Udayavni Special

London to Kolkata: Double-decker bus that covered the longest route in 1968

Single fare cost 85 pounds back then

Shivani Kava, Dec 23, 2020, 1:33 PM IST

Source : Twitter

Back in the 60s, a double decker bus, Albert used to run from Kolkata in India to London in UK. The trips covered by Albert were called Albert tours.  Apparently this was the world’s longest bus route and the single fare between Kolkata and London would cost 145 pounds, which is INR 13518 indeed a huge amount considering the year this bus service began.

The bus route included England to Sydney via Belgium, West Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, West Pakistan, India, Burma, Thailand, Malaya and Singapore. The bus covered Delhi, Agra, Allahabad, Benaras and Kolkata in India.

As per the reports by Central Western Daily, Andy Stewart, a British traveler who was looking to make his way to London bought Albert in May 1968. He started on October 8, 1968 from Martin Place in Sydney with 13 co-passengers on  a 16,000kms journey from Sydney to London via India. 132 days later on February 17, 1969 Stewart arrived in London. This is claimed to be Albert’s first ever journey and most people have termed it as “an epic adventure.”

There was a year round timetable created for the operation of Albert between London, Kolkata and Sydney. The reports state that the trips to Sydney were numbered 4,5,6,7,8 and 9 whereas the trips between London and Kolkata were 12 to 15.

Albert offered luxurious services such as reading and dining room at the lower deck, individual sleeping bunks, fan heaters and aesthetic interiors. It even included radio and taped music for parties.

Albert has completed about 15 trips between Kolkata and England and four trips between England and Australia till 1976, has covered 150 borders without scrutiny and  has earned the tag of being “a friendly ambassador” in all nations it visited.

 

 

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