The Homecoming

Route 112, between Brent Cross and Ealing Broadway, was recently awarded to Metroline from Abellio London on 2 August 2014. 

Abellio's 8440, the last ever bus on the Abellio 112 seen on the last day, is seen at Brent Cross.
Jacob travels back through the brighter memories on route 112 and compares who provides the better service. Oh - there are a lot of photos too.

Two Metroline TAs, 645 and 653, on stand at Brent Cross both on route 112.

I'll be honest here - This service change has been the one I've been dreading for this year. Probably the one I didn't want to happen. At least the E3 there were some benefits. This, has 2 benefits. Others, I've forgotten until the time of writing this post like the S4 or the Stagecoach hybrids (That one got boring after they were delivered) but the 112 was one that just stuck on the top of my head, day in, day out.

One thing I anticipated was for an Abellio hybrid from route E1 between Ealing Broadway and Greenford Broadway in the timespan of two months, unfortunately as most of you know, a single working didn't stray.

However, there were other workings that made it to the 112 before it left Abellio. I have a photo of every single allocated bus on route 112, plus some other interesting workings dating back from late 2012.

Buses on route 112 at Abellio had running numbers WS #431-7 and at Metroline W #401-9. The route was won by Tellings-Golden Miller in 2004 off from Metroline. The allocation was to be from the former Wing's Base at Hayes (WS) with 7 brand new Caetano Nimbuses on a Dart SLF chassis. This met the requirement of the route, the spare bus would be the pretty-much-new GM03 TGM which is the only post 2001-bus to have a Euro 2 chassis instead of the Euro 3 one.

However, in 2007, Travel London, part of National Express purchased all Tellings-Golden Miller TfL operations and so all buses were re-branded. In 2009, let to Abellio buying Travel London out, and buses were re-branded once more. The new fleetnumbers were 8466-8472 for the Nimbuses. However, there was a minor reshuffle - buses 8471 (HX04 HTY) and  8472 (HX04 HTZ) had to move out to be allowed to be in use for the new 455 contract, and were replaced by buses 8463, 8464 and 8465. 

In 2012, 8466 was re-allocated to the U7, who had just been converted to Nimbus operation from 3 other ex-Ealing Community Transport buses who had ran in the same area (On the 195) to relieve the aged Sprytes of operation. This bus was replaced by 8438 (RX51 FGN) and 8440 (RX51 FGP), both who acted as spares for both U7 and 112.

By the time the 112 had left Abellio, half of the allocation on certain days could be made up of more Euro 2 buses than Euro 3 and higher!

So I'll go in order (As I have a photo of every single odd working type and every bus allocated to the 112 post 2009) starting with the Pointers. First up, is 8438 (RX51 FGN) seen on the rather empty A406 (North Circular Road) after a refurbishment in late 2013. From my understanding, this bus may have been withdrawn and is off for a repaint for the Surrey Locals livery where it will join on services around Byfleet.

After 8438 is 8440 (8439 being at Fulwell) seen on the last ever day of Abellio operation on route 112. This bus (8440, RX51 FGP) performed the last ever 112 service at Abellio, and left at 00:35, just minutes after 9767 (YN51 KWB) left service.

I did speak to the driver of this bus around 15:00, who was a polite and warming person. He said that he liked 8440, despite it being old and polluting, it drives well and is easy to handle. It is thought that the bus will be withdrawn from service soon, although at the time of writing this paragraph, the bus is still on the H28 a week after the last day........

Here is 8440, running WS #435 at Brent Cross Bus Station whilst on stand. I find it rather odd that it did stand here, this part of the bus station usually occupied by Metroline drivers only. I have also got an interior photo of 8440 as well, seen to the right.

Caetano Nimbuses
Now the Pointers, both of Euro 2 specifications are cleared - it's time for the Caetano Nimbuses. In order, from 8463-8470, first up is RL02 FVN, the oddity of the Nimbus fleet (If you exclude 8466). Here is 8463 (RL02 FVN) seen on the A406 at Neasden once again. This shot taken on the same day as the 8438 one. This one is odd in terms of the interior - one notable thing is if you look at the other Nimbuses, they have red poles and the standard Abellio seating (pre-2012). This bus, as see on the doors, has yellow-orange poles with a similar interior to 8440. This bus also sounded like a rocket every time it took off, sorry, I mean left the bus stop!

Then after 8463, is 8464 (RL02 ZTB) seen after a curtailment to Hanger Lane Station. Seen at the gyratory on stand waiting for departure time. I actually have several photos. This bus also hosted my last ever Abellio 112 journey. 

The next photos are also of 8464 (RL02 ZTB) also on the last day at Neasden and Brent Cross.

Then after 8464, comes 8465 (RL02 ZTC) who was also on the 112 last day. Seen at Brent Cross, pulling into the bus station. Note the friendly driver's wave.

After 8465, is 8466 (GM03 TGM). This bus was allocated to 112 up until 2012, where the bus was re-allocated and refurbished to route U7 between Hayes, Sainsbury's and Uxbridge Station. Some of you may already know the backstory of this particular bus - unlike all other buses built in the year 2003, this one isn't a Euro 3. No, it's not a Euro 4, but it's in fact a Euro 2. The reason for this was because the body was built in the year 2003, with the engine dating back to 1998 where it laid around at Guildford. To commemorate a special bus, the bus was given a unique registration plate - GM03 TGM. TGM representing the initials of the company that purchased the bus - Tellings Golden Miller. Arter 2012, the bus was refurbished, received powerblinds and made cameo appearances on 112. Here it is seen navigating Brent Cross Bus Station back in the summer of 2013.

Then follows 8467 (HX04 HTP), well known for it's old style blinds with the detailed writing and underground symbols. We're back to the original batch of Nimbuses for 112, and these are Euro 3.

Then on 8468, 8469 and to round off 8470.

There were also appearances of Enviro 200s from Hayes (WS) garage route H28 between Tesco Osterley and Tesco Bull's Bridge. Here is 8586 (YX62 DFE) at Neasden.

Finally, some Tridents from route 350 have appeared on the route on a frequent basis - although no Enviro 400 Hybrids from route E1 did in the two months the E1 and 112 shared garages. Here is 9766 (YN51 KWA), in my experiences the slowest Trident allocated to the 350, seen on the 112 at Neasden Winslow Close on a journey towards Brent Cross, Shopping Centre.

Hayes (WS) aren't the best people at keeping buses allocated to their routes, but if there was a type that didn't appear on the 112 frequently, it had to be the MPD type allocated to midibus route U9, between Uxbridge Station and Harefield Hospital. Here is, at the time of writing, London's oldest single decker seen on route 112 on the A406, Neasden. 8041 (V301 MDP) is seen on the 112 towards Ealing Broadway, pretty crowded. Ever since the loss of 112, for some odd reason this bus transferred to Fulwell (TF) and is frequently seen on route K1 causing U9 to have some longer buses sometimes.

Now, on the 2nd August 2014, route 112 passed to Metroline. The West London Bus Blog got back to the route to see what had changed on the 112:

The new buses for route 112 were about 2-3 months late, so Metroline, using the several spare TAs and TEs they had, drafted TE925, TE927-34 from Holloway (HT) and TE926 from Edgware (EW) alongside the TAs which has blind inserts fitted. Drivers from the Abellio 112 were transferred (only some of them) to Cricklewood (W), and other spare drivers from Cricklewood (W) now do full-time on the 112 alongside them. The route has mainly been allocated TAs as the drivers from WS were familiar with driving these vehicles. Although over the 2 months, the route has seen more and more TEs, as the drivers seem more fond of these vehicles.

Here is TA642 (LK05 GFZ) is seen on the route 112 towards Ealing Broadway, with both interior and exterior photos.

The DELs were finally delivered in late August, but all buses were subject to a long series of tests and also some had mechanical problems. The DELs were a batch of 10 - and were given 64-reg, the first in the Metroline fleet. Here is the fleetlist for Metroline's new DELs:

LK64 ECE - DEL2062
LK64 ECF - DEL2063
LK64 ECJ - DEL2064
LK64 ECN - DEL2065
LK64 ECT - DEL2066
LK64 ECV - DEL2067
LK64 ECW - DEL2068
LK64 ECX - DEL2069
LK64 ECY - DEL2070
LK64 ECZ - DEL2071

Yesterday, on the 23rd October, DEL2069 entered service on the 232, and an hour later DEL2070 entered service on the 112. Jacob took a ride on 2070 on the first day, and had a chat with the driver.

"These new buses are excellent. They are environmentally friendly, with two vehicles [2062 and 2063] using stop-start technology, they are easy to drive and can do speed on the A406"

Here are photos of the new buses on route 112. I've taken some interior shots of DEL2070 as well. I think these buses are great, they are Euro 6 and also sound like a cross between a Scania N230UD and a Volvo B5L Hybrid. They definitely have the pace of the N230UD! I recommend you to do these buses on routes 112 and 232, who use pretty fast roads. I can't guarantee you can get the same experience on some other routes, such as 316.

Interior from the front of the bus.

Interior of the rear of the bus.
To round off the post, here's two photos of DEL2069 seen on route 232 on it's first day of service. Who knows how frequent these workings will be? Hopefully, not that common.

Sorry for the late 112 post, I wanted the new vehicles to enter service before I published it. But nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed the post! Stay safe!


  1. When's the next edition of Year Of The Bus News? I enjoy these.

  2. Euro 6 E200s really are fast.The Allison gearbox's short gear ratio gives it a better performance than,say,a ZF or Voith.Only downside is,that an Allison is always reluctant to go from 2nd to 3rd.Nevertheless,E6's are really good buses and Metroline have the best E6 E200 batch.
    PS.That bridge shot rules!