The 81

You’ve found an easter egg! This section describes the 81 and the buses that run it (personal favourites of the author!)

Some general facts about the route:

  • created in 1933, between Hounslow and Windsor
  • The first route to be tendered, in 1985
  • Allocated 18 Vehicles
  • Has 10 out of 20 native Voith VWs
  • Vehicles from 7 different batches of VWs can work the route

The buses are arranged in age order (except for VW1387 which gets priority!)

©Daniel Ortega


  • The hottest bus on the route
  • One of the few (if not the only) VW with that type of front indicators
  • One of few (if not the only) VW to catch fire
  • Spent almost a year off road for repairs
  • One of the louder voiths
  • One of the most hated VWs on the route
  • Has been banned from returning to SG a few times


  • New to First as VN37878
  • Oldest bus allocated to the route
  • Has never been refurbished, although has Metroline disabled cushion
  • Only ex-First bus in Hounslow
©Peter Horrex
©Peter Horrex


  • Only ZF from its batch at SG


  • Has a creaky chassis
©Peter Horrex
©Daniel Ortega


  • Has had a bodge repair done to the offside
  • Has bent-out-of-shape seats at the upper nearside


  • Fast and loud Voith
  • Visited AH in 2018 before moving permanently the following year



  • One of the slower ones
  • Had the side offside paneling replaced, with slightly different shade to the rest
©Tommy Cooling


  • Faster Voith
  • Visited AH in 2018 before moving permanently into AH/SG the following year


©Peter Horrex



©Tommy Cooling