GS42 at Leatherhead

Leatherhead Running Day

Sunday 5th September 2010

Prepared by Ian Smith, 16th September 2010.

418/432: Leatherhead to East Horsley (RF315)

Inside RF315, Leatherhead I only just made it onto RF315 at Leatherhead. I did not even have time to snatch a photograph. The 432 was due out, with a connection to make. We set off into Leatherhead, rolling down the main street to cross the River Mole on the stylish river bridge and then duck under the railwway bridge to pass the site of Leatherhead garage (now housing). On this stage of the journey we were following the old 418 route, as the 432 was a Guildford - Great Bookham route. Just past the garage we turned right into Fetcham, but soon forked left to head for Great Bookham.

We turned onto the 432 proper at the church, and headed north on the first of the zigzags that this route makes. Just before we reached Great Bookham Station we met SNB449 returning to Leatherhead on the 418. It passed by in a flash of NBC green. We passed the station, and turned south for Little Bookham. I rang the bell and we stopped for photos at a convenient bus-stop (Maddox Lane).

RF315 at Maddox Lane RF315 at Maddox Lane

At the crossroads at the south end of Little Bookham we turned west for Effingham. There, a mile further on, we turned right again, to head the two miles north to the station at Effingham Junction. As we crossed the railway we could see the reson why no trains were coming this way today: one track was missing, and the other was occupied by a Class 66 with a track-relaying train.

We turned hard left to run alongside and then over the railway again, to run into East Horsley. Another sharp right took us back north-westwards to pass under the railway at Horsley Station. We met a Stagecoach Rail Replacement bus there. In Horsley it was hard left again for a mile back south-west to pass under the railway again, then a mile through West Horsley to reach the main Guildford Road.

There the 432 should have turned right to head for Guildford, but we turned back to run along to the Duke of Wellington at the south edge of East Horsley. RF315 pulled into the big bus layby and some of us alighted to await connections on the 408.

RF315 at East Horsley RF315 at East Horsley

The first connection to arrive was the eastbound 408, in the shape of RML900, which pulled in under the chestnut trees behind the RF.

RML900 at East Horsley RML900 at East Horsley

408: East Horsley to Guildford (RML2323)

We had five minutes to wait before the westbound 408 arrived to join the party. It turned out to be RML2323, ne of just seven London Country RMLs to receive the lighter green repaint, I gather. I climbed aboard. A Stagecoach EnviroDart, 36036, zipped past westwards on the rail replacement service.

RML2323 at East Horsley 36036 at East Horsley

We rumbled west along the A246 to Guildford, through some very green countryside. After twenty minutes we arrived in the town, and carefully drove down towards the bus station. There was a clatter below the bus. A report from the platform indicated that we had passed over a "road sign or something". It transpired that it was the front radiator panel from the bus! This had come adrift, dropped straight down and passed under the bus. It was picked up and placed beside the road.

countryside Guildford

We reached the bus station, and all alighted. The RML went off to find its grille. It gave us a few minutes to look around the bus station. I'm sure that this probably won awards when constructed, but is in practice an unattractive structure reminiscent of corrugated iron bike sheds. Even all the roof edges have been bent down, presumably by rear end swipes as buses pull away from the stands. When we arrived the sole other occupant was Dart SLF 3086, on route 100.

no grill 3086 on 100, Guildford

Sister Dart SLF 3109 arrived on Guildford route 24, giving a good view of the University of Surrey 7 minute frequency flashes. More modern than the ex-London Country "shoebox" SLFs was Abellio's 8084, a smartly attired Pointer 2 on route 515 to Kingston.

3109 on 24, Guildford Abellio 8084 on 515, Guildford

RML2323 returned, and the front grille was securely refitted. We climbed back aboard and went round the corner to take photos.

RML2323 at Guildford RML2323 at Guildford

With passengers back aboard, we climbed out of Guildford and headed east through Merrow and East Clandon, back to East Horsley, where we found red RF354 waiting with the 432 connection back to Leatherhead the wiggly way.

RF354 at East Horsley RF354 at East Horsley

The westbound 408 was SNB449, which came round the double bend and pulled up in the bus layby. Stagecoach Dart SLF 35258 zipped past on Railway duty.

SNB449 at East Horsley SNB449 at East Horsley

I rejoined RML2323. RF354 pulled away and turned left, down into East Horsley. We set off, pulling right then left round the double bend, and headed for Effingham along the A426.

RML2323, RF354 at East Horsley RF354 departs East Horsley

At one point we passed an interloper from the other end of the LT system: Reg's Berkhof coach 8987DD was sitting empty in a layby, far from Hertford. We continued into Leatherhead, and made our way up through the deserted town. Sunday afternoons used to be like this all over. We circulated round the one-way loop under the railway, past the station and back to Randalls Road.

Reg's coach 8987DD Leatherhead

I went to find some lunch...

Part Four: to Kingston and back

Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.

Ian's Bus-stop 1 2 3 4 5 6