On 18 June 2017, in glorious sunshine, we celebrated route 406 and marked the then imminent and lamented closure of Epsom Coaches.  The day also marked 60 years since RM2 worked the route and was photographed at this bus stop.  On seeing this picture, Jim Andress wrote: 'I was instantly transported back 70 years to the late 1940’s. For several years it was a regular annual outing for my mother to take my young brother and me to walk across Epsom Downs the weekend after Derby Day, weather permitting. This involved getting a ride on route 118, either an STL from AK (Streatham) or a utility D type Daimler from AL (Merton) into Morden tube station. We would then board an improved D type from A (Sutton) on the 164A service to Tattenham Corner, alighting just across the road from where RT 4779 is shown. Happy days!'

Photo © Peter Zabek

Route 406 running day

18 June 2017

Photo gallery

Page last updated 22 June 2017

The re-creation, 60 years on.

Photo © Richard Jones

 

The brief appearance of RM2 on trial on the 406 in 1957 came 8 years after RTs replaced STLs and 15 years before the RTs were replaced by downgraded Routemaster coaches.  RT3148 operates an Express journey through Ewell, but the King Bill is no longer the King Bill.

Photo © Steve Guess

 

The MB class replaced RFs on the 406 on Sundays in 1971.  MB90 was briefly based at Leatherhead in 1977-78.  The Queen Adelaide survives in Kingston Road, Ewell.

Photo © Phil Kitchen

 

A country bus.  RT3491 in Ewell.

Photo © Steve Guess

 

The historic buses in service were joined by an Epsom Coaches Setra six-wheeled coach, giving a last chance for most people to experience a ride on an Epsom coach.  Epsom Coaches' bus operation runs the TfL service on the 406.

Photo © Steve Guess

 

Also marking the imminent closure of Epsom Coaches was the operation by preserved ex-Epsom Bedford SB PPH698 of tours of the area.  The coach passes Ewell Spring.

Photo © Steve Guess

 

Epsom coach and RT in Epsom.  Timeless.

Photo © John Parkin

 

Two generations pass in Ewell village.

Photo © Peter Zabek

 

60 years and counting.  RM2 is only three years newer than the last RTs. 

Photo © Steve Madden

 

And it's goodbye from him...

Photo © Michael Thorne

And this is the original 1957 LT photo that we were re-creating.

Photo  © LT Museum

 

RTs at Epsom Clock Tower, reminiscent of a time when the High Street was two-way, although 406s only served the stop on garage journeys.

Photo © Nigel Henty

 

Unfortunately, Leatherhead's first Routemaster, RMC1461, now at London Bus Museum, was unavailable on the day, so the museum sent RLH48 in its place.  Although Reigate garage, which shared operation of the 406 with Leatherhead, had an RLH for route 447, it is not known that an RLH ever worked on the 406.

Photo © Phil Kitchen

 

RM2 stands at Kingston's Cromwell Road bus station between Quality Line Enviro 400s on the two interworked routes 406 and 418 between Kingston and Epsom.

Photo © Phil Kitchen

 

RT3148 passes the Bedford on Epsom Downs.

Photo © Michael Thorne

 

RM2 leads RT4779 down Kingston Road.

Photo © Phil Kitchen

 

An atmospheric shot from the rear of RM2 as RT4779 passes the grandstand.

Photo © John Parkin

 

Happy memories of afternoons off school on Derby Day (a Wednesday in those days).

Photo © Richard Thomas

 

Ready for the off.  RT4779 has arrived on its positioning journey from Leatherhead, while PPH698 awaits its first tour departure.

Photo © Peter Osborn

 

A brief history of route 406 is given on the event page.