back in September 2013 and has finally returned to London. According to LOTS the bus is allocated at Camberwell (Q) garage. I have previously written an article where the driver of this bus was cleared in court after said driver claimed a computer system which controlled the brakes failed and caused the bus to lose control.

Other bus news is that the New Routemasters for route 59 are on course for delivery. The next routes which are due for conversion are  routes 91, 211 and 189.

Finally the board papers are out for the 17th March 2016 meeting and having a quick look at the Commissioners report, a section on the New Routemaster says:

Sunday, 13 March 2016

New Escalator etiquette at Holborn Station

Escalators in Holborn Station
So we can see that London Underground is trialling new etiquette rules for the escalator going up at Holborn station.


One of four escalators will be 'standing only' at all times for six months with another standing only at some times of day.

Customers at Holborn station will be asked to stand on both sides of two 'up' escalators, in plans announced today to reduce congestion at the station.

From 18 April the new arrangements will be in place for around six months, with a range of signage and customer information encouraging people to fill up the escalators by standing on both sides. The other 'up' escalator will still be available for people who want to walk.

Singapore: Lush Green for their buses

Back in Singapore, LTA (Land Transport Authority) have announced that 'Lush Green' has been voted for by the public as the new colour for their bus liveries. This is a quick news update from my previous article.

The votes are in! Singapore has chosen Lush Green for the new unified livery for the Singapore Bus. It was a close call with Lush Green edging out Bright Red by just 144 votes in the public voting exercise which ended on 5 February 2016. In total, 57,505 valid votes were cast in the one-month voting period.

Friday, 11 March 2016

USA: Chicago orders new trains for their system

Some news just in from America. In Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has awarded a contract for CSR Sifang America JV to build new trains for their system.

CTA Chooses Manufacturer for Newest-Generation Rail Cars
CSR Sifang America proposal will create 170 jobs; Company will build new, $40 million assembly facility in Chicago.

The Chicago Transit Board today awarded a contract for the newest generation of CTA rail cars—the 7000-series—continuing the unprecedented modernization of the CTA under Mayor Rahm Emanuel while fostering economic development and job creation in Chicago.

USA: NYC MTA buses to be upgraded with wi-fi and USB charging ports

Nova LFS Rigid

Over in the United States, the MTA, a New York City public transport service is to invest to upgrade their bus fleet with free Wi-Fi, information screens and USB charging ports. The investment will also include new buses for their fleet.

Governor Cuomo Announces Significant Upgrade of MTA Bus Fleet, With More Than 2,000 New State-of-the-Art Buses to be Added Over Next 5 Years
New Technology to Dramatically Enhance Customer Experience – Including Wi-Fi, USB Charging Ports, and Digital Information Screens

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The New Tube for Glasgow

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport has announced upgrades to the Glasgow Subway system which includes new rolling stock of driverless trains. This news is worth mentioning, especially for my readers from London.

New Subway trains unveiled
Contract awarded to Stadler Bussnang AG / Ansaldo STS Consortium.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Reports on electric buses around the world

BYD eBus in New York City

Around the world many transport services are purchasing the Zero emission battery electric buses, whilst TFL in London are purchasing another 200 three door two staircase hybrid buses called the New Routemaster. I gave some quick updates on the situation with the electric buses in London in my recent article.

Here are some news reports of the electric buses from around the world. I know some may be a week or two old, but still, news is news.

St. Albert, Canada

Electric buses hit road this fall

St. Albert has become one of the first places in Canada to add an electric bus to its transit fleet.
City council announced this week that it had purchased three long-range battery electric transit buses for its transit fleet. The actual decision was made during the in camera portion of the Feb. 22 council meeting.

Monday, 7 March 2016

What happened to the Virtual Electric buses for route 69?

I'd like to announce that the Alexander Dennis Enviro400H MMC Virtual Electric buses haven’t been in service for a month.

According to London Vehicle Finder, one of the Virtual Electric buses for route 69 was last seen on 4th February 2016. I don’t know what's happened to them and can only guess they have a mechanical problem due to the electric hybrid system. LOTS bus news have also reported that “The electric Enviro400s DH38501-03, always very intermittent in service, have not been used since 4th February.”

Sunday, 6 March 2016

New tender awards with existing diesels

Route 313 is retained with single decks built in 2011.

This is a very quick news update; LOTS have updated their news page showing that TFL have announced the tender awards for their London Bus routes.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Good news for commuters in Swanley

TFL has just announced that Swanley railway station will have Pay As You Go Contactless and Oyster card systems in order to have cheap fares for commuters going to Central London.

Thousands of rail passengers in north Kent are set for cheaper fares and more convenient journeys from Wednesday 9 March as pay as you go with contactless and Oyster is extended to Southeastern and Thameslink services to and from Swanley.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Upgrades for Piccadilly and Metropolitan Lines

Recently, London Underground announced that engineering works are to take place on the Piccadilly Line on the 5th and 6th March and the Metropolitan Line on the 16th May 2016.

TfL today advised customers planning to use the Piccadilly line this weekend to expect longer journeys, due to planned upgrade work.

To improve the reliability of the Piccadilly and District lines London Underground (LU) is carrying out essential planned work this weekend to replace 700m of track at Turnham Green and renew a set of signalling points at Acton Town.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

London Underground Wins Train Operator of the Year!

TFL announced in their press release that they won major recognition at the Rail Business Awards on Thursday 25th February where they won Train Operator of the Year award.


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