Sunday 285 at heathrowRed RF routes

Route 285

Page last updated 27 December 2014
A Sunday OMO conversion from RM, before full conversion to Swift, the 285 was the only trolleybus-conversion route to operate RFs.
Norbiton's RF486 is at Heathrow bus station in 1970, followed by an RT on the 140 and an RM on the 81B.
Photo © Peter Esposito
Dates of RF operation
20 Jul 69 to 27 Mar 71
(total 1 year 8 months, all OMO)
RF Garages
FW   Fulwell
NB    Norbiton
Reason for single-deck operation
At the time of conversion, only single-deckers were available for OMO operation.  Both NB and FW had RFs available on Sundays.
Route history
London's last trolleybuses ran on 8 May 1962, including the 605 from Wimbledon to Teddington.  The next day, the trolleybuses on the 605 were replaced by the 285, extended via Feltham to Heathrow Airport.  Until converted to one-man operation, the 285 was operated by Routemasters from Fulwell garage, supplemented on Sundays by RTs from Merton until the route was shortened back to Kingston on Sundays in 1966.  From then, the route was shared with Norbiton.
SMS209 is also at Heathrow, on a working through to New Malden Police Station, which suggests this is Mon-Fri off-peak in 1975/6.
Photo © Paul Redmond
As OMO took hold, the route was converted first to OMO RF on Sundays only in 1969, then totally to Swifts in 1971.  The route was double-deck operated again from 1975 (weekends)/1976 (daily) to 1990, with DMSs then Metrobuses, after which it was cut back daily to Kingston.  The service has since then been operated by a succession of Dennis Darts and is now often overcrowded.  More luggage room, but many fewer seats (and less comfortable) than the RF.  That's progress.
RF route in detail, with timing points
HEATHROW AIRPORT Central, Private Tunnel, Heathrow Airport North, Bath Road, Harlington Corner, Airport Road (now Eastern Perimeter Road), Hatton Cross, Faggs Road, Harlington Road West, Hounslow Road, Feltham Station, Hanworth Road, Uxbridge Road, Hampton Road West, Hanworth Hope & Anchor, Hampton Road East, Uxbridge Road, Windmill Road, Hampton Hill High Street, Hampton Hill High Street, Hampton Road, Hampton Road, Broad Street, Teddington Post Office, Teddington High Street, Ferry Road, Kingston Road, Upper Teddington Road, Hampton Wick Station, Hampton Wick High Street, Kingston Bridge, Wood Street, KINGSTON STATION (return via Clarence Street)
The Mon-Sat route continued to New Malden, and on to Raynes Park (Mon-Fri peaks) and Wimbledon (Sat pm to 1970).
1970 map © London Transport
Year Mon-Fri Sat Sun
1969 [DD] [DD] 30 mins
1971 [DD] [DD] 30 mins
The route took about 50 minutes from Kingston to Heathrow Airport.  The July 1967 timetable, when the route was still RM operated daily, is here.
For the 1966 faretable, including the route through to Wimbledon, see here.
RF allocation
PVR 1969 (Jul): Mon-Fri [8 RM (FW), 7 RM (NB)], Sat [7 RM (FW), 6 RM (NB)], Sun 2 (FW), 4 (NB)



RF486 operated the 285 in service on 26 Jun 2011.  It was captured on film in Feltham by Graham Fife.