RF679 at Orpington Station

Sevenoaks Running Day

Sunday May 13th 2018

Prepared by Ian Smith, 19th May 2018.

Part 5: M&D 9: Sevenoaks - Borough Green - Sevenoaks: SC390

I needed someting different after tea. It came in the form of Maidstone & District dual-purpose Reliance SC390, which was working out to Borough Green Station. It was substituting for Regent V DL39, which was unable to come. I went and said hello to the driver, then we drove round to the stand to load. Just down from us in the bus park was M&D Dart SLF 3238, in the best of the newer M&D liveries. It too was working the 9 on the counterpoint journey.

SC390 on 9 3238 off 9

As we left the bus station we passed the two GreenLine RFs. RF28 had undergone the modernisation program with a new front, grey interior trim, external lime green band (with aluminium trim) and yellow roof-boards. RF271 was in the original GreenLine condition. They had swapped roles after their last runs: RF28 was now blinded for a 705 trip to Westerham, and RF271 was set up for a London-ward trip to Farnborough.

RF28 for 705 RF271 for 704

We passed by the Sevenoaks War Memorial, and continued down the long hill through St.Johns to Bat & Ball. There we turned right onto the A25, out of the London Transport area. We climbed the steep little hill, and went on over the bumps to Seal, and then on through a long stretch of forest. We turned off to descend through Ightham, and climbed up the far side to rejoin the main road. In Borough Green we forked left, along to the bridge carrying the Wrotham road over the railway. Over the bridge we turned left, down onto the station forecourt to turn. The bus stop, of course, is not right outside the station building, but up at the top of the approach ramp. Why let passengers shelter from the rain in a nice sturdy station building when you can make them walk up the hill to a scrappy bus-shelter?

We stood for a while, then turned back over the bridge and down through the village. We rejoined the A25 briefly, then dived down into Ightham. We made a photo-stop there.

SC390 at Borough Green Stn SC390 at Ightham

SC390 at Ightham

Then it was back on the bus, and back up onto the A25 for the forest ride along to Seal. We passed Dart 3238 heading out on the following 9 to Brough Green. We dropped down to Bat & Ball. We turned left for the climb up through St Johns, to the top of the hill. Open-topper CAP229 came along, carrying a full load of happy passengers. It was followed by RF679, making another foray to Knockholt Station with a 431C.

CAP229 RF679 on 431C

We turned into the bus station and I alighted.

SC390 departs

It seems that RF679 had been the last scheduled returning service out. The feeder service to Orpington, and the other feeders, would not depart for another hour. I could of course wait to watch the services come back in. But there was an unscheduled extra: RM1397 on a return trip to Dunton Green. No contest!...

Part Six: Dunton Green and back, and then to Orpington

Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six