Carshalton 2007

RT760 on a short-working 157Route 157

The RT route, following its extension in 1959, ran as follows: CRYSTAL PALACE, Anerley, Norwood Junction, WEST CROYDON, Waddon, Stafford Road, Wallington, Carshalton Station, Wrythe Lane, St Helier, Morden, RAYNES PARK
On 15 April 2007, the free service will operate mainly between West Croydon or Wallington and St Helier.  See the timetable.
Main boarding points
Wallington Station, Carshalton High St, Wrythe Green, St Helier Rose Hill
RT760 operates the once daily short working from Merton Garage to Waddon The Chase in the early 1970s.          Photo © John Parkin
Route history
When Morden underground station opened in 1926, the General ran a group of feeder routes, of which the 157 to Sutton and Wallington was one.  Others included the 155 Worcester Park circular, the 156 Cheam and Sutton circular and the 164 Ewell and Belmont circular.  The 157 ran from Morden via Rose Hill to Sutton Cock, then via Carshalton Pond and Park Lane to Wallington Station.  An overview of the development of the area and its transport links is included on the Carshalton page.
The later addition of the 154 to this group of route numbers was fortuitous - the 154 replaced trolleybus 654 which did not serve Morden.  The 155, which was single-deck due to the low bridge at Worcester Park, became the 245 in the 1934 renumbering, then become the 127 during the war when double-decked with lowbridge buses.  This was withdrawn in 1958, the first RLH route to go, but the 127 number has resurfaced in the area and now covers a majority of former route 234A.
In the mid-1930s, the 157 was extended at its northern end to Raynes Park Station and rerouted away from Sutton to serve Wrythe Lane and Carshalton Station.  At the southern end, by 1939 roughly every other bus was turning short at Carshalton (turning point unknown).
Journey's end - Crystal palaceMerton replaced its Daimlers on the route with RTs in 1954, sharing the route with Carshalton (CN) after the route was extended substantially in 1959, in support of the 154 in replacing the 654 trolleybus.  As the bridge at Wallington station did not permit double-deck operation at the time, the route was diverted to run down Park Road to Boundary Corner, joining the 154 on the way.  The routing via Wallington Station was reinstated when the road under the bridge was lowered in 1966.
On CN's closure, Elmers End stepped in to help on Saturdays, and was joined by Sutton on Sundays from 1970.  The RTs lasted until 11 May 1973, when the route was converted to one man operation with DMSs on the same day as the 154.
The route still operates from Morden to Crystal Palace, now operated by Travel London from Beddington Cross.
The trolleybuses required special brakes to be allowed up Anerley Hill.  RTs needed no such modification, but that didn't make the hill any less steep.  RT4291 has overheated on reaching the top on the last day of RT operation, 11 May 1973, and is blowing off steam.  The blind has already been changed for the return journey.
Photo © John Parkin