Saturday 12th April 2014
Prepared on Wordpad by Ian Smith, 17th April 2014
Part 2: Journeys on the 22
Ash Grove to Piccadilly Circus: RT3062I climbed the stairs on Saunders-bodied RT3062, and claimed a front seat. This gave me a good vantage point as the buses working the service on route 22 headed to the pick-up stops. RTW467 was followed by RTL453, both heading for Homerton, the former via Ash Grove Station, the latter more directly via Mare Street..
Then RT1 pulled out to the stop, to fill up with those wanting to pay ten pounds for the privilege of a ride.
We pulled up into the space vacated by RT1, alongside RTW467. We loaded up while the RTW, followed by RTL453, both pulled away.
RTL453 turned north towards the centre of Hackney, and we followed on, passing the RTL at a stop a little way up Mare Street. Approaching Hackney Empire we were behind a Stagecoach Trident. 18213, now ten years old, cannot have long to last in London service, unless the expenditure on buses takes a dip, of course. HCT's Caetano Nimbus Dart SLF DCS6 is even older, dating from 2003. That passed on the 394 to The Angel, Islington, just south of Hackney Central Station.
Just south of the railway bridge at Hackney Central Station we turned left onto Graham Road, now on the old 22 route proper, rather than a garage run. We followed that west to the junction with Dalston Lane, where we passed DW416 on an eastnound 38. We continued on to Dalston Junction.
Now we turned south down Kingsland Road, heading for Shoreditch. What was that coming up the road? It was RT1 heading for Homerton, with RTL467 in hot pursuit.
We continued down the long straight road. At St.Leonard's Hospital we came up behind DW332 on the 76. Going the other way were more DWs, including DW558 on the 149.
Further along we were passed at a stop by green-liveried RT1700, bound for St.Paul's. We followed it on down towards the City, on into Shoreditch High Street, where we passed under the new Overground railway bridge.
A little further on RT1700 - and we in RT3062 - passed Trident 18497 on route 47. We continued past Liverpool Street Station, then turned into Threadneedle Street to reach the Bank of England.
RT1700 turned through the lights at Bank into Cheapside. where we passed RTL1076 coming the other way. These narrow streets are where the RTW passing trials were carried out, success allowing their use in Central London. RT1700 disappeared round the turning circle at St.Paul's Station, but RT3062 headed west through Holborn and down leafy Shaftebury Avenue. Here we met RT4421, which had just turned at Piccadilly Circus.
Just as we turned down Great Windmill Street RTL139 buzzed past, heading back to Homerton, followed by RTW467. We completed our journey round the block to Piccadilly Circus, to the terminal stop in Shaftesbury Avenue.
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.