RT3148 crosses Lower Flanchford Bridge

Dorking Classic Bus Running Day

Sunday 3rd September 2006

Prepared by Ian Smith, 14th September 2006

Part One: 403B: Sevenoaks to Reigate, RF679

I met Colin at the bus at 0645, and I set up the blinds while he did the routine checks: battery, water, oil... Colin had prepared a set of blinds for our feeder journey from Sevenoaks to Reigate as a 403B. But we had a long way to go before we reached our start point. Colin started up RF679 and we eased out of the shed, and on out of the yard. Roy joined us, and we set off for our gentle journey across the width of Kent.

Today we paused for a few moments in Wrotham to take pictures, before rolling down to Borough Green and along the twisting A25 to Sevenoaks.

RF679 at Wrotham RF679 at Wrotham

We turned up left at St Johns, to climb up to Sevenoaks War Memorial, where we turned right to run down the hill to Sevenoaks Station. We were ten minutes early, which gave us time to visit the conveniently-placed station before resuming our journey at 0900. We were joined by our customary friends (I am not allowed to call them "the usual suspects".)

RF679 at Sevenoaks Station RF679 at Sevenoaks Station

We rumbled down to Riverhead, and west along the A25 again, through Sundridge and Brasted. The M25 - parallel to us along the alignment of the old Westerham Branch railway - today seemed to be flowing reasonably well, so our road was nice and quiet. We pulled up past the statues of Churchill and Wolfe to the centre of Westerham, and stopped outside the Kings Arms. No scheduled stop for breakfast today.

RF679 at Westerham RF679 at Westerham

We went on westwards from Westerham, making the gentle climb up the dry valley to Limpsfield Common, where we made a pre-arranged pick-up, then whooshed down the hill under the tall railway viaduct at Oxted. We crawled up the other side to the Tandridge roundabout, then yo-yo-ed gently along the Greensand Ridge to Godstone. We pulled round the corner past the houses now sitting on the old LT garage site, and round the triangular one-way loop by Godstone Green, to pull up at the bus-stop.

RF679 at Godstone Green RF679 at Godstone Green

We didn't stop long, but resumed our roller-coaster ride along the high ground through Bletchingley and Nutfield, before rolling down the long hill to Redhill Station. GS15 caught up with us on the way, as we swished through a fine shower of rain.

GS15 near Nutfield GS15 near Redhill

We passed under the railway and round to the bus station, where RT604 had already arrived from Croydon. Some passengers swapped buses. RT604 was quickly away, while we had a short break for coffee before our 1000 departure.

RT604 at Redhill Bus Stn RT604 at Redhill Bus Stn

Metrobus' Dart/Caetano 371 left on a 100 service to Horley, Gatwick and Maidenbower (south of Crawley), while red Metrobus Dart 208 came in on TfL-tendered route 405 from Croydon.

Metrobus 208 and RF679 at Redhill Bus Stn Metrobus 371 at Redhill Bus Stn

We too were soon underway again, through the Redhill/Reigate conurbation to reach the Market Cross at Reigate, and our changeover point at Reigate Red Cross.

Part 2: 439: Reigate to Dorking: RF679

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 2: 439: Reigate to Dorking: RF679