TA, TAS: Dennis Trident, Alexander ALX 400
National renumberingFrom January 2003 the Stagecoach fleet was renumbered into a National Stagecoach scheme. London TAs and TASs up to TA611 were renumbered as 17001 to 17611, with TASs receiving a lower case s suffix. Above this number things were a little more complicated, as Tridents elsewhere were given 17*** numbers too. So TA612-614 became 17731-17733. New London Tridents resumed at 17740.
17740-17853, 17855-933: 10.5m, Cummins C225-30 Euro-3, Voith 3-speed gearbox, centre door in bay 3, gasket glazing, tree deflectorThe last of the 2002 deliveries (17740-17745), plus the first of the massive 2003 batch (17746-17749) had gone into store on arrival in December 2002, but were put into service on route 30 at Stratford in March, displacing older Tridents to Bow. Stratford also received new buses for the 86.
Bow also received new TAs, for the 277 and N277.
Leyton took forty-six new TAs, at the behest of TfL, to dispose of many of its original low-height Tridents, three going to Exeter and four to Cambridge. This process continued in later months, with low-height TAs going to Devon, Cambridge, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Hull, North-West and Stagecoach South on the coast. Leyton did manage to hold on to TA1, the garage show-bus. Leyton's new TAs restored the 55 to opo working, after the fourteen month crew operation experiment (So this was route 55's third batch of new Tridents!).
Kings Cross, April 2003: Stratford's new 17761 on route 30, turning short at Warren Street Stn. 17792 heads east from Oxford Circus to Leyton, in July 2003.In April 2003 Upton Park received some new TAs (17834-850), to convert route 104 from low-floor Darts (plus one school-time TA).
Bow at last scraped together enough TASs to convert the 262 and 473, a conversion delayed from 2001. They also received 17854s, an out-of sequence short singleton, which arrived in April 2003.
South of the river, the May 2003 contract renewal on the 177 required new buses, so Plumstead received an injection of new ones.
In June 2003 Barking had another 18, ostensibly for a route 5 update. These enabled the conversion of route 145 from long Dart SLFs to Tridents.
Also in June, Stratford's tachograph fitted trio (17779/80/81) were exchanged to Leyton garage, as their regular Seasider trips on Summer Sundays were being delayed by Sunday markets on their way out of Waterden Road.
By August Upton Park had enough Tridents to convert route 238 from Dart SLFs to Tridents.
October 2003 at Becontree Station: 17861 heads for Dagenham Asda, while 17893 goes the other way to Leytonstone Stn.
The big event at the end of August 2003 was the completion of the conversion of route 15 from RMLs to Tridents. (TAs had been used in the evenings). The allocation also moved from Upton Park to Bow, as part of a major shift-around of route and bus allocations.
17903 heads away from the Woolwich Free Ferry bound for Stratford (December 2006). 17909 threads a way through Paddington towards Blackwall, April 2004.
17934-17975: 10.5m, Cummins C225-30 Euro-3, Voith 3-speed gearbox, centre door in bay 3, gasket glazing, tree deflectorThings quietened down for the autumn of 2003, but in December Plumstead took 17933-17964 and Bromley had 17965-75, the last few arriving after the turn of the year. These more or less completed the ousting of the remaining Olympians (except for Bromley's pair for the Surrey Schools contracts). The 269 officially became a Trident operation, as did the 638 Eltham College schooldays public buses.
New 17969 climbs past Bromley South Station on a 208 to Lewisham, June 2004. 17974 waits for its nect duty in Bromley Garage yard, in company with 17286 which has usurped an Olympian from the 638 (Eltham Schools), and one of the remnant Olympians (16123) off the Surrey Schools 516, April 2004.
17976s-17999s: 9.9m, centre door in bay 3, gasket glazing, tree deflectorRomford was the recipient of the twenty-four short Tridents that came in January- February 2004. These allowed the double-decking of route 247, plus other replacements.