Hounslow road run

Page last updated 11 January 2018
The 237 was the route operated by RFs for the longest period of time, nearly 25 years from 1952 to 1977.  In later years, after conversion to one man operation in 1965, RF operation at Hounslow was extended first to Sunday working of the 203, then the 211 and finally the 202, although none concurrent with each other.  In Hounslow Bus Station (then with roof), RF432 on the 202 waits alongside RF523 on the 237.
Photo © Ian D


The winter of 2017-18 marks the 65th anniversary of all 225 of London's red RFs entering service between September 1952 and March 1953.  Towards the end of deliveries, RF486 arrived at Muswell Hill garage on 11 February 1953, for the conversion of route 212 from TD to RF operation.  After 4 months, it was transferred to Sutton for the 213, and a month later settled at Hounslow (AV) until September 1956, working on route 237.


For its 60th birthday, RF486 ran over the 212 again.  In January 2018, it ran over the 213 again, this time on the occasion of RF406's 65th birthday.


On 11 February, RF486 will return to Hounslow, running over the old route 237 (which overlaps the current route only between Hounslow Heath and Hounslow).  It will then run over OMO RF routes 202 and 211, with the approximate timetable as shown below - all times subject to the usual caveats.  These days, the 211 road is covered by the 111 and the 202 is numbered H22.  The bus will provide a free service over the sections of route which do not duplicate a TfL route with the same number.

  237 Chertsey Station 1030
  237 Sunbury Three Fishes 1100
    Hounslow Bus Station, arr 1145
  211 Hounslow Bus Station, dep 1200
    Hampton Station, arr 1230
  211 Hampton Station, dep 1235
    Hounslow Bus Station, arr 1300
  202 Hounslow Bus Station, dep 1400
  71 Richmond Dee Road 1445
  71 Kingston Cromwell Road 1530
    Leatherhead Garage 1615
In the days of crew operation on the 237 and RTLs on the 37, RF465 stands next to Putney's RTL932 about to depart in the opposite direction.  The date is between late 1961 and mid-1963, and the bus station has yet to receive a roof.
Photo Peter Osborn collection
The final run over the full route of the old 71 will use the present 371 route through Ham Estate (the former weekday route of the 71) rather than either of the former Sunday RF routings, due to likely parked cars.  Like the 202 and 211, RF486's time at Kingston was before the Sunday OMO operation of the 71. 
RF419 stands at Hounslow bus station while allocated to AV between 1972 and 1974.
Photo Philip Hambling collection