AEC Regent III - London's classic
Buses planned for
operation include RT1702, RT2177, RT2688, RT3062 and
RT3871. RT8 will work on the 142 and 240.
RT280 works a peak hours
journey on the 140 from Mill Hill East to Hayes. It is seen
in Engel Park, east Mill Hill.
Designed before the second world war, the first RT was
delivered in 1939, and another 150 followed before the war put a
stop to production. These war-time buses, often referred to
as 'pre-war RTs' but properly 2RT2s, were initially allocated to
Putney Bridge and Putney Garages.
After the war, the first of the large post-war class was
delivered to Leyton Garage in 1947 for the replacement of
open-staircase LT class buses. The early buses were delivered
with the distinctive roof route-number box, but this was
discontinued after the first few batches.
Deliveries of the RT family (which included the Leyland
classes) continued until 1954, when, numbering nearly 7,000,
they comprised the largest standardised bus fleet in the
world. Like the single-deck RF
they were operated in red, green and Green Line liveries. For
a brief period before the appearance of the first Routemasters, the
RT family (with the low-height RLHs) provided the entire
double-deck service fleet, although reducing demand after the
orders were placed meant that the last members of the class did not
enter service until the first had been withdrawn.
trolleybus conversion was completed, and particularly after the
introduction of double-deck one-man operation, RTs were withdrawn
in droves, although their reliability meant that examples continued
to appear in the most unlikely places almost to the end. The
last RT route was Barking's 62
last bus in service was RT624 on 7 April 1979.
Having served London for 40 years, for many, the RT represents
London bus. Its successor, the Routemaster
has beaten even this.
The RT provided the backbone of bus services in the Edgware
area between 1950 and 1970, gradually giving way to one-man
operation with the last RTs working on the 292A