YEAR 1949
BODY Park Royal Vehicles
OWNER London Bus Museum, Brooklands, Surrey
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 139 entered service at Riverside (Hammersmith) garage in 1949 on routes 17 and 72.  She was withdrawn from service in 1967 and went to a bus museum in Holland.  That museum closed in 1996 and the vehicle was purchased for the London Bus Museum, arriving there in 1998.  She was used in London on various last crew bus days during 2004.  She moved to the new LBM at Brooklands in 2011 and is sometimes used for the Weybridge station shuttle.



Above photos taken at: London Bus Museum, Brooklands, Surrey
Taken: 26th February 2012


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Photographs Mike Smith 2012
None to be reproduced elsewhere without permission