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Routemaster: London's Beloved Icon
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 17616
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.....unlike the "olden days" of LONDON TRANSPORT, there are no longer any "standard" type of London bus; while the once-familiar, stalwart "RT" was the next-to-the-last "standard" type built for London, the "ROUTEMASTER" had the distinction of being the very last of the "standard" type of bus built for London.

Having been intensely interested in London buses for decades, I can look at vintage photographs, and, almost invaribly, am able to identify the various types of buses that once operated in London.

Today, however, when I am looking at modern-era London buses, I am VERY hard-pressed to be able to identify virtually any of the buses now in service.

Though, in years past, GREEN LINE and RED ARROW single-deck buses were commonplace, today's London finds that there are now more single-deck buses in London than in previous decades.

Of course, single-deck "coaches" (intercity buses) were commonplace in Britain even prior to the Second World War......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an excellent (and lengthy!) page on double-decker buses (be sure to check out the vintage ROUTEMASTER in Sri Lanka!)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-decker_bus

Some of the new-model double-deckers are a bit too "off-beat" for me (giant, insidious-looking mutant "Transformers"??) Shocked Shocked Shocked

There are some classics on this page as well, including some really interesting old rear-engine double-deckers in India, as well as an ancient Leyland "TITAN", now residing in Australia....... Wink

"NYO"
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 833
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I call attention to the recent fiscal problems of Wrightbus, which manufactured many Routemasters at their factory in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. I think the Wikipedia article on Wrightbus is outdated, so it would be useful to check news.google.co.uk
---
Link to a December 2, 2020, Belfast Telegraph story of an order of 145 low-emission double-deckers is HERE
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 17616
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe; appreciate this update....thank you.

MUCH has changed in England, bus-wise, over the past few decades; with the retirement of the last of the original "ROUTEMASTER", there are no longer conductors on board.

I've also read that there have been (and still are) issues regarding articulated buses (dubbed "bendys") in London.

Recall, too, that "London Transport" itself has undergone tremendous changes over the last several decades; it echoes the early days of motor buses in London, when "GENERAL" had much competition from many "independent" bus operators, and the early "tube" (Underground) lines were operated by private companies.......

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Links of interest*:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Buses

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buses_in_London

*Much of interesting here, including some vintage photos.......
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From 1931 until 1962 (when "ROUTEMASTERS" were still new), trolleybuses operated in London; at its peak, London's trolleybus fleet was the world's largest.

By 1962, the once-great network had been pared down tremendously; originally, there had been plans to keep the remaining trolleybuses routs in service until the 1970's......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolleybuses_in_London
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an excellent, exhaustive site dedicated to London's bus routes, beginning in 1934........

www.londonbuses.co.uk
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.......to truly delve into London's buses in past years is indeed to have to do as much detective work along the lines of the great Sherlock Holmes himself; unlike here in the States, the majority of the buses built for London (and other British bus companies) the chassis were built by several different manufactures, as were the bodies themselves.

Ditto the bodies; there were, many decades ago, a host of companies that not only built bus bodies, but also, bodies for Underground (tube) trains.

Though many London buses carried their original bodies throughout their service lives, many more had, at some point, the original body removed, and a new one installed.

It was not uncommon, for LT to have a bus in service for, say, 25 years, and carry the bodies of two or three different builders, along the way.

As the buses were designed to have the bodies lifted off the chassis and replaced with a substitute, this was not at all as difficult as it sounded.

For instance, let's say that "STL5643" entered service in 1938; by the time the bus was retired years later, it MIGHT have been carrying it original body, but, then again, it might have already been fitted with one or more different bodies, at some point during its service life.

"Extra" bodies that were in stock (recall the heavy disruption caused by WW2, and for a number of years afterwards) were called "floaters", as they could be "floated" to any bus that needed, for whatever reason, a new body.

This was commonplace through the "RT" era; with the newer ROUTEMASTERS ("RM"), though the bodies could still be removed, they, unlike older double-deckers, had no separate chassis, just front and rear sub-frames, but the general principal remained the same.......

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sat Oct 23, 2021 8:26 pm; edited 2 times in total
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can that sort of replacing the body be done with U.S. transit buses or with school buses?
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

N4 Jamaica wrote:
Can that sort of replacing the body be done with U.S. transit buses or with school buses?


Joe:

That is a good question; I've wondered about that myself.

Early FLXIBLE intercity buses, such as the "AIRWAY", had the bodies mounted on CHEVROLET truck chassis.

I also know that, back in the 1930's and 1940's, a number of PREVOST buses had bodies mounted on chassis built by WHITE and, later, GMC......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In London, the famous "B"-type bus ("GENERAL") was the first of several generations of buses built for London to have the bodies (of several builders) mounted onto the chassis.

Some of these iconic, elderly buses lasted in service until the early 30's; by that time, many, but not all, were upgraded/modernized with enclosed top decks and pneumatic tyres (tires)......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldenham_Works

Fascinating, in-depth, detailed history of the now-demolished London Transport Aldenham Works; there is much information here, including the interchanging of bus bodies and chassis.

This was a massive operation while it lasted; it is hard to imagine anything like this here in the States.......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2022 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "LONDON TRANSPORT" of the past no longer exists; today, "TfL" ("TRANSPORT FOR LONDON") operates London's extensive public transport network, including the buses.

The insignia used today harks back to that used by "LT" for decades......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_for_London
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2022 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that none of the London buses that have replaced the ROUTEMASTER throughout the years has ever come close to enjoying the same longevity long associated with them; the early, equally-iconic "RT" types, likewise, were very rugged, solidly built, and served LT for decades, with the very last one not retiring until 1979.

As is the case with modern buses here at home, today's London buses simply are far too sophisticated and hi-tech; many buses are prone to suffering many glitches due to electronic issues.

The old "RM" and "RT" buses, on the other hand, were MACHINES, and not rolling computers.

Too, most of the newest buses in London are simply downright UGLY! Razz

Blimey! Rolling Eyes

"NYO"

["9-BECONTREE HEATH STN ONLY"]
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2022 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the 1953 Coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth (who sadly passed just yesterday) many London streets were magnificently decorated with vast illuminated garlands.

In this photo, we can see an "RT"-class heading away from the camera.

The Coronation was also the first ever televised.

In 1953, "tellies" were just coming to vogue at that time (many people rented a set in those days), so many Brits waited until the filmed coverage was shown in their local cinemas.......

https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/collections/collections-online/photographs/item/1998-21344
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