RML2440 on 484, Slough

Slough & Windsor Running Day

Sunday 22nd May 2011

Prepared by Ian Smith, 2nd June 2011.

441: Slough to Staines, RT3491

RT3491 appeared on the other side of the road, coming in from High Wycombe on a long 441 trip to Staines. While it made the long circuit between the roundabouts, I watched a much more modern bus arrive in the shape of London United's Scania OmniCity SP11. This sported the new group logo on the front: RATP's stylised map of Paris. Oh well, perhaps we should remember that The London General Omnibus Co was a Paris company too.

RT3491 on 441 at Slough SP11 at Slough

RT3491 came surging up to the stop, and I took a seat inside whilst most passengers, as usual, tried to go "on top". We set off towards Eton, soon meeting RM1005 coming in the opposite direction, heading for Amersham.

RT3491 on 441 at Slough RM1005 on 441

We looped west round the by-pass, and came into Windsor from the west, meeting RM1859, also on the 441, closely followed by RF673, now on the 445 to Datchet.

RM1859 on 441 at Windsor RF673 on 445

We wound through Windsor. In the Home Park we crossed the carriage-drive leading to Ascot, and continued out onto the road to Old Windsor. We passed the "Bells of Ouzeley", then turned off the Runnymede Road to climb up into Englefield Green. We continued on left round the corner to Egham, then right under the motorway to Pooley Green, then left again to cross the Thames at Staines Bridge. Another right, another left, and we reached Staines Bus Station, a place busy with Dennis Dat SLFs of various bus companies.

Here was DP1002 originally with Armchair, now with Metroline (but still at Brentford), working the 117. London United's DPS585, glimpsed through our driver's doorway, was on the 290.

DP1002 on 117, Staines DPS585 on 290, Staines

A couple of Abellio's small Dart MPDs were awaiting their next trips: 8002, with air-conditioning pod, was on the current 441 to Heathrow, while 8046 had a digital display that was revealing no secrets.

8002 on 441, Staines 8046, Staines

Yet another left and right turn took us to Staines Station. There the crew - and bus, had a forty-five minute break. This gave time for some unhurried photos, some train-watching from the station footbridge (all flat-fronted red, blue and yellow jobs, no torpedo-front green 4-SUBS or even 2-HAPs), and a little refreshment, courtesy of the stationman, who let us through to the station coffee bar.

RT3491 on 441, Staines Stn RT3491 on 441, Staines Stn RT3491 on 441, Staines Stn

441: Staines to Beaconsfield, RT3491

While we were at Staines Station we had another visitor: DN1, Sullivan Buses' 11.0m Dart with Caetano Nimbus body, on the commercial 950 route to Thorpe Park.

DN1 on 950, Staines Stn DN1 on 950, Staines Stn

We actually waited a little longer, for the connecting 460. When it was well-overdue we set off, and met it just down the road: it was RM1859. Both buses stopped, and there was a limited exchange of passengers.

We recrossed the Thames, and made our way back to Egham. Somewhere near Englefield Green RF489 came the other way on a 441 to Virginia Water. The bus stopped, and waved us down. The drivers had a conversation. I suspect that we were being warned of the traffic jam ahead. This was caused by a fallen tree, which had blocked half the road. Workmen were busy cutting it up, and police were directing traffic around the obstruction.

RM1859 on 460, near Staines Stn RF489 on 441, Egham

Eventually we were past, and continued down to the riverside at Old Windsor, and through the Home Park into the town. There we met sister Green Line RT3254 coming through on another 441. We made our way on, and round to Slough, where, perhaps inevitably, we saw GS13 unloading again after a 442 trip.

RT3254 on 441, Windsor Castle GS13 on 442, Slough

First Berkshire's Dart/Alexander 42338 motored past on a 3, followed by RM1005 on a 457 to Uxbridge. We called at stop G, and were promptly boxed in by RF600, unloading after a trip to Datchet on the 460.

42338 on 3, Slough RF600 on 460, Slough

We headed off into the west along the Bath Road, but not for long. We turned north, up Farnham Road. RML2456, looking really good in NBC green and white, came south on a 441 to Windsor. As we approached the Britwell turn a red RML came out, and passed us, heading back into Slough.

RML2456 on 441 red RML

We pressed on, leaving the ribbon development behind eventually, and swooping and soaring along the grand country road to Beaconsfield. We crossed the M40, and turned into the village, turning in the centre and coming back to stop at the London End.

441: Beaconsfield to Slough, RT3491

RT3491 on 441, Beaconsfield RT3491 on 441, Beaconsfield

RT3491 was heading for Staines again, as part of its homeward trip. I rejoined for the return as far as Slough.

This time I was prepared for the rhododendrons around the wooded curves of the road.

rhododendrons rhododendrons

Then, as we headed down to Farnham, GS13 popped out from Beeches Road ahead of us on the 442 from Burnham Beeches. We followed it for a while, but then it turned off to the left in Farnham Royal.

GS13 on 442, Farnham Common GS13 on 442, Farnham Royal

We continued down Farnham Road. We met Carousel Buses' DAF/Wright DAF54 heading for High Wycombe. Then it was into Slough. I alighted by the old shrouded bus station and watched the RT head off.

Carousel DAF54 RT3491 on 441, Slough

At the main stop there was a flurry of homebound feeder services: RT3254 was beginning its long homeward trek with a 375 express to Watford, with blue blinds; RM188 was starting its long journey with a 353 to Berkhamsted: RM2116 was heading south on the 353, to Windsor.

RT3254 on 375X RM188 on 353 RM2116 on 353

Now came a pair of 484s: RF489, and RM1005.

RF489 on 484 RM1005 on 484

As for me? I was tired and wanted a train home. Was that GS really going to the Slough Station? Yes it was. I cadged a lift, and returned to the station in style. And the first train to Paddington was a HST!

GS13 GS13 interior

Many thanks to the Amersham & Distrixt Motorbus Society for organising the day, especially Peter Cartwright. Many thanks too to all those who provided buses for the day.

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

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