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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Go Ahead London General Northumberland Park Garage [NP]

Today was a perfect day to test out the quality of my new camera, which has grown on me, my other was destroyed by my younger brother, but i picked this one up for the same price, so it seems as if this was a blessing in disguise. So the day's visit was London General's Northumberland Park, which is pretty much in the middle of scenic nowhere! Just kidding, there is a railway station that provides very infrequent rail services to London Liverpool Street and a few fields.

I have actually done this garage before, although I'm not sure if I can count this one as a revisit but I did come here back in June 2010, just shows you how long I have actually been doing this for and a lot has changed since then....back then it was utilized by a company who went by the name of First.

Before I go any further I would like to credit the Go Ahead London staff, who were so polite to show me around and take time out of their busy day to ensure that I was safe whilst on site.

As per garage posts, we'll run you through a bit of history before continuing with the post. The garage itself is one of the newer bases, not the newest, but its nearly there, probably due to the absence of a grand Victorian style building. The garage is actually a yard with an engineering shed at towards the rear.

Opening in 1991, the spacious Northumberland Park Depot, was the perfect location to house the expanding Capital Citybus Walthamstow operations. Situated parallel to the A406 North Circular, the location was easily accessible to the area in which they operated in and should the dual carriage-way suffer from traffic, there were an array of alternative routes to pick from.

The operations grew rather steadily, with the collapse of fellow operator, London Forest in 1991 acting as a catalyst towards this. This allowed the company to gain many routes around the surrounding area. The Buses were painted in various different liveries, including a very distinctive yellow one, complete with red arrows either side of the blind box, reminiscent of the company's Far East origins.

Just as all seemed to be going well, CNT Holdings, the parent company decided to sell their operations in a management style buy out, which saw the managers of the Capital Citybus purchase portions of the company, something similar occurred with London Central. The buyout was completed on the 21st of December 1995.

In 1998, FirstGroup purchased the company, which included the Northumberland Park Depot, thus birthing First Capital. The inclusion of the word 'capital' was done for trivial reasons, in remembrance of the former company who once operated on these grounds.

The garage continued to be a success, winning many routes in the Tottenham and surrounding areas, the large area of depot allowed the company to take advantage, which saw them nicking at the heels of Arriva London North, another local operator.

This was made evident when it was announced that they had won new route 476, which was to run from Euston to Northumberland Park, replacing the Tottenham to Northumberland park section of the 76 in the process. The vehicles chosen to run the route were 21 brand new state of the art Transbus President Volvo B7TLs, some of which can still be seen today.

In 2011, FirstGroup expressed their desire to sell of their London operations which they described as non-profitable after announcing pre-tax loses of £100million. Northumberland Park Garage was put on the market in early 2012 and many speculated that Arriva were interested with a long shot contender being Metroline, so it did come as a surprise when it was announced that Go Ahead would be taking it over, with all vehicles transferring to the company with immediate effect. This transaction was completed in March 2012, right before the start of the new financial year.

All vehicles were subsequently renumbered in accordance with Go Ahead's fleet system, however featuring an 'N' at the end of each code to signify Northumberland Park Depot. It seems as if the depot, carries some luck with each new operator that acquire the premises, with the company winning the 257 in 2012, along with the 327 and 491 in 2013.

I sincerely do hope you have enjoyed reading this post as much as I have writing it and more photos are centered below.

Two similar but very different Wright bodied Volvo B9TLs
stand side by side at Northumberland Park Garage

London General WVL79 LF52 ZPK

The Bus wash
A line up of Volvos 
From left to right: WS13 LJ13 GKX, PVN5 LK03 NHV

Former Metrobus 142 LT02 ZDR

Go Ahead London EN10 SN58 CEX
The Pits
London General LDP200 SN51 UAO
Former Metrobus 142 LT02 ZDR
Yard view facing the entrance 

London General WVL79 is seen parked up
Yard view facing the east
Go Ahead London WVN41 BV10 WWD & WVL460 LJ61 NUU
Go Ahead London WVN41 BV10 WWD & WVL460 LJ61 NUU
Go Ahead London WS32 LJ13 GLK
Go Ahead London WS32 LJ13 GLK
3 Wrights don't make a wrong!
A Yard view facing the rear of the garage taken from the entrance

Garage Fact File
  • Opened in 1991 
  • Sold in 1995 in a management buy out
  • Purchased by First in 1998
  • Sold to Go Ahead London General in March 2012
  • Routes Run: 20191231257259299327,357389399476491W4W10W16, school routes 616692699 


Thomas O'Regan says:
at: Sunday, February 09, 2014 8:25:00 am said...

What is LDP200 SN51UAO doing there? will LDP200 ever enter service again?

Jay says:
at: Monday, February 24, 2014 11:57:00 pm said...

I'm not entirely sure...

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