24/3/19 Kingston to Staines and Weybridge

Kingston to Staines and Weybridge
Running Day

This event commemorated 40 years since the withdrawal of the last London RF class buses in 1979 by running preserved RFs over route 215, 218 and 219. It was a great opportunity to wallow in nostalgia with RF453, which had worked in the area for spells over the years up to its withdrawal in 1977.

Our first duty commenced at The Heights Weybridge, which is on the site of the former British Aircraft Corporation works where the route terminated.

Our RF453 started duties at Weybridge but never returned there. It waits here for departure.
Photo: J Hinson

RF271 represents the Country Area contingent which provided links and connections – in this case connecting Weybridge on the 219 with Walton on the 218 
Photo: J Hinson

The BL class replaced some of the RFs a few years before the end of RF operation – preserved BL93 leaves Weybridge showing route 215 blinds.  
Photo: J Hinson

A gaggle of RFs at Cromwell Road bus station, Kingston with our RF453 in the middle. RF406 heads the line-up, with RF395 behind. Pulling past is RF518. 
Photo: J Hinson

Cromwell Road bus station is roughly on the site of the famous Kingston Coal Yard, which was used for overflow storage of Kingston garage’s RFs and other vehicles for many years. The garage itself, across the road, is now demolished.

Our journey to Kingston met heavy traffic owing to the closure of Kingston bridge, and this got so bad during the day that at one point we were running 55 minutes late! As a result, we had no further opportunities for photographs. But despite the traffic problems, it was an excellent day.