Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith,

This page created on 16th December 2004

The Long Buses, RML 880-RML903, RML2261-RML2760

Part Seven: 2005: Finale?

Route 36 loses its conductors

Route 36, operated by New Cross garage, converted to opo on 29th January. I went down for the occasion, and enjoyed the day very much. The route itself was worked by a mixture of RMs and RMLs, whilst a crowd of visiting buses came to play a part, mainly from the RT family. Some buses worked long-dead sections of the 36 family of routes such as the 36 to Hither Green and 36A to Brockley Rise. The 36B was remembered by Stagecoach, who work the replacement 136, and their corporate liveried RML2665 worked it as the 36B during the day. A full report of my day's activities, mostly with RT1702,can be found here.

RML2578 at New Cross Garage, 29th Jan 2005 RML2665 at Grove Park on 36B, 29th Jan 2005

RML2578 still in business, just, on the 36 at New Cross Garage, 29th January 2005. RML2665 was working the 136 as a 36B for the day.
The RMLs from New Cross either went for sale to Ensign Bus or went to replace defective examples at Putney, while PVLs took over the 36.

19 no more

Route 19, which had caused such interest when Kentish Bus had won it from London Buses in 1992, was formally converted to opo on 2nd April 2005. In fact, conversion had started during March with new VLAs standing in for the anticipated DWs, and RMLs went away to store or sale. The "last RM" day, 1st April was marked with a flurry of activity, with four RMLs remaining (2347, 2382, 2387 and 2533), plus some of Arriva's RMs and a gathering of visitors. The RMLs were all quickly transferred away, as Battersea had considerable space problems, and the remaining RMs went to Brixton for the 159. RML2533 off-route from the 19 crosses Trafalgar Square

Route 19 does not touch Trafalgar Square, so RML2533 was off-route as well as "Not in Service" in October 2001.

Putney: Farewell to 14 and 22

Although London General at Putney had expected to operate the 14 and the 22 with RMLs for some time yet, pressure for opo conversion was such that they replaced the RMLs with new Volvo B7TLs on 23rd July 2005.

RML2612 near Piccadilly Circus on 22 RML2640 in Putney on 14

RML2612 terminates near Piccadilly Circus on route 22, July 2003. RML2640 is closer to home in Putney in June 2000.

Unlucky 13

The 13 was predominantly an RM route, using the "new" Marshall rebuilds, but that did not stop its conversion on 21st October 2005. The "Marshall"s were whisked away to store at Tolworth, or for preparation for the Heritage Routes, due to start in November.

RM1913 on 13 RM2089 on 13.

Marshall rebuilds on the 13: RM1913 at Charing Cross, RM2089 near Piccadilly Circus.

The 38 bends to the inevitable

I happened to be in London the last few days of RMLs on route 38, and travelled on one on the Wednesday, 26th October, from Holborn to Victoria. I was at Victoria two days later, and had a ride out to Clapton Pond on RT3062 to watch what was happening. It was quite a day, with a variey of visitors operating on the route, including a surprise appearance by RMF1254!

RML2401 approaches Victoria on the last day RML2534 leaves Victoria for Clapton Pond.

Last day scenes: RML2401 approaches Victoria pursued by a representative of its doom, a Mercedes Citaro bendibus, and RML2534 leaves for Clapton Pond.

Routemaster Goodbye on the 159

The 159 was a route I did not know at all. I stayed away on the last couple of days, in December 2005, knowing that it would be my vision of hell: noise, crowds, emotion... It was. The 159 was mainly an RM route, including an influx of refurbished examples, but there were some RMLs in the mix too, as well as many visitors. I was glad I wasn't there.

RM1801 leaves Trafalgar Square on the 159

Farewell to the Routemaster: RM1801 heads west on route 159.
Now the only RML that was left running in service in London was RML2760, on occasional forays on Heritage Route 15. But there was of course a massive takeup of RMLs into preservation, despite their revised engines and revised lighting and electrics. They were not dead, just gone before..

Part Five: 2004 photo references bus histories

Ian's Bus Stop RM Contents RCLs RMLs RMFs