East Grinstead Running Day
Sunday April 12th 2015
Prepared by Ian Smith, 20th April 2015.
RT4779 on the 424RT4779 was heading east from The Crown, to the Stone Quarry Estate. It was a long time since I had been there (on RLH48). So I climbed aboard, and found the seat behind the bonnet. The window was nice and clean. A Metrobus Scania (548) squeezed through the street, heading for Caterham-on-the-Hill on route 400.
In turn we squeezed our way along through the narrows, to reach the roundabout at the east end of town. We turned down left, crossed high over the by-pass cutting of Bulleid Way, and descended through the rock cutting of Blackwell Hollow. We wound our way back up again past the Hospital, and turned into the Stone Quarry Estate - still a bus terminus.
The RT made a reverse turn at the T-junction, under conductor direction, and pulled round to the stop.
We retraced our trip back to East Grinstead, and made our way past GS42, RM1397 and RF146. Ahead were some interesting red shapes. One was RF429, which I noted before, but that surely was FRM1, and a red Olympian. FRM1 defied my attempts at a picture, but the Olympian turned out to be L97, dressed in the good-looking "tape-grey" livery.
We turned north down the High Street. Lynx 101 came the other way, back on the 438 from Crawley. We detoured to visit the station, then climbed back up to head north for Felbridge. We turned left at The Star, on the Crawley Road. We met RM1097, starting on a refurbishment programme and suitably blinded with an Aldenham destination, heading south-east for East Grinstead.
XF3 on the 424 was close behind, serenely motoring along in the spring sunshine. We forked left onto the Crawley Down road, with its twists and turns. I mistimed a photo of a passing Metrobus Scania, eastbound on the 291.
We turned right into Sandy Lane, Crawley Down, and right again to run along to The Dukes Head. There we turned left at the roundabout and pulled up on the stop. The crew checked out the very minor steam/water leak on the radiator, then reboarded.
We continued westwards, then tuned right up into Copthorne Village. A tight right turn there and we were heading north again, towards Smallfield. But at traffic lights we turned south-east towards Snow Hill. We completed the large loop round to reach The Dukes Head again, where we halted to wait for departure time.
Setting off back towards Crawley Down, we met FRM1 working a northbound 424, followed by Fleetline XF1.
We met the other of the potential RT replacements later on, as we approached East Grinstead, in the shape of Atlantean AN53.
RT3148 came roaring along behind, properly blinded for an East Grinstead short working to Lingfield.
We made the circuit past the station, where we met Metrobus Reliance No109, then climbed the High Street, meeting East Kent Reiance WFN513 on a tour.
I just had time to say thanks to RT4779's owners/crew before crossing the road to join RF429...
Ian's Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six