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Metroline Perivale West Garage [PA] 24 April 2010

DLF 66 (W996 TRP) sits next to DE 957 (LK58 CTO) at Perivale West Garage.


I was in the area so I decided I should head over to the site and take some pictures of the Buses. But there was not much on show as you can evidently see.The Bus on the far right is DP16 (W116 WGT). It has been declared an unfit Bus by engineers and should take the short trip to CELF for maintenance very soon.
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Chiltern Railways 168

My Train Home - Class 168 108 B sits at Marylebone on the 24 April 2010 prior to working the 20:05 semi fast to Aylesbury via High Wycombe. Strangely this working was comprised of a 3 car 168 and 3 car 168. With the 168 providing the main power to Aylesbury.

The driver can be seen in the background.

I must admit 168s are some of the most comfortable units of train I have ever travelled on maybe all Class 170s should have been designed in this manner.

Class 168s have a top speed of 100mph and a max speed of 106mph this is due to Chiltern Railways installing them with a speed limiter which could otherwise let them get up to 110mph following the 10% rule.

The first Class 168s were ordered by Chiltern Railways in 1997 following their successful bid for the Chiltern franchise in 1996. Five of these units were constructed by ADtranz now Bombaridier and delivered in 1998, 168001 - 005 and were designated as 'Clubmans'. Upon arrival the units were solely used on the London Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Line however being fitted with tripcock meant they would stray onto LUL Tracks on the London Marylebone to Aylesbury service.

In 2001 Chiltern Railways took on a further delivery of 8 Class 168 units to strengthen services to Birmingham and allow the release of more Class 165s on the Metro services to High Wycombe and Aylesbury. The units are identical to the Class 170/2 which were at the time operating on the GEML of behalf on Anglia Railways.

In 2004 Chiltern Railways took on their third and last delivery of Class 168s. They are identical to the Class 168/1s in terms of the body shell, the only difference is the size of the buffers. These units are used on the London to Birmingham Line but can often be found on the London to Stratford -Upon- Avon Line.

I have to say my favourite sub class of the 168s are the 168/0s due to their unique styling and their rarity.
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Metroline CELF Centre...First visit!

Metroline's TE946 stands next to former TP310 which is due to off lease to Dawson's Rentals any day now

Today I had the pleasure of visiting Metroline's CELF Centre for the very first time! For those who are not familiar with CELF. In a nutshell, CELF is Metroline's Central Engineering Logistics Facility. It was opened in September 2007 and has since revolutionised the way in which Metroline maintain their Buses. The Centre deals with MOT, Chassis cleaning, repaints and refurbishments. It now means all of these operations can be done in house, which saves the company revenue and it also means vehicles undergoing maintenance can get back on the road much quicker than before. when I arrived on the premises I was absolutely shocked at the varieties of different bus that were present here today. On the nearside wall of the centre there are about a dozen TPs that are due to go back of lease very soon, these TPs are part of the original batch that operated on the Route 205 when it was first introduced in 2002 and on the in and around the centre there were a few inherited Armchair ALX200 Darts and some inherited Thorpes Plaxton Pointer Darts which are also due to go off lease. TP421 remains on the forecourt after just coming back from refurbishment. The reason there are so many different buses here owes to the fact that as part of a compulsory set up, all Metroline buses are required to spend up to two days here every three months to ensure that the buses are in good working order and fit for the road. I personally think this is an excellent centre and I look forward to returning here. Credit goes out to Metroline staff for allowing me on the premises. More photos from the visit are placed below. 

Metroline TE885 LK08 DXX

Ex Metroline TP302 LT02 ZZG

Ex Metroline DLF82 KU52 YLG

Ex Metroline TP304 LT02 ZZJ

Metroline TP421 LK03 GFX

Metroline TP421 LK03 GFX Offiside

Metroline DLF74 W974 TRP

Metroline TE885 LK08 DXX

Ex Metroline DLF96 KU52 YKC and
Metroline TPL237 LN51 KXP

Two of a kind

Metroline DLD117 T117 KLD

Ex Metroline TP348 LR52 KVM

Metroline VPL162 Y162 NLK

Ex Metroline DLF82 KU52 YLG

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Victoria Line 09 Stock

2009 Stock Number 11003 enters Oxford Circus Station with the service to Brixton on the 29th November 2009 © James Galbraith

Now most enthusiasts will be all too familiar with the new 2009 Stock Trains that are currently being introduced on the Victoria Line. The original plan was to introduce the Trains in 2005 and they would classed as 2005 Stock but this did not work out. Nevertheless the Trains are entering service this year. The new trains are being constructed by Bombardier at their Litchurch Lane Depot up in Derby.

There are currently two in service and I was lucky enough get a ride in one of them. My first impression of them is that they are very fast and provide a comfortable ride. The airy interior creates a cool atmosphere on a very very busy line. The only thing I really disliked about these trains is their small windows. However my friend was there to explain to me that these trains will never see daylight with passengers on them, due to the fact the Victoria Line is fully submerged underground so there is no need for large windows.

It is expected that once delivery commences later this year one Train will be delivered every fortnight. Whether this will work out remains to be seen. However it it worked out with the Class 378s so it remains to be seen if will work out with the 2009 stock. The 2009 Stock are going to gradually replace the 1967 stock currently used on the Victoria Line which will then be scrapped.

The Acceleration of these units is very good, within 30 seconds we were up to 60mph!

I think anybody travelling on these magnificent trains will have an excellent experience.
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Heathrow Express Class 332


Class 332 013 sits in a very wet London Paddington ready to form the working to Heathrow Terminal 5


On Saturday the 3rd April 2010 I took a trip up to London Paddington a station that in undergoing development at the moment. Whilst there I caught sight of the usual Class 165s/166s, 360s and MTU HSTs however it was the Class 332s that caught my eye. I have always loved the Class 332s due to their speed and and their amazing appearance. I was even more excited when I was told by an engineer that these trains were designed for a speed of 160mph however, but can only reach 105mph due to track gauge and line speed restrictions on the Great Western Mainline where the trains are solely between Paddington and Hayes Junction before branching of the Heathrow.
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My Simulation


BVE4 Simulator

To the left is some of my work done for the Simulator

If im not studying or out with mates, im most probably playing a simulator called BVE4. BVE4 is a free Train Cab simulator that has been developed by ''Mr Mackoy ''and released in 2004. BVE4 is a very popular simulator used by many people this is mainly due to the fact it is free and the quality of it is a force to be reckoned with as opposed to MSTS. BVE4 has many LUL Routes such as the LUL Central Line, Northern Line and Jubilee Line and National Rail Routes such as the ECML and Cross City South Line from Redditch to Birmingham to name a few.


To download the simulator please visit http://mackoy.cool.ne.jp/index4.html


BVE4 works on most computers for more information on this please take time and visit this site http://www.trainsimcentral.co.uk/help.htm this site will contain a step by step guide of what to install and the sites to visit. Remember everything is free so why not give it a go.
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Grand Central Class 180s

Now we all know that Grand Central have acquired some 180s for their proposed London Kings Cross to Bradford Route. I like other enthusiasts really do like the colour scheme on the 180s however I was never fortunate enough to actually get near enough to take a photo. However that was all about to change on Saturday 3rd April 2010. I decided to visit Kings Cross and upon my arrival a Grand Central 180 just arrived from Sunderland. I had to take some photos as memorabilia.
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Chiltern Railways Introduction of the Class 172


165029 sits at a dull Marylebone Station awiting to perform semi stopper service to High Wycombe.


Next year Chiltern Railways are expected to take on four brand new state of the art Class 172 trains to be used on the Gerrard's Cross to Marylebone stoppers. The new units will be geared so that they can only reach 75mph tops and a max speed of 82.5mph following the 10% rule. The trains are expected to be delivered in the 3rd quartile of this 2011. The units are being constructed by Bombardier at their Litchurch Lane Depot in Derby. The arrival of these units will free up the much needed Class 165s on commuter routes.

Prior to the construction of these units a suggestion was that they would have the body shell of Class 375s and 377s however this was wrong, the units have the same body shell as Class 168/2s however due to the high placement of their bogies they could not be fitted with Tripcock, a saftey system required by all trains if they are to travel on LUL Tracks. Therefore not allowing these trains to travel on the London to Aylesbury via Amersham Line.
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Metroline Brentford Garage [AH]... First ever Metroline Volvo B9TL Gemini 2

VW1034 LK59JJU
With the demise of Metroline's distinguishable Blue and White skirt in May 2009 all new Metroline Buses are being delivered in a bland Red livery. Which is a far cry from from the cool blue that we were used to seeing. Recently Metroline started taking on the delivery of Wrightbus Gemini 2 bodied vehicles with a Volvo B9LChasis (VW) for the 237 contract which was retained by Brenfrod Garage (AH) a first for the company in the Wrightbus region of the Bus market. Metroline normally stick to the Alexander Dennis Enviro type (TE). I like a lot of Bus enthusiasts was excited by the news of this as I really do prefer the Wright body as opposed to the Enviro 400 body. So on monday the 15th of February 2010 I decided to take a trip down to Brentford Garage as I had heard news that one had been delivered.

The Buses like all new Metroline Buses delivered from May 2009 onwards are limited to 39mph and have stickers on the rear of the Bus to clearly designate that. They also have steel plated fuel caps as well as rear LED Lighting. Another feature the Buses have is Power Blinds.

Power Blinds are a relatively new type of blind that are more advanced than traditional Manual Blinds. They allow the driver to change the destination blind of the vehicle electronically. They are also brighter,clearer and have a longer lasting life. The only downside to this is vehicles delivered with power blinds often have to have different blinds for other garages in case of vehicle cascading as they are harder to remove.

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