RF633 at Fort Halstead

Sevenoaks Running Day

Sunday May 17th 2015

Prepared by Ian Smith, 1st June 2015.

Knockholt Works Journeys

402: Sevenoaks to Fort Halstead: RF633

I took the opportunity of the short break at Sevenoaks to go look at the two modernised Greenline RFs: RF28, in a new coat of paint by the looks of it, and RF168.

RF28 at Sevenoaks RF168 at Sevenoaks

RF429, having blown a joint on the exhaust syste, had been given a running repair, but was waiting off duty. It was still being useful, with its rear blind advertising one of the routes to be recreated in August on a Route Recreation Day - the 493.

I also had the opportunity to see East Kent Reliance WFN513 at rest. Earlier in the day it always seemed to be passing by at inopportune moments.

RF28 at Sevenoaks WFN513 at Sevenoaks

Now it was time for me to join RF633 for the journey to Fort Halstead. This was advertised in the programme as a 402, but RF633 only had 431C blinds with Fort Halstead on. I joined the RF and we went round the block to load up. We followed the now familiar route north to the War Memorial, down the hill to Sevenoaks Station, and along over the bumps to Riverhead. We paused briefly at Dunton Green to pay our respects, then continued up to the roundabout at the foot of Star Hill, with the escarpment of the Nort Downs towering in front of us.

RF633 on 431C at Sevenoaks Bottom of Star Hill

But up Star Hill was not our route today. We turned right and headed for the gentler but longer slope up Polhill, angling up the corner where the Darenth valley cuts through the North Downs. We reached the Polhill Arms, and turned in towards Fort Halstead. There we met RF255, in Metrobus livery from its days on the Wealdsman 746.

Having warned our passengers not to point cameras out of the windows in the vicinity of Fort Halstead, we continued up to the gatehouse, and swung round past the parked Go-Coach bus, and returned to the Approach Road. RF255 followed us.

RF633 on 431C at Fort Halstead Approach Rd RF633 on 431C at Fort Halstead Approach Rd

RF255 at Fort Halstead Approach Rd RF255 at Fort Halstead Approach Rd

431C: Fort Halstead to Knockholt Station: RF633

Fort Halstead had works services that linked the government research station with Knockholt Station and Knockholt Pound. Now RF633 was set up as a 431C to Knockholt Station.

It was a short trip: out onto the main road (the old A21), along to the Badgers Mopunt roundabout, then a gentle roll down the hill to the station, the latter where the main line emerges from its tough climb through the North Downs.

RF633 at Fort Halstead Approach Rd RF633 at Knockholt Stn

431: Knockholt Station to Sevenoaks: RF633

At Knockholt Station we turned in the station approach, and pulled back to the stop to set up for the return journey as a 431 to Sevenoaks via Knockholt Pound. RF255 followed us down to the station stop, and also turned to follow us up to Knockholt Pound.

RF255 at Knockholt Stn RF633 on 431 at Knockholt Stn

We set off. Almost immediately RML2750 came down the hill, taking me by surprise. I missed with the camera. But I had seen it at Sevenoaks just before we set off. I suspect it was on a 402 working to Pratts Bottom or Green Street Green. We turned right, off the old A21, to head up to Halstead and on to Knockholt Pound, where we had a quick photo stop.

RML2750 at Sevenoaks RF633 on 431 at Knockholt Pound

We turned left, and headed for Star Hill. Wonderful views. We descended carefully towards Dunton Green, and motored sedately back to Sevenoaks.

Now it was time to sample Maidstone & District, if possible...

Part Six: M&D to Borough Green and back

Ian's Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six