22/12/2016

Kurz Quality

Quality Line MCS01 on Route 413*, Morden Station
Quality Line MCS01 on Route 413, Morden Station (© Aubrey)

Yet another returning operator for a route, this time, it's Epsom Coaches (Quality Line). Quality Line only ran the 413 between 1997 and 2001, sandwiched between London General spells.

Quality Line MCS06 on Route 413*, South Merton*
Quality Line MCS06 on Route 413, South Merton (© Aubrey)

During that spell with Quality Line, Darts were used. From the 3rd December 2016, a more unique approach has taken place with these new Mercedes-Benz Citaro Ks (K - Kurz - short). This includes the well known MCS10, formerly MBK1 back in 2013 with Quality Line (see post on MBK1). After that post, it had spells with Stagecoach London (Route 380) and London United (Route 110) It still has its LED displays. This means that this working can happen again:

Evobus Quality Line MBK1 on Route X26, Heathrow Central
Quality Line MBK1 on Route X26, Heathrow Central (CC Aubrey)

Quality Line liked the demonstrator so much, they bought the batch for the 413. They already have full-length Citaros for the X26, and Mercedes-Benz coaches, so it felt logical to continue with their good partnership with Evobus (the sellers of Mercedes-Benz buses/coaches in the UK).

Interior of Quality Line MCS05 on Route 413*, Sutton Garage
Interior of Quality Line MCS05 on Route 413, Sutton Garage (© Aubrey)

The MCSs also introduce a new moquette to Quality Line. As these are pretty small buses, but have an engine usually used to power the larger Citaro, these buses are pretty good on their acceleration. However, these buses are also much heavier than the other buses that are already in service which do similar jobs.

Quality Line MCS05 on Route 413*, Sutton Bus Garage
Quality Line MCS05 on Route 413, Sutton Bus Garage (© Aubrey)

These buses are pretty good to ride, and smooth. It did attract interest amongst other enthusiasts, with many riding the route (although not so many I saw, because I forgot Southern ran to Sutton from West Croydon...). The 413 otherwise came from peak hour journeys on the 213, but removed from its original haunts by being removed from Belmont. It now is a residential route from Sutton to Morden via West Sutton and Lower Morden.

Quality Line MCS02 on Route 413*, Sutton
Quality Line MCS02 on Route 413, Sutton (© Aubrey)

Overall, a pretty decent ride, and these durable buses should be running the 413 pretty well for the next few years.
The next and currently the last lot of Citaro Ks will go for the 110 with London United with its new contract in 2017.

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