GS2 at Coldharbour

Dorking Running Day

Sunday August 29th 2004

Prepared by Ian Smith, 8th September 2004

Part Two

The Dorking Bus Park

This is always a good time of day to see what has turned up for duty at a running day, after the first arrivals and before most of the first departures. I left RF679 and made a tour round the Council building's perimeter road, where many of the larger service buses were lined up.

First in the line was red RF406, ready to go out on the 412 to Holmbury St.Mary. Behind was "modernised" Greenline RF28, prepared for a stint on the 449 short-working to Capel.

RF406 at Dorking RF28 at Dorking

Next in line was Greenline Reliance RP21, which had worked in as a 712. RMC1476, wearing London Country's NBC-green bus livery, was waiting at the head of the ramp, with similar liveried RT604 behind.

RP21 at Dorking RMC1476 at Dorking

RT604 at Dorking RF626 and RF366 at Dorking

Country Area RF626 squeezed past Central Area RF366, looking for a spot to park. Jim Andress wasn't on RF366 - my chosen next ride - so I walked on round the circle. Leyland National SNB340 looked good in NBC green with white band, demonstrating how that small addition to the basic colour can make a world of difference. (I hope TfL realises that London buses have seldom been all-red, and have always looked better with some relief - and the 1930s red/white/black/silver livery, perhaps the best of all, was certainly less than 80% red!). Incidentally, it was NOT set up for the 424: the crew was busy winding up 414 when I snapped it. Next came another red single-decker, Central Area RF486, also dressed for the 412.

SNB340 at Dorking RF486 at Dorking

I walked up to the upper bus park. There I was pleased to spot RF13, in its East Kent-style Hampson's livery. Mike Dawes had arrived in it, although he would be driving the RMC during the day. Next to it stood GS1, which I intended to travel on later in the day.

RF13 at Dorking GS1 at Dorking

GS2 and GS34 were also in the park, ready for turms on the 449 and 433. GS13 was already out and about on the 433, and GS76 had arrived from its long run from Crawley on the 852 and 449. I went across to chat with the crew.

GS2 and GS34 at Dorking GS2 at Dorking

It was time to grab some breakfast from the chuck-wagon. I had time too to have a very quick look around the sales stalls. Breakfast bun in hand, I walked back down the hill. I paused in the bottom of the carpark to look at Arriva's Jubilee-gold RM6. Next to it were the Southdown Tiger and an Alexander-bodied Dart from Worthing.

RM6 at Dorking Southdown Tiger and Worthing Dart RF406 departs for 412

RF406 headed off for the 1045 service 412 to Holmbury St.Mary, and I made my way back across the bus park towards RF366.

RF366: Round the 439 (anticlockwise)

Jim was aboard RF366 now, and I joined him just in time for the 1055 departure on the 439. As we eased out of the bus park we saw RML2456 arriving on the 414 through from Horsham. To see the big green machine, now in private preservation, back in its natural habitat was rather good.

RF366 at Dorking RML2456 arrives at Dorking

We loaded up at the stop, whizzed round the roundabout, and purred up through Dorking High Street. We forked left, up past the erstwhile bus garage/bus station (now housing), and out of the town. We crossed over the A24 at the roundabout, and dived into North Holmwood. Beyond the village we waited ages to squeeze out onto the dual carriageway, then hurtled southwards. The high speed differential on RF366 was put to good use! We almost turned right at the 429 terminal point at the north end of South Holmwood, but Jim realised my error in time and we progressed to the next right turn, across the other carriageway into South Holmwood. We stopped at the station for photos. I was disappointed to see that the fine display of semaphore signals had disappeared from the station, replaced by colour-light signals.

We rejoined the main road for a quick blast down to Beare Green, where we turned sharp left into the village. We wriggled our way along to Newdigate, where Jim paused to change the blinds for the return leg.

RF366 at Holmwood Station RF366 at Newdigate

A little further on we reached Parkgate, and paused briefly for photos again outside the almost deserted Surrey Oaks pub.

Through the front window RF366 at Parkgate

Rain spattered the front screens as we headed on north through Brockham. Traffic prevented any photos at Brockham Bridge, and we continued on to meet the A25. As we turned left RF679 came along with a clockwise working, followed by RP21 heading for Reigate along the main road, as a 414.

RF679 approaches the Brockham turn RP21 on 414 to Reigate

RF626 was loading for the back-road route to Reigate on the 439 via Leigh as we approached the Pippbrook Centre. Jim pulled the RF round onto the stop and we unloaded. I said thanks to Jim and alighted too, to find my next ride.

RF626 loads for the 439 to Reigate RF366 back at Dorking

Part Three: GS1 on 449, 448, 425

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 3: GS1 on 449, 448, 425