PRESERVED BUSES & COACHES

FLEET No RTL 1163
REG LYF 104
MAKE LEYLAND
MODEL Titan
YEAR 1951
BODY Park Royal Vehicles
OWNER P Cousens, Devon
HISTORY The RT-type standard London Transport bus was introduced in 1946, and reigned supreme until the mid-1960s.  The early RTs had a route number box on the roof, but this was replaced by a three-piece display between the front windows for the vast majority of RTs.  Although the first RTs had AEC chassis and engines, to increase production numbers, Leyland were contracted to produce chassis/engines to a similar specification to the AEC, with a requirement to interchange bodies regardless of chassis make.  The only distinguishing feature was the radiator which had no vertical line, nor the AEC triangle at the top.

RTL vehicles had bodies manufactured by Park Royal, Weymann (30 vehicles) or Metro-Cammell.  The Metro-Cammell bodied buses were RTL 551-1000 (450 vehicles). They had 56 seats, 26 lower, 30 upper.  The RTLs were originally allocated to particular garages which were Leyland-only, resulting in most bus routes being either AEC or Leyland.  In later years some garages had a mixture of AEC and Leyland buses.  As passenger numbers fell during the 1960s, London Transport sold off the Leyland buses, preferring to standardise on AEC vehicles, although some of the Routemasters which eventually replaced the RT were Leyland engined.

RTL 1163 entered service in 1951 at Walworth garage as a tram replacement vehicle.  In 1955 she transferred to Stockwell.  She was sold to Harding Coaches in London in 1963.  In 1989 the bus was on passenger duty in London for the 50th anniversary of the RT type buses.  She went into full time preservation in 1996 and was acquired by the present owner in 2008.

 

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Above photos taken at: Warminster Annual Bus Running Day.
Taken: 9th October 2011

 

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Photographs Mike Smith 2011
None to be reproduced elsewhere without permission
mjs@onlineweb.com