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Earlier today, my casual scroll on twitter brought forward this gem from yesteryear – The world’s longest bus route, which ran between London, England and Calcutta, India, a whopping 20, 300 miles! And if that wasn’t mind-boggling enough, the bus route was only part of the journey which continued all the way to Sydney, Australia! Wow.
World’s longest bus route: London-Calcutta-London
The longest bus route in the world spanned 20,300 miles, across 11 countries (at the time), and was covered 15 times between 1968-1976, on a luxurious Double-Decker bus nicknamed ‘Albert’. The trip from London to Calcutta cost £145 for the overland portion of the full itinerary to Sydney, Australia. The route from one such odyssey in 1972-73;
Frankfurt (West Germany)
Munich (West Germany)
Rawalpindi (West Pakistan)
Lahore (West Pakistan)
New Delhi (India)
Connecting flight to Rangoon, Burma, then a combination of train, ferries and streamers to Perth, Australia
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
High Road Oz states that Albert completed 4 trans-Australia crossings and 15 overland adventures between India and Britain between 1968 – 1976;
ALBERT’s first journey departed from the GPO in Martin Place, Sydney, on Tuesday 8th October 1968, arriving in London 132 days later on Monday 17th February 1969..
..Over the years ALBERT made more than 150 border crossings without ever being held up for serious scrutiny, nor was a bribe ever proffered to smooth the passage; this at a time when other vehicles were all too often seen marooned at check-posts with neither body panels nor owners.
The bus earned universal respect as a friendly ambassador to all countries visited and was always welcomed and smiled upon by officials and the countless friends made along the way for whom the name A-L-B-E-R-T was one they could read, remember and say – in any language!
Here is the picture of one such incredible tour from ’72-73, courtesy High Road Oz;
Other sources confirming the world’s longest bus route;
The currently active longest bus route in the world pales in comparison, only 3,850 miles connecting Lima, Peru and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
So glad I came across the London-Calcutta route, a hat-tip to the real road warriors!