MODEL Routemaster (Lengthened)
YEAR 1966
BODY Park Royal
OWNER Henry Barter and Les Needs, Andover.
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.

RML 2372 was one of 524 Routemasters that were 30 feet long (the basic RM is 27' 6" long).  The extra length is evident from the additional square window in the middle of both decks, accommodating 4 extra double seats.  The vehicle was delivered new in 1966 to London Transport, and immediately it went on tour to Norway in April,  and in September the same year it went off to New York for a tour.  Finally arriving home in November the same year, she was allocated to Putney garage for route 14.  In 1972 she went to Chalk Farm garage, then in 1975 to Muswell Hill for route 13.  In 1990 a new Cummins engine was fitted, and a full refurbishment followed in 1992.  Privatisation came in 1994, and RML 2396 went to London Central (Go Ahead Group), based at Camberwell.  In 1995 she was branded for route 12, and this is the livery she sports currently.



Above photo taken at: Provincial Society Bus Rally, Fareham, Hants
Date: 7th August 2011



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Photographs Mike Smith 2011
None to be reproduced elsewhere without permission