2009 and on and on!

Bus anyone?

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Well I didn't think I'd be starting a 2009 page!


This was copied from the Southern Electric Yahoo Group.

Following the cessation of the Arriva Cross Country train service from the 14th December timetable on the route up from Reading through Kensington Olympia to Brighton has I am told caused a problem with three sections of line no longer directly used by passenger trains. ( Factory Junction to Latchmere Junction, Mitre Bridge to Acton Wells Junction and Acton Wells Junction to Acton Mainline )

Thus, to keep the "track rights" active, a "parliamentary train" or to be more precise a rail replacement bus service, is apparently being run by Arriva XC. All vaild National Rail tickets accepted. As XC trains no longer go east of Reading. I can only presume that the bus will run empty for many years. I can't see much call for XC passengers.

Tuesdays only:-
Ealing Broadway depart 0945 Kensington Olympia 1025 arrive Wandsworth Road 1055.
Wandsworth Road depart 1315 Kensington Olympia 1345 arrive Ealing Broadway 1425.


The service does not appear in any timetable paper or on line, it is also not in TRUST or the TSDB and is operated by Tellings Golden Miller ( an Arriva subsidary ). The double deck coach seen on the service has a window board showing the bus operating on behalf of Arriva XC although I believe the DfT are actually paying for it.




A full page article appeared in The Times for Wednesday 7th of January and is reproduced here, just click on the thumbnail for a larger image.



On the 13th of January 2009 I decided to take a ride on the Parliamentary bus.


Ealing Broadway and bus stop F. I was expecting there to be a few more passengers for the bus than the previous week due to the article in The Times. Two TV crews one from the BBC the other ITV plus a reporter from the Daily Mirror, who didn't make the journey ( The Mirror must having a hard time if they couldn't afford a few quid for this ) was a bit of an overkill.

Photo by the Author.

0945 came and went and no sign of the bus. It eventually turned up at approx 1005 at Bus Stop C! No double decker for us.

 By the time everyone had taken their photos we were approx 25 minutes late departing.

17 and a half passengers on board........

( the half was a toddler with her Dad!)

 Photo by the Author.

 Olympia was reached about 15 minutes late.  A few left the bus and we were joined by another three people including a reporter and photographer from the Daily Mail.

Its now 1111 and we are nearly at our destination. Everyone was very chatty on the bus, I managed to keep a low profile as an off duty Manager from another TOC just as well!

Photo by the Author.

  Arrival at Wandsworth Road was approx 15 minutes late.

Photo by the Author.

 A short walk from bus and across the road to Wandsworth Road station.

The TV crews keep the cameras rolling.

Photo by the Author.

The paper destination board for the return service.

Many thanks to Steve Carters friend for acquiring this.






See the bottom of the page for details of a limited reinstated train service and class 171's to the WR from May 2010.



A great place the Internet, you can find out all sorts of things............



Railways: Closure

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they intend to institute closure proceedings for the railway line which from 14 December will no longer be used for passenger services in the Willesden, Acton and Clapham areas, as a result of the decision to withdraw those services previously provided by the Arriva Cross Country franchise. [HL6480]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Government do not intend to institute closure proceedings for any of the railway routes in the Willesden, Acton or Clapham areas.


Railways: Replacement Services

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have considered replacement services for the Factory Junction to Latchmere No. 1 Junction, West London Junctions (Willesden No. 1) to Acton Wells Junction, and Acton Wells Junction to (Poplar Junction) Acton East Junction, such as a new Greenford to Clapham Junction service stopping at all stations. [HL6481]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): There are currently no plans for new services over the routes set out above.


Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, given the effect on road congestion of the opening of the Westfield development, they will consider providing a rail service between the Great Western Main Line and the West London Line using the tracks formerly used by Arriva, to provide an alternative way of getting to Westfield and the exhibition centres at Olympia and Earl's Court. [HL6482]

Lord Adonis: There are currently no plans for new services between the Great Western Main Line and the West London line.

Subsequently the Dft has stated that the bus is a temporary arrangement until a more permanent train service solution is found.

As a result of this I had a go at guessing what this might be..............

Two fairly obvious solutions came to mind, both would involve some not completely insurmountable problems.

1. FGW currently run Gatwick to Reading via Redhill and Guildford. A service could continue via the Brighton mainline to East Croydon then run via Crystal Palace, Tulse Hill, Herne Hill, Factory Junction, Kensington Olympia, Willesden West London Junction, Acton Wells Junction and Acton Mainline to join the GW Mainline. 

Pros:- Part of an existing service pattern, no need for additional trains.

Cons:- Reading crews no route knowledge, class 165's not cleared for the route north of Redhill.


2. After the morning peak several Southern class 171's work ECS London Bridge to Selhurst Depot and remain there until the evening peak.  A service could run from London Bridge via the South London line to Factory Junction then pick up the route as above.

Pros: - Units spare during the day, Norwood drivers who work the 171's also cover the East Croydon to Milton Keynes service so have route knowledge to Willesden West London Junction.

Cons:- No route knowledge Willesden to the GW Mainline destination. Class 171's not route cleared, however as class 165/166's are bigger this should not be too much of a problem.


My personnel favourite is option 2, although this will give me even more work in my real job!


Lo and behold in the March 2009 edition of Modern Railways is the snippet that Southern are to operate the 'new' service from the start of the franchise using class 171's.

Bidders for the new franchise have been told to plan 'at least' a weekly service. The report also states that the DfT has proposed a Wednesday only service as this is the day used for revenue allocation and the operator would get five days worth of revenue irrespective of how lightly loaded the train was. -  Tony Miles



From 18th May 2009 Southern will operate the following services Monday to Friday.

2B29: 1012 Kensington Olympia to Wandsworth Road.

2M48: 1635 Wandsworth Road to Kensington Olympia.


The morning train is formed of a Lovers Walk allocated class 377 and originates off the 0507 Hastings to London Bridge service.

The afternoon service is formed of a Selhurst allocated class 377, this comes ECS from the depot.


These trains will cover the Factory Junction to Latchmere Junction curve.


From the 24th May 2010 this and the 'Ghost Bus' were to have been replaced by yet another parliamentary service, which will run Monday to Friday.

Formed of a 2 car class 171 and running ECS from Selhurst Depot.

This will depart Wandsworth Rd at 1157 then call at Kensington Olympia 1209, Shepherds Bush 1211 and terminate at Ealing Broadway at 1243.

The return journey departs Ealing Broadway 1308, Shepherds Bush 1326, Kensington Olympia 1330 and terminates at Wandsworth Road at 1341 before returning ECS to Selhurst Depot. However due to pathing problems the WR refused access to the service so as of August 2011 the bus still runs as does the M-F Olympia to Wandsworth Road train service.



377110 forms 2B29 the 1012 Kensington Olympia to Wandsworth Road service. On this day in addition to the driver and conductor there was another driver learning the route a Revenue Protection Inspector and myself the only passenger and I don't have pay.

Photo taken 7th July 2009.

Photo by the Author.

Even the PIS system has been updated to show a Wandsworth Road destination.

Photo taken 7th July 2009.

Photo by the Author.

377110 arrives at Wandsworth Road. The stock then runs ECS to Selhurst Depot by way of Herne Hill and Tulse Hill.

Photo taken 7th July 2009.

Photo by the Author.



By 2015 both had finished with the parliamentary requirements removed, although there are still some ECS moves around the Factory Junction area including a London Bridge to Olympia working on weekday afternoons.


Kensington Olympia and the West London line now gets five trains an hour off peak, in 1979 it barely got that all day. All are very well used to the extent that train lengths have also increased to 5 or 8 cars. A huge improvement in the number of trains with two an hour to Stratford via the NLL, two an hour to Willesden Junction and an hourly service to Milton Keynes. South of Clapham Junction only the service from Milton Keynes continues any further south but only as far as Croydon.

The West London line is now a major passenger artery but mainly for local traffic...oh how different it could have been.