Routemaster RM1521 to RM2217
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Notes About This Vehicle

Following the batch of 68 RMCs, red buses continued to come off the production line at Park Royal Vehicles between February 1963 and March 1965. They were numbered from RM1521 upwards to RM2217, though of course they did not come into service in the same order. Though this run of vehicles could be regarded as the eventual standard, the design continued to evolve.
London Transport’s status changed from an Executive to the London Transport Board on 1st January 1963, though it wasn’t until RM1601 reflected this change on the legal lettering on the front nearside lower panel.
However, during these two years the most notable revisions to the outer appearance included: the replacement of the London Transport symbol on the bonnet with an AEC-style triangular badge from most buses numbered from RM1662; the omission of the rear offside route number box from RM1743; the blanking off of the front wing brake grilles, as no longer necessary from RM1902; the dropping of the ‘Routemaster’ legend above the two fleet numbers from RM2046; the introduction of half-height front air intake allowing the cream relief band to become continuous from RM2063.
In addition, the last few buses in this production run received the standard new drab grey relief bands, instead of cream. This change was also applied to other bus types in the London Transport fleet. From October 1965 the rear offside indicator was moved farther right, to comply with new regulations.
A further change that affected all London Transport buses was the downgrading of rear destination blinds. Experiments were carried out by masking off the rear via points and leaving the route number looking somewhat lost, to the extreme left of an otherwise blank blind. This having been deemed a success, gradually phased in from 1965, via points were no longer included, but with the route number placed in the centre of the blind. This was a strange decision for two reasons as well as passengers losing useful information, it also meant that two sets of blinds would be needed, where previously the rear blind had been the same as the one on the nearside above the platform.
RM2217 was the last of the class to be built, though further evolutions of the design continued to be incorporated in the run of luxury coach Green Line RCLs and 500 RMLs in country area green and central area red.
The bus in this drawing shows it with the modifications noted above, as it might have looked in 1966.

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 within its early time in 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 March 2018
 
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