Then RF679 came purring down the hill, ans stopped to pick me up. We went on down the dip and up to the roundabout to turn, and there I was amazed to see step-entrance East Lancs Dart DS24 in service on the 423. It seems that this bus, returned to Northfleet for promotional work has been found too good to waste.
We returned through the dip and up the bank to Swanley Garage, and pulled up on the forecourt for photos.
Then we headed for Hertford: through the Dartford Tunnel and up the M25 and M11 to the Chelmsford-Harlow road. No buses so far, not surprisingly. But on the A414 we met a pair at the roadworks outside Harlow: Arriva's Volvo B6BLE/Wright Crusader 3250 was heading for Epping on the 500, and Dart SLF/Wright Pulsar 3417 was heading in towards Harlow.
But instead of following the A414 through the centre of Harlow New Town we turned off onto the old road towards Sawbridgeworth and Bishops Stortford, the old 396 route. We passed through Potter Street and over the railway at Harlow Mill, then turned west on the old 390 route through High Wych and Gilston: lovely rural roads. We were back on the dual carriageway for a while, then pulled off to pass through Eastwick (388).
Getting back onto the westward dual carriageway was not so easy, but was accomplished without problem. After that it would have seened rude to miss out Stanstead Abbotts, so we pulled off the main road again to pass through there, passing the junction with the 350A route and the Red Lion.
We continued through St.Margarets, passing Centrebus 513, a Marshall-bodied Dart SLF still in Trustybus Colours and working the 351 to Bishops Stortford. We turned north at Amwell Cross Roads (now a roundabout) and went past Ware, running alongside the New River. We continued on up the valley to Hertford, passing Uno's Dart SLF 101 on the 341.
At London Road in Hertford we met up with RF633, our intended ride for the afternoon's recreation of the 351 Railway Replacement Service..
Part Two: Route Recreation 351
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.
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