One-Man Operated Central 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.

The first 25 vehicles were 27ft 6ins long, with air-operated doors and glass roof panels intended for private hire.

Several variations on the theme followed, all 30ft long. These included Green Line coaches, crew operated red central area, and green country area buses.

Early on the front roof air intake was added and within five years a horizontal handrail was added inside the front nearside window. From 1956 some buses changed colour and some received doors for one-man operation; some buses also changed their fleet number in order to keep red and green vehicles in coherent numbering series.

Depicted here in mid-1960s condition, many changes may be noted from as built. Front ‘elephant ear’ indicators were fitted in 1959 as well equivalent separate rear arrows. Rear reflectors and a fog lamp were added as well as a reversing warning light. Visually disappointing was the change of cream relief bands to grey and the information reduction of the rear blind to route number only.

The legal requirement to display the maximum speed limit ceased from 1961 and ‘London Transport Executive’ had been superseded by the ‘London Transport Board’. 

When converted to one-man operation, the seating capacity was reduced to 39 and, obviously, the addition of doors. Less obvious perhaps is the change of two-piece driver’s door window being changed to three, with the middle section as a slider and the whole door being hinged. A further consequence was the change of unladen weight.

Many of the buses converted to doored operation had the lower panel to the right of the nearside front wheel remaining fixed, as shown here. Those built with doors in the first place had this panel removable for access.

Notes About This Drawing

The drawing is based on a general arrangement drawing ‘RF019.Z1’ revised to 1964. 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 contemporary black & white photographs. Also used were more recent colour images. 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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