Routes 406 and 418 operation

26 October 2014

Page last updated 7 November 2014

Apart from the bus stop post and flag, little has changed at the Mongers Lane stop in Ewell since RT4779 last served it in 1969.

Photo © John Shirley


To celebrate the 60th birthday of RT4779 in September 2014, the bus was returned to full public service vehicle status.  Its first public service work for over 35 years (see here) was a special operation on routes 406 and 418 as part of the current TfL service provided by Epsom Coaches.  It was joined on the 406 by RT1700, another former Leatherhead bus.  A former Reigate bus, RT3148, ran photographers' specials on the 406A Express. 


This is home territory for both Red-RF and for RT4779 in its Leatherhead days from 1963 to 1969.  It was therefore a particular pleasure to be working with Epsom Coaches for this special day in service on the 406 and 418, both with long histories, summarised on the event page here.  A feast of period photos follows on the next page


Thanks to Epsom Coaches for everything, to Roger Wright and Paul Brophy for providing RT1700 (at Leatherhead from 1966 to 1969) and to John Huxford and RT3148 for joining the fun.


RT4779 arrives ahead of Epsom Coaches' DD11 to pick up at Ruxley Lane.

Photo © Graham Smith


Two of the regulars, Enviro400s DD8 and DD3, lay over at Kingston besides a visitor.

Photo © Nick Winfield


Making clear that it is not in service, RT3148 gathers momentum for the climb up

Beggar's Hill in Ewell.

Photo © Graham Jones


RT1700 pulls away from the Mongers Lane stop in Ewell.  This stop was required to

be used by boys from Glyn Grammar School, rather than the closer Hessle Grove,

due to the latter being a private road.  Prefects patrolled the stops at the end of the

school day.

Photo © Graham Jones


More contrast.  Hook Road at Pound Lane, Epsom.

Photo © Graham Jones


Homeward-bound RT3148 displayed 406A to Redhill over the section south of

Epsom.  Barry's shot emphasises the stunning views gained from the Downs.

Photo © Barry Jones


Journey's end, Redhill Bus Station.

Photo © Tom Drake



RT1700 storms up Surbiton Hill Road.  This routing, which

avoids Surbiton Station, was traditional.

Photo © Barry King


Arriving in Kingston.  RT4779 is approaching the site of

Kingston Bus Station; for most of the 1960s, the 406

terminated at the station, arriving round the old one-way

system, but would have departed this way.

Photo © Graham Smith


RT3148 emerges from Tattenham Corner, where the 406A

diverged from the 406, serving Merland Rise.

Photo © Barry King


RT4779 arrives at the first stop in Kingston, Cromwell Road Bus

Station, on its run to Epsom on the 418.

Photo © Garry Rodgers


RT1700 in Kingston Road; under the railway bridge in the

distance is the Beggar's Hill roundabout, where rush hour short

workings to "Stoneleigh" turned - the buses didn't actually

reach Stoneleigh itself.

Photo © John Parkin



The 406A Express usually overtook the stopping service.  This is here recreated in Epsom High Street, RT3148 passes RT1700.

Photo © Graham Smith


RT4779 sets down in Kingston Road, Ewell.

Photo © Richard Jones


Laying over in Epsom during the brief glint of sun.  The adverts on RTs 4779 and 3148 are more elegant than those on the Enviro400.

Photo © John Parkin


The current 418 route is less faithful to the original than the 406.  With the closure of Epsom's mental hospitals, the Hook Road section has been replaced by a more useful service along Chessington Road and through Longmead Industrial Estate.  Here RT4779 passes Epsom Coaches' DD12 on Longmead Road.

Photo © Barry King


RT3148 rounds Epsom Racecourse on its way to Kingston.  Once a year the racecourse saw the mother of all running days when open top buses and coaches galore descended on the Downs for the Derby, not to mention all the borrowed Country buses operating on the 406E and 406F.

Photo © Barry King


Epsom Coaches' DD11 arrives on stand in Epsom round the one way system.  In the 1960s, the market occupied the central part of the street here but the traffic was two way.  The Spread Eagle, to the right behind the RT, was the original timing point.  To the left, in South Street, coaches entering and leaving the old Epsom Coaches garage required a banksman to hold up the traffic, especially when backing in.

Photo © Graham Smith


In the evening, RT1700 heading for Kingston passes RT4779 running a short working to Tolworth.  The location is Ewell Spring.

Photo © Peter Osborn



Red-RF is indebted to all photographers who have provided pictures for this gallery.