RLH48 leaving East Grinstead

East Grinstead Running Day

Sunday April 25th 2004

Prepared by Ian Smith, 20th May 2004

Part 4: RF406 on the 434

The next arrival in King Street, while I was chatting in the reception tent, was RP90 on the 473 Railway run, to and from Kingscote Station for the Bluebell Railway connection. That was followed by RF366, back from Chart and Oxted on the 494.

RP90 in King Street RF366 in King Street

Then red RF406 rolled round the corner onto the stand, dressed for the 434 to Crawley. This was one of the routes that the Country Area used borrowed red RFs for on summer Sundays before the motor car revolution, and also one that London Country used them on its its early days of rolling stock shortage (After London Transport had transferred some green ones to its own stock!) I checked my timetable, and took a place aboard for the trip.

We wiggled out onto the High Street, and down near the Station onto the road to Kingscote. Soon we were out into the country, with the woods reminding us why it is called the Bluebell Railway. We turned left for Kingscote Station, and eased under the tall railway bridge. The station yard was alrweady occupied, with SNC168 standing ready to return to East Grinstead, and Metrobus' Dart/Nimbus No376 on the commercial 473 service. I alighted for a quick look, while the Dart completed its turn and the RF followed.

RF406, SNC168 and Metrobus376 at Kingscote Stn SNC168 at Kingscote Stn

I reboarded RF406 and we headed off, back under the railway, then left, under the next bridge, and west along the country lane through the bluebell woods towards Turners Hill. At the road-junction there - the old meeting point for Southdown services - the corner was a very tight squeeze for the RF as we turned sharp right to head for Crawley Down. We headed north up the western rim of the village, to reach the roundabout at the Duke's Head, Copthorne, where we turned west again. Now we skirted past Copthorne village and passed through Pound Hill to reach Three Bridges Station. After that we were into the bustle of Crawley New Town, and a series of roundabouts led us to the modern bus station, where we had been allotted a stance for the day. The bus station was remarkably quiet, with just a few of Metrobus' Darts: another of the Caetano Nimbuses, 369, was resting between turns, while Plaxton bodied 296 was on local route 4.

RF406 and Dart 296 at Crawley Bus  Stn Dart 369 at Crawley Bus  Stn

On the way back we asked for a photo-stop at the Dukes Head, and the crew kindly obliged.

RF406 at the Dukes Head RF406 at the Dukes Head

They were similarly helpful at Turners Hill, where the bus paused by the wooden bus-shelter beside the triangular green.

RF406 at Turners Hill RF406 at Turners Hill

We went on, back to Kingscote Station, where we found 971J parked and RF633 heading towards Crawley on the 434 (despite what it says on its rear blind).

971J at Kingscote Stn RF633 at Kingscote Stn

The remainder of the trip back to King Street was uneventful. I was tired by now, and after alighting settled down to watch the departures.

Part 5: Departures

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 3: East Grinstead Part 5: Departures.