One-Man Operation Green Line RF
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Notes About This Vehicle

The AEC Regal MkIV with Metro-Cammell bodywork was introduced by London Transport from 1951, with the fleet designation ‘RF’; this eventually reaching 700 in number.
In its first decade of reliable service only a few external modifications were made. A third, more central, roof air intake was added very early on and a horizontal grab rail inside the front nearside window was added within the first few years; rear reflectors were added from 1954 and the confusing bi-directional rear offside indicators were replaced by two single arrows nearside and offside, as they were too on other London Transport buses of the period.
Much later, in March 1966 a new livery was tried on RF136. Soon afterwards a further 174 RFs were modernized to this design, though the experimental rounded mudguards on RF136 were not regarded as aesthetically pleasing and the standard square-topped design was retained.
Other notable alterations to these vehicles included a single piece front window for the driver’s cab, with a sweeping curve upwards and inwards.
Apart from the hub cover and AEC badge, the wheels were now green throughout, unlike on RF136. Far more obvious was the elimination of the narrow light green window surround relief bands, replaced by a much broader one below and capitalized italic fleet brand within. This had consequences, with tiny fleet numbers resulting and lowered garage and running number stencils.
Fashionable during the 1960s, the front of the vehicles sported twin headlamps. Flanking these were bright orange indicators instead of the rubber surrounded ‘elephant ear’ type first fitted in 1956 and generally from 1959.
Both front and rear elevations now displayed Green Line bar & circles in yellow with registration plates re-positioned lowered as a consequence of other style updates. The overall effect was in my opinion rather smart.

Notes About This Drawing

The drawing is based on a general arrangement drawing of unknown date and origin. 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 RF281. This bus was converted to one-man operation and is now privately preserved. The detail should not be viewed with any certainty in terms of its appearance when in service and none of it 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 March 2018
 
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