East Grinstead Running Day
Sunday April 10th 2016
Prepared by Ian Smith, 16th April 2016.
Part 3: East Grinstead to Edenbridge and back
135: East Grinstead to Edenbridge Town Station (M&D 3238)Two Darts came along to the War Memorial stop. It seems to be the year for preserving them! The first was step entrance 9.8m Dart 721, new to Metrobus in December 1994 (22years ago). It spent twelve years with Metrobus, the last five at Crawley, then went to Stotts of Huddersfield, where it spent seven years in all yellow. It returned south for preservation last December, and has been nicely restored to Metrobus livery. Today it was on the 409, this time to Godstone Green.
The other was a newer Dart SLF: the Maidstone & District 3238 that I had seen earlier in the day at Sevenoaks. I couldn't resist a ride. It was heading to Edenbridge on the 135. I climbed aboard.
Preserved Darts in service: ex-Metrobus step-entrance 721, and ex-Arriva Kent Thameside 3238.We followed 721 down towards the station, taking slightly different routes on the descent but arriving in the same order. We pulled in to the station stop. GS62 on the 428 was just behind us.
721 approaches East Grinstead Station, ahead of 3238. GS62 on the 428 follows on into the station stops.We climbed the bank up from the station, and turned right then left into Moat Road, M&D's preferred route in and out of the town. That led us down to Blackwell. We followed the main road on, past the hospital and up onto the long ridge heading into East Surrey. Before the London Transport bifurcation to Dormansland we met RF368 coming back into town.
Part of the problem with Darts, from an observer's point of view, is the lack of forward view. There are no seats at the front until well behind the front wheel-arch and wheelchair space, and the offside seats have their forward view blocked by the driver's enclosure. So the ride along the ridge was not as visual as it might have been. The road snakes along the ridge, so there are good views north towards the Greensand ridge and the North Downs. We passed Holtye, where the original route went off along narrow lanes to serve Cowden. Too narrow for modern buses. Instead we turned north along the road from Hartfield, and motored north to Edenbridge. We climbed up the narrow street through the town and turned right to reach Edenbridge Town Station.
I had worked out that if I went back to Edenbridge High Street I would have less than ten minutes to wait for the 434 to come down from Hilders Lane. So I thanked the crew of 3238 and walked back along the station approach.
I had not waited long before 3238 emerged again to return to East Grinstead (11.33).
3238 heads back through Edenbridge High Street towards East Grinstead.What I did not know was that MB90 had not materialised today - and that was due on the 434 that I was waiting for. It was a long wait outside Tesco's. Eventually I gave up on it and crossed the road to await the next 434, that was to do the Troy Town loop anti-clockwise.
434: Edenbridge to Dormansland (RF673)
It was a long cool wait on Edenbridge High Street. I must add that this doesn't happen very often - missed connections have rarely featured in my travels with CBR. At least it was sunny.
RF673 arrived on time (12.18) with the 434. It was almost full (as were most buses today). So perforce I had to squeeze onto a seat near the back. That meant that I was not going to go jumping off for photos at stops along the way.
We continued up the road north, passing under both railways as we climbed up to Hilders Lane. There we turned west, and rumbled along to the complex of railway bridges where the Tonbridge - Edenbridge - Redhill line burrows under the Uckfield - Edenbridge Town - Oxted line right next to the road-bridge over the latter. There we turned sharp left, crossing over the Redhill line, and meandered down through Troy Town. Bluebells were showing blue in the woods alongside the road.
RF673 on the 434 to Hilders Lane. Inside RF673, near Troy Town.We came back into Edenbridge, and took a back-road through to reach the High Street. We descended through the narrow section where the Crown Inn has its metal banner across the road, and continued down to the Star (terminus for the 465 and 485). Then it was on southwards, to meet the road to Marsh Green. We turned westwards, and climbed towards East Grinstead. I was busy with the timetable again, and aimed to change buses at Dormansland.
RF673 at Dormansland Plough.I alighted at the Plough (12.50), and RF673 purred away towards East Grinstead.
RF633 appeared next on the 434 to Edenbridge (1258). I said hello, then watched it disappear eastwards.
RF633 pauses at Dormansland Plough, then heads for Edenbridge.Another long wait. The bus for the 428 was the same one that was not there for the 434, although I didn't know it. I used the pub, for a PNB and a drink. Back to the bus stop. The wait continued. I was expecting RF633 to return soon when ex-Stagecoach Dart 34394 hurtled up from Lingfield on a 409 working to Dormansland (1246). As Darts do, it spun round the traffic island and stopped at the Plough stop.
RF633 pauses at Dormansland Plough, then heads for Edenbridge.
409: Dormansland to East Grinstead (34394)The Dart had a few minutes layover at The Plough. Time for the blinds to be changed and the driver to use the pub facilities ( I presume). RF633 arrived back from East Grinstead (1353), emphasising that I had been here an hour. I joined 34394.
34394 with blinds reset. RF633 arrives back at Dormansland Plough.Then we were away: round the tiny triangle and back along the road to Lingfield. We turned left, not for Baldwins Hill but second left, onto the road to Newchapel, the main 409 route. From there we headed into East Grinstead on the A22, down to Felbridge where we joined the A264 from Crawley, and on into town , to reach the High Street (1417).
Stagey: 34394 mascot. 34394 at East Grinstead, heading for Forest Row.
I went to find something to eat, having spent nearly two hours out of the last three and a half waiting at bus stops.....
Ian's Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six