B1 trolleybus 89 with RF at CNCarshalton Depot - static display


Opened as a tram depot to serve the new tram tracks from Sutton to Croydon laid in 1906, Sutton Tram Depot had a history dedicated to a single route.  When trolleybuses replaced trams in 1935, the route became trolleybus 654 from Sutton to Crystal Palace and was again the only route run from the depot (with the exception of Christmas Day workings on the 630).  Sutton Trolleybus Depot was renamed Carshalton (CN) in 1950 when the Tram and Trolleybus and Central Bus departments of London Transport merged, to avoid confusion with Sutton garage (A). 


Carshalton's trolleybuses, the short wheelbase B1 class, were the oldest in the fleet by 1959, so a natural choice for Stage 1 of the trolleybus abandonment programme (along with the physically separate Bexleyheath routes).  On 3 March 1959, the last trolleybuses ran into CN and the next day the 654 was replaced by the new 154 and an extended 157 bus routes.  Both were RT-operated, the 154 solely by CN, which also provided the additional buses for the 157.


These two routes were (with the exception of Christmas Day 1959, see below) the only ones operated during nearly 5 years as a bus garage.  CN closed on 29 January 1964, 154 operation moving to Sutton supported by Thornton Heath at weekends and the 157 going to Merton with support on Saturdays from Elmers End.


B1 trolleybus 89 stands on the forecourt at CN.  Of particular interest to us is the RF in the background, showing a 213 blinded to Carshalton Ringstead Road.  Although this panel was included on 213 blinds in the 1950s, we know of no such short workings.  Anyone who can shed any light on this, please e-mail us.

This working will be operated on 15 April.                                                             Photo © Terry Russell


Carshalton depot, in Westmead Road, still stands and is now in use as an Access self-storage warehouse.  On 15 April, the depot will be served by routes 154 (RT, DM, RM on 654) and 213 (RF, with some journeys terminating at the depot) and there will be a small static bus display on the forecourt.  More pictures of CN here.


Carshalton post-trolleybus provides an RT for route 630As is well recorded, Carshalton provided trolleybuses for operation between Mitcham Fair Green and West Croydon on Christmas Day each year.  After CN converted to motorbus operation in 1959, the 630 still ran, so on one day only RTs ran on the 630, but with the route number erased from the specially-made blinds.  Alan Cross was there to record the event.


RT543 leaves CN to work the 630.

Photo © Alan Cross
For further information on CN - and a wealth of information and pictures of trolleybuses - visit David Bradley's excellent site
For those who like to know these things, Brian Watkinson has kindly worked out a list of the motor buses that operated from CN, as follows:
RTs 181, 193, 260, 265, 287, 457, 504, 506, 543, 555, 564, 685, 1110, 1182, 1237, 1262, 1329, 1343, 1345, 1353, 1361, 1369, 1380, 1391, 1603, 1621, 1821, 1825, 1844, 1857, 1873, 1899, 1903, 1977, 2013, 2098, 2104, 2114, 2203, 2474, 2479, 2483, 2493, 2570, 2636, 2659, 2714, 2750, 2765, 2847, 3264, 3737, 3851, 3903, 3912, 3935, 4052, 4220, 4239, 4262, 4488, 4645.
The initial group of 24 (in italics) were mostly newly-overhauled buses that had been stored (more than half at Garston).  The vast majority carried roofbox bodies and as a result were early withdrawals.  It appears that no CN buses still exist.