TA, TAS: Dennis Trident, Alexander ALX 400
18201-18277: 10.5m, centre door in bay 3, gasket glazing, tree deflectorBy now (spring 2004), the only non-low-floor buses running in TfL service by Stagecoach were the RMLs on route 8. New Tridents started arriving at Bow at the end of April, starting a new number sequence at 18201 after deliveries to other Stagecoach companies. During May thay went into service on the 8, (and the 15 and 277), so that there were only a dozen RMLs left in service on the last day of crew operation - the last day with RMLs. The newest TAs could be identified by gold advertising frames on the offside - as well as by their high numbers! As all the required new Tridents had not arrived, some older ones from Bow helped out.
On the last day of crew (and RML) operation, route 8 already had Tridents in service, such as 17925, from the route 15 tranche, and brand-new 18218.18239-18256 were destined for Leyton, where they were used to enable the double-decking of route 230.
Writing of Leyton: that garage operated Megabus routes, and when necessary duplicated or substituted Tridents, which took them far and wide: Chesterfield, Birmingham, Bristol, Plymouth... The tachograph-fitted buses (17779/80/81) were favourites.
The final buses of the 2004 order (18257-18265) turned up in September, going to Upton Park.
Early 2005 saw the arrival of another twelve long Tridents (18266-277), for Stratford, for the Stagecoach takeover of route 158 from First Capital in March, which although the contract did not specify new buses, nevertheless required extras to be acquired. Leyton's route 97, taken over from First at the same time in the same area, used existing buses. The contract renewals were not all in Stagecoach's favour: route 58 was lost to First London in March 2005.
17877 and 17908 on 97 at Chingford Stn, in January 2012, by which time the southern terminus was Stratford City.
TragedyOn July 7th 2005 a terrorist bomb exploded the rear of 17758 whilst on diversion on route 30, following a Piccadilly Line explosion. Fourteen passengers were killed, many injured. The driver survived, severely shocked. The rear end of the bus was blown outwards, like an opened flower. It was removed to Fort Halstead for forensic examination.
17762 also suffered an explosion a few days later, having some windows blown out. The Police also took this one away.
18451-18480: 10.5m, centre door in bay 3, gasket glazing, tree deflectorRoute 103 came from Arriva in October 2005. At the same time route 257 was reassigned from First London, which had used similar Tridents latterly. Romford's 103 had new long Tridents 18451-18462, and Stratford took 18463-18480 for the 257. These began to arrive in August, and four went into service on other routes wearing 05 registrations. Others were stored, being re-registered with 55 plates. Some were used during September on the 86 (NS and SD), and 87 (NS).
17830 at Rainham on route 103, March 2014, 18478 on the 257 passes 17298 on 86 at Stratford Bus Station, April 2006.
18481-18499: 10.5m, centre door in bay 3, gasket glazing, tree deflector
The last new Tridents were for contract renewal on the 47. They were normal length buses to replace the short ones previously used on the route.
Some of the released Tridents went to Upton Park to replace the SLW low-floor Lances on route 101. Others were used to fill in as required during a major refurbishment programme.
18500 "Spirit of London": 10.8m Enviro400Whilst the last Tridents were being built, Stagecoach bought a new Enviro400 bus to replace the Trident lost in the July 2005 bomb blast. It was named "Spirit of London", and after being exhibited it went into service in January 2006 at Stratford, to be used on routes 26, 30 86, 158 and 25.
Properly 18500 should not be included here, as it is not a classic Trident. But by its origins as a replacement for 17758 it deserves its mention here.
But the EnviroTridents are a story yet to come..
18500 on route 30 at Kings Cross.