01/06/2016

"Improving" West London: Yield to Yeading Deckers

First Day of: Abellio & Double Deckers on Route E9
Abellio London 9456 on Route E9, Greenford Avenue (© Aubrey)

Route E9 has been subject to a recent change. Alongside Metroline West losing the route to Abellio London, the busy route got a second deck. Which was already well used, in contrast to the E8 double deckers.

Abellio London 9461 on Route E9, Greenford Avenue
Abellio London 9461 on Route E9, Greenford Avenue (© Aubrey)

This introduces a double deck route hail and ride section, at Barnhill Estate in Yeading. Fixed stops are proposed for this (it was included in the consultation), but at the moment, it is one of the very few routes with double deckers and a hail and ride section.

Abellio London 9463 on Route E9, Greenford Avenue
Abellio London 9463 on Route E9, Greenford Avenue (© Anthony)

The E9 is double decked with refurbished Enviro 400 diesels that are ex-Walworth. This means that the buses can be prone to doing this:

Abellio London 9463 being towed, Ealing Broadway
Abellio London 9463 being towed, Ealing Broadway (© Anthony)

Yup, this bus leaked oil a bit too much and broke down at Haven Green.
But when these buses are working, and are not substituted with banditised hybrid Enviro 400s from the 350, these buses do provide needed relief for the ever busy Ealing-Greenford corridor. Considering this route (and most of the other E routes) had minibuses in the early 1990s, double deckers is a large upgrade.

Abellio London 9462 on Route E9, Greenford Avenue
Abellio London 9462 on Route E9, Greenford Avenue (© Aubrey)

As seen with the various photos, and a few rides on the E9, the extra capacity is definitely necessary, as the single deckers on the E9 did get fairly full, especially between Ealing and Greenford, but also beyond Greenford towards Yeading.

Last Day of: Single Decker E9
Metroline West DE1692 on Route E9, Greenford Avenue (© Aubrey)

From introduction on July 1990 until the 28th May 2016, E9 was with Centrewest and the subsequent owners of that sector: FirstGroup and Comfort DelGro (Metroline West). It progressed from Renault minibuses, through Dart SLF/Marshall Capitals and Enviro 200s (as seen above), to Enviro 400 status. It is the second Ealing prefixed route that started with Renault minibuses to turn to double deckers, after the E8 gained partial double deckers around 2010 (and converted fully on the 28th May 2016 as well).

Abellio London 9459 on Route E9, Greenford Avenue
Abellio London 9459 on Route E9, Greenford Avenue (© Aubrey)

Overall, good improvement by TfL to double deck the E9. The service was obviously teethed with the usual first day delays and bunching, and the not-so-usual banditised Enviro 400 hybrid on the route.

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