24/02/2016

Night Buses at (Night) 9

More NBAD/N photos from the night are shown here (Aubrey) and here (Anthony).

Yes, the first all-nighter. But not really all the way to 8am, interestingly. Also, this NBA(N) was different, as it was a full on one albeit in January (hence only the last N9s are at dawn), in the pouring rain, with Anthony!

London United SP8 on Route N9, Hammersmith
London United SP8 on Route N9, Hammersmith (© Aubrey)

Customarily started with a photo of an N9 albeit 2350 of the Friday, but not actually started until 0019 when the N97 appeared.

London United TLA28 on Route N97, Hammersmith Bus Station
London United TLA28 on Route N97, Hammersmith (© Anthony)

This is the first proper NBAD(and N) photos since September 2015, as following photos of night buses had been at Hammersmith Bus Station for a short while at the tail end of a day out or trip down from Coventry.

London United TLA28 on Route N97, Piccadilly
London United TLA28 on Route N97, Piccadilly (© Aubrey)

First thing to do was the N97, which will transfer in March to Tower Transit using Enviro 400/Hs from Westbourne Park ex-23 allocation. Therefore, it's one of the last times to ride the pretty good TLAs which can shift pretty well on the N97!

N109 and N9
Abellio London 2491 on Route N109 and London United SP170 on Route N9, Trafalgar Square (© Aubrey)

One route towards the start of its journey, another towards its end. The newest generation of double deckers (i.e. the Enviro 400MMC, Gemini 3, Streetdeck) haven't really shown during the night in Central London, Only Metroline and Abellio London have an abundance of these allocated to the N7, N98 and the N109. However, with the 47N getting B5LH/E400MMCs, and the N155 gradually gaining some B5LH/Gemini 3 workings, they are slowing gaining inside London.

N26 to Shoreditch
Tower Transit DN33621 on Route N26, Charing Cross Station/Trafalgar Square (© Aubrey)

One other thing that will change before the next NBAD/N is the operator of the N26. The contract of the N26 is changing over early, like the 69/N did earlier in February. The N26, along with its day counterpart 26, will move to CT Plus initially with existing Enviro 400s, before the Enviro 400H City enters service with CT Plus's new fleet numbering system.

London Central E168 on Route N44, Charing Cross Station
London Central E168 on Route N44, Charing Cross Station (© Aubrey)

An interesting bus on Route N44 was a Camberwell based London Central bus on the London General route N44. It was only on the N44/N155 apparently just this one night. It harks back LT days to when there used to be a few spare buses in Central London based for night buses needed. Including the flip-dot display fitted Titan.

Go-Ahead London General EH27 on Route N87, Charing Cross Station
London General EH27 on Route N87, Charing Cross Station (© Anthony)

Route N87 is Anthony's local night (Central London) bus route, but he didn't take that to start NBAN, but went with me on the N97.

Tower Transit VN36114 on Route N26, Charing Cross Station
Tower Transit VN36114 on Route N26, Charing Cross Station (© Aubrey)

This working is about to go, as the loaned buses will be Enviro 400s which are the main allocation on the N/26.

London General LT512 on Route N11, Charing Cross Station
London General LT512 on Route N11, Charing Cross Station (© Aubrey)

The latest LT night conversion at the time of taking photos was the N11. However, since then, the N3 and N68 has gotten partial conversions of the LT, with new blinds where the N is smaller (like old night bus blinds) but aligned with the top, not the bottom like old blinds!

London General E176 on Route N11, Charing Cross
London General E176 on Route N11, Charing Cross (© Aubrey)

However, there are still some conventional strays on the N11, like this example.

Stagecoach 10131 on Route N199, Charing Cross Station
Stagecoach London 10131 on Route N199, Charing Cross Station (© Anthony)

The newest night route, the N199, is currently allocated these Enviro 400s, however the Volvo B5LH/ADL E400MMCs from the 47 are starting to stray on the N199.

Metroline VWH2098 on Route N98, Tottenham Court Road
Metroline VWH2098 on Route N98, Tottenham Court Road (© Aubrey)

Route N98 temporarily terminates at Russell Square in place of the N7, however there was a consultation recently to make this arrangement permanent. This is also one of the few routes where the newest generation of buses being released are being used on night bus routes.

Metroline West VW1843 on Route N18, Trafalgar Square
Metroline West VW1843 on Route N18, Trafalgar Square (© Aubrey)

Route N18 is a route which is a long corridor. It is also the reason why the new 483 (split of 83) will not have a night service. The corresponding day route is one of many rumoured to get LTs, and this route could also have strays of Volvo B5LH/Gemini 3s from the 295(N).

London Central E186 on Route N68, Waterloo
London Central E186 on Route N68, Waterloo (© Aubrey)

Route N68 is one route that has usually evaded my camera lens, but this time it hasn't, just in time before the very slow introduction of a few LTs on the route.

London Central WVL295 on Route N171, Waterloo
London Central WVL295 on Route N171, Waterloo (© Aubrey)

Another route to evade my camera lens until now was the N171.

Diverted N63
London Central WVL308 on Route N63, Waterloo (© Aubrey)

And for the first time, I got an N63 at the weird place of Waterloo, where it doesn't serve. It was probably on diversion or something during that night.

London Central WVL318 on Route N63, King's Cross
London Central WVL318 on Route N63, King's Cross (© Aubrey)

What was most annoying (and the most cold) was that the weather was raining throughout until that photo was taken. Conditions were terrible, so we got a rest at St Pancras International - where there are free toilets! This means that all-nighters are way more feasible now I know that's there. After a Starbucks warm drink, we headed to do the N9 full route.

London United SP187 on Route N9, Heathrow Terminal 5
London United SP187 on Route N9, Heathrow Terminal 5 (© Aubrey)

And then waited for the last N9 to Heathrow, which arrived stating it was Not In Service already!

Last Night Bus to Airport
London United SP183 on Route N9, Heathrow Terminal 5 (© Aubrey)

Obviously this isn't the last night bus of the night, so we went to Hounslow to get photos of the last few N9s.

This was the first time I had done NBAD/NBAN with a fellow enthusiast, who turned out to be my mate, Anthony. I hadn't had done a all-nighter, so doing that, then going to Reading and covering the 70 afterwards proved to be quite tiring. Overall, this was actually the most productive NBAD/N ever. Yay :)

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