London Transport Buses

This page was last modified on 10 October 2002.

I’m not into London Buses in quite the same way as I’m into the London Underground, but it’s certainly an endearing part of our transport heritage, and one that I have ended up taking a few pictures of on occasion. I cheerfully admit that this page is by no means a complete, exhaustive or definitive view of any type of bus — just me “dipping my toe in the water”. However, since originally writing this meagre page, I have:

Despite all this I still can’t claim to be “into” London Buses very much, though I do get to see a lot of them twice per day on many of my working days. I must admit that I yearn for a chance to drive a Routemaster in service, even if only once!

[PHOTO: Red London Bus of old variety: 51kB]

Above: An RCL at Tottenham Hale station

In late 1998, I attended the London Omnibus Transport Society’s annual sale, which — like for several years up to & including 2001 — took place at the Lea Valley Leisure Centre at Pickett’s Lock, Edmonton, North London. The nearest Underground station, Tottenham Hale, is a couple of miles away and so a free bus service was laid on; the operator was Blue Triangle.

Seen in the forecourt of Tottenham Hale (with the tube station’s ventilation shaft visible in the background) is an RCL. I thought it was an RM, but have been corrected. It’s obvious when someone points it out: the RCL has twin headlights whereas Routemasters have single ones. Anyone could see that, but there is a raft of other differences including a larger engine & body and a generally more comfortable, express-type specification inside. I am informed that this particular example has since been repainted into original Green Line livery.

[PHOTO: Red London Bus of even-older variety: 29kB]

Above: At the bus-stop outside Pickett’s Lock Leisure Centre, an even older type of bus turned up — an RT, which is extremely rare nowadays. Note the Blue Triangle motif just visible on the radiator-grille. There were several types of RT, built by each of Weymans, Park Royal, Cravens, and Saunders; all are fitted with AEC engines. In addition, there were two further types: RTL — a Leyland version — and RTW, which was 8ft wide.

Thanks to Bob Baxter for supplying information about the RTs.
Thanks to Kevin McGowan for lots of material about the RCL, and a bit about RTs.