Go Ahead London


 

Last update
26
th October 2019


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Go-ahead London, a significant part of a major group, visits Harlow twice a day on Monday to Fridays, when commercial service 575 runs one return journey to the town. The route has been operating for a good few years, but is now a shadow of the 3-5 journeys to Romford (not all to/from Harlow) that once were provided 6 days per week.

Operationally the service is linked with Essex County Council school service 804 between Debden and Chigwell, and for that reason a double deck bus normally features. During school holidays when the 804 does not operate the 575 still does, and at these times single deck buses have been known to operate. In recent years summer extensions to Southend and Clacton have operated. This was also scaled back for 2018 to Tuesdays only and seems not to be running in 2019.

Go-ahead have a Commercial Services Department which is separate from the main London operations. The department has its own vehicles, which are of course not required to be all-over red with dual doors and conventional blinds, so many are not in that condition. Other operations besides the 575/804 undertaken include things like Wimbledon Tennis and other special events services, private hires, school contracts and railway replacement work. 

Below are illustrations of some operations that have occurred and which are still possible based on the vehicles remaining on the Commercial Services fleet.






Alexander-Dennis Enviro400MMC
The newest vehicles in the Commercial Services fleet, continuing the numbering sequence from the standard variant of the type, are this pair. Delivered new they have never been used on regular TfL services. They're probably a bit too good for school route 804 and so haven't, to my knowledge, been used on the 575.
E284
E285
SN66WNE
SN66WNF

 

Picture not available
       


Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini  
The present normal operation is often a Volvo/Wright Eclipse Gemini combination. Volvo B7TL is one of two chassis types featured. Note that WVL83 and WVL93 are convertible open-top, feature traditional London General Omnibus Company livery.
WVL83
WVL93
WVL190
WVL201
WVL250
WVL272
LF52ZNR
LF52ZNE
LX05EZV
LX05EZT
LX06EAP
LX06ECF

Goahead LX06EAP

WVL250 with the non-London skirt features in this view.  (R Hudson).
    Goahead LX06ECF WVL272 shows the nearside angle including black doors. (R Hudson)
    Goahead  LF52ZNR One of the pair of convertible open-top vehicles in traditional London General livery. (R Hudson)


Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini
The other type of Volvo/Wright is the B9TL.
WVN52
BL61ADX

Goahead BL61ADX

The "N" in the WVN classification shows that the vehicle has a heritage from outside the Goahead group. WVN52 is in full London livery.  (R Hudson).


Alexander-Dennis Enviro400
The vehicles numbered below E281 once worked in service on normal TfL routes and have been since adapted to be part of the commercial fleet. The most obvious exterior difference is the livery and fitment of LED displays. Two (E3 and E12) have been converted to single door.

E281-3 on the other hand were delivered directly to Commercial Services. These have high-back seats, are all single door and have high-back seats.
E1
E2
E3
E4
E5
E6
E7
E9
E10
E11
E12
E13
E14
E15
E135
E169
E281
E282
E283
SN06BNA
SN06BNB
SN06BND
SN06BNE
SN06BNF
SN06BNJ
SN06BNK
SN06BNO
SN06BNU
SN06BNV
SN06BNX
SN06BNY
SN06BNZ
SN06BOF
SN60BZG
SN61BGY
YX14RTV
YX14RTZ
YX14RUA

goahead YX14RTV

E281 is a non-London-spec bus. Not all-red, high-back seats, LED displays and single-door. It is seen on the first run to Clacton, despite the display being lacking.  (R Hudson).
    London General E5 Elder sister E5 (SN06BNF) retains dual doors and has the LED display in white on black. (R Hudson)


Scania N230/Omniciti
.
970
YT59DYS

Goahead YT59DYS

Paper number in the window for former Metrobus 970, seen in October 2016 in Harlow Bus Station. (R Hudson).
       

 
Scania N230/Optare Olympus
Summer 2014 saw this new type of vehicle start service on the 575.  This type spent the first 5 years of its Go-ahead life in service with Metrobus in London, but many have been rendered surplus there by some recent tender losses. Note that 879 is officially allocated to Croydon.
871
872
879
896
PN09EKT
PN09EKU
PN09ELV
PO59KFY

Goahead PN09EKU

Departing on the now once-a-day service to Romford is 872. (R Hudson).
       

Scania N94/East Lancs Omnidekka
Regular on the route of late is one-time Metrobus vehicles which features white on black LED displays.
945
946
YN56FEF
YN56FEG

London General YN56FEF

Clearly showing most of the old Metrobus name, 945, the old Metrobus fleet number, illustrates the white on black LED display. (R Hudson).
       

 

 

Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 2
When a single deck vehicle is used on the 575 then this is the regular. Initially the vehicle operated in London General red with dark grey skirt, before taking on a white livery with a lilac band, before it's latest incarnation below.
LDP186
Y986TGH

Goahead Y986TGH

In summer 2018 a new livery appeared along with white on black LED front display. (R Hudson).
       

 

Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President
Vehicles from this part of the fleet were what was normally found on the 575 for some time. Just one or two seem likely to reappear.
PVL219
PVL223
PVL224
PVL248
PVL264
PVL391
PVL392
PVL393
PVL394
PVL395
PVL396
PVL398
Y819TGH
Y823TGH
Y824TGH
Y748TGH
PN02XBM
LX54HAE
LX54HAO
LX54HAU
LX54HBA
LX54HBB
LX54GZG
LX54GZK

London General Y819TGH

PVL223 leaving Harlow Bus Station showing the LED featured on many vehicles in the commercial fleet. (R Hudson).
    London General LX54GZK PVL398 seen in December 2017. (R Hudson).
    London General Y824TGH Not Harlow but still in Essex, PVL224 is a convertible open-top. It is seen on the summer route 68 between Southend and Leigh-on-Sea. (R Hudson)
    London General LX54HBB PVL395 shows the more recent white on black LED display. (R. Hudson)

 

AEC Routemaster
The 575's extension to Harlow was celebrated on one day during the first two weeks by the appearance of RM9. Go-ahead own 5 Routemasters in total, the other 4 being of the RML type. All are based at New Cross.
RM9
VLT9

RM9 with full blinds on 28th November 2012, drafted in for the purpose. (R Hudson).
       





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