MODEL Routemaster
YEAR 1956
BODY London Transport/Park Royal Vehicles
OWNER London Transport Museum
HISTORY RM1, the first Routemaster prototype, made its debut at the Commercial Motor Show in September 1954.  The vehicle was licensed as SLT56 on 11th January 1956, and after a spell of crew training, was allocated to route 2, Golders Green to Crystal Palace from 8th February 1956. The prototype had a different bonnet and grill to the final production design, but in 1964, RM1 was repainted and fitted with the standard Routemaster bonnet, grill and wings.  It went to driver training at Dalston, but was withdrawn from that duty in 1972.  Rather than being taken into preservation, it was sold to the Lockheed Corporation, for use in brake development trials in 1973.  Eventually, in 1981, RM1 was bought back by London Transport for preservation.  It was given a light overhaul and repaint, and became a show bus for special occasions.  

In 1986 it was donated to the care of the London Transport Museum, and from 1989 formed part of the LT Museum Collection.  It is retained in working order, in final London Transport condition, ie with an early standard radiator (red bar, no roundel) and ventilator front wings. It has occasionally been seen at rallies, and very occasionally meets up with the other prototypes. Having spent 38 years on other duties, RM1 was called back to revenue-earning passenger duties in February 1997, when it celebrated 40 years of Routemaster service in London by working on Route 2 to Crystal Palace for two days.  Since then it has appeared occasionally, notably during the festivities surrounding the withdrawal of Routemasters from normal service, and at special occasions such as the Bow Garage Centenary, operating in service.  Since 2009 it has appeared at various events in the south of England, as seen below
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Above photos taken at: The London Bus Museum's 2012 Spring Bus Gathering on Wisley Aerodrome.
Taken on: 29th April 2012




Above photos taken at: London Transport Museum Annex, Acton Town Open Weekend.
Taken on: 7th March 2009


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Photographs Mike Smith 2010-2012
None to be reproduced elsewhere without permission