RF633 at Goathurst Common

Sevenoaks Fun Day

Sunday May 15th 2005

Prepared by Ian Smith, 2nd June 2005

Part One

Getting there: the joys of rail replacement buses.

Travel by train on a Sunday is always a bit of a lottery. But the internet had prepared me somewhat: no trains to Sevenoaks on Sunday at all. I had a choice of a replacement bus from Orpington, or one from Otford. So I went down to Orpington by Networker, and once there was directed (when I asked) to the west side carpark, where stood two of Ham's Travel coaches. Mine was not the double-decker, but the Berkhof-bodied Volvo B10M.

MC52 HAM on rail replacement, Orpington S4 HAM on rail replacement, Orpington

I chatted to the driver, and then we were off: all stations to Sevenoaks. We wound our way through Orpington and out towards Green Street Green, then turned off up the hill to Chelsfield Station, buried in the heart of the Orpington suburbia. A pause at the end of the station approach, while sundry small red buses whizzed around, and then we wriggled back down towards Green Street Green again. We settled to some serious motoring south along the A21. We passed one of Metrobus' Omnidekkas heading for work on the 64 from the Polhill base. The huge front window of the coach gave an excellent view. The blast along the A21 was halted by the right turn onto the old road for the station stop at Knockholt. Then it was a gentle drive up to Badgers Mount and down Polhill into Dunton Green. After a pause at the station stop we trundled on towards Sevenoaks, to call at the west carpark at Tubs Hill Station.

Omnidekka passes, near Pratts Bottom S4 HAM on rail replacement, Sevenoaks

There I discovered that the Otford-Sevenoaks was being provided by Titans from West Kent Buses, in their smart maroon and cream livery. T329 "Penny" was loading for a trip to Otford, while T671 "Alexandra" was the spare.

T329 on rail replacement, Sevenoaks T671 on rail replacement, Sevenoaks T671 on rail replacement, Sevenoaks

I was in plenty of time for my rendezvous with RF633, so I sauntered over the station bridge - just in time to see the the only service that Sevenoaks enjoys on a Sunday: the two-hourly 401 from Chartwell to Tunbridge Wells. It was being provided by Metrobus' yellow bike-rack fitted Optare Solo 394.

Metrobus Solo 394 Metrobus Solo 394

Now where was that RF, and which way would it arrive?

All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 2: RF633 on the 431A