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Monday, 25 December 2017

Transport News Roundup for 2017

As we approach the end of year, I’ve decided to do a round up of selected transport news items which took place during 2017.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

All track work completed at London Bridge railway station and progress report on Rail Ticketing

Network Rail has announced the completion of track work around London Bridge station as part of the Thameslink Programme.

From Network Rail

Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme has reached another crucial milestone ahead of the New Year with the completion of all track work around London Bridge.

The infrastructure is now in place around the striking new station, ready to be brought into use on 2 January 2018 following ten days of major re-signalling, during which there will be major changes to services and line closures affecting London Bridge and other London stations.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

One year to go until Crossrail Elizabeth Line starts!

With 2018 rapidly approaching, it’s not much longer until the Crossrail Elizabeth Line officially kicks in. We’ll still have to wait until December 2018 though for the ‘main core’ of the Crossrail Elizabeth Line to open up!


Elizabeth line services will be introduced in phases, with the central London stations opening in December 2018.

New December 2018 Tube map featuring the Elizabeth line unveiled - images are available via Flickr

Saturday, 16 December 2017

London Bus Tender awards: Retains and gains for RATP-Dev

Here’s a quick news update showing the London Buses route tender awards:

RATP-Dev who owns subsidiary companies of London United and London Sovereign has retained and gained new route contracts with new low emission vehicles for some of their routes they won.

LBSL intends to enter into new contracts for the following routes with the operators listed below:

Alexander Dennis celebrates 10,000 milestone with luxury Enviro400 bus

Alexander Dennis has rolled out a luxury Enviro400 MMC to celebrate their 10,000th milestone.

Congratulations Alexander Dennis!

From Alexander Dennis

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) celebrated a major milestone with the roll-out of its 10,000th two-axle, low floor double deck bus. The landmark Enviro400 is emblematic of how ADL has influenced the progressive shift by the UK bus industry to high quality, low floor, easy access buses over the last two decades.

TfL and the Mayor announces consultation to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone

Here is a quick news update:

TfL and the Mayor have announced a consultation on 30th November 2017 to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone to the North and South Circular in order to help reduce emissions in London.

From TfL press release

· Mayor proposes ULEZ standards would also apply Londonwide to buses, coaches and lorries from 26 October 2020
· Mayor wants public's views on these actions to lower toxic polluting emissions

The Mayor of London today launched a new public consultation on the next phase of his hard-hitting plans to tackle London's toxic air, reduce filthy emissions and protect the public from harmful pollution by expanding the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

New hybrid and electric buses for 2018

As 2018 is approaching, I’ve compiled a list from London Bus Routes Service Changes page to show the upcoming routes with new diesel-electric hybrids and zero-emission electric buses for London.

I’ve coloured the rows to make it easier for people to know that a blue background is for new hybrid buses and a green background shows the zero emission electric bus.

The purpose of this table is to make it easy to see when the next bus route will convert to hybrid or zero-emission electric buses.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Cross-City Extension for the Dublin Trams Luas has opened!

In Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Luas has opened up the extension for the Green Line Tram service which began on 9th December 2017.


An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar; Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Shane Ross; and Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe were in attendance today at the official opening of Luas Cross City at the GPO in Dublin.

Blackpool Transport orders more Enviro400 City buses!

Blackpool Transport has once again purchased more Enviro400 City buses for their fleet.


The unique partnership between Blackpool Transport and Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) took another step towards the future when a further 20 Enviro400 City buses were introduced to the seaside resort recently.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

The New Routemaster opens the door for more stylish conventional buses

The New Routemaster (NRM) rollout has ended with route 267 being the last route to convert to these buses. We now move on to the next chapter where we are seeing more stylish and conventional buses holding NRM design cues being rolled out not just for London, but for Britain as well!

The original plan of the New Routemaster (formerly known as New Bus for London) project was to bring back the rear platform, but instead, since the conductors were withdrawn back in September 2016 it has evolved to a three-door, two-staircase hybrid bus. The rear platform and design was inspired by the original AEC Routemaster. There are now 1,000 New Routemaster buses built for London bus services.

Monday, 27 November 2017

TfL confirms second year of fares freeze as their new business plan sees record investment in transport

In the latest press release, TfL has published their upcoming investment plans and the second year of fare freeze.

From TfL press release

TfL has today published its updated Business Plan, which covers the period from 2017/18 to 2022/23.

The plan confirms how, over the next five years, TfL will deliver the Mayor's Transport Strategy and make London a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Weekend night service comes to the East London Line

The London Overground East London Line will be part of the Weekend Night Tube service starting on 15th December 2017.

From TfL press release

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced that Night Overground services will begin in east London on Friday 15 December, making travelling at night even easier for thousands of Londoners.

The 24-hour services will operate on Friday and Saturday nights on the London Overground between New Cross Gate and Dalston Junction, extending to Highbury & Islington next year. This will help Londoners working through the night as well as those enjoying east London's thriving nightlife.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Six bus operators awarded to develop safety improvements for London Buses

London Bus operators - Abellio, CT Plus, Go-Ahead, RATP-Dev, Tower Transit and Metroline have been awarded funding to develop safety improvements for their fleet of buses.


TfL has awarded a £500,000 pot to six bus operators to develop new ideas that will improve safety across London's bus network.

The successful bids from the TfL Bus Safety Innovation Fund were announced yesterday at the London Bus Safety Summit.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

TfL reveals pre-qualified bidders to build new DLR trains

Now that TfL has stopped new purchases of three-door, two-staircase hybrid buses known as New Routemasters, they have revealed pre-qualified bidders to manufacture new trains for the Docklands Light Railway.


Transport for London (TfL) took a significant step today in its search for a manufacturer to design and build a new generation of trains for the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), by issuing an Invitation to Negotiate.

Friday, 17 November 2017

New station entrance for Bond Street Underground Station

On the 17th November, the new entrance for Bond Street opened in preparation for the new Crossrail Elizabeth Line.

TfL Image - Bond Street - new ticket gate


From TfL press release

TfL has today unveiled the completed £300 million upgrade of Bond Street Tube station, a key West End location and one of the busiest stations in central London.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Route 267 - the last ever route to convert to New Routemasters

As the Wrightbus New Routemaster rollout comes to an end, a Freedom of Information request shows the final route to convert to the three-door two-staircase hybrid buses will be route 267.


Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we hold some of the information you require.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

10 years of London Overground

It’s been 10 years since TfL took over the Silverlink Metro Services back in 2007.

Arriva Rail London operates the London Overground concession and it is part of the National Rail network.

Tunnelling for the Northern Line Extension is completed

Completion of Northern Line Extension Tunnelling 03

Tunnelling work for the Northern Line Extension had been completed!

I really can’t believe how quickly the tunnelling work has been done.

From TfL press release

Tunnelling work completed as boring machines break through at Kennington.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Consultation to pedestrianise Oxford Street includes proposed changes to bus services

TfL has opened up a consultation to pedestrianise Oxford Street; the purpose of this article is to show the proposed changes to bus services serving Oxford Street.


In our last consultation in April 2017, we explained that our vision is to transform Oxford Street into the world’s best outdoor shopping experience and an unrivalled place to live, work and visit. We received nearly 12,000 responses. There was support, as well as some understandable concerns, and many respondents indicated the key issues they felt we should consider. We have listened very carefully to the issues raised and in the months since then we have discussed our vision with a large number of local residents groups, businesses and others to help us understand such issues in more detail. As a result, we have developed a set of detailed proposals for the transformation of the street and the entire surrounding district. We genuinely believe these proposals respond positively to the concerns raised by some and would enable us to deliver a significantly improved Oxford Street and the wider Oxford Street area for everyone.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Plymouth Citybus launches Contactless payment


As more and more bus companies in Britain are taking on ‘Contactless’ as a way to pay bus fares, Go-Ahead owned Plymouth Citybus has launched contactless payment for their services.

From Route-one

Go-Ahead owned Plymouth Citybus is the latest operator to start accepting contactless payment methods including bPay, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Visa and MasterCard.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

London Bus tender awards for the start of November 2017

Routes N550 & N551 will be the next to convert to the E400H City buses

As we are now in November, TfL has announced the London Bus route tender awards for the start of the month.

From LOTS news:

LBSL intends to enter into new contracts for the following routes with the operators listed below:

Five train manufacturers shortlisted to build new HS2 trains

The Department for Transport has announced five shortlisted bidders to build new trains for High Speed 2.

From Gov UK

Shortlisted bidders for the contract to build new HS2 trains must deliver jobs and skills in Britain.

Monday, 30 October 2017

A consultation for a proposed small change on London Bus route 372

TfL has opened up a consultation for London Bus route 372 for eastbound routing to serve Rainham Railway station more closely.

From TfL consultations

We are proposing to make changes to how bus route 372 serves Rainham Station to improve the interchange for passengers. The proposal also helps to respond to concerns raised by councillors from the London Borough of Havering about historic infrastructure on Wennington Road.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Belfast Rapid Transit unveils new Glider vehicle and launch of new Abbey Wood Station building

This is a follow up to my previous article about the Belfast Rapid Transit project in Northern Ireland.


The new Belfast Rapid Transit Glider vehicle has been unveiled today at the Busworld Europe exhibition in Belgium.

The new Glider service will come into operation in September 2018 and is set to transform public transport in Belfast. It will offer passengers a modern, efficient public transport service with shorter, more reliable journey times and high frequency services.

Monday, 23 October 2017

McGill’s buses launches contactless payment and update on Electric buses for London

As more and more bus companies in Britain are launching contactless as another way to pay fares, up in Scotland, McGill’s buses has invested £1.6 million on new ticketing machines to enable contactless.

From McGill’s buses website

McGill's has launched Contactless payment - first across our 23 & X23 Erskine to Glasgow services - and rolling out to all buses by the end of the year.

Customers can now buy their single, return, all day and weekly tickets - up to the value of £30 - with your Contactless bank cards or enabled mobile devices.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Consultation on two new proposed stations for the London Overground at Old Oak and my quick thoughts on HS2

TfL has opened up a consultation on the proposed London Overground stations at Old Oak serving the future High Speed 2 (HS2) railway line.


Transport for London (TfL) has today begun a five week consultation on plans for two potential new London Overground stations that would provide a link to the Elizabeth line and High Speed 2 (HS2) and support the regeneration at Old Oak and Park Royal in west London

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

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