Monday, 14 March 2016

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:

“The New Routemaster, which draws inspiration from its predecessor, first entered service in 2012. (on Route 38) Route 24 was the first London route to be converted entirely to the New Routemaster in June 2013.
On 29 February the Mayor and I were in Northern Ireland to confirm an order with Wrightbus for a further 195 of the iconic New Routemaster buses. We invest billions of pounds on products and services from businesses outside of London every year.
The deal with Wrightbus will safeguard 300 manufacturing jobs, as well as support a supply chain of companies across the UK.
The additional 195 buses will be delivered by Summer 2017.

From 6 February we started a phased conversions of Route 68 and Route 3.
Route 68 runs to West Norwood via Euston, Russell Square, Holborn, Aldwych, Waterloo, Elephant and Castle, Camberwell, Herne Hill and Tulse Hill. The service will be running entirely with New Routemaster buses by the end of April.
Route 3 (including N3) was fully converted by 4 March. There are now 21 routes converted to the New Routemaster buses.”

Another board paper also states that the 800 New Routemaster buses are expected to be delivered into service by 31st July 2016. The Estimated Final Cost is still at £302.5 million but as this is a reletively new order I expect the price to increase.

Looking at the ‘Contracts greater than £5,000’ document, and the section “New Routemaster (NRM), 800 production vehicles,” the description says “To deliver 800 New Routemaster (NRM) vehicles into passenger service by the end of April 2016. TfL will purchase the buses directly and supply them to the bus operating companies.” The end date for the contract is 30th May 2016 and the value band says £100m+.

I noticed another contract to Hants and Dorset Trim; the value band is between £5k to £250k for the refurbishment and sale of the old Routemaster buses. Yes that’s the old AEC Routemaster buses which were on route 9H and are still operating on route 15H. The end date for the contract is on 20th April 2016.

Also, here is a recap of the New Bus for West Yorkshire project.

I’ve already witten an article about their project, so hopefully First West Yorkshire may roll out buses which have a similar design to the New Routemaster, such as the Alexander Dennis Enviro400H City.

I think that’s all the news I have for today so I'll leave you with the rest of the news from LOTS.

In the past week, London United has put the first few of its initial delivery of nine Volvo B5LH/ Gemini 3s into service on route 94 and has introduced the first examples of a renumbering scheme for the whole London United and Sovereign fleets. This is based on the existing class codes and numbers but with extra digits.  Thus the latest new buses delivered as VH 53-61 are now VH 45153-61.

More fleet renumberings now, and in the past week red buses at Arriva Garston Garage have started to gain their ‘London’ fleet numbers (eg DW, VLA, DWL) as detailed in the January TLB.   No reports yet of buses from Dartford or Grays following suit.  On 11th March Arriva’s solitary StreetDeck SW 1 moved from Wood Green to Garston for a six-week trial there.

CT Plus is also to implement a numerical system soon to replace class letters and batches starting at One.   When they arrive later this spring, the new E400H-City buses (2501-2521) for route 26 will take these numbers from new rather than use HEA class codes.  A single new 8.9m E20D as a +1pvr topup for route W5 is imminent and will be the first in the fleet to appear on the road with a new number – 1220 rather than DAS 3.

On Tuesday 8th came the first sighting of a Metroline BYD double-deck (BYD1472) out on test; three (1471/2/3) are delivered so far.  However, the installation of charging equipment at Willesden Garage remains incomplete.   An MCV bodied Volvo B5TL (in all white)  BF65 WHZ has arrived at Ensign Bus for trials on Thurrock local routes 22, 73 and 83.  It should be in use from 14th March for about two weeks.

I don’t know when it will officially enter service, but this news is interesting to note down.

The NRM programme rolls along, Arriva’s batch (LT716-744) for route 59 is now in course of delivery.  They will be followed by LT745-767 for Metroline route 91, LT768-788 for Abellio route 211 and LT789-811 for Metroline route 189 and a +4 pvr top-up for route 16.  This would take production up to mid-July when Wright’s shut down for holidays and also takes us over the initial production run breakpoint at 805/806.  Meanwhile, LT62, the vehicle in the bad accident in September 2013, is finally back in London and is due to be allocated to Camberwell.

If TFL hadn't ordered the 195 New Routemasters it would mean that route 189 would have been the last route to convert; plus, TFL would have to allow operators to use standard buses in order to cope with the increased Peak Vehicle Requirement (PVR).

In a previous article, I wrote about how the Mayoral candidates are not ordering any more New Routemasters, so does this mean the extra 195 NRM’s will be cancelled? If anyone knows the answer to that then please let me know in the comments section below.

You can follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92

Previous articles on New Routemaster project:
·         A New Bus From Wrightbus

Image attribution

By Au Morandarte from Chiswick/Romford, London, England - London General LT62 on Route 11, Charing CrossUploaded by Ultra7, CC BY-SA 2.0,

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