The last Routemaster bus built for London, RML 2760, is heading for semi-retirement in Surrey when it begins a two-year loan to the London Bus Museum based on the Brooklands Museum site near Weybridge.
The bus was built in 1968 by AEC at Southall with a Park Royal body and was to the later, longer design with seats for 72 instead of 64. It was the last of 600 similar types ordered to follow on from the more numerous, shorter, RM, of which over 2000 were built. The bus was first allocated to Upton Park garage but also spent time at Chalk Farm, Hanwell and Uxbridge garages. It returned to Upton Park in 1975 and remained there until route 15 became driver-only in 2003. 2760 moved to Bow and was used on route 8 until that also became driver only in 2004. The bus became part of the East London Coaches fleet until 2007, since when it has spent time at West Ham and Rainham, seeing occasional use on special event days. Unlike the majority of RMLs, 2760 was not refurbished in the 1990s and retained its original AEC engine and traditional interior decor. The bus gained celebrity status during the 1980s and was kept in show condition by staff at Upton Park. It travelled extensively to bus rallies and special events, including working on a special service for the Ffestinniog Railway at Porthmadog, North Wales.
On Saturday 13th April a trio of Stagecoach London staff took 2760 out for a few farewell runs over routes 101 and 15 with which it had a long association. London MD Mark Threapleton formally handed the bus over to the London Bus Preservation Trust at their annual open day on 21st April. The bus will be used to attend bus rallies and will be on view to museum visitors at other times.
Our photos show, above, leaving Rainham garage for Brooklands and, below, during a break between journeys on the 101 and 15 at the now mothballed Upton Park garage.