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This page created on 6th July 1998, updated 25th September 2004
The Test RigsThe numbers RM5, 6 and 7 were originally allotted to three sets of running units from the start of the production run. Set 001 was set aside, and not immediately used.
Sets 002 and 003 were fitted to rudimentary test bodies, that each had an RT driving cab, an engineers' saloon and platforms for sandbags. These enabled the weight distribution for a loaded Routemaster to be simulated. The rigs were fitted up with the minimum requirements for road use (a headlight, sidelights, rear lights, brake lights and reflectors, a rear guard and a casing over the machinery).
They were used to gain information about the performance of the suspension, power steering, automatic gearbox and the hydraulic brakes, in normal bus use. They were loaded with sandbags and sent to trail particular buses in normal service use, stopping at bus-stops, etc, and so became known as the slave rigs.
The strange beasts started work in August 1958.
They became redundant once enough production buses were operating,
and as planned received proper bodies. The original numbers, RM5-7, had
been re-allocated in the meantime, so 002 became RM341, in July 1960;
003 became 398 in October 1960; and the spare set of running gear, 001,
became RM459, also in October 1960.
Photographic ReferencesFor a key to the references see the bibliography.
RM_1 p41 002, (015 GH) at Ludgate Circus BM3RM p24 002, (015 GH), parked. RMB p28 002, (015 GH), parked rear o/s H58 p116 002, (015 GH), on route 11, Buckingham Palace Rd H59 p66 003, (432 GF), on route 52, at Victoria
Ian's Bus Stop RM Contents CRL4 Slaverigs RM8