The LONDON TRANSPORT STDs

This page created December 1997 by Ian Smith, updated 14th October 1999

Contents

There were three distinct groups of STDs:
  1. The PreWar STDs: STD 1-100
  2. The austerity STDs: STD 101-111
  3. The PostWar STDs: STD 112-176

The Pre-war STDs
STD 1-90: 1STD1 and STD91-100: 2STD1/1 (Total 100)

Introduced: April 1937.

Pre-war STD Chassis: Leyland Titan TD4 , 16ft 3in wheel-base, 6 cylinder 8.6 litre diesel, crash gearboxes (1STD) or torque converters (2STD)

Body: Leyland: 56 seats (26 + 30) (1STD) or 55 (2STD),
length 25ft 11in, width 7ft 6in, height 14ft 3in, weight 6t 13cwt.
seating capacity 56 (1STD1), 55 (2STD1/1).

London Transport was busy standardising. Having inherited a mixed bag of buses at its formation in 1933 LT was gradually replacing all the non-standard types as they became life-expired. So the AEC STL was the standard double- decker and the inherited Leyland TDs were on their way out. So why did LT buy 100 Leylands? Was it capacity problems at the favoured AEC? Was it political pressure to show the Leyland flag in the capital to help Leyland's exports? Was it a wish to experiment with Leyland's diesel engines and torque converters, the latter with an eye to future tram replacements?
Whatever the reason, LT bought 100, all with diesel engines, including just 10 with torque converters. The other 90 had crash gearboxes. All had Leyland bodies, which were produced in a style similar to that of the STLs, with a front roofbox. LT lent STL1217 to Leyland to help them see what was wanted for the Metropolis.

All went to Hendon garage (AE), for use on the 13, 16, 28, 52, 83/A, 113, 121 and 183, starting in April 1937.

The new buses operated these routes until October 1938, when it lost the Sunday 16 workings (to Cricklewood), and its weekday workings on the 121. In May 1939 Hendon started to use STDs on the new Sunday route 3A, which meant it had to lose its Sunday contribution to route 121.

When Alperton (ON) opened in June 1939 most of Hendon's duties on the 83/A were re-allocated away, and for the rest of the year STDs worked alongside LTL Scooters on short-workings of the 240.

DatesRoutesBuses displaced
4/37- 13: Hendon - London Bridge StationNS
4/37-10/3816 (Su): West Hendon - Victoria StationNS
4/37-28: Hendon/Golders Green - Wandsworth BridgeNS
4/37-52: Mill Hill - Victoria StnSTL
4/37-6/3983: (NSu) Golders Green Stn - SouthallST
4/37-6/3983A: (Su)Golders Green Stn - KewST
4/37-113: (NSu) Hendon Central Stn - Edgware StnSTL
4/37-10/38 (5/39 Sun)121: Hendon Garage - Nunhead GarageST
4/37-183: Golders Green Stn - Northwood StnST
5/39-10/393A: Edgware Stn - Crystal Palacenew
5/39-11/39112: (SumSu) Edmonton - Hampton Courtnew
6/39-12/39240: Golders Green Stn - Mill Hillextra

War-time changes

Pre-war STD, war-time As war approached the buses were readied for the impending blackout, with reduced headlights, white roundels on the rear (to distinguish them from trolleybuses), and white trim on mudguards and the platform. The bright aluminium coloured roofs were darkened by a coat of red-oxide or brown paint. Blinds were reduced to save linen. As the air-raids finally started the buses were also fitted with anti-splinter netting, with cut-outs to allow passengers to see where they were. (Unlike some modern paint schemes!)
The war also brought revisions of routes and allocations: from 1st September STDs 1-17 (plus five others) were delicensed as surplus following service reductions and revised working to cut down on garage runs. But they were too good to keep in store, and were promptly relicensed. They, or others, were sent out to the Country Area to replace duties of GreenLine coaches that had been converted to Ambulances. They went to :
Hatfield (HF): STD 15, 56, 58, 74;
Staines (ST): STD 22, 81, 95;
Luton (LS), then St Albans (SA): STD 29, 39, 47, 68, 76.
The receiving garages did not appreciate them, and they were soon stored at Tring (TG), before coming back to the Central Area at Cricklewood (W) in mid-October. There they worked alongside STLs on route 16 for three years.
From October 1939 Hendon's 112 was dropped, replaced by running the 113 on Sundays. The 113 was also extended daily to Oxford Circus. The 13 was shortened in the off peaks, to Golders Green Stn - London Bridge Stn.
When the 112 finished its summer season, in November, Hendon was given work for STDs on route 142, followed by Sunday work on a revised route 83.

DatesRoutes
11/39-142: Kilburn Park Stn - Watford Junction Stn
12/39-3/4083: Golders Green Stn - Ealing Broadway

In October 1942 the Cricklewood STDs were mostly returned to Hendon, but five (STD 22, 47, 49, 56 and 58) went instead to Victoria garage (GM), where they continued to work on the 16 for another two years. Victoria reallocated them to route 22 in October 1944, and received five more from Hendon to join them (STD 5, 7, 13, 16, 37). All ten returned to Hendon in August 1945.

DatesRoutes
10/42-10/44/16: West Hendon - Victoria Station
10/44-8/4522: Putney Common - Homerton

Edgware (EW) borrowed some from AE and W at times too. Pre-war STD after the war

Peace returns

With the STDs all back at Hendon, they resumed work on the routes familiar to them: the 13, 113, and 183 during the week, and the 140, 142, 240 and 260 at weekends.

Post-war repaints saw the buses go into a red livery with a cream cant-rail and cream upper window surrounds. But this was short-lived, the window surrounds soon succumbing to the tide of red paint. The restricted blinds stayed restricted: the STDs were seen as having a limited life as the RTs took over.

Exit Hendon, enter Enfield

The 1950s brought new buses: thirty-four RTLs appeared at Hendon in December 1951 for route 13 (a route shared with Cricklewood, which had had RTs from March 1948) So in January 1952 some STDs started to appear as trainers at Ponders End garage, Enfield (E), whilst others were stored at Edgware (EW). In February they replaced austerity G's on the 107/A routes. 37 of the STDs were engaged at Enfield.

DatesRoutes
2/52 - 107/A: Borehamwood - Ponders End/Enfield Lock
2/52 - 135: Forty Hill - Enfield Town /Brimsdown Power Stn

Pre-war STD More RTs arrived at Hendon in October 1952, and during 1953, gradually ousting the remaining STDs. But 64 lasted in LT passenger service into 1954, at Hendon and Enfield, and some lasted into '55 as trainers. They were all sold between December 1953 and September 1955. Some went for further bus service, others became contractors' staff vehicles. Others had the bodies scrapped and new lorry bodies fitted.
Beyond the tender loving care of LT the survivors gradually faded away. One, STD90, after further service in the Midlands, was headed for preservation, but had to be scrapped after being badly vandalised in the early sixties.
Ian's Bus Stop bus histories photo refs

STLs prewar STDs war-time STDs postwar STDs SRTs