RML2261 to RML2760 Country
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Notes About This Vehicle

The first batch of 24 lengthened vehicles, RMLs 880 to 903, were introduced in November 1961 and deemed a success. It was therefore surprising that hundreds more of the shorter RMs continued to roll off the production line for a further three-and-a-half years.
The luxury coaches interrupted these with fleet numbers RMC1453 to 1520 and then further RMs were built. The first batch of longer vehicles to then follow were the 43 RCLs, which were extended (and slightly modified) versions of the RMC type.
It wasn’t until fleet number 2261 was reached that further RMLs were produced and turned out to be the final evolution of London’s most successful and longest lived bus.
The on-going quest to improve the aesthetics of the front wings was ultimately resolved on the RCLs. Brake grilles had been blanked off on earlier RMs as no longer required and were eliminated completely from the RCLs onwards. Other changes included the lowering of the edge of the wings, to sweep a continuous line with the bottom of the radiator trim, a consequence of which was also the lowering of the registration plate and fog lamp.
Among other outward differences compared with the earlier RMLs were all features introduced at different times on earlier RMs: an AEC style London Transport radiator badge; the removal of ‘Routemaster’ above the fleet number; removal of the rear offside route blind box; reduced height air-intakes below the front blinds; grey relief band instead of cream between the decks; and of course London Transport’s legal lettering status had changed from Executive to Board from January 1963.
This final run of 500 Routemasters were RMLs, the first of which was delivered in July 1965. (From October of that year, the rear offside indicators were re-positioned to the right.) Production continued up to fleet number RML2760 at which point production ceased in February 1968.
The majority were red, with two batches of 50 interspersed in country area green; the bus in this depiction was from the second one.
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 when it entered 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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