Loughton Classic Bus Running Day
Sunday 11th September 2011
Prepared by Ian Smith, 19th September 2011
261: Bromley to Lewisham: Metrobus 912There was no feeder service, and a relatively late start. So I went part of the way by service bus. I started on a 261, which arrived exactly on time and took me north through Grove Park, a bus venue with a surprising amount of interesting rolling stock. There were elderly Tridents still working on the 136, and short Dart SLFs on the 124, both due for replacement at the next tender round, as well as the Omnidekkas or OmniCity double-deckers on the 261. The 126 usually seems to get EnviroDarts on Sundays, rather than its weekday SLFs, which are getting long in the tooth. Then there are the unique East Lancs-bodied Darts on the 181 and 284 for Metrobus, and short EnviroDarts for Stagecoach on the 273. A pair of the last two types passed as I headed north past the bus station, 36305 heading for Petts Wood Station on the back-streets 273, and 604 on the equally backstreets 284 to Lewisham.
As we went north along Baring Road, with its wonderful surprise view of Canary Wharf, we met another OmniCity roaring up the grade - 956 I think - on the 261 to Farnborough Hospital (or whatever royalty it is named after these days). Beyond the South Circular Road, descending towards Lee Station, we met MAN 721 heading for Crystal Palace on the 202.
Beyond Lee Green, along Lee High Road to Lewisham, we met new Stagecoach EnviroTrident 19754 on the 122 to Plumstead, and as we passed Lewisham Clock Tower there was Stagecoach Dart SLF 34560 on the 178 to Woolwich.
I alighted from Omnidekka 912 at Lewisham Bus Station, and walked round to the departure stops on the opposite side of the bus park to await a 108. In the few minutes before it arrived a succession of other buses passed by, including Metrobus Scania Olympus 881 on a 75 to Croydon.
108: Lewisham to Stratford: DWL28I boarded DWL28 for the 108 journey to Stratford via the Blackwall Tunnel. We climbed out of Lewisham up onto the heights of Blackheath, then plunged down to the depths of the North Greenwich reclamation lands, to The Dome. Approaching North Greenwich Station, we met newly-refurbished ED7, looking good in traditional London Central livery, on the 129 to Greenwich, pursued by a 161 to Chislehurst. After curlicues to serve the O2 and then escape again, we passed through the Blackwall Tunnel to the delights of Bow and Olympia. Stratford Bus Station looked like a bomb-site: I presume it is being rebuilt to deal with the hordes expected next year, although whether those rich enough to buy tickets will want to come by bus rather than use their helicopters is another question.
I bought a ticket for the Central Line to Loughton, and headed on north by Tube. I emerged from the tube station as Arriva's DLA359 departed on the 20 to Debden. And standing in the bus station were an RT, an RCL and two RFs. I had arrived...
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.