This page created 14th March 2003, updated 6th August

RX1 drawing 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.

RX1 drawing.

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. Photo by Andrew Colebourne RX1 in preservation. Photo by Andrew Colebourne

RX1 in preservation, with added London Transport fleetnames and fleet number, at Covent Garden 30th May 1983. Photos kindly supplied by Andrew Colebourne.

Bus History

This 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 depot	
Photos 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