RT3148 at Hatfield

Hertford & Stevenage Running Day

Sunday 4th June 2017

Prepared by Ian Smith, 24th June 2017.

Lunchtime at Hertford

341: Hertford to Hatfield Station, and return: WFN513

Standing next to RT3148 at Hertford Bus Station was East Kent Reliance WFN513. When I went to the information desk to find out what was working the 341 to Hatfield I noticed that the destination board was Excursion 341. So I quickly took one of the remaining seats, and settled back in relative luxury for the ride.

RT3148 at Hertford Bus Station Inside WFN513

The 341 was a Hatfield Garage double-decker route - a trunk route from Hertford to St.Albans, with the Hertford - Hatfield stretch the poor relation. For the last few years at the Running Days it has been allocated double-deckers, but the low level of substantial branches on the route to Essendon Mill have meant its diversion to the current main road. So with a single-decker we could experience the real route once more.

From the bus station we exited to the inner by-pass, and headed west briefly before turning off for the short sharp climb up to County Hall. Thence we dropped down the other side to Horns Mill, and took the leafy valley road along towards Essendon Mill. A long green tunnel. Eventually we turned right to go up to the current main road (A414) for a quick sprint past the northern boundary of Hatfield House. We pulled off at the Hatfield exit, and climbed up towards the town. A left turn at the traffic lights took us down to Hatfield Station, where we paused.

WFN513 on 341 at Hatfield Station

The ride back, via the same route, was equally smooth. The big Reliance purrs along, the big engine quiet but powerful. The Lea Valley scenery was superb: a good run.

Hertford Bus Station

Prominent in Hertford Bus Station was one of the dozen Volvo / Wright Renowns that Trustybus bought last year from Go North-East for Harlow area bus work. WNZ2353 still showed signs of its previous ownership. It had come in on the 424 from Harlow, another Sunday route added to the mix.

Centrebus 327 had returned from Pinehurst on the 333, and was now set up for another local route: the H3 to Tesco and Horns Mill. The cantrail in this case showed Fab 80s branding for route 80, not served on Sundays.

WNZ2353 at Hertford Bus Station WNZ2353 at Hertford Bus Station

More delectable was the Country Area RT that oulled in: not RT3148 yet, but RT2083, set up for the 341 to Hatfield Station. On the other side of the bus station stood RF429, set up for another tour round the town wearing blinds for the 388 - a route usually worked on Running Days but not today.

RT2083 on 341 at Hertford Bus Station RF429 at Hertford Bus Station

Alan Charman climbed into RF429 and brought it round to the stop, then Rt2083 set off on the 341.

RF429 at Hertford Bus Station RT2083 on 341 at Hertford Bus Station

Now RT3148 took its place on the stand, ready for the afternoon shift, starting with the 390, and I took my seat aboard...

Part Five: Afternoon shift

Ian's Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six