Wednesday 1 October 2014

Metrobus Special

As one of Go-Ahead's earlier acquisitions in 1999 we have seen the odd Metrobus vehicle head our way, normally Scania Omnicitys to Anglian. However there is more to Metrobus than that.

Metrobus was formed in 1983 from am management buy out and has been expanding ever since. However a recent restructuring by Go-Ahead has seen Metrobus, although still using the Metrobus brand, effectively split in two with Go-Ahead London managing the TfL operations and Brighton & Hove running everything else.

I have known Metrobus since 1989 when they only had one London route - the 61 from Bromley North to Chislehurst which they used Cummings engined Olympians on - the first Cummings engines I had heard, although in 1986 when Metrobus first won the contract they used something far more exciting on the route.

DMS 2056 on the 61 in Orpington in 1986
When in East Grinstead I use Metrobus to get to and from the hospital, and yesterday had a chance to take a bit of time and capture a few of their vehicles.

Metrobus 6496 Scania Omnidekka YN54 AJX at East Grinstead Station on the 281 to Lingfield
I have always thought those Omnidekkas to be right rattle buckets, but it must be said 6496 gave a pretty decent ride so I guess it has had some work done on it.

Metrobus 6727 E200 GN07 AYU on rest room duties at East Grinstead Station - at last a useful and worthwhile use for an E200!
And now something a bit rare. I don't know how many Scania Omnitowns there are in the country but I confess I've never heard of them. This one started life at Metrobus's London operations before being retired to the country. This Omnitown has an East Lancs Esteem body.

Metrobus 622 East Lancs Esteem bodied Scania Omnitown YN06 JXY at East Grinstead having journeyed from Haywards Heath
Of course having mentioned the Omnicities it would be remiss of me not to show one. I'm sure someone will tell me if this one is part of the same batch as Anglian's HFF/G/H but I really can't be bothered to check!

Metrobus 548 Scania Omnicity YN05 HCD on the 400 to Caterham
And so we return to Metrobus's London operations to conclude this special, with another Scania - this time an Omnilink decker.

Metrobus 958 Scania Omnilink decker YT59 DYA at East Croydon on the 64 to New Addington
Ok one more since I like you - seeing that 64 reminded me that Metrobus bought a bacth of East Lancs Loyne Volvo Olympians in 1996 that rank amongst the most impressive Olympians I have seen. like the DMS I found this pic on Google images.

Metrobus East Lancs Loyne bodies Volvo Olympian R833 MFR


  1. I'll have to bow to your better judgement on that, Damon - it took an age googling the registration to find out anythng about it, and the first full description I found said OmniTown. Even so I've never seen an Esteem bodied Scania before. Thanks for the comment.

    1. I've just checked Metrobus's own website (no idea why I didn't go there first) and even they describe it as a Scania Omnitown N94UB.

    2. It is an Omnitown.

      The Omnitown was bodied by East Lancs, who originally produced the Esteem/Olympus model (Now Optare).

      In 2006/7 a few of these were sold with East Lancs own front end, and are classified as Omnitowns.

  2. I can tell you it's not an OmniTown. It may pay you to have a read of the Wikipedia article on the OmniTown - although the site isn't regarded as the height of accuracy at times, a line on the OmniTown article is ' is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the OmniTown chassis...'.

    1. This is a direct quote from the Wiki site "In 2006, the OmniTown could temporarily be ordered with modified Esteem front and rear panels. This version is currently operating with Metrobus and Preston Bus. The central part of the bodywork was the same as the OmniTown".

      That makes it as clear as mud. It's an Omnitown with Esteem panels and the rest is the same as an Omnitown. Perhaps I should have just said Ooh there's a pretty and unusual bus!

  3. The only genuine OmniTowns in existence are at Nottingham, with only seven being built. Prior they were bodied on Mylleniums and post OmniTown the Esteem(although very similar layout).