RF486 at Buckhurst Hill

Loughton Classic Bus Running Day

Sunday 9th September 2007

Prepared by Ian Smith, 21st September 2007

Part Three: 167A to Chigwell Stn and back: RML899

I climbed aboard Roger Wright's RML899 at Loughton Station for a ride on the 167/167A to Chigwell Station. The team that had crewed RT1700 at Swanley was aboard: Paul driving, George conducting. I said hello to George, took a picture of RM158 that had come up behind to head for Chingford, and went upstairs. For once I could sit at the front. It was a lovely day. I opened the windows. You can't do that on a modern bus. Docklands Minibuses' ED21 pulled in in front of us to gather the regular passengers for the 167.

RML899 at Loughton Station RM158 at Loughton Station ED21 on 167 at Loughton Stn

I'd like to say that we twirled round the end of the bus stance, but we didn't. Darts, with their tiny wheels, may twirl, but buses with decent sized wheels don't have that kind of lock. We crept round, carefully. Going back up past the stand we passed RT1206, ready to travel to Waltham Forest on the 217A, and GreenLine RF28, with sideboards for the 720.

RT1206 at Loughton Station RF28 at Loughton Station

We had to wait at the road works in Loughton again: this time DLA365 came the other way on a 20 for Debden. We turned left, to head along the old High Road, touching the fringe of Epping Forest, before we turned left down into the valley to pass Buckhurst Hill Station. We passed RT3871 coming back the other way with another 167A. We kept straight on down into the valley, where we met a serious obstruction. Narrow Roding Lane had a continuous string of parked cars, half on the verge, all alongside the football fields for about a half mile. There was not room for a bus and the continuous oncoming stream of traffic to pass. Nor were there gaps in the line of parked cars where the bus could tuck in. Delay. Eventually we made it across the valley and over the M11. We climbed up into Chigwell, and turned right onto Chigwell Road towards the station. To complete the route we turned left up the Hainault Road, then turned acutely into the narrow road alongside the station. Another right turn took us to the bus stop at the shops.

DLA365 at Loughton RT3871 on 167A RML899 at Chingford Stn

RML899 at Chingford Stn RML899 at Chingford Stn

The blinds were reset, and we set off back to Loughton. Even though we had right of way along Roding Lane, oncoming cars did not seem to recognise the concept, and continued to come, frustrating Paul's attempts to drive the bus along our side of the road. But we made it eventually, and climbed the hill to pass Buckhurst Hill Station. We reached the High Road, and turned right along the ridge to Loughton.

Instead of battling the road works we continued to Station Road, and made our way to the Interchange along the one-way street past the parked buses. RT3871 was now set up for the 217A. As we sneaked into the bus stance the green RML emerged after another shuttle from Chingford.

RT3871 at Loughton RML2419 at Loughton

RM158 was still on shuttle duty as we rolled up to the stop. I alighted and consulted the "extras" board. RF406 trundled in with a 254 bound for Buckhurst Hill Station.

RM158 at Loughton RF406 at Loughton

I had a little while before BN61 was due out on a trip to Epping, so I headed up into Station Road to chat to the crew...

Part 4: Epping and Toothill

All photos by Ian Smith unless otherwise indicated. Click on any of them for a larger picture.

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 2 Part 4: Epping and Toothill