FLEET No RM 2186
MODEL Routemaster (Lengthened)
YEAR 1965
BODY Park Royal
HISTORY The London Routemaster is the iconic London double decker bus.  The prototype was built in 1954, and full production began in 1958, continuing until 1968.  It was designed to replace the previous RT series buses, and the London trollybuses.  The chassis and engine were by AEC for most Routemasters, but some were manufactured by Leyland.  The Leyland versions however, had no visible external differences from the AECs.  The Routemaster was the last bus designed by London Transport.  When Routemaster replacements were introduced in the 1970s, standard production models were purchased from various manufacturers.

The Routemaster, with half cab and rear platform entrance, was designed for two-person operation, and was under threat from the 1970s when front-entranced, one-man-operation  buses were introduced to central London.  Nevertheless, Routemasters saw continuous service in London until 2005, and they remain on two heritage routes (9 and 15) in central London.  It is estimated that there are some 1,000 Routemasters of the 2,876 built still in existence.

RM 2186 was new in 1965 at Hackney garage for routes 6 and 6A.  The following year, the bus transferred to Hendon for route 113.  In early 1979 she was one of 12 to 14 buses that were painted in the livery below to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first omnibus service in London, introduced by George Shillibeer in 1829.  Late the same year she was repainted red.  With privatisation in 1994 the bus transferred to MTL London Northern.  She was sold in 1999 and was used as a courtesy bus in Newcastle upon Tyne.  She was purchased for preservation in 2002 by T Mann, and was returned to the Shillibeer livery.




Above photo taken at: Cobham London Bus Museum Spring Gathering at Dunsfold Aerodrome, Surrey.
Taken on: 10th April 2011


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Photographs Mike Smith 2011
None to be reproduced elsewhere without permission