AEC Regent Early Post-War RT
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Notes About This Vehicle

The life of what was to become a large fleet of RTs commenced just before the Second World War. The first such vehicles became known as ‘pre-war RTs’ though in truth this was a bit misleading with them actually entering service when the war had already started.
The interruption of the war provided time for the ‘post-war RTs’ to have significant developmental differences. The front route number roof box was retained though the rear one was dropped. In due course the front roof boxes were omitted on the later buses and an under canopy blind was added instead of the metal route number plate. Also notable was the arrangement for the cab windows which lost their curved bottoms. The lifting of wartime ‘blackout’ restrictions allowed the rather handsome application of cream upper deck window surrounds.
The engines, chassis and running units were built by AEC with a four different companies building the bodies. The majority were from Park Royal Vehicles and Weymann, though others were supplied by Saunders and Craven.
Fleet numbers started at RT152 and reached RT4825. These existed variously in red (central area), green (country area) and Green Line. This figure of 4825 is a little misleading as a separate batch of 1631 similar buses was built with Leyland units and all but one with bodies from Park Royal and Metro-Cammell; these were designated RTLs. The RT family conformed to the then standard legislation restricting them to 7ft 6ins width; the RTLs conformed too. When legislation later permitted 8ft-wide buses, further Leyland vehicles, bodied by themselves, were built to this width, with fleet numbers RTW1 to RTW500.
The first post-war RTs arrived in 1947 with progress severely hampered owing to extreme shortages of raw materials; the last being delivered in 1959.
Inevitably during this time body features developed. The rear roof boxes of the Pre-War RTs were omitted meaning the route number was included in the rear blind. Happily the side blind could be the same and eliminate the route number plate to the left of the platform. The equivalent on the offside was smaller than on the pre-war buses.
For a short while the front and side valances above the engine were as on the pre-war vehicles though these were soon reduced in height and a smaller nearside mirror fitted for the driver. The earlier type is depicted here.
The under canopy route number plates on the early post-war buses followed the style of those of pre-war. Later on a vertical route number plate was fixed to the front face of the short-lived ‘trafficator’ semaphore arms on the front bulkhead, which in turn was superseded by a roller blind.

Notes About This Drawing

The drawing is based on an undated Chiswick Works general arrangement drawing ‘RT0027’ (probably). 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. Owing to the age of the photographs, some fine detail has been gleaned from current preserved vehicles, though these are far from consistent. 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 January 2017
 
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