Running numbers - RF services

Page last updated 30 January 2016


As noted on the previous page, it was usual practice in the Central Area for the running number sequence for each route to start at 1, even though this resulted in several buses from each garage carrying each number.  This applied to all RF routes up to the early 1970s, with the exceptions noted below.


Although some double-deck routes operated by different garages used different number sequences at different garages, this does not seem to have applied to RF routes.  The 210 (on Sundays, when it was shared between Muswell Hill (MH), Leyton (T) and Tottenham (AR)), ran MH1-8, T1-7 and AR1-9 (sceptics may wish to peruse an extract from the 1967 Time Schedule, here); the 236 was similar.  And there is the case of the 213, as shown in the photographs on the previous page.



Barking (BK)

Barking was a relative late-comer to single-deck operation, on commencement of the 291 in 1965.  Initially it used running numbers 301 upwards, later changed to 171 upwards.


Kingston (K)

The position at Kingston is somewhat unclear.  Firstly, at various times before and during RF operation, the 215218 and 219 were jointly compiled, either on Sundays or all week, as well as the 215 and 215A being joint (Mon-Sat) throughout the operation of the latter.  There was also a degree of cross-linking.  As with the 213, the running numbers used on the jointly compiled 218/219 exceeded the PVR for the routes, which may be a legacy from joint 215 compilation.  Before the RF era, when Kingston ran new route 264 in 1950-51 and the route was jointly compiled with the 218 on Mon-Fri, workings included K34 and K67 although the PVR was 6.  It is not known what running numbers were used when Kingston regained part of the route in 1962-63.  Without the time and duty schedules for the various years, it may not be possible to establish exactly how the workings were arranged.


Loughton (L)

Loughton used numbers from 1 upwards, but changed at some time after the introduction of RFs in 1953 and before 1958, when the sequence used by the 254 changed to (about) L85 upwards.  The 20B series included L26.


North Street (NS)

North Street followed the practice at Hornchurch (RD), from where the 250 was transferred when it opened in 1953, in using a sequence from 50 upwards.  RD had, like U and BK, always used a single sequence.


Southall (HW) (renamed from Hanwell in 1950)

Southall used numbers from 1 upwards until commencement of the summer schedules of 1956 (before the introduction of RFs), when the 211 used 165 upwards.


Uxbridge (UX)

Uxbridge converted from the old system at some time after 1955.  During the crew operated phase of RF operation, in the late 50s and early 60s, the running number sequences included:

   222         UX51 upwards

   224         UX75-81

   224A/B    UX90-93; 224B as a separate sequence (1959-61) not known

   224C       as for 222 (224C replaced 222)

However, cross-linking over the years between various of the Uxbridge single-deck routes (see for example the allocations for the 224B) meant that these numbers could also appear on buses working other routes.  On the re-introduction of RF operation in 1971, new sequences were in use including:

   204         UX31 upwards

   223         UX53-56

   224         UX61-65, UX83-84

   224B       UX58-61 (possibly cross-linked workings?), UX71


Changes in the 1970s

The general change in the early 1970s to a single sequence of running numbers for each garage naturally affected RF workings; except at Kingston (where the 218/219 kept the first series), running numbers took higher ranges.  Those we have identified either from photographs or from time schedules are as follows; with the exception of MH27 in 1971, the remainder (where dated) are from 1975 onwards:


K63, K83


NB135, K112


AV97 and AV191+                                   






















The information throughout this section is woefully incomplete - further detail welcome