28 June 2014

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Bus Cavalcade - The Year Of The Bus

On Sunday 22nd June 2014, Regent Street had one of its many Sunday road closures - to allow shoppers to have a traffic free day, whilst also providing some sort of entertainment and interesting events.

For this Sunday, apart from 48 buses (and some supporting vehicles), Regent Street was traffic free! Despite having to get a bus replacement service to Slade Green as some work was being done on Dartford Station (they tore down the old temporary station), I went into London.

Here’s the second set of photos that I took - from buses 21 to 35.

And of course click for buses 1 to 20 or buses 36 to 48

I’ll post the rest in the coming week - so check back for more!

Remember - Dartford Bus station is having an open day on Sunday 7th September, I’ll hopefully see some of you there!

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I’ve taken the descriptions of each bus from the TfL leaflet that was handed out at the event - which gives you some background into what the bus is, and a little bit of history.

I’ve put the odd comment in amongst all the photos too…

Bus 21 - Leyland RTW-type (RTW467)

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In service 1950-1966: This was one of 500; they were the first eight foot-wide motor buses in London when wider buses were permitted.

Bus 22 - AEC Loweight Regent III

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In service 1952-1971: One of 76 ‘low height’ AEC Regents delivered to LT from 1952. The RLH61 finished service at Dalston Garage, then was exported to Canada.

Bus 23 - AEC BEA Coach (MLL740)

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In service 1953-1973: Bought by British European Airways and operated by LT between London and Heathrow Airport

I guess this was the original Heathrow Express - by the company that became British Airways sometime after

Bus 24 - Guy Special (GS)

In service 1953-1972: Designed for narrow country lanes, these one-person operated small buses have 26 seats

And…I don’t seem to have any photos of this one :( Sorry about that!

Bus 25 - AEC Routemaster (RM2)

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In service 1957-1957: Entered service for green country buses and later painted red for London. From 1960-1972 LT staff learnt to drive on this vehicle.

One of the first Routemasters! shame it was only in passenger service for a year, but the precursor to the bus that London knows and loves (no, not the bendy bus, or the Boris bus)

Bus 26 - Leyland Routemaster (RML3)

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In service 1958-1959 : This was the third of four Routemaster prototypes and the first to have a Leyland engine. It has been restored with an original front end.

This was one of the Routemasters that had its engine open for all to inspect, so I did!

Bus 27 - AEC Routemaster (RM5)

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In service 1959-2004: The Routemaster set a style that has never dated, but its construction and engineering marked major advances, too

I would’ve travelled on one of these during my time growing up in Newham, East London. They were great buses!

Bus 28 - AEC Routemaster (RM613)

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In service 1961-2003: A standard Routemaster, restored to its original 1965 condition by its present preservationist owners.

This did look in great condition, as you can see from the insignia shot

Bus 29 - AEC Routemaster (RM1005)

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In service 1962-2001: A RM refurbished by London Buses for further service in 2001. Owned by TfL Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy CBE

This is great that the TfL guy owns a bus! I wonder if he gets to drive it much…

Also Route 23 - when I was growing up (some may say, I still am…), I saw old bus maps that we had at home, and saw this Route 23, and most likely travelled on it in my younger years. Though in my teenage years I wondered what happened to Route 23…well it was renamed to the Number 15, that I know and love, which took me down the Barking Road to East Ham, for those times I was too lazy to walk!

Little bit of history here for Route 23

Lego Bus Stop!

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A small intermission before Bus number 30 - the Lego Bus Stop!

This has been put in as part of the Year of the Bus celebrations, and certainly got interest from those that passed it - a bus stop and shelter built entirely from Lego.

If you’re ever in London - it’s outside of the Hamley’s Toy Store, where, funnily enough, you can pick up Lego!

Bus 30 - AEC Routemaster Coach

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In service 1965-1984: There were two main versions of the Routemaster, a central area bus and a coach version for Green Line services.

I guess this one ended up following what is now the 25 route

Bus 31 - Daimler Fleetline (XF1)

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In service 1965-1981: One of the experimental buses ordered by LT - the first buses designed for one-person operation in London.

One person operation? No conductor? Outrageous…but the start of a change in London bus travel that ended with the old Routemaster being phased out (until NBfL came in, and the Heritage buses)

Bus 32 - AEC Routemaster (FRM1)

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In service 1966-1983: The Routemaster bus was built with a front entrance to reduce staffing costs. This project lost momentum and this was the only one built.

This one surprised me somewhat, only one ever built! Yet it was in service for so long. This would’ve been a bus spotters dream…and I’m surprised it’s still in action.

From the front it does have faint echoes to the Titan bus that was driver only

Bus 33 - AEC Merlin (MBA582)

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In service 1969-1981: With the engine at the rear, it ran on the new ‘Red Arrow’ limited stop express service across London between major railway stations

…and turned into a shop for the day!

Bus 34 - Daimler Fleetline (DM51)

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In service 1971-1982: Designed for one-person operation as part of major cost saving changes to bus services. It was fitted with a coin-operated turnstile

Bus 35 - AEC Swift (SM1)

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In service 1970-c1976: Purchased by LT to begin replacement of crew-operated routes in the suburbs

From the front this looked a little like a tube train!



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