03/05/2016

Go-Egyptian (+ E400MMCs)

London Central MHV12 on Route 35, Clapham Junction
London Central MHV12 on Route 35, Clapham Junction (© Aubrey)

Routes 35 and 40 have returned to London Central after 7 years of Abellio/Travel London operation, bringing it back to Camberwell Garage. The expense is Route 345, moving to Abellio London in the other direction on the same day.

Go-Ahead MVH8 on Route 40, Camberwell
London Central MHV8 on Route 40, Camberwell (© Anthony)

This also brings up a new body for the Volvo B5LH, the MCV Evoseti. Built in Egypt, these are the first full batch of MCV double decker buses in squadron service, and thus this will be a test for these new buses and the Evoseti as a type.

Upper deck (front) interior of MHV13
Upper deck interior of MHV13 (© Anthony)

The seats are fairly hard, the panels are fairly thin and there was one bit of this bus on the lower deck where the window pillar was cracking already.

Bottom deck (rear) interior of MHV13
Lower deck interior of MHV13 (© Anthony)

The most comfortable seats on the MHV are the rear seats, and mainly the seats which are not separate structures but embedded into the body. Some of the seat backs are slightly slanted, and the "normal" seats have very hard backs, and slightly softer (but still hard) bottoms. This makes the seats fairly uncomfortable.

London Central MHV4 on Route 35, Brixton
London Central MHV4 on Route 35, Brixton (© Aubrey)

The MCV Evoseti, after an initial critical response from my first ride on one between Clapham Common and Brixton, seems to be alright overall. Not excessively impressive, but not terrible. It may feel cheap at places, but it could've obviously been worse. The window openings are quite small, which was fine for the first days because of the weather not being too warm, but it could be worse.

London Central MHV5 on Route 35, Clapham Common
London Central MHV5 on Route 35, Clapham Common (© Aubrey)

The B5LH chassis and power provided an overall decent ride for the hills on Route 40 south of Camberwell. The styling of the bus may not look the best (it does look like a box on wheels at certain angles) for the modern era of curves and angles, but it does seem good for the image of MCV. It also does break the monotonous ADL/Wright monopoly for double deck bodies recently.

Rear of Go-Ahead MHV13
Rear of London Central MHV13 on Route 40, Dulwich Library (© Anthony)

There is a trend for more liberal applications of black around the rear, with the MCV Evoseti following suit with most of the rear being black. It is fairly similar to the DD103 rear found on the two VM1s that was in London:

London United VM1 (BX62 UXU)
Rear of London United VM1 on Route H32, Southall (© Aubrey)

Sure, the rear is adapted for the type of bus, but there are striking rear comparisons that can be made with the DD103 and the Evoseti, especially with the upper part of the rear. The rear lower deck window on the Evoseti is larger than the one on the DD103, and the upper deck rear window is distinctly rectangular shaped.


London Central EH49 on Route 40, Camberwell
London Central EH49 on Route 40, Camberwell (© Aubrey)

There are also Enviro 400MMC bodied Enviro 400Hs allocated to the 35 technically, but intermixed with the 40's batch of Volvo B5LH/MCV Evosetis. They feel more stable in riding compared to the MCV Evoseti (in my opinion). Then again, they are pretty much like most E40H/E400MMCs in London.

London Central EH47 on Route 35, Clapham Common
London Central EH47 on Route 35, Clapham Common (© Aubrey)

The running of the route of the first day was fairly good, including to the point where a driver of the 40 told us that the running was up to rota times. That's pretty good for the first day.

Go-Ahead EH48 on Route 35, London Bridge
London Central EH48 on Route 35, London Bridge (© Anthony)

Route 35 has also, with these changes, been given a night service. This means that the N35 has been withdrawn, unfortunately. This reduces the links there were between Tottenham Court Road and Shoreditch amongst other places. The N253 does do it, but that to replace a fairly frequent N35? Not good enough. Also, this does mean direct night links are lost - where direct links are probably needed more!

Abellio London 9436 on Route N35, London Bridge
The N35, now withdrawn. Another night link lost. (© Aubrey)

Route 35 in itself has been with London Central before, between sectorisation in 1989 to 2009, with various Titans, Olympians and Volvo B7TLs. It moved to Travel London with at that time, new Enviro 400s, before going back to London Central on the 30th April 2016.

London Central EH59 on Route 40, London Bridge
London Central EH59 on Route 40, London Bridge (© Aubrey)

Route 40, was also with London Central before, between sectorisation in 1989 to 2009. It was well known for being the last TfL route to ever have the Leyland Titan in service. Thursday 19th June 2003 with T1018 on Q98 was the last Titan in service, long after they were replaced by PVLs. It also got the Olympians and Volvo B7TLs. It also moved to Travel London with at that time, new Enviro 400s, before going back to London Central on the 30th April 2016.

First Day: Return of London Central to Route 40
London Central MHV11 on Route 40, Camberwell Green (© Aubrey)

Overall, it seems that the first day went decently, and the 35/40 are in safe hands with London Central. The B5LH/MCV Evosetis aren't too bad, but they just don't seem as good as the E40H/Enviro 400MMC in some aspects, especially body wise. A very good first attempt for a double decker production body that isn't the DD103.

A further note:

MHV13 Blinded for Route X68
MHV13 Blinded for Route X68 (© Aubrey)

If the buses do stray onto the X68 (either the MMCs or the Evosetis), these are the new blinds. Interesting layout, with the return of inverted colours, with the words "FIRST STOP WEST NORWOOD/WATERLOO". That is interesting for the new regulations.

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