Colindale Running Day

Route 140

 
The 140 was (re-)introduced in 1932 to link Colindale and Northolt, although the eastern terminus was changed to Mill Hill in 1936.  This remarkably stable route was extended south to Heathrow Airport in 1955.
 
ITBA.  RT4779 on the last day of RT operation on the 140, and its last day in service.  The driver is George Gamblin (who will drive RT2177 on 29 August 2010), the conductor Churton Wilson.  The bus waits to return on the last morning run to Harrow Weald garage via Christchurch Avenue, the working that will operate on 29 August.
Photo © John Parkin 
 
Route operating on 29 August
MILL HILL EAST via Page Street, Mill Hill Broadway, Burnt Oak, Queensbury, Wealdstone to HARROW WEALD

 

Timetable

Two 140 'garage journeys' will work between Mill Hill East and Harrow Weald in the morning.  The section between Mill Hill Broadway and Mill Hill East will also be covered by the 240A and 221, between Mill Hill Broadway and Burnt Oak by the 251.

 

Main boarding points

Mill Hill East Station bus stop A

Mill Hill Broadway bus stop F (towards Mill Hill East) and bus stop B (towards Burnt Oak)

Burnt Oak Broadway bus stop K (towards Mill Hill), bus stop F (towards Harrow Weald)

 

Route history

Dating originally from 1920, when it ran between South Harrow and Stanmore, the 140 had a chequered history of operation in the Harrow and Edgware area until withdrawal in 1927.

 

Re-introduced in a new form in 1932 to run from Colindale via Kenton and Harrow to Northolt, the route was augmented in its first summer to serve the RAF displays at Hendon Aerodrome.  Major changes to the route have been infrequent.  The first was in 1936, when the route was diverted at Kenton away from Colindale to run north then east to Mill Hill, terminating at Bunns Lane, short of the low bridge at Mill Hill Broadway.

 

Apart from its first few months, when the route was operated by Willesden garage, the route has worked continuously from Harrow Weald (HD) to the present day, with the exception of the period 1990 to 1999 when the contract was held by London United at Hounslow.  Other garages have assisted from time to time, including Hendon (AE), Edgware (EW) and Willesden (AC) again.

 

Initial operation was by STs, briefly alongside STLs from AC during the mid-30s, with STLs taking over fully in 1939.  In 1950 the 140, with the 114, was an early RTW route before these 8-footers took their rightful place in central London; their transfer during 1951 brought RTs from HD and RTLs from EW, the latter in turn replaced by RTs the following year.  Having been originally planned for 1962 but deflected by union opposition, Routemasters did not arrive at HD until July 1978, when the RTs were replaced.  They had worked the 140 from AE on Sundays since 1972, and lasted for a further five years.

 

Meanwhile, the route extended further south, to Hayes in 1937 and Heathrow Airport (then 'London Airport Central') in 1955.  With the lowering of the road under the railway at Mill Hill, some Monday to Friday journeys were extended eastwards in 1967, to Page Street, and again in 1968, to Mill Hill East.

 
Between 1972 and 1990, two Sunday afternoon journeys were diverted to serve Cherry Lane Cemetery (now only served by school bus 698) and were much loved by enthusiasts.  This is another survivor, RT3232 now being operated by Ensign in their blue and silver livery.  It does seem that most HD RTs were rather dented by the end of their days.  Is the grey 'skirt' a precursor of later liveries?
Photo © David Harlot
 
On conversion to one-man operation in 1983, the route was diverted at Harrow to run to Harrow Weald, swapping the eastward section with the 114, which provides the service today.  The 140 from Heathrow to Harrow Weald has continued broadly unchanged since; the route is now operated from HD by Metroline.