Memories on Greenline 725 route

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frodshamfella

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I am interested if anyone used or had memories of this route ? Many years ago I lived in Bexleyheath, the town lost it's Greenline link for a long time when the 701 ( 702 earlier again) Ascot to Gravesend route finished.

The 725 used to travel west from Gravesend and Dartford through Crayford then via Bourne Road to Bexley , the 725 was the only bus service along Bourne Road since the 467 LC route finished, so handy for people living there. Change came when the 726 tandem route to the 725 started, the 726 continued the original route and the 725 included Bexleyheath then onward to Bexley where both routes rejoined.

To my memory the 725/726 were the only bus services ever along Hurst road Sidcup, which must have been useful for residents also, they would have paid a bit of a premium however over the nearest LT bus fare on the 229 and later 269.

I used the 725 quite often from Bexleyheath to Bromley, even when LT route 269 was extended to Bromley, the 725 was certainly faster and more comfortable.

When I moved to the Northwest, I used to fly from Liverpool to Heathrow and would often prefer taking the 725 back to Bexleyheath rather than tube and train. Although it took a long time, it was comfortable and convenient . Also used it to reach Hampton curt on several occasions. I can't recall where both the 725 and 726 terminated in the west, was it both Windsor ??

In my opinion it was a really great and probably quite revolutionary service when it was introduced, linking towns and attractions which would otherwise included traveling via Central London. I also think there were few Greenline routes which did not actually head for Central London either to terminate or run via, I can't think of any right now, such a long time ago ! Does any of the 725 service still exist I wonder ?
 
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PeterC

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I believe it still partly exists as TfL route X26 between Heathrow and West Croydon

The other main orbital route was the 724 which now runs between Harlow and Heathrow. It originally run from Romford to High Wycombe operated jointlly by both garages. As a teenager I travelled the length of the route on the first service departing at silly O'clock from Romford Station. As a piece of trivia the run from the garage in London Road to the station was the only LT out of service running in the area at the time. All buses returning to NS ran up North Street in service even when it was off route.
 

56 1/2

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725 was the original and was Gravesend to Windsor, via Staines & Old Windsor 726 appeared later Gravesend direct to Heathrow, eastern end cut back to Dartford, then to Bromley with various changes Windsor coaches also via Heathrow, 725 route number faded away
The remainder is X26 still running from Croydon to Heathrow since 16 04 2005 but no longer branded Greenline
 

transmanche

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The Green Line 726 started in 1977. It became part of the LRT network in 1991. For six months it continued to be operated jointly by Luton & District and Kentish Bus, but the full contract was awarded to London Coaches in early 1992, when it was rebranded as 726 Expresslink. It was renumbered as X26 in 2005.
 

Mike99

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I lived in Penge as a child and teenager and was always excited to see a Green RF on the 725 and then in later years the displaced SMA class. I would also see the 725 along with many other Green routes in West Croydon on shopping trips with parents. I went to senior school in Bromley so once again had a link to the 725 although I had to have a train pass to and from school. It was always good when I was out and about on my many red rovers to spot a 725 further afield, Sutton, Worcester Park Kingston and of course Hampton Court, my brother had digs for a while in Staines and was still able to get the one bus all the way back to Beckenham!!!
 

frodshamfella

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I lived in Penge as a child and teenager and was always excited to see a Green RF on the 725 and then in later years the displaced SMA class. I would also see the 725 along with many other Green routes in West Croydon on shopping trips with parents. I went to senior school in Bromley so once again had a link to the 725 although I had to have a train pass to and from school. It was always good when I was out and about on my many red rovers to spot a 725 further afield, Sutton, Worcester Park Kingston and of course Hampton Court, my brother had digs for a while in Staines and was still able to get the one bus all the way back to Beckenham!!!


I think I used to buy a ticket called a Golden Rover which.was unlimited travel on Greenline for a day.
 

Statto

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Part of the route does still exist as X26 but Croydon-Heathrow.

Ian Armstrongs site shows the 726 from the late 70s well before London Buses took over, in fact London Buses tried many times to cancel the route altogether under there tenure of the route, before 726 was cut to Bromley-Heathrow in 99, TFL took over the route, as said was renumbered X26 & cut further in 05 to current route, at least the current X26 has had a renaissance, frequencies are now 2 an hour & operated by deckers.

Ian Armstrongs 726 page
https://www.londonbuses.co.uk/_routes/withdrawn/726.html
 

frodshamfella

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Greenline also introduced route 750 Gravesend to Crawley via Gatwick, it didnt prove very popular. It was rerouted and renumbered 755 however that didnt last either.
 

frodshamfella

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I lived in Penge as a child and teenager and was always excited to see a Green RF on the 725 and then in later years the displaced SMA class. I would also see the 725 along with many other Green routes in West Croydon on shopping trips with parents. I went to senior school in Bromley so once again had a link to the 725 although I had to have a train pass to and from school. It was always good when I was out and about on my many red rovers to spot a 725 further afield, Sutton, Worcester Park Kingston and of course Hampton Court, my brother had digs for a while in Staines and was still able to get the one bus all the way back to Beckenham!!!

I.recall the RF type but never went on one.
 

John Webb

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Wasn't there a 727 in the Summer which ran up to Whipsnade Zoo from Bexleyheath? I vaguely recall this in the late 1950/early 1960s when I was a young lad living a bit off the top of Shooter's Hill. I think we used it once around 1958 or 59.
 

56 1/2

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The Green Line 726 started in 1977.

725 was the parent route and had been the first orbital from July 1953, 726 was introduced alongside 725 and differed only in the west with Heathrow not Windsor as the terminus, it may have been intended to reduce 727 loading Kingston to Heathrow, which was frequently ram jam full.

I think I used to buy a ticket called a Golden Rover which.was unlimited travel on Greenline for a day.

Golden Rover,(AKA Golden Wonder) were introduced in summer 1970 by LCBS

[QUOTE=" Wasn't there a 727 in the Summer which ran up to Whipsnade Zoo from Bexleyheath? I vaguely recall this in the late 1950/early 1960s when I was a young lad living a bit off the top of Shooter's Hill. I think we used it once around 1958 or 59.

Not quite, 727 was previously used for an express service Tring to Golders Green, withdrawn in 60s then the number was re used for a new western orbital Luton Heathrow Kingston Gatwick Crawley
726 had previously been used for the summer only Romford Aldgate St. Albans Whipsnade Zoo, I think that did not survive into LCBS days

RFs in my humble opinion were the best vehicles on 725/6 but I quite liked the DAF IKARUS that London Coaches used when the route was branded 726 Expresslink
 

MotCO

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I.recall the RF type but never went on one.

I do recall the RFs. I used to go to school in Kingston, and occasionally as a 'treat', I would catch the Green Line (cost 9d ascompared to 6d on the red buses). The Green Line had a different 'air' to the 'common or garden' buses, not least because they didn't stop at so many stops.

I thought the SMAs were a very smart looking bus, and unusually had the rear destination box below the rear window. Out of a class of 21, 2 are preserved. Occaionally, Windsor would put an RP out on the 725/726.
 

frodshamfella

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Wasn't there a 727 in the Summer which ran up to Whipsnade Zoo from Bexleyheath? I vaguely recall this in the late 1950/early 1960s when I was a young lad living a bit off the top of Shooter's Hill. I think we used it once around 1958 or 59.

I've never heard of that one ?
 

frodshamfella

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I remember being very surprised how busy the 725 was during peak hours, the coach filling up completely.
 

frodshamfella

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I believe it still partly exists as TfL route X26 between Heathrow and West Croydon

The other main orbital route was the 724 which now runs between Harlow and Heathrow. It originally run from Romford to High Wycombe operated jointlly by both garages. As a teenager I travelled the length of the route on the first service departing at silly O'clock from Romford Station. As a piece of trivia the run from the garage in London Road to the station was the only LT out of service running in the area at the time. All buses returning to NS ran up North Street in service even when it was off route.

Oh yes the 724 remember that route now.
 

John Webb

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I've never heard of that one {727} ?
It was a long time ago - perhaps it ran from Victoria to Whipsnade? Anyone got a mid-late 1950s Greenline map who could check?
(I also vaguely recollect it was especially extended during the Summer, possibly from Dunstable?)
 

Busaholic

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I well remember the 725, but never travelled on one. In peaks it had a frequency of 10 minutes at times between Croydon and Dartford, so was probably the only Green Line route where you could regularly see two coaches together and even overtaking each other ! I believe the last operationaL RF in the London area was RF 202, based ai Northfleet and used on the 725 almost exclusively in its final months. Bromley to Penge was RF heaven, with 227s and 725s. When I worked at Beckenham Library in 1967/8 it was rare to stand on Beckenham Road in peak hours and not have an RF in sight during peaks. I don't believe the 725/6 ever saw a double decker because of Shortlands rail bridge, plus others in its earlier life.
 

MotCO

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I don't believe the 725/6 ever saw a double decker because of Shortlands rail bridge, plus others in its earlier life.

Agreed. But the X26 is double decked since it only runs from Croydon to Heathrow. (But having said that, I seem to recall seeing a photo of an RT on route 725 in LOTS' London Bus Magazine.)
 

Busaholic

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Agreed. But the X26 is double decked since it only runs from Croydon to Heathrow. (But having said that, I seem to recall seeing a photo of an RT on route 725 in LOTS' London Bus Magazine.)
It would have been possible, I suppose, if a specific 'short' journey needed working at either end, but do you remember whether the 'coach' carried any relevant blinds?
 

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The 724 was the "northern equivalent" of the 725, although it ran further out and linked towns to the North of London rather than the outer suburbs as the 725 did. The 724 commenced in June 1966 and in its original form ran from Romford to High Wycombe. The 727 Express commenced in 1967 and operated between Luton Airport, Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport and Crawley - it was a highly innovative route at the time as it linked three major airports, and was notable for the limited number of stops en-route (typically Green Line routes at that time had stops about every half-a-mile). In 1972 the 724 was diverted at Watford Junction to run to Heathrow Airport (and on to Staines) to support the 727 over this section - at that time Watford Junction was being advertised as a railhead for passengers wishing to travel between the Midlands/North West and Heathrow.

The 727 gradually gave way to dedicated express coaches which operated directly between the airports, but the 724 still operates between Harlow and Heathrow Airport along pretty much the same route.
 

Ianno87

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The 724 was the "northern equivalent" of the 725, although it ran further out and linked towns to the North of London rather than the outer suburbs as the 725 did. The 724 commenced in June 1966 and in its original form ran from Romford to High Wycombe. The 727 Express commenced in 1967 and operated between Luton Airport, Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport and Crawley - it was a highly innovative route at the time as it linked three major airports, and was notable for the limited number of stops en-route (typically Green Line routes at that time had stops about every half-a-mile). In 1972 the 724 was diverted at Watford Junction to run to Heathrow Airport (and on to Staines) to support the 727 over this section - at that time Watford Junction was being advertised as a railhead for passengers wishing to travel between the Midlands/North West and Heathrow.

The 727 gradually gave way to dedicated express coaches which operated directly between the airports, but the 724 still operates between Harlow and Heathrow Airport along pretty much the same route.

There is the National Express 727 these days: Gatwick-Heathrow-Stansted-Cambridge-Norwich. Is that the direct descendent then?
 

MotCO

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It would have been possible, I suppose, if a specific 'short' journey needed working at either end, but do you remember whether the 'coach' carried any relevant blinds?

I seem to recall it was photographed near Hampton Court with Relief blinds (but my memory may be playing me tricks!).
 

MotCO

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There is the National Express 727 these days: Gatwick-Heathrow-Stansted-Cambridge-Norwich. Is that the direct descendent then?

I don't think so. I think it was numbered to reflect the naming of Boeing aircraft (727, 747, 757, 777, etc), as is often the case with airport related bus routes.
 

Busaholic

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I seem to recall it was photographed near Hampton Court with Relief blinds (but my memory may be playing me tricks!).
That does sound feasible. I wonder whether the number 725 was ever added to the front number blind, and in view of the relatively few routes Staines garage operated, perhaps it was on their RTs. Interesting!
 

Roilshead

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Wasn't there a 727 in the Summer which ran up to Whipsnade Zoo from Bexleyheath?
John, I think you have in mind the previous version of 726, which was a summer-only route from Romford to Whipsnade Zoo via Chadwell Heath, Ilford, Stratford, Aldgate, Baker St, Finchley, Golders Green, Barnet, and St Albans. For a few seasons it was extended back to start in the LCC Harold Hill estate. I've no idea when it started - mid-1950s? - but by 1964 it had been speeded-up to run via Edgware and the M1, but it didn't survive to see LCBS days.
 

John Webb

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John, I think you have in mind the previous version of 726, which was a summer-only route from Romford to Whipsnade Zoo via Chadwell Heath, Ilford, Stratford, Aldgate, Baker St, Finchley, Golders Green, Barnet, and St Albans. For a few seasons it was extended back to start in the LCC Harold Hill estate. I've no idea when it started - mid-1950s? - but by 1964 it had been speeded-up to run via Edgware and the M1, but it didn't survive to see LCBS days.
Many thanks for that, almost certainly what I was thinking of. It was probably around 1958 or 1959 I used it, most likely the family picked it up at Baker Street as we came from SE London.
 

Com166

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Rode on a 725 from Staines to Kingston for Christmas shopping trip. In late 60’s the RF were refurbished with new driver windscreen and broad light green bands on side.
 
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