Harlow Running Day
Sunday May 5th 2013
Prepared by Ian Smith, 7th May 2013.
Harlow: ArrivalI arrived at Harlow Town station from Cambridge on a rammed-full train, in brilliant sunshine. The station bus stands gave no intimation whatsoever of any Sunday services up to the bus station, so I set off to enjoy the walk up the hill. I had slight misgivings about travelling on foot through the New Town, fearing that it would be laid out for cars with little thought for pedestrians. At first all was well, and I walked up a good footpath beside a dual carriageway. A Regal Busways Optare Solo - a small one - dashed past on a Town Service. So there are buses here on Sundays. The town centre appeared ahead, on the far side of a roundabout. Apparently pedestrians are not allowed to cross this roundabout junction on a north-south axis. It is closed off by substantial barriers. Green Line liveried RT3254 came northwards down to the roundabout and turned west, on a 397. I crossed the road westwards, seeking a route through the metal maze. BN45 came round the roundabout, heading north towards the station on a 390 service to Lower Sheering (Sawbridgeworth).
I sneaked around the barriers and through a gap in a hedge, and made my way up into the bus station. Another modern service bus: Network Harlow's Volvo / Wright Eclipse 3856 departing with the 510 Harlow-Stansted Airport service. Further up the bus station stoof RF308, loading for a 805 departure to Epping. It pulled away as I walked up past the stands.
The vast bus station looked empty at first glance, but it wasn't: buses were mostly gathered up at the south end. Olympus/Roadrunner's ex-Metroline DLD176, converted to single doorway but without fleetname, came rolling down the slope past GS13, which was set up for work on the 393, one of the original Epping garage GS routes.
Resting after its long run across London from The London Bus Museum at Brooklands was RP90, looking great in its Green Line livery. Also immaculate, and in Green Line livery too, was Ensignbus's RT3232, set up for the 805 local service to Pinnacles.
Continuing the Green Line theme was RT2083. Although not in Green Line livery, but its standard Country Area green and cream, it was carrying blinds for route 720. Also awaiting service was another RT, this time Cravens-bodied RT1499, now with Ensignbus.
RF673 had arrived, having come across from Hertford on a 388 - one of the many eastern end variations of this route over the years. It had actually come in from High Wycombe before that.
RML2310, from Timebus, was working the northern local loop of the 805, to Little Parndon, reminding us of Harlow's extensive use of RMLs.
AEC Merlin MB90 roared in with a Green Line 718 service from Staines.
I acquired a programme - a very smart production - and looked to see how I could cover the Epping garage GS routes, the 381 and 393. The latter was coming first, operated by RF673, and I made my way to the relevant stand...
Ian's Bus-stop part 2 part 3 part 4 part 5 part 6