This page created 22nd March 1998 by Ian Smith, updated 29th December 2010.

GREEN LTs? The vast majority of the LTs were red Central buses, whether double or single deckers. But there were a handful of green LTs:

  • an essay by Chiswick to produce a GreenLine double-decker, an attempt to be repeated in Q188, RTC1, and CRL4, finding fruition eventually in the RMCs and RCLs;
  • a pair of Country "scooters", eventually transferred to the Central area;
  • the only real coach in the London Transport Hire fleet, acquired from Hillmans of Romford;
  • the fleet of dumpy Private Hire LTCs.
LT1137 drawing

The GreenLine double-decker LT: LT1137 (Total 1) 1/1LTL2

LT1137 was the first character in a long saga of London Transport: the quest for the double decker GreenLine coach. The chassis, and hence the number, belonged to a stillborn Central Area LTL Scooter. As such it was a longer chassis than the red double-deckers, and to fit within the regulations both chassis and body were shortened at the rear by a bay.
A 110mm bore diesel engine provided the extra power at the front.

The 1931 Chiswick body design was based on the Scooter design, with an open front entrance, but with a top deck. The roof had a distinctly humped shape, with an slide-opening section. The staircase was at the rear, over the offside pair of wheels. It seated 54. A single line destination display was mounted over the cab, while a display up on the front of the roof displayed the Green Line legend. It went to work at Reigate in September 1931, working on Green Line E (Bushey - London - Crawley).
LT1137 drawing

But it seems not to have been a hit as a GreenLine coach: coach passengers complained of travel sickness and bemoaned both the lack of luggage space and the long walk to the stairs - and back!.

Early modifications included the fitting of an external sliding door, which meant moving the fuel-tank filler backwards.
Its regular run became Green Line route J (Watford - London - Reigate) under London Transport auspices, from October 1933. But performance was still not satisfactory, and LT1137 was transferred to Hatfield, where it worked on route 330. As a bus it was given black mudguards, and probably a cream cant-rail band.

LT1137 drawing London Transport were apparently still not happy with the body, for it was drastically modified in 1935: the sliding roof was replaced by a fixed panel; the staircase was moved to the front; the roof-front display was removed and a taller bus-type display box replaced the single line display. Fittings for route boards disappeared from the sides. It lost its sliding door. Oddly, the fuel filler was moved forwards again. Livery changed to two-tone green at some date.

It remained on bus duties during the remainder of the thirties,mainly on the 330 route from Hatfield (Welwyn Garden City - St.Albans - Hemel Hempstead). It was transferred to St Albans in January 1939, still on the 330. It was retired in late September 1939 due to wartime cuts, and stored at St.Albans and then Chiswick tram depot. But it returned to St.Albans in January 1941. In November/December it was overhauled, receiving green and white livery with a matt grey roof. It lasted for a further year, being withdrawn to store in November 1942. It was stored at Romford (the Hillman garage), and then at the old AEC works at Walthamstow.

October 1943 saw it start a new career as a trainer, first at Kingston and then, from July 1944, at Hounslow. In October 1944 it went on loan to AEC at Southall for use in engine trials.

It was reportedly used as a test bed for a General Motors 2-stroke engine, before being returned to Chiswick in April 1946 and subsequently scrapped.

LT1137 history

The Green Single Decker LTLs: LT1427 and LT1428 (Total 2) 2LTL3

LCGS LTL drawing When the London General Omnibus Company separated off its Country subsidiaries as London General Country Services (LGCS) in 1932, they gave it a dowry of some new buses. As well as the Bluebird STs, there were two Country Scooters, to the same design as the 199 built for the Central Area.

They were built in 1932, and went in July to Reigate, where they started their Country service, in General red livery. They were tried out on the 410 (Bromley - Westerham - Redhill - Reigate), but must have been woefully underpowered for Westerham Hill, besides having fewer seats than the PS double-deckers otherwise used. Low-height double-deck LTs may have been considered for the 410, but the Weymann lowbridge STLs were bought instead.

Country LT drawing They were moved to Windsor (WR) to take over the 503 Uxbridge service for a while, before settling at Dorking (DS) and Guildford (GF) to share the Dorking - Guildford route 425 with AEC Q-types. Livery became Green Line green with black trimmings plus silver roof when they had their Reigate overhauls in 1933.

In 1935 Chiswick called them in for overhaul, numbered them and gave them new LT body numbers (despite having given them Chiswick body-numbers when built). They were also repainted again, into green, green, silver livery.

They were made redundant by Regals in June 1939, and went into store, only to be briefly reinstated at St.Albans in September. They went back into store until February 1941, when St.Albans again used them (with a red colleague) on the 355 service to Radlett airfield, where their capacity, especially when converted to perimeter seating, was appreciated. They were returned to store in September 1942, and went for storage at Walthamstow).

LT1428 drawing They were moved to the Central Area in 1944 to join the bulk of the scooters, and received Central Area red, white, black and brown livery, although they retained their Country-Area blue seat moquette. LT 1427 seems to have settled on the 227 route, at Elmers End (ED) and then Bromley (TB), while LT 1428 made its home at Sutton on the 213. Both received second-hand diesel engines in 1950. Although not rebuilt, LT 1428 was repainted at Chiswick overhaul in 1950 in overall red, with a cream gutter line, and returned to Sutton until January 1953.

LT1427, 1428 histories

The Private Hire LT: LT1429 (total 1) 3LTL4

LT1429 drawing LT 1429 was not built for the LGOC, but for Edward Hillman's Saloon Coaches of Romford. It was taken into the LPTB fleet on the takeover of Hillman by LT in January 1934. It was a Harrington bodied 30ft long luxury coach, seating a modest 32. It was clearly unsuitable for stage carriage services, and spent its time in the private hire fleet, showing the rest of that fleet what a coach really looked like.

Why LT built the LTCs rather than more of these is not obvious. Perhaps the Traffic Commissioner objected to more 30 ft long vehicles in London streets. In 1939 it was displaced by the new TF private hire coaches, and was placed in store in May. Along with most of the private hire TFs it was destroyed when Bull Yard was bombed in October 1940.

LT 1137 history LT1427-8 histories LT1429 history photo refs Bus Stop LT index. Part 5: Scooters Part 7: LTCs.