Purley Old Lodge Lane terminus

Red RF routes

Crew routes commencing 1953

Page last updated 20 February 2013
RF507 in 1975 at the southerly terminus of the 234A.
Photo © John H Reed, Peter Gomm collection
The balance of the 225 red RFs were delivered in early 1953, enabling the replacement of the last pre-war single-deckers in London (with the exception of the 10T10 class, which had to await the double-decking of the 205 at Enfield in May 1953 and their replacement at Kingston by TDs from Enfield).  In addition to six more routes converted with new buses (taking the total to thirteen), 1953 saw the introduction of RFs to the 251 (weekend spares at Muswell Hill) and, as the new buses were faster than the buses they replaced, enough buses were squeezed out across the network later in the year to permit conversion of the 254 at Loughton.  In the meantime, an RF provided a temporary service on a section of the 108, due to road works.
1953 route conversions, in date order:
234A    12 Jan 53     3 new buses allocated   Purley - Hackbridge   
228  14 Jan 53          11  Chislehurst - Well Hall
208 16 Jan 53 (daily, see notes) 14 Bromley-by-Bow - Clapton Pond
233  1 Feb 53          21 Finsbury Park - Northumberland Park 
212  4 Feb 53          27 Finsbury Park - Muswell Hill
241  1 Mar 53          27 Welling - Sidcup Garage 
251 6 May 53 (weekends, see notes) n/a Burnt Oak - Arnos Grove
108  10 Jun 53 (temporary) n/a Bromley by Bow local service
254  7 Oct 53          n/a Loughton - Buckhurst Hill


By 25 March, when the last of 225 red RFs was licensed, the fleet had been delivered and placed in service in a little over 6 months, and all remaining Central Area pre-war single-deckers had finally been withdrawn from public service.  The last LT Scooters were replaced by RFs on the 234A and (working as spares only) on the 208, the 5Q5s, the last of the Q-class, on the 241 and the 1T1s and ex-Country 4Q4s at Kingston indirectly by post-war Ts and TDs released by the RFs.  This period was celebrated at the Worcester Park running day in 2008; for more detail, see The RF Story.