RF679 and RT3148 in East Grinstead

East Grinstead Running Day

Sunday April 24th 2005

Prepared by Ian Smith, 5th May 2005

Part Two: East Grinstead

RT3148 to East Grinstead Station and back

After arrival at East Grinstead RF679 was instructed to leave King Street as there was an anticipated rush of departures. Colin drove round the corner and parked. I was going to walk down via the various carparks to look at the parked buses, but green buses suddenly started coming past - first was RT3148, clearing out from King Street as we had done. Next came RF626, setting off for Crawley Down on the 434, with GS76 close behind, the next departure on the 494 to Oxted.

RF626 passes RF679 GS76 passes RF679

Next up was immaculate RT1700, on the 1123 northbound departure on the 409. That was followed by RP21, heading empty towards East Grinstead Railway Station.

RT1700 passes RF679 RP21 passes RF679

Much to my surprise the next bus was RT3148 again, which had gone round the block and was now doing a short shuttle run to the Station to collect passengers off the train. It paused beside RF679, and I took the opprtunity to join them for the short trip. The RT turned out past East Grinstead War Memorial, then turned right down the High Street over the speed bumps. We crossed the traffic lights, and turned down to East Grinstead Station. After negotiating the roundabouts we pulled imnto the bus stand to pick up a good crowd of folk from the train. RP21 was parking for a while, out of the way.

RT3148 passes RF679 RP21 at the station

Well loaded we climbed up the bank again, and right into East Grinstead town centre again. We pulled up behing GS1, stopped at the traffic lights, and I alighted to take pictures. RT3148 came up to the lights next, and turned the corner into King Street, while Greene Lane's Routemaster Coach, RMC1469, headed north.

GS1 at the lights RT3148 at the lights RMC1469 at the lights

I walked up into King Street, and boarded GS1 to talk to John Huxford. Red RF486 was standing further up the street, loading for a 434 towards Crawley, recalling not only summer Sunday loans by the Country bDepartment but also Crawley's use of loaned red RFs on the 434 during London Country days.

GS2 came in to the stand for a 428 journey to Dormansland. I walked up towards the active bus park, passing RMC1476 in NBC green and red RML898.

RF486 in King Street GS2 in King Street RMC1476

RF406 came in to park after a trip on the 428, and pulled up between me and RML898.

RF406 in King Street RML898

Up in the bus park I found RF4, one of the short RFs built for sightseeing. I walked over to chat briefly with Peter Penfold, who was preparing to take the bus out on a recreation of the 1950's local route 87. Behind RF4 was parked Country green RF600, not so opulently appointed, but in lovely condition.

RF4 RF600

Greenline SNC168 formed part of a line-up of Leyland Nationals, together with LS24 and SNB340. The coach had worked through from Stevenage via Victoria, and was now taking a well-earned break.

SNC168 LS24 and SNB340

Also in the bus park were two visitors: Arriva Kent & Sussex Dart SLF #3209, and East Kent Volvo Olympian #7821, restored to traditional East Kent livery.

AKS3209 EK7821

It was almost time for RMC1476 to depart on the 424, so I returned to the Routemaster coach and joined the crew.

Part 3: RMC1476 on the 424

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1: Country RF Part 3: Routemasters