Routemaster (central) RML2261 to RML2760
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Notes About This Vehicle

The final batch of Routemasters to be built were of the lengthened RML design and commenced delivery in July 1965. Four hundred arrived in central area red livery, with two runs of 50 in country area green interspersed.
RML2261 to 2305 were in red, 2306 to 2355 in green, 2356 to 2410 red, 2411 to 2460 green, and 2461 to 2760 red. From October 1965, the rear offside indicators were re-positioned to the right, as a result of a change in legislation.
Production of arguably London’s most successful and long-lived bus ceased in February 1968 and the final flourish was duly delivered. This drawing represents the final evolution of these fine buses and the highest fleet number of RML2760 reached, thought it wasn’t the last to commence passenger service.
In 1965 an experiment saw the removal of via points from rear blinds by blanking them out, leaving the route number somewhat isolated to the left of the display area. The outcome was that the number only display was centred, causing a different set of blinds to be required; until then the rear and above-platform blinds were the same.
The Aldenham Works overhaul system routinely caused original sub-frames and bodies to part company on entry and commonly come back together in all sorts of different combinations and fleet identities. From the earliest days newly overhauled buses became hybrids of different stages of design evolution; most visibly obvious were early bodies without opening front upper deck windows appearing with much higher fleet numbers.
By the time the last new buses to be delivered came round for overhaul, London’s buses had seen a significant change in policy and, as it happened, RML2760, depicted here, remains in preservation today with its original body, as delivered to Upton Park garage.
London Transport (and its successors) have often received adverse criticism for ‘over-doing it’ and it may be hard to defend the cost of such a high quality fleet compared with the rest of the country. I would however question the benefit of the alternative – short-term, cheapest-buy policies, which all but guarantee poorer quality.
The Routemaster was the last production vehicle to have been designed by London Transport and its predecessors since the earliest days of motor buses. Government insistence that it bought ‘off-the-peg’ buses put paid to the continuance of a proud and justifiably world-renowned tradition of quality in favour of the balance sheet. Some sixty years on from RM1, the Routemaster has not been surpassed in unladen weight per passenger ratio.

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 soon after it entered service in March 1968. 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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