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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

All Change Route W3!

The 15th of October 2011 was the date that the Route W3's new contract started so one would wonder why the new Buses are arriving now. The route runs from Finsbury Park Station in North London to Northumberland Park in North East London. Operated by Arriva from their Lea Valley Garage with a PVR of 20, it is one of the few routes in London to be using the older Euro2 DAF DB250s which seem to cope well in areas that would provide rough traction for other vehicles given their age. Although the caption below does not show one of the new Buses that have been allocated to the Route it does give an insight as to what we will be seeing during the coming weeks.


One would argue that 2011 was not the best year for Arriva in terms of the TFL tender announcements so when TFL announced that Arriva had retained Routes; 144,279 and W3, Arriva did the 'London thing' and hastily placed an order for 78 Enviro40D Double Decker Buses numbered between T201 - 223. Its not surprising that Arriva numbered these vehicles in the 2xx series to represent the introduction of the new European Whole Type Approval (EWTA) standards like they did with their VDL DB300 Vehicles (DW) back in 2011. T249 - 271 were chosen to the allocated buses for the W3 upon the new contract starting, however with Lea Valley's flagship Route 341 running from the same garage as this, it remains to be seen whether or not they will actually stay on the Route W3. The reason these buses are so late is due to the fact 2011 was a very hectic order year for ADL especially with the high profile Olympic contracts orders coming in, minor contracts as such but nevertheless still important had to be placed further down the delivery queue.

The Route W3 originally began as Route 233 with operations commencing on the 26th of October 1949 running between Finsbury Park Well's Terrace to Northumberland Park Railway Station with a PVR of 17 from London Transport's West Green Garage which was coded 'WG'.The route proved a vital link between the railway town of Finsbury Park and Crouch end. However On the 3rd of January 1962, the Route was withdrawn and replaced with W3, which held the title of one of the first London Bus Routes to have a prefix. The Well's Terrace element on the northern end at Finsbury Park was withdrawn.

The current routing is only 8 miles long and has a PVR of 20 which allows it to be one of London's most reliable routes and the W3 is also well known for the lovely sites and historic places that are passed during its journey such as the stunning Alexandra Palace and Alexandra Park which were opened to the public on the 23rd of July 1863. Although the name 'Palace' would suggest it is a place where monarchs would reside, the structure was actually built with the intention of providing an entertainment centre to the community which would intern bring some finances to the area. One would also argue that it is somewhat of a flagship route so as expected it is a route Arriva would love to keep for many years to come given their excellent operating standards on the route I think that it is only fair that they retained the route, so cheers to Arriva and running the W3 for another 5 years! Below are some more photographs from the day.

Arriva London DAF DB250 ALX400 DLA155 V355 DGT is captured near Alexandra Palace on its way to Northumberland Park. This vehicle in particular was delivered to Arriva London South however it transferred over to Wood Green a few years back.
Arriva London T201 LJ61 CHD forms a short working to Crouch End from Finsbury Park Station. Numerically this is the first of the new EWTA Arriva E40Ds and is only one of a handful E40Ds for the W3 that were actually out in service today due to the fact Arriva London are still in the process of training their W3 drivers on the new buses.
Arriva London DLA13 S213 JUA adds a bit of Nostalgia..if that on the Route W3 today. This is part of the original batch of DLAs that were purchased by Arriva London back in 1998. This bus is due to be cascaded to Arriva's provincial operations. 
Arriva London DLA13 S213 JUA and T157 LJ60 AVE stand at Finsbury Park Station.

Credit to those who helped correct the mistakes in this post!

Key Facts to note regarding Route W3
  • Run by Arriva London from their Lea Valley Garage
  • Operates with a PVR of 20 buses.
  • Stretches for over 8 miles.
  • One of London's first prefixed routes.
  • One of London's most reliable bus routes.

9 Comments:

Anonymous
at: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:19:00 am said...

Hi, on that post you said....''T201 - 223 were chosen to the allocated buses for the W3... , however with Lea Valley's flagship Route 341 running from the same garage..., it remains to be seen whether or not they will actually stay on the Route W3''

Does that mean that the new E400's for W3 will ever be on the route?
By EK

Anonymous
at: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:53:00 am said...

Brilliant post :)...
Do you know yet when routes 144 and 279 will get their E400's

Anonymous
at: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:57:00 am said...

it said that the T249-271 for the route W3

Anonymous
at: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 9:13:00 am said...

DLA155 is V355DGT, not W :)

Leonard says:
at: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 10:13:00 am said...

Allocs as follows: T201-223 for LVs W3, T224-259 for Es 279, and T260-278 for WNs 144.

Anonymous
at: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 9:19:00 pm said...

The W3 started its new contract on 15 October 2011, not 11 February 2012. Same goes for the 144 and 279. Arriva were hardly "hasty" in ordering E400s for these contracts, given that the buses are only entering service now.

Another correction to make is that WG was not the old code for Wood Green garage. WG was the code for West Green garage, which was off West Green Road. The 233 moved to WN when WG closed in 1962. It wasn't until 1968 that the route was renumbered W3.

As someone who uses the W3 quite a bit I have to strongly disagree with your claim that the route is one of the most reliable in London. The reliability of the route was absolutely appalling when LV first took over. In fairness the new schedule introduced a couple of weeks ago seems to have improved things, but it is still by no means "reliable".

Anonymous
at: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 9:26:00 pm said...

Forgot to mention that DLA155 is not one of the buses new to WN for the W3 - it was new to Arriva London South, and only moved to North London a couple of years ago.

Anonymous
at: Friday, April 06, 2012 10:55:00 pm said...

The correct name for the garage is LEE VALLEY not Lea.

Anonymous
at: Saturday, December 07, 2013 8:50:00 pm said...

An appalling service when compared to the w7 metro line. Drivers look like vagrants, buses arrive in pairs late. Horrible

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