ROUTEMASTER STRAIGHT OUT OF THE FACTORY
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Notes About This Vehicle

This drawing attempts to show a typical Routemaster (an RML in this drawing) as it would have emerged from the body builders, Park Royal Vehicles.
These vehicles did not have a conventional chassis – one of many measures to reduce weight. Instead there were separate front and rear sub-frames with the body being integral to the overall structure.
The ‘A’ frame carried the engine, steering column, pedal gear and front axle; the rear ‘B’ frame carried the rear axle and suspension.
Sub-frames, engines and mechanical running units were built by AEC (almost a quarter of the resulting fleet had Leyland engines in due course) and then delivered to Park Royal to receive their bodies.
Sub-frames were delivered by lorry the ‘A’ frame from AEC’s factory in Southall, London (more correctly, Middlesex, during most of the time these buses were being built) and the rear ‘B’ frame from the AEC-owned Maudslay plant at Coventry initially but latter also from Southall. The two sub-frames were only united when a body at an advanced stage of construction was ready to receive them and were never otherwise joined as a pair until overhaul when they were separated from their body.
AEC-engined RM632 was chosen in which to test the Leyland engine and driven to the latter’s factory where the engines were swapped. For the production run of buses equipped as such, Leyland engines were delivered to Southall and fitted at AEC’s works.
AEC-engined RM632 was chosen in which to test the Leyland engine and driven as such to the latter’s factory where the engines were swapped. I have not been able to establish at which point production Leyland engines were fitted to their ‘A’ frames, but logic says at Southall.
In this drawing the blind boxes have their wiring and light bulbs in place, awaiting their screen printed roller blinds to be fitted according to which garage the bus would be allocated for service. Though printed and made at Aldenham, the blinds were fitted at the garages to which each bus was delivered for service.
The vehicle looks somewhat naked here, bereft of advertisements that would usually have been applied on arrival at Aldenham Works.
New buses were driven on trade plates from Park Royal to Aldenham where they were licensed, though tax disks were applied at the garages. The garages also painted on their code from April 1961, these superseding stencils from that time.

Notes About This Drawing

The drawing is based on a Chiswick Works general arrangement drawing from 1961, (‘ER001.Z.1’) revised a few times to 1965. This type of black & white sketch drawing, as implied by the name, is not intended to define detail but as a specification guide to builders.
All the fine detail has been interpreted from several black & white and colour photographs of sufficient quality that could be found and attempts to show the vehicle as closely as possible to how it looked when it entered service. None of the detail can be regarded as definitive.
It should be understood that all four elevations are seen here as one would see each part of the vehicle at a truly perpendicular angle. In real life this is of course impossible.
 
drawing copyright Douglas Rose January 2017
 
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