29/03/2016

Night Tower (inc NBAD 10)

Route N97, or now N97 is one of the original N-prefixed routes that was renumbered from 2xx numbers, the 297 originally being a Liverpool Street-Turnham Green service duplicating the Piccadilly line at night between Piccadilly Circus and Hammersmith. It still does that function today, albeit shorter now than it was originally, and certainly shorter than its longest length it took.

London United TLA27 on Route N97, Hyde Park Corner
London United TLA27 on Route N97, Hyde Park Corner (© Aubrey)

Route N97, since privatisation, has been with London United from either AV (Hounslow) or S (Shepherd's Bush). However, on 5th March 2016, that all changed as London United lost the N97 to Tower Transit from Westbourne Park (X).

First Tower Transit N97
Tower Transit VN37993 on Route N97, Trafalgar Square (© Aubrey)

That is the first ever westbound journey of an N97 under Tower Transit. Currently it is mixed VN, WN and DNH operation. The first night however was just VNs and WNs.

Tower Transit WN35002 on Route N97, Hyde Park Corner
Tower Transit WN35002 on Route N97, Hyde Park Corner (© Aubrey)

Freshly refurbished VDL DB300s were used with unrefurbished VNs from the first night. The N97 also somehow managed to bunch on the first night.

Tower Transit VN37993 on Route N97, Trafalgar Square
Tower Transit VN37993 on Route N97, Trafalgar Square (© Aubrey)

The N97 also ran with no iBus, predictable from the first night.

Tower Transit VN37995 on Route N97, Hammersmith
Tower Transit VN37995 on Route N97, Hammersmith (© Anthony)

Since then, the DNHs and even a few new VHs have strayed onto the route, and it seems that eventually, things should be getting better. And for the blinds? I still think that the "N" should be in line with the lower line, not the upper line, like how it used to be.

Tower Transit VN37995 on Route N97, Hammersmith
Tower Transit VN37995 on Route N97, Hammersmith (© Aubrey)

This was the last bus of the night. A fairly early night finish nowadays.

The N97 has devolved from being the main western route out of London at night to a mere short stump it is today. It used to go to Heathrow and Sunbury Village in the 90s, before being replaced by the N9 for Heathrow. It's closer to its original length (Liverpool Street-Turnham Green) nowadays. It's still a pretty good route.

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