Sitting in the gloom on the far side of the bus station was the doyenne of Arriva London's Metrobus-replacements, DAF / Wright DW1, waiting for another outing on the 194, and decidedly scruffy after the summer's appalling weather. Departing was Metrobus' new Omnidekka 951 on the 405 to Redhill, heading off the same route as I was anticipating on RT604.
But where was RT604? I went for a wander around, and someone told me that it was out on the main road, at stop WN. So I headed in that direction. I found the RT hiding behind Metrobus OmniCity 543, which was resting between turns on the X26 to/from Heathrow. Whilst looking for a photo I heard the distinctive putter of an approaching RF, and there was RF600, RT604's sister in preservation.
The RF pulled past the two buses on the stop, and stopped. After a little while the X26 departed for the bus station, and I could at last get a picture of the RT.
Nine o'clock arrived and the engine rumbled into activity. We were off, followed by RF600, round the U-turn and back south through Central Croydon, past the Fairfield Halls to the big roundabout, then right towards Waddon. But we ducked down off the side of the flyover to reach South End, where we turned left onto the Brighton Road. RF600 followed us south to Purley, where we paused at the Tesco stop to suit the feeder timetable.
We continued south past Coulsdon, and made another stop to wait time at Hooley. Several people took the opportunity to take photos.
We continued through a gap in the crest of the North Downs and down into Merstham for another stop, then on into Redhill to the bus station.
I alighted from RT604 at Redhill. RF679 was due through in half an hour's time, and this would give me an opportunity to grab some breakfast. The RT rumbled off towards Reigate and Dorking, and Metrobus Dart 227 set off on the 100 service to Crawley.
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.
Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 2: 414/439: Redhill to Dorking: RF679