13/02/2015

3rd Year: Major Model Change in London - 109 to Abellio London

The third year post of the WLTMTB brings a new type to London. This is the first post that all current blog members had contributed to the blog together. The special third year post is slightly delayed because all of us are very busy people, and hopefully will come out pretty soon.

Sextuplets.
"You wait for a bus, then six come at once!"
Abellio London 2488 leads a pack of six at the stand on Park Street (Aubrey)

The Enviro 400MMC has finally been entered into London service after Oxford, Reading and Manchester, and the first day did go like most other first days. A massive learning curve.

Abellio London 2510 & 2494 on Route 109, Croydon Park Street
Abellio London 2510 & 2494 on Route 109, Croydon Park Street (Aubrey)
At least two buses were on stand, if not more throughout the day.

Trois MMC
Abellio London 2510, 2xxx and 2494 on Route 109, Croydon Park Street (Aubrey)
The rear treatment of these hybrids differ from the original E400, as for example, the rear blindbox is in the middle and the fans are 2 each either side of the blind box.

Abellio London 2495 (Route 109) and Arriva London DLA388 (Route 250), West Croydon
Abellio London 2495 (Route 109) and Arriva London DLA388 (Route 250), West Croydon (Aubrey)
A nice comparison between the old and the new for the 109 (and Croydon-Brixton corridor).

Abellio London 2497 on Route 109, West Croydon
Abellio London 2497 on Route 109, West Croydon (Aubrey)
Some buses were running with double gaps, eventually most of the buses were running to West Croydon only. One bus even ran Brixton-Streatham only!


Abellio London 2500 on Route 109, Croydon Park Street (Josh)
Not the excess of six, but a more manageable three on stand at that time.

Enviro400 MMC at Croydon
Abellio London 2488 on Route 109, Croydon Park Street (Lewis)


Abellio London 2490 on Route 109, Croydon Park Street (Josh)

The ride on the MMC is average, the most annoying aspect is the excessive bells. The bus is not rattle free, even though it is supposedly "rattle proof" by ADL. But most rattles are minimised, definitely.

Lower Deck Interior of Abellio London 2494 (YY64 TYS) on Route 109
Lower Deck Interior of Abellio London 2494 (Aubrey)
The lower deck design is like a standard MMC, with dual doors. It is like the one that was exhibited at Walworth Garage Open Day.


Upper Deck Interior (from front) (Josh)

 
Upper Deck Interior (from rear) (Josh)
Another average upper deck. The seats are notably slightly harder here than on prior Abellio buses.

Some troubles were encountered on the first few days:
The Major Model Sandwich
Metrobus-London General 437 (YV03 PZG) on Route 119 is sandwiched between Abellio London 2509 (YY64 TZJ) and 2508 (YY64 TZH) on Route 109, at Croydon Park Street (Aubrey)

The Scania was literally centimetres away if not closer from hitting the wing mirror of 2508! This is the problem with having six on stand at the same time.
A few days later, the wing mirror of one of these MMCs crashed into the back of another MMC breaking the rear window. This was probably due to a misjudgement of the overhang of the nearside wing mirror!

Enviro400 MMC at Brixton
Abellio London 2495 on Route 109, Brixton Police Station (Lewis)
The Enviro 400MMC body looks pretty nice at night, especially with white on black blinds in my (Aubrey) opinion.

And here are some oddities from the first day:
Two Volvo B7TL/Gemini I, fully blinded, were on the route. I (Aubrey) somehow got the same one twice!

Not So Major Model Change
Abellio London 9021 on Route 109, West Croydon (Aubrey)

Wright vice MMC, already!
Abellio London 9021 on Route 109, Brixton Station (Aubrey)

DSC_0288
Abellio London 2487 on Route 109, Streatham (Jacek)
This bus decided to have no logos, so along with the non-MMCs, presentation wise, not the best.
Overall, the service was not too bad, excepting the confusion and overcrowding at the Park Street stand at Croydon Town Centre.

Here are some of the pre-Abellio buses on the 109 (all taken by Josh):


Arriva London DW239 (Poppy) on Route 109, Streatham Tesco


Arriva London DLA243 on Route 109, Brixton


Arriva London DW240 on Route 109, West Croydon

Overall, it has been a rough start for Abellio on the route. However, as Arriva knew how to run the route and Abellio don't have the experience at the moment, it will take time before we know Abellio can run the 109 well. The obvious and inevitable first day confusion was clearly shown, but the route has settled down compared to its first day.

Thanks for yet another year of the WLTMTB, from our team members Aubrey, Lewis, Josh and Jacek.

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