Monday, 13 June 2016

Mid-June update on the hybrid bus and New Routemaster

An update on the hybrid bus scene in London.

1) CT Plus now has about half of its new E400H-City buses and the first (2501) entered service on route 26 on 10th June.   Delivery began in the past week of the batch of E400H-MMCs (batch 12365-400) for Stagecoach Selkent route 53.  
2) The current Volvo hybrids at Plumstead are to stay there and thus more routes (eg the 51) will gain hybrid buses and diesel E400s are to move to Romford.  Delivery has also started of the final batch of LTs from the original order (batch LT789-811) due for Metroline route 189 and a small pvr increase on route 16.

So the all new Alexander Dennis Enviro400H City, which is bought by CT Plus is entering service early on route 26. A photo has emerged of the Enviro400H City buses lined up in CT Plus’s Ash Grove (HK) garage which will shortly commence service on the route.

The Enviro400H City uses designs based on the New Routemaster, such as the glazed staircase and the Enviro200 MMC.

We will soon be seeing the end of the 3 door 2 staircase hybrid bus called the New Routemaster, but there’s no news update on the final 195 New Routemasters. If the previous London Mayor, Boris Johnson hadn't of ordered the final batch to make the fleet up to 1,000 then Route 189 would have been the last route to convert to New Routemaster. We may see the final route being converted to New Routemasters by mid 2017. With the shortened New Routemaster (ST), there’s no update and I believe they will be mixed with the final batch from the final orders.

I’m aware of the window openings being installed on New Routemaster buses and they will be completed by September 2016.

At the moment there’s no new meetings of the TFL Board and Surface Transport panel this month, so we'll have to wait until mid July to see their latest board papers.

Thankfully the New Routemaster designs have their own successor which is the Son of Routemaster (SRM), the new model uses a Volvo B5LH chassis and it has 2 doors and 1 staircase. The deliveries are very slow but six of these are due to appear on route 13 by September 2016. The SRM’s will be bought by the private operating companies upon new route tenders instead of directly by TfL.

That’s the update on the hybrid bus; for more information on the next hybrid bus conversion, check out my previous article here.

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Image Attribution
James Prince


  1. Why does Romford have zero hybrid buses running?
    In fact the new orders for routes 498, 499, 294 and the buses from route 53 to route 86 are all new Diesel or second hand diesels?
    Is the stagecoach garage in Romford unable to cope with Hybrid buses? Or they think Romford is far enough away from central London no one will notice? Why are not ALL new buses purchased for the use on London Bus routes not fully electric or Hybrid? Money spent on the new route master could have easily been diverted into conventional hybrid buses for all routes. Ridiculous.

    1. I dont think all new buses should be hybrid because they take long to charge theres gearbox problems and hybrids are expensive and disel buses are better and cheaper

    2. I appreciate that not all new buses can be fully electric but there is no reason why they can not be all hybrid.

  2. The current range of hybrid buses are now being challenged on fuel consumption, and hence emission credentials, by two of the latest non-hybrid diesel buses (Wright Streetdeck and Optare Metrodecker). Battery-storage hybrid can only be a highly complex and expensive stepping stone, and not a solution in itself. Work must now concentrate on cutting weight, creating reliable flywheel hybrid control systems, and, more fundamentally, making the vehicle design platform more efficient. This would involve moving the engines and cooling systems away from the rear, to forward or front positions to make more use of "natural" radiator cooling, and smaller, less power-sapping fans. With the demise of cash fares, the front wheels could be moved to the very front of the bus, more in line with many original proposals for the "Boris Bus". Simpler vehicle structure would thus be possible, resulting in further loss of weight and further reductions in emissions and fuel consumption. The solutions are not and never could be in complexity. It is by clever and efficient design.


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