LEYLAND RTW
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Notes About This Vehicle

The life of what was to become a large fleet of RTs commenced just before the Second World War.
The engines, chassis and running units were built by AEC with four different companies building the bodies (apart from the early vehicles built by London Transport at its Chiswick Works). The majority of bodies came from Park Royal Vehicles and Weymann, though others were supplied by Saunders and Craven. The Park Royal and Weymann bodies were almost identical from the outside.
The highest fleet number reached was RT4825 and these existed variously in red (central area), green (country area) and Green Line. This figure is a little misleading as a separate batch of 1631 similar buses were built with Leyland units and all but one with bodies from Park Royal and Metro-Cammell; these were separately designated RTL.
The RT family conformed to the then standard legislation restricting them to 7ft 6ins width; the RTLs conformed too. When legislation later permitted 8ft-wide buses, further Leyland vehicles, this time bodied by themselves, were built to this width with fleet numbers RTW1 to RTW500. RTWs were outwardly visually as similar as practical to the much larger quantity of 7ft 6ins RTs and RTLs.
The increase of six inches in width resulted in a wider cab and corresponding front passenger window, and both on the upper deck. Spacers were used to push the front wheels farther apart on the standard chassis, though the rear wheels were not and had the appearance of being inset.
Internally an extra one inch spacer was fitted to the outer body side of the seats with the remaining fours inches devoted to making the gangway wider.
The depiction here has 1950s adverts, the exact years of which are not known to me. The small rubber buffers for the rear upper deck emergency exit meant RTWs often didn’t carry the standard Quad Crown sized adverts, the size of which were also customarily displayed on the fronts. When rear upper deck adverts were fitted they looked rather strange, being pushed halfway round the sides.
When new to London Transport, the vehicle in this drawing entered service in November 1950 from Battersea garage and was built on chassis: Ld 6RT 504335. During its life it went through the usual overhaul practices and by the time it was withdrawn carried body number 3335 as it still does in private preservation today.
RTW467’s final garage was Brixton, having been there from May 1966. When withdrawn, along with many others it was reserved for sale to Ceylon, but because it had been the last one in service it was targeted for private preservation. It was stored at Shepherds Bush and finally handed over on 4th March 1967.

Notes About This Drawing

The drawing is based on Chiswick Works RTL general arrangement drawing ‘RT005 Z.I.’ dated 5th October 1949. 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 dozens of colour photographs of four preserved RTWs though these are not necessarily representative of how they looked when entering 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 April 2017
 
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