RF679 on 494 to East Grinstead

East Grinstead Running Day

Sunday April 22nd 2018

Prepared by Ian Smith, 26th April 2016.

Part 2: Starting time, East Grinstead

It was a quarter to eleven by the War Memorial in East Grinstead, starting time for many of the services going in all directions. Colin and I had three-quarters of an hour before taking RF679 out again - our longest break of the day. There was just time to have a look round at the buses...

As we arrived RT1798 was about to depart northwards on the 409 to Godstone Green, wearing an appropriate final destination and via-point blinds. News was filtering through that the M23 had been closed, making Godstone Green somewhere to avoid. Decisions had to be made: not mine, thank goodness!

On the other side of the street stood green RT3148, which had worked in from Warlingham on the 409.

RT1798 at East Grinstead RT3148 at East Grinstead

409s at East Grinstead: RT1798 and RT3148.
But we could not stay where we had pulled up, and there were no close parking spots. So We headed east along the street, between the lines of waiting bues, and on out of the town centre to the second roundabout, on the way passing parked RF600 and B&HD open-topper CAP229. We turned round the roundabout, and came back up the hill to park on the bus stance.

After securing the RF Colin and I walked up into town. A brace of Darts came scuttling down the hill, Stagecoach SLF 34359 and Metrobus 253, both now in preservation and on today's active list - usually together, to judge by my observations.

34359 at East Grinstead Met253 at East Grinstead

Dart SLFs 34359 and 253 zip downhill out of East Grinstead.
Another Metrobus vehicle then passed us, one of Crawley's active fleet, 6959, on the long winding 400 route from East Grinstead to Copthorne, Crawley, Gatwick Airport, Redhill, Godstone Green and Caterham. This is one of the Scania OmniCitys recently received from BH&D and refurbished. It looked very smart.

34359 then passed us and pulled in to park, as RT604, which had just arrived from Croydon, headed down to turn before heading for a local trip to Lingfield on the 409.

Met6959 on 400, East Grinstead RT604 on 409

Refreshment bar RML2355 open for business. DL90 ready for the 91.
Refreshment bus RML2355 was already open for business on the High Street.

Maidstone and District low-bridge Regal V DL39 stood in the sunshine awaiting departure eastwards on service 91.

RML2355, East Grinstead DL39 on 91 at East Grinstead

OmniCity 6959 on 400, RT604 on 409.
Behind it stood a trio of London Transport stalwarts: RF308, originally a Country bus, then a Greenline, then returned to Country bus work for LT and then London Country, ready for the 428 local service to Lingfield and Dormans. Modernised RF28 stood behind ready for a truncated 708 GreenLine service, while RT3148 was still resting after its 409 arrival.

RF308, RF28, RT3148

East Grinstead High Street: RF308 on 428, RF28 on 708, RT3148 on 409.
RT604 came back along the High Street to load up for its 409 to Lingfield. RF406 was heading to Crawley on a 473, in place of scheduled RF600 (according to the programme).

RT604 on 409 to Lingfield RF406 on 473, East Grinstead

RT604 on 409 to Lingfield. RF406 on 473 to Crawley.
RF429 squeezed past the barriers at the West end of the High Street, to arrive back from an early 428 trip to Dormansland and back. Arriving in the other direction was Sealink-liveried East Kent Regent V GJG739D, looking splendid.

RF429 on 428 GJG739D, East Grinstead

RF429 on arriving 428. East Kent Regent V GJG739D.

Colin and started back towards RF679. Merlin MB90 came along the High Street on a 434 from Turners Hill to Edenbridge, running in the opposite direction from usual - but there were strange diversions in operation around the town. Heading east was Preserved low-height Metrobus 395 - the company's first new double-decker, now preserved.

MB90 on 434 Merobus 395, East Grinstead

MB90 on 434 to Edenbridge. Preserved Metrobus 395.

Part Three: East Grinstead to Turners Hill and back

Ian's Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six