06/06/2016

No Centrewest in E-Routes

No, Metroline Travel does not count as Centrewest, even though the same parent company owns what was Centrewest. The Metroline successor is called Metroline West, and they have just lost the E5, E7 and E9. Route E9 was covered as part of the "Improving" West London post series as the route was converted to double decker buses. The two routes with new buses are the Southall residential route E5 and Route E7, a route made by splitting E2.

First Day of: Abellio on Route E7
Abellio London 8869 on Route E7, Greenford Avenue (© Aubrey)

Abellio London West have gained the E7 and E5 off Metroline West from Hayes Garage (WS, originally from the name Wing's). New Enviro200 MMCs were ordered. They have Allison gearboxes, so there is no juddering of sorts when ridden (as seen on the ZF gearboxes).

Abellio London 8143 on Route E5, Southall Station
Abellio London 8143 on Route E5, Southall Station (© Aubrey)

Both routes have different histories, but were born in the minibus era of the Ealing network. E5 was born in 1988 out of the 105 Havelock Estate section. It was also a Southall North local route, running around the residential streets of Southall North between Greenford and Southall.

This Building Sucks
Abellio London 8152 on Route E5, Perivale Tesco (© Lewis)

It started with the not as predictable Mercedes-Benz 709D breadvans (which were wheelchair accessible). Serving initially just the residents of Southall North, Golf Links Estate and the Havelock Estate south of Southall Station, the route was later extended to the Toplocks Estate, and north to Perivale's Medway Estate. Many estates are served. Later on, when all those estates were served, the route was further extended from the Medway Estate to the Tesco in Perivale.

New Bus Shopping
Abellio London 8145 on Route E5, Perivale Tesco (© Aubrey)

Now this route provides the link to the supermarket from the nearby estate without either a long-ish walk or a large amount of crossing roads. A small but significant extension done only in 2006.
The route was only extended to Medway Estate in 2002.

First London DMS44408 on Route E5, Southall Town Hall
First Centrewest DMS44408 on Route E5, Southall Town Hall (© Aubrey)

Route E5 was with Centrewest from when it was created in 1988, through the buyout of Centrewest by First and later Metroline, stayed under Centrewest until 28th May 2016, where it has finally moved operator under contract, breaking a long standing operator connection.

Abellio 8142 on Route E5, Perivale Tesco
Abellio London 8142 on Route E5, Perivale Tesco (© Anthony)

Now at Abellio London (former Travel London/TGM/Wing's Buses), it is part of the large amount of Ealing prefixed buses that have been based at WS (E1, E5, E7, E9 now and E6 under Wing's Buses/TGM/Travel London). Seems interesting that the garages that was intended for the Ealing routes are either closed (Hanwell, HL) or/and have no Ealing routes (Greenford, G).

Well That's Not Far!
Abellio London 8866 on Route E7, Ruislip (© Lewis)

On the first day of the E7 with Abellio, Ruislip Gardens curtailments did happen. However, not from the Ruislip end (that'd be pointless), but ex-Ealing. E7 has an interesting routing out of Ruislip that changes over the course of the day. During shopping hours, it goes via Ruislip High Street and Wood Lane Waitrose. Outside shopping hours, it goes straight to Ruislip Station from Ruislip Gardens.

Abellio London 8873 on Route E7, West Ealing
Abellio London 8873 on Route E7, West Ealing (© Aubrey)

It is formed from the split of Route E2 in July 1990 with the usual Renault breadvans. Since then, it has run between Ealing Broadway and Ruislip.

Abellio London 8868 on Route E7, Gurnell Leisure Centre
Abellio London 8868 on Route E7, Gurnell Leisure Centre (© Aubrey)

It converted to low-floor in 1997, with new Dart SLF/Marshall Capitals. Ex-London Buslines Darts joined in, so yellow Darts made an appearance mainly on the E7. They were cleared away by newer Darts and eventually, Enviro200s.

Last Day of: Metroline West on Route E7
Metroline West DE1676 on Route E7, Greenford Avenue (© Aubrey)

It later moved from First Centrewest to Metroline West in 2013, before leaving Centrewest with new Enviro200 MMCs.

Abellio 8873 on Route E7, Ealing Broadway
Abellio London 8873 on Route E7, West Ealing (© Anthony)

Overall, both batches of bus seem to be decent rides, especially with a less jerky gearbox. The Enviro200 MMC is, as it has been for some time, a fairly smoother bus than its predecessor. The E5 batch in particular can be pretty fast, breaching 50 mph when on the U9 fast section.

Village MMC
Abellio London 8145 on Route U9, Harefield Village (© Lewis)

This is likely to be the future order of the U9 anyway, as it is retained by Abellio London with new buses.

Other than the usual hiccups of most of the buses being on one side of the route on the first day, especially with the E5, there seems to be no issues with Abellio on these routes at the moment. Hopefully, it will stay this way, and as Abellio expand in West London, this pushed out the H28 from Hayes (WS) back to Fulwell (TF) garage after 9 years of operation at Hayes (WS). There are the usual trials and tribulations of Southall traffic to deal with for the E5, but operations should be decent at least under Abellio London West for both routes.

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