PRESERVED BUSES & COACHES

FLEET No RTL 1323
REG MLL 685
MAKE LEYLAND
MODEL RTL, 
YEAR 1952
BODY Park Royal Vehicles
OWNER Phil & Gareth Blair, Winchester, Hants.
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 1323 entered service in 1952 at Hackney garage on route 106.  She was bought by Don Allmey for preservation, and in 1997 was preserved at Cobham Bus Museum in Green Line livery. In 2006 the bus was bought by Phil & Gareth Blair of Winchester, and repainted red with a cream band.

 

 

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

 

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