58 (32 upstairs and 26 downstairs)
PA system which makes this bus ideal for tours of London.
Closing rear door, ideal for colder weather.
To compete with the ever growing popularity of commuting by train, London Transport, by way of its Green Line coach services introduced a new more luxurious Routemaster, the RMC. With better lighting, deeper seats, better heating, more speed and closable doors, they started operating in 1962-63. Today those features have been further enhanced by this particular example having gained a far more efficient and lower emission engine, whilst undergoing a full refurbishment inside and out. With these features this is the ideal bus if you are travelling slightly longer distances, or on faster roads, or in environmentally sensitive area. Having closable doors means the bus only requires one member of crew allowing the vehicle to be competitively priced against open platform buses that require two.
One of our most popular vehicles all year round, if you want to read more about its history then scroll down.
Routemaster Class History:
The Routemaster or RM is without doubt one of the most famous types of bus ever to run in the capital. The original necessity was for vehicles to replace the Trolleybus which was due for replacement in 1959. Following a lot of research it had been decided to increase the capacity of London’s buses from 56, such as the RT, to 64. Following numerous changes and nearly five years of development the RM finally entered service.
By 1962 the entire Trolleybus fleet had been replaced almost exclusively by Routemasters. In this period RM8-879 were all built and had entered service. Increasing the length and capacity of the RM was another contentious point, with both the Unions and Met Police being against the idea. However in 1961 a batch of 24, 30’ long 72 seat versions, known as the RML or Routemaster Lengthened, were built to trial. These took the numbers of RML880-904. Following this batch, whilst the trial continued with the longer versions, production continued on the standard length RM producing numbers RM905-1452.
The next version was the batch between RMC1453-1520, which were built as Routemaster Coaches (RMC). These had such delights as deeper more comfortable seats, Green Line livery, powered rear doors, twin headlamps and interior luggage racks and were far quicker.
Following this batch production again returned to the standard RM which ran through from the number RM1521-2217 which became the very last standard length RM built.
Following the success of the RMC’s the next batch to be built, which were by many, seen as the zenith of RM design being the RCL’s. These took the numbers from RCL2218-2260 and were built to replace the Green Line RT’s on the busy (but declining) routes from Essex into Aldgate. Similar in comfort levels to the RMC they were a longer and more powerful version
Permission had now been granted to run the longer RML’s in Central London and the final production batch ran from RML2261-2760 were all built to this specification. Two batches of 50 of these RML’s were built for the Country Area and were delivered in Green being RML2306-2355 and RML2411-2460.
The final type of RM to enter service with London Transport was the RMA, or Routemaster Airport, version which originally ran for British European Airways bringing passengers to and fro between Central London and Heathrow before the Underground was extended there.
The Routemaster was gradually withdrawn from London in the 1980’s before a change of plan saw many of the longer versions (and some standard length ones) be refurbished in 1990-92 when they received new engines, lighting and seating. In 2000-01 some had another refurbishment where they were fitted with more environmentally friendly engines and new gear boxes.
However, the policy changed in 2003 and the final 20 routes were given warning that at next change of contract the vehicles required would not be RM’s. One by one these routes were withdrawn with the very last, the 159’s, finishing on December 9, 2005. However, such is the popularity of this type of vehicle that around 16 were retained for use on two heritage routes in Central London.
For more on this class why not visit Ian's Bus Stop
The RMC was London Transports first attempt at a double deck coach and was aimed at keeping and indeed increasing its commuter market. 68 of these splendid vehicles were ordered of which 1485 was bang in the middle of the batch. RMC1485 entered service at Windsor garage in October 1962 and would spend almost exclusively the next 10 years of its life there working mainly on the Green Line commuter route 715.
Following the break up of London Transports Central and Country Areas, the country area operating the green buses was renamed London Country and RMC1485 transferred to the new company. Following a brief period at St Albans, the vehicle then moved to Dartford where it continued its commuter work on the route 499 until 1975, when on gaining the new light coloured NBC green it spent a nomadic period working at St. Albans, Garston, Swanley and Chelsham to name a few. Withdrawn in 1980 it went to Victoria Docks for storage long with hundreds of other surplus buses of the day.
London Transport was at this time buying back any and all Roiutemasters it could get its hands on and 1485 passed back to them in 1980 as a trainer based at Willesden. Somewhat surprisingly it made a return to commuter work in 1989, when it was transferred to Upton Park garage to be used on the Express X15 service where it received a smart red and gold livery. It remained at Upton Park throughout the privatisation period and thus ended up with Stagecoach East London, who eventually withdrew it in August 2003.
A new life was found for it, this time in Edinburgh as it was purchased by Lothian Buses for use on their Mac Tours vintage tourist service. It underwent a full refurbishment here that included a new low emission engine to meet Edinburgh’s requirements as well as numerous other modifications. After five years in Edinburgh it was sold to Ensignbus and as the last version of the Routemaster class we did not have an example of was retained in our vintage fleet.
Date of first registration: 18 October 1962
Chassis: AEC Routemaster
Chassis number: RMC1485 - R2RH1481
Engine: Cummins B series Euro 2
Chassis/Body Code: tbc
Body: Park Royal
Body Number: 4761
Seating: 58 seats (32 upstairs & 26 downstairs)