Friday 30 November 2018

Refurbished and Reconfigured Class 444 Train Enters Service

South Western Railway’s first fully refurbished and reconfigured Class 444 train has entered passenger service, offering additional seating capacity and high-quality improvements to passenger accommodation.

The refurbishment and reconfiguration of the train is part of SWR’s £50m Desiro interior upgrade programme. The project is being delivered by the trains’ manufacturer, Siemens Mobility Limited and is designed to increase much needed seating capacity in standard class, and bring the interior accommodation up to date with some state-of-the-art features including enhanced Wi-Fi; inductive charging tables and at-seat power; and a full refurbishment of passenger accommodation using quality materials.

Neil Drury, SWR’s Engineering Director said: “Our customers have been enjoying the benefits of refurbished accommodation on our Class 450 trains since December, and this train marks the start of phase two of the programme which offers additional seats as well.“When the refurbishment programme completes, all 172 of our Desiro class trains will have new, high-quality interiors, and will be providing almost 5,000 much needed additional seats in standard class.”

Richard Carrington, Project Director, Siemens Mobility said: “Siemens Mobility is proud to refurbish the 172-strong Class 444 and Class 450 Desiro fleet for South Western Railway. The passengers will benefit from full interior refurbishment of all trains; including, more seats, at seat power points for mobile devices and real-time information displays and new carpets. Additional benefits for First Class customers include new leather seats and new tables incorporating innovative inductive charging.”

The refurbishment of the Desiro fleet is part of a £110m programme to refurbish five fleets in all by the end of 2020, equating to over 900 carriages. Currently, the first of SWR’s newly acquired fleet of 18 Class 442 trains is being refurbished before entering passenger service this December on the Portsmouth to Waterloo route.

A video showing carriage refurbishment can be seen here


The Leyland National was a major element in the history of public transport during the National Bus Company years, and with some is still revered today. Part II which covers the fleets of London Buses and London Country Bus Services during the 1970s and 80s, is featured in an album, which can now be viewed by clicking   here

Thursday 29 November 2018

Leaves on the Line

Number of train delays caused by ‘leaves on the line’ have increased by two thirds in a decade due to trees not being cut back, study finds

  • Last year, more than 1,750 trains were cancelled by fallen trees on tracks
  • In 2009-2010, tree branches fell on lines on 11,500 occasions
  • Foliage on the line caused 3,261 hours of delays last year, a rise of 70 per cent in the last decade

It is an announcement seasoned commuters know means one thing: delays.

And the autumnal train misery thanks to ‘leaves on the line’ shows no signs of abating after a report revealed incidents have increased by two thirds since 2010.

Officials also found the failure of Network Rail to keep on top of foliage along the 20,000-mile network could ‘impact as much on safety and performance as on biodiversity’.

The autumnal train misery thanks to ‘leaves on the line’ shows no signs of abating

The report, commissioned by the Department of Transport, said the control of trees and other foliage by the tracks had been ‘under-resourced for decades’.

In 2009-2010, there were 11,500 occasions where tree and branches fell onto the lines. But by 2017-18 the figure had leapt to almost 19,000, The Times reported.

Last year, more than 1,750 trains were cancelled by fallen trees.

About 50 million leaves are said to fall on the tracks every autumn. Separate figures revealed that foliage on the line caused 3,261 hours of delays last year, a rise of 70 per cent in the last decade. Several train operators have already blamed leaves for rail chaos. Last month, Northern said excess wet leaves had damaged the train wheels, resulting in several carriages being taken out of service.

In order to counter the problem Rail Head Treatment Trains (RHTT) are employed over various sections of the network particularly susceptible to such problems. Class 20 engines 20303 and 20305 top and tail one such train as it passes through Kiveton during November on a run from Sheffield to Gainsborough and back (picture by Simon Kerry).

Greater London and Kent operator Southeastern introduced a reduced autumn timetable to cope with the issue, leaving commuters with longer waits and crowded services.

There are around six million trees on Network Rail-owned land within 10m either side of the track, but the report said they were considered an ‘afterthought’. Despite spending £40million a year over the past four years on vegetation control – an increase of £15million – Network Rail still has a large backlog of work, the report concluded. It also said the rail infrastructure company’s bosses could lose their bonuses for over-running engineering work.

Senior staff could be forced to hand over a part of their performance-related pay, which came to more than £52million last year, to pay for rail improvements.

Network Rail said it welcomed the report's conclusions.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Vote on ScotRail Franchise

THE Scottish Government was poised to consider exercising a break clause in the ScotRail contract in 2020, ending the Abellio franchise in 2022, but this depended on a crucial vote in the Scottish Parliament.
However, the proposal to cancel the contract in 2022 was thrown out by 85 votes to 34.
Labour wants to nationalise the train operator while the SNP Scottish Government said it would seek a public sector bidder for the next franchise.

Opponents to the franchise say ending the ScotRail contract in 2022 would provide a chance to "put passengers before profits" because the "failing" franchise had become a "shambles".

However, connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse said ScotRail was making significant improvements, and nearly two-thirds of delays were caused by track owner Network Rail.

Scottish Conservatives transport spokesman Jamie Greene also attacked the plans, which he said "makes little sense" because there was no way of knowing what ScotRail's performance would be like in 2020.

Dissatisfaction with performance has fuelled criticism from politicians as well as passengers.
Abellio, the overseas arm of Dutch Railways, has given a cash injection to Abello of £10 million, and has also been hampered by delays affecting enhancement plans. The Hitachi fleet ordered for the Edinburgh-Glasgow Queen Street electrification had curved windscreens which proved to distort drivers’ view of signals at night, and the trains had to be fitted with different windscreens before they could enter service.

Abellio ScotRail took over all of the services operated by First ScotRail on 1 April 2015, except for the Caledonian Sleeper services, which were transferred to a separate franchise operated by Serco

It was revealed last month that transport secretary Michael Matheson has allowed ScotRail performance targets to be waived until June 2019, in a bid to allow an interval for the franchise to recover. However, he was criticised for not informing Parliament, and the TSSA union called for his resignation.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘We know performance is not where it should be – that is why ministers can and do hold Abellio ScotRail to account within the terms of the franchise agreement. This includes the ability to end the contract if its terms are not met and it is in the public interest to do so.

ScotRail performance has remained consistently ahead of the GB average, but that GB average has got steadily worse since Network Rail moved timetable planning for Scotland to its Milton Keynes HQ in 2012. It is clear these essential railway functions must be devolved back to Scotland to allow any franchise operator to perform at its best.’


Tuesday 27 November 2018

Driver-less Bus Developments in Scotland

Scotland's first self-driving bus trial will run between Fife and Edinburgh next year.
The pilot will include five autonomous single decker buses travelling across the Forth Road Bridge.

The pilot will include a fleet of five autonomous ADL Enviro 200 single decker buses
A driver will still be required to be present on the bus during the trial as a back-up for passenger safety and to comply with UK legislation.
Funding of £4.35m has been awarded by the UK government for the project, which aims to be operational in 2021.
Additional funding has been provided by operators Stagecoach, Transport Scotland, bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, Fusion Processing Ltd, and ESP Group.

Revolutionise travel

The bus will initially only be fully unmanned within its depot, carrying out movements including parking and moving to the fuelling station and bus wash.
The autonomous buses will provide a service capable of carrying up to 42 passengers 14 miles across the Forth Bridge to Edinburgh Park train and tram interchange.
Scotland's Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: "This collaborative trial, using one of the country's most iconic transport corridors, shows Scotland is very much open for business in this innovative sector."
UK Business Secretary Greg Clark said autonomous vehicles would "revolutionise the way we travel."
He said: "The UK is building on its automotive heritage and strengths to develop the new vehicles and technologies and from 2021 the public will get to experience the future for themselves."

Monday 26 November 2018

London bus running days

Two running day events took place in London over the weekend.

First up was on the 24th November when six RTL-class Park Royal bodied Leyland Titan PD2 ran on a private tour of some former routes operated by the type from the 1950s, in order to commemorate when the type last ran in revenue-earning service 50-years ago in November 1968. The buses all preserved ran over parts of route 2, 21, 25, 108, 176 and 226, the last tow being significant as the final routes operated by the type from Willesden Garage.

            Four of the five RTLs at Victoria on routes 2 and 25 by David Bowker

The following day on the 25th November nine RML-class AEC Routemasters with 30-foot long Park Royal bodies from the early batch (RML 880-903) re-created former routes 104/104A (Barnet/North Finchley & Finsbury Square, Moorgate/Golders Green). This to commemorate the introduction of the type in November 1961, plus the closure of their then operating Finchley (FY) Garage in early December 1993.

Three of the nine RMLs at Finsbury Square on route 104 by Keith Valla

A set of pictures have been placed into an album on the Focus Flickr site, kindly provided by David Bowker and Keith Valla. The late afternoon pictures are especially poignant in the gloom of a November day, but offer a chance to recall how the interiors of the buses were lit back in those days. The pictures can now be viewed by clicking   here

Sunday 25 November 2018

Bus Services Again for Epping & Ongar Santa Specials

The special 339 bus service will be running again in connection with the Epping & Ongar Railway Santa Specials, every weekend leading up to Christmas.

The buses turn out even if it’s snowing, they are fitted with heaters to make sure passengers don’t get cold on the way. Tickets are selling out fast and can be obtained through the link here:

Starting from Ongar

Please park in Ongar Town Centre - parking is free in December. There is limited disabled parking at Ongar station, and this must be booked in advance. (

The bus will pick up from the stop opposite the library and from the top of the station approach road at the times shown below. There is no need to go to Ongar Station. There is a car park opposite the Two Brewers pub and buses will call here too - 5 minutes earlier than the times below.

Starting from Epping

The 339 heritage bus service operates from right outside Epping Underground station (Central Line, zone 6), picking up at any bus stop along Epping High Street and North Weald High Road to North Weald station. A large car park is available at Epping station (charges apply).


Saturday 24 November 2018

Greater Anglia New Train Update

The first of Greater Anglia’s brand new Swiss trains has now arrived in East Anglia.

The four-carriage bi-mode train, which will ultimately run on regional lines across the Greater Anglia network arrived on Thursday 15th November.

It was hauled to Norwich by a class 66 locomotive and will now undergo a programme of testing around the network before it is passed as ready to go into service.

Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia Franchising and Programmes Director said: “It’s so exciting to see one of our new trains here in East Anglia. I’m sure people will be impressed when they see it – it is very different to our existing trains.

“People will be able to see for themselves that we really are transforming the railway in East Anglia.

“Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking delivery of more of these trains so customers will see them around and about our stations. I’m afraid they’re not in service yet – we need to carry out lots of tests to make sure they complete all of our standards for safety and performance before passengers can use them.”

Technicians have already carried out a number of tests on the train in Europe including testing brakes, pantographs, noise levels, emissions, operational safety, automatic train protection systems and testing on special curved tracks against derailment.

Now the train has to be tested on the Greater Anglia network to make sure it passes strict regulations for being safe to carry passengers in the UK.

Over the next few months, a number of tests will take place, including testing the train’s pantograph, passenger information system and automatic selective door opening – for when the train is longer than a station platform.

After a period of classroom-based training, which will include sessions on new multi-million pound simulators, Greater Anglia’s drivers will then be undertaking test runs using the new trains on routes across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Greater Anglia is getting 38 bi-mode trains – 24 four-carriage and 14 three-carriage trains - which switch from diesel to electric power - from Swiss train manufacturer Stadler.

They will run between Norwich and Cambridge, Sheringham, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth; Ipswich and Cambridge, Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Peterborough; and Marks Tey and Sudbury.

The company is getting ten Intercity and ten Stansted Express trains from Stadler. It is getting a further 111 electric trains from Bombardier, in Derby, to run on commuter routes into London Liverpool Street from Essex, Ipswich, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

All of the trains will have plug and USB sockets, fast free wifi, air conditioning, accessible toilets, wheelchair spaces and bicycle spaces. They should all be in service by the end of 2020.

Ralf Warwel, UK sales director at Stadler, said:

“The arrival of the first Greater Anglia train on British soil is a highly symbolic moment, both for the project and for the Stadler business. We’ve made no secret of the fact that we are keen to make headway in the UK market. This order placed two years ago was our first major contract for passenger trains, paving the way for subsequent orders with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Merseytravel, and most recently, for Wales & Borders.

“These new trains, all of which are FLIRTs, one of Stadler’s most popular and versatile products. They rely on state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly technology and feature low floor and level boarding, vastly improving the customer experience. We are delighted to have reached this significant point in the project, which brings the trains one step closer to passenger roll-out next year.”

The new Stadler trains are financed by Rock Rail East Anglia, a joint venture between Rock Rail, Aberdeen Standard Investments and GLIL Infrastructure and will be leased to Greater Anglia.

The new Bombardier trains are financed by Angel Trains.

Also see our previous report here

Friday 23 November 2018

Dual Awards for Belfast Glider

Translink & Ardmore ‘Glide’ to Dual Award Success

Translink, Northern Ireland’s principal public transport provider, and Ardmore, its integrated communications partner, have received island-wide acclaim at the 2018 Chartered Institute of Marketing Ireland Awards, both taking home top awards in hotly contested categories.

Translink won gold in the ‘Best New Product, Business or Service Launch’ for its highly strategic and successful communications campaign to introduce and roll out its ground-breaking Belfast Rapid Transit Glider service.

 The Glider vehicles are manufactured by Van Hool

Officially launched in September and representing an investment of more than £90 million by the Department for Infrastructure, Glider is a wholly new and transformational public transport concept for Belfast.

Its intensive advertising-led launch campaign was devised by Translink’s internal marketing and corporate communications team in partnership with Ardmore, and featured a range of impactful, innovative and integrated initiatives to drive awareness, trial and conversion across the Belfast metropolitan area. The introduction of Glider has delivered a 17% increase in passenger journeys, equating to some 30,000 additional Translink customers each week.

Further underlining Translink and Ardmore’s winning partnership, Ardmore scooped the ‘Best Public Sector Marketing’ award for its Translink Christmas campaign, a target-driven integrated campaign which resulted in 730,000 additional passenger journeys over the festive period.

Norman Maynes, Translink’s Head of Marketing & Business Development, said:

“Launching Glider was a pivotal step in Translink’s journey to deliver progressive, world-class public transport services for Northern Ireland, and communicating its many benefits to consumers was integral to its hugely positive welcome and uptake. We are exceptionally proud of both CIM award wins which not only recognise the skill and strength of our internal marketing team but also demonstrate the power of our partnership with Ardmore in keeping passengers informed, engaged and mobilised.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased to see our work with Translink recognised in this way,” added Paul Bowen, Ardmore’s Creative Director. “Ardmore has just celebrated 30 years in business and being part of Translink’s success story is a great testament to our own. It highlights our unstinting commitment to our clients and consolidates our position at the forefront of the integrated communications industry in the UK and Ireland.”

The CIM Ireland Marketing Awards are seen as a key industry benchmark, recognizing excellence in marketing innovations and campaigns across the island of Ireland. The 2018 awards were held on November 9th in the iconic Titanic Suite in Titanic Belfast.

Thursday 22 November 2018

London Underground

Siemens to design and manufacture next generation Tube trains

Siemens to design and manufacture ninety four new trains to replace the 1970s-built Piccadilly line fleet
  • New trains will be more spacious, air-conditioned, have walk-through carriages and improve accessibility
  • Additional capacity and improved customer experience for millions of passengers
  • The contract will facilitate a multi-million pound investment in a factory in Goole, East Yorkshire, creating thousands of UK jobs
London Underground Limited (a subsidiary of Transport for London) has signed a contract with Siemens Mobility Limited to design and build 94 new generation Tube trains to replace the existing 1970s fleet.

The current trains are old, increasingly unreliable and expensive to maintain. From 2023, new spacious 'Inspiro London' trains will be delivered for testing on the Piccadilly line, with current estimates indicating the first of these trains will be serving customers in 2024. These will improve reliability and enable increased frequencies during peak times by the end of 2026 (up from 24 to 27 trains-per-hour). This service - a train every 135 seconds at the busiest times - will help to address crowding on the line as London's population continues to rise.

The state-of-the-art Tube trains will significantly improve the experience of millions of customers, with wider doors and longer, walk-through, fully air-conditioned carriages. In addition, in-train information systems will help all customers plan their onward journey more easily.

The initial order is for 94 trains and an associated Fleet Services Agreement covering the supply of spares and whole life technical support (a value of approximately £1.5bn). This has been awarded with the expectation that Siemens Mobility will build trains for all four Deep Tube lines - the Piccadilly, Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City. Creating a single train design will allow TfL to maximise cost savings through greater standardisation of train operations, staff training, equipment, spares and maintenance. To maximise whole life benefit and return on investment, Siemens Mobility will also be offering a range of added value digital services using its Railigent® asset management suite of applications.

Nigel Holness, Managing Director of London Underground, said:
'The introduction of new trains on the Piccadilly line will significantly improve the journeys of millions of our customers, providing more frequent and more reliable trains for decades to come. This order will mean the replacement of the 1970s Piccadilly line fleet, with delivery of the new trains in 2023, and will help address crowding on the line as London's population continues to rise.'

William Wilson, Managing Director Rolling Stock of Siemens Mobility Limited, said:
'These state-of-the-art trains, which are track-friendly and future-proofed for a long life, will transform the travel experience for the 700,000 daily Piccadilly line passengers. We've thought about travellers at every stage of the process and as a result the trains feature walk-through carriages with wider doors, improved access to make them easier to get on and off, and feature full air-conditioning - a real challenge in hot tunnels.'

As Siemens Mobility announced earlier this year, the contract award is a significant step to progress plans to build a new factory in Goole, East Yorkshire, to manufacture and commission trains. The two companies will now work together to maximise the number of Piccadilly line trains being built at this facility.

The continued modernisation of the Tube is a key part of the Mayor's Transport Strategy to make London a greener, more accessible place. The investment in improving public transport will help reduce reliance on the car and contribute to the Mayor's target of 80 per cent of journeys made by public transport, cycling or walking by 2041.

One of the fleet of trains currently used on the Piccadilly Line


From the most modern to the positively vintage. By complete contrast the latest set of pictures on the Focus flickr site features line-ups of various buses at the LVVS running day, and allows comparison of designs over the years during the last century. These are now in an album that can be viewed by clicking  here

Wednesday 21 November 2018

DATE FOR THE DIARY - Saturday 1st December - South Essex & North Kent

A small selection of vehicles that may be in use on the day.


Staying with Running Days, two further albums from the LVVS November event have been placed onto the Flickr site and can be viewed by clicking here and here

Tuesday 20 November 2018

McGill's & Alexander Dennis

McGill’s orders 26 Enviro200 low emission buses from Alexander Dennis

McGill’s, Scotland’s largest independent bus operator, has confirmed an order for 26 Alexander Dennis Enviro200 single deck buses as part of its continued investment in its modern fleet. They will be built to Low Emission Bus standards with Euro 6 engines and ADL’s SmartPack efficient diesel technology, and will be delivered by the end of March 2019.

The order includes 11 Enviro200 in 10.4m length as well as 15 to a length of 11.5m. The longer vehicles will have high-backed seats with the McGill’s logo embroidered into the headrest, and will be fitted with USB charging ports to keep passengers’ mobile devices powered.

All 26 buses will feature ADL’s award-winning SmartPack technology, accrediting them as Low Emission Buses as defined by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. Not only will the buses meet the demanding Euro 6 emissions standard, but their real emissions will be significantly lower still thanks to engine stop/start technology and the smart management of alternator and compressor, which are programmed to recharge from surplus energy when the engine is coasting.

McGill’s will use the new buses across its Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and Glasgow networks. They will be fully compliant with the requirements of Glasgow’s upcoming Low Emission Zone, underlining the operator’s commitment to work in partnership with Glasgow City Council to make travel more sustainable.

Ralph Roberts, Managing Director of McGill’s, said: “When it came to this year’s bus investment, the low operating cost and high reliability of the ADL product made it an easy decision to choose the Enviro200 product. Our Inverclyde and Renfrewshire routes will benefit from this £4.8m of investment and not only give our current customers an enhanced travel experience but hopefully tempt non-bus users to give the bus a try.”

ADL Chief Executive Colin Robertson said: “This deal will not only deliver benefits to passengers and residents across McGill’s operating areas in Renfrewshire and the West of Scotland, but it also helps us to retain skills and value in the Scottish economy. We champion a collaborative approach of working closely with our customers to support their requirements and we are delighted to continue our relationship with McGill’s.”

About McGill’s

McGill’s is Scotland’s largest independent bus company and currently employs around 1000 staff, operating 450 buses across 110 routes. It has depots in Greenock, Barrhead, Coatbridge, Inchinnan and Johnstone.

Every week there are close to half of a million journeys on a McGill's bus, providing a public transport network that is modern, efficient and integrated with other modes.

Monday 19 November 2018

Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman nameplate fetches a record £64,500

An original nameplate from Flying Scotsman has fetched a record £64,500.

A mystery online bidder clinched the 1926 solid brass plate, which was being sold for the first time at auction in Worcestershire.

The plate, which was being sold by the family of a collector, beats the previous record of £60,000 bid for Golden Fleece's nameplate in 2004.

Auctioneer Simon Turner said he was "over the moon" at the sale.

"It's been an honour and a privilege to be able to sell such a prestigious nameplate," he said.

A crowd of about 500 people gathered for the sale by GW Railwayana Auctions at Pershore High School.

Flying Scotsman first emerged from Doncaster Works in 1923, but became famous the following year at the British Empire Exhibition.

In 1934, the locomotive was clocked at 100mph, officially the first to reach that speed.

It has travelled approximately 2,500,000 miles.

Click here for further news on The man who saved Flying Scotsman


A second set of pictures from Hong Kong & Macau have been provided by Jimmy Sheng from his recent visit to the Far East. Placed into an album, these can now be viewed by clicking here

Sunday 18 November 2018

West Somerset Railway

Railway to close for three months

The heritage railway is to close for three months following an inspection by the railway watchdog. 

West Somerset Railway (WSR) was told it had a "significant number of important actions to take" following an audit by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). The ORR report has not yet been published, but WSR said a "recovery plan" was required.

The railway will close in January to allow staff to "focus on qualifications and effective record keeping" A statement on an unofficial WSR website said it was "clear that from a commercial point of view we need to refocus our operation and business processes".

In a letter sent to WSR shareholders and volunteers, chairman Jonathan Jones-Pratt called for more unity to keep the railway going as it had "lost direction".

'Recovery plan'

"My main focus will be to ensure that the journey we place ourselves on will be collective and one, where the displeasure of the past that has notably led to public embarrassment and provided continued distraction to the business must stop," he said.
Mr Jones-Pratt further said a "recovery plan which must be achieved" was needed following the audit.

The railway, which is a branch line of the old Great Western Railway, and runs from from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard, will close from 2 January until 1 April 2019.

It would normally have been closed for two months during that time for routine maintenance.

An ORR spokesman said no enforcement notice - meaning railways must stop operating immediately due to serious safety issues - had been handed out.

On a more positive note the railway has secured a grant just shy of £100,000 to improve its engagement with the community.

The grant, of £96,000, from the HPC Community Fund, will be spread across two years.

The successful application, led by the West Somerset Railway Association, with the support of WSR PLC and other members of the WSR family, will enable them to fund a community engagement officer, as well as providing more activities and volunteering opportunities.

The 20 mile railway operation currently runs with 1,200 volunteers, supported by nearly 50 staff, and attracts around 200,000 visitors a year to the area. Throughout the summer season, it runs for seven days a week.

WSR PLC chairman, Jonathan Jones-Pratt, said: “This is an exciting new dawn for the railway which demonstrates how important the WSR is to our stakeholders through the West Somerset Community.

"I wish to thank and congratulate the WSRA on the hard work that has led to our successful bid submission and we look forward to creating a legacy for the future as we work closely with our communities along our beautiful line.”

The community engagement officer will aim to create new opportunities for the surround communities.

The new changes will also reach to attract new volunteers and stakeholders from a wider area.

WSRA chairman, Paul Whitehouse, said: “As the support charity for the West Somerset Railway we are thrilled to have been selected to deliver this project which will be of great benefit to individuals, the West Somerset Community, and the railway.”

The association says the funding will help WSR to continue and expand as a place where people can come to experience many different activities, not all related to railways, as an educational, heritage and leisure attraction and a large local employer which currently generates a secondary spend within its surrounding community in the region of £9 million per annum.

More News from the Railway

Saturday 17 November 2018

DATE FOR THE DIARY - 25th November - Finchley Bus Running Day

This running day  commemorates the sad occasion of 25 years since Finchley bus garage closed in November 1993 one of the many  garages closed around that time .

Originally opened in 1898 as a tram depot by the Metropolitan Electric Tramways, between 1936 and 1938 it converted to Trolleybus operation and in 1961 to motorbus operation, but in 1993 became a victim of the cuts and privatisation of London buses. 

RML 901 Finchley Garage April 1969 

The main claims to fame were the operation of the 1961 trial batch of extended length Routemasters (RMLs) on the 104 route which was formerly the 609.

Special buses will run again on 25/11/18 on the 104 which operated from 8th august 1961 to 3rd August 1985, between Archway and Barnet church.

See timetables below

Also operating is the 104A a short lived offshoot running from Barnet Church to Golders Green running via route 102 to Golders Green between 1966 and 1971.
Finchley Bus Garage was subsequently demolished and a Homebase store now occupies the site, 

The Homebase Manager has kindly agreed to a small static display of buses on the site. 

 RML 903 Finsbury Square March1969

Due to short days this time of year and major roadworks at Highbury Corner the 104 will run from Archway to Barnet church only enabling maximum riding and photography opportunities! Morning feeder journeys will depart from Moorgate, and return at finish of the day. 

The organisers hope you have a great day whether riding or photographing or both !  
Whilst we have Transport for London have approved the running these free services they are not responsible for them.

The event is a chance to go out and enjoy riding buses as they used to be.