The LONDON TRANSPORT AEC Renown, RX1This page created 14th March 2003, updated 6th August
In 1962 London Transport's Country Area was contemplating how to replace some of their RTs with higher capacity vehicles for their trunk flows. The RML was one obvious answer - and the one eventually chosen - but there was a certain amount of consideration whether the relatively sophisticated Routemaster was suitable for the purely suburban nature of the Country Area's requirements. It was a rehash of the queries about the use of the RT in the Country Area. Routemasters were expensive too, both in first cost and in running fuel costs: automatic transmission was not cheap. So alternatives were considered. The relatively basic AEC Renown came under the microscope, and a demonstrator was borrowed for a year. The first sixth months were spent under the auspices of Chiswick, and then in February 1963 it went to Northfleet for use on one of the target routes: the busy 480. The bus had a conventional low-floor chassis, with an AEC AV590 engine and Monocontrol gearbox. The low floor enabled two "normal" decks to be incorporated within a low-height envelope. The doorway, in the fashion of the time, was near the front.It wore green livery with a cream band, with neither fleetnames nor fleetnumber. However, it was widely known as RX1.
The running trial lasted four months, and then it returned to Chiswick for evaluation. In August 1963 it was returned to AEC. The type was not considered a success by London Transport, nor by most other operators.
AEC sold it to Osbourne's of Tollesbury in Essex, who used it on their Colchester service for very many years. They had a good buy. After that it was bought for preservation, and spent some time at the Oxford Bus Museum. It was restored to LT green and cream, and was rallied with London Transport fleetnames and RX1 fleetnumbers applied.
RX1 in preservation, with added London Transport fleetnames and fleet number, at Covent Garden 30th May 1983. Photos kindly supplied by Andrew Colebourne.
Bus HistoryThis list is not complete or up-to-date, and may contain errors.
RX 1 8071 ML 8/62 AEC Renown/Park Royal L44/25F: on loan to Aldenham 2/63 NF loaned to LT: used on 480 (Northfleet) 6/63 NF to Chiswick 8/63 returned to AEC off-loan 11/63 bought by Osbournes of Tollesbury 64-74 Osbournes 1975 fitted with Bridgemaster front dome and windows 1976 Osbournes 4/77 in service, Osbournes $ 1978 Osbournes 4/79 at Battersea Park Rally 8/79 sold bought for preservation, Wareham, Oxford repainted in LT demonstrator condition: London Transport fleetnames and RX1 numbers added 5/81 at North Weald Rally 5/83 visited LT Museum, Covent Garden for LT50 1984 with Oxford Bus Museum, Long Hanborough 6/94 at BTS, Borehamwood BE-57-34 5/00 bought for preservation: TLC Detacheringen, Lijnden, Netherlands bought for preservation: Sjoens, Hilversum, Netherlands 3/08 at Schiphol: red/blue/white "Rochdale" $ 7/14 at Boxtel: red/blue/white $
Photo References:For a key to the references, see the bibliography.
RX1 8071 ML TBX63 p22 1963 NF on 480 to Erith LB60s p62 1963 NF on 480 to Gravesend CB6 p43 1963 NF private LB&TA p125 with Osbornes of Tollesbury, Colchester BYB97 p80 1984 with Oxford Bus Museum, Long Hanborough LBM144 p38 5/81 preserved, in LT green, North Weald LBM89 p07 6/94 BT at Borehamwood, BTS depotPhotos of RX1 can be found on the Neil Fraser's AEC and Lars Richter's Overground websites. Thanks to Andrew Colebourne for supplying photos of the rear (as well as sides and front) to enable me to complete the drawing. Ian's Bus Stop RX text. RX history photo refs RV, DR