Know Your Routes: Route U2

LK03 NGF/ DMC41513 on route U2 at Hillingdon Hospital, bound for Brunel University. This bus is now withdrawn from London service and was the last one at Uxbridge to carry the original First livery.
©LondonBuses72
Before I start the post, I apologise for the long gap between this post and the last. As you may know, I also run the All Over London Bus Blog as well. There aren't any active members as they are too busy due to personal reasons. This leaves me being the only member on the blog, and I don't want to let this blog and All Over London die out, so I need to space out posts here and there, and keep an even balance.

Back to Uxbridge, in this Know-Your-Routes post, and last time our focus was on route U10. With more visual aids, today's focus lies on route U2, which is one of my favourite single decker routes at this moment in time. The route runs between Uxbridge Station and Brunel University and carries out an aim to deliver passengers to and from Hillingdon and Oak Farm, as it is the only route to run in these areas. Running via (From Uxbridge) Uxbridge College, Sweetcroft Lane, Hillingdon Station, Hillingdon Circus, Oak Farm (Library), Hillingdon Heath, Hillingdon Hospital and Brunel University. For the aforementioned reason, route U2 is relatively busy and carries some healthy loading in the Uxbridge area. The entire route one-way takes roughly 25-30 minutes during the peaks, about 15-20 minutes off peak, so it's not too long of a route.


LK08 FNG/ DML44008 on route U2 to Brunel University, at Hillingdon Heath.
©LondonBuses72
The route is currently operated by Metroline West (Formely First prior to the 22nd June 2013) from the garage closest to home, Uxbridge (UX). Allocated 8 Caetano Nimbuses during the peak hours all built in 2003, a mixture of 03' plates and 53' plates, the U2 has a frequency of up to every 10 minutes. Enviro 200s are common, both 08', 10' and 60' plate batches all the time, like photographed above near Long Lane.

The U2 started off in May 1989, it's intention to replace route 98 (now H98) in the Long Lane, Hillingdon and Hayes End areas. First operated by Uxbridge Buses (If I am correct) using some Mercedes vehicles. The routing practically the same, although buses in fact only ran as far as Hillingdon Hospital from Uxbridge.

LK03 NLM/ DMC41508 on route U2 to Brunel University, Uxbridge Bus Station.
©LondonBuses72
Moving onto the early 2000s, the U2 recieved an upgrade in the form of some P-reg  Dennis Pointer 1s, and the route now under the First name. The buses had a class of 'DMP'. The route was still running to and from Hillingdon Hospital. Although shortly later, the route was extended to Brunel University with the new large order of Caetano Nimbuses for all Uxbridge routes operated by First, so from 331, A10, U1, U2, U3, U5 and U10. The buses at the time were classed as 'DHL' buses, with 3 digit number fleetcodes, although First later re-arranged all First buses to have a new fleet number and so were converted to be 'DMC' type buses with 5 digit style numbers. 
LK53 FDJ/ DMC41521 on route U2 to Brunel University, Uxbridge Station.
©LondonBuses72
Over the years the buses were stripped down and repainted to a 100% red livery, to comply with new TfL rules. Some buses however were transferred in 2008 following the introduction of 08' plated Enviro 200s on routes 331 and A10, beforehand the 57'reg DMLs that operated the 165 out of Dagenham (DM) for a bit. They do occasionally slip onto route U2 as this shot below shows LK08 FNH (DML44009) on route U2 at Uxbridge Station, back in 2013.


©Lewis JN

Now drawing closer to the present day, the year is 2010 and a massive delivery of Enviro 200s is on order for 3 routes, routes U1 (Who is now having an extension to West Drayton from Uxbridge), U5 and U10. The batch containing 10' reg buses, although with an exception of two latecomers for route U10, who came as '60 plate ones (YX60 BZN/O). This allowed more Nimbuses to escape London, a lot of them now being spotted with First Essex around the Basildon and Brentwood areas.

In the late hours of 8th April 2013, it was announced that the rumour of Metroline buying out First came true. Metroline acquired 5 garages, Hayes (HS, Metroline changed it to HZ), Alperton (ON), Willesden Junction (WJ), Greenford (G) and Uxbridge (UX) where the U2 operated out of. This meant all drivers, engineers and buses transferred to Metroline under a new division: Metroline West. Buses have since been re-coded Caetano Nimbus (DC) and Enviro 200 (DE). 

©Lewis JN
Now for the fleetlist, in which only 20 Nimbuses remain for routes U2 and U3: 

LK03 NLE - DC1540
LK03 NLF - DC1541
LK03 NLG - DC1542
LK03 NLJ - DC1543
LK03 NLL - DC1544
LK03 NLM - DC1545
LK03 NLT - DC1546
LK03 NFY - DC1547
LK03 NFZ - DC1548
LK53 FDC - DC1549
LK53 FDE - DC1550
LK53 FDF - DC1551
LK53 FDG - DC1552
LK53 FDJ - DC1553
LK53 FDM - DC1554
LK53 FDN - DC1555
LK53 FDO - DC1556
LK53 FDP - DC1557
LK53 FDU - DC1558
LK53 FDV - DC1559

However, this allocation may not last very long. There is speculation saying that possibly the DEs at Perivale (The 58' plated ones from route 245) will move to routes U2 and U3 later this year as more MMs are returning to service, possibly after a well needed refurbishment for both vehicle types. 

That's it from us, we hope you enjoyed reading the post and please remember to stay safe!

5 comments:

  1. Nice post there LondonBuses72

    Unorm

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    1. Thanks, Unorm. Much appreciated! :)

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  2. Will MM's be bought to Uxbridge Garage for U-Line routes.

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    1. I wish, Adam G. Unfortunately, due to standardization reasons, Metroline only want DEs at Uxbridge. Apparently they will send over the 58-reg ones that used to work the 245 and currently work routes 90 and E6 over to Uxbridge.

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  3. ahh okay makes sense bout time the MM's came out of training and become operative i think some shud go back on the 232 but W wont allow that seeing that DE's are the standard

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