Arriva London’s Heritage Fleet unusual Rail Replacement bus service
At Arriva London, we are always interested in unusual requests for the use of our fleet, and are regular suppliers of buses to accommodate rail replacement work. However, we are pleased to announce that we have been able to satisfy a more unusual request for the use of one of our Heritage Fleet buses as the temporary ticket office for a miniature railway station in Kent.
The famous Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, which has a station at Dungeness, has embarked on a refurbishment programme, and with the building work not complete in time for the popular Easter holiday, came up with the imaginative idea of using the Arriva Heritage Fleet’s RML 2360 Routemaster bus as a temporary ticket office and shop.
RML 2360 was an ideal choice as it has no seats on the lower deck, having previously been re-designed by students at St Martin's College in London for a design show in Italy. It has also been wired with 230 volt mains sockets around the bus, which is then plugged into a mains supply, as in this case, or it can be plugged into an external generator. The bright red iconic London bus is also an ideal beacon to guide visitors to the station in this very open space by the sea.
After driving the 80 miles from its base in Norwood South London, the bus was carefully manoeuvred through the building works to be parked up alongside the railway track, next to the temporary food vehicle and toilet facilities, in an ideal position for passengers to buy their tickets and memorabilia. The building work is planned for completion at the end of May, at which point the bus will return to Norwood.
The Easter weekend will be particularly remembered along the South coast for Storm Katie, which brought very high winds to the coastal regions.
Jade Ashton, the marketing manager for the railway said: -
“The bus has done a really good job for us, and is particularly popular with the children who love seeing the trains coming in the distance from the top deck. The other thing which is great, is that as a classic red London bus, it stands out on the horizon as visitors drive down the Dungeness road, so there is no missing where we are.
We were concerned with the storms coming in over the Easter weekend and the bus being so exposed, but it stood up to everything that was thrown at it; thanks Arriva London”.
Published : Thu 30th Mar. 2017 - Wed 10th May. 2017
The visit had been organised following Leon meeting Enfield bus driver Malkiat Birdi, whilst he was attending the TfL initiative for drivers called Hello London.
Making the capital’s buses as simple to use as the London Underground is a new initiative being trialled on seven London bus routes, including Arriva London routes 150 and 128.
In association with TfL and HCT Transport, we opened our doors to welcome the public, giving them the opportunity to explore the garage, meet our operations teams, ride on a bus through the bus wash, tour our operations control centres and see & ride on some historic preserved buses.
Our recent route gains in North London include route 19, from Finsbury Park to Battersea Bridge (South Side), which has meant implementing an extensive mobilisation programme to maintain our high standards.
One of the most important elements in Arriva London’s development is the training and education it offers its staff, from engineering apprentices to graduate trainees, everyone in the business is offered the opportunity to develop and flourish.
The introduction of all new Hybrid vehicles on route 249, which Arriva London starts operating this Saturday, underlines one of our key brand values - ‘Great customer experience - We keep our customers happy every day’.