This page updated 1st February 1999

RTs without roofboxes (Total about 3100)

RT family at Brooklands 98
RT family at Brooklands 98: RT1702, RT2083, RTL453, RT2420.
RT, red Introduced:1947

Chassis: Type 3RT: AEC Regent III, 16ft 4in wheel-base, 6 cylinder 9.6 litre diesel

Bodies: Park Royal, Weymann, type RT8: 56 seats (26 + 30), metal frames, 4 bays.

Almost all RTs had the same seating arrangement: the lower saloon had five rows of forwards-facing seats, and a pair of transverse seats, each seating three over the wheel arches. The latter were raised on low plinths above the level of the gangway, to clear the transmission and rear axle assemblies. Upstairs there were thirty seats, all in pairs, and all facing forwards. The rear pairs were displaced sideways by the route display case above the platform. Access to the front roller blinds was through a hinge-down fascia panel at the front, and a hinge-up panel above the stairs at the rear.
RT2291 in Hayes, Kent, 12/98


The standard RT was a straightforward development of the roofbox RT. Almost the only immediate difference was the blind layout at the front of the bus. In place of the roofbox and dual blind, there was a three-window blind on the front, with the route number panel on the near side. The route number was repeated in the small box under the canopy, as on the RT10s and the Saunders' RTs. The revised destination blind layout took effect with some of the buses delivered in 1948, coded RT3/1, although RT3 roofbox bodies continued to appear until 1950.

A new means of fixing body to chassis brought the new code of RT8 for the new standard buses. These could be identified by the small cut-out above chassis horns below the drivers cab, designed to clear the larger fittings on the RTL chassis, so making them interchangeable. (The RT10s had this cut-out too).

Later buses had a redesigned, stronger, front bulkhead. There was no visible difference, but they were coded RT8/2

Preserved RT2291 in Hayes, Kent, December 1998.
Photo by Ian Smith. Click for larger version.

RT2043 at Lingfield Station, 1998 The livery at first was red or green with cream upper window surrounds and cream cant-rail band, with black mudguards on the Central Area buses. The blind apertures were limited to the war-time standard initially.

The production rate was prodigious. In fact, after the initial worries about chassis production outstripping body supplies, (which had led to Saunders and Cravens being asked to augment the production from Park Royal and Weymann), London Transport realised that it was bodies that were appearing faster.

Another apparently unrelated problem at this time was that the Park Royal bodies on some of the STLs were literally dropping to bits. So there appeared to be a glut of RT bodies and a shortage of decent STL bodies. So the idea was proposed that some of the newest STL chassis should receive new RT bodies, and donate their used STL bodies to older STls carrying the poor ones. So some STL chassis were re-engineered to form the SRT class.

RT 2043 at Lingfield Station, April 1998,
wearing the early postwar RT livery.
Photo by Ian Smith. Click for larger version.

By 1954 a total of 4553 postwar RTs were in service (not counting RTLs). There were actually more RTs than this, as some went into store until such time as they should be needed. The highest numbered RT was RT4825. The last of the stored RTs went into service in 1959.

However, in 1956 ardent bus-spotters quickly realised that there was another block of RTs that just did not show up anywhere in service. These were the RT chassis nominated for the Aldenham "float". As LT transferred chassis plates from arriving RTs onto leaving ones, to save tax and paperwork, the float chassis numbers were not issued for many years, until the winding up of the float in early 1970. Tough luck, spotters!

The actual number of standard RT bodies was 15 more than the number of RT+RTL chassis. This was because of the Aldenham float system, as the bodies took longer to repair than chassis. When delivered they were parked on redundant STL chassis, and those left over were sold when the float was eventually wound up.

London travel normality in the sixties and seventies: the inside of an RT. (This one is beautifully preserved: this view is from April 1998 inside RT 2043)

Summary of standard RT production

RT4497 at North Weald, 1998
RT657 (Park Royal) RT8
RT852-RT945 (Park Royal) RT3/1
RT946-961 (Park Royal) RT8
RT1012-RT1111 (Weymann) RT3/1
RT1112-RT1151 (Weymann) RT8
RT1522-RT2115 (Park Royal) RT8
RT2116 (Weymann) RT8
RT2117-RT2121 (Park Royal) RT8
RT2122-RT2521 (Weymann) RT8
RT2522-RT2829 (Park Royal) RT8
RT2830-RT3041 (Park Royal) RT8/2
RT3042-RT3223 (Weymann) RT8
RT3224-RT3259 (Weymann) RT8/1
RT3260-RT3527 (Weymann) RT8
RT3528-RT3841 (Weymann) RT8/2
RT3842-RT4217 (Weymann) RT8
RT4268-RT4396 (Park Royal) RT8/2
RT4397-RT4556 (Park Royal: ex SRT) RT8
RT4557-RT4568 (Weymann) RT8/2
RT4569-RT4684 (Park Royal) RT8/2
RT4685-RT4794 (Weymann) RT8/2
RT4795-RT4825 (Park Royal) RT8/2
RT 4497, beautifully restored, seen at North Weald in June 1998.
Photo by Ian Smith. Click for larger version.

Ian's Bus Stop RT contents Cravens Part1 Part2