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Forum Post
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Trip Reports

West London 15th May 2010
Mon 17/05/10, 23:24
1 Reply
Ray and I had a pleasant Saturday meandering around West London looking for service vehicles and new buses. The District line was out from Earls Court westwards so we had a look at Earls Court Gardens first. Playing the usual game of trying to peer through the gaps in the wooden hoardings without drawing too much unwanted attention, we could see three or perhaps four Renault Kangoos inside. Only one could be identified though. Going west on the replacement bus we kept an eye out for any service vehicles. Although there were some railway wagons visible on the bridge near Stamford Brook, nothing else turned up. The bus called at Gunnersbury so we got off and took the short cut through the business park, walking across what was once the lorry yard of Chiswick Works. The Staff Briefing Facility Ford Transit was parked between the two level crossings on Bollo Lane, while the works car park was packed with contractor vehicles (and just one liveried SV). There was a lot of work going on, seemingly to reinforce the embankment between the car park and the track. The vegetation had been removed and various road-rail machines were working above. There was also a large Emerson crane doing something in the lorry yard, but only the jib was visible. Continuing to Acton Town Station then up to the old Tram Depot, we took a 427 for the lengthy ride to Uxbridge. The replacement buses were starting at Ealing Broadway and were supplied by variously First London, London General (MECs), Arriva, Metroline, East London (including some from Rainham) and Ensign. Quite a mix.

At Hayes bypass an unmarked Vauxhall Astra was seen doing crew ferries for the 207, another case of a vehicle that might be a real SV but might not. Uxbridge Bus Station was host to five LBSL SVs, four IRUs (including one parked on the nearby side road) and a Honda, while a new VW Crafter was found inside the garage. This was parked near the back (where the Transit used to be kept) and was visible by poking my camera through the air bricks beside the path between the garage and the station. No sign of the small red van glimpsed there last month. Onwards by U4 and 195 to Hayes, we then made the long walk to the Abellio garage. But it was worth it, with no fewer than 12 SVs visible (and just 6 buses!). Six were out of use, dumped in the small rear yard, while four of the others were recent additions with Abellio lettering. One old Courier and a Transit Connect visiting from Fulwell made up the numbers. We also had a look at the nearby Volvo facility but there was just one of the route 237 VW buses (For those that are confused by this, the Volvo/Wright deckers for Metroline route 237 are coded VW!).

Onwards to Bulls Bridge for a H28 to Hounslow. Man, that is a circuitous route! Just one Escort van at AV so we carried on by H20 to the London Buses offices off Worton Road in Isleworth. This was host to four of the Honda Civic cars and a silver Touran. No sign of any new VW vans yet. Next stop was Fulwell, reached by a 267. Four Transdev SVs were visible (two in the yard and two in the depths of the garage), while more were seen at the Abellio end, including another newly acquired van and the rarely seen engineers Ford Transit. It was time to be heading homewards so we took a 33 to Richmond then a train. Last call of the day was at Eltham Bus Station, with the usual collection of LBSL IRUs and Hondas plus a couple of Metrobus minibuses.

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Hayes SVs
Tue 18/05/10, 06:58
Just to add that the six 'dumped' vehicles at Hayes are all still licensed, although they look past their prime.