|Lee supplied some excellent photos of bus garages for use in the new SUP45A publication. However, the print deadline had been moved forward a week and they unfortunately arrived just too late. This photo is worth showing here, since it includes a service vehicle as well as a couple of other interesting aspects. Taken on 22nd August 2023, it shows the garage at Cornwall Road in Waterloo. Opened in 1990 on the site of a long-established bus terminating stand, it initially operated single-deck buses on the Red Arrow routes, and hence was given the code RA. The Red Arrow network was reduced, debranded and finally abandoned in April 2023, the last two routes (507 and 521) being covered by changes to other services. The garage was retained and was used as a base for routes 153 and 214, both of which had previously worked from Northumberland Park. The routes both used SEe electric single-deckers similar to those on the 507 and 521, although without the large standee area. I had assumed that most of the standee SEe buses would have been moved elsewhere pending upseating and reallocation, and indeed some have been noted at Northumberland Park. However, visible here are SEe27 and SEe28, neither of which had been used for almost 4 months. The standee area is evident by the yellow handrail visible inside SEe27 on the left.
Another point of interest is the red and white double-deckers parked in a line in the center. TfL has decided to develop a network of express bus routes, most of which will together form a circuit around outer London. This led to the idea of branding these services as 'Superloop', although the branding has also been extended to other express routes. The X68 was introduced in 1986 as a peak-hours only service from Croydon to Russell Square in the mornings, returning in the afternoon. It was run with normal double-deck buses that were used on other routes during the day. In July 2023 the route was renumbered to the SL6, and its buses were given the smart new red and white livery with Superloop lettering. It was planned that such vehicles would not be used on other routes, hence the buses spend most of the day just parked up. Curiously, even though the route is run by Camberwell (which is only a few miles south of here), the buses are parked at Waterloo Garage during the day, and indeed 10 were lined-up when Lee visited (the route requires 10 buses, with a total of 12 EH buses suitably reliveried).
Finally, to the service vehicle. FJ64OWO is a BYD E6 electric car that has been based here (off and on) since at least mid-2017. It has never had any lettering, and it was sometimes joined by similar FJ64OWP, though I did suspect that they were perhaps owned by BYD themselves. The fact that FJ64OWO is still here suggests that it is now a Go-Ahead vehicle, and any reports of FJ64OWP being seen would be welcomed.
|Photo date:||22/08/2023||Size:||Extra Large. View regular size|