Routemaster 60

v

You do not see many bus photos on my blog. I really prefer trams! But I spent many happy holidays in London over 20 years and simply fell in love with their Routemaster buses.

In July 2014 I attended the RM60 event at Finsbury Park in London. The Routemaster Association celebrated the 60th birthday of this iconic London bus. 2760 vehicles were built for London Transport (plus 65 front entrance versions for BEA later British Airways and 50 similar but longer buses for Northern General Transport in Gateshead). The event took place over two days (July 12/13) and most buses attended on both days. I rode up to the event as a guest on RM938 from Croydon on the Sunday (I could not get a cheap flight for Saturday). I also attended the event 10 years ago at the same location. Many different buses on show this time (10 years ago most of the longer RMLs were still in regular service and thus not present on the rally circuit). Over 20% of the surviving Routemasters registered in the UK came to Finsbury Park – 136 in total.

A few years ago I had a website dealing with Routemasters (and other older London buses) and thanks to archive.org the content survives here. You will find a lot of additional information and photos there.

  • Routemaster overview:

RM – standard bus – 27.5 feet (8.4 m) – 2,123 buses built (10 RMs were later lengthened to ERM „extended“ bus for LT Original Tour sightseeing duties – unfortunately no ERM attended the Finsbury Park event)
= prototypes RM1-2
= Leyland/Weymann prototype RML3 (later RM3)
= test bus RM8 (into public service in 1976)
= production buses RM5-7, RM9-879, RM904-1253, RM1255-1452, RM1521-2217

RML – long bus – 29.11 feet (8.87 m) – 524 buses built
= long buses RML880-903, RML2261-2760

RMC – coach – 27.5 feet (8.4 m) – 69 buses built (prototype RMC4 was originally called CRL4 – this was Leyland engined)
= coach prototype CRL4 (later RMC4)
= production coaches RMC1453-1520

RCL – long coach – 29.11 feet (8.87 m) – 43 buses built
= long coaches RCL2218-2260 (11 of them were later converted to convertible open top and used on LT sightseeing duties)

RMF – front-entrance bus – 29.11 feet (8.87 m) – 51 buses built (all except one for Northern General Transport Company)
= front entrance bus RMF1254 (later Northern General 2145 and then 3129) and Northern General „RMF“s 2085-2102/2103-2134 (later 3069-3118) – London transport later bought 12 buses and numbered them RMF2761-2772 (though they never ran in passenger service); LT also operated RMF2791-4 (owned by Obsolete Fleet) on sightseeing duties (later purchasing 2 and running them as open top RMT2793-4)

RMA – front-entrance bus – 27.5 feet (8.4 m) – 65 buses built for British European Airways
= airport coaches 1-65 (when purchased by LT renumbered RMA1-65 but not in the same squence)

FRM – front-entrance bus – 31.3 feet (9.5 m) – 1 bus built (rear engined)
= rear engined bus FRM1

va

Here are the buses I saw (listed is also the registration number and the livery the bus carries):

FRM1 KGY 4D 1960’s LT
frm1b

RM1 SLT 56 1950’s LT (prototype)
rm0001

RM2 SLT 57 1950’s LT (prototype – sporting again its original front)
rm0002

RML3 (later RM3) SLT 58 1950’s LT (prototype – also now again its original front)
rm0003
note: originally the Leyland engined buses were to be classed as RML but this idea was dropped and the code went to the „long Routemasters“ instead

RM5 VLT 5 1960’s LT
rm0005a

RM6 VLT 6 Queen’s Jubilee Gold
rm0006

RM7 VLT 7 1960’s LT
rm0007

RM8 VLT 8 1950’s LT
rm0008b

RM9 VLT 9 1960’s LT
rm0009

RM16 VLT 16 1980’s LRT
rm0016

RM44 VLT 44 Southend Transport
rm0044

RM66 VLT 66 1980’s LT (this bus was cut-down in preservation)
rm0066a

RM108 VLT 108 1960’s LT
rm0108

RM116 VLT 116 1980’s LT
rm0116

RM188 VLT 188 1960’s LT
rm0188

RM238 VLT 238 1960’s LT
rm0238

RM275 VLT 275 1960’s LT
rm0275

RM308 WLT 308 1980’s LT
rm0308

RM349 WLT 349 1970’s LT
rm0349a

RM357 WLT 357 1960’s LT
rm0357

RM479 WSJ 737 Timebus Travel
rm0479

RM545 WLT 545 1960’s LT
rm0545

RM613 WLT 613 1960’s LT
rm0613

RM752 677 DYE LT red
rm0752

RM765 WLT 765 1960’s LT
rm0765

RM811 WLT 811 Lincoln green
rm0811

RM848 448 UXS London bus Red
rm0848a

RM857 WLT 857 1960’s LT
rm0857a

RML883 TAS 466 Red with white relief
rm0883

RML898 WLT 898 1960’s LT
rm0898

RML903 WLT 903 1960’s LT
rm0903

RM938 WLT 938 1960’s LT (taken earlier that day near the owners home in Croydon)
rm0938b

RM999 WLT 999 Reading Mainline
rm0999

RM1000 100 BXL 1960’s LT
rm1000

RM1005 5 CLT 1960’s LT
rm1005

RM1033 DSL 540 1980’s LT
rm1033

RM1063 63CLT 1960’s LT
rm1063

RM1086 86 CLT 1960’s LT
rm1086

RM1138 138 CLT 1960’s LT
rm1138

RM1348 348 CLT Metroline
rm1348

RM1357 357 CLT 1960’s LT
rm1357b

RM1368 368 CLT 1970’s LT (after fire damaged in 1974 London Transport converted this bus into their only single deck RM and used it as an experimental test vehicle only)
rm1368

RM1394 394 CLT 1960’s LT
rm1394

RM1397 397 CLT 1960’s LT
rm1397a

RM1403 403 CLT 1960’s LT
rm1403

RM1449 449 CLT 1960’s LT
rm1449

RM1462 462 CLT 1980’s LT
rm1462

RMC1476 476 CLT London Country (NBC)
rm1476

RMC1486 486 CLT Green Line
rm1486

RMC1497 497 CLT Green Line
rm1497

RMC1507 507CLT Green Line
rm1507

RM1650 650 DYE Silver
rm1650a

RM1699 699 DYE 1960’s LT
rm1699a

RM1804 804 DYE MTL London
rm1804

RM1822 OWJ 112 Under restoration to London Buses route 159 branding
rm1822

RM1840 840 DYE 1960’s LT
rm1840

RM1842 842 DYE bus red
rm1842a

RM1871 ALD 871B Timebus Travel
rm1871

rm1871b

RM1955 ALD 955B London Buses
rm1955

RM1990 ALD 990B Reading Mainline
rm1990

RM1993 ALD 993B Southampton Citybus
rm1993

RM2037 ALM 37B 1980’s LT
rm2037

RM2060 ALM 60B Heritage route
rm2060

RM2097 ALM 97B 1980’s LT
rm2097

RM2116 CUV 116C LT 1983 Jubilee

rm2116
RM2173 CUV 173C 1960’s LT

rm2173
RM2179 CUV 179C 1960’s LT

rm2179
RM2180 CUV 180C 1980’s LT

RM2186 CUV 186C 1960’s LT
rm2186

RM2208 CUV 208C George Shillibeer
rm2208

RM2213 CUV 213C 1960’s LT
rm2213

RM2217 CUV 217C Arriva London
rm2217

RCL2229 CUV 229C 1960’s Green Line
rm2229

RML2262 CUV 262C Bus red
rm2262

RML2266 CUV 266C Bus red
rm2266

RML2267 CUV 267C 1960’s LT
rm2267

RML2271 CUV 271C London Central
rm2271

RML2276 CUV 276C London Central
rm2276

RML2284 CUV 284C Green (cut-down in preservation)
rm2284

RML2291 CUV 291C 1960’s LT / @thebus
rm2291

RML2304 CUV 304C Millwall Football Club
rm2304

RML2306 CUV 306C 1970’s LT
rm2306

RML2310 CUV 310C Timebus Travel
rm2310

RML2323 CUV 323C 1970’s National Bus Company
rm2323

RML2334 CUV 334C London Country
rm2334

RML2344 CUV 344C 1960’s LT
rm2344

RML2352 CUV 352C First London
rm2352

RML2363 CUV 363C 1960’s LT
rm2363

RML2364 JJD 364D 1980’s LT
rm2364a

RML2366 JJD 366D 1960’s LT
rm2366a

RML2393 JJD 393D 1980’s LT
rm2393

RML2396 JJD 396D London Central
rm2396

RML2400 JJD 400D 1980’s LT
rm2400

RML2412 JJD 412D London Transport (Country)
rm2412

RML2440 JJD 440D London Transport (Country)
rm2440

RML2452 JJD 452D Arriva London South
rm2452

RML2468 JJD 468D 1960’s LT
rm2468

RML2478 JJD 478D 1960’s LT
rm2478

RML2494 JJD 494D Route 38 branding
rm2494

RML2498 JJD 498D Buspitality
rm2498

RML2514 JJD 514D Kentish Bus
rm2514a

RML2516 JJD 516D The Ghost Bus
rm2516

RML2528 JJD 528D The Ghost Bus
rm2528a

RML2539 JJD 539D London Central
rm2539

RML2544 JJD 544D 1960’s LT
rm2544a

RML2589 JJD 589D London Buses
rm2589

RML2606 NML 606E Aurora Lighting
rm2606a

RML2620 NML 620E Metroline
rm2620

RML2660 SMK 660F Leaside Buses
rm2660

RML2663 NE-001H Bus red (all the way from Germany!)
rm2663a

RML2683 SMK 683F 1960’s LT
rm2683

RML2698 SMK 698F red
rm2698a

RML2699 SMK699F 1990’s London Buses
rm2699a

RML2715 SMK 715F London Transport Red
rm2715

RML2731 SMK 731F Metroline
rm2731

RML2740 SMK 740F LT Red
rm2740

RML2741 SMK 741F Pink
rm2741

RML2751 SMK 751F Bus red
rm2751a

RML2755 SMK 755F London Buses
rm2755

RML2760 SMK 760F 1980’s LT
rm2760

RMA28 KGJ 601D BEA
rma28

RMA58 NMY 655E 1960’s LT (red)
rma58

RMF2771 EYY 776B Red & Blue
rmf2771a

I did not manage to photograph the following Routemasters at this event (they were either only there on Saturday when I was not or I gave up on taking a photo because of the many people standing in front of them…):

RM254 VLT 254 1960’s LT
RM291 VLT 291 1960’s LT
RM471 KVS 601 1960’s LT
RM1274 LDS 67A 1960’s LT
RMC1485 485 CLT Ensignbus
RM1620 620 DYE 1970’s LT
RCL2226 CUV 226C Ensignbus
RCL2233 CUV 233C Green Line
RML2368 JJD 368D 1960’s LT
RML2391 JJD 391D London Buses
RML2394 JJD 394D 1960’s LT
RML2464 JJD 464D NatWest Bank
RML2583 JJD 583D 1960’s LT

Noticeably absent were: any ERMs, RM110 (cut-down), any RMAs with luggage trailer, RME1 (this is an extended RMA), RMC(CRL)4, RMF1254 and also any RMFs in NG livery. Also I had hoped there would be more RMs in provincial liveries (where these buses went in large numbers after their initial withdrawel in London – long before the last RMs ran in London…).

There were a few other non-Routemaster buses at the show:

19000 LX55 HGC Stagecoach London
19000

B2737 LH 8186 1914 General
b2737

DLA1 R101GNW Arriva
dla0001a

L2 A102 SYE 1980’s LT
l0002

LT60 LTZ 1060 2013 London
lt060

RT113 FXT 288 1939 LTPB
rt0113

T1 THX 401S 1980’s LT
t0001a

I missed:

RT2177 KGU 106 1950’s LT
STL2377 EGO 426 1937 LT