RF679, RF406, SC390


Sunday 11th July 2010

Prepared by Ian Smith, 24th July 2010.

Across the River

480: Gravesend to Dartford, RML2598

Some weeks previously I had had a request by e-mail for a feeder service from Grays, and raised the possibility with organiser Colin Rivers. I was pleased when a week before the event the possibility turned into an actuality. RML2589 would be coming in from Grays and Lakeside to Dartford as a 300, and thence to Gravesend as a 480. This was the return working.

Apart from Colin's bus, RF679, I think we were the last departure. We headed through Gravesend, and along the road through Northfleet. I had a front upstairs seat again, enjoying the evening views over the river.

In Northfleet we met 3755 again, still scurrying back and forth on the 490.

RML2589 on 480 3775 on 490

300: Dartford to Grays, RML2598

We turned down into Dartford and pulled up at the Library to change the blinds.

RML2589 on 300 at Dartford RML2589 on 300 at Dartford

Then we were away, round the one-way system and past the station, where 3762 was on the next 490 towards Gravesend. We climbed up out of the town, and counter-intuitively forked right, along the 423 route. This took us to trhe slip road for the Dartford Tunnel Approach, and we turned north, soon to dive into the tunnel under the Thames.

3762 on 490, Dartford Into Dartford Tunnel

On the north side we negotiated the tangled wilderness: a tangle of power lines, railway lines, High Speed One, motorways and industry. We rounded a roundabout and headed in to the Lakeside shopping pit, the north-side equivalent of Bluewater. We visited the bus station, then headed out for Grays. East Thames EnviroDart 36042 balanced us round the Lakeside roundabout, and we headed east. There were other buses: Southend's Dart SLF 3278 headed past us towards Lakeside, and a red Arriva EnviroDart sneaked past too quickly for me to snap it.

36042, Lakeside 3278 on 4, Grays

But soon we were at Grays Station. The passengers alighted.

RML2589 on 300 at Grays RML2589 on 300 at Grays

I headed for the station and a train to Fenchurch Street. It had been a good day.

Thanks to the organisers, especially Colin Rivers, and to Gravesham Council, the Police and the bus companies for the necessary permissions. Thanks too to the owners, drivers and crews who provided buses and entertained the crowds. Thanks to those who produced a timetable and a programme, and to those who spent their time selling programmes and answering queries. Without them too it would not happen.

Buses in service:
GS15, GS62
RT3228, RT3435*
RF28, RF406*, RF489*, RF679
RMC4, RMC1500, RML2589*, DMS 1868*

system map

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

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