Worlds Longest Bus Route London Calcutta London

Rajat Taheem

July 1, 2020

Did you know? The longest bus route in the world spanned 20,300 miles, largely known as London Calcutta London, traveled across 11 countries (at the time). It made 150 trips between 1968-1976, on a luxurious Double-Decker bus nicknamed ‘Albert’.

The bus earned universal respect as a friendly ambassador to all countries it visited. It was always welcomed and smiled upon by officials. It earned the name A-L-B-E-R-T as it could be read, remember and said – in any languages of the countries visited!

ALBERT’s first journey departed from Martin Place, Sydney, on Tuesday 8th October 1968 & arrived at 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.

According to travel industry veterans in India, there were lots of bus sevices to India from London between 60s & 70s. Route was covered by train through the EU, via Germany and Austria or Paris and Venice then Belgrade, Istanbul, Samsun, Trabzone, Tabriz, Tehran, Mashed, Herat, Kabul Peshawar, Lahore, Amritsar Delhi, Calcutta.

A year-round timetable was drawn up for a regular service between London, Kolkata and Sydney called "Albert Tours". The trips numbered 12, 13, 14 and 15 operated between London and Kolkata. On arrival in India, the bus made stops in Delhi, Agra, Banaras and Kolkata.

The double decker Albert bus also had some extra ‘luxury services' like a reading and dining room at the lower deck, sleeping bunks, fan heaters to keep passengers warm, and aesthetic interiors.

According to Central Western Daily, after a loyal long service and an accident that left it unsuitable for public use, a British traveler named Andy Stewart made his way home to London by buying this bus in May 1968. Stewart converted it into a mobile home and set off with 13 others on a 16,000-kilometre journey from Sydney to London via India in October.

The trip from London to Calcutta costed £145 (During 1968-1976) for the overland portion of the full itinerary to Sydney, Australia. One of the route included following locations on the trip:-

London (England)
Dover (England)
Zeebrugge (Belgium)
Antwerp (Belgium)
Frankfurt (West Germany)
Munich (West Germany)
Salzburg (Austria)
Vienna (Austria)
Zagreb (Yugoslavia)
Belgrade (Yugoslavia)
Sofia (Bulgaria)
Istanbul (Turkey)
Ankara (Turkey)
Trabzon (Turkey)
Tehran (Iran)
Mashhad (Iran)
Herat (Afghanistan)
Kandahar (Afghanistan)
Kabul (Afghanistan)
Rawalpindi (West Pakistan)
Lahore (West Pakistan)
New Delhi (India)
Agra (India)
Allahabad (India)
Banaras (India)
Calcutta (India)

Connecting flight to Rangoon, Burma, then a combination of train, ferries and streamers to Perth, Australia

Rangoon (Burma)
Bangkok (Thailand)
Penang (Malaysia)
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Singapore
Perth (Australia)
Sydney (Australia)