Monday, 16 October 2017

Improvements are coming for the London Underground Sub-Surface Lines

The sub-surface Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines are set to have a new signalling system in order to improve reliability and services.

Reliability and customer information on sections of Circle and Hammersmith & City lines to improve from next year.

· New system will mean quicker, more frequent services on sub-surface lines from 2021
· 40% of Tube to benefit from huge improvements by 2023
· The transformation of London Underground's sub-surface lines has taken a significant step forward, with multiple test trains running on the brand new signalling system for the first time in London.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Tri-Axle Enviro200’s for New Zealand

Alexander Dennis has manufactured 20 single deck tri-axle Enviro200’s for Birkenhead Transport in New Zealand.

From Alexander Dennis

A significant order for Alexander Dennis Enviro200XLB 3 axle single decks was sealed at the Bus and Coach Association 2017 Annual Conference in Rotorua today.

Robert Inwards, Owner and Director of the highly regarded, Birkenhead Transport, signed a contract for 20 brand new Enviro200XLB 3 axle single decks at the Alexander Dennis booth at the BCA Conference.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Irizar electric buses for London Bus routes W13 and 153

i2e Londres

Recently, Irizar demonstrated their range of buses at the Coach & Bus 2017 exhibition in Birmingham. One of the electric buses is set to be trialled on London Bus routes W13 and 153.

A new generation of sustainable and luxurious coaches and buses with Irizar’s leading-edge technology

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Refurbished trains for the New York City’s Subway E Line

Looking at the transport news in America, I found that in New York City, the MTA has invested to refurbish their E Line subway trains.

Arriva loses London Bus routes 268, H2 and H3 to Metroline

This is a short London Bus news update regarding route tender awards.

LOTS have published the following on the London Bus tender awards:

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

6 new electric buses and 20 hybrid buses for Lothian Buses

In Scotland, Lothian Buses has invested £2.7 million with the help of the Scottish Green Bus fund to roll out six single deck electric buses serving Edinburgh.

From Lothian Buses

At an investment of over £2.7million, the new Wrightbus Street Air single deck buses will operate on our Service 1 route from Monday 2 October which carrries around 1.8 million customers each year.

The service runs through Edinburgh’s central air quality management area, and this investment cements our commitment to reduce emissions and improve air quality in the area.

October Industrial action for Greater Anglia, Southern and Tube services

UPDATE - 4th October 2017

The industrial action for the London Underground is now cancelled.

Original article starts below

Not a good start to the month of October 2017 as Greater Anglia, Southern and London Underground services will be disrupted due to industrial action.

London Underground services will be disrupted for one day while Greater Anglia and Southern services are disrupted for two days. I’m aware that Northern Rail and Merseyrail will be striking on the same days as Greater Anglia and Southern but I will concentrate on the disruptions that are happening in London.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Proposed changes for London Bus route 31

This is a quick news update; TfL is proposing to make changes to London Bus route 31 near Camden Town.

From TfL consultation

The London Borough of Camden is proposing changes to the highway at Bayham Street impacting on routes 31, N28 and N31. The changes would affect how route 31 runs through the area.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Popularity grows for the Enviro400 City as Uno launches for Comet services

Since the three-door two-staircase New Routemaster rollout is completed and there will be no more purchased by TfL, the legacy of the design lives on as more and more bus operators have gained interest with the Alexander Dennis Enviro400 City.

Hertfordshire bus operator Uno (formerly UniversityBus) which is owned by the University of Hertfordshire has rolled out Enviro400 City buses for routes 614 and 644 branded as Comet Bus.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

TfL consultation on re-routing route 96 via the Fastrack busway

TfL is proposing a change on route 96 to reroute the section between Dartford and Bluewater to serve Darent Valley Hospital and to use the Fastrack busways to reduce journey times.

From TfL consultations

We’ve been working with Kent County Council to improve bus services to Darent Valley Hospital, whilst also improving the journey time and reliability of route 96. We are now proposing improvements to route 96 between Dartford and Bluewater shopping centre, and would welcome any comments you may have on the proposals.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Mass retains and one gain for Go Ahead London with the London Bus tender awards

Go Ahead London has succeeded in retaining the London bus routes for this month’s tender awards; they also won one route from Stagecoach Selkent which is route 386.

Go Ahead London owns the subsidiary companies of London General, London Central, Blue Triangle, Metrobus and Docklands Buses.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Track installation for Crossrail Elizabeth Line is complete!

As the Crossrail project moves ever forward, the works for the track layout is now officially completed.

From Crossrail

A significant milestone has been marked today with the official completion of the permanent track for the Elizabeth line – London’s newest railway.

Monday, 11 September 2017

TfL launches app to enable passengers to top up their Oyster ‘on the go’

TfL has released their own mobile phone app to enable passengers to top up their Oyster card ‘on the go’.

Oyster card users can now check their pay as you go balance and top up their card with just a few quick taps of their smartphone after Transport for London (TfL) today launched its new app.

The new app, which was designed by TfL and developed by Cubic Transportation Systems, is free to download via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and enables customers to use their smartphone to quickly add pay as you go credit or Travelcards to their Oyster card. These can then be added after 30 minutes by simply touching the Oyster card on the yellow card reader at any Tube or rail station, tram stop or River Bus pier as part of a journey.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Consultation to abolish cash fares for Croydon Tramlink

TfL has opened up a consultation to abolish cash fares for the Croydon Tramlink network.

Transport for London (TfL) has begun an eight-week public consultation on plans to make trams in London 'cashless'.

The proposal would see existing cash ticket machines, which only sell a small number of the more expensive paper tickets every week and do not allow customers to top-up their Oyster card, removed from the Tram network.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Two Rail Adhesion Trains for Piccadilly Line

To reduce delays and disruptions on the Piccadilly Line, TfL has converted two 1973 stock trains to Rail Adhesion Trains (RATs) to tackle wheel flats.

New traction motors for the Central Line trains

TfL has awarded Bombardier the contract to supply new motors and traction control equipment for the 1992 rolling stock trains for the London Underground Central Line.

From Bombardier

Thursday, 31 August 2017

End of an era for the original Thameslink Class 319 trains

The Class 319 trains were withdrawn after serving nearly 30 years on the Thameslink railway.

The oldest trains in the Thameslink fleet are being retired today (Sunday 27 August) with the final passenger journey leaving Brighton for Bedford at 6.14pm.

Network Rail completes Waterloo upgrade and London Bus Tender awards

Network Rail held engineering works over the August bank holiday which saw the completion of the Waterloo upgrade works. This has enabled South Western Railway to have longer trains serving London Waterloo station.

Network Rail has now fully reopened Waterloo station after completing one of the largest and most complex upgrades in the station’s history.

However, due to safety critical work to test the signalling taking slightly longer than planned early this morning, we are expecting disruption to the morning rush hour. Network Rail apologises to passengers for any delays to their journey and asks them to check before they travel this morning.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Finally! - An update on the SRM Volvo B5LHC

Here is a short news update:

The Volvo B5LHC with New Routemaster (SRM) bodywork was demonstrated at the Buses Festival which was held on 20th August in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

Here’s the description of the Wrightbus SRM Volvo B5LHC taken from the Buses Festival website.

This is an interesting vehicle in that it is a prototype built to be used in trials to test the concept of on-road charging.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

A response to the London Assembly’s report on reinstating bendy buses

First of all, this is not a political blog and this article is a response to the London Assembly’s report on the bendy buses.

With over two billion passenger journeys a year, bus usage is around double that of the London Underground. But bus passenger numbers are in decline.

Between 2014/15 and 2016/17, the number of passenger journeys made on buses fell by six per cent.[1]

Friday, 18 August 2017

New safety technology for London Buses

Here’s a short London Bus news update for everyone.

TfL have announced that they are increasing safety standards by trialling new safety technology for London Buses.

Transport for London has announced plans to test new safety technology on London buses. Automatic braking and audible warning systems will be trialled alongside measures including new mirrors to improve the driver's vision.

My review of the new Crossrail Class 345

This is a follow up to my previous article.

At last! I got to ride on the new Bombardier Aventra Class 345 for the upcoming Elizabeth Line which is known as Crossrail.

I caught this train by chance at Romford Station because it was running four minutes late.

As I entered the train, it felt like boarding a London Overground train because they have longitudinal seating while most of the middle carriages have transverse seating, similar to the S8 stock train which is used on the London Underground Metropolitan Line.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Double deck Bio-Gas buses for Bristol and Sunderland

First Group will be launching a double deck bio-gas bus for their route 1 service in Bristol. The bus will also feature a glazed staircase – a design based on the New Routemaster bus.

Starting Monday 21 August, Bristolians will be able to catch a new kind of bus – A double-decker bus that’s powered by bio methane, a renewable gas created from food scraps like left-over pizza pieces and other household food waste, so a completely sustainable and renewable fuel source.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Go Ahead Group wins Dublin Bus contract but loses West Midlands Rail franchise

Go Ahead has won a contract from Ireland’s National Transport Authority (NTA) to operate 24 bus routes in Dublin but they lost the West Midlands rail franchise.

Go-Ahead has been selected as the preferred bidder for the contract relating to the operation of 24 Public Service Obligation (PSO) bus routes in the Dublin metropolitan area. NTA has written to Go-Ahead to inform the company of the decision. Go-Ahead is expected to begin operating some of these routes by the end of November 2018 and all routes by February 2019.

Chief Executive of the National Transport Authority Anne Graham said:

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

London Overground extension to Barking Riverside goes ahead!

TfL has reported that the proposal to extend the London Overground from Barking to Barking Riverside gets the thumbs up from the government.

08 August 2017

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Transport for London (TfL) have welcomed the news that the Government has given the green light for a vital new extension of the London Overground to Barking Riverside.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Five new railway stations for England and Wales

The UK Government has announced investment of over £16 million to build five new railway stations in England and Wales.

TfL responds to RAIB on Croydon Tram derailment

Since the Croydon tram derailment which happened on the morning of 9th November 2016, TfL has added more safety measures for their trams serving the South of Greater London.

We begin with the RAIB’s article on the tram derailment in Croydon...

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Consultation report for the Bakerloo Line Extension and London Bus tender awards

First of all, the full report for the Bakerloo Line consultation is out. This is a brief follow up to my previous article.

From TfL consultations

Results Updated 31 Jul 2017

We recently consulted on proposals to extend the Bakerloo line beyond Elephant & Castle to Lewisham, serving Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate. Thank you to those who took part.

Monday, 31 July 2017

30 year anniversary of the Docklands Light Railway

TfL is celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the Docklands Light Railway. (DLR)

Back on the 30th July 1985, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II formally opened the Docklands Light Railway in East London. The purpose of the DLR was to regenerate the Docklands area of East London with an elevated light railway system.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Oyster card system upgrade, new TfL app and July London Bus tender awards

I have several news stories today so let’s start off with the news that the Oyster card is set to be upgraded, enabling unlimited 1 hour fare which means you pay once and get unlimited transfers for the one-hour hopper fare. Also, TfL is launching a new phone app where passengers can top up their Oyster card on the go.

From TfL press release

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Enviro400 City buses for Wheelers Travel and Uno Hertfordshire - and the last 17 New Routemasters with no route

The design of the Enviro400 City is increasing in popularity as Wheelers Travel purchased one Enviro400 City and University Bus (Uno) has purchased six of these Enviro400 City buses.

From Alexander Dennis

The trend towards high capacity, exceptionally well finished double deck buses appears to be gathering further momentum with operators in Kent and Southampton introducing Enviro400MMC models from Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) in recent weeks.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

TfL orders more Class 345 trains for Crossrail Elizabeth Line

TfL image - Elizabeth line services from December 2019

TfL orders more trains for the Crossrail Elizabeth Line for when it becomes operational in December 2019.

From TfL press release

Services on the Elizabeth line are set to be even more extensive and frequent than originally planned when the line becomes fully operational in December 2019, Transport for London (TfL) announced today.

Consultation for proposed bus service changes in West, South-East and North-East London

TfL has started a consultation to change bus services for the parts of Greater London which serve the new Crossrail Elizabeth Line.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Crossrail Elizabeth Line to serve Heathrow Terminal 5

Heathrow Terminal 5 will be served with Elizabeth Line services once Crossrail fully opens by December 2019.

  • Heathrow agrees new plan with TfL and DfT to boost rail services to the airport
  • Elizabeth line services to serve Terminal 5
  • From 2019 at least 22 trains per hour connecting Central London and Heathrow – up from 18 today
  • Thousands of rail passengers to benefit from the convenience of Oyster and contactless ticketing – including on the Heathrow Express
  • New services will increase choice of routes in and out of airport, strengthening rail network resilience for future generations

Friday, 7 July 2017

One billion journeys made by ‘Contactless’ on London Transport system

TfL has announced that one billion journeys have been made by using contactless payment cards.

From TfL press release

London's transport network has now seen more than one billion pay as you go journeys made by contactless payment cards - as the new payment option has substantially changed the way customers pay for their travel around the city.

London Bus routes 46, 153 and 214 to become fully electric

London Buses will become ‘more electric’ as the London Mayor has announced that three more routes are to be fully converted to single deck electric buses.

From TfL press release

TfL and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, have announced three more electric-only bus routes - the latest in a series of bold measures to tackle London's toxic air. The routes being converted to fully electric buses are:

TfL unveils Tube Map with tunnels

TfL has unveiled a Tube Map showing tunnels to help people with anxiety and claustrophobia.

From TfL press release

People with claustrophobia or other anxiety conditions could find their journeys less stressful as TfL today launched a new map that shows which stations and sections of the TfL network are underground.

The new addition to TfL's broad selection of downloadable Tube maps will help a range of customers navigate the network more comfortably by showing them routes they can take to avoid areas with large stretches of tunnels.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

24 hour service for the London Overground East London Line

As the Night Tube continues to expand, the former London Underground line ‘East London Line’ (currently part of London Overground network since 2010) will have 24 hour service on weekends.

From Greater London Authority press release
  • Night Overground will build on the huge success of the Night Tube
  • All-night services on Fridays and Saturdays will start on the East London route in December
  • Services will run between New Cross Gate and Dalston Junction, and be extended to Highbury & Islington next year

Monday, 3 July 2017

Arriva purchases 13 Enviro400 City buses for Chester to Wrexham Sapphire Service

Arriva have invested £3.2 million for 13 new buses which hold design cues from the New Routemaster, such as the glazed staircase for their Sapphire luxury service.

From Arriva Wales

After a £3.2m investment, Arriva will welcome 13 of the most advanced double decker buses into its fleet at a launch event on Thursday 29th June at Water World in Wrexham.

The new buses form part of Arriva’s premium fleet of Sapphire vehicles which will operate on routes between Wrexham and Chester, one of 15 routes that have been upgraded with the Sapphire service.

Most polluting London buses to be upgraded to ultra low emission standards

TfL will be retrofitting 5,000 buses with a new exhaust system to cut emissions as part of the £86.1 million programme to “clean up” London’s most polluting buses.

From TfL press release

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced that the most polluting buses in the capital are going to be cleaned up, with their harmful emissions cut by up to 95 per cent.

Friday, 30 June 2017

UK debut for Euro 6 bendy buses and end of June 2017 transport news roundup

Just to wrap up the end of the month, here’s some transport news relayed from other sites.

First off, Gatwick and Bristol Airports are now operating the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro artic with Euro 6 engines.

From Route-One:

The UK’s first Euro 6 articulated buses are now running, thanks to orders from two airport operators.

Right-hand drive versions of the latest 18m Citaro G model are now in operation at Gatwick and Bristol airports. Internally, they have luggage racks, along with the trademark floor-to-ceiling ‘wardrobe’ on the rear nearside interior, housing the engine bay.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Rail franchise bidders announced for West Coast Partnership and South Eastern

A short news update: the Department for Transport has announced the bidders for the West Coast Partnership and South Eastern rail franchises.

I am pleased to inform the House that we have today (22 June 2017) published the shortlists of companies that will bid for the new West Coast Partnership (WCP) franchise which will launch the first services on HS2, and the next South Eastern franchise.

The House will be aware passenger numbers have more than doubled since privatisation of the railways 20 years ago and our country’s railways need to adapt and change to be able to cope with this and future demands. This government is committed to revolutionising our railways through innovation and investment to transform passengers’ experiences and ensure our railways work for everyone.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Class 345 Crossrail train finally launches on TfL Rail line!


News update: After a long wait, the Class 345 was finally launched on the TfL rail service on 22nd June 2017.

FirstGroup and MTR purchase Crossrail style trains for South Western Railway franchise

Bombardier has signed a contract with FirstGroup and MTR worth nearly £900 million to build Aventra trains for their new South Western Railway franchise. These new trains are to be built at Bombardier's rail vehicles production site in Derby, England.

Contract for 750 cars is the largest AVENTRA train order ever

AVENTRA train designed to help FirstGroup and MTR deliver greater passenger capacity and comfort on the South Western network

Monday, 19 June 2017

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Electric buses for London Bus routes C1 and 70

RATP-Dev has placed an order for 36 single deck electric buses for their contracted routes C1 and 70.

The BYD ADL electric bus partnership has scored another major victory in being selected as preferred bidder by RATP Dev London for the latter’s order of a total of 36 10.8m pure electric buses. Following a comprehensive technical evaluation of zero emissions buses from a range of electric bus suppliers, RATP Dev London has entered into a letter of intent for the procurement of BYD ADL’s Enviro200 electric vehicle. The commercial terms for the supply of the vehicles are currently being negotiated, with contract signature due shortly, for vehicle delivery in Spring 2018.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Consultation on Stratford gyratory removal and routes 53 and 363 changes

TfL has released two consultations to improve London Bus services for Stratford and routes 53 and 363.

The London Borough of Newham has developed proposals that will transform Stratford town centre. This will include removing the gyratory around the Stratford Centre and introducing two-way traffic movement on Great Eastern Road, The Grove, Romford Road and Broadway.

The current configuration of the gyratory prevents the operation of a simple bus network (i.e. one that serves stops on both sides of the same road). Two way operation would simplify the bus network and allow buses to serve stops on both sides of the road. In particular, it would allow Stratford bus station to be served in both directions by westbound routes serving Broadway and Stratford High Street.

TfL enters procurement for hydrogen fuel cell buses

TfL has given out a formal invitation to search for a supplier to build double and single deck hydrogen buses.

TfL is conducting a competition to establish a multi supplier, multi lot framework for the purchase of single and double deck buses which use hydrogen fuel cells as their primary source of drive-train power, which will also allow for the capability to provide support services such as maintenance.

An objective of this Framework is to encourage local, national and international collaboration in an attempt to generate large scale deployment, standardisation, and ultimately commercialisation of fuel cell buses. A number of UK city transport authorities and transport operators have expressed their desire to use this Framework.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

London Bus tender awards for 1st June 2017

By Spsmiler - Own work, CC0,

Here’s a short London Bus news update for you with the recent London Bus tender awards.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Fare evasion on New Routemaster buses

This is going to be a controversial topic about the New Routemaster bus because of the fare evasion issue. Please bare in mind, it is not my intention to make this a political or biased article in any way. The only purpose of this article is to compile information from various sources into one article.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Citymapper to start operating a night bus service

Citymapper has applied for a London Service Permit to operate a night service, serving from Highbury & Islington station to Aldgate East Station. The route is quite short compared to London Buses who provide 52 night routes along with 72 daytime routes which operate 24 hours a day.

Friday, 26 May 2017

2017 London tour bus prices

This is an update to my previous article titled ‘2016 London Tour Bus Prices’.

The purpose of this article is to compare the prices of open top tour bus companies which serve Central London - so here’s the table below.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Gas buses for Nottingham and three-door two-staircase buses for Switzerland

A brief news update on the bus scene - Nottingham City Transport (NCT) unveiled their gas buses on Friday 19th May 2017 at the Market Square, Nottingham.

This is the press release from NCT which was released on 16th May 2017.

Local people invited to be the first to see the greenest buses on the road at fun event on the Old Market Square on Friday 19 May

Five of the buses – one from each route the first 30 buses will be operating on – will be parked in the square from 10am until 6pm, and will be officially launched by Nottingham’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Mike Edwards at the start of the event.

This occasion marks an exciting time for Nottingham’s award-winning bus operator, as it sees a £17m investment in the greenest buses on the road finally begin their journeys in and around the city this summer.

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