473: East Grinstead to Crawley: RF633I climbed aboard RF633, and found a seat right at the front where I could talk with driver Colin Rivers when he was not otherwise occupied. But we were quickly away on the 473 to Crawley, turning downhill to follow Olympian 395 towards the station.
The Olympian turned to visit the station, but we forked left to by-pass it, descending into the hollow and heading west towards Kingscote. On this journey we turned aside to visit Kingscote Station, passing under the tall railway bridge and climbing up to turn into the station yard.
There we found a number of buses. Cut-down breakdown tender RML2284 was sitting actually in the goods yard, alongside RMC1497, advertising the Redhill Steam Fair in August.
RT3775, which was once London Country's green RT for the Bluebell Link, now preserved in red, was sitting in a corner of the station entrance yard.
Also there was Enviro200 Dart 737 of Metrobus, the current 473 duty bus, standing next to the old London Transport concrete bus stop post, and preserved London Country Merlin MB90, ready to return to Dormansland.
Turning the thirty-foot RF in the congested yard was not easy, and Colin pulled back a little before making a five-point turn in the entrance.
Then we continued our journey to Crawley, back under the railway to the "main" road, then left and back under the railway again and up the valley towards Turners Hill. There we went straight on at the junction, before forking right along the country road to Worth. We crossed the M23 and were suddenly into Crawley suburbia. A left and a right turn in Worth took us towards Three Bridges Station. Beyond the station we continued along the A2220 to Crawley, and negotiated a whole series of roundabouts into the bus station, where 395 was just departing as we arrived.
473: Crawley to East Grinstead: RF633Crawley Bus Station was quite busy, even on a Sunday afternoon, mainly with Scania OmniCitys in Crawley Town livery of blue and blue, plus some Dart SLFs. Here was 556 waiting between turns, 206 on route 2, 552 awaiting a turn on the 291, and 532.
We were not there long. RF633 set off again, this time following the old route along Three Bridges Road back to Three Bridges Station. We threaded our way eastwards through Worth, and back eastwards along the lane to Turners Hill and on towards Kingscote, where we passed under the first long tall bridge but did not call in to Kingscote Station.
We climbed up past the Imberhorne Cutting, and down into the dip. But instead of turning left past the station we continued ahead up West Hill to reach the west end of the High Street.
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.
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