London Transport
Green Line Express Services

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These “E” plates all feature a blue background, which was traditionally used by London Transport for express services. They are far less common than white “E” plates. The 5xx-series Red Arrow routes are not included here, as they are on their own page.


GREEN LINE ROUTES
705 EXPRESS WESTERHAM SEVENOAKS

Route 705 was introduced in 1946 as part of the post-war re-instatement of Green Line coach services. It ran between Sevenoaks and Windsor via Riverhead, Sundridge, Westerham, Biggin Hill, Keston, Hayes, Bromley, Catford, Lewisham, New Cross, Old Kent Road, Elephant & Castle, Victoria, Hyde Park Corner, Kensington, Hammersmith, Osterley, Heathrow Airport North, Langley, Slough and Eton. From 1963 until 1967 journeys from Victoria to Windsor ran as a limited-stop express. Operated throughout most of the 1950s by the famous RF-class coaches, RCs replaced RFs from 28 November 1965. Conversion to RCL-class long Routemaster coaches came on 2nd December 1967, followed by one-man operation in 1972 with RP coaches. The Green Line route network began to be run down in the 1970s, but the 705 survived longer than some others by means of a re-routing via Heathrow Airport in 1977 and journeys to Windsor Safari Park on summer Sundays. However, by 1978 it had been reduced to one weekday evening local journey between Tunbridge Wells and Westerham, plus a Sunday through service from Windsor. No trace of it remains today, although the Kent part of its former routing is covered by services 246 and 402.

White-on-blue “E” plates like this one would have come from the express section of route between Victoria and Windsor.


Green Line coach service 724 ran from Romford to Staines via Abridge, Epping, Harlow, Hertford, Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City, St. Albans, Watford, Rickmansworth, Uxbridge and Heathrow Airport. It had previously ran to High Wycombe instead of Staines, but was rerouted in the early ’70s with the growth of travel to Heathrow Airport. The 724 survives as the last remnant of the “’round-London” routes introduced in the 1950s (725, later 725/726 between Gravesend and Windsor; now X26 Croydon to Heathrow) and 1960s (724 and 727: Luton–Heathrow–Crawley). It was operated by RF coaches, and subsequently RPs and latterly Leyland Nationals. It was once a major link and remains alive and well, operating daily with coaches hourly (two-hourly on Sundays) between Harlow and Heathrow. (Thanks to Matthew Keyte for the additional information.)

724 EXPRESS ALIGHTING POINT
 
724 EXPRESS FARE STAGE
724 EXPRESS HIGH WYCOMBE
724 EXPRESS STAINES
 
724 EXPRESS HEATHROW AIRPORT STAINES
724 EXPRESS HEATHROW AIRPORT STAINES
724 EXPRESS HEATHROW AIRPORT ROMFORD
Unlike other eastbound “E” plates, this one could only have been posted at Staines and could quite possibly be one of only four made. It was originally bought at a LOTS sale, and its sale on ebay in November 2007 for £787.47 was the first appearance of such a plate since the mid ’seventies. It is in immaculate unmarked condition.
724 EXPRESS ROMFORD
724 EXPRESS - 727 EXPRESS

727 EXPRESS
This “E” plate could have come from stops on either route, although was most likely used on the latter service—but you never can tell!
GREEN LINE 727 EXPRESS HEATHROW AIRPORT WATFORD JUNCTION LUTON AIRPORT
GREEN LINE 727 EXPRESS HEATHROW AIRPORT GATWICK AIRPORT CRAWLEY
727 EXPRESS CRAWLEY
This plate obviously came from a southbound stop on the later route. There were very few “E” plate variations for this service, hence this one could have been posted at nearly all of the southbound stops, with the exception of Watford Junction.
Here are two examples of the magnificent “double verticals” (as they were commonly known; technically “E2”) plates. They were only to be found at major interchange points and termini (e.g. Aldgate Bus Station). The northbound one (LUTON AIRPORT) could possibly be from Crawley Bus Station, whilst the southbound one (CRAWLEY) was most likely posted at Watford Junction. The GREENLINE title at the top is also unusual.

The original route 727 was introduced on 4 November 1964 as a Monday to Saturday express service between London (Victoria) and Tring via Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Circus, Baker Street, Finchley Road, [Golders Green, Mill Hill, Garston, Hemel Hempstead|Golders Green, Hendon Central, Apex Corner, the M1 Motorway, Hemel Hempstead], Two Waters and Berkhamsted. It was withdrawn on 30 October 1965.

On 13 May 1967 the 727 was reintroduced as a limited-stop western orbital service, running daily between Crawley and Luton Station via Gatwick Airport, Woodhatch, Reigate, Kingswood, Tadworth, Epsom, Ewell, Tolworth, Kingston, Teddington, Hanworth, Hatton Cross, Heathrow Airport, West Drayton, Uxbridge, Rickmansworth, Watford Junction, Garston, St. Albans and Harpenden. (In fact, the only part of the original routeing that the new 727 still served was a short stretch of St. Albans Road between Watford North Station and Garston!) In 1971 the Luton terminus was moved north to Luton Airport. Of course, it has long since been withdrawn, like so much of the traditional Green Line network.

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