RML2440 on 484, Slough

Slough & Windsor Running Day

Sunday 22nd May 2011

Prepared by Ian Smith, 30th May 2011.


I was lucky with the train from Paddington. I looked at the departures board, and Slough came up in five minutes time. When I found the platform, it was an HST to Hereford, first stop Slough. So I was out to Slough in just a quarter hour.

I left the rather quaint Victorian station to be confronted by the awfulness of the backside of modern Slough. I sympathised with John Betjeman. The sight was ameliorated only by RML2323 pulling up beside the shrouded old bus station, having worked in from Harlow on the 724.

43063 at Slough Station RML2323 at Slough Station

The far end of the station car park was in use as a bus park, so I strolled down to take a look. Closest was RT604, which had worked across from Croydon as a 725, and now was filling in on 457s. Next to it stood "modernised" RF281, which had come from Hertford with a 724 working.

RT604 at Slough Station RF281 at Slough Station

RF534 was about to set off for a turn on the 442 to Burnham Beeches. Coming in was RML2323, which had found its way through the traffic maze outside the station entrance.

RF354 at Slough Station RML2323 at Slough Station

The RML swung round RM1859 (Reading Mainline No17) which was on the east end of the line-up, behind the line of buses and parked on the west end of the group.

RM1859 at Slough Station RF281 at Slough Station

But what really caught my eye was standing in the middle of the group: RT2083, one of the stalwarts of Running Days back when I first started going to them, and in those days one of very few Lincoln Green RTs in preservation. Off the road for eight years for a major overhaul, which included replacing nearly all the woodwork in the body, RT2083 now looked magnificent.

RT2083 at Slough Station RT2083 at Slough Station

RT2083 was about to go on her first passenger-carrying journey for eight years - albeit with just seven passengers and a conductor, and I asked if I might join them for the 457D trip to Windsor.

As we pulled out RF489 arrived, having worked a 725 relief from Croydon. (Red RFs were not routinely used on Green Line work, even as reliefs, but were used as replacements in the event of Green Line breakdowns - a rare occurrence)

RT2083 at Slough Station RF489 at Slough Station

457D: Slough Stn to Windsor Garage, RT2083

We drove along the north side of the vast slab being redeveloped next to the old bus station, and round to the roundabout on Wellington Street. SNB449 turned into Wellington Street ahead of us, heading east. We had to pass east along the street to the next roundabout, in order to come back to stop G on the south side. There we drew up behind NBC-liveried RML2456, arriving on an earlier 457. The bus was besieged by eager would-be passengers, nearly all of whom were disappointed.

SNB449 at Slough RML2456 on 457 Slough

It is not far from Slough to Eton and Windsor, but the weak but protected bridge between the latter still means an appreciable diversion on the by-pass, crossing the river west of the two towns, then winding a way back into Windsor. As we wove our way round to the riverside, and them towards Windsor Castle we met two Green Line RTs in quick succession: RT3254 heading for Pinewood on the 457D, and, a minute later, RT3491 heading for High Wycombe on the 441. You wait forty years...

We climbed up through the town below the castle walls, and headed south to circle round to the old garage site. We missed a turning off a roundabout, and pulled up to take stock (and photos). A properly-conducted reverse turn into a right-side turning got us heading in the right direction, back to the roundabout and round to the bus stance, where the garage used to be.

RT3254 on 457D, Windsor RT2083 on 457D, Windsor

Part Two: 457 to Uxbridge and back

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

Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 2 Part 3