MODEL Routemaster
YEAR 1959
BODY Park Royal
OWNER Arriva
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 5 was the first of the production Routemasters (the first four being prototypes).  It began work at Willesdon in 1959 on route 8, but was transferred to West Ham as part of the trollybus replacement programme.  She was also operational at Peckham,  Sidcup and Palmers Green where she spent eight years on route 29.  In 1984 she became a showbus, but occasionally worked on passenger services.  In 1994 she was transferred to the privatised Leaside Buses which became part of Arriva in 1998.  In 2002 she was fitted with a new AEC engine, and was seen on the final Routemaster days of various routes in 2004.  She is now an Arriva showbus, and is available for hire.



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