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Hybrids in London

by Tony Wilson

Added to website 24 October 2010

As an add-on to David Gambles and Richard Lomas’s respective articles (HERE and HERE) on the recent and forthcoming developments of hybrid buses here is a sort of current general round-up of such, along with some other alternative fuel developments in the London area.

It was back in 2004/5 that three fuel-cell hydrogen-powered Mercedes-Benz Citaro single-deckers were operated by FirstGroup’s London subsidiary on route 25 (Oxford Circus – Ilford). The three buses were assigned fleet numbers ESQ 64991-64993 and ESQ 64992 made an appearance at the annual Cobham Museum Open Day in 2004 and is illustrated here at Wisley.

Hybrids in London

Hybrids in London

Hybrids in London

All have since been withdrawn and one, ESQ 64993 is now kept in the London Transport Museum store at Acton.

Since 2005 Go-Ahead London (London Central) have operated a batch of seven Wrightbus Electrocity single-deckers from Camberwell Garage on route 360 (Kensington - Elephant & Castle), alongside low-floor Dennis Darts.

An all-Scania CN94UD Omnicity double-decker demonstrator was run by Transdev London United for a while during 2008/9. It was powered by ethanol fuels and operated out of Shepherds Bush Garage over route 148 (White City – Camberwell Green), alongside similar diesel-powered buses. Whilst with London United it was operated as SP 16 and nicknamed 'Ethel' but has since left London.

Hybrids in London

2009 then saw the arrival of a plethora of hybrid buses. Five Wrightbus Electrocity hybrid single-deckers are currently operated by Abellio London (Ned Railways - Dutch Railways), solely on route 129 (Greenwich – North Greenwich), out of their Walworth Garage. These are allocated fleet numbers 8801-8805.

Hybrids in London

Hybrids in London

Arriva London (now owned by Deutsche Bahn), operate six Volvo B5L/Wrightbus double-deckers HV 1-6 and five Wrightbus Gemini 2 hybrid double-deckers HW 1-5 which run on route 149 (London Bridge Station - Edmonton Green Station).

The East London Bus Group (then owned by the Australian-based Macquarie Bank but now recently acquired by Stagecoach Holdings), run five Optare Tempo hybrid single-deckers 29001-29005 on route 276 (Newham Hospital - Stoke Newington Common). These are operated alongside Dennis Darts out of their West Ham Garage. Again this one was exhibited at the Cobham 'do' but in April 2009.

Hybrids in London

Hybrids in London

FirstGroup London run five Wrightbus Gemini 2 double-deckers WNH 39001-39005 in service out of Westbourne Park Garage and operate alongside Volvo B7TL/Wrightbus on route 328 (Golders Green - Chelsea), whilst Go-Ahead London (London General) operate five Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double-deckers EH 1-5 and one Wrightbus Gemini 2 hybrid double-decker WHD 1 all alongside standard ADL/E400s on route 24 (Hampstead Heath - Pimlico), out of their Stockwell Garage.

Five more hybrid ADL/Enviro 400s TEH 915-919 are assigned by Metroline (part of the Singapore-based ComfortDelgro Group), to route 16 (Cricklewood - Victoria), again alongside similar diesel-engined E400 versions from Cricklewood Garage.

Hybrids in London

The company also runs five Optare Tempos OTH 1-5 similar to the East London ones, which are based at Brentford Garage and operate alongside ADL/E200 single-deckers on route E8 (Ealing Broadway - Brentford).

Two further ADL/E400s are currently operated by French-owned London United out of their Hounslow Heath Garage on route 482 (Southall - Heathrow Terminal 5), again alongside similar diesel-powered E400s. They also run five ADL/Enviro200 single-deckers HDE 1-5 from Fulwell Garage on route 371 (Richmond - Kingston), alongside standard E200 type.

New hybrid deliveries imminent are as follows. Arriva London is to receive a further twenty Volvo B5L/Wrightbus and along with the existing HVs and HWs will operate out of Tottenham Garage on routes 76 (Waterloo - Tottenham), 149 (London Bridge – Edmonton Green) and 243 (Wood Green - Waterloo Station). First London will in due course acquire five hydrogen fuel-cell VDL B200/Wrightbus single-deckers for route RV1 (Covent Garden - Tower Gateway). Metroline will receive a further ten ADL Enviro400 hybrids to enter service on route 139 (Waterloo Station - West Hampstead), alongside similar existing fleet diesel-powered Enviro400s allocated to Cricklewood Garage. And finally twenty more Enviro400 hybrids are due and will operate on London United’s route 94 (Acton Green – Piccadilly Circus), out of Shepherds Bush Garage.

Tony Wilson
October 2010

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