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360
London Bus route 360
Management
Operated by Go-Ahead London
Garage Camberwell (Q)
Vehicle VDL SB120 10.1m/Wright Electrocity
Dennis Dart SLF 10.2m/Plaxton Pointer
PVR 10
Route
Start Kensington
Via Sloane Square
Pimlico
Vauxhall
Lambeth
End Elephant & Castle
Length 6 miles (9 km)
Service
Journey time 38-61 minutes
Frequency about every 12 minutes
Day 5:20am until 1:13am
Night No night service
peak vehicle requirement
Performance

London Buses route 360 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Go-Ahead London.

HistoryEdit

Several new routes were introduced in readiness for the commencement of the London congestion charge in February 2003, and of those the 360 is arguably the most unusual. Operations commenced on January 25, 2003 using a batch of cascaded early model Dart SLFs, unusually treated to route branding, although some have subsequently lost it. These buses were also well ahead of their time in having had their roofs painted white when new for route 345 in 1997.

The route is something of a museum route. Starting from the Royal Albert Hall, and also next to Imperial College, it operates via South Kensington (although not along Exhibition Road, where several museums are located), and then serves some previously unserved streets to reach Sloane Square. Then the route operates via Pimlico, taking it past Chelsea Barracks and near Tate Britain, to Vauxhall, passing the MI5 building before passing through the less glamorous environs of Black Prince Road. The last museum on route is the Imperial War Museum, before buses arrive at Elephant & Castle.

However the route is more notable for the use of 6 hybrid diesel-electric buses alongside the Darts. The route was originally awarded with new vehicles rather than cascaded LDPs, and late in 2003 it was announced that the route would act as a testing ground for hybrid vehicles. The principle is that the gearbox is replaced by a large battery and electric circuits; a small diesel engine charges the battery which then drives electric motors, and during braking the motors can regenerate electricity and put it back into the battery. All this results in far lower fuel use, and consequently lower pollution, with the engine normally operating at its optimal speed when not idling. It was intended to order a full complement of such vehicles based on the new Transbus Enviro200H. However, development halted during financial problems at Transbus and its subsequent reconfiguration as Alexander Dennis, so the deal fell through.

Instead an order for 6 vehicles went to Wrightbus, and the vehicles, branded Electrocity, finally arrived and entered service a few months ago. The chassis is a VDL (DAF) SB120, but obviously the mechanical components are re-configured for the hybrid power train. The choice of WHY for the class code is a bit peculiar - it is meant to mean Wright HYbrid, but may well start people asking questions instead, such as why they are there, why they were so late etc...


Current routeEdit

  • Royal Albert Hall
  • National History Museum
  • South Kensington Station Underground
  • Kensington & Chelsea College
  • Sloane Square Station Underground
  • Pimlico Station Underground
  • Vauxhall Station Underground Rail
  • Imperial War Museum
  • St George's Circus
  • Elephant and Castle Station Underground Rail

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