Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Day 26 out by train and back by No 49 and No 50

This was a trip out to face the media's 'Beast from the East', which is actually a manifestation of a sudden stratospheric warming. As expected the travel did not start smoothly. On arrival at Waddon station at 1030 to get the 1032, this train was not even listed and the 1041 was going to be ten minutes late, at least. Thus I walked to East Croydon in an endeavour to get to London earlier. This walk, in the bright sunshine, took me until 1054 to arrive at East Croydon station. The brick setts in Crown Hill were most slippery but were overcome slowly and steadily. On platform 1 the 1034 was still in the platform, and the display just said delayed. In a quandry as to what to do next, I saw another Victoria train arriving on platform 4 so rushed to the stairs to change platforms only to find these stairs were cordoned off, was this for 'health and safety concerns, perhaps?'  A train then came in on Platform 2 which was the 1042 and this left for London at 1100.  I arrived eventually at Clapham Junction at 1110 with the intention of catching a London Overground train to Shepherd's Bush.

Sidings at Clapham Junction
classes 444, 450 and 458

Sidings at Clapham Junction
with Classes 450 and 455

Class 707 amongst the earlier
 SW railway types but with a
class 56  smoking away behind

The 1046 to Stratford and 1101 Willesdon Junction were both shown as delayed but a train arrived on platform 1 which was announced as the 1116 to Stratford.
It was at this time 1115 and some seconds but this train departed not too late at 1121 and reached Shepherd's Bush at 1135.
By the time I arrived at Shepherd's
Bush the snow was falling hard

Looking back the way we had come

The No 49 route starts from White City Bus station so this necessitated catching a bus from Shepherd's Bush to this location and in order to do this I took a bus No C1. After burrowing under the works being done around the Westcroft shopping centre we reached the White City Bus station at 1146.

Snow falling briskly with a No 316
behind the veil of snow

The original bus garage wall

A No 237 with appropriate destination White city, in the snow

Westfield shopping city

Westfield with bus turn in front of it

Within the No 49 leaving White City bus station

The No 49 arrived at 1156 and was formed of Abellio No 2473 and the photo at the start of the journey is taken from within the bus as the supervisor at the bus station said I wasn't allowed to take photographs at the bus station. Throughout the early part of the journey the snow fell quickly, and with bus progress into snow, the front window soon became caked in snow and hence it was difficult to see out. Before this happened though, I took a shot as we neared Shepherds Bush interchange.
A No 316 heading for White City

The snow was settling quick enough to overcome the effects of the pre-salting treatment done even on busy roads. As we attempted to turn off Kensington High street we came up behind a two car collision with the police already in attendance. Gradually as we headed towards Gloucester road tube station we emerged into the sunshine and the front window of the bus began to clear.

A No 49 heading to White City towards Kensington Palace Gates with snow and ice on window limiting the view forward

Room for some Boris Bikes but a wicked day for cycling.

Gloucester Road tube station with exit
sign now above a cafe.

Another No 49 arriving from Battersea Bridge

From South Kensington to Clapham I have utilised the No 49 bus, or the almost parallel No 345, many times to take our twins to the museums at South Kensington as a means of reducing cost as avoiding travelling into zone 1.
Snow lying in Battersea Park

 Progress was quite speedy from this point with little slush on the remaining roads and so I arrived at the terminal point at Bolingbroke Grove at 1257.

Climbing up from the Northbrook to the terminus of the No 49.

Alighting from Abellio No 2473

In order to reach the starting point of the No 50, I had to follow back the way the No 49 bus had travelled since passing the site of Arding and Hobbs and then walk up Lavender hill to the Battersea arts centre to catch a No 345 to Stockwell.
Starting point of the No 50 just opposite
Stockwell underground station HV131.

A No 50 from Croydon crossing a picturesque Clapham Common
Alternative view of a snowy Clapham Common

The No 50 would take me almost home and the timetable told me it would be a 65 minute journey to the Croydon Flyover. Indeed the journey had to be padded out by two stops in order to regulate the service! My steed was Arriva operated Hybrid Volvo HV131 which departed from Stockwell at 13:32 and it occurred to me that despite living in the Croydon area since 1986.I had never previously caught a No 50. Even when there were rail strikes I always chose the No 109 or No 68 and when the latter was split the No 250.

Frozen duck pond on Clapham
 So this was an adventure close to home, although I recognised some of the back roads it uses near Streatham from when I used to cycle home from Clerkenwell after night shifts. The route from Norbury to Thornton Heath was not a road I have ever used but from then onwards it was all familiar and the snow was a mere dusting, rather than what I had seen in central London so didn't hamper progress at all.

As a result I arrived at Croydon flyover at 1442 and promptly caught a No 119 home.
Dusting of snow above the Croydon
underpass Wellesley Road

Not even complete snow cover
on grass Wellesley Road
Journey's End, the Croydon flyover

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