Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith,
This page created 30th December 2009.

MTL London Northern, Metroline DML, DMS


DMS 9.3m Metroline MTL London Northern was already familiar with bodywork by Marshalls of Cambridge, having inherited some on MAN chassis from R&I. So when they were choosing bodywork for their new Dart SLFs it was perhaps not surprising that they chose Marshalls C39 Capital bodywork. They introduced eleven 9.3m Dart SLFs with single doorway bodies onto Potters Bar - based route 234 in February 1998, DMS1-11, and followed these up with another in May and a further seventeen in August for the 326 and 384, also at PB. These last arrived just as the company was taken over by Metroline, the ex-MTL section being held separately at first as Metroline London Northern. The new company very rapidly removed MTL fleetnames, then more slowly added blue skirts and Metroline's own fleetnames.

234East Finchley Stn - Muswell Hill Bdy - Friern Barnet - Barnet
326Brent Cross - Hendon - Finchley Central - Whetsone - Barnet
384Cockfosters Stn - East Barnet - Barnet

DMS5 on 384, Cockfosters Stn, May 2007 DMS8 at Potters Bar Garage, May 2007

DMS3 pulls up at Cockfosters Station on local Barnet route 384, in May 2007. The same day (a Sunday) saw DMS8 at rest in Potters Bar Garage.
DMS13 off 384, Potters Bar, May 2007 DMS18 at Potters Bar Garage, May 2007
DMS13 approaches Potters Par Garage, coming off the 384, while DMS18 prepares to go to work (May 2007).

The short buses were mostly associated with Potters Bar through most of their London careers, but a few had a spell in town at Holloway in 2003, when they were called in to replace old Darts on the length-restricted 214. That was cleared in February 2004, and the buses began to return to Potters Bar. Meanwhile they, and those at PB, were fitted for wheelchair access.

Again twelve of them (DMS1-12) were called away from Potters Bar in May 2007, when Perivale took over the E6. The new EnviroDarts for the route were late, so the shorties were called in from Potters Bar, being replaced by otherwise redundant DLDs. When the new buses arrived DMS1-9 and DMS12 were withdrawn and sold, mopst to A2Z Travel in Walsall, but DMS6 and DMS8 to Carousel Buses at High Wycombe.

DML1-18: 1.2m dual-doorway for North Acton

Eighteen longer (10.2m) Marshall-bodied Dart SLFs were put into service by MTL London Northern in March 1998 on route 139, stretching into the very heart of London at Trafalgar Square. The North Acton based single-deckers replaced Routemasters from Holloway on the route.

DML10 on 139, Trafalgar Square, June 1998 DML32 at North Weald Show, June 1998

Brand new DML10 rounds Trafalgar Square on the 139 in June 1998, in MTL livery, while even newer DML32 wears 217 blinds at North Weald.

DML5 on 139, Northumberland Avenue, December 1998 DML5 on 139, Northumberland Avenue, December 1998 DML5 on 139, Northumberland Avenue, December 1998

DML5 stands at the 139 terminus in Northumberland Avenue in December 1998, wearing Metroline livery

DML 10.2m Metroline The DML1-18 batch on the 139 were moved to Cricklewood in September 2000, when North Acton closed.

In July 2003 they moved on again, to Holloway for the C11 (Archway Stn - Gospel Oak - Swiss Cottage - Cricklewood North Cricklewood). The route was moved to Thorpe's garage in February 2005, and the batch moved with it. They moved about between West Perivale and North Wembley as the need arose, until summer 2007, when DML4-11, 13-15 and 17 were traded in to MCV (in part exchange for new buses?). They went for service elsewhere, notably Skelmersdale and Neath.

DML19-32 (519-532), 533-535: single doorways for Potters Bar

Another fourteen came in May 1998 for Potters Bar routes, including the 217 (Turnpike Lane - Edmonton - Great Cambridge Rd - Waltham Cross). These were initially DML19-32, but fairly quickly became DML519-532, presumably to emphasise that they were single doorway.

DML533-535 were an extra three bought by Metroline to replace Metrobuses at Potters Bar in March 1999. They were for the 317 (Enfield Town - Carterhatch - Waltham Cross).

The Potters Bar collection stayed there for quite a while, until July 2003, when DML519-523 were moved to Cricklewood. DML524-532 followed in February 2004, and they became the standard type on the 326 (Brent Cross - Barnet (The Spires)).

DML519-532 were transferred to the Thorpe's fleet at Perivale (PA) in May 2005, along with the 326. They lost their Metroline fleetnames, but retained the red white and blue livery. Some even received Thorpe's fleetnames on Metroline-style livery. They stayed there until September/ October 2006, when they were withdrawn and sold to Ensigns at Purfleet.

Meanwhile DML533-535 mostly stayed put at Potters Bar (apart from short forays elsewhere as required), until October 2007, when they were sold through Ensigns to Renown of Bexhill-on-Sea.

DML33-47: more dual doorways for Holloway

DML33-47 followed in July 1998, coming to Holloway garage for the C11. The C11 moved to Cricklewood in November 2002, and the batch moved with it. But they stayed at Cricklewood when the C11 moved on to Perivale. Some were sold in the autumn of 2007, displaced by new buses, while others soldiered on for a while on the 316. All were sold to Ensign by May 2008.

Ian's Bus Stop Dart SLF index. Metroline DL, DLD. histories. photo refs.