2014 marks a special year in London Transport history, with three milestones reached. The 1914-1918 world war saw several London buses used on the home front. These became known as battle buses, one example is currently undergoing restoration. In 1934 the first production RT's arrived in the city, these were AEC chassis with Park Royal bodies. However the 1939-45 WWII put a halt to production of the RT class, with all the manufacturing effort used for the advancing designs of war. In 1947 the RT re-started production with AEC and Leyland building chassis and Park Royal, Stracans, Cravens and Leyland building bodies. Some 5000 plus RT's were built from 1947 until 1956, making the RT the largest single design for any British bus fleet. But as the London Transport Trolleybuses were beginning to show signs of age, London Transport had designed and with AEC and Park Royal, built RM1 the 1954 Commercial show exhibit. RM 2, 3 and RMC followed suit and for four years extensive trials followed. RM 8 arrived in 1958, as the first production Routemaster followed by over 2700 RMs. The RML, RMA, RMF and FRM were variations of the theme, RML a 30 foot version, RMA an airport luxury model, RMF a front entrance style and FRM the rear engine one off.
The WWI 'Battle buses' mark 100 years since they were used for the war effort. The RT celebrates 75 years in production and preservation, while the classic RM celebrates 60 years with a gathering on Finsbury Park for 'RM 60'. See the Routemaster Association website for more details of this event. Above is the 'New Routemaster' LT150 sporting the special 2014 'Year of the Bus' livery, while working the 9 Aldwych to Hammersmith service.
Here are my personal views on bus activity in my area and beyond