London Transport Chiswick Works

London Transport Chiswick Works

The London General Omnibus Company (L.G.O.C.) first opened the motorbus maintenance works in Chiswick in 1921.

L.G.O.C. had become part of the Underground group in 1911, and much of its vehicle manufacture work was taken over by the Associated Equipment Company (A.E.C.), then also part of the group. However, maintenance work continued in L.G.O.C. workshops across London such as those at Walthamstow and Islington. The idea of a single central workshop bringing the repair, overhaul and construction of buses, parts and equipment to one site was intended to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

The works operated on a production-line system, with vehicles moving around the facility having different jobs carried out at each stage. The usual flow pattern was: removing the mirrors and upholstery; lifting the body of the chassis; conditioning the engine; testing the chassis; repainting the body; re-fitting the chassis. Initially each bus was fully overhauled each year; as bus designs improved, the interval between overhauls lengthened.

The works covered a 32-acre site just off Chiswick High Road. There were some 21 acres of workshops and administration buildings; a half-mile-long test track and 'skid patch'; and a sports ground and bowling green for the employees. There was also a medical centre and a staff canteen large enough to seat 1,000 at one sitting. This building was used for social events, usually organised by the Chiswick Works Sports Association. The works also housed the driver and conductor training school. On the administration side, ticket processing, bus licensing and vehicle transfers were all undertaken at the site.

Alternate Names

  • L.T. Chiswick Works
  • Chiswick Works

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